Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #95860  by PRAYER
 Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:00 pm
is is a major goal of melodic lines, to move congruently to chord changes?

or does it depend on the shape of the phrasing?

both/vice versa???
 #95861  by Octal
 Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:30 pm
The major goal of a melody is to be remembered, and to be expressive of some feeling.
The minor goal of a melody is a flatted third (it was funny, stop lacking a sense of humor and admit it).

One of the major goals of a solo is to seamlessly play through the chord changes, i.e. CAGED. However, this won't necessarily produce a lasting effect. A sense of direction, memorable motifs, etc. are important for developing a good melody.

I was watching a video today where the guy was talking about composing for classical guitar. He mentioned to write the melody first and then establish the chords behind it. Thus it would be derived from a scale, not a chord progression. Modal jazz where they stay on one chord for a long period of time is a good example for this: it make melodic improvisation easier. However, after the chord progression has been decided upon, you have to follow the chords--to a degree. It is not necessary to only arpeggiate the chords only higher up the neck, nor to play off of the chord shapes (although mastery of these things should come before melodic improvisation), but you also shouldn't just "play notes from a scale." The notes have to follow in some way with the chords (i.e. emphasize the 1, 3, 5, and all that kind of stuff).

Melodic improvisation started to click a little while ago for me. I had been practicing singing intervals while ear-training, and then while I was playing a solo, I began to hear the rest of the phrase before I decided what I was about to play. Trippy, man.

They say it is easier to sing a good melody than to play one (assuming one has the vocal ability to stay reasonably within a scale). Most people to sing a sound they hear in their head better than they can translate the sound into their instrument.

Question to some of the more experienced musicians: Does any of this seem right?
 #95864  by mijknahs
 Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:34 pm
It depends.

Both/vice versa.

Sometime it depends on the song.
 #95883  by JonnyBoy
 Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:28 pm
I think something being "Melodic",or notes that resonate together naturally and then "Congruent" or agreeable, would explain a lot of Rock, blues, country and Pop music we listen to. Jazz on the other hand, and other types of hypnotic musical patterns Can possibly not be congruent with a base melody or base chordal structure. So it can be both depending on the Genre you speak of. I think Jazz is not always like this, but it can be due to its loose structure. You could argue that diminished scales and chords are not quite congruent, but then again they are since they are explained to be grouped as such.

It can be vise/versa, but for the most part congruently attaching notes to perform a melody is common for our ears and minds to enjoy the layering sounds, even stimulate emotion. Non congruent musical patterns and notes can sound confusing and fragmented, maybe even painful. Almost like a 3 year old playing a guitar or piano. Then there is the power of being a known master of music and playing fragmented with this aura of stage authority. That "perception" of the guy meant to play it that way may can actually make it legitimate music. So Perception is actually tied up in all this, IMO. I guess someone waked and baked today.... :D