How To Arrange Fingerstyle Guitar Solos
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I have listened to this flute & guitar melody, and after watching somebody playing it fingerstyle with a single guitar in Youtube I tried to learn it. However I am not experienced enough to detect all of her notes, fillings and chords, so then I faced the challenge of trying to figuring them out, visually and by ear. In addition I discovered more versions done by different people, and all versions were different! Being a bit dissapointed on my poor skills, I soon realized I better do my own version, and I think your article has set the guidelines I should follow, thank you very much!
The final step is all about breaking up the 3 layers we have now created, bass, harmony, and melody to fill out our fingerstyle arrangement. A great approach here is to arpeggiate some or all of the chords.
The overall objective would be to make full use of the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic opportunities afforded by being able to play several things at the same time. Obviously, there are several 'styles' of fingerstyle. There is the classical approach, the Chet Atkins/Tommy Emmanuel 'Country' style and the jazz, chord melody approach. You may want to stick as close as you can to the original recording or to take some liberties with the rhythm and/or harmony. In any case, you will want to start by learning to play the melody efficiently, bearing in mind that you may subsequently need to move parts of the melody further up the neck to accommodate your harmony/chords. It is often beneficial to transpose the melody into a key, such as E, A or D, that allows you to make use of open strings for your bass part. Some guitarists detune their bottom string from E to D for this reason. Similarly, it can pay to start with open chord shapes where possible. Sometimes these chords are arpeggiated. As you develop, you will probably start to barre some chords in order to be able to fit your parts together. Several styles of music use an alternating root five bass pattern played with the thumb on the E, A and/or D strings. The melody and harmony parts will often sit on the G, B and high E strings and be plucked with the first, second and third fingers, although there are many melodies that may have to go down to the A string. Fingerstyle arranging is a huge topic, but start by making the melody 'sing' then add chords and a bass part.
Song arranging is a reworking of a piece of music so it can be played by a different instrument or combination of instruments, or a musical reconceptualization of a previously composed work. As a guitar teacher, part of my job is to help students learn to arrange pop, rock, jazz, and folk songs to meet their skill level and instrumentation needs.
Arranging songs for voice and guitar is a bit easier skill-wise for the guitarist than arranging for solo guitar (see below), but can still be a challenge when trying to distill a full band arrangement down to voice and guitar. Certain choices have to be made by examining the whole song and not just the guitar parts. This includes possibly listening to the bass, drum, and keyboard parts to identify the overall groove (rhythm) of the song. Frequently a rhythm guitar part on a recording may be perfect in a full band arrangement, but it may not be right for solo voice and guitar. Sometimes you may need to simplify the guitar accompaniment to make it easier to sing along with, or you might want to embellish the rhythm guitar to suit the song and make it more interesting.
One of the more challenging feats for a guitarist is to create a chord-melody arrangement of a song for solo guitar where the chords and melody are played at the same time. There are several ways to accomplish this on guitar:
One of the things you can do on the guitar that sets it apart from many other instruments is that you can play multiple rhythms and melodies at the same time. This allows us to create some pretty awesome arrangements. 2b1af7f3a8