The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #27898   Message #343845
Posted By: GUEST,Brian
20-Nov-00 - 06:33 AM
Thread Name: Help: Ascribing guitar chords to music
Subject: RE: Help: Ascribing guitar chords to music
You seem to know enough about the basis of music to be able to work it through. If you didn't know as much as you do, this would be impossible to answer. As it is, this question is both easy to answer and nearly impossible. So I'll do my best to explain how I do it as simply as possible, and then how to add a bit of 'flavour'.

First the simple explanation. When you sing or play through any phrase of a song or tune, you should become aware of which notes have a dominant effect in each bar. Choose chords that use and those notes. That's making the explanation as simple as possible, perhaps someone else will say it better.

Essentially, it's a matter of using your ear, if it fits, you can play it, and sounds right, it is. The more you do it the easier it gets.

Next the near impossible bit to explain. Don't be afraid to experiment with your use of chords. Sometimes 'strains' (a chord that strains against the tune) sound wonderful.

Some people will 'back' tunes with the simplest chords. There is nothing wrong in that other than it can sound a bit dull and lifeless. Others spice things up with some interesting chord patterns. A good chord progression can really lift a song or tune. But that is the bit thats impossible to explain, it becomes a matter of personal taste as to how far you take this one, but even just the occassional minor chord (in the right place - your own ear and 'feel of the tune' will tell you) helps a great deal.

You didn't mention what instrument you play, so I can't advise on chord books, but a book of advanced chords (6th, 7th, 9th, dim, aug, etc) is invaluable. With what you know already, and a good book you should be able to work out how these chords are put together.

Some tunes chord quite easily, others not. Sorry, I can't think of a good example straight off the top of my head. Start with the easy bit, gain a bit of experience, and go from there.

I hope that helps a bit.

Good luck,

Brian.