Melody Guitar

NOTE : If you have no interest in learning about music or learning to play melodies on the guitar, and you just want to learn to play the guitar in rhythmic (based on chords) styles, go directly to the Rhythm Guitar page of this website.

Melody Guitar is a primer in the formal study of music (music theory, music history, music analysis, and musical practice and performance), and a guide to playing melodies effectively on the guitar. Because it is easier to play melodies than to form chords, learning to play melodies is a sensible starting point for complete beginners on the guitar. And because playing melodies requires great control over the sound of individual notes, learning to play melodies effectively is likely to improve the playing skills of experienced guitarists as well. Another important benefit of learning to play melodies, for players of all skill levels, is that it teaches the same playing skills required for playing monophonic (one note at a time) parts of guitar ensemble arrangements.

The task of learning to play melodies and monophonic parts is greatly simplified by the use of visualinear tablature and e-scores. Unlike staff or guitar TAB notation, melodic visualinear tablature notation is very simple, and can be learned quickly and easily. The use of e-scores allows for slowing the tempo without affecting pitch, and slowing the tempo is an invaluable technique for learning new music and developing musical skills. The Exercises from Melody Guitar consist mainly of simple familiar melodies. No purchase is required in order to learn to play these melodies on the guitar by using visualinear tablature and e-scores. You can download the Melody Guitar Exercises, together with everything else you’ll need to get started working with e-scores, by using the links provided below.

Click here  to download the Melody Guitar Exercises


The music notation software that is used to create e-scores is called the TablEdit Tablature Editor. The e-scores are also called .tef files, named for the suffix with which each file name ends (.tef stands for TablEdit format). The e-scores (.tef files) can only be read and played either with the TablEdit program or with the TefView Score Reader, a freeware program that can be downloaded directly from the TablEdit website.

Click here  to download the TefView Score Reader  


The TablEdit Help files are geared toward working with staff or guitar TAB notation, and not visualinear tablature. The TefView Primer is a simple and easy-to-use guide to using the TefView program to read and play visualinear tablature e-scores.

Click here  to download the TefView Primer  


The last two Exercises (“Bingo” and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”) are monophonic parts guitar ensemble arrangements rather than melodies. These two Exercises in particular demonstrate the value of e-scores as a learning tool, and the great enjoyment that e-scores can provide. It is very instructional and very enjoyable to be able to learn all the individual parts of an ensemble arrangement, and to be able to hear all the parts while you are playing any one of the parts. The large catalog of guitar ensemble music that follows Melody Guitar, together with the use of e-scores, presents a unique opportunity for learning about music, for becoming more skilled at playing the guitar, and for having a great deal of fun, all at the same time. 

   The main text of Melody Guitar (Chapters I-X) contains extensive background information about the guitar, a basic introduction to the study of music, and detailed instructions on playing melodies and monophonic parts on the guitar in a musically pleasing fashion. Since no prior knowledge or playing skill is assumed, Melody Guitar is suitable for complete beginners in the study of music and the guitar. Melody Guitar is also suitable for experienced guitarists who want to expand their knowledge about the guitar and about music in general, or develop new playing skills that will improve their command of the instrument. If you’d like more detailed information before ordering the Melody Guitar e-book, Click here to view the Table of Contents, the Foreword, the Introduction, and the Index.

  • Melody Guitar e-book (117 pages)
This e-book is an electronic version, in PDF (Adobe) format, of the main text (Chapters I – X) of Melody Guitar, and can be downloaded from this website immediately after your purchase transaction is completed.
Melody Guitar e-book $5.00

Melody Guitar concludes with a Repertoire section consisting of 16 monophonic parts guitar ensemble arrangements. Click here to view the Introduction to the Melody Guitar Repertoire section. Each arrangement in the Repertoire section is complemented by a Score Analysis. The Score Analyses contain insights and observations about the arrangement and about music in general. If the Melody Guitar e-book serves your learning needs well, you can obtain a more in-depth introduction to the formal study of music by ordering the Melody Guitar Repertoire, in either print score or e-score format, and the Score Analyses.

  • Melody Guitar Repertoire : e-scores
These are the e-scores, in .tef format, for the 16 Repertoire selections.
Melody Guitar e-scores $10.00
  • Melody Guitar Repertoire : print scores (42 pages)
These are the print scores, in PDF format, for the 16 Repertoire selections.
Melody Guitar print scores $8.00
  • Melody Guitar Repertoire : Score Analyses (43 pages)
These are the Score Analyses, in PDF format, for the 16 Repertoire selections.
Melody Guitar Score Analyses $5.00