Kirk's Weekly Guitar Lesson - Chord Tone Melody

Kirk Lorange

Hi, fellow guitar enthusiast. See? I told you I'd be back. This week I've got three lessons for you, all relating to the same subject: Chord Tone Melody.

I spent years and years learning and practicing all those scale and modes, memorizing box patterns, juggling Greek names around in my brain. I did that because my main aim as a player was to be able to improvise freely over anything I heard, to be able to come up with good strong melody lines, to be able to harmonize lines instantly. I knew it was possible because I'd seen and heard others doing it, with ease. What I didn't realize for a long time -- too long -- was that answer wasn't in the scales or modes. Way too many notes for melody, far too complicated for harmony.

The answer was in the chords themselves. Once I realized that chords are in fact crystallized scales/modes and that if I concentrated on using the very tones that make up the chords to create my lines, I was off and running. I never looked back! I still know all those scale and modes, but I never think about them anymore. They just happen automatically.

These three lessons demonstrate how easy it is to come up with good, strong lines -- lines that are always right, never sour -- and how easy it is to then add a harmony to them. All you need to know is the chord progression, which is something you need to know anyway.

Chord Tone Melody >> Part 1
Chord Tone Melody >> Part 2
Chord Tone Melody >> Part 3

Have fun with this.

Until next time,
Kirk Lorange

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