ACOUSTIC GUITAR 001: Tracking Simple Melodies

Acoustic Guitar 001:
Tracking Simple Melodies...

The first lesson plan of this acoustic series is focused on taking simple melody lines and enhancing them with associated bass tones in the low register. This approach is one of the most basic acoustic guitar techniques used by guitar soloists, especially when performing instrumental music...

The acoustic guitar is well known as an instrument that can function perfectly for supporting vocalists or for instrumental application of melody. Throughout these acoustic classes our goal will be to introduce several different techniques to help with improving acoustic playing skills.

PART ONE: In example one, I've taken a simple melody line from the key of "F Major" and associated a lower register complimentary bass tone part. The simple interval ideas (used to create this examples bass tone line) operate around a principle that is found in countless classical guitar pieces. The upper register melody is supported by the lowest tones of each underlying chord. The result is a strong complimentary bass part.

Example two focuses on the downbeat rhythm (beats 1 and 3) of a two-bar phrase in the key of "G Major." The simple melody line, (shown in example 2a), uses lower register bass tones built upon the 1st and 3rd beats of each measure by way of the underlying chord's lowest bass tone. This technique is very easy to apply and adds the most appropriate sounding bass tones that create a flowing acoustic feel to any melody.

PART TWO: The second half of the lesson begins with a popular study of how combining sustained bass tones from the downbeats along with sustained arpeggios can help in the creation of rich acoustic parts. In example 3a, an arpeggio based melody in the key of "A Minor" is used as a foundation against sustained bass tones introduced in example 3b. 

In example four, one of the most overlooked ideas for supporting melodic lines in acoustic guitar is demonstrated. The principle involves layering a lower register octave directly related to the melody note from the simple line. 

In example 4a, an "A Minor" melody is introduced. And then, in example 4b, the lower octave is sustained in measure one, but then traced across the remainder of the melody in measure two. This is an excellent example of how to create a strong bass-tone connection to the melody while also having it support a principle we applied earlier, "Stressing the Downbeats."

Acoustic Guitar: Tracking Simple Melodies

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