Watch the Ascending or Descending online guitar lesson by Frank Vignola from 1-2-3 Jazz Chord Melody
In our first option, we're going to learn whether we ascend or descend from the first melody note. For instance, we already learned the first melody note is C, we went to our chord vocabulary guide and came up with this C chord. Now as you noticed the second note of the melody of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is also C. But it's an octave higher, so you will ascend from the first melody note to the second. You'll identify that note, go to your chord reference guide and come up with the second chord, which is a Cmaj chord with a C note on top, an octave above or ascending from the first C note.
Now we notice that the third note is an A note, which is descending from the high C. You get the A note, you go to your Cmaj section of the moveable chord vocabulary and you pick out your chord, a Cmaj with an A on top, or C6. So the first three chord melody chords for Take Me Out to the Ballgame are as follows.
The fourth note you'll notice is a G note, descending from the A, still on a Cmaj chord. We identified the prevailing chord for the first two measures as Cmaj. Now the melody note is a G, go to the chord reference guide and come up with your Cmaj chord with a G note on top. So the first 4 chords are these. It's starting to come together now, you can hear that. Now let's go on to the next note, which is an E note, descending from the G note. Go to your chord reference guide and you'll notice that the Cmaj7 with the E note on top is the chord. So in succession so far we have this. Those are the first two measures. Now the second two measures we've already determined that the prevailing chord is a Gdom7. The melody note is a G note, so we go to the moveable chord reference guide under Gdom7 and come up with the G7 chord. So in succession from the beginning it sounds like this. The next note in measure 4 is a D note, which is descending from the G. Go to your chord reference guide, and you'll notice that G7. So the first 4 measures of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" are like this. Moving on to the next 4 measures you'll notice it's the same as the first 4 measures. Measure 5, the C note, C chord. The next note, C ascending an octave higher, then the A note, then the G with a C, then the E with a C, then G7 with a G note. Okay let's go through those 8 measures now. That's starting to sound like something now!
So what we're determining here is you pick your first melody note, we see if we're ascending or descending, in this case the C note is an octave higher so we ascend. Then we descend, then we ascend to the G note to the G7, and then descend to the D note on the G7. So let's just run that through one more time. Let's move on to option 2.