Melody Deep-Dive: Sweet Caroline

Lesson #530 • Dec 18, 2023

Hey there, friends! Today I have another melody deep-dive for you, where we’ll be looking at Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. I did a sing & strum tutorial for this back in lesson #15 — but today I want to teach you how to play the notes used to sing this song during the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus sections.

As I teach things here, it’s all coming from the A major scale – and I’ll show you how to play things in open position (frets 0-4) as well as in any other major scale position. Whether you’re interested in singing, learning lead guitar, or simply love this classic song – there’s plenty of joy to be found in learning to play this catchy melody. Note, add capo 2nd fret to play along with Neil Diamond’s album version.

  • 0:00 Overview
  • 1:41 Verse
  • 4:35 Pre-Chorus
  • 7:43 Chorus
  • 11:24 Playing the Same Melody Up the Neck!
  • 15:51 Electric Guitar Playthrough
  • 17:09 Final Tips & Advice

Instructional PDF 3 pages

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It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.

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Additional Videos

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Zoomed Playthrough

Here’s the melodic sequences I teach, played in the Key of A major. These are zoomed-in with tabs, shown in open position (frets 0-4) and using the “C” CAGED shape (frets 9-12). These are played over the 5 minute backing track, which is available below.

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Play-Along Practice Track (Key of A Major)

I also recorded this 5 minute backing track for you to play over while practicing any of the melody sequences I show in my main lesson. This will work no matter which scale position you’re using! Chord changes are shown on screen so you always understand what’s currently being played, as well as how long until you switch to the next chord.

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Audio Practice Track

These have the same audio heard in the video practice track above – but for your convenience, I’m making it available as an audio file (mp3) you can either stream on this page or download for offline use.

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If you’re looking for other lessons that do melody deep-dives (such as this one), here’s a few others I’ve done:


And if you need help understanding the major scale, how scale degrees & intervals work, or the CAGED scale shapes – I teach these in the following lessons:

Want to strum & sing Sweet Caroline?

Check out my separate lessons teaching this song, from start to finish! Here’s all my additional notes, which includes a link to the licensed song sheet if you’re interested in grabbing the lyrics and chords in my print-friendly format.

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