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  1. #51

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    Roland Dyens' version of standards are superlative arrangements.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

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    The reviews are superlative. Of course, this is one link among others, but with reviews. You can hear quite a few on YouTube itself under Roland's name. I think he is quite deservedly well regarded. I enjoy his version of Over The Rainbow and My Funny Valentine, for example.

  4. #53

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    The reviews are superlative. Of course, this is one link among others, but with reviews. You can hear quite a few on YouTube itself under Roland's name. I think he is quite deservedly well regarded. I enjoy his version of Over The Rainbow and My Funny Valentine, for example.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    You might be a bit too hard on Joe Pass. I watched a video by him early on, dealing with chordal playing, and it was super-helpful. It de-mystified the whole walking bass thing and he also frankly admitted that chord-melody solo playing involves a lot of "smoke and mirrors" in which we create the impression, say, of a walking bass when in fact we only walked maybe 2 notes per measure, used one chord-shot, and played the melody on top, but the combination actually created the overall impression of very much more.

    I really liked that and it freed me to play.

    I'd also emphatically suggest you learn a bunch of Steve Crowell's arrangements. They are what you want, chord-melody arrangements of standards, and they're performance quality. But he also creates them with pedagogy in mind, helping you learn the basic and intermediate "devices" that allow you to harmonize any melody.

    Another old and under-rated resource that I learned a ton from is the old Mel Bay book on Melody-Chord Playing. It's been in print for decades. It's Mel Bay's Guitar Melody Chord Playing System : A System for Playing Guitar Solos in Chord Style Using Popular Sheet Music.It assumes all you have is sheet music, or a lead sheet, and teaches how to create a harmonized melody. Parts might be too arcane or demanding, but overall it's a sound book.
    I got Steve Crowell books I & II used via Amazon (they were not cheap!) They are great -- I'm learning a lot.

    My Jerry Hahn book (more of a notebook that I believe he used for teaching college) is also very good too.

    I'll get back to the Joe Pass material once I get a little more of this stuff under my belt

  6. #55

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  7. #56

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    I second that suggestion.Everything that ive seen is informative, pragmatic,educational from that site.

  8. #57

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    I ordered Howard Morgen's Through Chord Melody and Beyond to improve my approach. I have barely cracked it open, but it looks very thorough!

  9. #58
    Recommend Robert Conti's two books: Chord Melody Assembly Line and The Formula. First one shows you how to get every possible melody note on top of any chord of any quality - plus some nifty tricks they don't teach in theory class. The second shows you how to re-harmonize in a variety of ways so you can play endless variations on any given song.
    If you currently rely on tab notation, it will cure you of that crippling handicap.

  10. #59

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    Another thumbs recommendation for Howard Morgen's books shown below. A key to any of these books including Bob Conti's and Matt's is to use them road map or guide. If you don't like the author's arrangement, they all give you the tools to change them. Too many times folks get hung up on the author's arrangements. If you want just arrangements then you need to find other books. There are plenty of those out there as well. I have included two below. Another option when it comes to transcriptions is to sponsor Francois Leduc on Patreon. For $2 dollars per transcription plus access to all of his previous transcribed solo guitar tunes you can get enough to keep you busy for years.

    Concepts: Arranging for Fingerstyle Guitar (The Howard Morgen Fingerstyle Jazz Series): Howard Morgen: 9780769230757: Books

    Through Chord Melody and Beyond: Howard Morgen: 0038081318615: Books

    ------------------------------Arrangements------------------------------- Jazz Masters Play Gershwin: Hal Leonard Solo Guitar Library (0884088877675): George Gershwin: Books Joe Pass -- Virtuoso Standards Songbook Collection: Authentic Guitar TAB (Virtuoso Series) (9780769217109): Joe Pass: Books

    Patreon - Login

  11. #60

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    For arrangements, I have learned a lot from Jeff Arnold's books. As with any arrangement they are idiosyncratic but what I like about them is they are playable. I guess they can be considered introductory. But they are well layed out with staff notes, tab and chord notation which I find helpful.

  12. #61

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    Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry. You can get The Trail Guide to Chord Chemsitry at - The Legacy Of Ted Greene Lives On.

  13. #62

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    I have many but keep coming back to this book. Also check out Barry Greene's videos on his website...they are excellent Berklee Jazz Standards for Solo Guitar - Berklee Press Book/CD (0884088646677): John Stein: Books
    Last edited by alltunes; 03-03-2017 at 12:11 PM.

  14. #63

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    As someone who never had much success in my attempts at playing tunes in this style, I have to say Robert Conti's materials have been a game-changer for me. Although I had read much about the theory (i.e., "keep the melody on the top two strings," "practice smooth voice-leading," and all the rest), it was always a struggle to keep it all in mind, and to put it all into use. Consequently, I'd use what I knew to try to arrange a tune, but progress was always so painstaking and frustrating that I'd eventually give up before getting too far into a tune -- even a simple one.

    I didn't think I'd ever learn.

    Conti changed that for me. With his book The Chord Melody Assembly Line, which I'm using in tandem with his Play Pro Chord Melody Today! arrangement of "Since I Fell For You," the results have been immediate and rewarding. Almost right away, Conti had me beginning to play a beautifully harmonized rendition of a familiar tune, using many voicings I already knew, with others picked up in the context of the tune itself . . . I was learning music while making music. Conti's lesson includes many of what he calls "off the sheet tips" -- additional variations and subtleties that are not included in the pdf that is part of the DVD. These devices -- bass note movement, slurs, accent notes, arpeggiation, and other embellishments -- make the tune come to life, and provide the student with alternate ways to play the piece (and which can be used on subsequent tunes, as well).

    Using the DVD as a companion piece to the Assembly Line book works well for me, because it gives me a chance (via the book) to learn a chord voicing for each melody note, and how to use these chords to harmonize a simple melody. The book shows the method, while the DVD shows the method in action on a well-known tune.

    I've read where people have complained that Conti's method is unrealistic, because "you won't ever play a tune with a chord for each melody note", and that "he only shows you one way to play it." These criticisms miss the point, in my view. By showing you how to play a chord for each melody note, Conti equips you to play a chord for any melody note you choose. As the player, you can choose how sparse or dense you want a given part of the piece to be, because he doesn't hold back on giving you information.

    It used to be that when I heard a chord melody arrangement, I'd think, "I'd like to be able to play that." Now, after working with these two Conti products, I hear a tune I like -- standards, Beatles, old hymns, everything -- and I look forward, for the first time in my life, to soon being able to create my own versions of the songs I love . . . because Conti is showing me how.

    After years of standing still, I'm now taking steps -- small ones, every day -- but at least I'm facing the right direction . . . and moving forward.
    The Chord Melody Assembly Line |
    Product Category: Play Pro Chord Melody Today |
    Last edited by snailspace; 03-06-2017 at 11:54 PM. Reason: fixed a couple of typos

  15. #64

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    I agree with you whole-heartedly. Conti was a game-changer for me.

    Don't forget his other Chord Melody book, "The Formula" which introduces you to the wonderful world of chord substitution - using exactly the same chords he uses in the first book.


  16. #65

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    Honestly, forget the books for this. Learn drop 3s on strings 5&6. And drop 2s on strings 4&5. All inversions. Learn dim7s. Learn some altered chords. Pick a tune and construct your CM. Keep it simple to start. Base and melody. Then build the middle voices. Experiment. Great fun and you'll learn more than any book.

  17. #66

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    I learned the style by playing some arrangements that were created specifically to illustrate the possibilities. These were by a guy named Steve Crowell. The four books (with CDs) were Jazz Standards in Chord Melody Style. I went through all four books before learning much of anything about the theory of it. I have forgotten a lot of them, but a great many have remained mainstays of my playing. These are not easy, but are accessible enough.

    They are on this site, at the very bottom of the page:

    Learn Steven Crowell Guitar Solos - Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

  18. #67

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    I would recommend "Mastering The Jazz Guitar Chord Melody Solo" which is a Book/DVD by Steven Crowell. Here's the link to the website page that has the full description:

    Learn Steven Crowell Guitar Solos - Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

    I would also recommend "The Chord Melody Assembly Line" and "The Formula For Harmonic Protocol" which are both Book/DVD sets by Robert Conti. Here's the link to the website page that has the full description:

    Learn Robert Conti Guitar Solos - Tab Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

    Suffice it to say that if I could have gotten my hands on any of the above books decades ago when I was learning chord melody soloing they would have saved me years of suffering trying to figure all of this out on my own!!

    Hope this helps,
    Steven Herron

  19. #68

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    NO financial interest just that I have quite a few chord melody books and I really think you will like this book (link below). Hard copy with a very listenable CD. The arrangements are not full of block chords like some other books I have including one of Conti's. Of course one can choose to leave out a chord at any given given time and just play the melody note thus making dense arrangements sparser. Also John Stein give some background on the tunes and his thinking behind his arrangements. I htink it's good to have all of these books as they all have something to tell.

    Here is the author playing My Romance from the book:

    And link to book Berklee Jazz Standards for Solo Guitar - Berklee Press Book/CD (0884088646677): John Stein: Books

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by pluck
    thanks I just ordered the chord melody assembly line
    That's great! I just told someone today, "If you like this stuff even half as much as I do, you'll like it quite a bit." In browsing around various threads on the forum, looking for opinions of Conti's materials -- by people who have actually used them -- I found lots of enthusiasm for his way of teaching and for the results people have reported.

    Last night, I re-read much of the thread linked below, because forum member tbeltrans (Tony Beltrans, whose videos appear in Conti's Players Gallery) had some suggestions for how to sequence a study of Conti's chord melody materials.

    He recommended going through things in this order . . .

    1. The Chord Melody Assembly Line

    2. Play Pro Chord Melody Today!

    3. Signature Chord Melody Arrangements (there are 9 volumes, so he probably didn't mean you had to work through all of them before moving on to The Formula. One or two to start with, I imagine -- more later, if you like.

    4. The Formula (he recommends continuing to use Conti's Signature Chord Melody Arrangements while studying this book, so you can compare what he's doing to a fakebook arrangement).

    Although everything Tony had to say in that thread about Conti's method and materials is worth considering, posts #3, 44, and 46 are particularly informative, in my opinion.

    Robert Conti's "The Formula"
    Last edited by snailspace; 03-15-2017 at 10:53 PM. Reason: clarity

  21. #70

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    I really liked Conti's approach for laying down the basics ..... especially the second book .. The Formula

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    I really liked Conti's approach for laying down the basics ..... especially the second book .. The Formula
    Looking forward to getting into that one once I work through The Chord Melody Assembly Line and a few of his Pro Chord Melody DVDs. Everything I've ever read about The Formula has been 100% positive.

  23. #72

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    Haven't checked these out myself, so you'd have to judge for yourself, but Hal Leonard publishes chord melody arrangements by both Robert Yelin and Jeff Arnold. Well, likely more authors than that, but these 2 seem to cover quite a few tunes.

  24. #73

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    The two Barry Galbraith collections published by Mel Bay contain superb arrangements ranging in difficulty from early intermediate to somewhat advanced.

    You might also have a look at the Ted Greene arrangements freely downloadable from --- they range from beginner to quite advanced.

  25. #74

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    I have been on a similar quest, and I think I can suggest a few, if you are open to some non-book options.

    Chord Melody Cafe by Mark Stefani on Truefire, a nice mixture of pop and jazz.

    Jake Reichbart lessons on : pop, jazz, carols, some are more advanced, his own website has more extensive collections, too. You are supposed to learn from video instructions, rather than from scores. You can watch him playing on youtube videos.

    Alex Blanco has some beautiful arrangements in downloadable pdfs. No tabs. His playing on youtube as well.

  26. #75

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    The jazz guitar chord melody solo books by Jeff Arnold are at the early intermediate to intermediate level and they also sound good. There's quite a selection of them to choose from as well - everything from jazz ballads to latin standards to Christmas songs.

  27. #76

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    Fred Sokolov "Building a Jazz Guitar Solo" (Hal-Leonard)

    Four songs in four arrangements each (first position chords, movable chords, substitutions, improvisation), developing from easy to complex. Analysis and explanations of the interesting things. Arrangements written down in standard notation, tabs, and added grips for the chords. With CD where you can listen to the pieces played by the author.

    Not the kind of chord melody I would die for, but a wealth of information for a beginner. It is lying around here for more than a year, unused. Life is procrastinating chord melody for me...


  28. #77

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    Here is a big thumbs up for the Geff Arnold books, if anyone fancy working through some of the tunes, I'm up for starting a study group?

  29. #78

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    I'm not certain from your OP whether you are also practicing reading but here are books I actually use.

    The Beatles for Jazz Guitar The Beatles for Jazz Guitar (9780711931558): Bill LaFleur, John Lennon, Paul McCartney: Books

    It's not the typical Jazz Standards book but if you read Downbeat magazine you will find many contemporary Jazz Musicians cover the Beatles. It is completely chord melody. The songs I know are Hey Jude and In My Life while I'm starting to learn While My Guitar Gently weeps.

    All Time Jazz Standards Jazz Guitar Chord Melody Solos (Series) All-Time Standards Songbook: Jazz Guitar Chord Melody Solos eBook: Jeff Arnold: Books

    This part of a series by Hall Leonard. Others have also tried the Disney Classics book and the Christmas Books. I also own the Latin Standards Book. The songs I know from this book are All of Me and from the Latin Standards Book a nice Samba.

    Hymns for Solo Jazz Guitar (Hal Leonard Solo Guitar Library)

    If those books are too easy for you, they are just right for me. Then you can try the Hal Leonard Solo Guitar Library on the link above. This series is tough as you will see from the link. There is Jazz Guitar too Classical Guitar and it is an advanced to intermediate series. Part of what makes it tough is some chords I cannot play. Anything add9 is a chord my pinkey can't reach. So, this series may be impossible unless you transpose chords. Here is a site where you can do that:

    Guitar Chord Analyzer (Chord Namer, Chord Identifier) |

    I hope I was able to help you.

  30. #79

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    Hi. I just read the comments. I do not recommend any non-commercial books or online only resources. If you are also practicing reading I recommend the following books:

    A Modern Method For Guitar: Jazz Songbook Volume 1 A Modern Method for Guitar - Jazz Songbook, Vol. 1 Bk/online audio (0884088098056): Larry Baione: Books

    This book will get you mostly playing in open position but there are a few songs where you go to fifth position. It is not tough but the point is practice reading. Do not be turned off by the first song because it is very simple. It will get harder.

    Charlie Christian The Definitive Collection: Charlie Christian - The Definitive Collection Songbook (Guitar Recorded Version Tab) eBook: Charlie Christian: Books

    This book is not Chord Melody and it does include tab, but if you ignore the tab then it is a great reading book. You will be moving from Open, to Fifth, to Eight position. Ignore the tab because the tab is wrong, while the music notes are correct and these songs are a lot easier to play than the tab makes it seem. Not to demean Charlie Christian who is a genius in his own right.

    Berklee Jazz Standards for Solo Guitar: Berklee Jazz Standards for Solo Guitar - Berklee Press Bk/Online Audio (0884088646677): John Stein: Books

    This book has beautiful arrangements. I sort of know how to play Dedicated to You which is a beautiful song. The problem? It has those exlcusionary add9 chords which my hands cannot play. You can transpose them through that site I gave you. It is just a turn off for me to have to substitute chords when the author should have made the book accessible to all. Sorry, that is a pet peeve. If you can play add9 chords this is a beautiful book.

    Also, Jazz Guitar Forum is a beautiful place and I've gotten a lot of help here. However, people do sign up just for the purpose of selling things unfortunately. Stick with the commercial books. Many aren't great, but some are very good. These are the best I could guide.

    What will you find over time is you will need to get into Fake Books and Omnibooks to improvise the song. There just is not enough commercial music made for the student out there. Once you want to get into Fake Books and Lead sheet you will either want a good tutor (someone who went to college for music or if possible a conservatory) or you will want to go to your local community college.

    I hope I was able to help you.

  31. #80

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    Here are some more suggestions.

    Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to the Twentieth Century Kostka and Payne:

    The only theory book you will ever need is: Tonal Harmony by by Kostka and Payne. I cannot link to a site called Thriftbooks from here but you can find an older edition of this college book for about four dollars. Nothing changes in music theory, so the most recent older edition is fine. Colleges only use the first four parts of the book which is about two hundred pages. The rest of the book is just speculation.

    The book is straightforward and not obtuse or esoteric. It is a college book and through you will see how little there is to theory. I don't discuss theory online.

    EarMaster Pro 6 EarMaster Pro 6: Emedia: Software

    This is an Ear Training Program working on relative pitch. You will need to use this program along with that theory. Developing relative pitch is a long and slow process but it is worth it. The program comes with the basic program which is long. It also comes with a Jazz orientated program that I have not used yet. It is not about guessing notes. This program is about relative pitch.

    Avid Sibelius First Avid Sibelius First: Software

    The reason I use this program are to 1) write down songs that do not come with CD's to hear how the song sounds like 2) to write and arrange my own music. Granted, I have an older program which cost about sixty dollars. However, I hear the latest program is much better and I'm saving up for it. The older program I have is very, very user friendly. I have never read instructions on it and I know how to use it. Transcribing music is as easy as selecting notes on a fretboard or piano screen. You can also scan in music and have it transfer without having to plug in every note.

    That's all that I can think of right now. I hope I was able to help.

  32. #81

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    Matt’s “Easy Guide...” (referenced above) is pretty clear and concise; in my opinion it is well worth the money.

  33. #82

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    I have these ones.

    Good Chord Melody Book?-img_0676-jpg

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyb
    Hi Doublea A, do you have any of the books?

    I have these ones.

    Good Chord Melody Book?-img_0676-jpg
    I dug up these books from my collection

    Good Chord Melody Book?-img_0708-jpg

    Plus, I have some courses from TrueFire:

    Modern Chord Melody with John Stowell
    Chord Melody Cafe with Mark Stefani
    Chord Melody Etudes with Frank Vignola

    I have barely scratched the surface on any of these.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am fine with purchasing a book for the purposes of following along with the group.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  35. #84

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    Hey guys,

    I'm looking for a book which will explore methods for writing your own chord melodies and solo guitar arrangements.

    I'm not looking for a book that is just a bunch of guitar arrangements.

    I'm hoping to find something that will talk about a concept, and then apply it to a standard by example. But hopefully it will give you enough material to work with that you could apply it to other tunes on your own.

    I was thinking about buying Martin Taylor's Beyond Chord Melody book but I'm open to other suggestions.


  36. #85

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    I think the only book I ever looked through about this style that I liked was one of Howard Morgens...

    Really, all you need is a real book and a basic knowledge of chords, inversions, and basic substitutions...

    You can do a heck of a lot just knowing your drop 2's and 3's and hacking away at a few the inversion of the "chord of the moment" that allows you to best place the melody note on top.

  37. #86

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    I haven't seen Martin Taylor's book, so I can't comment. However, I do have Frank Vignola's "1-2-3 Chord Melody" Truefire course and I highly recommend it. He gives you a "formula" for building your own chord melodies. He applies it to 3 public domain songs. He does a basic, simplified version and then a more complex version of each. Check it out next time Truefire has a sale. I think you'll like Vignola's approach.

  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont

    Really, all you need is a real book and a basic knowledge of chords, inversions, and basic substitutions...

    You can do a heck of a lot just knowing your drop 2's and 3's and hacking away at a few the inversion of the "chord of the moment" that allows you to best place the melody note on top.
    Yes, that's one way to do it but I'm looking to make more interesting arrangements than just playing basic chords with the melody note in the lead.

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellistan
    Yes, that's one way to do it but I'm looking to make more interesting arrangements than just playing basic chords with the melody note in the lead.
    Well, it'd be helpful to know where you're at in ability now.

    There's certainly no need for it to be just "basic chords," if you know some subs and what extensions to add to things...

  40. #89

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    Important question: by chord melody, do you mean 30s style acoustic chord melody or solo guitar in general? Regardless, I agree with Jeff. Playing/arranging solo music is about integrating melodic and harmonic concepts. As such, there’s no good “chord melody” tutorial. You need to get good at comping and playing heads to the point that you want to do them both. The way to get good at it is to find the voicings that express your voice and complement the melody, find positions where you can play those voicings and the melody simultaneously. That requires enough chord vocabulary to be able to evaluate and selecting among multiple options.

    Also you say you don’t want books of solo arrangements, but I’ll argue that it may be the best way to learn rather than trying to build everything from the ground up. Learn an arrangement, steal some ideas for your next original arrangement. Play some classical pieces on the archtop. Play some Eddie Lang. I use stuff from those pieces I would never have learned from a method book.

  41. #90

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    My current favorite “chord melody” books are the Thelonious Monk Plays Standards transcriptions. Obviously you can’t play all of those notes on the guitar, but you learn to distill. You have to think like a pianist and try to move voices independently. It’s a real challenge. I find myself having to sacrifice the bass line to make it work, but I’m trying to figure out ways to express the ideas on guitar.

  42. #91

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    I don't think it needs to be binary choice nor to I believe the posters above were necessarily arguing for a one size fits all approach. .But all three options addressed above can and should be utilized, especially to make the arrangement/tunes your own.
    I'm a middling arranger of solo guitar tunes but I can steal or borrow ideas, phrases, lines etc. so I lift sections from the jazz greats and integrate them into my own arrangements. Today there are so many choices one can borrow from it is ridiculous. As far as solo guitar transcriptions go I would heartily recommend joining Francois LeDuc's Patreon website.

    Francois Leduc Online Library

  43. #92

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    I can't recall who it was, but someone years ago here, suggested of thinking about chord melody, I should think of melody with chords. Simple statement but I found that did make things easier.

    Although not a book, you might want to check out the Frank Vignola chord melody videos on the True Fire site, especially if looking for introductory material.

    I think a lot of us learned chords from the Mel Bay Rhythm (Orchestral) chord books. Good but they did not cover the chords that could be played on strings 5, 4, 3 and 2. I found learning chords on those strings helped considerably and gave a lot more choices when you want the melody note on the 2nd string.

  44. #93

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    It seems like there are more people arguing that you don’t need a book. I’ll asume you’re an adult and understand the limitations of books.

    Martin Taylor’s book/method is quite good, but assumes some experience. Robert Conti has a two book/DVD series called something like “Assembly” and “Formula”. They are the opposite end assuming no theory and little experience. Frank Vignola’s course is like an abbreviated version of Conti’s Assembly book. There is also a new Fareed Haque course that is to Martin Taylor what Frank’s course is to Conti.

    I would also recommend Alan Kingstone’s book. It is not specifically chord-melody, but it lays a good foundation for playing a ton of inversions of a chord under a top note, and at its heart that is the core competency.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  45. #94

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    I have a book called Chord Melody Solos by John E. Lawrence (Mel Bay 2001). I found it extremely helpful. I also bought a course by Frank Vignola 123 Jazz Chord Melody which was also good. So was the Conti Assembly Line course. The Vignola and Conti courses involve a lot of memorizing specific block chords for specific notes, ie: if you need a C chord with an E on top for the melody play Cmaj7.
    I also have the Martin Taylor course and was enrolled in his school (a bit too expensive.) Martin has his "scaffold" system which is a great concept.

  46. #95

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    I like this one... Solo Jazz Guitar Method (9780786690985): Barry Greene: Books

    +1 for Frank Vignola & Martin Taylor

  47. #96

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    Forgot to say...if you sign up for Frank Vignola's Truefire channel ($5 pm) you get access to the 30+ tunes he's already done arrangements for, he adds 1 or 2 a month, pdf & video of him playing the arrangement & talking you through his chord choices, they're pretty straightforward & easy to play & they sound great, lots more stuff to work with as well...

  48. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot75
    I like this one... Solo Jazz Guitar Method (9780786690985): Barry Greene: Books

    +1 for Frank Vignola & Martin Taylor
    Don't know if the OP is following this thread anymore....

    I have many of the chord melody books and courses. I get a little bit out of all of them. Arrangement books are great for getting ideas and importing into your own arrangement. I think the answer to your question? But perhaps the real answer is trial and error and stealing

    I like Barry's book too; nice and concise and inexpensive with a bag of tools for creating your own. His chord melody video lessons are really good to for getting ideas for a specific tune but even then Barry shares his process. There another chord melody book by Bill Hart (I think) that also gives you some tools (similar to Barry's) but also some standard tune chord melody arrangements and the end of the book.

    Martin's "scaffold" approach is really quite simple in theory and you can probably get the main idea from his YouTube on the subject. Execution another story entirely.

    I never got much out of Conti's Assembly Line book......but I may be in the minority here.

  49. #98

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    Hi, I don't post on forums much, but I have been working on chord melody playing for about a year now and thought I would pipe in to offer my 2 cents. I would recommend a combination of three books/videos, Robert Conti's Assembly line, Vignola' Truefire 1-2-3-Chord Melody, and the old Mel Bay Chord melody book. Start by learning to sight read the notes on the second string from the sheet music and play them on the guitar, then using these books/videos, pick the chords that work best for you with the melody notes on the second string ( you will also need some melody notes on the first string too) This takes a lot of time, but you have to learn the chords with every melody note for the Major, minor, and Dominant 7th chords in every key (same fingerings just move them around) you can pick up augmented and diminished later as you go, next pick very basic songs, such as nursery rhymes and practice. You can't avoid the hard work involved. after a few months when the nursery rhymes get easier, move to more advanced, but still simple songs like folk or Christmas tunes. When these songs get easier you are ready to try some standards from the Real Book. The whole process takes a while and it isn't easy, but it will enable you to play chord melody straight from a sheet of music. As you practice, you will experiment with different chords and soon you will have your favorite ones for each note of the scale. Not every note must be played with a chord. This method really works. Again just my thoughts as someone who has been practicing this for about a year now and has seen the results.

  50. #99

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    I found the following Frank Vignola courses to be helpful:

    Inversion Excursion
    123 Chord Melody
    30 Chord Melody Riffs for the 2-5-1 Progression
    The CM section of his "Jazz Studio"

    The 30 riffs are really 6 transposed, and they are a bit cliche' and you could probably figure them out yourself, but it was only $6 on sale so I figured, why not?

    That said, I really like the way Frank Vignola presents information. It's almost impossible to mess any of his stuff up. His solo guitar charts in the studio (now $10 a month to belong, but still worth it, frequent new posting with charts, tab and video) are very clean and playable, great explanations and easy to see how you can take them as a departure point for your own arrangement based on his.

    Another good resource is Matt Warnock. He has a few solo guitar ebooks out, and if you join his Facebook group you can do a live group lesson with him, not sure if it's every week or every new tune. He's a great teacher and responds quickly to queries, I just got into the Frank groove and stayed there for some reason. Matt just expanded his seasonal drop of free Christmas tunes by adding solo guitar charts (thanks, Matt!); some interesting stuff there, I've already begun working out some of the arrangements and modifying for the 7 string.

    I used to think it wasn't legit to learn someone else's arrangement; now I'm stealing as much as I can. I also use other harmonies that I prefer to hear, but it's nice to have a place to start that isn't a blank page. Just my opinion.

  51. #100

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    If you can read German then I'd recommend Stephan Bormann's "Solo Guitar Book" - taking the song "What a Wonderful World", Stephan explains many, many ways to play that song in different styles of chord melody - it's a great book!