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Thread: Chord melody arrangement, when the melody does not belong?

  1. #1
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    Default Chord melody arrangement, when the melody does not belong?

    Hi,

    I have run into a small issue making a chord/melody arrangement.

    My simple chord-melody arragements usually just consists of playing the chord on 1 or 1 and 3, with emphasis on the melody note, and then picking single notes for the melody on other measures in between.

    When the melody on the in-between notes does not belong to the chord, no problem.
    When the melody on the chord-measures does not belong to the chord, it annoys me. If it only happens a few places, I just mess up the chord adding the melody-note.

    Now I have run into a song that is really annoying!

    I was looking at the beginning of "What the World needs now is Love" by Burt Bacharach, and it seemed so easy to play to begin with.
    Then, when it comes to the part: "Lord, we don't need another mountain" etc., the melody tends to be on the 2nd compared to the chord all the time for that part of the song. And the chords allready have 7ths in them, so I am out of strings.

    Examples:
    Em7 with a F# note.
    Dm9 with an E note (Guess it is the 9th, so not that bad)
    G9/6 with an A note (Guess it is the 9th, so not that bad)
    Cmaj7 with a D note
    C6 with a D note
    Dm7 with an E note

    Is there a clever trick to substitute the chords for something that will give a similar sound as intended?
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  2. #2
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    All your examples are the 9th. You can drop the 5th or any other note to see what it sounds like. Probably don't want to drop the 3rd
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  3. #3
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    It is called chord melody, but the error is to think that every melody note needs a chord under it. There is no definitive guide to playing or creating chord melody...it is a (usually) simplified method of placing the melody on the highest possible string and supporting the melody with a chord, if possible. You also have to factor the almost human-like range of GCEA tuning. Think about it: the alto voice can regularly sing down to the G below middle c (think linear tuning) and sopranos can sing at least to the A above the treble clef staff (12th fret on the A string—which is the limit of many soprano instruments). You’re dealing with a soprano quartet when writing chord melody.

    In a less reflective answer: feel free to use a single note if you end up on the C string.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

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  4. #4
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    Have you tried. Changing the key?

  5. #5
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    I think we are all guilty of playing the wrong notes at times listen & learn is my motto.
    All the best,
    Campbell


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    "Less Talk More Playing"

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrytone View Post
    Have you tried. Changing the key?
    Well, I assume that mr Bacharach had a special sound in mind when he wrote it.
    I obvosly can't just transpose the thing, as the problem would still be the same. I could try to find some different chords for that part of the song, but my music theory is not strong enough to figure out what to go for.

    I think my best option is to ommit the 5th s and add the 9th. I can see that is was even done for the piano arrangement in my sheet music.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  7. #7
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    This is quite a nice arrangement, you may be able to get a few ideas from it.

    All the best,
    Campbell


    "Blessed Be The Uke"

    "Less Talk More Playing"

    YouTube Videos & Tabs
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camsuke View Post
    This is quite a nice arrangement, you may be able to get a few ideas from it.

    Thanks for posting. I allready found that video googling for inspiration. I am going for more of a low tempo version without the fast strumming and strum-chunking, so I dont know how to pull ideas out from the video.
    The catchy part in the beginning I allready figured out, it is the part where the strumming/chunking begins that is tricky.
    Last edited by UkingViking; 06-12-2018 at 07:09 PM.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  9. #9
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    I quite often use piano or guitar videos for guidance when I'm arranging songs for ukulele, I find it's always helpful to reference as many sources as possible
    All the best,
    Campbell


    "Blessed Be The Uke"

    "Less Talk More Playing"

    YouTube Videos & Tabs
    https://www.youtube.com/user/camsuke

  10. #10
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    It is quite legal to play partial chords as long as you have the melody note and the 'flavor' of the chord (major, minor or dominant). Also, you don't always have to play all 4 strings. Sometimes playing 2 or 3 strings in certain passages (especially the faster passages) can give you a cleaner sound. And just to state the obvious: let your ears be your guide.
    Laurence

    Martin T-1 Tenor
    YT Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SeattleUke

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