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Tip of the Day: Add Melody notes to your Chords

Sometimes melody notes do not completely fit their underlying chords - which can sound very interesting or just amateur and bad.

A perfect example for that can be, that you are in A minor (natural) and your melody plays a G. If your bass note is A and your chords play the standard A minor chord triad A-C-E, this G can feel out of place (poor thing). You can easily make that G more welcome, by adding it to the chord already. So instead of playing A-C-E over your bass A, play G-C-E. This will create an Am7 chord and sucks in that G in the melody.

This works with sooo many different chords and notes of course, but you get the concept of adding melody notes to your chord material.

Tip 1: repeating figures

By adding your melody note to a chord, you can swirl around different notes with the same musical figure and create the juice for catchiness: repetition!

Tip 2: go easy on the semi tones

While whole tones work most of the time for this trick, do not trust too much in the semitones, because they tend to create disharmony in your chords. There are beautiful chords like the Major7, that integrate a semitone, but if you want to please your audience, listen to it first, before you send it to your buddy.

Tip 3: leave notes out

When you add a note to your chord, you might want to get rid of another one, to not clutter your chord too much.

In our example above we left out the A as a root note.

If you add a D to a C Major making it a Cadd2 or Cadd9, which creates an open feeling, it is better to leave out the 3rd, which gives a chord it´s very own character and push your listener into the void.


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