Jingle Bells Jazz Chord Melody

What if I told you that you could play a rich Ted Greene-style jazz arrangement in just seven minutes? Here's the proof that this is possible.

Ultimate Guitar
What if I told you that you could play a rich Ted Greene-style jazz arrangement in just seven minutes? Here's the proof that this is possible. If you have worked on Jazz Chord Melodies you know how complex it is to play them successfully. The standard way of learning a Chord Melody arrangement is to focus on the first three or four bars, master them, and keep adding more bars until you're done.
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In this article we are introducing a more effective approach. I will show you how we can learn incrementally by adding layers of notes, starting from the single line melody, adding voices' until we have 4-part jazz harmony arrangement. You will also notice that each level makes musical sense by itself, so you can stop practicing and perform with a single voice' or two whatever you want to share with your friends and family. This system allows for each player to choose their skill level. Here is a description of the levels. Beginner level: Melody. The first and most important part of a song is the melody. That is your focus when playing any piece. And the positions you learn for the melody will prepare you for the more complex levels.
 Intermediate level: Melody and bass. Here's a two-part harmony section where the notes in the bass start to define the chord progressions in the next two levels. Most of the notes in the bass are the root of the chord, but some very interesting spots use chords in inversion. Advanced level: In this level really create jazz harmony by adding an extra note in an Inner Voice or Counter Melody. This extra voice is either a part of the main triad or a tension note. It's very difficult to play a five-note chord on the guitar, so we need to simplify and pick the notes that define the harmony of the piece, and this level is a good example for that.
 Prodigy level: Full four-voice jazz harmony.
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This re-harmonization of "Jingle Bells" is inspired by the style of jazz master Ted Greene (1946-2005), author of influential harmony books like "Chord Chemistry" and "Modern Chord Progressions".
While preparing for this article I discovered an arrangement that Ted Greene wrote for one of his students, and it inspired me to write this one. Here's the arrangement I found. Hopefully it will inspire you too and we will keep circulating Ted Greene's legacy.
If you would like to learn more about Ted Greene, you can visit www.tedgreene.com.
 Also, stay in touch with us through our blog www.rockprodigy.com/blog.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Private Eye
    As helpful as the lesson is, I'd like it if there was a regular tab we could look at without having to watch the video. I like being able to see all the parts in front of me at once to go over. Other than that though this is pretty cool and a good arrangement. I do agree that the chorus kind of ruins the tone, but that's neither here nor there when it's comes to the lesson.
    Hey! There are two videos, one with the RockProdigy tab of the four levels and another one where we have the explanation of how to do it and why it's done that way. We briefly explain our approach to learning difficult parts because in my particular experience, it was more useful to understand how to learn, that learning particular pieces. I hope you enjoyed it, though. Happy thanksgiving!
    Very nicely done. Thanks for taking the time to arrange the tune and record it. This gives beginners a perspective on creating chord melodies.
    Didn't really care for the tone, next time try use a hollowbody and forget the chorus effect.
    Tone is subjective. Besides, this video wasn't about playing a chord melody of Jingle Bells and having the best tone - it was about teaching you how to play a chord melody. Sometimes, you have to overlook certain things, such as the type of guitar used in an instructional video. Certainly can't please everyone. If he tried to please everyone, imagine how many different times he'd have to record the song, just to make everyone happy. Ain't gonna happen. If YOU like that tone, how about you record the same video using a hollowbody and no chorus effect?
    Comments sections are about sharing our opinions of the content. All opinions are subjective, so to avoid subjectivity is to close down all discussions.
    an effect like chorus could be distracting and detremental in an instructional video theres really no need for it
    Man, we are horrible students if that's all it takes to ****ing distracts us from learning this lesson.
    I agree, he shouldn't even use that much reverb. Very nice lesson though, I'm learning the prodigy level now. Giving me a headache, but it's worth it haha.
    I would have preferred a different song than Jingle Bells. The Christmas Song is brilliant for Jazzy chords, especially when you had multiple guitars and harmonies.
    Why did it take until the "Prodigy Level" over four minutes into the video to actually play Jingle Bells?
    Am I the only one who finds it annoying how this was an ad pretending to be a lesson? I would rather they kept this stuff in the gear review section at least....
    Does it matter? Fact is we got the 'lesson' given to us at no cost and with ease, doesn't matter how it's delivered here.