|In this A minor melodic etude, we are running up and down the A minor melodic scale
with chord or harmony type measures in between The A minor melodic scale like the A
minor harmonic scale has sharps written, not in the key signature, but as an accidentals.
The interesting thing about the minor melodic scale is that you sharp the 6th and 7th
note of the scale ascending but they are natural descending. So A minor melodic
ascending has the same 6th and 7th notes as A major. On the player below, you can
stop, pause or play the etude. It will play through once automatically. You may have to
click on the player once to activate it. I will teach you how to play the etude on this page
Playing A Minor Melody
For the A minor melody I've given you both music and tab. As you look it over you will see
there are some running up and down the scale parts and some harmony type chord measures.
All the scale run parts are played with alternating i and m fingers of the right hand with rest
strokes no matter how low the notes go. In the harmony type measures the low notes are
treated as bass notes for chords and are played free stroke with the thumb or p. All the other
notes in these harmony type measures are played free stroke with the fingers. You can tell the
chord/harmony type parts. They are the parts where you could actually play all the notes at
once, like bar three and half of bar four. With the left hand the finger used and the fret played
are the same except where we have to lead up to the 5th fret a on the 1st string. I have put
numbers over the notes in the first and second measures of the music to show this fingering.
This exercise can also be played with a guitar pick.
Playing Folk Guitar
Now that I've got you started on playing classical guitar, I am going to start introducing you
to playing folk guitar. Folk music can be played on a classical guitar with classical guitar
techniques. But there are many ways to play folk music and many different types of guitars
used. A lot of folk music is played on a steel string guitars, often with a pick. Even when
using the thumb and fingers, there are some different techniques. I am going to continue with
finger picking which is closer to classical style. With our classical lessons, we have explored
the key of A minor which is relative to the key of C major. So as we begin to study playing
folk guitar, I will start with the key of C.
Finger Picking Some Folks Do
Below in music and tab, we have an example of folk finger picking. We use the song "Some
Folks Do". The thumb plays all the down stem notes, alternating between bass notes and
the third open g string. You can play the melody notes with alternating i and m fingers like a
classical guitarist but folk players often play all the melody with the i or index finger. Or
they might play all first string notes with i and all second string notes with m. Try the
different styles to see to which you prefer. I've given you a midi sound sample below so
that you can hear what it's supposed to sound like. For further study of this song including
more advanced arrangements go to the free folk music lesson pages, "Playing Folk Guitar",
"Finger Picking Folk Guitar" and "Finger Picking Guitar Study". You can use these links or
the ones in the navigation bar. Use the "Classical Guitar Melody" link in the navigation bar to
get back here
The Right Hand
The picture shows the proper position of the
right hand for playing classical guitar. The
thumb is more or less parallel to the strings and
the fingers are more or less perpendicular.
Notice the letters that we use to label the
fingers. You might say I can see "i" and "m" for
index and middle but what's this "p" and "a".
Actually, these are abbreviations for the Latin
names for the thumb and fingers, not the