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Ukulele Lesson: An Introduction to Chord Melody


When performing a piece as a solo instrumentalist on the ukulele, it often creates a more captivating performance to not only showcase the song’s melody, but also support the melody with chordal harmony. The act of playing a song’s chord progression while simultaneously executing the piece’s melody is a performance technique called chord melody.


In this online ukulele lesson, internationally-renowned ukulele player and ArtistWorks instructor, Sarah Maisel, introduces us to the concept of chord melody and teaches how to approach crafting an arrangement of a tune using a chord melody structure. She also presents a few techniques to help simplify the chord melody concept, which can sometimes feel daunting to players preparing to attempt it for the first time.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play the ukulele from a master musician like Sarah Maisel? Try some free online ukulele lessons now!


“Instead of just playing single notes, you can fill some of the space by playing the chords behind the melody line,” Sarah explains. “Often times, the key melody notes are found within the chords of the song’s progression. So, isolating those notes first is the best place from which to start.”


When crafting a tune’s chord melody arrangement, it’s best to begin by first properly mapping out the piece’s chord progression and melody lines independently. From there, you’ll be able to deduce which notes of the melody are specific chord tones that connect to a common chord fingering. Then, you can begin connecting those chord tones together using the remaining notes of the tune’s melody.


“The way that I tend to look at things is actually chords first versus melody first,” explains Sarah. “Then, I’ll typically expand on that to learn the chord progression of the song in a few different places up the neck. This allows me to easily identify the melodic chord tones as I start to map out the melody line.”


To learn more about the chord melody approaches and how to apply them in your own playing, dive into this online ukulele lesson from Sarah Maisel:


An Introduction to Chord Melody with Sarah Maisel:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play the ukulele? Through our comprehensive ukulele lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Craig and Sarah’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner ukulele to advanced performance techniques, improvisation methods, Hawaiian and popular music tunes, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as ukulele players and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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Ukulele Lesson: Basic Picking Technique with Craig Chee




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