pedal tones

Here is another Friday 10-second tip for you to enjoy…

It’s all about taking a technique commonly used by church organists.


Organists often use a technique where they step on a pedal to produce a long-sustained note.

These notes are great for accompanying a melody and “filling” out the music.

These notes are commonly referred to as:

“Pedal tones”


We can use these on the guitar too.

A simple way is to pluck an open string and let it ring out.

…While that’s happening, play a melody on another string.

The melody could be from a famous tune, or it could be one you improvise.

The important thing is that you play melody notes in the correct key.

I.e. pluck an open low E string and play notes from an E Major, E minor, or E pentatonic scale.


I tend to teach this way of playing a fair bit in my fingerstyle arrangements.

That’s because it sounds rich and full and you get the best of both worlds – the bass and the melody.

To the naked ear, it can sound like two guitars being played at once.

So, give it a go.

Combine a sustained open string with a melody on another string.

It’s good fun.


If you want a lesson on this sort of thing where I teach a fun blues bassline and how to add a pedal tone to it, you can check out the bonus lesson for Day #4 in this course below:

Find out more about the 7-Day Transformation Course


Enjoy your Friday!

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.

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