Xander Demos: Creating Melodic Sequences

Greetings, readers and welcome to I'm going to take a stroll down my own memory lane and break down the melodic "pre-chorus" from one of my instrumental songs called Right Angles (available on my album "Guitarcadia").

This will employ the concept of sweep arpeggios, some tapping and general tasty phrasing. So, with that said, what is an arpeggio… to answer that rhetorical question for those that don't know, it is the notes of a chord played separately. In many cases, it's three or four notes and you would normally use sweep picking. This is the act of "sweeping" the pick across the strings in a single downstroke or upstroke. You can get really crazy with these but for now we're going to take this hooky little melody and break it down.

The first arpeggio is a C-major that begins on the 15th fret of the A-string. I play it all the way up and tap the 19th fret on the high-E to give it a major 7th note. The next arpeggio is an E-minor and I tap the C note on the high-E to continue the sequence. Finally, the last arp is an F-major where I add the D note and the E note on the 22nd and 24th frets respectively. I do a little decending tapping lick to get to finish the melody.

So what's the point of all this? Well, the idea is to create a melodic sequence. You see, when you're creating instrumental music you have a very large canvas to paint on, so to speak. So it's your job to do all kinds of cool songwriting things like creating tension with passages or what I like to do a lot of: it's called "question and answer". This is where you have a passage that ends on a note (or a small series of notes) that seems like it's asking a question. More like, "leaving the listener hanging". The point is to resolve it with (you guessed it), an "answer". What I have done here is tabbed out the first series of notes/sequences. If you'd like to see the whole passage, please check out the video lesson of this available on my YouTube channel.

Zander Lesson Example one

Thanks for checking in and next time, I hope to deliver a nice face-melter lick that you can use to turn heads in a music store. Well, that may or may not happen but it's a cool lick that can be used in improvising as well as building melodies around it. Until then…

About Xander Demos:
Xander Demos is a high-energy rock and metal guitar player from Pittsburgh, PA. He is fueled by the passion to create melodic songs ranging from rock and metal genres to pop and ambient. Xander normally is associated with the rock and metal world but his versatility allows him to be comfortable in many forms of music.

Xander Demos Links:
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