Welcome to another lesson! The first week of the month is chord week so this lesson focuses on a simple chord melody. Alternatively I like to call it a melodic progression, because I took a chord progression and added a melody to it. Thus the idea of a melodic progression, which is a very useful idea.
The idea is to think about chords in relation to the notes that lie at the top of the voicing. These top notes can usually be accessed by a simple fingering change. This allows you to add melodic motion to a chord progression.
Once you learn how to navigate different chords like this, you’re on your way to beautiful chord melodies! Being aware of the intervals of the highest notes of a chord is how I make up chord melodies for familiar songs off the top of my head. The melody is in my head as a set of intervals, and I use my knowledge of chords to support the melody. Much of this is finding the voicing that lies underneath the correct melody note.
By learning this simple chord melody, you will learn some tools that you can apply elsewhere.
Chord soloing is a great way to alter the texture of an improvisation. So, contrasting single note soloing with Chordal playing will give you more diversity of sound to use. You can also bring in single note lines to your rhythm, or supportive playing. What I mean by that is this; when you are supporting another musician, whether one or many, adding sparse single note lines to create subtle melody is MONEY. It sounds incredible, and is so much fun.
Check out this practice along at the end to work up the chord melody. Take these concepts and patterns and make your own music out of them. Come up with some different progressions in which you can use the chord voicings I show. Change the melody. Come up with your own melodies. Have fun with it!