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!!