I recently uploaded a cover of ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac, and Andrew made a very reasonable comment that it would be more useful for me to demonstrate how I used the Mode Decoder to do this.
It also allows me to show you how to pick out the melody (mainly from locations 2 and 3 on your guitar neck).
The first step is to find out the key the song is written. You can do this in 3 ways
Ask Google! Often you can find out the key a song is played in by Googling the name of the song + ‘key’. This works best for more famous songs.
Find the chords used in the song from a guitar tab website and then turn the Mode Decoder until the chords match. If there are only a few chords, this could be more than one match, so you’ll need to test each one
If you have been using the Mode Decoder for a while, you can probably find where the pattern fits in by ear.
The first part of the song I go through is the beginning picked chord. On the tabs I have seen, this looks like an unusual fingering and rather complicated picking, so I use the notes in location 3 to make a simpler version. All I’m doing is barring at the 7th fret and pressing the third string down, 2 frets further up. The notes then just fall into place – plus you can embellish them!
The second part shows how I pick up the melody (and how you can apply this technique to any song) in locations 2 and 3.
Thirdly I show how the ‘Formula 1’ phrase and famous, simple solo fit into location 1 and 3.
Here’s the original cover I’m responding to: