Melissa Guitar Lesson – The Allman Brothers Band

In this video guitar lesson we will take a look at The Allman Brothers Band's acoustic classic "Melissa".

The chords for "Melissa" are quite unique, incorporating many drone strings producing an absolutely gorgeous sound.

In this Melissa guitar lesson I will show you how to play all of those chords and progressions step-by-step.

The song start's with a beautiful series of chords incorporating open drone strings throughout. Don't worry about the names of the chords here. Because of the open strings you will run into chords with names like F#min11/E. It is really just about the effect those open strings add. Trust me, when Gregg Allman was writing this legendary song, he wasn't thinking of the chord names. In fact, you should just look at it as some basic chord patterns that are surrounded with open strings to create a fuller sound.

We basically have 3 different sections to focus on here and all them are pretty easy to play. There aren't any large barre chords or complex rhythms to worry about. Because of this, I think "Melissa" would be a great song for the beginner level guitarist to learn. Of course, it would be great for all guitar players since it is such a great song, but it is also attainable for just about every level of player outside of a total beginner.

There is also a nice guitar solo played on electric guitar by Dickey Betts. Now I will tackle that if I get A LOT of requests for it but stayed away from doing it in this initial lesson due to how long the solo is. In fact, there is pretty much a guitar solo from beginning to end in this song. Nothing very difficult to play, just a bunch of notes to memorize within about a 4 minute solo.

But I think the chords alone would be great for any guitar player to learn, I hope you agree. 🙂


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Melissa Guitar Lesson - The Allman Brothers Band


  1. heimer on May 30, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Carl,
    Are you working on anymore Allman Brothers?

    • Carl Brown on June 1, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Not at the moment but maybe soon. Any suggestions?

      • Matt Fjerstad on June 4, 2015 at 4:04 pm

        I would really enjoy one for Jessica

  2. Thomas Washington on March 30, 2016 at 7:12 pm


    Thank you for this. The solo would be a nice addition–and yes, I agree with above, anything more by the Allman Brothers. Always grateful for all.

  3. bob Cornelius on May 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Would love the lead part

  4. Mark France on July 24, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    “Blue Sky” with solo would be awesome

  5. Wesley Pepper on January 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    All your lessons are awesome , and I agree with above, more from them and please do the solo!!!

  6. George Kerr on November 21, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Love all your lessons. Please do the solo or some more complete ABB songs. Statesboro blues for instance.

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