HearandPlay.com Weekly Newsletter --- July 25, 2005
http://www.Hearandplay.com
Serving 193,631 Musicians Worldwide!
 
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Contents:
I. Welcome
II. Announcements
 
III. Online Classroom:
       "How to Harmonize Melodies to Create Full-Sounding Songs" Part 2
             
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Dear Member,
 
Welcome to this week's newsletter on harmonizing melodies. As promised, this is the second half of the lesson I started last week. If you haven't read it, feel free to visit https://www.hearandplay.com/newsletters to catch up!
 
I have to be honest with you...
 
At first, I didn't know what to expect when I finally announced my plans for a weekly newsletter. "Perhaps, some would get tired of hearing from me every week," I thought at times.
 
...But to my surprise, the idea of weekly newsletters was welcomed with opened arms. Immediately, I received hundreds of thank you e-mails and message board posts stating how great new and fresh weekly content is going to be.
 
So welcome to week two's newsletter!
 
If you've read last week's newsletter already, then you know the basics of harmonizing a melody. We've covered:
 
  • The difference between harmonization of melodies and accompaniment of melodies.
  • Passing tones, neighboring tones (upper and lower), and chord tones and how they apply to determining melodies.
  • Harmonization chart: Simple triad chords that harmonize each tone of any given major scale.
  • The 3-step formula to playing basic songs (determine melody, replace melody notes with harmonizing chords, add bass).
Now, it's time to take it a step further.
 
Enjoy!
 
 

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300pg Course - Learn the secrets to playing literally any song on the piano with a few simple, "easy-to-understand" techniques and principles! Join Jermaine Griggs in learning tons of music theory, concepts, and tricks that will help you to learn piano by ear! Thousands of musicians have already taken advantage of this excellent program ... why not you?

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" is full of easy-to-understand tricks, tips, techniques and secrets to playing piano by ear! For this month only, I've also been able to throw in a few bonus items (3 additional piano software programs). Click here to learn the secrets to playing absolutely any song on the piano in virtually minutes! You won't regret it!


GospelKeys101.com - The GospelKeysTM 101 Series video course will teach you everything you need to know to get started playing basic hymns and congregational songs. I will show you, step-by-step, how to harmonize every single tone of the major scale. AND since songs are based on melodies (and melodies are based on major scales), you'll be able to harmonize MOST songs. Click here to visit www.GospelKeys101.com ...

Click image above for short video clip. (low / medium quality for fast loading)


 
2004/05 Newsletter Archive Available at https://www.hearandplay.com/newsletters
 
 
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Online Classroom:
 
"How to Harmonize Melodies to Create Full-Sounding Songs" Part Two
 
 
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Note: You might want to print this lesson out for easier
reading...
 
(Part two of a two week series on harmonizing melodies. Click here for last week's lesson).
 
 
Last week's lesson generated many questions so before providing answers to the exercises I issued in the last newsletter, I'll first take some time to address some key thoughts:
 
 
Question #1 from student:
 
Hi Jermaine,
 
Your harmony scale seems to be just what I'm looking for. Do these chords always apply to these melody notes and how do you know when to use other chords that may fit better?
 
 
 
Answer:
 
The simple answer to to the first question is no. For the second question, it depends.
 
Here it goes...
 
 
 
The harmonization scale taught in the last lesson (and shown below) is just a template to use for most basic songs, but it is not written in stone.
 
There will be times, for example, in C major, when you play a "C" in your melody and it won't be harmonized by the Cmaj (E+G+C) chord I discussed last week. In this case, the "C" melody note may be harmonized by an Fmaj (F+A+C) chord, which still puts "C" on top and is a better fit for the song.
 
Let me give you an example:
 
"Jesus Loves Me"
 
 
Yes, Je-sus Loves Me
G     E    G    A      C
 
Yes, Je-sus Loves Me
G     E   C     E      D
 
Yes, Je-sus Loves Me
G     E    G    A      C
 
For the bib-ble tells me so
A    A   G   C   E     D   C
 
 
Normally, this entire song, like many others, could be harmonized using the chart I introduced last week:
 
When melody note is: Simply play this chord:
C E + G + C (played all at the same time)
D F + A + D
E G + C + E
F A + C + F
G C + E + G
A C + F + A
B D + G + B
C E + G + C
 
 
 
Simply put, all you have to do is take each note of your melody and replace it with the matching chord.
 
So...
 
According to the chart above, "Jesus Loves Me" would look like this:
 
Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four
Yes
C+E+G
 
Je
G+C+E
 
sus
C+E+G
 
Loves
C+F+A
 
Me *
E+G+C
Yes
C+E+G
 
Je
G+C+E
 
sus
E+G+C
 
Loves
G+C+E
 
Me *
F+A+D

 

Yes
C+E+G
 
Je
G+C+E
 
sus
C+E+G
 
Loves
C+F+A
 
Me *
E+G+C

 

For
C+F+A
 
The
C+F+A
 
Bi
C+E+G
 
ble
E+G+C
 
Tells
G+C+E
 
Me
F+A+D
 
So
E+G+C
 
 
 
If you play this song with the triads listed above, mostly all the chords would sound good except for the ones I've noted with an asterisk *.
 
It's not that they sound bad. It's just that there is a better fit for these melody notes.
 
 
My golden rule is that your ear should always be the judge. So when you are harmonizing a melody and one chord just doesn't sound right, ask yourself this question?
 
"Is there any other chord that might harmonize this note better?"
 
 
This is where you get into different types of harmonization scales. On pages 243-244 of the 300-pg course, I teach about three different harmonization scales with various functions:
 
 
1) Using only primary chords to harmonize a scale (i.e., "I, IV, and V chords only")
 
2) Using a mixture of minor and major chords (like the chart you already learned above).
 
And...
 
3) Using substitute chords on certain tones of the major scale.
 
 
 
 
Using only primary chords to harmonize a scale
 
In any given major scale, the I, IV, and V make up the primary chords.
 
For example, the C major scale is:
 
C D E F G A B C
1 2 3  4  5 6  7 8
 
The primary chords of this key are Cmaj, Fmaj, and Gmaj.
 
 
Let's see how well you understand this concept:
 
1) What are the primary chords of F major?
 
 
Answer: F major ( I ), Bb major ( IV ), and C major ( V )
 
 
2) What are the primary chords of B major?
 
 
Answer: B major ( I ), E major ( IV ), and F# major ( V )
 
So, if you had to harmonize the C major scale using only a Cmaj, Fmaj, and Gmaj chords, it would look something like this:
 

Harmonizing a scale with primary chords only

When melody note is: Simply play this chord:
C E + G + C (played all at the same time)
D G + B + D
E G + C + E
F A + C + F
G C + E + G
A C + F + A
B D + G + B
C E + G + C
 
 
 
The only difference between this harmonization chart and the other one is that the "D" in this scale is harmonized by a "Gmaj" chord instead of a "Dmin" chord.
 
This is the "Gmaj" chord that should be used in "Jesus Loves Me."
 
Try comparing the second part of "Jesus Loves Me" (one with the regular "Dmin" chord and one with the "Gmaj" chord used to harmonize the "D" note).
 

Old version

New Version
Yes
C+E+G
 
Je
G+C+E
 
sus
E+G+C
 
Loves
G+C+E
 
Me *
F+A+D  (old)
Yes
C+E+G
 
Je
G+C+E
 
sus
E+G+C
 
Loves
G+C+E
 
Me *
G+B+D (new)
 
Doesn't the second version sound a lot better with the Gmaj than the Dmin? This is exactly what I'm talking about --- using your ear to make the final decision.
 
 
 
Using substitute chords on certain tones of the major scale
 
In some cases, only certain chords of the harmonization scale need to be changed.
 
On page 244 in the course, I discuss how sometimes the IV chord can substitute for the I chord.
 
To better understand this, let's look at our original harmonization scale:
 
 
When melody note is: Simply play this chord:
C E + G + C (played all at the same time)
D F + A + D
E G + C + E
F A + C + F
G C + E + G
A C + F + A
B D + G + B
C E + G + C
 
 
Notice the first chord in this chart.
 
Usually, if you were playing a melody, any time you'd hit "C", you'd replace your melody note with E+G+C.
 
However, in "Jesus Loves Me," this chord didn't sound correct when harmonizing the "C" notes with "E+G+C" in parts one and three.
 
 
After poking around at a few more chords, you might notice that an Fmaj chord sounds a lot better there. An Fmaj chord is played: F+A+C.
 
Understand that the highest note doesn't change --- it is still "C" like we want it to be.
 
Now, try changing the (E+G+C) chords in parts one and three to (F+A+C) to see the difference it makes:
 

Old version

New Version
Yes
C+E+G
 
Je
G+C+E
 
sus
C+E+G
 
Loves
C+F+A
 
Me *
E+G+C (old)
Yes
C+E+G
 
Je
G+C+E
 
sus
C+E+G
 
Loves
C+F+A
 
Me *
F+A+C (new)
 
 
I don't know about you but the Fmaj beats out the Cmaj chord here.
 
 
 
 
So the lesson to be learned here is:
 
  • If the chord you're using to harmonize the second tone of a scale (in C major, that's "D") doesn't sound right, try switching to a primary chord (or the V chord). In this case, we ended up replacing the Dmin chord with a Gmaj chord and it sounded much better.
  • If the chord you're using to harmonize the first tone of a scale (in Cmajor, that's "C") doesn't fit as well as you think it should, try switching to the IV chord (with the same note on top). Remember, the highest note shouldn't change since the I and IV chords share this same note in their chords.
 
 
Now, let's see if you answered last week's exercise correctly.
 
If you remember, the aim was to correctly harmonize "Mary had a little lamb" and "Are you sleeping" with the help of the harmonization chart.
 
Here are the answers:
 
 
"Mary had a little lamb"
 
 
 
E D C D E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
G+C+E (Ma)
 
F+A+D (ry)
 
E+G+C (had)
 
F+A+D (a)
 
G+C+E (lit)
 
G+C+E (tle)
 
G+C+E (lamb)
 
 
 
D D D (lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
 F+A+D (lit)
 
 F+A+D (tle)
 
 F+A+D (lamb)
 
 
 
E G G (lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
 G+C+E (lit)
 
C+E+G (tle)
 
C+E+G (lamb)
 
 
 
E D C D E E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb, her)
_____________________________________
 
G+C+E (Ma)
 
F+A+D (ry)
 
E+G+C (had)
 
F+A+D (a)
 
G+C+E (lit)
 
G+C+E (tle)
 
G+C+E (lamb)
 
G+C+E (her)
 
 
 
D D E D C (fleece was white as snow)
______________________________________
 
F+A+D (fleece)
 
F+A+D (was)
 
G+C+E (white)
 
F+A+D (as)
 
E+G+C (snow)
 
 
 
 
"Are you sleeping"
 
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Are)
 
F+A+D (you)
 
G+C+E (sleep)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Are)
 
F+A+D (you)
 
G+C+E (sleep)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
______________________________________
 
G+C+E (Bro)
 
A+C+F (ther)
 
C+E+G (John)
 
 
 
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
______________________________________
 
G+C+E (Bro)
 
A+C+F (ther)
 
C+E+G (John)
 
 
 
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
______________________________________
 
C+E+G (Morn)
 
C+F+A (ing)
 
C+E+G (bells)
 
A+C+F (are)
 
G+C+E (ring)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
______________________________________
 
C+E+G (Morn)
 
C+F+A (ing)
 
C+E+G (bells)
 
A+C+F (are)
 
G+C+E (ring)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Ding)
 
B+D+G (dong) --- use different harmonization type
 
E+G+C (ding)
 
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Ding)
 
B+D+G (dong) --- use different harmonization type
 
E+G+C (ding)
 
 
 
 I hope you enjoyed part two of this series. I'll see you next week for a new topic...
 
Thanks for reading!
 
 

Chords to study for future online classroom lessons:

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this week's newsletter and I'll be back soon! Practice hard until then!


This concludes this week's Online Classroom Lesson
 
If you were intrigued by the online classroom lesson above,
then you would definitely benefit from my course!
 
 
 

 
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Yours Truly,
Jermaine Griggs
www.HearandPlay.com
www.GospelKeys.com
 
 

Newsletter Archive - Click here or visit https://www.hearandplay.com/newsletters.html

 
 

Further References

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300-pg Course

[5] Chords & Progressions: pgs 65-78, 105-130, 147-165, 182-227.

Do you know what a β€œ2-5-1” or "3-6-2-5-1" progression is? Or perhaps the famous 12-bar blues chord progression? In this piano course, you will not only learn how to play gospel, blues, and jazz progressions, but how to recognize them in songs. In addition, you will learn the simple techniques to playing these progressions, hymns, and songs in all 12 major keys! ... Enjoy learning:

The famous "2-5-1" Chord Progression: pgs 114-120, 153-156, 208, 235-236.

I - IV - I - V - I Chord Progressions: pgs 66-70.

I - IV - V - IV - I Chord Progressions: pgs 77-78.

Techniques behind the famous "5-->1" progression: pgs 68-72.

I --> IV,  I --> V Chord Progressions: pgs 74-75.

"Circle of Fifths" Chord Exercises: pg 78.

Major and Minor Chord Progressions: pgs 105-130.

"6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 121-122, 157-159.

"3 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 122-123, 160-162.

"7 - 3 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 124-125, 190-191.

Gospel Chord Progressions ... ranging from "up-tempo praise" chord Progressions to "worship-oriented" chord progressions: pgs 65-78, 105-130, 147-165, 182-227.

Various Blues Progressions ... 12-bar, seventh chords, diminished chords ... and others: pgs 163-165, 192.

Jazz Chord Progressions ... using dominant ninth, eleventh and thirteenth chords: pgs 193-240

Study the different types of Root Progressions --- closing, opening, circular and other types of progressions: pgs 121-122.

Study how chord tones and scale degrees relate to each other [which chord progressions are most likely to be compatible]: pgs 122-130.

Learn various "turn-around" progressions [used in gospel music]: pg 213-214.

If you don't have the 300-pg Course, click here to read more about it.

 

 
"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300pg Course - Learn the secrets to playing literally any song on the piano with a few simple, "easy-to-understand" techniques and principles! Join Jermaine Griggs in learning tons of music theory, concepts, and tricks that will help you to learn piano by ear! Thousands of musicians have already taken advantage of this excellent program ... why not you?

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" is full of easy-to-understand tricks, tips, techniques and secrets to playing piano by ear! For this month only, I've also been able to throw in a few bonus items (3 additional piano software programs). Click here to learn the secrets to playing absolutely any song on the piano in virtually minutes! You won't regret it!


 

Newsletter Archive - Click here or visit https://www.hearandplay.com/newsletters.html