Easy Melodies To Play Over Common Chords

This lesson will explain how to take a few notes, played slowly over some common chords, make them sound more melodic.

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Okay, so this will be short and sweet. It's just something that I have noticed, and thought should be mentioned somewhere on the sight because it works. Now everyone tells you for your lead you should use scales, whether they are pentatonic, or modal scales. Also, I'm sure you know you will want to stay in key. But what I have noticed in my playing, is that if you use the scale degrees, and specific scale degrees of your chords for what I call accent notes(like where you put your string bends, or notes that get a full count and what not) your melodies, or solos when you get to that point will sound much better and you will develope a better control of that sound. What I mean is, say you have a common A5 power chord. This chord has no third scale degree, and so your melody is free to determine the major or minor feel. I love the sound of Am so I will apply it using my scale degrees. The scale degrees for Am are easy to remember because they spell ace. They are A-C-E, in the order of 1-3-5. Now that C is really a flatted third from a major because chord construction is almost always based on the major scale regardless of the key. To give a minor feel to your A5 chord here you simply pick an a, c, and e, out somewhere on your fretboard, and you can do this with no knowledge of scales at all, then you use them for a short melody, maybe using slides, bends, and vibratos. When you move to your next chord, simply change the scale degrees you are using. But remember, if the chord being played has the flatted third, and you use a perfect third in your melody, the notes will clash badly, and give you sour notes. This is another reason why scale degrees are so important to learn before you solo. Below the A5 chord and a simple melody using Am scale degrees are shown so you can try this on your own and see what I mean.
A5          simple melody based on Am. 
[---------][----8br--------------]
[---------][-10-----10v----10p---]
[---------][-------------9-------]
[-7(7)(7)-][---------------------]
[-7(7)(7)-][---------------------]
[-5(5)(5)-][---------------------]
Now I didn't take the time to even place this on a guitar, but it will harmonize, and even though I haven't played it, I bet it will have a sad sort of sound. The only notes I have used here are all A-C-E. The A and E are already in the A5, and I gave it the minor sound when I chose the C there on the 8th fret of the bottom E string. Oh yes, and the tuning is standard E. My personal favorite. Let me know if you would like to know more about applying scale degrees, because I'm not really sure what others will think of this quick lesson, but will give more if you liked it. Later shredders.

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    slowlybilly
    Well first I would recommend learning your note, and the major scale. Then move on to chord constructions, and inversions. I have another lesson called scales chords and the theory behind them, or something like that. That one has all the beginning information needed. There is another lesson somewhere that someone did on the cycle of fourths, that one will help you learn all the notes pretty quickly. Those would be my recommendations.
    poland
    Ok any good suggestions for playing acoustic as say back at the beginner state of playing long story short I basically suck now 20 years ago close to say intermediate level now just acting like I never played. Ok I have a "was" best friend who is a total bad ass a natural I made rhythms up and he would go ape shit crazy lead everything we did was no theory just plug and play. I am getting the EP10 Steve Vai acoustic next moth so after Shawn lets me know its worthiness I just need some help from you people on how to just go. Of course I can read tab you have to be blind not to but I would like now to actually learn as I play. Once Shawn does play it I will get him to give you guys a honest review of the instrument Peace
    slowlybilly
    Thanks you guys, I just did a new lesson called really easy chords or something like that. It has to be looked over, but should be up in a couple of days. It has all some of my favorite simple chords to use. Most of them will be bluesy also.