Example: I'm holding down the C chord with the melody note on C, second string and bass on C, fifth string. It seems like the only accompaniment notes I can play are on the D and G string.

Why? Because if I play anything below the melody note on the high strings, it would sound like a different melody? I also can't play the the melody note again when playing an arpeggio because it would sound like a different song.

Is playing the notes between the melody and bass notes the only way to create accompaniment?

1 Answer 1


One trick is to create a different tone for the bass, tune and accompaniment. Achieved by playing the bass part with the fleshy part of thumb, which is probably what you already do. The actual tune, on whichever string, can be plucked using a fingernail - which doesn't have to make it harsher, or if you like, a firmer pluck with a finger. This leaves any harmony notes which are the accompaniment. They can be played with the pad of a finger, or simply quieter than the melody notes. This way, you can use noes higher than the melody, but they won't sound like the melody, due to a different tone.

Or, as you say, just keep the accompaniment to notes between the melody and the bass. Harmonics can be useful to differentiate, too.

  • nice! so volume can differentiate the melody from accompaniment and that way more notes can be included. Great advice. Much appreciated. Dec 1, 2016 at 17:37

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