Below is the lesson for Variations on “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky”.
I often get asked by members advice for writing songs or arrangements. While I have written a complete PDF eBook explaining the theory behind this, I wanted to offer another approach with this lesson. A great way to start out writing your own songs is to build upon another song. Bars 3 and 4 in this arrangement feature the iconic melody of ‘(Ghost) Riders in the Sky’. The rest of the arrangement was my composition based around this melody.
I had been listening to a lot of Surf Rock this week and wanted to incorporate tremolo picking, a common technique featured in this style of music. Tremolo picking is a quick, pulse like, alternate picking technique pioneered by guitarists such as Dick Dale. The A melody and the B melody both feature a 16th note A string attack that alludes to this technique. I also wanted to build movement throughout the arrangement. Thus, the A melody ascends and descends, while the B melody ascends to climax. While understanding theory is important in song writing, creating a melody and building emotion throughout a piece is vital.
Part 1 – Performance & Free Lesson