How to Make Fingerstyle Guitar Arrangements

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When making fingerstyle guitar arrangements it may be wise to first start with the melody. Make fingerstyle guitar arrangements with help from a Los Angeles-based guitar player in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Be a Versatile Guitarist
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Video Transcript

Hi there. I'm Marcus Gerakos. I'm a guitarist based here in the LA area. I do a lot of studio and film work here working with friends of mine who also happen to be very fine musicians - Alex Acuna, Rique Pantoja, and others. Today, we're going to talk about how to make fingerstyle arrangements for the guitar. I always start with a melody. Here's the melody to one of my favorite jazz standards. It's called "Beautiful Love." Okay. Now, when I was arranging this piece, I wondered what it would sound like kind of as a what's called a "son montuno" or with an Afro-Cuban feel. I'm going to play just the melody with that sort of feel. Two, three. Okay. Now, we're going to add a little counterpoint - another line, another contrasting melody line. Okay. Now, you notice how the counterpoint was going in a contrary motion. So, we had - like that, contrary motion. Then, you had - like that. This comes from Bach, the keyboard writings of Johann Sebastian Bach. This is an example. So, we see the connection between this, and - right? The contrary motion, and the attention to counterpoint. So, when I make a fingerstyle guitar arrangement, I try to have something happening with the melody, with counterpoint, with rhythm, and with harmony that would interest the listener. I'm Marcus Gerakos, once again. And, this has been how to make fingerstyle arrangements for a guitar.

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