Rock and Riffs

Rock and Riffs

The “riff’ is a totally mega important part of rock guitar playing. These repeated hooky phrases express bucket loads of attitude quite often a nod back towards the blues and usually a heap of dirty distortion on top.

The great news is its easy to learn as they often involve simple finger movements. The groove and attitude is all important when playing riffs, if you’re not locked into the drum beat it aint happening.

Smoke On The Water

One of the earlier primal guitar riffs played by Ritchie Blackmore in the band Deep Purple, this riff became so popular it was banned from music shops. Deep Purple were all gifted players and the way the band pulled behind this gave it great momentum.

check out the original here:

must at this point give a shout out to my very talented big brother, who has just recorded a super acoustic fingerstyle guitar version of the song. you can check this out here.

Smoke On The Water – Acoustic Fingerstyle

Will come back to riffs at some point, but for now you might want to search for best guitar riffs and see what you can do.

cheers, Bob



Happy New Year – Auld Lang Syne

2016 text overlaying picture of acoustic guitar soundhole and stringsA very happy new year when it comes to everyone for 2016.

This hugely popular tune is sung the world over on New Years Eve. Words attributed to Scotlands National Poet Robert Burns. Burns completed the lyrics and then a few melodies were tried out before the most common version was settled. The meaning of the song is “for old times sake”.

With some straightforward guitar chords, the first verse and chorus can be played like this:

G                                        D7
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
G                                C
And never brought to mind
G                                           D7
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
Em   Am7      D7          G
And days of auld lang syne

G                   D7
For auld lang syne, my dear,
G                      C
For auld lang syne,
G                             D7
We’ll take a cup o’kindness yet
Em   Am7    D7              G
And days of auld lang syne

Here’s a few versions of this song below including a fingerstyle guitar version from my brother Ian, go bro….! all the best for 2016, Bob Melrose.

Jimi Hendrix – rocking guitar (wait for about a minute)

Aretha Franklin & Billy Preston (video quality not great but performance is)

Ian Melrose – fingerstyle guitar with tab

Beach Boys 
- vocal harmonies

2015 Upgrade – new look and new site

Am very pleased to announce the new website major site upgrade. Its been a lot of hard work but think its really worth it. Here are a few of the new features.

New Look and Feel

Have done a complete redesign, responsive to desktops, phones and tablets, a shiny new logo. Expertly redesigned Acoustic and Electric guitar visuals. Toyed with light or dark background but eventually felt that the dark was easier on the eye after long periods. A huge thanks to Craig Russell from Red Sun Design, Glasgow for the new design and theme and general amazing creative input.

Chordbook.Com logo

The user interface is now much cleaner and more intuitive. The guitars more realistic.

Guitar Chords

The guitar chords section has expanded greatly. As well as the new design, there is now a Pick button, so you can hear the guitar pluck away the chord and repeat.

The ‘MyChords’ feature for saving your chords to your device has been given its own page.
You can do all you did before but its much easier to delete, re-order and play about with the chords once they are in the sequencer.

There is now a whole series of pages on the different guitar chord types with examples.

New Guitar Samples

We completely upgraded the sounds you here on the site, by creating our own sample sets for acoustic and electric guitar.

Learn Guitar

A brand new section, to help guide guitarists through all the normal hurdles one comes up against when getting better at an instrument, we have some brand new guitar lessons on video.

Also we have several new articles about some essential basics of chords and music theory.

Guitar Settings

The flyout menu on the right allows you to choose your guitar, acoustic or electric, set your volume, set the speed of strumming and picking the guitar and choose between left or right handed guitar. These features work across the whole site.

Support for iPad and Tablets

This was a very popular requested feature and we now are pleased to say we fully support iPad’s and Tablets with our 2015 website upgrade.

Guitar Web Applications

The “web app” pages, like guitar chords, scale and tuner fit very nicely onto an iPad in portrait mode.

Flash Not Required

Flash is no longer required, but still supported.

Mobile Devices

The site is now fully responsive for desktops, tablets and mobiles. On the “app” pages I am going to have to do more work to fit the controls into the screen, but that is coming soon!


Guitar Audio Samples

Had a great time creating the new samples for the site. Here’s how I did them.

Acoustic Guitar – Martin D28

Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar

Tried to do this in my home studio, but until you make your first sample set, you don’t realise how quiet the environment needs to be, or how much background noise, however light is going on. Even tried doing this in early hours of the morning but just one car going past on the main road would mean a ruined take of a string as it got quieter.

Eventually decamped to a local studio and finished off there, even then we had to retake a few when somebody closed a door heavily in building next door.

For this particular use, unlike a normal sample set, I just had one set volume. Tried to be as consistent as possible, but think there is a certain “character” in the mix of sounds we got.

This is well seasoned (over 30 years old) and played in guitar as you can see and really pleased with the end result.

Electric Guitar – Fender Toronado

This was much easier, just DI into my recording gear, then season with some amp plugins and various eq and fx at the mixing stage.


audio waveform

Both acoustic and electric guitar sample sets were expertly mixed/mastered at Surrealis Sounds Studio in Berlin by Jörg Surrey. Job done.