~ chord melody ~

'... creating an arrangement of a melody with supporting chords ~

:)

a hammer on blues in 'E'

 

 

interpretative approach

interpretative approach

interpretative approach

fingerstyle ideas

handy chords

easy start in the blues

voice leading / in the lead ...

an easy start ... hush

block chords / "Kumbaya"
learning new chord shapes
pepper in the changes /
technique
two guitars in the band
have bass and keyboard in band
chord melody voicings

.

In a nutshell. As our title implies, here we combine our melody notes and supportive chords into arrangements for creating and presenting a song. As the guitar is well suited for this, and travels easy too, chord melody guitar players have been doing this for a while now. Meaning? There's just a mile high, career length pile of string coolness for the serious artist to explore, luckily dating near all the way back to our origins.

We've books, scores, charts, collected works, transcritions, why near the whole classical guitar repertoire is chord melody style. And know that there are some schools of thought that place chord melody arrangements for guitar at the apex of the artistry the instrument is capable of. Surely as guitar players we've each seen some chord melody guitar magic along the way, so know what 'truly amazing' is when we see it.

wiki ~ full score / sheet music

We can go all the way back in our guitar histories through to the earlier lute players, with their 'rule of 18' gits for their traveling minstral shows. And if we hadn't had that big blaze in Alexandria in 48 BC, we'd know alot more about the history of this history and so forth. That 'be cool :) Oh well, mysteries are cool too, as are research, discovery and the just plain of figuring things out as they go along for those so inclined.

wiki ~ Library at Alexandria

The process / working from a lead sheet. Making up a chord melody arrangement from a written leadsheet is really just one of our many puzzles we have in music. And since there's like 50 leadsheets included in this book, we'll build up from the paper some of the time. It's the same as by ear but helpful and a bit easier once we know the symbols and can find them on our guitars :)

A lead sheet. A lead sheet is usually the melody of a song written in standard notation and chords designated by the letter of their root pitch. There's really no end to the variations of this, everything from legit publishing to back of the envelope and pencil. Any way we can write an idea down that captures its essence, that will remind us how it goes, counts towards being a sort of leadsheet.

~ super theory game changer ~

'We need an 'E'minor triad with 'G' in the lead ...' Ever here that phrase? With a hip hop groove and some spoken word, the words of the phrase sounds sort of like a possible hook for the 'Fonezomby's band :)

How about the phrases ... 'we need a ...'

a 'C' major chord with a 'B' in the lead.

or a 'Bb' 7 chord with a 'G' in the lead?

So in the last two statements we define the chord we need for solving for a piece of a chord melody puzzle. We include its root pitch, whether its triad is major or minor, its chord type and one color tone for each.

As chord melody creators we're often asking these sorts of questions, its sort of our mantra I'd imagine. And as a mantra thus qualifies as a STGC'er. For when you can ask this question, understanding what you're looking for enables you to find it by your own searching.

So from this point forward that's the goal here. To understand what's needed and where to get the parts to make it up, put it in place. Once here, you're really good to go on your own. For your own search power is energized, forevermore :) In this one question most of the elements of making music and chord melodies are there; root motion, triads, colortones and chord type, all of which will evolve as we evolve.

We get lucky. While it sounds like a lot and it is at first, know that in working out our music this lead sheet way we're bumping into this needing a particular chord with a particular melody note all the time. Luckily, we've movable forms, so even by learning just a few chord melody voicings we sow for a mighty harvest of harmony indeed. Lots of players use capos which can solve huge fingering problems. And after learning and creating a half dozen or so chord melody arrangements, same shapes start to come around, a lot. Usually by then, the next evolution has already begun.

And with today's various notation and playback features, we get a couple of ways of help to solve the puzzle. This is a BIG plus for those of us challenged in the reading of basic notation. That said, writing out a lead sheet is a great way to begin learning to read and write music.

With a leadsheet we get a map of the composer's intent as to how their song goes. As artists we've just to match up the pitches and chord symbols, catch their rhythms and find these buttons on our gits, to bring a melody off the paper and into life. Here's a bit of a clip of a lead sheet from a song from waybac, one we all might know. Click to hear the line, and maybe even begin to learn it here if need be. In 'E' minor. Example 1.

Finding the chord for a melody note. So right out of the gate after the pickup note, our lead sheet tells us we need an 'E' minor chord with a 'G' note on top. OK. 'G' is the minor 3rd of an 'E' minor triad. So all we need to find is a chord shape with a 'G' note in the lead, the top note of the chord voicing. Here's a few 'E' minor chords with a 'G' in the lead. Example 1a.

So a couple of initial chord choices for covering the chord, an 'E minor triad with a 'G' in the lead, choosing which one depending on your own best chops etc., or find or create another. We can follow this basic process for working any song in any lead sheet format. Create us some puzzle pieces to fit together to make the song go. Spelling the chords is a real key in all of this. And knowing the letter name pitches on the neck seals the deal to locate the pieces we create. Everytime :)

This works in any style too, for any lead sheet, but keep an eye on color tones and rhythms, as they play big in making a style styling in that style :) As "Greensleeves" is an old timer now, it's been covered in lots of ways. We choose the songs to play because we dig them. They sound good to us right ? Thus whatever you come up with will be your positive expressions of the melody, which in this case a cool, new and unique take of a now 400 year old melody.

wiki ~ "Greensleeves" song

And deeper so if you learn the words, for they deepen their pitches. Melodies we love that also have words we love, end up being our most heartfelt felt expressions in our music. Just seems natural and right. Any other ancient melodies here? Sure. Comments or questions?

The process / working mostly by ear. When working a mostly diatonic melody by ear, usually we'll hear where a song's chords want to be. For in most cases, there's really only a couple of places where it'll go. Remember that part of the diatonic magic, that sphere of pitch bliss where everything plays nice together, is the relative major / minor pairing for key centers, all the modes and , three chords and the truth for major and three chords and the truth for minor.

With a song in a major key, we can start by playing the One chord, over the whole song while singing the melody notes aloud. In doing this a couple of times we'll begin to hear the Four and Five chords and where they should go. Usually Five goes first in closing out the line and form to begin a gain. Motion to Four is a core of Americana, so very very common. We can just trust the line to tell us what it needs. Exact same One / Four / Five motion mostly for songs in a minor key.

Once these principle chords are settled, there's generally the three diatonic minor triads remaining to consider. Six, as the relative minor is probably most common. Motion from One to Three then Four is also. Two and Four are close associates in this so might swap for one another before Five. Two / Five is leaning jazz. In minor keys, musch the same swapping but giving the minor One / Four / Five chords preference.

When working with diatonic triads in composing, the melody pitches usually determine what triads will work on what pitches. As there are only the three notes to consider, triads are a bit more sensitive than 7th chords and beyond, to non-diatonic, non chord tone pitches.

Then the artistic side of this kicks in. And you'll hear it and know if it works for you. By playing through a melody and fitting in chords, your sense of the art will decide. Is the melody begging for a Three chord before Four? Does the melody indeed go to Six, the relative minor as in say "Amazing Grace?" Building up the different melody notes available diatonically to each chord is sort of the basis of cooking up this tamale. And nothing is set in stone really, and down the road it will probably evolve as our ears evolve :)

And then there's the blues. Chord melody playing in the blues is mostly predetermined by the historical ways the music goes. Just learn the basics of the form and chords and take it all over the world for the same basic approach to playing the blues. It's global now yea. This soliddness helps us pepper in substitute chords in between the pillars. The bass line often setting the dirction for the chord placement in the form. Leaning jazz here, each new chord added becomes an opportunity for exploration for the improviser working through the changes. And there's a lot here to explore.

'And away we go ... ' With the 'by leadsheet / by ear' ways just described, let's build up chord melody of an Americana fave using both. Know mostly by heart for some readers here, so already rote memeorized :) Worked out here in 'G' major ties us up with the five core scale shapes method and evolutions towards our jazz guitar studies.

That 'G' appears to be the key that Mr. Louis Armstrong used back in his 1938 recording adds to our magic here. We'll be finding some of Louis' pitches. The first pass on this is to find the melody pitches, all of which live on the topstring, 'E.' Example 2.

wiki ~ Louis Armstrong

Top string Americana! Find all the pitches? It is tricky at first just working the one string for the melody notes. Just give it a couple of tries. The whole tamale on the one string, nice. Can you stop on any pitch and find the 'G' scale below on the lower strings? ATFAW? Now we need chords for the pitches.

Melody and chords. In our melody we've the notes 'G, B, C and D' starting out with a 'G' major chord then the pitch 'A' and 'B' in measure 7 that calls for a D7. In starting, we're just looking for various 'G' chord voicings that have these tonic triad notes as their top pitch. This first chord shape is fairly common, followed by a few more triads moving up the neck. Example 2a.

Cool? Starting to shape up already :) Recognize some shapes? Just tonic function, One chord voicings built on the root pitch 'G' with different melody notes up top, created from the triad and key center pitches. Now for the D7 ( V7 ) chord. Found two common shapes, one for the 'A' and a different shape for 'B.' Oh, and does the guitar actually sound one octave below where it is written on treble staff? Yes indeed, sounds one octave lower, otherwise huge mess of ledger lines going to the lower pitches.

V 7

Tonic evolutions. An easy way to add some color to any tonic One chord is to use the 6th /13th colortone and even some quartile harmony on the One chords. We can 'blue 7th' the voicing with 'B' in the lead too. Ex. 2b.

Moving to Four. Hearing this last series of chords in a four bar phrase, that last 'G'7 directs our motion to Four and off we go ! Feel the V7 direction of the line? Hear the resolution to 'C' chord ? Cool. This is the basics of tonal gravity and aural predictability, the 'pull' towards our destination, Four, and that we can peer into the future and 'predict' that indeed yes, this is where the music is going, that the arrival there is something impending, ordained to happen.

How we each balance these two ingredients combine for creating our own unique artistic solutions to our chord melody puzzles. And they also can be an easy way to visualize and aurally understand our Americana musics in general.

In octaves. A very common trick in chord melodies and often in jazz guitar, when the melody notes are quarter notes in a moderate tempo, we can double the melody notes in 'octaves.' This strengthens up the lines and can deepen the swing of the thing. And with the physical nature of the instrument, the way its pitches are laid out etc., the 'octavizing' of a note is right under our fingers :) Adding in a second string now, run the melody line again in octaves. Use your thumb to strum, dampening the other pitches between our target notes, or pluck with thumb and index the pitches we want. Example 2b.

First time getting a melody 'in octaves' together? Cool. Another first. Already grooving along with octaves? Cool, then you know their power to get things to swing, swing, swing. And the original octave king? Why, most would say Mr. Wes Montgomery, who showed us the way to a new depth of swing that still holds sway today, now near 50 years further on down the road.

wiki ~ Wes Montgomery

So if need be learn about playing melodies in octaves right here, for as we'll see, the octaves often become an easy solution to the tricky parts of our chord melody puzzles, providing super solid melody notes and variety in the texture of our arrangements. And that a melody in octaves can deepen the swing in just about everything :)

Here's the whole chart. Combining octaves, chords and some single notes, we create an arrangement of this true Americana classic. Example 2c.

Got this up and running? Start slow for sure and work it up to your tempo. A cool thing about well crafted tunes is that they can 'work' at any tempo. That determined by the combined skill level of the players in the band. The Ellington / Strayhorn classic "Satin Doll" fits right into this style of octaves and chords. And for "The Saints?" Still makes for a memorable great break tune ... :)

wiki ~ "Satin Doll" song

Learn the melody. This next chord melody is for "Swing Low Sweet Chariot", a core of our Americana gospel tradition. Six pitches in the line, basic diatonic motion and super clear direction and message make it a keeper. Again, we start off by learning its pitche of the melody. In 'F', classic, earthy gospel key center. Ex 3.

wiki ~ "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"

Phrase the melody. Once the pitches are under your fingers, totally play them from the heart with just one finger, slide etc. Totally milk each pich, even saying the letter name out loud. Maybe sing or hum the pitch too. Finding a melodies pitches on just one string, moving up and down as needed, surely gets all this on the same page; total from the heart every pitch connecting.

Add in chords. In this next idea, we begin to support the melody pitches with chords. The One, For and Five begin this harmonization process. Example 3a.

Fill in the rest. In this next idea, we fully harmonize the melody notes. Example 3b.

Find any new chord shapes? This last two bar bit of Americana is filled up solid with jazz shapes. To get back to a more gospel sound, and give the arrangement back to the back vocalists, just leave out the passing chords, stick to the One / Four / Five chords, and all is well. Maybe save some of the fancy for your solo ... ?

Let's play some blues. In this next idea, we get into 'real time' and use a simple chromatic riff and the One / Four and Five chords in a 12 bar blues form. In G? Yep :) So thinking 'blues in 'G.' Play the riff, then the chord, there's the fast Four in bar 2, otherwise fairly straight ahead chord melody for the blues. Notice we again bring in the 'octaves' into this mix of chord melody elements, which for some players, is super super key, moi aussie :)

This "CMblues#1" chord melody song, played in real time with a metronome, is just a very very common way to strengthen it all up, have a ton of musical fun. Learn it here now if need be, mixing single notes, octaves and chords, and be good to go on down the road empowered forevermore. Example 4.

This mixing of the elements rolls right into playing in a trio format, bass, drums and guitar. Bass and drums motor, bass plays a storyline and outlines the harmony. Guitar plays the leads and chords. 'Power trio' for the rockers; Jimi, Jimmy and Kurt C. and Chili Peppers and on and on for the rockers, power trio for the blues a la SRV, this three piece format covers a lot of ground. Getting comfortably switching up between single line, chords and octave lines and melodies within multiple measure builds a solid technique to bring it. Oh, and you can sing too? Bingo :)

wiki ~ power trio

Let's play some more blues. In this next idea, we again use the rhythm of the song to set up the sounding of the chords. Got your octaves handy? Learn this next line and you'll be on your ways to a bluesier octave galaxy. In this song we end up with a 24 bar blues form. So a doubling up of the traditional 12 bars. Not really sure or why this happend, but it feels right and when written out this way, it plays back fine so we're cool.

So, blues in 'G' again, right around the 3rd, 5th and 7th fret dots. Some would call this melody / chord style to 'pepper in the changes.' Tune on up, tune on in and play right along. Two choruses in the mp3. Example 5.

tune up

Very repetitive? Too much? A brighter tempo brings ideas, such as changing the direction of the 'G' 7 chord pairings. Change the direction of the two main chords. Like this. Example 5a.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

wiki ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Easy huh? Yea just finding new coolness with the same old same old. The only 'as written' 24 bar blues I know of is jazz tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine's essential jazz song "Sugar." Just a true gem of a song.

wiki ~ Stanley Turrentine

Repetitave music. Funk music is designed this way too, nice idea repeated. Some cats just don't dig it for that reason. But it's dance music dude :) Dancers love it. And they love disco too. All about the dancers? In some ways it is for they take us back to the core of it all. And for others players? Repetitive is where it is at; repetition of the idea, a deep deep groove, usually four bars, over and over. So to each our own no doubt but in todays's music, yea, nice ideas repeated, embellished, climaxed and all.

wiki ~ Funk music
wiki ~ Disco music

And yea, change it up. Make it yours. Everyone ever in this biz has done this exact thing to make great art. Termed 'covering', it's often the easiest way up the showbiz ladder. And there's no end to this copying to find a top 10 hit. From exact replica's to total remixes, its art and its yours, rejoice in your creative and share.

"Always think different from the next person. Don't ever do a song as you heard somebody else do it."

wiki ~ Otis Redding

What's in the song

form

melody range etc

chords

. Not totally certain that this is the right name for this next lick but it's the name my band leader used and asked me to play a while back. Regardless, one rather early source of it comes to us today in recording from blues legend Elmore James from his early 50's hit "Dust My Broom", played by him with a slide.

double stop
"Dust My Broom"
slide

What's in the song

form

melody range etc

chords

. Not totally certain that this is the right name for this next lick but it's the name my band leader used and asked me to play a while back. Regardless, one rather early source of it comes to us today in recording from blues legend Elmore James from his early 50's hit "Dust My Broom", played by him with a slide.

double stop
"Dust My Broom"
slide

What's in the song

form

melody range etc

chords

. Not totally certain that this is the right name for this next lick but it's the name my band leader used and asked me to play a while back. Regardless, one rather early source of it comes to us today in recording from blues legend Elmore James from his early 50's hit "Dust My Broom", played by him with a slide.

double stop
"Dust My Broom"
slide

What's in the song

form

melody range etc

chords

. Not totally certain that this is the right name for this next lick but it's the name my band leader used and asked me to play a while back. Regardless, one rather early source of it comes to us today in recording from blues legend Elmore James from his early 50's hit "Dust My Broom", played by him with a slide.

double stop
"Dust My Broom"
slide

What's in the song

form

melody range etc

chords

. Not totally certain that this is the right name for this next lick but it's the name my band leader used and asked me to play a while back. Regardless, one rather early source of it comes to us today in recording from blues legend Elmore James from his early 50's hit "Dust My Broom", played by him with a slide.

double stop
"Dust My Broom"
slide

What's in the song

form

melody range etc

chords

. Not totally certain that this is the right name for this next lick but it's the name my band leader used and asked me to play a while back. Regardless, one rather early source of it comes to us today in recording from blues legend Elmore James from his early 50's hit "Dust My Broom", played by him with a slide.

double stop
"Dust My Broom"
slide

Pedal in the middle as a common tone. A second option is to put the the dominant pitch within a series of chords. probably more theory label correct as a common tone, cats also might want to call this a guide tone line. And while guide tone lines usually are more than just the one pitch, the single dominant pitch of a key works fine in this capacity. Example 2b.

common tone
guide tone lines

 

in the lead
blues rub
he truth
he truth
he truth
chord melody

In a nutshell. The basics of chord melody playing initially revolve around placing the melody note we're working with in the lead voice of our chord voicing, giving it a fair chance to be heard in the mix.

To avoid a choppy, percussive sound, he never strummed the guitar, even when playing chords. Instead he plucked each string with a separate finger. When playing lines, he avoided picking with his right hand, often letting his fretting hand do the work. about guitarist Alan Holdsworth

MUSIC

Allan Holdsworth, Virtuoso Guitarist, Dies at 70
By GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO APRIL 18, 2017

play top note of chord 2 x's then strum chord underneath. The basics of chord melody playing initially revolve around placing the melody note we're working with in the lead voice of our chord voicing, giving it a fair chance to be heard in the mix.

There's just 2 parts to this

play the pitch then a chord

play a chord then a pitch

. The basics of chord melody playing initially revolve around placing the melody note we're working with in the lead voice of our chord voicing, giving it a fair chance to be heard in the mix.

House of the rising sun

Greensleeves

Swing Low

Hush Little baby

: By having examined the origins and organization of our 12 pitch melodic resource, we now have a solid foundation of pitch to advance our studies towards our chords or harmony. In between the evolution of our scales into chords live the arpeggios. And as we'll see in the following discussion, that while the process of evolving scales into their arpeggios is theoretically a rather elementary process, the vast artistic resource we gain is rather quite stunning.

harmony
equal temper
scales
numerical scale degrees
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
two octave C major scale
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
arpeggio degrees
1
.
3
.
5
.
7
.
9
.
11
.
.
.
15
C major arpeggio
C
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E
.
G
.
B
.
D
.
F
.
.
.
C

'A half step above our tonic pitch.'

Chord melody ~ in the lead. This half step above the tonic is often simply referred to by its numerical designation. Generally we'll use the sharp (#) when ascending away from the tonic and the flat (b) designation when descending towards our tonic pitch. I also call this pitch a blue note, but I'm probably the only one that does.

half step
music notation

Voice leading: This half step above the tonic is often simply referred to by its numerical designation. Generally we'll use the sharp (#) when ascending away from the tonic and the flat (b) designation when descending towards our tonic pitch. I also call this pitch a blue note, but I'm probably the only one that does.

half step
music notation

Gospel sounds. This half step above the tonic is often simply referred to by its numerical designation. Generally we'll use the sharp (#) when ascending away from the tonic and the flat (b) designation when descending towards our tonic pitch. I also call this pitch a blue note, but I'm probably the only one that does.

half step
music notation

Common tone. This half step above the tonic is often simply referred to by its numerical designation. Generally we'll use the sharp (#) when ascending away from the tonic and the flat (b) designation when descending towards our tonic pitch. I also call this pitch a blue note, but I'm probably the only one that does.

half step
music notation

In the lead: This half step above the tonic is often simply referred to by its numerical designation. Generally we'll use the sharp (#) when ascending away from the tonic and the flat (b) designation when descending towards our tonic pitch. I also call this pitch a blue note, but I'm probably the only one that does.

half step
music notation

Harmonize a melodic line. Backcycling in 4th's from Four is linked to here.

half step
music notation

In a nutshell. The diminished color just seems to be able to find its way into every knook of the American chromatic. Each of the styles has probably at least one spot where we might hear something of this doubly even or tripley minor stack'o pitches.

Into the wayback to the mid 30's to Charlie Christian and his "Air Mail Special", the bridge of which is but also chromatic ...?

can be something diffcan be lots of unique things to lots of different players. .

the American chromatic
the wayback machine

In today's music, while it's near impossible to hear any difference in pitches or tunings, the duality of our pitches enables the blue melodic magic weave over stable, closely tuned chord pitches. Just how central this relationship might be is more about one's own art directions but surely lives at the stylistic heart of Americana guitar. The bend-able string / pitch ability over precisely tuned chords is the basis of our guitar arts.

blue notes
a wide array of chords

The explosive potenetial of the diminished color. As tempos accelerated in bop andits post incarnates, the diminished colors becomes the great accelerator of American jazz. Thanks to its symmetrically sequenced DNA of minor 3rds, two solid theories emerge.

First, simply that the diminished color can slip between two of any diatonic motions at the drop of a hat. Surely some are more awkward, but jazz cats often dig on the challenge of finding the balance and proper presentation based on style, tempo and feel.

The second theory helps creates the various double Two / Five motions. Based mostly on the b9 in V7b9, the fully diminshed 7th chord in this dominant's V7 trnsion encourages chord motion moved around by the minor third interval. We can find this motion in three very lovely jazz classics.

"Satin Doll." The essential wedding gig lovesong, this Strayhorn / Ellington / Mercer 1953 classic number is really built around the Two / Five motion. There's seven different pairings in the song. Bar's five and six of the eight bar A section have what we're looking for here; a double Two / Five a half step apart. Sort of like this. Example 1.

Two / Five
'A' section
half step motions

Strollin'. The idea of a 'silent architecture of music' refers to the structural nuts and bolts of the pitches we use to create our American musical sounds. Part art, part science and surely part magic of nature, understanding this architectural theory helps us project and filter any idea through a wider range of options. Knowing the basis empowers us to sort things out as each new pitch comes along. The idea is to build an intellectual theory structure within, so as the new ideas come along we have a framework to store, organize and recall our ideas.

"Moment's Notice.". The idea of a 'silent architecture of music' refers to the structural nuts and bolts of the pitches we use to create our American musical sounds. Part art, part science and surely part magic of nature, understanding this architectural theory helps us project and filter any idea through a wider range of options. Knowing the basis empowers us to sort things out as each new pitch comes along. The idea is to build an intellectual theory structure within, so as the new ideas come along we have a framework to store, organize and recall our ideas.

Along the way of this discover process we need to explore some of the history and by necessity, the basics of natural sound, i.e., acoustics, and how we are thought to physically hear sound. This is our first topic of a few where music and math will meet. We combine these to create the precursor for understanding why we tune our instruments of today the way we do and what we gain by tuning the pitches in this manner.

And even though our story includes thousands of years of creative output, creating the rich and varied collection of music we enjoy today, this silent architectural structuring of our pitches has yet to vary very far from its origins. Founded on earthly natural sounds and as we'll soon see, its scientifically measurable acoustical properties, we've simply tweaked our tuning of this core a time or two over the millenia to arrive at today's pitch resource for the modern guitarist.

As guitarists. Turns out all we need to begin this discovery is of course built right into our instruments. We're simply going to use the pitches created by the guitar's natural string harmonics to recreate one way of how our pitches come to us. From the historical view of this, the whole theory tamale revolves around the two pitch octave interval, which lives on today in so many of our cherished American melodies.

string harmonics video

Review. Single note line in time / octaves / build in chords.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

wiki ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Grout, Donald Jay. A History of Western Music, p. 10. W.W.Norton and Company Inc. New York, 1960.

 

Aebersold, James and Slone, Ken. Charlie Parker Omnibook. New York: Atlantic Music Corp., 1978. I know this is a troubling stand to take but I felt I had to and as jazz player, I based it on Charlie Parker's compositions in the Omnibook. Find a copy, count the number of tunes, then compare the number of major key to minor key songs. Any real book of popular American song, by a mix of composers, will follow along similar lines in this regard.regard.

So why a perfect 11th? Simply in that this is the same pitch above our root as the perfect fourth, just now moved up an octave. Again we bump into the idea that with the colortones, the music theory of the natural diatonic 11th is usually more about chords than melody. Thus, having an 11th usually implies that we also have some sort of 9th in our chord. And having a 9th implies we've a 7th in the chord as well. 'The finger bone's connected to the hand bone, the hand bone's connected to the wrist bone' ... all in a perfectly closed loop. Ex. 1.

color tones
chords
melody
loops of pitches
numerical scale degrees
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
two octave C major scale
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
arpeggio degrees
1
.
3
.
5
.
7
.
9
.
11
.
.
.
15
C major arpeggio
C
.
E
.
G
.
B
.
D
.
F
.
.
.
C

'A half step above our tonic pitch.'

Theory names: This half step above the tonic is often simply referred to by its numerical designation. Generally we'll use the sharp (#) when ascending away from the tonic and the flat (b) designation when descending towards our tonic pitch. I also call this pitch a blue note, but I'm probably the only one that does.

half step
music notation

in a nutshell

the process

"Swing Low Sweet Chariot"

"Hush Little Baby"

a blues chromatic to roots

another blues slow

a jazzy blues Wes

a hammer on blues

the process

interpretative approach

fingerstyle ideas

handy chords

easy start in the blues

voice leading / in the lead ...

an easy start ... hush

block chords by chord type
learning new chord shapes
pepper in the changes /
technique
two guitars in the band
having a bass player
have bass and keyboard in band
chord melody voicings
rootsy Americana / "Swing Low"
"Hush Little Baby"
"Swing Low Sweet Chariot"
rootsy Americana / "Swing Low"
rootsy Americana / "Swing Low"