Where can I find more chord melody arrangements?

I am consolidating grade 3 and following Justin’s advice about ‘you can’t play everything/play what you enjoy’ I would like to find a source of chord melody tabs for acoustic guitar (like the ‘Greensleeves’ arrangement but more popular songs rather than classical). I am getting frustrated (and a bit bored) of playing songs that, unless you sing along, no one has a clue what you are playing as you don’t get to play the tune.

Any suggestions where to go looking? I already have Justin’s Beginner Song books 1 & 2 and Vintage and Acoustic songbooks, which don’t have this type of arrangement in at beginner/intermediate level.

I don’t sing along either, so I asked myself the same questions as you a few months ago.

The website has a few fingerstyle chord melody arrangements that I found.

  • Greensleeves (Grade 3 Module 16)
  • Solo blues Lick-in’ riff (Grade 3 Module 18)
  • Yesterday by the Beatles.
  • For Christmas : We wish you a Merry Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Auld Land Syne.
  • Blues Guitar Studies (Grade 4)
  • Solo Blues Guitar (paid course 10$)

In the end, I realized that fingerstyle arrangements are fun but they take some time to learn. And, unfortunately, I did not find many others on the website for grade 3 or 4 (specially for “popular” songs").

So, I took my Rock Songbook which has 15 beginner songs (grade 2 and 3) and I started playing them with backing tracks. I use Moise software to remove the guitar from the original song and I record mine in the track with my DAW (Reaper).

You can see an example of the project here .

It’s just like being part of the band. Playing and recording yourself with the backing track make it much fun. And you can show the final result to your family and they will recognize the song.

Maybe you can try that and see if you like it. If you don’t like rock, you can do the same thing with any songbook like the Acoustic. Otherwise, there is a youtube channel called SixStringFingerPicking which has many fingerstyle arrangements for popular songs.

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Thanks @math07, I just had a look at your tracks, great idea. It will push me towards covering two topics I have been avoiding but are on my consolidation list, recording myself and playing with various tech.

I already have the blues solo lick n riff on my practice list but (whisper it quietly) I just can’t get into the blues, not my thing :slightly_frowning_face:. I see that most of grade 4 is blues though.



These arrangements are very beautiful, even if I think it would be probably better to use them as a starting point and simplify a bit to avoid to get lost in unusual chord shapes…but that depends on your level. If you learnt Greensleeves you might consider to take that as an example and work out a simple arrangement by yourself…it takes sometime but there’s so much to learn in the process!


Those Hal Leonard songbook arrangements looks really great. It’s a shame they don’t come with video tutorials like Justin’s songbook to help with the fingering, rythm and techniques :frowning: I don’t feel that confident with fingerstyle yet to only learn from a tab. Or maybe I should take the plunge :thinking:

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Thank you @SILVIA, excellent suggestion.

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I dropped into the justin Johnson rabbit hole about there…

Guitar Pro’s MySongBook tabs/subscription has plenty of chord melody arrangements. They call them “solo guitar” tabs.

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That looks worth a punt

Thanks @jkahn, I’ll take a look.

Another useful thread! I hope to soon be at the point of learning more than the few snippets of chord melody I know now. Thank all.

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Thank you @KimR , this is a road that I want to go down as well. Being able to play chords in such a way that people recognise the song.

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I agree, especially with acoustic, finger style has that appeal for us poor singers.

However, at the grade 3 consolidation phase may be a little early. Bring some in, but from my personal experience, don’t give up on the strumming and rhythm songs.

Learning finger style is a difficult process and it is easy to get stuck into songs so much that little else gets practiced because we aren’t quite ready yet.

I have backed off to work on rhythm and timing more, because I need it for the finger style as well. It really needs fundamentals to hold it up, like everything else.


The best place to look is within your own, already developed repertoire. I simply chose a simple song that I already liked enough to learn the chord progression. Then, I transcribed the vocal melody and practiced it over the chord progression I recorded into my looper pedal.

You can apply as much vibrato, hammer-on & pull-off, etc. as you’d like as well. It’s a great way to practice using a looper, transcribing, applying the embellishments and techniques you learn in Grade 3, and ear training all together. Plus, since you are playing along to your own recording, you can set the tempo as low as you’d like.


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Another youtube guitar teacher sort of specializes in these: look up Six String Fingerpicking and you will find his channel (and web site). I think somebody in this community has taken a course from this guy (maybe it was @Socio ?)

I have never learned one of his arrangements, but he does seem to have versions for all levels, so it might be worth checking out.

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Thanks for pointing out the entrance to that particular rabbit hole - I hadn’t heard of him before!

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Hi John, your memory serves you well. I took his beginner fingerstyle course and fingerstyle blues course. He does have a wide variety of somg lessons which are all categorised by level including different levels for the same songs. They are predominantly melody arrangements. Another good one is LickNRiff.

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Oh, how I hate the lick n riff :slightly_frowning_face:

Are you referring to the Lick N Riff lesson or the youtu.be channel Lick N Riff?

The lesson - I hadn’t heard of the channel. For some reason the blues leave me cold :frowning: