#1
I feel silly asking this, I've played guitar for years, but I've never written or improvised so I don't know how to do this.

Basically, if I have a note, in a melody for example, how do I choose a chord to go with it?

For example the first note of the melody is F#, with which we play an arpegg'd D chord (I found that entirely by accident). I do know that the D chord contains an F# though obviously.

The next chord change will come on a B. How do I choose a chord for that? I know there'll be a fair bit of experimentation going on but where do I start? Thanks for your help in advance.
#3
learn your scales, major , minor, pentatonic, etc then you can match chords made up of notes from your melody. if you can learn your modal scales (or get them from a book) you can then use certain notes to add moods to your playing - happy , sad, scary etc
#5
@ Drummond - Yeah I thought that would be what's involved in the long term, and I am trying to get there.

The problem I'm having at the minute is that UG has a little too much information! There's so many lessons and threads, so it's taking a long time.

I guess what I'm looking for is a formula for deciding the chord.

Eg;

1. The note is a D
2. You can use (a) chord, (b) chord, or (c) chord. Also how you decide this.

After that I'll just do all the chord variations to get the right sound.

Thanks for your replies.
#6
Unless you plan you engineer your music, dont worry about scales, n **** the theory side, just guess n check till something nice comes from it.

Scales are great and all that, but you might find you dont bother trying chords that dont 'fit' when those 'wrong' chords might sound absolutely mad with it.

go by what sounds good to you.

i hope some of that makes sense.
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#7
Quote by Saint Lennon
Unless you plan you engineer your music, dont worry about scales, n **** the theory side, just guess n check till something nice comes from it.

Scales are great and all that, but you might find you dont bother trying chords that dont 'fit' when those 'wrong' chords might sound absolutely mad with it.

go by what sounds good to you.

i hope some of that makes sense.



TS, you starting point is learning the notes on the fretboard then introducing yourself to the major scale, everything else follows on from that.
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#8
^^^

Thanks for the advice.

I know the fretboard, and the major scales pretty well.

SO where do I go from there. Say I have a F#. How would I figure out which chrds go with it?
#9
That depends on so many things it's unreal; what key are you in, what mood do you want, what mood is there already, do you want to change it?

You really need to decide these things on a case-by-case basis, you can look at the note you're changing on and think "yes i have these chords available to me" but until you try them you probably won't know which one is going to give you the result you want.
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#10
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
That depends on so many things it's unreal; what key are you in, what mood do you want, what mood is there already, do you want to change it?

You really need to decide these things on a case-by-case basis, you can look at the note you're changing on and think "yes i have these chords available to me" but until you try them you probably won't know which one is going to give you the result you want.


Well yes I ruddy know that

But how do I figure out which to start trying?
#11
Well generally I think to get to the chords you have as options you'd want chords that contain the note you're changing them on, so say I'm working in E minor and I'm changing the chord to go underneath an A say, then you have the options of (basic triads only to complicate it less): A minor, D Major and F# half-diminished. Like I said, I'm only using basic triads for the example but you get the idea right?
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“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


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