You can learn scales, chords, and picking patterns until your hand explodes. Don’t neglect one of the most important resources in music: your ear.
Everyone is sure to be familiar with a couple of these simple tunes. Pick them out by ear. Its all trial and error. The more solid you foundation in diatonic scales, the easier it will be to figure out which notes could be next. Below is the melody (in tab) and chords in case you would rather work through the tunes a few times first.
Start with a tune like Happy Birthday and keep at it until you can work out a longer, more complex song like the Star-Spangled Banner.Learn these in open position and also up and down the fretboard.
Challenge yourself to play the whole melody on one string. Create your own arrangements by playing the melody and chords at the same time. If thats too easy, try to change it up: play Jingle Bells using jazzier chords or try to create a reggae version of London Bridge. The sky is the limit!!!
(I am also going to add a link to the actual notes as written on a staff, these tunes are great for learning how to sight read)
- Mary Had Little Lamb melody tab/notes & chords in C
- Yankee Doodle melody tab/notes & chords in D
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas melody tab/notes and chords in C