The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #27898   Message #343920
Posted By: Gary T
20-Nov-00 - 09:42 AM
Thread Name: Help: Ascribing guitar chords to music
Subject: RE: Help: Ascribing guitar chords to music
I'm no expert on this, but I think Brian has summed it up pretty well. In answer to the second follow-up question, I would say yes, there may well be more than one chord sequence which will work with a given song. Some may find a simpler sequence sparse and a bit boring, others may find a more involved sequence overly busy and distracting, hence the mention of individual taste and ear.

I don't know of any reliable formulas to work out chording. One thing that I think has been helpful to me is learning a fair number of songs, from the sheet music or a book, where there are some less common chords that did not fall handily to my ear. Increasing one's exposure to this can help train the ear to the chord's individual sound and to its possible place in a particular song's arrangement.

One detail to be aware of--changing a melody note can often mean using a different chord (and vice versa). This is something that I, and I believe many others, do occasionally without necessarily realizing it, perhaps on a song that we're somewhat familiar with but don't know exactly as written (or performed, if that's our source). While I don't object to tweaking the melody, I have more respect for doing it intentionally than for doing it out of ignorance. Sometimes having the "right" chord sequence (e.g. as written in the sheet music) can help one faithfully reproduce the melody as written.