Secrets of Melodic Rock Guitar

Irene Ketikidi explores themes and melodies for rock guitar lead.

Irene lays the foundation for melodic rock playing with a primer on scale tone basics, triads and melodic fills.. then provides an in-depth look at how to apply these principles with rock-solid technique, articulation and phrasing. This lays the bedrock for the final leg of this course, where we learn to compose our ideas with thoughtful application of melody, harmony, tension and release, and elegant motifs. And finally, we wrap up the course with 4 awesome examples of how to apply these concepts in a musical setting.

Suited for guitarists of all skill levels, our emphasis will be on taking you from a "noodler" to a focused, articulate player with more refined note choice, intention and style. Learn more or start the course with membership

Course Details
30 Lessons
10 Hour+ Runtime
Tabs (gpx, pdf)
Playalong Tracks
HD+ Video
90 day guarantee
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The JamPlay Learning System

Like every JamPlay course, Secrets of Melodic Rock features world-class instruction and a dynamic learning system to help you succeed quickly.

It's not just videos, and not just downloads. You'll get:

  • Interactive tabs, notation, and fretboard
  • JamTracks for play along practice
  • Ask-a-teacher functionality
  • Speed up, slow down and loop the video
  • Bookmark exact moments in the lesson
  • Note-taking feature
  • 4k video with multiple camera angles
  • Track progress with the progress report
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Meet Irene Ketikidi

Irene Ketikidi is a force to be reckoned with in the world of instrumental rock guitar. Her solo album "Martial Arts & Magic Tricks" (2013) received excellent reviews and has been complimented by the likes of Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe, Nita Strauss, Alex Skolnick and David Kilminster. Young Guitar Magazine has included Irene in the "Heroines of Now" column in 2014 and she has been featured in numerous publications such as Guitar World, Guitar Interactive and the Sound Guitar Magazine.

Irene rose to fame in early 2010 with her YouTube video of "Rambler", a track that landed her a place to perform live in front of Steve Vai at his Guitar Nation Masterclass in London later that year. She graduated from London's Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and was busy working as a tutor for the international Guitar Foundation summer courses. During the next few years, Irene worked as a session player with various artists from pop (Red N Pink, Cherry Lee Mewis), country (Colm Kirwan, Victoria Shaw, Heidi Feek), hip hop (AKS, J The Exodus), metal (Gravil) and toured extensively with female tributes The Femones (Ramones) and Back:N:Black (AC/DC).

In late 2013, she relocated to Greece, where she spent the next couple of years promoting her solo album release, working as the lead guitarist for Philippos Pliatsikas's show "The other side of blue" and touring with pianist and singer/songwriter Lia Hide. Eternally in love with Satriani's music and inspired by the G3 tours, she ran and performed at the first Guitar Experience Festival in Athens (2016) with guitarists Anthimos Manti and Sakis Dovolis.

In May 2018, she released her second solo album "A Sky For All", a progressive rock record with mixed blues, fusion and post rock moments, and inspired by real life events. The recordings took place at MD recording studio in Athens, Greece and feature Michael Kapilidis on drums, Kostis Vihos on bass, Makis Tsamkosoglou on keys and Babis Tyropoulos on slide guitar.

End the Noodling & Start Composing

Break out of dull patterns and learn to play with intention, purpose and emotional competence.

Adding a melodic theme on top of a chord progression, or writing a solo that you are proud of can be challenging. You might find yourself playing familiar lines that comes easy to your fingers, and not making meaningful statement to the song. Irene aims to unlock the scale concepts, phrase articulation, and lead technique which help develop your own unique creative style. This course offers 30 lessons covering 10+ hours of material in step-by-step, digestible presentation.

Lessons in this Course

Series Introduction

In this first lesson, Irene gives us an overview of her course, laying out her plan to help you create melodies using your voice, bring those melodies to your fingers, add expression, play with different dynamics and shape your guitar tone with both pick and fingers. You'll then be able to apply all these concepts to your improvising as well as your original music!

5:38 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Back to Basics: The Blues Scale

First things first - let's get back to some basic foundations that will come in handy down the road in this course. Irene starts with the blues scale in different positions and different string sets.

30:35 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Back to Basics: The Dorian Scale

The Dorian scale is one of the most widely used minor scales in any guitarists toolkit. Irene helps us learn to use this critical tool in different positions and string sets.

32:57 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Back to Basics: The Mixolydian Scale

The Mixolydian scale provides us with interesting tonalities bordering on exotic at times. Getting this foundational scale under your fingers in different positions and string sets will serve you well later in this course!

31:59 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Mixing and Merging the Three Scales

Irene's selection of the three previous scales was not by accident! These widely used scales will make up a good portion of any rock guitarist's arsenal. In this lesson, Irene takes what we've learned so far and combines the scales for some unique tonalities!

29:00 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Back to Basics: Major Triads and Melodic Fills

One of the easiest ways to explore melodies is to use the notes surrounding your triad shapes. This lesson helps us explore some major triad shapes and neighboring notes we can access quickly and easily.

24:43 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Back to Basics: Minor Triads and Melodic Fills

Now we look at the minor triad shapes and neighboring notes that we can use to create cool minor melodic fills.

20:45 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Back to Basics: Lead Picking Position

Let's look at some basics of the picking hand. Getting this hand in the correct position for lead playing will help you execute all the scales and melodic ideas Irene will be covering in this series.

18:54 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Back to Basics: Fingerpicking Position

Using your fingers creates a very different sound, and a very different mood and dynamic. In this lesson, Irene gives us her take on fingerpicking hand position.

23:33 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Singing Intervals and Scales

Now it's time to relate our voice to the scales that we know, and in turn our voice will be the vehicle that gets melodies from our head to our fingers!

33:32 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Sing and Create Melodies

In this lesson, Irene takes simple 2-bar melodies over chord progressions - singing them first, then bringing them to our fingers.

24:46 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Phrasing - Slides

Irene shows us a sliding exercise that will help us learn our scales all on one string, plus help us learn to be accurate when sliding notes on the fretboard.

24:02 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Phrasing - Bends

Bending can add vocal-like qualities to your playing. Using whole and half step bends alike, Irene shows us how to apply these bends to some of the melodies we've already created.

18:37 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Phrasing - Legato and Left Hand Hammer

Legato playing is not only a speed tool, but a tool for getting a different kind of tone from your fingers and your strings. In this lesson, Irene explores the use of hammer ons and pull offs with your fretting hand, without the use of a pick.

22:57 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Phrasing - Dynamics

Dynamics can be a key component to becoming expressive with your melodies. Irene applies some dynamic expressive techniques using our fingers to the melodies we've already created.

13:23 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Articulation - String and Pickup Choice

The strings and pickups you choose has a great impact on your tone, dynamics and articulation. Irene takes a look at some different pickup and string combinations that can help you achieve the desired sound.

11:05 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Articulation - Legato, Staccato and Percussive Phrasing

Diving deeper into articulation, Irene shows us the effect that staccato or legato playing can have on our expression. She also shows us a technique called 'skank' picking.

17:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Articulation - Octave Melodies and Tapped Harmonics

One more layer of articulation brings us to octave melodies and tapped harmonics. Use these techniques to add another dimension to your expressive melody playing.

28:51 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Build Up or Break Down Melody

In this lesson, Irene shows us how to build up a melody from a very simple idea, and vice versa - break down a more complex melody to it's very core components.

11:09 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Straight, Shuffle and Laid Back Feel

Exploring different feels is the name of the game in this lesson. Change feels while only playing to a click, comparing the differences in mood and sound.

14:51 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Motifs and Recurring Rhythm

Writing good melodies is not only about the note choices, It's also about the rhythmic phrasing, and recurring rhythms you come up with. Irene shows us how to create a rhythmic motif that will make our melodies and phrases more memorable.

19:00 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Call and Response

Call and response is a tried and true method to melody and motif writing. Using the motif we explored in the previous lesson, let's develop a 'response' to complete the musical thought.

15:09 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Building Tension Using Call and Response

There are different ways you can use call and response, and one of those ways is to build tension. Learn how to use variances like increasing the difficulty of your technicality, to help you create tension in your motifs.

19:44 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Arpeggiating Chord Progressions

Melodic ideas can come to you in different ways. Using arpeggiated chord progressions can be one way to explore melodies that are living very near to your chords!

24:25 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Arpeggios and Intervallic Playing

In this lesson, Irene uses the 7th chord arpeggios we learned in a previous lesson to create movement and a key root chord. She then adds the triad approach to get that intervallic playing sound.

23:06 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Interval Study and Harmonizing

Now it's time to practice intervals so we can learn the differences between sound and feel. Irene takes a look at 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths, 7ths and octaves in the Dorian scale.

20:49 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Applying Concepts, Solo 1: Beautiful Mind

Join Irene for the first of three solos composed for this course. First up is 'Beautiful Mind'. She will explain the concepts used, add a slow demonstration, and an 'at tempo' performance.

28:27 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Applying Concepts, Solo 2: Cool Run

The second of three solos is 'Cool Run'. Irene breaks down the techniques and concepts she uses in this melodic solo.

28:49 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Applying Concepts, Solo 3: Blacktop, Part 1

Now for solo number 3 - 'Blacktop'. There is a ton of useful techniques, concepts and expressiveness in this solo! Learn the solo, but more importantly, apply the techniques to your own playing!

13:54 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Applying Concepts, Solo 3: Blacktop, Part 2

Part two of 'Blacktop'. Irene teaches us the remainder of the solo, and gives us a chance to practice it with her.

20:16 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty