Now that we’ve learned the full strumming version of our song, we’re going to look at the intro again, only this time we’re going to look at playing some of the single note melodies played along with the strumming. As before, we’ll break the intro up into two parts.
Intro – Part 1
The tab for the first repeat of the intro is shown below. The layout of our tab is slightly different this time to allow us to include the single note melody lines. You might notice that we don’t have any additional endings in our tab for the repeated sections – this is because our single note melodies don’t repeat in the same way our chord changes repeated when we played the strumming only version of our intro.
Guitar tab comes in handy when we are learning passages which involve single line notes. As we discussed in a previous lesson, the horizontal lines on the guitar tab represent the guitar strings, starting with the low E at the bottom, and moving to the high E at the top. The numbers represent the frets, so our first measure in the tab above starts with an open A string for the first note, B for the second note (second fret of the A string), an open D string for the third note, and E for the fourth note (second fret of the D string):
Before we get started practicing this section, there’s a new technique to learn. If you look at the first two notes of measure 1, you’ll see the following symbol in the tab:
This symbol denotes a technique called a hammer-on. When we play a hammer-on, we play the first note in the tab by using the pick to play the string. We then use our finger to fret the second note, without using the pick to play the string. So in our measure 1 example, we would play the open A string by using the pick to play the A note, then press a finger (use your index or middle finger) onto the second fret to sound the B note. This creates a smooth transition between the notes, and would sound something like the following:
To learn part one of the intro, we’ll break it down into smaller chunks and learn those, before piecing everything together. If you recall when we learned the strumming version of the intro, we had four repeated sections:
- Em – G x 2 (eighth note strumming pattern)
- Em – A x 2 (eighth note strumming pattern)
- G – G (sixteenth note strumming pattern)
We’ll break up our melody version of the intro into the same sections and learn each in turn.
For the Em to G section we can see that we play the first hammer-on in the first measure of the tab. Counting in eighth notes (“1…&…2…&…3…&…4…&…”), the hammer-on is played on the 4th count, and the open string D note is played on the ‘&’ after the 4th beat (“4…&…”). We then move into a repeated section where we play our melody and Em – G chord progression twice (notice the repeat bars in the guitar tab).
There are a couple of ways to play first part of the melody before the Em chord, depending on the way we play the chord.
If you play the Em chord as we have learned it (Em(v1), below), then use your middle finger to hammer on to the 2nd fret of the A string, and your ring finger to play the 2nd fret of the D string.
If you are struggling to play the melody line like this, try playing Em using the Em(v2) fingering (using your index finger and middle finger to play the chord). You can then play all of the 2nd fret notes using your middle finger, which makes it easier to move to the Em(v2) fingering.
Chord Change – Em to G (Play twice)
The Em – A chord change follows the same idea as the Em – G chord change. Again, you can experiment with the two fingerings for the Em chord to see which you find easiest for playing the melody line.
Chord Change – Em to A (Play twice)
And the same again for the G – G chord progression (note that we only play this once).