Guitar Accelerator Song of the Month: Goodbye Sweetheart Reel

song-of-the-month-250-pxIn this month’s Guitar Accelerator Song of the Month, we will look at a reel called “Goodbye Sweetheart”.  This is a good intermediate guitar technique piece.

This piece will improve your string skipping and alternate picking.


An Overlooked Reason for Slow Progress on Guitar

Over the 20+ years I’ve been teaching guitar, I’ve encountered many different things that can limit how fast a guitar player will improve.

One area that is often neglected by beginner to intermediate guitarists is string skipping.  In string skipping you perform a passage in which you play one or more consecutive notes on non-adjacent strings.  In other words, you play one note on one string, and then play the next note by skipping over one or more strings.

string skipping exampleIn most songs, riffs and guitar solos tend to use a limited amount of string skipping.  The main reason for this is that most riffs and guitar solos favour the sound of smooth conjunct melodic lines.  Conjunct refers to consecutive notes in a melody that are a whole tone or semitone apart.

When one note approaches the next note by a leap (the distance greater than a major or minor second) the term disjunct is used.  Disjunct motion has a more angular or jagged sound.

Since most songs use limited amounts disjunct motion, it means you don’t get to practice them much.  Since you don’t practice them much, they will naturally be tricky to perform.

A Tip to Learning Guitar Solos Faster

tipWhen most guitarists sit down to learn a new guitar solo, the sticking points are often string skipping passages.

It’s usually a great idea to isolate any string skipping passages and tackle them first.

First work on the pair of notes that form the string skip.

Then work on the surrounding notes that lead up to the string skip and then the notes that follow the skip.  Once you’ve got the strings skips out of the way, you will be able to learn the guitar solo much faster.

Goodbye Sweetheart Reel – Guitar Accelerator’s Song of the Month

This reel is 16 measures long. It consists of two sections that each repeat.

Alternate picking should be used throughout the piece.

Performance Notes

Goodbye Sweetheart is played in fifth position.  This means your first finger will play the notes found on the 5th fret. Your second finger will play notes found on the 6th fret.  Your third finger will handle all of the notes found on the 7th fret.  And finally, your fourth finger will do double duty by playing the notes on 8th and 9th frets.

left hand guitar fingering indicationsFifth Position

5th fret — 1st finger

6th fret — 2nd finger

7th fret — 3rd finger

8th fret — 4th finger

9th fret — 4th finger

If you are not sure about how fret-hand positions work, you should read the following tutorial:


Here is the the tab and standard notation for the “Goodbye Sweetheart Reel”.

PDF DownloadGoodbye Sweetheart Reel Guitar Tab PDF

As always, have fun with this piece!

Recommended Resource

Mega Chops: Scale Mastery Beyond HanonAre you ready for more string skipping challenges?  Then you should check out Mega Chops: Scale Mastery Beyond Hanon.  This complete guitar technique course will quickly take your guitar playing to the next level.  Learn more…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>