When you’re talking about an instrumental group, like The Ventures, the term lead guitar has real significance. The late Ventures drummer, Mel Taylor, described it this way (paraphrasing): The Venture sound is rhythm–bass, rhythm guitar and drums– overlayed with a lead guitar melody, usually all the way through (at least one exception to this is the drum work in, for example, Caravan, which performs its own lead element). Which brings me to the main lead guitarists of the Ventures: Nokie Edwards and Gerry McGee. Listen to their different styles in the above-mentioned Caravan. I have to admit I prefer McGee’s version. Though the versions are about ten years apart (MecGee from the 90’s; Nokie from the 80’s; both in Japan by the way ) these two guitarists still use the same respective interpretations. I don’t know, I just find McGee’s version sharper, tangier; Nokie’s heads toward the country-western.