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Chord-Melody 101:part 1:Getting A Grip

Robert Strait (6660) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Advanced · Tempo: 60
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

This last variation of the first two bars of the tune doesn't really use any new concepts except for one: interpretation of the melody.

You will recognize all the movement in this example from previous pages. There are a couple of new voicings. This one for Gm9:


You will also notice that I removed the Dmin from measure two, instead opting for this voicing of Gm7, which has it's b7 in the bass:


At the end of measure two, there is still the ii / V7 approach to Fmaj7, but this time I've actually added a melody note: Db. This was done to make one simple point: every melody is open for interpretation (in fact, it's recommended). This may be rhythmic or melodic embellishments to the original melody. When working within the lesson format, I choose to stay very true to the original melody because it's simpler to demonstrate underlying harmonic concepts, but even in just the performance of a piece you should feel free to embellish and interpret the tune. Sometimes just playing the piece rubato (in free time) will accomplish this, allowing yourself to speed up and slow down, at will, without any regard for strict meter. Other times you may choose to embellish the melody with additional notes, or even inject some single-note lines (which will be discussed in part II of this series).

That last melody note that I added functions as the b9 in a C7b9, and it descends chromatically to the first melody note in the next bar (C).

Next, we will mix these variations and concepts to complete our arrangement of the first 8 bars of this tune.
Chord-Melody 101:part 1:Getting A Grip - Page 11