Be more specific. Do you mean playing melodies on the guitar, singing melodies, writing melodies?

EDIT: Only going to answer question in OP. No.
Last edited by National_Anthem at Sep 2, 2013,
well assuming you play rock/blues guitar (apologize if incorrect) if you mean you have troubles playing the solos and fills and the like, join the club. The thing I've learned recently is that to play that type of stuff, you gotta be pretty great at rhythm. A rhythm based guitarist in a band of course has to be able to keep a basic time, if nothing more than paying attention to the bassist. However, once you get into the pattern of strumming, the rest comes pretty naturally for the rest of the song since your hand is in a certain auto motion for a bit.

When it comes to melody, you gotta play to the rhythm but you make things a bit more complex for reasons of playing many different notes at many different time intervals with as opposed to the (usually) 3 to 4 chords played at a steady pace.

I wouldn't be too upset though. I'm much better at melody than rhythm myself so I'm a little jealous haha. I suggest to play to your strengths with rhythm unless you really must play a melody. MaggaraMarine would be helpful to you as well as Celestial Guitar. Maybe theyll pop in here soon and they're the 2 people I trust to hear from most in the forum, especially in this case where (I believe) Maggara is the more rhythmic person as CG is the more melodic guy
Theory is just...wow. I'm getting a bit over my head by trying to learn so much w/o formal educators

To be a good lead guitar you must be VERY GOOD AT RYTHM

Quote by MaggaraMarine
My motto: Play what the song needs you to play!
You make a damn good point. Maybe my problem is that I'm actually NOT GOOD ENOUGH, rhythmically. I'm gonna ponder this over about 8 beers.
Well do you mean like bad at "lead" guitar technique, licks/solos, bends/vibrato and whatever but good at lower riffing, muting, picking and strumming etc? I think that's pretty common but just practice whatever you're bad at. Or does it have to do with songwriting or musical understanding? Either way, enjoy your beers!
So if you hear a melody, you can quickly play it without a lot of hunting an pecking?
Depending on if it's a good day or bad day, how much sleep I've had, the lunar cycle, yes. Usually I can.
But beyond that, I can't seem to write all theses little intricate leads either. I can't put the puzzle together.
Try this: get a metronome/one chord vamp at a comfortable speed, 80bpm say.
Play one static note per beat for two bars then ramp it up to eighth notes, then triplets, then sixteenth notes without stopping. Basically, 1, 2, 3 and then 4 notes per beat. The whole thing lasts for 8 bars.

From there, (still hanging on one note), try 'deleting' random notes from each bar. E.g., what's it sound like if I only play the first and third triplets? How about only the middle two sixteenth notes? And so on, experiment. Then when you find a rhythm of sorts you like, finally introduce different pitches.

(hope this helps and doesn't come across as patronising but it really does help me to get out of ruts and come up with fresh ideas)
playing a good melody requires you to be good rhythmically, so i doubt you can be good at rhythm and terrible at melody. you really shouldn't look at them as two different things, they are both just making music. you melodies should make you want to move as much as a good rhythm should. even if it's a sad or slow song, rhythm is probably the most important thing in making good music. it's where music started, and it affects us all.

sometimes when i'm doing runs in a solo, i think like a drummer doing drum fills. i find doing this makes me lock in with the groove more and the solo sounds a lot better. it also gives you some contrast if you just want to flutter around at some points too.

but back to making melodies, i think knowing a bit of improv will help with melody because it teaches you to play with your hear and learn how to play from within. so even if you aren't making your own, but playing someone else's song, you can play it from the heart if you let yourself be free and in the moment and not so hung up on sounding perfect. learning melodies by ear helps as well. i find when you do that, it sticks internally more than if you learn from a tab or notation. later on once you learn how to play from within and with your ears, you can learn from sheets and still apply the same feeling.

it's about getting into that zone where nothing else matters but the music. now, it also helps to practice different techniques in order to properly express what you want. different types of vibrato, bending from different pitches or wider intervals or smaller ones, adding a bend where there would be a fretted note, learning different melodic/rhythmic scale sequences and then trying to make your own variations, just sitting down with the guitar and seeing what happens even will really help open you up musically. once you get used to actually PLAYING music, you'll find learning other people's songs a lot easier to learn and a lot easier to make your own as well.

i hope that helps, i really think the music is inside you and the guitar is just a tool to get it out. if you have trouble playing something, your mind set is probably part of the problem. also like everyone says, start slow, start simple. focus on accuracy and control when practicing. speed will come in time just be patient. even if it's simple and not that fast, i know some things that aren't fast but i had to play really slow to get down just to play it. take your time and be honest with your self. stay relaxed, and always have fun with it.
Quote by EpiExplorer
@3:05 Eat the collective turds of the thread:


One (or even a handful) of melodic parts throughout a career span of, what, seven albums? Doesn't exactly demonstrate being good with melodies. Anyway, it was a joke about a band that is obviously more keen on awesome rhythms than any kind of melody. They're not a bad band. Whatever floats your boat.
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear

sometimes when i'm doing runs in a solo, i think like a drummer doing drum fills. i find doing this makes me lock in with the groove more and the solo sounds a lot better. it also gives you some contrast if you just want to flutter around at some points too.

This is pretty great advice, and it's really the key to playing fast, and developing a good feel for rhythm and phrasing. It's no magic pill, but it's certainly very hard to get anywhere without it. Anything that stops you from trying to think every little 16th note, and seeing the music in bigger shapes (I don't mean shapes in the sense guitarists use it) and longer lines really makes your life easier, and leaves you free to worry about other things.

I'm still not clear whether your problem is coming up with your own fills and melodic material, or playing it, or both.