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Thread: Chord Melody Songbooks?

  1. #1

    Default Chord Melody Songbooks?

    I'm not finding Mando Chord Melody books of old standard tunes. I'd be looking for something not real difficult but more late beginner and moving up from there. If they are in just notation, it would have to be more beginner style since my reading skills are pretty basic. CD included would also be great! Any suggestions would be helpful.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Not sure if you’re looking for songs or tunes, here’s both as .abc files which can be transformed into tab to using mandolintab.net
    http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/
    If you do a search using an .abc program within an .abc file for the text: "Gm" , then you will come across all songs that have the chord G minor in them noted above a measure.

    -or you can learn how to guess the chords using music theory, doesn’t take that long. Much easier in the long run.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    There are not many of those type of books due to the copyright amount the author/publisher has to pay vs the amount of sales they would receive (which for a mandolin chord melody book wouldn't be much). Usually you need to learn many chord voicings and then start applying to melodies. Drop 2 type voicings work well for these.

    Aaron Weinstein's chord melody book is terrific, but definitely advanced.

    My Drop 2 book will show you many of these type of chords and introduce you to how to use these in CM, but I didn't do any songs due to copyright laws.
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    I can heartily recommend Pete's books. They are well done and worthy of your attention. Although not chord melody books per se he has laid out a magnificent set of tools for the mandolin or fiddle player.

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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Check out this book by Aaron Weinstein.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mandolin-Chor...y&sr=8-1-fkmr0

    This one by Don Stiernberg is worthy of attention as well.

    https://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Mandolin...y&sr=8-1-spell

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    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Don also has a chord melody course on soundslice.com
    I have too much to work on already with his other 3 courses, but that will one will be on the list eventually.

    https://www.soundslice.com/store/man...melody-etudes/
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    This is not what you're asking for, but here's a brief explanation of making your own chord melodies.

    Step 1: Find the lead sheet (just melody and chords) of the standard you want to play. Try fake books at the library, or buy it online.
    Step 2: write down the names of the notes in each chord above the chord. So, if it says C7, you write C E G Bb
    Step 3: Start to learn the melody.
    Step 4: At the chord changes, add in 2 of the extra chord notes that are not the melody note. Always keep the melody note as the highest note. Tab it out, or write it on a sheet of manuscript paper.

    You don't have to do every single note as a chord. Just start with the note that happens right under the chord change.
    This will seemingly take forever, but you'll end up with your own chord melody, and get really good at finding notes.

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    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandohat View Post
    This is not what you're asking for, but here's a brief explanation of making your own chord melodies.

    Step 1: Find the lead sheet (just melody and chords) of the standard you want to play. Try fake books at the library, or buy it online.
    Step 2: write down the names of the notes in each chord above the chord. So, if it says C7, you write C E G Bb
    Step 3: Start to learn the melody.
    Step 4: At the chord changes, add in 2 of the extra chord notes that are not the melody note. Always keep the melody note as the highest note. Tab it out, or write it on a sheet of manuscript paper.

    You don't have to do every single note as a chord. Just start with the note that happens right under the chord change.
    This will seemingly take forever, but you'll end up with your own chord melody, and get really good at finding notes.
    Yes...you will also remember your own arrangements better plus you'll have fun doing this and will be rewarded with your own hard work. THEN look at others arrangements and steal!

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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    The Barry Harris system is a great way of learning chords for comping and chord melody.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Hey, thanks for all the suggestions! Very helpful. Shout out to Pete for reaching out.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Martin View Post
    The Barry Harris system is a great way of learning chords for comping and chord melody.
    Pete, can you point me to that system? I love watching his instructional videos. I got a lot out of the 6th diminished scale that he teaches.

  12. #12
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandohat View Post
    Pete, can you point me to that system? I love watching his instructional videos. I got a lot out of the 6th diminished scale that he teaches.
    If I may chime in:

    Unless you want to get bogged down with a lot of guitar stuff and overly technical theory stuff you may want to stay away from "Barry Harris" and get right to learning the songs you want to learn.

    Aaron's book gives you the methodology specifically as it is applied to mandolin. Pick a song you like and try to invent your own chord melody. You will learn much.

    It might be helpful to have a mandolin chord book that spells out the chord for you (Mel Bay Deluxe Encyclopedia Of Mandolin Chords) so you can pick a chord with the right melody note on top; usually the E string but can be the A string too.

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    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Oh and Jethro Burns Anthology book has a few chord melodies tunes in TAB

  14. #14
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Because there are so few jazz mandolinists and so little jazz mandolin material, if you want to learn chord stuff, you will often have to take from other instruments and adapt to mandolin, especially from piano, jazz' main chording instrument. Nothing wrong with doing that. It actually helps your ear.

    Look up Chris Parks youtube series "Things I Learned from Barry Harris". There are excellent chord instruction videos there. I have several BH videos for mandolin, but have not made any for chording yet. I will a bit down the road in the future, but want to cover his single note soloing stuff first.

    There are several other piano teachers on Youtube that teach Barrys stuff. A good one is by a guy named "Connor". Search his name plus "piano" and you'll get his site.

    You can see my stuff on my youtube channel.
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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perry View Post
    If I may chime in:

    Unless you want to get bogged down with a lot of guitar stuff and overly technical theory stuff you may want to stay away from "Barry Harris" and get right to learning the songs you want to learn
    There are many ways to learn.

    I'm going to respectfully disagree with Perry. I've never found Barry Harris' method overly theoretical. But YMMV.
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  16. #16
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Martin View Post
    There are many ways to learn.

    I'm going to respectfully disagree with Perry. I've never found Barry Harris' method overly theoretical. But YMMV.
    No problem Pete... I was trying to address the subject of this thread.

    I have dabbled a little bit into Barry Harris. Mostly his adding that extra note (sharp 5 or diminished 6) into the major scale and alternating between drop 2 minor chords and diminished chords to form a chord scale. Roni Ben-Hur goes into detail one of his videos. Here is a link...I think Roni explains the concept very well here. So how does this relate to chord melody? I suppose you can compose chord riffs during static parts of the song's harmony.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdMA8Ll2RI4



    The idea being you can create movement on a static chord.

    What specifically have you found in the “Barry Harris methodology” to help devleop chord melodies?
    Last edited by Perry; Jun-26-2019 at 10:31am.

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  18. #17
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    Thanks for the reply Perry!

    I have spent MUCH more time on his single line stuff and way less on the chording ideas. When I hear him (or any others who use his ideas) teach chord "movements" (as he calls them), I'm hearing what I heard on those bebop recordings I like so much and what I hear on his recordings as well. I really like his "borrowed note" ideas and how they make chords move from one to the next. All my favorite piano players from the 40's and 50's plus Wes Montgomery used those type of sounds extensively in comping and chord melody.

    When I get a better handle on the single note stuff, I'll dive into the chording stuff much deeper.
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    Default Re: Chord Melody Songbooks?

    I can't say this without bias (obviously), but my course at Peghead Nation might be what you're looking for. Each lesson offers a chord melody arrangement of a standard tune--and it includes videos and sheet music. So if you hang in there long enough, print out the music and bind it...you'll have yourself a chord melody fakebook.

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