Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #19279  by b weird
 Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:43 pm
DudeWithTheFan wrote:from Melody Line for Part 1 in WPS: I can't sing, and i wish to create a chord melody for Part 1 of WRS. If anyone knows it, can you please post the melody line, in tab/notation/anything? Thanks!
My question is is what is a chord melody, could you give an example, and how would you figure one out? Thank You.

 #19285  by shakedown_04092
 Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:02 pm
Hum the song. That = the melody. Chord melody would be playing chords to that melody. So it's sort of playing the chords, but with added texture by adding a few more nuances here and there.

That video posted under that topic of the dude playing WRS is a great example.

I think.

 #23956  by IamDocWatson
 Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:07 pm
wow its kinda tough to explain quickly and easily, mostly because im not well learned or very good at playing the chord melody guitar style but here is what i was taught by an advanced chord melody player who blows me out of the water when we play together...he basically does so well by himself a 2nd guitar has trouble finding holes to play in but anyway heres what he told me for beginners advice...

u take the chord progression of the song for your structure then learn the melody of the tune/lyrics...

you continuously are playing the melody while inverting your chord voicings around having the melody as a constant root note around your chords

but at the same time u can do chord subs building harmony off of your melody notes sometimes straying from the actual chord in the progression

 #23961  by Billbbill
 Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:51 am
This is an example from cosmic charlie that I posted a while back.

A chord melody is melodic flow through chords. Just as you'd play a single note melody you can take that same melody and add notes to each melody note to form a chord and thus instead of a single note representing a point in a melody line, a chord will represent that point. More than 2 or 3 notes per chord may serve to blur the melody, or maybe not, depending on the melody.

 #23970  by wisedyes
 Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:01 am
This is a very exhaustive subject. For an excellent quick primer, go to the Blues You Can Use website ( ) and go to the lessons area.

Some suggestions to learning this approach would be - 1. Don't worry that you need to harmonize evry single melody note - this is often to "bulky sounding". Sometimes just playing one chord harmonization for each chord change is fine.

2. Start off by learning simple songs that you are already familiar with. I frequently use Christmas carols with my students, especially at this time of year. You already know how the melody sounds, can hum it, and the harmonizations tend to be simple.

3. Learn a few good voicings for all types of chords on every string set. You will want the melody note to ALWAYS be the highest note in the chord, so you especially need lots of voicings for the highest four strings. Learn Major, minor, and dominant voicings for 7ths, Major 7ths, 9ths, 13ths, 6ths, #/b5's, diminished, etc. Also, learn what are called "shell voicings" for Major, minor, and dominant 7th chords with 6th and 5th string roots, and where their extensions would be. You will get tons of mileage out of these chord forms.

4. When you are ready to move on to more challenging songs, learn them in this order, seriously!
a. melody as single notes in at LEAST two positions on the highest two ( or three if necessary ) strings.
b. chord progression using at LEAST two different sets of voicings.
c. THEN work out a chord melody arrangment.

Keep in mind that you will, as a rule of thumb, have to play songs one octave higher than they are written/ notated in.

Hope you find all this helpful. Good luck!

 #23993  by HawaiianDedhed
 Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:05 pm
check out the intro to Ripple.

 #24008  by d-v-s
 Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:09 am
Billbbill wrote:This is an example from cosmic charlie that I posted a while back.
Bill, thanks for linking this. I missed that post the first time around. good stuff there.

Cheers. :smile: