View Full Version : Harmony Melodies
Hell friends, I'm wondering if there's an easy way to figure our a harmony line to a melody. I relize the mandolin is tuned in 5ths so I don't think its rocket science but for now its over my head. I have learned the Fire on the mountain melody/harmony from the Baldassari book but I havn't found out how to copy the technique to other instrumentals.
Thanks in advance and love the cafe.
singing it should help
there was a book a while back called TWIN MANDOLINS that came with a recording - the best way would be to get that - learn those tunes, and then begin, for yourself, to *hear* those harmonies - i think the scientific way that you are looking for would work, but you can make better time by knowing the sound made by the 2 intervals and being able to immediately grab it. the good thing is that most of these harmony parts are diatonic major, ie, within the scale, so once you learn a few tunes in different keys, you are a good ways to understanding it.
Parallel thirds is a good place to start... but becomes boring if that's all you've got in your bag of tricks.
A neat trick to try is have your friend play a G major scale starting on the root (G) and simutaneously you play a G major scale starting on the the third (B). That's the 'sound' you are shooting for.
Now take your melody and write it down on doubled staffed sheet music (a program like Finale is very helpful for this because you can hear back your harmony via the computer)
On the harmony staff write a corresponding note to the melody a third up (stay with in the key scale). You may have to adjust up or down or maybe play the same note twice in a row. Let your ear be your ultimate guide.
I'm a novice at this but this is what I have learned form various books.
FYI, what Perry said is a good explanation of finding parallel thirds.
Twin Mandolin Method (http://www.elderly.com/books/items/46-18.htm) systematically show you do various harmony parts and coutnermelodies.
I have to follow bradeinhorn's lead.
Can you sing harmony? If you don't hear it (in your mind) you can't play it.
Fiddle players especially in Western Swing music do this all the time when playing twin, triple and even qaudruple leads.
You just have to develop your ear to hear the harmonies and your fingers to find them. It takes a fair amount of practice but after a while you get the hang of it. I recommend recording a simple melody at a slow speed and then playing along with it searching for harmony notes until you find what you are looking for. Then do it again but in another key and then another. Being comfortable within the scale and knowing the double-stops will help you greatly. Plus all this will make you a better musician.