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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Introduction to Chord Melody

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Now we're gonna get into one
of my favorite parts of jazz guitar.
The guitar itself is really you can think
of it almost as a little orchestra,
I've heard that reference before I'm
not sure who to credit it with but
it is really, I mean, you have a range
from the low E, below middle C.
Way up high too, I don't know what range
that would be on the violin but it's.
Pretty high, that D up there and
some guitars even have more notes.
So it really is a wide range of notes and
there's also a lot of textures
as we've talked about you know,
single lines, double stops,
triple stops, full you know,
chords, octaves, double octaves,
there's so many different textures and
colors you can get out of it play with
your fingers, play with your pick.
So when you do this section,
which is my favorite, chord solos and
chord melody arrangements.
You really utilizing every
part of the guitar you can and
it's really nice area for me to want
to concentrate on with you guys.
First of all what we're gonna do is we're
gonna combine chords with melody notes.
So a lot of times we're gonna be using the
melody note that is automatically on top
of the chord as it is right there.
And I'll refer you back one more time,
I know I'm like a broken record on this,
to those scales that are built
above each note of the major scale.
So in G,
we can go up the scale.
You can build a seventh
chord above each note.
The one is a major seven two minor seven,
three minor seven, four major seven,
five is a dominant.
Six minor seven.
Seven minor seven flat five.
And one major seven again an octave up.
Well, now we're talking about
the melody notes on top.
This voicing which is one,
seven, three, five, right?
Has the fifth on top of each note, and
it ma- it creates a scale of going from
the fifth to the fifth if
we just go straight up.
I'm leaning into that top
note to hear the melody.
So if I take that and
I move it around to create a melody or
to spell out a melody
that exists in a song.
Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do.
[NOISE] And with the chords underneath it.
Kind of cool.
So you actually automatically with these
positions have access to melody notes
right away.
And one of the chord solos is,
that I'm gonna focus on, Polka Dots and
Moon Beams, I use exactly that technique
to play the first part of the melody we'll
get to that in a minute.
The other voicing.
[SOUND] As a third on top.
[SOUND] Let's do it in the key of C.
[SOUND] Remember, it's one major seven.
This is the one, five, seven,
three I'll remind you of that voicing.
[SOUND] So, the third is the top note,
and we'll go up the scale and
you get these melody notes.
[SOUND] Two minor seven three minor seven.
Four major seven.
Nice pretty note on top of there.
Five dominant seven you
could play it there or here.
Six minor seven has the root note on top.
And seven minor seven flat five.
And then you're back at the beginning.
So again, let me just pick a melody out.
So nice, nice way to play a melody.
The third on top is a really good one,
because there's a lot of melodies
that have the third as the melody.
We played, a play-along track called
if I Were a Villain, and the melody is.
So I wanna spell out that melody.
It's right there in that chord,
and that one that I let,
just played the single note,
I can even add that.
Now, I'll, I'll point out one other
thing if you use these basic chords that
we're talking about here, and just use
some of the techniques of neighbor tones,
and chromatic approach notes, and
things like, you can do some pretty f,
fancy sounding things just
with those simple chords.
That was really only just G major seven,
A minor seven, B minor seven back down.
But I put some chromatic notes in-between.
Just a little of that grease
that I keep talking about.
Now, sometimes you're gonna
move a little bit too fast
to move the whole chord up and down.
So, you can connect chords
with single lines, you know,
it's kind of the opposite of what I was
just saying playing a chord on every note.
In this case for example lets say,
and I might switch in between the one,
five, seven, three chord and
the one, seven, three,
five chord in depending
on what the melody is.
But lets say I wanted to the chord
changes are two, five, one.
Two, five, one,
I might want to have a melody, and
if it's moving along pretty
fast I might want to go.
For example.
Well I don't have to play.
I don't have to play a chord for
every note.
I can go like this,
So what I'm doing is
connecting the notes with a single line.
In this case I went to a.
A minor nine there.
And then a, a D 13 and
then ended up on a G major seven.
There's one that just uses
the straight seventh chords.
Right, I went to D seven.
Two, five, one so that's, that's
an instance where you can take notes,
use them in between as connectors
between two chords and
the overall effect really is
sounding like a chord solo.
It's a cool idea in the same sense,
you can also put some chromatic and
diatonic neighbors.
In some of those same techniques.
And so, some very,
very simple uses of our already
known voicings can be used
to create chord solos.
So right now I'm gonna play,
and you should see
see this written out a song
called Poka-dots Aand moonbeams,
and you're gonna see this
played as a chord solo,
a chord melody, right, and
I'm gonna use a lot of these scale
tone techniques in order
to spell out the melody.
Introduction to Chord Melody Part 2.
This is Polka Dots and
Moonbeams, an old standard.
let me stop right
there, and
talk a little
bit about,
what I was doing?
The first phrase was right up the scale,
that we've been talking
about all this time.
There's one right up, one,
[SOUND] two, [SOUND] three.
One major 7th, [SOUND] two minor 7th,
[SOUND] three minor 7th.
Went right to the 6 chord.
Then, I use the concept of
using single notes to connect.
Then, I went to the two the chord, and
this is something I wanna talk about,
right now.
Sometimes, you can use one
[SOUND] of these chords, and
I talk about this earlier,
leave your pinky available.
To try to play another note on top.
So, I'm using the,
the pinky to grab that 9th.
See that?
This phrase is going to another technique,
we've had before.
Just write the C7 with the third on top.
Then I'm going to a,
a chord that's only the root,
[SOUND] the 7th, [SOUND] and the 3rd.
[SOUND] Remember,
we were talking about triple stops.
[SOUND] I said that, they would come
in handy, in the chord solo section,
and here it is.
So, I just need the [SOUND] 3rd on top,
and I want that little [SOUND] spare,
three note voicing [SOUND] and I'd keep it
that way, for the next note of the melody,
which is
that on an A minor chord.
So, let's go over that, one more time,
I'll do nice, and slow.
The 9th above
the 2 chord
B flat 7 with only three notes.
And the next phrase starts on an A minor.
Just three notes, three beautiful sounds,
very plaintiff, I would say.
So, you can see,
in doing this, this chord solo,
I'm using a lot of the techniques,
that we just spoke about.
I'll do it, one more time.
Grab your guitar,
see if you can play it, along with me.
I'd love to hear your take on it, too.
[SOUND] I'll just do the first phrase.
Pretty cool.
Now, I'm gonna continue the,
the chord solo, from there.
Let me stop
right there, and
talk about that.
I have that pinky available.
I'm playing
the straight D minor 7 there.
And since, I have this available to me.
That's a very common technique in
playing guitar solos.
Taking advantage of an extra finger, to
play another melody note, so, I did that
going up.
Remember I talked about the 9th,
one of my favorite chords.
Minor 9th.
E minor 11.
Remember that one?
We talked about the tensions,
that was one of the voicings,
we talked about.
Straight A7.
And there, I am using the pinky,
as an alternate note to
the top melody note.
A minor 7.
Chromatic approach, from above.
I'm going down
from the 3 minor 7.
Flat 3 minor 7.
Which approaches the 2 chord.
And, the melody goes straight down.
And then, we have a
straight C7.
And then, I'm gonna go to C9,
I have that pinky free.
And, I'm gonna throw
the 13th [SOUND] on top.
And, I'm gonna end
with a chord, F6, 9.
Now I'll just play it without talking and
play it all the way through.
Now, I'll just play without talking.
I'll play it all the way through.
I'll play it nice, and slow, so,
maybe you can play along with me.
let me
out a
I did
That I didn't do, the first two times.
First of all, when I got to this part.
Where I had separated into single notes,
this phrase.
This time, I went.
Remember our 9, 11 chord from before?
I took that chord,
and moved it down chromatically
to the E minor chord,
which I added the 9th to that one.
it's a parallel movement
of the same voicing.
It's a really beautiful technique.
And then,
I went back,
all of this was the same.
And here
I threw in a very juicy chord.
What I did was, I took the C, C7, 13,
I dropped the root, I'm not playing the C.
But I made it a C7, 13 flat 9, so, I took,
instead of
regular 13
a 9,
I moved the 9
to a flat 9.
Very tense, and
a lot of magnetism bringing it to the
Hope you enjoy it, please play along with
it, and, let me hear your take on it.