Hi, I'm having trouble picking the appropriate chords when I'm trying to turn a melody into a chord progression.

I'll try to explain that better. I can figure out simple melodies by ear but I want to turn those single notes into chords, how do I do that? Or what part of chord theory should I study?
I usually do it the hard way. I find the melody or moving notes that i want in the chords and then slowly add one note at a time to the progression. Eventually I'll have the chord I want by ear and feel.
Take a look at diatonic harmony. First you need to be able to tell what key something is in. The progression C F G C for example (play it), centers around C since everything resolves there, the notes fit into C major, and the key doesn't change.
Take the strong beats in the melody and build the chord based off of that and what type of chord it would be in the key signature.
Generally your chords will be at a constant rhythm, say every measure, half note, or quarter note if you were in 4/4 since beat one and three have the strong beats in 4/4

Say we're in the key of C again. I have a melody that goes C - A - D - G and it's played as whole notes.
I take a look at the chords in the key of C. We've got, C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, B*, C.
We shall keep our chord choices very simple. The first note is C so I look for the type of chord that is based on a C note in our key. Oh that's a C major. Next I look at the A which is on the next strong beat. Well that's an A minor. D is Dm and G is G major.
I'll post an example.
It has a simple melody where you harmonize every note and one where you only do the first strong beat since the melody is faster.
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Last edited by FacetOfChaos at Sep 11, 2010,
Most melodies fit into a basic I IV V progression. every note of the major scale is from one of the three fundamentally! for I we can substitute III or VI. for IV we can substitute Min IV chord or sharp IV diminished 7th most commonly. for V sub with II. Vii doesnt really count for it is really just an extension of a V7 chord.

when going to IV try I7(dominant), it will take You there, another important progression is the I VI II V7 progression. Good luck!
Well if your melody goes C, F, A, D, E (for example)

you have a crazy amount of chord choices -

Cmaj = C E G
Dmin = D F A
Emin = E G B
Fmaj = F A C
Gmaj = G B D
Amin = A C E
Bdim = B D F

so even that first note can fit over the C, F and Am, the second note can fit over the Dm, Fmaj or Bdim
But its probably easier to get a basic progression happening, I IV V, ii V I etc. and work from there
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