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chord melody
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draqza



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:47 am    Post subject: chord melody Reply with quote

One of the things I really enjoyed about my classical/fingerstyle studies was that the songs I learned I could just sit down and play by myself, instead of having to record a backing track/set one up on Whole Note or find people to play with. Does anybody have good resources or tips for going about doing chord-melody arrangements from a fake book?
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Arteinvivo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: Fingerstyle arrangements Reply with quote

Hi,

Have you heard about :
http://www.howardmorgen.com/publicat.htm

I have just ordered these items from http://www.sheetmusicplus.com
George Gershwin: The Gershwin Collection For Solo Guitar (WB.0272B)
1 at $24.95

Duke Ellington: Ellington Collection For Solo Guitar - Book/CD (WB.TGF0036CD)
1 at $19.95

Fingerstyle Jazz Images for Christmas (MB.94409BCD)
1 at $17.95

Morgen's approach to the music might best be described as "respectful." Itís hard to improve on the perfection of a Gershwin melody, so the guitarist skillfully frames them to exploit the unique mechanics of the guitar, tailoring his arrangements to enhance crystalline chord voicings and rich bass underpinnings.

Also, check out http://www.robertconti.com. Nice stuff there too.
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alfonso
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go to this site you will scroll past the lesson plans and see the chord melody solo books Steve Crowell sells, there not as difficult as some of the others solo books I've come across, and Steve specifically wrote for people who don't necessarily read music. check em' out...

http://www.chordmelody.com/newpage5.htm Cool Cool
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Arteinvivo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:21 pm    Post subject: Problem to remember Reply with quote

I'd like to post a question regarding Chord Melody arrangements. Are there any tricks to remember them. Over the last two years I have learned around 15 fingerstyle arrangements but as soon as I stop revisiting those tunes I forget some parts of them. I was wondering if any of you could post their tricks to remember such a repertoire. I'd like to add to mine but I am a nervous because I don't want to re-learn those same tunes over and over.

Thanks
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alfonso
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art,
I have the same problem, I learned around 12 chord melody solos and I can remember parts, but I usually have to pull out the books or listen to the music before I can completely play one. Most fingerstyle chord solos aren't that easy to play, I mean you can figure them out if you have the charts or music but, I've played with alot of very qualified guitarist and they can't play that stuff, and say they don't want to but, the truth is it takes alot of hard work and time, at least for me it does. Anyways, I'm wondering what other thoughts are gonna be shared on this subject?? Cool Cool
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draqza



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about chord-melody arrangements in particular... when it comes just to remembering songs in general though I think the way I best remember them is just to run through my repetoire say at least once a week. Also, if you can remember the general way it goes that's good enough... there's a blues song I play that I really don't remember how a chunk of it goes, but something approximating it is in my muscle memory so I just fake my way through that part and then get on with the song.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:03 pm    Post subject: chord melodies Reply with quote

You guys are right. It takes so much time to just learn these tunes, then you put them down for a day or two and they're gone! Unless you have a phenomenal memory, you just about have to learn some form of notation...notes, fretboard symbols or tab being the most common. The way I do it is a combination of the first two. I get a lead sheet on the tune, work out the chord melody, and draw in the fretboard symbol for the chord corresponding to the note on the staff above or below. (I have a rubber stamp for the fretboard symbol.) That seems to take a lot less time than writing out the solo on the staff verbatim. I've never learned to use tab but a lot of players use it with good results.
Good Luck.
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draqza



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was studying with a classical teacher, he told me to memorize songs more or less in reverse. At least, memorize passages in reverse. Say, if a passage in the music/tab repeats, start with the measure containing the repeat. Okay, one measure, easy enough. Then memorize the measure before it, and so on, and so on... the point being, you're playing into "familiar territory," which i guess is more mentally pleasing/tolerable than flying blind into stuff you don't know.

I suppose the other upshot to that is that by the time you've made it back to the beginning of the song (especially if you start on the very last measure and go back, rather than just doing phrases/passages) is that you have the later parts of the song firmly entrenched in your muscle memory so all you have to really worry about is remembering the beginning.
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Christian
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Taylor's words of wisdom are worth hearing. He says start with just bass and melody, and don't worry about chords until later.

Basically, the order of importance of voices

1) Melody
2) Bass
3) two more voices to make chords, if ou have any fingers free.

Working on just bass and melody has helped me along very nicely. I've also had a go at soloing over sustained bass tones (with the occassional approach tone), and that's coming along well too.

Here's the order for assembling an arrangement:

1) Play the melody
2) Work out a sweet bassline.
3) Try to put the two together. You will need to prune the bassline heavily. I notice that when Martin is playing melody, he tends to drop down to playing at the most two bass-notes a bar. Usually the second note is on the 4, and is an approach tone to the root. But don't forget inversions. When there's a break in his melody, he starts walking again. The effect is of two instruments.
4) Add chords if you have free fingers. But make sure the melody isn't clouded.

But bass and melody is all you need to suggest harmony. Take a look at Bach's Bouree in E minor, to see what I mean.

Get really good at playing melodies

Get really good at playing bass lines.

Get really good at playing all positions with a bass note fretted by any of your four fingers (or possibly a thumb) - this is Charlie Hunter's suggestion.

You can let notes ring into each other. Use barre positions and open strings.

Fingerstyle - study some classical guitar.

Pick melody with your fingers (need nails) pick bass with your thumb (no nails for softer, bass like tone.)

I find I favour my ring finger and middle finger for melodies - helps bring it out for some reason.

Enjoy! Don't fret, and try and keep thigs simple if in doubt. And above all, swing like hell!

Hope that's some help. It's what I'm working on....
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Chrsitian
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, I better tell you how to work on some jazz bass lines.

Here a good way

1st beat of the chord - root

beat before the chord, play a semitone below or above the note.

Other beats - play scale or chord tones to taste. Or play nothing.

Where chords hang around, try inversions. Putting the seventh and third into the bass works well.

Above all listen to bass players - I suggest Ron Carter, along with Dave Holland, he's my favourite.

There are lessons on the net to get you started, but I found just pretending to be a bass payer was the most useful thing!
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draqza



Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's interesting... my current teacher had me start to work on the Denzil Best song "Move" to do accompaniment by walking a bassline and adding chord shots whenever i could--my bassline was far more rigid than an actual bassplayer would probably play (everytime through the A section the bassline is the same unless my fingers forget what they're doing) but at least it's a start.
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alfonso
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christian,
Any ideas on the sites that have lessons using this style or approach?? Oh yeah, sounds difficult Cool Cool

Chrsitian wrote:


"There are lessons on the net to get you started, but I found just pretending to be a bass payer was the most useful thing!"
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Chrstian
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Errm - let me see if I can remember.

Try Guitar Player lesson archive - keyword 'walking bass line'

I think wholenote.com has a good lesson in the jazz section.

Scott Ranney's jazz piano site gives some tips - this stuff is instrument independant. Technically, walking bass lines themselves are easier on the guitar then they are on the piano.

Buy Martin Taylor's book!

I don;t think the style is technically difficult. It just needs a mental gearshift. We guitar players are used to playing either melodically or vertically. the idea of polyphony (i.e. more than two distinct voices) is alien to us. But classicql guitarists play repetoire which this quality, and it really is a great strength of the instrument that it can manage two or three voices of counterpoint.

Certainly this style was considered natural for lute players during Elizabethan times. Check out some music of the rennasiance and baroque eras. Other eras are more chordal in style.

Happy hunting!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem to remember Reply with quote

Arteinvivo wrote:
I'd like to post a question regarding Chord Melody arrangements. Are there any tricks to remember them. Over the last two years I have learned around 15 fingerstyle arrangements but as soon as I stop revisiting those tunes I forget some parts of them. I was wondering if any of you could post their tricks to remember such a repertoire. I'd like to add to mine but I am a nervous because I don't want to re-learn those same tunes over and over.

Thanks


Dear Arteinvivo,

I am very slow to memorize things. I believe in tools, that would include an understanding your rudiments of music. While you don't get anything all at once, when you are studying be loose and don't try to memorize "all your playing pieces". As you put rhythms, scales and arpeggios of all types into your regular practice rotation , these "tunes" you have memorized should become easier to play. If you like to play note for note, you will take your pieces out and hone them before a performance, as does everybody else. If you play from memory only, you are leaving out some other important things, like your feel(knowledge), interpretation and the like. While everybody has their opinions, yours is the one that counts. However, listening to your peers and having a good teacher is helpful. As always take these words with a grain of salt, perhaps reworking them into how you would say it. I hope this is helpful.

cc
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Problem to remember Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
If you play from memory only, you are leaving out some other important things, like your feel(knowledge), interpretation and the like.
cc


I don't know if I agree with that... if you play from memory, perhaps you are leaving out the composer/arranger's feel and interpretation, but I feel like playing should be the result of your own feel and interpretation anyway. One person I took lessons from used to tell me once I got down the notes of some of the blues songs I was learning that I should "drunk them up"--maybe play a little loose to get more swagger in the swing feel of it, and pop bass notes every once in a while for accent--not at all what I would get if I was playing it from the music, but a result of playing it from memory.

On the other hand, I guess there's something to be said, especially in classical styles, for the composer's "feel", crescendos and decrescendos and the like, but even then a classical teacher once told me that I could add things like that as my own interpretation.


(sorry, I kinda forget where I was going with this so it just turned into a ramble, hehe)


-draqza ('nother computer, don't feel like logging in on this one)
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