Well, I would like to compose matching chord progressions to the melodies I write. Rock solos usually don't "pay attention" to that and thus kind of create "extended chords". It should sound fine when playing the solo on the higher frets because of the octave difference and less "thick" feel to that register, but playing lower would usually not sound so good and it kind of lacks the harmonious connection between the two.

But here's where I have a problem - The melody is basically the center of the composition, and you don't want to restrict it with predefined boundaries, so I write it first - The intervals would probably not go smoothly over thirds and it might be pretty quick. How can you match chords to that when it might not imply any specific chord for more than one note?

Thanks in advance.
Dunno, I can write a melody over any chord progression, so instead of writing melodies first, I first write basic rhythm. Solo is never limited by the rhythm track.
How could it be not limited if you already have a chord progression (and they usually have a pretty calm pace), and you can, when matching the melody, only play over the triad for each chord in the progression?

A melody by itself might have a very dynamic rhythm and could easily progress between none chord tones.
Nobody has ever said you have to "match" the melody to the chord tones - that's not what following chords is about, all that matters is you consider the effect your melody line will have on the chordal harmony.
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You probably have to if you want to play harmonically.

The effect on the chordal harmony, as you call it, when playing unharmonically can be pretty ugly if not played high in the guitar's register.

But I did go through some classical tabs to look at and checked Bach (as baroque was probably the more restrictive but complicated), and it was composed in this manner: One part was a pretty stable chord progression, that only played each chord (or part of one) once and let it ring. The melody had to match one of its tones when they both were exactly being played, but as the specific chord was simply kept sustaining (legato) the melody played more freely.

It kind of seems to coincide with what I've talked about in another thread of mine about counterpoint, where an interval of two notes playing together should be harmonic, but as a passing tone one melody may play a momentary dissonant interval over the other while the other note is being sustained. The other note being played with legato's strength and presence is getting weaker as it's being sustained, so it doesn't sound as dissonant as them both playing exactly together.

This is not exactly matching, but it should probably work. Just that, beacuse of that reason, replaying the chords in a rhythmic pattern all over (like is done in many instances) would probably then get it more dissonant, so it requires you playing the chords slowling without emphasizing them much in order to keep the dissonant from sounding harsh.
Pick up a book or two on "chord-melody" playing. Usually done in a jazz-standards context, it's building harmonized chords for all (or most) of the melody notes, and usually incorporating an interesting bass line as well.
Naturally, a lot of this is played fingerstyle... Joe Pass, guys like that.
I have a hard time believing that your melody isn't implying a progression.
i don't know why i feel so dry
I think that Jazz would be exactly the opposite as it tends to use extended chords and stuff that would never apply in classical music.

And to Eastwinn: What do you mean? The nature of free melody is pretty common to not imply any single chord for more than a note (as I wrote in my post. try to read it again). It would easily progress to a second or seven which are not harmonious. That basically means that applying a matching chord at any moment to that type of melody could require an illogical speed for a chord progression and would probably also be quite messy to the listener when switching between complete chords so quickly.

I guess that the answer would be what I already wrote in my previous comment - Playing chords in a calm rhythm while matching one of their notes to the melody playing at that specific moment. This way the moment the chord is being heard would be harmonious and won't sound dissonant, while for the time afterward while the chord is being sustained the melody could have more freedom as any dissonance is less pronounced.
Last edited by user1a at Sep 18, 2010,
As far as I know, you'd have to try to make a melody that doesn't imply progression for more than one note. It might be that you're just not seeing the chords that are behind it, or maybe you haven't tried hearing the chords lying behind it. Do you have any examples?

I don't mean to sound patronizing, I promise, I'm just confused by your question.
i don't know why i feel so dry
I think you kind of miss what implying a chord would mean and what implying a progression could mean.

A real chord (a triad) is made of the root, its third and its fifth.

A single note from the melody could basically be used over any chord containing it (that would be of that note itself, a third below it and a fifth below it [or their inverted intervals if looking at it the other way]). Implying a progression would actually not last "for more than one note" or so, a progression doesn't "last" - it simply could happen when you move to a tone which is out of the specific triad. Basically, as I said, moving to a second or a seventh is most definitely a not-harmonious progression (in melody) and could not be part of a single triad.

It has nothing to do with "not seeing" or not "trying to hear" the chords. I know exactly what I'm talking about. It can't be a part of the same chord when such progression in the melody happens, and what I was talking about was "...imply any specific chord" - not progression. That would mean staying on a specific triad, which would mean at least using a harmoinous interval in the melody between at least two notes. As I said, using an interval which is otherwise is pretty common, and melody (especially in so called "solos") can progress very quickly, which would usually make it pretty much impossible or unwanted to actually match a chord for each small bit that may conceive one chord.

And that why the suggestion I already wrote and explained made much more sense. Unless actually playing specifically over a chord progression, this probably won't work much.