12 Free Andy Timmons Guitar Lessons on Melodic Soloing

12 Free Andy Timmons Guitar Lessons on Melodic Soloing

Whether your composing or improvising, the ability to create a compelling melody is always the key to making your music distinctive, emotional, and memorable. You do that by tapping into your ‘melodic muse’ — a craft that every musician needs to develop and continuously be fine-tuning.

Check out these 12 free Andy Timmons guitar lessons on melodic soloing from the full course, Melodic Muse, which presents a simple, step-by-step approach for creating melodic lines by fusing what you already know about the guitar with your ear’s creative instincts. No tedious theory or boring exercises to struggle through — you will play your way through Andy’s ear-opening curriculum to ignite your own ‘melodic muse.’

Intellectual vs. “Auralectual” – Demonstration

So, let’s discuss the difference between intellectual vs. “auralectual”.

We’ll break things down in this course in an intellectual way — we can analyze chord progressions and note choices with those chords that are very academic. There are chord tones, playing certain scales, etc. that we can look at to make up a melody.

The “auralect” side of things has to deal with learning through your ears and eyes. Music is certainly foremost an “aural” experience. It’s meant to be taken in through those mediums primarily, so we feel it most through these ways. So, the ear develops instincts based on everything you’ve taken in. I consider it like a library of ideas collected throughout our lives.

When we’re improvising or composing, we’re drawing on these experiences as the benchmark of what we’d like to hear. It’s really a selfish thing, and you’re hoping to reach other people, but we have to be honest with ourselves and understand that it’s based on what we want to hear.

We’re really trying to connect these two things — the “auralect” and intellect. And more so, we’re applying the intellectual side after the fact, trying to describe the things that we feel first. Again, in the moment, I’m not thinking about what I’m playing at all, just what I want to hear.

One Finger, One String – Explanation

For our first concept, I want to share something with you that I developed as I got back into private teaching. This exercise starts with the student just playing through a chord progression, first to see where they’re at, and then I like to take everything they know away from them.

We’re going to be limiting ourselves to playing on one string with one finger. We’ll be playing on the G string using the index finger, using the pentatonic scale. We’re going to use a chord progression going from A minor, to G major, to F major and back to G major. Most people are pretty comfortable in the key of A, so hopefully this will be a great place to start.

You’ll find that what’s really guiding you here is actually your ear. The auralect has to take over in order to guide you through the chord progression.

One Finger, One String – Demonstration

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this melodic soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Let’s try out our first concept of using one finger on one string over a jam track. Watch me demo it here, and in the next lesson, you’ll playalong.

One Finger, One String – Playalong & Wrap-up

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this melodic soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Now let’s play the exercise together. Here I’ll give you some specific things that I want you to try out — I’ll go first, and then I want you to play what I did.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this concept, and now let’s move on and start to refine it.

Find Melodies in Triads – Explanation

I hope that you already hear the melodic material starting to develop over the simple triads. It instantly inspired me to play some melodies.

We’ll be thinking of these triads as three sets of inversions for this exercise. Here we’ll look at using these as the guideposts for strong melodic choices instead of playing the actual chord.

Find Melodies in Triads – Demonstration

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this melodic soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Let’s try out our sixth concept of creating melodies from our simple triads. The jam track here is again my song “Electric Gypsy”. I’ll demo the concept here, and in the next lesson you’ll playalong.

Find Melodies in Triads – Playalong & Wrap-up

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this melodic soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Let’s try this: I’m going to play the simple triads in each position, and that will give you a springboard for some melodic material. I’ll be backing you up, just follow along with me in each position so you get used to playing these chord shapes.

Call & Response Statements – Explanation

We’re going to explore a different concept now — we’ve been talking about what notes will sound good, and notes that lead to ones that sound good, but now let’s talk about notes that lend themselves to the shape of your melody. You can call it an “A-B” concept or a call and response, and it’s something that I love to hear when someone’s soloing in which a certain melodic event happens, and the melodic event right after “answers” what was played before. Everything that I write or play hopefully makes sense in terms of the things that I’m playing around it. You really want to develop this dialogue between statements. This ebb and flow between your melodies for the listener to grab onto.

We’ll be using “Electric Gypsy” here, because it’s a nice slower tune with some nice chord changes that lends itself to working on our call and response melodies.

Call & Response Statements – Demonstration

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this melodic soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Let’s try out our eighth concept of using call and response statements. The jam track here is again my song “Electric Gypsy”. Take a listen to what I’m playing, and in the next section, you’ll playalong.

Call & Response Statements – Playalong & Wrap-up

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this melodic soloing lesson on TrueFire.

Now let’s try doing the call and response together. I’m going to play a melody over the jam track, and it’s your job to come up with the response. We’ll go back-and-forth for a while, and I’ll try to keep things as simple as possible. Let’s check it out.

Bonus Melody – Ballad: Overview

For this last bonus track, we’re looking at a ballad in D minor based around one of my songs, “Cry for You”.

Bonus Melody – Ballad: Performance

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this melodic soloing lesson on TrueFire.


Dig these free Andy Timmons guitar lessons? Check out the full course, Melodic Muse, for more including tab, notation, and jam tracks!