#1
How/when do you generally change the chords depending on the melody?
I mean:

If you have a melody line itself, without any chords. On what do you look, when you seek the appropriated chords for it.
Does a melody itself force you a bit to choose the chords....?
or do you seek for way to derive them from the cadence of the phrase?

I sometimes think, that the melody reaches a point of return, too.
Means: ... lets say the fifth could be signal for chord change etc...or any high interval...

What do you think...?


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Because of this problem I play Progression before melody...Would like to do it the other way, too.
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IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#2
Well you know how good melodies emphasise chord tones?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#3
yep. So you would look what the 'heavy' tones are and seek the chord that fits?

....

I mostly struggle with the cases in which for example an 'e' (in aminor) could be over a Eminor, Cmajor or Aminor. How do you know the right one ?
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IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#4
You know which chord is implied by analyzing the notes in the melody. Notes plural not just the single one. In your example you should look at the notes around the E to see what chord fits. At least thats what i remember from music theory =P.

Edit: Like if the notes around the E spell a C triad you know its C and etc
#5
Quote by BlackmetalGitar
yep. So you would look what the 'heavy' tones are and seek the chord that fits?

....

I mostly struggle with the cases in which for example an 'e' (in aminor) could be over a Eminor, Cmajor or Aminor. How do you know the right one ?


Yep it's just trial and error. You can have many variations of chord progressions with the same melody.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
is a solo ending on 'e' over a cadence of eminor 'v' to aminor 'i' a proper ending?....

or would you prefer to end on 'a' in aminor?
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IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#7
a quarter of the leaving cert music course and a load of the college i went to was how to harmonise in different ways. i teach a bit of leaving cert grinds, for the craic i could send you the notes if you want.
#8
Quote by BlackmetalGitar
is a solo ending on 'e' over a cadence of eminor 'v' to aminor 'i' a proper ending?....

or would you prefer to end on 'a' in aminor?


It's up to you. Creativity and stuff.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
a quarter of the leaving cert music course and a load of the college i went to was how to harmonise in different ways. i teach a bit of leaving cert grinds, for the craic i could send you the notes if you want.


What?^^ craic and cert grind???

Yes ok... send me! thank you....


@alan its not that I couldnt write. I ask from a reflecting view. I am a kinda unsure if songs ending on anything but the root of the chord are a proper ended...
Just concering the feeling....
I can tolerant it but what feeling do you have with it: ...
'its fine or there has to be more to come?'
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IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#10
Well, if you look at it, chords harmonize the melody, so you can literally change chords every note. But overall I would think that you have a sense of movement along with the melody, at least I do. I do something very hard to quantify and maybe to others theres not much theory involved, but....

I listen

I listen all the time. If I have a melody, the first thing I do is close my eyes and listen to it till I "HEAR" the other guitar....it's like imagining it fully developed, playing it on stage, 100 people listening, not limited by technique or practice. The guitar player in my head, can play the perfect show. And I can many times visualize this to the point where I almost physically hear it. Because of this I can "familiarize" myself with the end result, and know where the chords were being used, and how to play them, as if I were transcribing off a CD.

How did I get the ability to do that? I don't know.

Best,

Sean

Quote by BlackmetalGitar
How/when do you generally change the chords depending on the melody?
I mean:

If you have a melody line itself, without any chords. On what do you look, when you seek the appropriated chords for it.
Does a melody itself force you a bit to choose the chords....?
or do you seek for way to derive them from the cadence of the phrase?

I sometimes think, that the melody reaches a point of return, too.
Means: ... lets say the fifth could be signal for chord change etc...or any high interval...

What do you think...?


______________
Because of this problem I play Progression before melody...Would like to do it the other way, too.
#11
Excellent question.

As some have mentioned, trial and error is one method to go. Somtimes you can hear when the change should be. Often all you will have to do is play the chord of the same name as the note marking the change.

However, you can probably look directly at the notes, as someone else was saying:

For instance basic triad chords are composed of three notes (e minor = EGB; a minor = ACE, for example).

Thus, if the song were in e minor, the chord structure contain both the chords E minor (i) and A minor (iv).

Applying this idea, if the notes of the melody seemed to center around the notes in the e minor chord, say e f# b g d e, then the E minor chord would be better. On the other hand if the melody went somthing like c a b a f# e a then the A minor would be better.

Now that second example started on c, so a C major chord (CEG, VI of eminor) might work ok. But the passage shares more notes of the aminor chord since there is no G; however, it contains all the notes of the a minor chord. A minor and C major are actually relative keys anyway.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by Riffman15 at Apr 13, 2011,
#12
ok....Yeah. I think I am on the right way.

My Method/Theory so far is:

I use neighbor notes of the root as cadences. the neighbors are mostly part of the 'V' triad.

I do like 'droppin a curtsy' symbolic!
Coming from above to 'a' as root I do a jump to g or g#
and end on 'a' or jump a 'fifth' down or up.
Coming from deep I do a jump to 'b'.
and for penetrating the end into the listener I'd prefer g and h.
its a even more bigger chasm. So I personally felling the final end...of the phrase at least.


Thats give me the best feeling of knowing it has to end.
My Question of the 'e' ending on 'a' is still not answers, but I guess have to do it as with the thinking in modes. I have to do kinda the same thing. So E phrygian:

f or d or h. V supports all of them.

I feel like to end on a fifth is not so good like a starting on a fith of the key.
but never mind.


What the melody before the cadence concerns I watch the heaviest notes.
I should as it worked fine for me start with progression, create a whole progression for the total song and then let its motion come over me...


Does anybody work similar to me?
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IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#13
Listen to and analyse more music, you should be able to hear the sound you want and in turn choose the chord/inversion/decorative dissonance that suits that sound you hear in your head.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Apr 13, 2011,
#14
I don't think anyone works similar to you... you think too much to be totally honest. You have these 'rules' that you follow as described above griff's post... meh, sometimes it can work... most times not. The melody is the theme, the chords could outline the theme or create movement for it to mean more...

My melodies usually come from my progression... whether they are related to the chords or not... the melody is its own voice... I never think "I should start on this and end on this"... Its more like having my first four notes dictate the movement... then shut off and follow the melody.

But you could have your chords creating movement beneath the melody. The only track I had the rare instance (for myself of course) happening, was theme for a weakened soul. I had the singular melody... then i added chord roots to it... then built it up to whatever it sounds like now.

Maybe I helped, maybe I didn't... but good luck to ya anyway
#15
Like evolucian said, you're thinking too strictly. There are 3 chords that will strongly support any note in a key, and they all sound different. The note will be the 5th of one chord, the 3rd of another, and the root of another. Which one should you use? Whichever one sounds good to you. Someone might disagree and think you should use a different one, because they've heard different types of music throughout their lifetime. Heck, you might like one chord one day and a different one the next. Before even reaching that stage, however, you should realize that you can't just create a melody in your head with no concept of the harmony behind it, because the reason the melody sounds good to you is likely because you're imagining (at least subconsciously) a harmony behind it. You can't get a good song simply by writing a melody by itself and then trying to slap any random harmony behind it, and you can't get a good song by simply throwing some cool chords together and throwing any old melody over the top of them. The key to a good song is a combination of chords and melody that builds and releases tension. I've found that the best way to write a song is to pick a key, start on one of its chords (you'll want to determine major or minor tonality, of course), and then start hunting around for a good melody with your voice. When you need to change chords, you know you'll have 3 options to choose from that will fit with the note you're switching on. You might have to use trial and error to find them at first, but eventually you'll learn to hear which chord you want to switch to without having to stop and hunt around before you continue on. Music is a creative process - it isn't about mathematics. Any computer can write a diatonic melody and harmonize it using safe chords, but that's boring. A musician writes music that they haven't heard before. Sure, everything's been done before, but every possible thing hasn't yet been done in every possible combination. See if you can find one that you like.
Last edited by Glen'sHeroicAct at Apr 14, 2011,
#16
Quote by BlackmetalGitar
So E phrygian:


Actually in E phrygian it should be relatively simple to determine which chord to play, as you'd be hard pressed to use more than two chords in the entire "progression".

But I have a feeling that's simply a result of you misunderstanding modes.

Now there's no rule book for how to write music.

Let's say I have a melody which goes A B C B A. It's pretty clear that this song is in A minor. So what chords can I use? Let's just assume for simplicities sake that each note is held for a bar each.

So over the first A note how about I play A minor. For the B note I could play B minor. For the C I could play C major and back again. So my chord progression could be Am Bm C Bm Am. But under the B I could play G, which contains the B. So now I have a progression that goes Am G C G Am. What if I just did one of each B choice? I could have a progression which goes Am G C Bm Am. What if I didn't like the fact that A minor repeats at the end of the progression? I'll chuck in a different chord which contains A from the key of A minor to fill it out. Am G C Bm Dm.

You can see that there are many ways to do this. I could just keep an A minor chord the entire way through the song. I could do a dropping/rising thing going Am - Asus2 - Am - Asus2 - Am. That would be pretty cool.

So just above for a very simple melody I have given the following chord structures that could work;

Am Bm C Bm Am
Am G C G Am
Am G C Bm Am
Am G C Bm Dm
Am - Asus2 - Am - Asus2 - Am

There are a lot more things that could work. It doesn't have to start with Am either, I'm just using it because I'm lazy.

But which is the "right" one? None of them. All of them. They all work from a theory standpoint, it's just up to you which you like the most.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
@Alan Yeah I know that there are many variations as I said,too. My Question was more about the structure that the Melody prefers....

Sure...I can play a chord on every note but thats not elegant. I sought for the Progressions that support the melody as its phrasing recommend. (its not really recommending..never mind)

I dont wanna get too crazy about that topic. just a theoretical Question. I personally prefer the Progression first so I know how it resolves.
Its seldom that I write the melody first. And if; I just do it as I told. THats a phenomenon I saw in my songs I 'analyzed'.

If you test it, you will see it's a kinda determined like the chord cadencies. Unless You wanna solo into nowhere.

Thanks for the Answers I am satiesfied.
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IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#19
Quote by Glen'sHeroicAct
Like evolucian said, you're thinking too strictly. There are 3 chords that will strongly support any note in a key, and they all sound different...



Actually there are 6 basic traids -- 3 major and 3 minor

Given a melody note, say C, there are 6 basic triads with C :

C Major -- C E G
Ab Major - Ab C E
F Major - F A C
C minor - C Eb G
A minor - A C E
F minor - F Ab C

Once you include 4 part harmony, extended, altered dominant, diminished and augmented chords you are way off into deep harmony structures that are almost surely beyond the scope of this post.

At the end of the day if you have a melody and you want to harmonize it you can go by ear or actually write the notes down and work out the key then work a harmonic structure -- it is not at all uncommon for musicians to re-harmonize a familiar tune to get at some rich or more esoteric chord changes -- a great deal of jazz theory deals with re-harmonization (often improvised).
#20
Quote by Zen Skin
Actually there are 6 basic traids -- 3 major and 3 minor

Given a melody note, say C, there are 6 basic triads with C :

C Major -- C E G
Ab Major - Ab C E
F Major - F A C
C minor - C Eb G
A minor - A C E
F minor - F Ab C

Once you include 4 part harmony, extended, altered dominant, diminished and augmented chords you are way off into deep harmony structures that are almost surely beyond the scope of this post.

At the end of the day if you have a melody and you want to harmonize it you can go by ear or actually write the notes down and work out the key then work a harmonic structure -- it is not at all uncommon for musicians to re-harmonize a familiar tune to get at some rich or more esoteric chord changes -- a great deal of jazz theory deals with re-harmonization (often improvised).

I said "in a key" - that would imply that your Ab major, F minor and C minor chords would not apply to the situation I was presenting (although you could utilize all three of them in the key of C to great effect, assuming you knew what you were doing). And yes, we could go on and on with examples of how to harmonize a C note. If you didn't care about staying strictly in key, you could add even more chords to that list of yours, including any possible C chord, F#dim or any altered F# chord with a b5, any altered or diminished A chord with a minor third, and so on and so on, still maintaining the C note as a 1, 3, or 5 of the chord you're using. And of course, you don't even have to make the C a 1, 3 or 5 of a chord, you could just as easily make it the 7 or the 2 or the 6 or what have you, but we're talking about basic song writing here. The guy needs to know how to throw basic melody and harmony together to get a good sounding piece of music, and throwing a bunch of theory at him isn't going to help things - in fact, it's liable to make things a great deal worse. Instead of providing every possible option for harmonizing a chord (99% of which are going to sound like absolute crap to someone who doesn't like jazz, and .5% of which are even going to sound like crap to people who do like jazz), I want the TS to see the basic options that a songwriter has to harmonize a melody in the strongest way possible, while still staying in one key. That being said, there are 3 possible chord choices for each note. Sure, you could use other ones - they might even sound all right in some situations. However, chances are that they'll sound okay at best.