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Thread: help me

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    help me

    Dear friend,

    Kindly help me by giving me a guidelines how to harmonise a song.

    For example if a chords sequence are:

    cmai7/Em7/G11....

    Does the theory of guidetones applies here?

    Kindly help me.
    nick

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    I've not run into the theory of guidetone lines before, however ole Google took me here and it seems these guys know all about it.

    http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?t=29144

    If you are just asking how to harmonize a song the old basic way --
    http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/...ad.php?t=15384

    Malcolm
    Last edited by Malcolm; 06-13-2009 at 09:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikki23
    Dear friend,

    Kindly help me by giving me a guidelines how to harmonise a song.

    For example if a chords sequence are:

    cmai7/Em7/G11....

    Does the theory of guidetones applies here?

    Kindly help me.
    nick
    Guide tones are 3rds and 7ths, and apply in functional sequences, which means essentialy cycles of 5ths (root movement downward in 5ths, or upward in 4ths).

    Here's an example - the guide tones are on the top 2 strings: look at how they descend gradually, with a sense of "leading" downwards to the next chord:
    Code:
    E7  Em7  A7  Am7  D7  G7  Cmaj7
    -4---3----3---3---2---1-----0-----------
    -3---3----2---1---1---0-----0----------
    -4---4----2---2---2---0-----0----------
    -2---2----2---2---0---0-----2----------
    ----------------------------3-----
    ---------------------------------
    E-A-D-G-C is a cycle of 5ths sequence.
    Chords can retain the same root and change from dom7 to m7, or from maj7 to dom7: in those cases, the 3rd or 7th will fall by a half-step.
    When the root changes, the 3rd of the chord goes to the 7th of the next and vice versa; sometimes the note stays the same, sometimes it descends by a half-step.

    In your case, your chords are not in a cycle of 5ths. The chords have a lot of shared tones, because the roots are a 3rd apart.
    Cmaj7 = C E G B
    Em7 = E G B D
    G11 = G (B) D F C (B should probably be omitted, making G7sus4)

    You can still have "voice-leading" in such a sequence, which means the way a note in one chord leads by a half-step or whole step up or down to a note in the next chord. So the C of Cmaj7 can fall to B on Em7, or the E can fall to D. From Em7 to G11, a rise is more likely (E to F, or B to C).

    I'm also not sure about your question. "Harmonising" a song means adding chords to a melody. You need to post your melody if you want help harmonising. (Guide tone ideas may help then, or they may not.)
    If you are starting with just a chord sequence (which you seem to be), then your options are totally open. Guide tone theory will apply if you choose a cycle-of-5ths sequence. In key of C this could include any chunk of this sequence:
    Cmaj7-Fmaj7-Bm7b5-Em7-Am7-Dm7-G7-Cmaj7...etc
    This is an extremely familiar sounding sequence, used (in part or in full) by many songs, so don't use it unless you really want that classic middle-of-the-road, jazz-standard sound.
    But guide tone theory does allow for chord substitution which can make the changes more interesting. Eg:
    Cmaj7-Fmaj7-Fm7-Bb7-Am7-Dm7-G7-Cmaj7...etc
    3rds and 7ths still link up in a moving descent (shown on top 2 strings again):
    Code:
    Cmaj7 Fmaj7 Fm7 Bb7 Am7 Dm7 etc
    -7------5----4---4---3---1-
    -5------5----4---3---1---1-
    -5------5----5---3---2---2-
    -5------3----3---3---2---0-
    ---------------------------
    --------------------------
    Even so, this is not a "song" until you have a melody, and a melody may (in fact, should) dictate your chord choices. What matters is that the melody works - it sounds good enough to sing; the chords then support it, they don't lead the composition. (A chord sequence can inspire a melody, but the melody should take over and lead.)
    Last edited by JonR; 06-16-2009 at 10:06 AM.

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