hey guys, i've got some questions. right here goes..

me and my friend came up with a melody. it's independent: that means that we just sang it out of nowhere and there isn't any instruments backing it. now how do i add instruments inside? i've tried using the piano/guitar to find chords that will fit it but it'll just turn out weird. are there general rules regarding this? cos i'm sure the accompanying instruments cannot directly fit the melody yeah?
Steve Vai rocks. His pinky is almost of the same length of an average 16 year old's middle finger.

I love Schecter
The basic idea is simple:

You pick chords that contain the most important melody notes.

For example, lets say your song has a melody that goes:


Well, this feels pretty G major to me.

G, B, and D make up a G major chord. So a G major chord will go over that well. C and E are two of the notes of a C major chord, so you could go to a C major there. A ... well, you've got some flexibility there. If it's not an emphasized note in the melody you might just not worry about it, but you could throw in an Am chord on the way back to G to finish things up.

So now you have a chord progression of G/C/G or G/C/Am/G, depending on how you feel about emphasizing that A note or not. It's definitely okay to have the occasional note which is not covered by the chord!

But you also have lots of room to mix things up. For example, B and D are two notes of a Bm chord. So you could try something like G/Bm/C/G. C, E, and A are an Am chord, so you could try G/Bm/Am/G - obviously I'm simplifying rhythmic issues here, you have to find a rhythm pattern than words, but my point is that there is more than one chord progression which is consistent with a given series of pitches. You generally want to be aware of your harmonic rhythm (the frequency of chord changes) and uses changes in that for a reason.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Nov 17, 2011,