Need help learning this style of playing

Hi everyone,
Need some help here.

I know how all the major and minor chords…i know the major/minor and pentatonic scales… I can use use finger picking comfortably and i can strum the chords

However, i have no clue on how do people play like this guy in the video. (Playing the rythem and lead at the same time) i dont know the chord variations that he is using and how he constructs them.

I would like to learn to play like this…but have no idea as to where to begin.
can anyone please help…Please tell me where to start and what to learn; point me in the right direction please.

Thanks alot

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You should find a good teacher and he or she will teach you that, and much more.

Being self-taught should only be done if absolutely necessary.


I’m not that great at this… but :slight_smile:

I know a couple of simple tunes with independent bass + melody lines, and for me the key was to not think about doing two things at the same time, but memorizing everything as a single set of movements.

Once the movements are in your muscle memory, and you can play the tune start to finish without major problems, you can start hearing the two melodies separately while you play/practice.

I hope this makes sense - let me know if not!


Experiment more. That was what I did. It doesn’t matter what chord to use if it sounds good. Many times I knew what chord I was playing after watching my fingers. And for a long time I didn’t even know how they were called, when I was just at the beginning of playing guitar.

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This style is called “Chord Melody” - lots of Jazz and Fingerstyle players have written books and recorded videos on the technique. However, it is more than just a ‘technique’ - you need to know a lot of Harmony.

  • Study the chords of the Major Scale, how to make smooth chord changes, and create progressions from these chords.
  • Then learn how to do this in all keys, and other modes (like the Minor Scale).
  • Learn how to read chord charts or ‘fakebooks’ like The Real Book. These contain just the chords and melody - so you put your chord knowledge to work by playing the chords and melody at the same time.
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Thank you… Very helpful. Found what is was looking for.

I think this can take a lifetime :slight_smile:

It is definitely worth doing in the longer term, especially if one wants to be able to write and improvise in this style.

But… :smiley: if the initial aim of the OP is to gain the mechanical skills for this kind of music, this can be done by directly learning tunes written by someone else (via tab or sheet music).

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Matt Sickels has some great arrangements:

Very challenging!

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