Creating memorable melodies can be challenging, especially in the midst of an improvised solo.  In this class we’ll examine a wide array of great melodies and see what makes them eminently sing-able and memorable. The makings of a great melody involve the balancing of the three elements of music: harmony, rhythm and melody. By studying a wide variety of melodies of the master American popular song composers and jazz improvisers, I’ll illustrate the concepts behind what make these phrases work. Once these devices are explored they can translate into the creation of consistently strong and swinging melodies. Concepts will include: weaving guide tone lines into a melody, melodic and rhythmic repetition, scale and arpeggio usage, line contours, rhythmic displacement, phrase length considerations, how to build lines that swing, creating lines from chord extensions and melodic embellishment. Also I’ll demonstrate chord visualization as an aid to see the melodic/harmonic connection on the guitar fingerboard. Using existing melodies as a springboard for your improvisations can be invaluable and there will be written examples of all of these as well as video demonstrations. Get ready for a fun and meaningful study of melody.

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Class Content

Composing and Improvising Strong Melodies
Composing and Improvising Strong Melodies 01:39:00

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  1. Profile photo of James S.


    This class approaches a subject you will surely have seen in other lessons and classes, but this approach is pretty different, and I found this to be a highly rewarding class. As usual with Mr. Herberman, good materials and very good presentation.

    ~ james seaberry (August 25, 2008)

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