The full title is Worship Guitar Chord Structures and Melodies: Triadic Improvisation Workshop. That’s a hefty title introducing an equally heavy topic, but the payoff is huge: great melodies. Who doesn’t want that?
The post is lengthy, so don’t attempt to read it on your phone. It contains chord diagrams and tablature, making it easy to follow along with your guitar. It walks through how to develop melodies based on the chord structure of a song by starting with three note guitar chords (triads) as a roadmap for improvisation.
This is a critical bit of understanding in musical improvisation. From a jazz theory perspective, every chord can be seen as a scale waiting to take shape. Visualizing these scales as they relate to the underlying chords helps provide the vocabulary for musical improvisation and melody making.
Treating chords as potential scales is a huge leap in musical thinking. Bobby’s article walks through the process with some simple worship songs and demonstrates how to practice this way, how to introduce variations and, ultimately, how to come up with some catchy complementary melodies.
One thing I would add for aspiring melody-makers and improvisers, is to learn the actual melody and really internalize it. Pieces or variations of the original melody are the perfect springboard for new melodic ideas. Plus, any new melody lines have to work around the existing melody or you’ll end up competing with the vocals which is never a good thing!
It’s a worthwhile read for guitarists and any other musicians who are looking to take a next step in their understanding of music theory and improvisation. We’re looking forward to more goodies from GuitarChalk.com!