How to create a fingerstyle version of a song or melody

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There are several approaches to compose or create your own version of a song, this article will briefly describe the main points which should be addressed.

Chord approach

The easiest way is to know the chords of the song, and based on them, add notes around them based on the current scale, keeping the main melody always in mind.

Incremental approach

1. Melody

Find the melody, “the sequence of notes that makes up a musical phrase”1, sing the song with the guitar, focus on the main melody, without any further add-on.

Everything develops around the Melody

2. Bass

Add bass notes to the start of each measure of the melody.

Open strings can give a lot of variants in this step.

3. Filling

Fill each measure2 (musical designation) with arrangements, keeping in mind the main melody.


  1. melody. (2020, December 1). Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Retrieved from↩︎

  2. ↩︎

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Create a fingerstyle song based in another one.

Basic musical concepts. Understand musical terminology and how concepts relate to each other.
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