Honky Tonk Woman (Lead)

Animated Honky Tonk Woman (Lead) tab by The Rolling Stones on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

Although the main rhythm guitar is in open G tuning, the lead guitar uses standard tuning:

Low E:A:D:G:B:E

This is the main lead guitar. There is also a third guitar which we look at separately. It is just there to add an extra layer of melody, and you don't need to know it. This is the main lead here. We've taken out the 3rd guitar in this audio to avoid confusion. However if you would like to know what the 3rd guitar gets up to then click here.

You can use fingerpicking to pick out the lead parts, but a pick is easier. The lead guitar plays a lot of fills (short melodic licks) throughout the song. We'll look at them here:

Fill 1 - This comes in just before the first chorus.

Fill 2 - This comes not long after the first fill, during the chorus.

Fill 3 - There is a large gap before this fill comes in (while the verse is sung). This fill appears just before the second chorus.

Fill 4 - This appears shortly afterwards, during the second chorus.

Harmony - Soon after Fill 4 the lead guitar plays on through to the end of the song. It's not really a solo, but more of a harmony line, playing off the melody with Mick Jagger as he sings out to the end of the song.

All the lead licks here are very country-blues. The E pentatonic minor scale pattern is mainly used along with plenty of bends and sustain. Don't go mad with the distortion for the lead sound. Use light distortion or overdrive, just enough to punch through the rhythm guitar, but not to dominate the song. Turn up your mid and treble settings and use your bridge pickup, with your tone knob fully up at 10. You need a 'dirty edge' to a basic clean sound rather than a fully distorted sound.

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