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Mandolin Lessons: Harmonizing the Melody

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[MUSIC]
>> Okay.
We're gonna talk about harmonizing
melodies now.
A simple little tune like Banks of the
Ohio.
We're gonna play some of the notes just
with single
single strokes without tremolo.
And then on key moments in the melody,
we're gonna add double stops and harmonize
those notes.
So I wanted to go through Banks of the
Ohio with you.
And show you exactly where those moments
are.
[MUSIC]
So we're in the key of G.
And [COUGH] you all remember the melody.
[MUSIC]
So what we're gonna do is we're gonna take
all the notes that are held long notes.
[MUSIC]
Those are the ones we're gonna tremolo
we're gonna harmonize.
Those, those held notes.
[MUSIC]
So how do we do that?
[SOUND] The way it works is you first have
to know the chords to the song, of course.
[MUSIC]
It's a G chord.
[MUSIC]
The D chord.
[MUSIC]
Back to the G.
[MUSIC]
To the C chord
[MUSIC]
G, G, G.
[MUSIC]
And
the notes you choose to harmonize with he
melody have to
correspond harmonically with those moments
as whatever chord you're on.
So at the beginning, it's the G chord.
[MUSIC]
The melody is a B note.
[MUSIC]
And we simply add the D note and D,
open D string to that.
[MUSIC]
Thereby filling out enough of
the G chord harmony.
[MUSIC]
You notice if you hold a G chord,
that's part of it.
[MUSIC]
Those two notes.
[MUSIC]
Then when we go up to this A note,
we're at a D chord.
So what I do is I add [NOISE] the high D
to that chord.
[MUSIC]
At the fifth fret.
[MUSIC]
And then when we go to this C note,
I add the F-Sharp, which is part,
it's as if you're thinking about a D7
chord at that moment.
[SOUND] F-Sharp and a C.
[MUSIC]
And you're back to a G
chord when you go back to this B note
[NOISE] with the open D string.
[MUSIC]
When you go up to this D note but
you're still in a G chord.
[MUSIC]
And so I add the high G note to that.
[MUSIC]
Now when you hit the C note.
[SOUND] You wanna add the E note to that
cuz you're at a C chord at that moment.
[MUSIC]
Here we're at a G chord.
So when we hit that B note, [NOISE] we're
gonna let the D note ring with it.
[MUSIC]
We're still on a G chord when
we get down to this G note.
So I add the low B to that.
[MUSIC]
So
let me do it all with these double stops.
And I'll play it once through with me
playing it and I'll play the chords and
you can, you can try these double stops.
Here we go.
Banks of the Ohio.
>> One, two, on one.
[MUSIC]
>> All right.
So the, another trick to think about is
the, the,
the skill it takes to go into a tremolo
and come out of it.
Going from single notes to tremolo notes.
[MUSIC]
Tremolo and then coming out of it.
[MUSIC]
So you have to make a decision if
you're going to stop that note abruptly
and rhythmically.
[MUSIC]
And stop.
[MUSIC]
And stop.
[MUSIC]
In some ways that's the easiest way to
deal with them.
Slightly trickier is to try and, is to try
and
taper down the tremolo at the tail end of
the note as it's being held.
And to get a decrescendo going on.
[MUSIC]
And what I do is, you're tremoloing two
notes but as you decrescendo, I tend to
start featuring just one of the strings,
usually the one closest to my nose, and I
pull the pick away from the other string.
And that's gonna just decrease the sound
because you're playing
one string instead of two strings by the,
by the nature of it.
But you keep them both held and
you let that other one kind of ring out as
as you tremoloing the single note.
So in the case of the opening.
[MUSIC]
I'm at the D
string towards the end of that tremolo.
[MUSIC]
But
I'm letting the B note be held and
continue ringing over.
So good luck with that.
Tremolo double stops on the Old Banks of
the Ohio.
[MUSIC]