When you first start playing guitar, there are usually two tracts of study you will encounter. Playing Chords. This is of course where most players start as it leads directly to being able to strum along with some of your favorite songs. Playing Single Notes. You will work on this when you play melodies, start learning to read music, or just want a break from having to strum full chords.

However, the truth that beginning guitarists discover is that most songs are a combination of chords and single notes. Having the ability to transition smoothly between playing chords and playing single notes will ultimately be necessary to advance as a guitarist.

This simple etude is a great way to work on both! Play it all with downstrokes, and use quarter notes, which is just one strum or note per beat.

One of the goals with playing this kind of a piece is using “minimum motion.” In other words, you don’t want to lift your fingers or move your hand any more than is absolutely necessary. This also helps you determine which finger you might need to use to make it easy to get between chords and single notes.

This particular kind of playing is also referred to as incorporating “bass runs” into chord progressions. Work on this and you will soon find that the combo of chords and single notes will make you sound like the songs you are listening to!

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