How To Play The Chords And Melody Of A Song On One Guitar

A Simple Way To Sound Complicated On Guitar - Chord/Melody Arranging

by Simon Candy


Chord Melody Guitar Article PicIn this video, I sit down with music theory expert Tommaso Zillio from Music Theory For to discuss and demonstrate ways in which you can play the chords and melody of a song on one guitar.

You learn a step-by-step method for creating arrangements of songs on guitar where you play both the melody and chords at the same time.


Step 1: Chords And Melody

Learn the chords and melody of the tune in isolation

Step 2: Bass

Play the melody with the root notes of the chord only

Step 3: Harmony

Add the harmony to vary the texture of the arrangement

Step 4: Arpeggiation

Arpeggiate the chords to fill out the arrangement

Step 5: Reharmonisation

Spice things up with some reharmonisation and chord substitution

Watch the video below to learn more:


Auld Lang Syne

• Melody

In creating a chord/melody arrangement on guitar you must know the melody in isolation and know it well.

Here is an excerpt of the melody from our tune Auld Lang Syne:


Chords Melody One Guitar Melody


• Bass (Root Notes)

Next, add the root notes of the chords to the melody to begin creating an accompanying part:


Chords Melody One Guitar Root Notes


• Chords

You can now fill the space between the root notes and the melody with the harmony (chords) for a fuller sound:


Chords Melody One Guitar Chords


• Arpeggiation

Once the chords and melody are in place, it is much easier to arpeggiate the chords.

This can give your chord/melody arrangement a feeling of development, especially if you have previously only been plucking the chords:


Chords Melody One Guitar Arpeggio


• Re-harmonisation

A cool way to continue developing your arrangement is to re-harmonise the melody. There are many ways you could do this, here is one:


Chords Melody One Guitar Reharmonisation


Learn how to create your own chord melody instrumentals on your guitar in 5 easy steps