Guitar Lesson Beginners and Intermediate Players: Playing Short Melody on E String











 Today we will look at a short melody played over the high E-string.

Here is the melody:

                           G    Am       C                   Em    C           G    Am              G     Am

                       s                              s                           s       

         E —8—7-8—7—5—  —8—-7-8—10—12  –8–7-8—-7—5–  —8—12-15—17—–

Count:      1    2and 3    4         1     2and   3      4     1   2and   3   4        1     2  and   34

        About Notation: S= Slide Up 


        About the Melody: ~ Notice how the melody goes back and forwards from the BC= half tone.

                                   ~ Notice the third bar is exactely same as first bar.

                                   ~ Notice that the rhythm of whole melody is the same apart from last bar: a change on beat 3 and 4.


        Why Those Chords? :  First Bar:   C of melody (fret 8) relates to Root of C chord.

                                                      The B (fret 7) is the major third of the G chord.

                                                      The A (fret 5) is the Root of the A minor chord.

                                         Second Bar: The D (fret 10) is the perfect fifth of the G chord.

                                                           The E (fret 10) is the Root of the Em chord.

                                         Last Bar:      The E (fret 12) is the major third of the C chord.

                                                            The G (fret 15) is the Root of the G chord.

                                                            The A (fret 17) is the Root of the A minor chord.


If you are still confused why I have chosen the chords I did, do not worry as I will explain harmony in great detail in future blogs. For now this short break-down about the harmony will do.


       Creating Melodies:

When it comes to making melodies, keep them short, make them independent, so they can stand on their own to make sense. If you can sing- or hum it back you are probably doing a good job!

There are a lot of different approaches about how to create melodies, the example above is of a rising nature [the notes go up all the time] and it finishes on a climax. Experiment for yourself with different approaches, in future blogs I will spend more time on the different approaches how to create melodies. Listen to the melodies of your favourite songs, see how they move.

What I mentioned for melodies also goes for Solos, make sure your solos make sense [are melodic] sing along when you play, do not let your fingers dicatate too much [a specific guitarist “problem”] what you play. Let your solos go to a climax, let them make a contrast to what goes on in the rest of the song. In futureblogs I will give more tips and ideas about how to construct guitarsolos. Listen to what your favourite guitarplayers play, do you find they use a particular approach when it comes to playing solos, can you detect what makes player X sound so different from player Y?


     Playing Ideas:

Play same melody but now over different strings, observe where the half tones are. Make sure you do know the notenames.

Experiment with different voicings [fingerings] for the given chords, play those chords in different places on the fredboard. Play just the chords and write out your own melody, change the given rhythm ect. 


Have Fun!!


Guitar Lesson Beginners and Intermediate Players: Chord Idea and Arpeggio Over One String










 Play the following chordidea:


             A                   Asus4   A        A               A        A9   A

E  —————————————————————


B         ——-2——-2–3—2          –2——–2—————-

G  —————————–         ——————–4–2—-

D  —————————–         ——————————-

 A  ——0———-0———        -0——0———————–

 E  —————————–      ——————————–

Count:   1    and   2  and 3   4      1 and 2   and    3   4


 A brief note about my tab and other indication marks: Low E is at the bottom, high E is the top one, similar as standard tab.  Underneath the tab I put and indication for the counting, this to get an idea about the feel for the idea. I could have indicated a Beat Per Minute mark, but didn’t.  Do not worry about speed, just try to get the feel.       H= Hammer On      S= Slide   := Repeat



Here is the same chordidea but now played  as arpeggio (= broken chord—in other words, a chord played one note at a time, instead of being strummed where all your notes sound simultenously—) over just the high E-string:




                           —5—9—5–9–10–9          —5—9–5–9–7—5  :

          count:            1   and 2 and 3   4               1 and 2 and 3   4


Try the last idea over the one string by using Hammer Ons as well


                     Some Observations:

When Playing Chord ideas @ You are able to use More strings= Fuller Sound

                                      @ You are able to play Several Strings  Simultaneously


When Playing over One String @ Hammer-Ons and Slides are easy! In fact they feel so good being played over one string., use them at your advantage!!                

                                           @ It is easy to notice what intervals [how many frets in between your notes] you play. Keep asking yourself which notes you are playing!


                      Playing Tips:

Looking at the chord idea, notice that you play on almost every digit of the beat, only beat 3 and 4 do not have the  –and—   Clap the rhythm, tap it on your knee, this helps to get the feel in your system, knowing the feel  makes it easier to play the notes. Music in not just single notes and chords, rhythm plays a huge part in music as well  ~ If It Aint’t Got That Swing It Don’t Mean A Thing~ Try to get the feel from the first moment, first play slowly, then speed it up for the idea to make sense. Rhythms all have their own feel, and every song works with different rhythms. Try playing something you know a lot slower, how does it sound? Does it sound worse or just different? Listen to different coverversions of songs you like, try finding the ones which use a different tempo.

When Playing the chord idea over one string you could just play the idea using one finger, and use as many slides and hammer-ons as you like. Listen to some metal- and Hard Rock players like Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani and Igwie Malmsteen, notice that a lot of their faster solos are over one, or two strings, observe the use of hammer-on/and pull-offs in their playing. Now listen to some blues, for example BBKing, notice the solos are often played across the strings [postion playing]

Both position playing and playing over one string has its own function and sound, pay attention to the sound you are making next time when you play solos in your band. To become an all-rounded guitarplayer you need to be able to use both playing modes, try to get them in your system, but remember there is no rush, as learning to play the guitar is a lifetime achievement: Become aware of how you play, see what is possible, set yourself short-time goals and keep at it. Do not worry about competition and other players as each of us play in a different way, and each of us have their own unique gift and playing style. We all have our own story to tell when it comes to playing music!


Those letters after some of those Chords, What Do They Mean?

Don’t worry for now, I will explain all of that, but I need to put it in context and this takes time. Often I will just throw one idea at you but there is more to it than what meets the eye. I will revisit blogs and ideas and build on them, so in time you will be able to see the whole picture of what is going on playing-and theory wise.

For Next Blog Some Theory About Intervals and We Will Make a Start With the Pentatonic Scale.


Enjoy in the meantime


Guitar Lesson: Fingering Left Hand and Visualising the Fretboard

                          Fingering of the Left Hand:

       1        =Index

       2       =Middle


       4       =Pink

 We can make the following combinations with those fingers:



1                            For playing one note at a time and slides up and down the fretboard.


1 and 2

1 and 3

1 and 4                Use these fingeringcombinations for playing any two notes up and down the fretboard.

2 and 3

2 and 4

3 and 4


1, 2 and 3

1, 2 and 4         These fingers can be used to play  for any three notes at a time.

1, 3 and 4

 Last option is a combination of all the options mentioned above [1,2,3 and 4] used for 4 notes at a time.

 Most people will use most of these options but not all, make sure you explore them ALL, by doing so you will find out for yourself which fingers feel good for whatever function you are using them.

A lot of people will ignore finger 4, start using it RIGHT NOW, as it will speed up your playing, it will also make your playing more accurate and smooth.

                                 Visualisation Fretboard: Natural Notes on ONE string

 One of the complexities of the guitar lies in the fact that notes on the guitar are playable in a linear fashion [playing on one string] and accross the fretboard [known as Postion Playing] Playing over one string on the guitar feels like playing the keys on a keyboard: The notes get higher as you move up along the string.

It is the playing on one string we are interested in for now.

                                 Natural Notes On One String

 Natural notes are all the white keys on a keyboard, for example


Notice that between C and D there is a dash, this it to indicate that we call the distance between C and D a  whole tone. A whole tone on the guitar is the distance of two frets.

Notice that between E and F and B and C there is NO dash, this is to indicate that the distance between E and F is one fret. The distance of one fret is called a half tone.

 Why are half- and whole tones important? To understand the framework of chords and scales [ but I will discuss those more in detail in futureblogs, first things first for now!!]


 Here are all the natural notes placed on the high E string:

                           E F    G    A   B C    D     E   

Notice the shorter spaces between the half notes.

                                Playing Natural Notes with Suggested Fingering Left Hand

 Play now over one string [High E for example] first with one finger all the natural notes, starting with the open E string up to the 12th fret E. Play then all the combinations you can make with two fingers, use then the three finger combinations ect.   Keep playing natural notes for now, paying attention to where the half notes are.
Once you feel comfortable with the natural notes on the High E string move on to the B string. Before you start playing, please find yourself the E on the B string [ 5th fret] and move up to the 17th fret. In this way you play the same combination of notes [EF G A BC D E] as you did on the High E string. Play up and down B string using suggested fingerings, and again observe where the half notes appear. Continue this process untill you have covered all your strings!

                               Tips and Ideas

  # First play natural notes up and down one string, then start making riffs and short melodies using [just for now] only natural notes.
  # Play your favourite riffs, the ones you already know, over one string, ask yourself which notes your are playing, transpose your riffs so you can play them using only natural notes [You will now play in the key of C major or A minor!!]

                               What Do You Learn When You Apply the Above??

!! You will start playing with FOUR fingers, including your pink, very helpful indeed!!

!! You will notice how your melodies and riffs move up and down the fretboard according to the music you play.

!! You will start to notice where half-and whole notes are, this will help you when it comes to chord-and scaleconstruction [Probably one of the biggest areas of study for any serious,improvising musician]


For next blog I will give you plenty of simple melodies and riffs which you can play over one string.


Do you think I need way too many words to explain all of this, and do you live locally? Please do not hesitate to contact me for any guitarlessons or an informal session with tips, ideas and feedback on your guitarplaying.


Have fun and see you next time,






Guitar Talk: —Technique ??? What Technique ???!!!—









Let us start with a few questions first: What is guitartechnique? For who is guitartechnique? When do you need guitartechnique?

What is Guitartechnique?
Anything we play on the guitar where we use our left-or right hand I consider as guitartechnique. Think of playing with a plectrum, using the fingers of your right hand, playing chords, playing hammer-ons/pull-offs with the left hand, slurs and slides etc. All of these movements of the hand are considered as guitartechnique, and all of them need to be carefully developed one by one.

Who needs Guitartechnique? 
Anyone who wants to make sounds coming from a guitar, simple eh?!

When do you need Guitartechnique?
Any musical idea [ a riff, a chordsequence, a simple single string melody etc.] you may want to play on the guitar requires some form of technique. The truth is you ALWAYS need SOME technique to play the guitar. Another truth is: You can ALWAYS IMPROVE your guitarPLAYING no matter how experienced you are. The conclusion from what is mentioned above is that guitartechnique is part of your overal development as a guitarplayer and a musician. The process of improvement never stops, it can be enjoyed if nurtured with the right approach.

The Approach 
When it comes to guitarlessons and the learning of new guitar-and musical related ideas I find it helpful to approach the process with an attitude like this: “I am starting all over again with the guitar and making music” I pretend not too know too much, and anything I am introduced to is new to me. This approach, at least in my experience, helps me to keep things fresh and makes it able to rethink what I already know. It also helps to see my own guitarplaying from another angle. I will explain a lot of this later on in future blogs, will also add a lot of playingexamples you can use for your own guitarplaying, for now I only want to set the pace of the blog and introduce you to the bigger picture of your guitarplaying, your learning process and the development of your musical skills in general.

The Process
When it comes to learning to play the guitar everyone goes through a similar process– whether you are a pro-minded musician or play guitar just as a hobby–most people stuggle in the beginning with the co-ordination of hand and fingers: It may be difficult to change from one chord to another, playing across the strings may feel awkward for your wrist, some fretted notes may not sound at all whilst being pressed down etc. All of these “problems” are very common, and anyone who plays the guitar has experienced them at some point in their life [including myself!!] At some point, usually after a lot of years of playing, the problems mentioned above “disappear” or your fingers simply get better at “feeling their way around the fretboard on the guitar” It is my personal belief that a lot of problems related to guitartechnique can be solved a lot quicker. I also believe you can ENJOY your playing from day one when you start out with the guitar and your guitarlessons. You really should, as this is the only way to survive as a guitarplayer. In the next few entries about guitartechique it is my intention to break down any particular techniqual problem related to guitarplaying and to provide you with plenty of exercises and analysis to help yourself and improve your playing. For the next blog I will break down the fingering of the left hand — the main issue of concern — will talk a lot less! and start playing more!!

 Stay Tuned, EddieWink

Guitar Technique: — The Big Picture–










This post will be part of a series of posts about how to improve your guitartechnique, I will keep the postings as short and clear as possible, the postings can stand on their own so anyone can take from it what they want to. Enjoy, Eddie

Introducing Eddie De Hamer











I have been playing music since 1974. Started out on the organ, then moved on to guitar, electric bass and drums. I started to teach my first guitar lessons around 1992. My own style of playing is based on Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop, Folk and Jazz. I have a strong interest in making my own arrangements within songs with the help of riffs, melodies and chords. Over the years I have gigged all over the UK, either with my own bands or as a member of other bands. At the moment I am part of a classic covers duo which plays at a variety of functions in West Yorkshire and I write my own songs.

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