Create Your Own Fingerstyle Guitar Arrangements – Beginner’s How-To Guide

Hey guys, in this video I am continuing with my arrangement of “Hello” by Adele. I am going over measures 5 and 6 and discussing different ideas on how to arrange it for fingerstyle guitar. The tab is shown at the bottom of the screen and is also available at my website but as of today it is still a work in progress so stay tuned and soon the full tab will be available. Links are below.

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Roger

How to Arrange Fingerstyle Guitar – Two Excellent Tools to Add to Your Arranging Toolbox

Welcome to part 4 of my series on arranging for fingerstyle guitar. We are arranging “Hello” by Adele.

I forgot to mention in the previous videos a great resource for finding the chords and melody for the songs you are arranging. This great resource is the “Fake Books”, or “Real Books” that contain lead sheets for hundreds of songs. Here I show you my “Real Rock Book” published by Hal Leonard.

This is the book I used to help me make my arrangement of “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and the Papas. If you’d like to check my video of me playing this arrangement, here is the link:

California Dreamin’

Free Tab

And also a tuturial series.

These type of “Fake” books contain the chords and melody notes but sometimes they contain errors and sometimes you may need to transpose to a different key for your arrangement. Also, they don’t typically include tablature, so it is worth your time to learn to read the notes on the music staff. It really only takes a short amount of time to learn to read the different notes and will help you out greatly in deciphering lead sheets.

Also, some portions of the song may not be included, for example, in “Californial Dreamin’,” for the flute solo portion of the song, the chords were shown, but there was no melody information given. In this instance I transcribed the flute solo by listening to the Youtube video.

This brings me to another great resource for transcribing music that is available right here on Youtube. This is the speed feature that is in the setting menu at the bottom of each Youtube video. You can slow the video down to 1/2 speed and this makes it much easier to find the notes on your guitar as you are listening to the music. I believe this feature used to be only available on Google Chrome browsers but I believe it is available on all browsers now. Check to see if you have this feature, it can come in very handy.

Now, getting to our arrangement of “Hello.” We already made a skeleton arrangement of the first 4 measures that contains the root of the chord as the bass note combined with the melody notes. Now we can fill this out a little bit by filling in the chords with more notes. We know that chords are made up of the root, third and fifth, so that is a starting place for us to decide what notes we want to add to start filling in the arrangement a bit.

What else can we do to spice up our arrangement? We can use slurs, also known as pull-offs or hammer-ons. We can use slides, natural harmonics and artificial harmonics. We play dynamically, that is playing louder or softer during different parts of the song. We can change the tonal color of the notes by playing with our right hand closer to the bridge for a more metallic sound, or closer to the soundhole for a softer sound. We can use vibrato.

We can also change up the timing by arpeggiating the notes instead of just strumming the chords all at once. We can play higher octave notes or lower octave notes. We can play chords and melody anywhere on the fingerboard we choose. We have to experiment and find what sounds good to us and feels natural to play on the guitar. So experiment and see what you can come up with and I’ll see you next time in part 5 of this series.

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Roger

How to Arrange Fingerstyle Guitar – Creating a Skeleton Arrangement

Welcome to part 3 in our “How to Arrange Fingerstyle Guitar” series. In this video we are going to start putting the pencil down to the paper in our fingerstyle guitar arrangement of “Hello” by Adele.

If you like this type of in depth content on how to arrange for solo fingerstyle guitar, please give me a thumbs up so I know if I should do this type of video series with other songs.

In the last video we talked about different sources of reference when figuring out the chords and melody of a song. It’s important not to put to much stock in any one source of reference. Let your ear and what sounds good to you be the final judge of how you create your arrangement.

The first thing we do in this video on our blank tab sheet is write in the timing markings, “one and two and three and four and…” This gives us a framework to fill in and makes sure we stay on the proper beat when filling in the bass and melody notes. Then we start filling in the bass notes based on the root of the chords on the original recording and we fill them in on the tab on the same beat that we hear in the original Adele recording. Then we figure out what the melody notes are by using one of our resources or by listening and using our ear to determine the proper note. Then we fill these melody notes out on the tab on the beat that they occur in the original recording. This gives us a very basic skeleton arrangement that we can use as a basic framework to work with as we fill in and develop our arrangement further. In the next video we will focus on spicing up the arrangement a little bit. Subscribe and stay tuned!

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Roger

How to Arrange Fingerstyle Guitar – Two Absolute Must-Have Ingredients

Hey guys, welcome to part 2 of this tutorial series on how to make your own arrangements for solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar.

The song we are arranging in this series is “Hello” by Adele.

We will be creating our own instrumental solo fingerstyle guitar arrangement made up of the harmony and melody. We will not be singing the song with our voices, but with the melody notes on the guitar. If we were making an arrangement to sing along to with our voices, we could just strum the chords primarily and would not need to incorporate the melody notes into our arrangement since our voice would be singing the melody. But here in this case we don’t plan on singing so we will create an arrangement that includes the harmony (chords) and melody (lyrics) all rolled up into one.

There are many resources on the internet to find the chords and melody to most songs. You can start by searching on google and youtube for the song you are arranging. I personally try not to look at any other fingerstyle guitar arrangements before I complete my own arrangement. Don’t get me wrong, you can learn a ton from other fingerstyle guitarists and by watching and listening to their arrangements, but I find I learn the best when I go through the exercise and struggle to create my own arrangement first. Only then am I familiar with the songs’ particular challenges and idiosyncrasies and then I am much more able to appreciate and learn from others’ arrangements. So for this reason I stay away from looking at other fingerstyle guitar arrangements of the song I am working on. We want to search only for the chords and the notes of the melody.

When you are looking on the internet for sources of the chords and melody, you want to be careful not to put all of your eggs in one basket. That is to say that you don’t want to use any one source exclusively. Some sources will not have the chords the same as the original. Some sources will play the melody differently than what sounds good to you. You always want your own ear to be the final judge of what you include in your arrangement. Only use the sources you find as a reference to get you going in the right direction.

One valuable source of chord and melody information are animated piano tutorials on youtube that show the notes of the chords and melody falling down onto the keys of the piano. As long as you can figure out the names of the notes on the piano keys, you can get alot of info this way. But remember you don’t have to use any one source, note for note. Use your own ear to guide you along in your arrangement and use what sounds good to you and discard the rest.

When combining the chords and melody together on the guitar there is one very important thing to keep in mind: The highest note you are playing is the one the listeners’ ear hears the best and that is the note that is interpreted as the melody note. So it is important to make the melody notes the highest notes to stand out from the harmony (chords. ) Also, as a general rule, try to make all of your melody notes on the highest three strings. If you are arranging a song and one of the melody notes goes down to the fourth string or lower, you may want to try to arrange the song in another key to keep the melody notes on the highest three strings. The listeners’ ear has trouble detecting melody notes that are too low in pitch, so keep this in mind.

In part 3 of this series we will start writing down our arrangement, so make sure and subscribe to this channel and bookmark the series playlist. Links are below.

Please subscribe to my Youtube channel “BetterWorldGuitar”

Full Series Playlist

Free Tab

Help support BetterWorldGuitar – Buy a vintage guitar or motorcycle magazine

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Thanks guys!
Roger

Dark, Haunting, Guitar Music Made Easy – The Frightening Phrygian Mode

Happy Halloween all. Spooky, scary music is easy once you learn this simple formula. If you know how to play a major scale, then you can immediately apply this formula to turn the “happy” sounding major scale into a “dark and haunting” sounding Phrygian scale.

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Roger



The Genius and the Insanity of the Guitar Fretboard

The way the guitar fretboard is layed out is sometimes very confusing. With this one simple trick you will be able to understand and see very clearly the logic behind all the chords you have already been playing. The fingerboard will now make sense!

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Roger

Guitar Lesson: How to find all the Major Scale Chords

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I appreciate all your likes, shares, comments and subscriptions. Thank you for your support and thanks for stopping by! ~Roger


Diatonic chords are chords that naturally occur within a key. They contain only the notes found in the scale (or key) that you’re working in. For new songwriters this is a must know concept for your chords to sound right.

There are seven diatonic chords in every key, each chord built from one of the 7 notes in the scale.

If you stack thirds from each note in a major scale into triads you’ll have every diatonic chord for that key. Each one of these chords will sound good in that key.

In any major scale (or key), you will have the same pattern: Major chord as the 1-chord, a minor chord for the 2-chord and 3-chord, a major chord for the 4-chord and 5-chord, a minor chord for the 6-chord, and a diminished chord for the 7-chord. Major, minor, minor, Major, Major, minor, diminished. This pattern of chords holds true for any major scale no matter what key you’re in.

If you don’t understand something in this video, please take a look at some of my previous videos to get caught up. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments and I will do my best to answer you.

How to Create a Major Scale – Guitar Lesson

How to Learn & Memorize the Guitar Fretboard

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson – The Major Triad

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson – Minor & Diminished Triads

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson: Augmented Triads

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson: Augmented Triads

Subscribe to “BetterWorldGuitar” on Youtube – to see more fingerstyle guitar lessons, song tutorials, covers and get notified when new fingerstyle guitar arrangements and step-by-step tutorials are posted.



I appreciate all your likes, shares, comments and subscriptions. Thank you for your support and thanks for stopping by! ~Roger


A triad is a three note chord. Most larger chords are built from triads. There are four kinds of triads; major, minor, diminished and augmented. This video explains augmented triads. If you haven’t watched my videos on Major Triads, and Minor & Diminished Triads, you will want to watch those videos before you watch this video. Here are the links:

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson – The Major Triad

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson – Minor & Diminished Triads

Also, if you have trouble identifying what notes are what on the fretboard, watch my video, “How to Learn & Memorize the Guitar Fretboard,” here is the link:

Thanks for watching, see ya next time!

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson – Minor & Diminished Triads

Subscribe to “BetterWorldGuitar” on Youtube – to see more fingerstyle guitar lessons, tutorials, covers and get notified when new fingerstyle guitar arrangements and step-by-step tutorials are posted.



I appreciate all your likes, shares, comments and subscriptions. Thank you for your support and thanks for stopping by! ~Roger


A triad is a three note chord. Most larger chords are built from triads. There are four kinds of triads; major, minor, diminished and augmented. This video explains minor and diminished triads. If you haven’t watched my video on Major Triads, you will want to watch that video before you watch this video. Here is the link:

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson – The Major Triad

Thanks for watching, see ya next time!

Guitar Chord Theory Lesson – The Major Triad

Subscribe to “BetterWorldGuitar” on Youtube – to see more guitar lessons and get notified when new fingerstyle guitar arrangements and step-by-step tutorials are posted.



I appreciate all your likes, shares, comments and subscriptions. Thank you for your support and thanks for stopping by! ~Roger




A triad is a three note chord. Most other chords can be built from the triad. This video explains Major Triads. The formula for major triads is R-3-5. This means we use the root, 3rd, and 5th notes of a major scale to build a major triad. In the key of G, our notes would be G-B-D. In the key of D, the notes would be D-F#-A.

How to Create a Major Scale – Guitar Lesson

How to Learn & Memorize the Guitar Fretboard

Thanks for watching, see ya next time!