Sep 292015

Fingerstyle jazz and chord melody guitar playing have been around. Even if it’s not the most usual way to play it on solidbody electric guitars. But who cares, I played this tune on my favorite guitar, the Ibanez JTK 2, which happens to be solid. In every way. I’m glad you were good this year, because I can now offer the TAB of this song to you for download. Which is fucking awesome, if you think about it. And if you choose not to think, well… I’m not going to be the one who blames you for that. Not today! So, back to the tune. It’s a peculiar mix of single note melody lines, arpeggios and the occasional block chords. It’s chord melody for a reason, hey? Don’t let these things scare the shit out of you. It’s easier than it looks. Much easier. Trust me (never!). Hehe.

Chord melody – three fingers, thumb strums

jazz guitar played in fingerstyle - chord melody with downloadable tabBy the above title I don’t mean that I only have three fingers left on all my limbs added together. It’s just that when I played this song, I used a three finger picking technique. It’s thumb, index and middle. The usual stuff. And yes, the bass notes are being picked by the thumb, no surprise there. Nor that the melody notes and the chords are played by the rest of the fingers. Except those strums! They have utilized the thumb as well. Which might be the only surprise, albeit a minor one (not minor chords!). Don’t look at me so mad. They could have been back-of-the-fingers strums, too.

Sparse jazz chords, single notes

guitar tab exampleYeah. Those arpeggios at the beginning use fretted notes mixed with open strings. It always works when you want to inject an interesting flavor (into some dead boring piece of music). Who said that?! Anyway. There’s some pinky work as usual. Also note those moving bass notes (note the notes, hey?). They spice the whole thing up a bit in the gaps between detectable melody activities. The good thing about these is, they don’t happen simultaneously with any other serious fretting or picking movements. That’s part of why it remains a damn easy chord melody song, as I mentioned above. For bonus points, you can copy my volume knob “whammy” (jerk the li’l bastard like there’s no tomorrow. But gently!). Before the solo, I put those two notes in unison. One of them is fretted, the other one is an open string. They ring together so nicely, and they always create some phasing. Why? Because they are never perfectly in tune with each other, and their timbre is different, too. I encourage you to build this simple little trick into your repertoire, and use it. In every fucking bar of every song you’re ever gonna play. Not! Enjoy the TAB, and have fun with the song!

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