This song seems like it should be easy since it's so familiar, but it's pretty "chordy" (has lots of quick chord changes).  Even so, watch how closely the melody aligns with each chord as it's being played.  If you give this lots of practice, you'll be amazed at the muscle memory you're developing, and much better you'll get at figuring out melodies on the fly- your fingers will start "magically" finding the notes!  :-)

Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A Major (A)IA, C#, E
D Major (D)IVD, F#, A
E Major (E)VE, G#, B

Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#

This part can get be quite confusing, but give it a shot!  In Major keys, the "I" chords are made out of the 1, 3, and 5 scale degrees.  "IV" chords are made of the 4, 6, and 1 scale degrees.  "V" chords are made of the 5, 7, and 2 scale degrees.  Now look at the melody notes (scale degrees) over each chord in the E-Book & see how closely they align.

Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A Major (A)IA, C#, E
D Major (D)IVD, F#, A
E Major (E)VE, G#, B

Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#

Notice how all 5 melody notes used in this song are underlined- that means that they are notes from the Major pentatonic scale.  Major pentatonic notes are like Golden Retriever dogs- super friendly & they don't offend a lot of people, so they're great scales to know!  Practice this melody in different keys to practice your Major pentatonic scales!

Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A Major (A)IA, C#, E
D Major (D)IVD, F#, A
E Major (E)VE, G#, B

Notice how London Bridge starts on the fifth scale degree.  The song "The Old Gray Mare" starts on a 5 note as well, but it is in the octave below the root, while London Bridge starts on the 5 note that is higher pitched than the root, but in the root's same octave.

Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A Major (A)IA, C#, E
E Major (E)VE, G#, B
E7 V7E, G#, B, D

On the Picking Melodies E-Book, any time you see "8vb" below a scale degree, it means you're using a note an octave below the root.  

Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A Major (A)IA, C#, E
E Major (E)VE, G#, B
E7V7E, G#, B, D

This is the only song in this E-Book that is in 3/4 time!  That means that it's a waltz rhythm- 1..2..3..1..2..3, etc.

The bold, black notes and numbers in the diagrams below show which Major scale notes and scale degrees (do, re, mi...) make up each melody. 

Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#



When you're working on learning to pick melodies, this is one of the most important songs to learn!  Hold the "I" (A Major) chord shape, and then see where the melody uses notes that make up the chord (notes you're already h0lding, and where it uses notes outside of the chord. Learn to play this melody over all of the Major chords you play the most!

Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A MajorIA, C#, E
E MajorVE, G#, B

  • Twinkle Basic Melody in A0:30
  • Twinkle Chords in A 29bpm4:19
  • Twinkle Chords in A 44bpm2:51
  • Twinkle Chords in A 58bpm2:09
  • Twinkle Chords in A 72bpm1:44
  • Twinkle Chords in A 86bpm1:26
  • Twinkle Chords in A 101bpm1:14

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (in A Major)

Picking Melodies E-Book (page 11)


Oh! Susanna (in A Major)
Picking Melodies E-Book (page 10)


  • Camptown Basic Melody in A0:39
  • Camptown Chords in A 46bpm5:27
  • Camptown Chords in A 60bpm3:36
  • Camptown Chords in A 84bpm2:43
  • Camptown Chords in A 91bpm2:11
  • Camptown Chords in A 108bpm1:49
  • Camptown Chords in A 127bpm1:33

London Bridge (in A Major)
Picking Melodies E-Book (page 8)


  • Darling Basic Melody in A0:21
  • Darling Chords in A 75bpm3:29
  • Darling Chords in A 90bpm2:38
  • Darling Chords in A 105bpm2:06
  • Darling Chords in A 126bpm1:45
  • Darling Chords in A 147bpm1:30
  • Darling Chords in A 168bpm1:19

  • Mary Basic Melody in A0:24
  • Mary Chords in A 30bpm5:25
  • Mary Chords in A 48bpm3:25
  • Mary Chords in A 60bpm2:44
  • Mary Chords in A 75bpm2:12
  • Mary Chords in A 90bpm1:49
  • Mary Chords in A 105bpm1:34

Melody & Backing Tracks in A Major: be sure to download Picking Melodies Vol. 1!

Mary Had a Little Lamb (in A Major)
Picking Melodies E-Book (page 5)​


All of these melodies are made from notes from this scale:
A Major: ABC#, D, EG#, G#  (all the notes in white boxes)
(Underlined notes are from the A Major pentatonic scale)

  • Frere Basic Melody in A0:31
  • Frere Chords in A 26bpm5:24
  • Frere Chords in A 46bpm3:37
  • Frere Chords in A 60bpm2:44
  • Frere Chords in A 84bpm2:11
  • Frere Chords in A 91bpm1:49
  • Frere Chords in A 108bpm1:33
Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A Major (A)IA, C#, E
E Major (E)VE, G#, B









Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#

 Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#


Use the bold notes above for the melody.  Focus on how closely the melody notes relate to the notes of each chord as it's being played.






As you're playing the melody, try to hold your hand in the shape of each chord that's currently being played.  You'll use the same moves you make to grab melody notes outside the chord in countless other tunes!

Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#


The box below shows which chords are played in each song, the Roman numeral of each chord in this key, and the notes that build each chord.


Chord NameRoman Num.Chord Notes
A Major (A)IA, C#, E
E Major (E)VE, G#, B


Learning which chords make up keys, the Roman numerals of the chords, & the notes that make each chord will change the way you play!

  • Susanna Basic Melody in A0:37
  • Susanna Chords in A 28bpm4:40
  • Susanna Chords in A 43bpm3:05
  • Susanna Chords in A 57bpm2:20
  • Susanna Chords in A 71bpm1:52
  • Susanna Chords in A 85bpm1:33
  • Susanna Chords in A 100bpm1:19

Camptown Races (in A Major)
Picking Melodies E-Book (page 9)


  • London Basic Melody in A0:26
  • London Chords in A 30bpm5:31
  • London Chords in A 48bpm3:38
  • London Chords in A 60bpm2:45
  • London Chords in A 75bpm2:12
  • London Chords in A 90bpm1:50
  • London Chords in A 105bpm1:34

Oh My Darling Clementine (in A Major)
Picking Melodies E-Book (page 7)

  • Old Gray Basic Melody in A0:28
  • Old Gray Chords in A 29bpm5:11
  • Old Gray Chords in A 44bpm3:25
  • Old Gray Chords in A 58bpm2:35
  • Old Gray Chords in A 72bpm2:04
  • Old Gray Chords in A 86bpm1:43
  • Old Gray Chords in A 101bpm1:28

The Old Gray Mare (in A Major)
Picking Melodies E-Book (page 6)


Frere Jacques (in A Major)
Picking Melodies E-Book (page 4)​

     See these notes on your instrument:

  • Use page 13 of any Complete Edition
  • Use pages 7-10 of any Essential Edition
Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#
Scale degree1
2
34
5
6
7
A Major scaleA
B
C#D
E
F#
G#