Lick By Neck

GSCC Lesson 21

Past Lessons Summary and Links

If you are new to this series, here’s the links to past lessons:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

Lesson 17

Lesson 18

Lesson 19

Lesson 20

We had covered all the family chords and their siblings in key of C and G Major:

Key of C Major
Key of G Major

Key of C major and G major are common keys used by guitarist to play sing-along guitar.

We also looked at the guitarist best friend – CAPO , and it’s application.


When we use the CAPO in conjunction with chords from C and G keys above , we are able to play almost every pop songs we wanted to play.

We have also looked at some basic strumming patterns:

1One strum per beat
2Up-stroke strumming
3Strumming lightly on first few strings
416 beat strum
5Campfire Strum
6“Chuck” Strum
73/4 Strum
86/8 Strum

And we had explored some basic pluckings.

18 beat pluck #1
2Double string pluck
33/4 Pluck
4“Alternate Bass” Pluck
56/8 Pluck
6Slap Rhythm

And of course, we had fun learning all these songs !! They are specially produced “Karaoke for Guitar” videos (only vocal and metronome count) for you to practice your strumming / plucking:

Lesson 1Song #1 (English: Because I Love You) Lesson 1
Lesson 1Song #2 (Chinese/Cantonese: 喜欢你) Lesson 1
Lesson 2Song #1 (English: Happy Birthday)
Lesson 2Song #2 (Chinese: 月亮代表我的心)
Lesson 3Song #1 (English: Let It Be – Beatles)
Lesson 3Song #2 (English: Perfect – Ed Sheeran)
Lesson 3Song #3 (Cantonese: 海闊天空)
Lesson 4Song #1 (English: Deperado – Eagles)
Lesson 4Song #2 (Chinese: “最长的电影” – 周杰伦)
Lesson 5Song #1 (English:”Creep” – Radiohead)
Lesson 5Song #2 (Chinese: “你要的愛”)
Lesson 5Song #3 (English: “Last Christmas” – Wham)
Lesson 6Song #1 (English: “Reality”)
Lesson 6Song #2 (Chinese: “刻在我心底的名字”)
Lesson 6Song #3 (English: “Auld Lang Syne”)
Lesson 7Song #1 (English: “Country Roads”)
Lesson 7Song #2 (English: “Time of Your Life”)
Lesson 7Song #3 (Cantonese: “朋友”)
Lesson 8Song #1 (English: “Sweet Child O’ Mine”)
Lesson 8Song #2 (English: “I’m Yours”)
Lesson 8Song #3 (Chinese: “简单爱”)
Lesson 9Song #1 (English: “Hey Jude”)
Lesson 9Song #2 (Chinese: “小幸运”)
Lesson 10Song #1 (English: “Sway”)
Lesson 10Song #2 (Chinese: “可可托海的牧羊人”)
Lesson 11Song #1 (English: “Edelweiss”)
Lesson 11Song #2 (English: “Que Sera Sera”)
Lesson 12Song #1 (English: “What A Wonderful World”)
Lesson 12Song #2 (Chinese: “新不了情”)
Lesson 13“Happy Birthday” melody on guitar in key of C and G Major
Lesson 14“Happy Birthday” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 15“Can’t Help Falling In Love” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 16“月亮代表我的心” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 17“Let It Be” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 18“What A Wonderful World” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 19“Over The Rainbow” Solo Guitar Playing (Key Of G)
Lesson 20“Over The Rainbow” Solo Guitar Playing (Key Of C)

Last week, we looked the good practice of putting the melody on 1st 2/3 strings:

Lesson 20

With that, we addressed the issue of melody issues of the week before , transposed and played “Over The Rainbow” solo guitar in key of C .

Click here to ask a question …

Another factor to consider when finding the optimum key for melody

Sometimes , the melody range of a song is too wide. The high or the low note maybe too extreme, eg. the high note maybe over 12 fret, the low note may have too little strings to define the chord.

Another factor to consider is to look at the activities of the notes. Find a key which has most of the activities of notes reside in a comfortable part of the fretboard.

If the highest or lowest notes do not appear frequently, you can also let them reside at extreme range, giving priority to those range of notes which are occurring more often.

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How To Create Rhythmic Flow For Chord Melody Guitar Arrangement

Some of you may want to know more about creating accompaniment line for chord melody arrangement (the Step 4 of the process).

Our usual practice is to define the chord melody first , then fill in the gap between each chord melody phrasing by playing our usual pattern.

Another way to look at it is after the chord melody is defined (step 3), we use those defined chord melody position as the chord shape location, and then play the whole song’s accompaniment with those chord shape:


After you had mastered the accompaniment with those chords shape, try to play the accompaniment again while “injecting” the chord melody phrases into the appropriate places:

For some, this may be a better approach because the flow is more natural. The process is like you are accompaniment a singing, be it yourself or others. You keep the accompaniment flowing. While the singer sings, you simply “inject” the chord melody phrases into the accompaniment flow.

Here’s the rest of the song presented in this perspective:

Here’s the chorus:

You can also see it as you are keeping the pulse of the song, while playing chord melody passages on top of it.

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The Best Kept Secret To Chord Melody Guitar Mastery: Make your own Chord Melody Guitar arrangement

The best way to improve your solo Chord Melody Guitar playing is to do regular chord melody guitar arrangement, all by yourself.

Regardless of what level you are at, just take any songs and start to come out with your own arrangement.

You may find it hard at first, do not know where to start. You will have a lot of questions, how to do this, how to do that. Trust me, once you started, all the questions will be answered, mostly by yourself. You will start to see clearly what is missing on your toolbox.

By doing your own arrangement, you are putting everything you know into context, into real world application : notes, chords, rhythm, fretboard postions …. Everything will fall into places.

You need to commit to a fixed schedule. Start by arranging one song per month, then every fortnight. then weekly, then every 3 days, every 2 days, finally , a song a day. It’s hard at the beginning, after a while, you will start to see the pattern and the momentum will kick in.

Discipline yourself by posting the playing of your arrangement to Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube or any platforms you like.

It will work. Why am I so sure? Because ,… I did it daily for 5 years 😉

Click here to ask a question …