Yeah it’s fun to play chords and strum away. But sometimes if you are not singing the song. Then someone listening has no idea what song you are playing. That’s where if you can play the melody it really makes the listener listen. In this article How do You Play a Melody on an Acoustic Guitar. I am going to explain to you how to find the melody of the song. And you will also learn a really cool song along the way.

How do You Play a Melody on an Acoustic Guitar? Figure out what key the song is in. Then Find the chords that are in the song. Listen to the song to see what notes make up the melody. Learn the notes and chords. Play the notes and chords.

If your ready to get some inside tips on How to play a melody on an acoustic guitar. Then grab your guitar and let’s get started.

How to Figure out what key the song is in?

When you listen to a song you can here the melody. Which is as if someone was singing. If you get technical a melody is a tune, a succession of tones. Comprised of mode, rhythm and pitches. Arranged to achieve musical Shape. The Melody is the dominant tune of the composition. source

But without getting into theory. How do you find out what notes to play. So that you can play the melody of a song. The way to do this is to know what key the song is in. And once you know the key. You can listen to the song. And find the chords that are being played in the song. This is a link to How to find what key your in.

But if you already know what key your in. You next need to find out what chords are being played. Which once you know what key you are in. It narrows the search. 99 % of the time the first chord that is played in the song is the key that you are in.

Finding Out What Chords are Bing Played

This can take some time to getting your ear tuned in. And really listening to the song. After acquiring an ear for listening to the music. Playing the melody will become much easier. If you need help learning how to find the notes on the guitar. Playing chords and lots more. I encourage you to take a look at the guitar bootcamp course.

When your listening to the song. Starting at the head stock of the guitar. On the first fret at the 6th string. Start at fret # 1. Fret the 6th string. And listen to the pitch of that string. When you strike it. If it does not sound like the chord that is being played. Then move to the second fret. When you are picking the string. You may have to pick it several times to here the chord pitch of the chord. And the pitch of the string.

If the second fret is not the sound that you here in the song. Then move up the fretboard. This can be very time consuming. If you don’t already know what notes are. Which I have a course that covers that very thing and more. When you get to the fret that has the same tone as the chord.

That is one of the chords. Now go to the next chord that is being played and find out in the same way. What chord is being played. After you have all the chords. You are one step closer to being able to play the melody of the song.

How do You Play a Melody on an Acoustic Guitar

Let’s take 3 chords the C F and G chord. All Major chords. If your not sure how to play them. I have the chord diagrams below.

  • Place your first finger on the B string, at the first fret. (2nd string).
  • Your second finger is on the D string. 4th string, at the second fret.
  • Then your third finger is on the 5th string. At the third fret. Which is the A string.
  • When Strumming the C chord. You can strum all the strings.

There are several ways to play the F chord. I did an article that helps with tips to play the F chord 5 ways to play. There is a lot of good information to make playing that F bar chord easier. But this is the F we will use in this melody.

  • Place your first finger on the first 2 strings, At the first fret. (E & B strings).
  • Then your second finger is on the 3rd string. The G string at the 2nd fret.
  • Your third finger is at the 3rd fret. On the D string. The 4th string.
  • Only play the first 4 strings.

There are several ways to play the G chord. Here is my favorite.

  • Second finger on the 5th string, at the second fret.
  • Third finger on the 6th string, at the third fret.
  • Pinkie on the high E string, 1st string, at the third fret.
  • Strum all the strings.

Guitar Melodies for Beginners

If I am playing this chord progression. C F C G, C F C G. And I am playing in 4/4 time. Which is what you hear, most songs on the radio. And if I am not singing it is more than likely going to sound like I’m just playing three chords. But if I add the melody and play the chords. Now it is going to sound like a song.

Stay with me here. The first chord that we are going to be playing is the C chord. To play a melody. We can use the notes in that chord. Again if you don’t know what notes are in the chords. You can still pick out the melody by listening. Then picking around the fret board until you hear something that sounds familiar.

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Learn an Acoustic Guitar Melody

Or you could check out my course. What we are going to do is play the bass note of the C chord. So the bass or low C. Is found at the 3rd fret on the A string. Which is the 5th string.

Your hand is already in position to fret the C chord. Then Pick the A string. Which and lucky enough your third finger is at the C note. Then strum the C chord.

I want you to participate in this. Try it on your guitar. When we are finished you will see and hear a famous melody. After strumming down one time on the C chord. Pick the C note again. Then Play the open D string. Which is the 4th string.

And then place your finger at the 3rd fret. On the D string. Pick the 4th string. Use your third finger. Because we are going to break into the F chord. And strum down one time. So position your fretting hand to play the F chord. And strum one time.

  • Tip -There are a lot of steps here. So take it slow. That’s the best way to approach the guitar. Learn one little part. Then once you have it mastered move on to the next part. It’s the same as eating an elephant, one bite at a time.

Next Pick these frets. First place your finger at the 3rd fret. On the D string. Pick the D string. Then place your finger at the 2nd fret. On the D string. Play the D string again. And then go back to the C chord. Pick the C note and strum the C chord.

Is it starting to sound familiar?

After that place your finger at the 3rd fret. On the A string. Which is the 5th string. pick the A string. Then play the open D string. And then place your finger at the 2nd fret on the D string. Play the D string. Place your fingers at the 2nd fret. On the A string. Play the A string. Then back to the C note and C chord.

Is it starting to sound familiar? If not no worries. Be sure to get the Tab for this one. It will make things a lot easier for you to learn this.

More Beginner Melody On an Acoustic Guitar

You can see how the notes in the actual chords of the song make up the melodies. But hang on there’s more.

  • Tip – The strings are from 6 -1 listed E A D G B E. This way I can just say what string to play.

Then there is a famous baseline that can be heard in the Bridge. This is such a famous song. You can hear just this part of the bridge and name this tune. It starts off with the G note. Which is played by playing the 3rd fret of the E string. Then it goes right to an open A string.

Okay, after playing the open G and A string. Play the C on the A string. Which is at the third fret. Pick it two times. Next play the open A string. Go up a string and play the G note again. Then play that open A string.

Play the open E string. Which are also notes. And then pick the G note two times. Remember it is at the 3rd fret on the 6th string. Play an open A string, then pick the C note on the A string. (3rd fret).

The next part of this is playing the E note. Which is at the 2nd fret of the D string. The 4th string. Play the E and then an open D string. After that place your finger back on the 2nd fret of the D string. Pick the D string 2 times. And then play it open. Play the C note. Which is back on the A string at the 3rd fret. Then play the B note. Which is on the 2nd fret of the A string. And finally end with the C note.

So you can see by learning the melody it really makes the song. But starting out you need to listen and start picking around until. You can here it. The more you do this. The easier it will get. Don’t forget to get the Tab for this lesson.

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How do You Play a Melody on an Acoustic Guitar Tab


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