Watch the 16: Chord Melody Techniques online guitar lesson by Frank Vignola from Modern Method for Guitar
Chord melody is a great way to add color and dimension to a melody. In this segment I demonstrate the 3 techniques that I have come up with using the first 8 bars of "All of Me". By now you should have played this melody in all keys, horizontally, vertically, a combination of both, in all areas of the fingerboard.
1. Start by playing the melody as indicated in the notation that follows.
2. Next, on the last note of each phrase play the applicable chord that has the hold note on top. Strum the chord in place of the last note. Begin with the triad. In our example we will play the C triad with the melody note E on top.
3. Play this phrase in all positions starting with each of your fingers to find all the variations. Use your inversions and play this phrase and the others all over the fingerboard.
4. When we play the second phrase over the E7 chord, use the E major triad in place of the last melody note, E.
5. Next, play the same phrase using a 4-note chord: E7.
6. Use the same approach over the A7, ending the phrase with the A triad with the E on the top. We can also explore by using the A7 or the A7 flat 9, in place of the last note of this phrase.
7. When you get to the Dm, you have additional options. For example, the Dm7, Dm6, Dm9, etc.
8. Use the horizontal approach to explore further.
9. Next, play the underlying chord that has the melody tone on top on the first and last note of each phrase.
10. Finally, play the chord inversion that has the melody note on top in place of every note in the melody. See the video demonstration and the notation that follows. It is beneficial to work with one phrase at a time, finding all the variations and inversions before moving on to the next phrase.
When you come across a note that is not part of the chord simply slide the chord into the note.11.
12. Next, add bends and runs using scales or arpeggios during the pause. Work out simple runs that lead to the next chord with the melody note of the phrase on the top of the chord.
13. Do not be concerned with playing in time when you first start.
14. Use this approach to learn songs you are working on.