Sep 052015
 


This fingerstyle slow rock guitar lesson and its TAB are not going to change the world. They’re just here to inform you that it’s possible to play some chordal, emotional (corny) stuff with some distortion on. Anyway, let’s call it a slow rock ballad. A short little one.

Basic chord melody

slow rock guitar lesson played in fingerstyle with TAB - 01Yup. If you ever wondered how it’s possible to play chords with melody on top, well, this is one of the possible approaches. These are mostly block chords, with the highest notes creating the melody line. There are, however, a couple of interesting aspects. For example the more or less independently played bass line. Well, let’s call it bass line, even though these are only the root notes, played rhythmically.

When in doubt, play double stops

Yeah, it actually starts with double stops. The trick that always works and grabs attention is to play notes against the droning higher open strings (in this case, the high E one). It’s got a ringing, slightly dissonant quality when you have a touch of distortion going on. It’s because distortion creates harmonics, and they sit on top of the notes, like a tired seagull.

Arpeggios and polyphony

guitar tab exampleIt’s again the little finger that gets a major amount of work. You’ll get used to it, eventually. To make the tune more interesting, some of the chord tones are not played at the same time as block chords. They’re arpeggiated instead. These notes actually form the melody as they are passing by. Make sure that you only lift the fingers that need to move. Let the other fingers stay in position, to allow the previous notes to ring out. Playing this way creates a subtle amount of polyphony. It’s the illusion of more than a single instrument playing at the same time. The slow rock piece ends with a rather bold strum. I did it with my fingernail. If you play a hybrid pick+fingers style, or use fingerpicks, just strum with whatever feels the most comfortable. Doing the volume knob “whammy” is optional; you can use a real whammy bar if you have one. Or just shake the guitar (works great for acoustic instruments). I used a Maxon OOD9 Organic Overdrive for the recording.

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