In this video I present for you, step-by-step, my arrangement of “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gee’s as a chord melody.
I primarily based it off of the version by PJ Morton, but kept it in the Bee Gee’s original key of Eb.
This song has a beautiful melody, which sits really nicely on the guitar.
My hope is that this helps you to understand better how you can create chord melodies of your own.
My Approach To Chord Melodies
Melody is the key word, so I always begin with the melody. If I can play the melody, then it’s much easier for me to remember the song.
This is a trick that I use for learning songs. I don’t just learn the chords, I learn to play the melody because it helps give shape to the song in my mind.
Then learning the chords is much easier for me.
After the melody I can pay attention to the harmony of the song. Taking note of the chord as well as the root movement of the bass.
Next is to find a chord shape that has the melody note on top, or near the top. All chords have a few different non-chord tones that surround the chord tones, so you’ll often need to use these to find the right melody notes.
Once you find that combination of the right chord with the right note on or near the top (somewhere that you can accentuate it to make it stand out) you can move through the rest of the chords doing the same thing.
This of course takes a very long time at first, but doing 4 bars is manageable.
If you’d like to try this out for yourself, pick a song with a simple melody and simple chords. You could start with folk songs and open chords.
Pick out the melody and then start filling in the harmony with the root note, then more notes of the chord.
That’s how I first learned to do this and I still love playing chord melodies with open chords. Especially on acoustic.