Guitar is arguably the most popular instrument to learn in the modern world. Thus the incredible amount of technically skilled players worldwide. Yet, a vast majority of them default to playing dead, flat sounding guitar solos. This due to the common temptation to learn how to play fast as opposed to truly connecting with the melodies being played.

In his course, Melodic Improv, Allen Hinds guides you in enhancing your improvisational melodic soloing. By learning to let your ears and emotions guide the way, you’ll be playing more compelling sounding solos in no time!

Here are 8 free melodic improv guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Melodic Improv on TrueFire!

Simple Tricks for Playing Chords

Here’s a common mistake with playing chords that I hear several guitar players make, some of which are already famous! Guitar is easy to pick up and play open chords, hitting the strings with the flat side of the pick, and that’s beautiful of course, but there’s more than one way of doing it.

You can also play chords using each finger, gripping the strings like a harp player would. This can be very musical and is defined by the strings that you’re not playing. You hear guitar players like Eric Johnson and Jimi Hendrix doing this all the time. By taking out some of the strings and only playing some of the notes, you can make your playing a lot more interesting than playing every string every time.

Guitaristic Chord Tricks

It’s important to take advantage of the things that only the guitar can do – things like playing open notes or moving the instrument itself to create vibrato – that can’t be done on other instruments like piano, saxophone, etc. The way guitar chords are structured creates lots of interesting ways to alter what you’re playing and make it unique.

Boo’s Jam Study

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This next groove is in A minor, and we’ll first be looking at how to get in and out of a lick. Then, we’ll be working with small motifs and building them up into an interesting solo. Let’s take a look.

Yonder Hills Solo Study

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This track is a song called “Yonder Hills” from my album, Fly South. It’s pretty much a groove in B7 (a B blues), but it changes keys a little bit since I’m not a fan of static harmony, and it gives it a breath of fresh air. When the changes come, I can choose to either stay in B and play bluesy stuff, or really cover the changes. You’ll be able to hear when I’m doing both, and it’s nice to have a variety.

More Involved Legato Exercises

You can get some great harmonics by playing legato with an amp that’s distorted, but it’s better to practice with it sounding clean, as it forces you to hammer-on the notes precisely. You can also do things like use different strings to help you play in this style. Let’s continue with our legato exercises here, looking at some more involved exercises.

Falling Up: Overview

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One thing that’s very flattering is that there are several versions of this song on YouTube. I really wanted to walk through “Falling Up” because it’s a tricky song, and there aren’t many of them that are played correctly! It kind of started off with a guy I heard playing at a guitar store I used to go to, who’d pick out one note in a chord and bend it, kind of like a pedal steel player would. I started playing around with it, and it lent itself to the melody. So, here I’ll perform “Falling Up” in its entirety.

Falling Up: Performance

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Here I’ll perform my song “Falling Up”. Make sure to look for several of the techniques and concepts we’ve talked about in this course.

Falling Up: Breakdown

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Let’s breakdown some of the highlights of my performance of “Falling Up”.

Digging these free melodic improv guitar lessons? Check out Allen Hinds’ Melodic Improv.