Watch the Using Single Notes online guitar lesson by Frank Vignola from 1-2-3 Jazz Chord Melody
In creative option 2, we're going to look at using single notes in a chord melody arrangement. For example in measures 13, 14, 15, and 16 of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, we identify the prevailing chord as Ddom7 for measures 13 and 14, and G7 for measures 15 and 16. A is the first melody note.
Let's go over the chords to each of these melody notes. A note with a D7 chord. You go to your chord vocabulary and you find this chord.The second note is the same, third is the same, fourth note is a B, fifth note is a C, then we go to G7 with a D note, a G7 with a B note, a G7 with an A note, and a G7 with a G note. That's a lot of chords to put in. If you play that in time, it's very difficult to get through all of those chords on each note. So we add some single notes instead! A good general rule is play a chord on a downbeat, then single notes, then chord on the downbeat, so on and so forth. This is a great passage for this. Let's take a closer look and listen to how it sounds with single notes. Let's take a listen to how it sounds with all the chords and see how jumbled it sounds.
It's a difficult passage to get, so that's why we're going to be creative and add those single notes, which will make the music flow more. It's a creative decision you can make in any of the measures to make the chord melody unique to your style. So let's take one more look: We hit the chord on the downbeat, play the single notes leading to the next measure, so on and so forth. Here's the example once again of measures 13, 14, 15, and 16. One more time. That sounds really nice. So let's move on to option 3.