Here is another 10-second tip for you to enjoy.

It is about:

Perfecting the melody of a tune


One of the biggest mistakes I see in the guitar world is when students and teachers alike focus on making things too complicated too soon.

Most things can be simplified in some way.

Yet few do it.

Take fingerstyle arrangements, for instance.


You know the type… Where the guitar plays the tune and you “fill out” the song in an elegant way.

I tried learning songs like this on YouTube back in the day.

They used to make me want to tear my hair out in frustration.

I felt like a confused version of the fella from The Da Vinci Code trying to decipher some ancient riddle.

I’d download the TAB (if it was available) and try to play the piece, but I would struggle to hear the tune.

It was buried beneath all the extra notes like an ancient pharaoh in his tomb.

After a while, I’d throw my hands up in despair and turn off the video and stick a DVD on.


If you ever feel the same way learning songs, try this:

1 – Perfect the melody on its own at first

2 – Add in the bass notes

3 – Then, and only then, throw in the filler notes, embellishments, extra chord tones, exciting harmony, etc.


Those three stages are the backbone of how I teach famous tunes that are designed to be played instrumentally on the guitar.

If you struggle with any tune played in that style, please follow the above advice.

After a little practice, you’ll be able to look at the notation for any song in that style and quickly spot where the melody is

And know which bass notes are necessary… And how to cut out the extra “filler” notes, which don’t add much to an arrangement.

In other words, with practice, you can get the skills to tweak anything to suit your skill level, stripping it back where needed and spicing it up when you’re ready to.


Developing the above skill takes time, but it’s a precious skill you will have for a lifetime.

If you want me to show you how I arrange, play, and teach real songs in this style, and you want to learn a bunch of classic tunes this Christmas… then check this out…

Christmas Crackers: Play 5 Beautiful Carols, a Stunning ‘Medley’, and Get Exclusive Bonuses


It’s on sale for a short while, it’s heaps of fun, and although the songs are at the core of it, the lessons you will discover inside will help with all your playing.

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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