What you should get from this section:
After completing this section, you should be able to take an existing melody and put chords, and a bass line to it to create a strong structure.
There are several things you can do to help you put a chord progression to an existing melody that will make your life a lot easier. Here are a few of them:
Here is an Example of how I’d put chords to a melody. Let’s start with a melody that everybody knows. Amazing grace:
Well it’s in the Key of C Major for a start (it’s easy as I wrote it down in that key, but I DID work it out...honest)
So the notes in the 2nd bar are C and E. So it’s in C Major, the first accented note is a C, and the notes in the bar are a C, and an E which are the root and third of the C Major chord. Do you think a C chord might work here? Let’s try it…Ok, that works!
Next bar. The notes are an E and a D. The E lasts for the majority of the bar however, so let’s concentrate on that note. We’ll try an Em as it’s the obvious choice, but if you play it, it doesn’t sound very good so let’s discard that chord. Am also has an E in it, so let’s try that chord. Ahhhhh much nicer, so we’ll stick with that!
The next bar contains a C and an A so Am could work again here, but I have a hunch that we should go back to C. Ok that works well.
Where did my hunch come from? I thought it was an appropriate place to change the chord, and we’d just been on Am so I assumed that C would work, and as the main note in the bar is a C it stood to reason that it would fit.
Next bar only contains the note G. As the chord G is in our key, and it seems obvious, let’s try it. . . Bingo! It works.
The next bar is the same as the 2 nd bar so I think it’s safe to try a C there.. Yep, it fits.
Next bar again, same as the third so we’ll stick an Am in there and it works a treat.
The next TWO bars seem to stay on G, so let’s try a G chord holding it for two bars. Do you think that worked? Yes it did, so it seems we have a chord progression here that’s working. If we play the second half of the song using exactly the same chords, it works fine.
The only difference is the last two bars where we need to finish up with two bars of C Major, instead of two bars of G Major.
So this is what it looks like with the chords added:
So what guidelines did this melody follow??
So what did you learn in this section?
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