View Full Version : Harmonizing a melody or a song

04-12-2003, 11:35 PM
Hey everyone, I'm new here :)

I think I know a lot of theory and I never had a real problem about this kind of knowledge, but some time ago I realized that I have no idea how to accompany a simple song. I don't know how to harmonize without transcribing the chords from the recording or checking on the web, so please help...

I think it can also be a nice topic for an article, if u don't mind :)

04-13-2003, 01:25 AM
If you want to write a progression for a melody, its good to have a good knowledge of theory and a good ear as well. first of all, I look at the main note or notes of each phrase or bar, and try to build on that. If there is one note that seems to be the focus, It's usually going to be the root, third, or fifth of a chord. it's a lot easier if you know what key the song is in. sometimes I try to dress up the chords with 7ths or extentions.

another thing that is interesting is reharminization. basically it's trying different chords under the same melody, but they can make the melody sound very different. I like to use the rule of thumb from that master class article. Tension chords(ii,IV,V,vii) and Resolution Chords (I,iii,vi) are usually interchangable.

04-17-2003, 12:15 AM
If you want to really get into harmonzing and substitutions using voice leading and melody you should check out a book called Mel Bay's Complete Book of Harmony, Theory, and Voicing. It is just a tome of great advice and harmonizing knowledge that covers the meat of almost everything you need to know about harmony on guitar.

Wyll Watts