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  • Learning chord melody - a method

     
     

    This is a brief and spare method for learning chord melody for playing songs.

    I am not going over learning chords, reading music, jazz style, etc. 

    Get some easy sheet music.  A book of popular songs for clarinet is good.  Easy pop tunes that have familiar melodies.  Forget playing chord melody with AC/DC or Metallica. 

    Pick a tune you know the melody to!

    Note the key signature of the tune.  Mentally review the chords in that particular key.  Look for key signature changes in the song.

    Take the first note in the song and arrange it as the top note in a chord from the key of the song.  The note should be on the highest string (the B or high E string on the guitar) and should ring last to emphasize the melody.

    Go through the song and do this for each note.  Use chords you know.  If you can't think of a chord then learn more chords.  Drop 2 chords are handy for chord melody but you can use any chord shapes that harmonize.  Use 7th chords or chord extensions if you like. Use chord substitutions if you like.

    This is a very slow process at first depending on your chord vocabulary and sightreading ability.  Learn the notes on the treble clef.  Generally it is a good idea to put a chord under at least the first note in a bar.  Do whatever you like however. 

    It will take some time to develop proficiency.  Much time.

    Your sightreading will improve.  Eventually you will be able to create a chord melody practically on the fly.  You will learn to improvise with chords.  You can solo with chords.

    Much time is required.  Enjoy the journey.

     

     

     

     

     

     
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  • #2

    Great lesson. Short, to the point.
    Many an internet instructor could learn a thing or two from your style!

    Cheers.

    Blog: sixstringobsession
    Subscribe to my YouTube channel

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  • #3

    Virgman wrote:
     
     

    This is a brief and spare method for learning chord melody for playing songs.

    I am not going over learning chords, reading music, jazz style, etc. 

    Get some easy sheet music.  A book of popular songs for clarinet is good.  Easy pop tunes that have familiar melodies.  Forget playing chord melody with AC/DC or Metallica. 

    Pick a tune you know the melody to!

    Note the key signature of the tune.  Mentally review the chords in that particular key.  Look for key signature changes in the song.

    Take the first note in the song and arrange it as the top note in a chord from the key of the song.  The note should be on the highest string (the B or high E string on the guitar) and should ring last to emphasize the melody.

    Go through the song and do this for each note.  Use chords you know.  If you can't think of a chord then learn more chords.  Drop 2 chords are handy for chord melody but you can use any chord shapes that harmonize.  Use 7th chords or chord extensions if you like. Use chord substitutions if you like.

    This is a very slow process at first depending on your chord vocabulary and sightreading ability.  Learn the notes on the treble clef.  Generally it is a good idea to put a chord under at least the first note in a bar.  Do whatever you like however. 

    It will take some time to develop proficiency.  Much time.

    Your sightreading will improve.  Eventually you will be able to create a chord melody practically on the fly.  You will learn to improvise with chords.  You can solo with chords.

    Much time is required.  Enjoy the journey.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hey Verman,

    I play quite a bit of chord melody in the jazz genre and it's fun and challenging at the same time.  Just wanted to list my three stages of learning chord melody.  I'm able to find the chords by ear so I'll skip the technical info.  Anyway:

    1)  I use a guitar trainer and learn the song in phrases.  I work the 1st phrase (intro) until it's under my fingers.  I proceed with this method (sometimes terribly slow) until I've learned the song or portion of it I want.

    2)  I bring in the metronome in and gradually work up to speed, or what I deem to be the speed for me.  This is sometimes faster or sometimes slower than the song I'm copying.

    3) Finally, and most important to me, I work on the groove or spirit I want the song to own.  This could be a copy of the song I'm learning or the spirit (groove) I'm choosing for it.

    That's it.  No profound knowledge here but maybe it might help someone.

    Take Care

     

     

    Don't buy a gemstone guitar pick. They're like your favorite snack; you can't stop with just one.

    Comment


    • Yer Dad
      Yer Dad commented
      Editing a comment

      You called Virgman "Verman", which sounds like *vermin*. Ha!

      The only problem with your method is that it tells us nothing about actually learning a chord melody. I think the only way to add to what VIRGMAN wrote, would be to elaborate specifically on what he described.

      My comment would be that one might need to learn inversions of chords in order to get the melody on top, as the melody note won't always easily sit on top of your basic open chords and barre chords.


  • #4

    ratrock

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