After you have chosen a key,
you want to think about how you want the music to sound.
Play around with the notes found in that key and utilize
your fretboard. This is where knowing all of the notes
on your fretboard off by heart really comes into play.
Experiment with different phrasings and try not to sound
like a guitar. If you want to serenade that special
someone, you want the guitar to sing to them. The best
way to learn how to do this is to hum the notes as you
Believe me, this is embarrassing and shouldn't be
practiced around any life forms unless you are a
natural. All joking aside, it really works. You begin to
think like a singer and that comes out in your guitar.
Here is an example for you to try. Listen and you'll
hear how easily words could fit into the melody if
someone was singing it.
There are some beautiful
chords you can create using some basic principals. First
off, I reiterate the fact that you will not be able to
master smooth "romantic" style guitar until you know the
notes on your fretboard. The reason why is due to the
theory needed to write good music.
Using a basic minor 7
chord, you can create the following chords: 9, 11, and
13. These chords sound great regardless of whether you
use the major or minor shapes. For the purpose of
simplicity, we won't be diving into the theory behind
these chords in this lesson. However, all of the chords
and chord shapes can be found by going to the following
Let's examine some of the
chords we will be working with in this lesson:
Images courtesy of
...Keep in mind, all of
the above are chord shapes. That means that the chord
can be moved anywhere on the fretboard. The new root
note names the chord (the root note is the note on the A
string in the above cases).
With that in mind, you
want to tweak your amp to give you a beautiful full
jazz-like tone. Here are some settings for you to
...Listen to this
sound example using the progression Emin7b5, Ebmin7,
It gives you an idea of
the soulful feel you can get with these types of chords.
Mind you, this progression follows a chromatic backbone.
The more sharps and flats you add to a chord, the more
colourful it becomes (in most cases).
They are extremely jazzy
chords but don't let the long name intimidate you. They
are just relatively simple chord shapes. The order of
notes makes the name complex. I play the roots of the
above chord progression on the 7th, 6th, 5th and 4th
frets of the A string respectively. The complex chords
offer a bright, less monotonous version of romantic
If you learn nothing else
from this lesson, remember that "romantic" music is best
when kept simple. Even the best Spanish players, known
for their romantic flair, don't feel the need to play
with lightning fast hands unless absolutely necessary
for the music. Sometimes you'll find it useful, but
unless you have the technique, playing your guitar
slowly and with emotion will evoke the best response
from your listening audience.