Solo/Lead Guitar Basics

James Byfield (Blind Lemon Pledge)
Music 4 – Rm 221 / 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

With an emphasis on blues as a starting point, this workshop will focus on basic building blocks and approaches that will demystify playing solo/lead guitar. We will explore chords, fretboard technique, and some basic scales to help you get started playing leads in any key. The session will culminate in a lead solo for you to learn and help get you started.

Workshop will focus on riffs and technique that will get you playing leads immediately. This is an introductory course designed for beginners. However, participants should have a working knowledge of chords and notes, as other guitar basics will not be taught … just solo guitar.

Participants should bring a guitar (steel string or nylon), your favorite pick(s), a working guitar tuner, and a way to take notes. If possible, try to have your guitar accurately tuned before starting the class, although we will do a final tune before we start.

James Byfield has been deeply involved with music since childhood, and with the guitar since age 14. He performs under the stage name Blind Lemon Pledge with an eponymously named acoustic blues band. They perform an average of once a week all over the Bay Area, and will be performing at the festival on the Faith Petric Stage at 6 p.m. Additionally, Blind Lemon Pledge has released a series of internationally acclaimed albums while receiving several awards and nominations for his original songs.

Byfield has many years of playing lead guitar in a number of musical genres. He has taught guitar professionally since high school. And the guitar playing featured on his recordings has received critical accolades.