The time has come for you to enter the amazing world of Chord Melody! Yes, you’ve heard about chord melody during your ukulele journey but for whatever reason you haven’t entered the gates due to fear, insecurities or just lack of time. All of those reasons are going to vanish right now, because once you see what you’re capable of, you’ll never settle for less. Are you ready? Because I’m opening a new world of possibilities just for you in 3… 2… 1!
What does “Chord Melody” mean for ukulele players?
Chord Melody” is a technique used for ukulele players (and so many other string instruments) to play the song with melody and accompaniment, both at the same time. If you don’t know how to sing or don’t have the coordination to play and sing at the same time, this is a great solution to add more attitude to your playing instead of strumming the same chords over and over again. To understand the meaning of Chord Melody, let’s start with a simple song exercise:
Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of your 1st string to make the C chord on your ukulele (remember that the Ukulele must be tuned in G-C-E-A) and strum that chord for 8 beats.
Now, while playing the C chord, add the lyrics from the nursery song “Frère Jacques”:
C C C C C C C C
Frère Jacques Frère Jacques
What would happen if your ukulele could also “sing” the melody at the same time instead of you having to sing the song? Crazy, huh? But it’s totally doable! By leaving the C chord and strumming the same beats, you could just add the notes of the song on top:
This would be the result:
Hear the difference? This is only a pretty short example to show you what you can do by mixing the chords and the melody to play everything at the same time!
Chord melody is also commonly used for solo players to create the feeling of a “band” when actually its only one person playing the entire arrangement, allowing him/her to create different variations to the song and create a deeper connection between the instrument, the song and the player.
Read more: Learn how to play “Creep” on your Ukulele
Why chord melody?
If we can just play “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” with 5 chords, why should you learn to play the chord melody version of the same song? Yes, some ukulele players may be asking this question right now, and hey! I agree with you! It’s scary to get out of our comfort zone and try to play something more difficult. That’s why I’m asking you to take a leap of faith and try to play some chord melody arrangements, because you will not only get a better sound, but will also:
- Have more confidence in yourself and your playing techniques.
- You’ll exercise your brain, because you’ll need to actually memorize the complete song to be able to play it from start to finish, instead of just learning the chords of a song.
- By memorizing the complete chord melody, you’ll be able to remember the song forever and ever, because you’re training your brain and muscles. So… no more excuses like: “Oh, I don’t remember that song!”, “What are the chords?”, “Can I see the chord chart?”.
- Many people, myself included, have found that chord melody has helped them tremendously in their ukulele learning experience.
If you’re ready to give your ukulele journey a boost, then the time is now. The #1 learning site to play Ukulele, leaded by Terry Carter, will host an online Workshop about Chord melody on March 22nd (2022) at 1:00 pm (L.A. Time Zone). In this workshop you’ll be able to understand the basics on this exciting ukulele technique, get access to printables and exercises (for you to work on to be able to play your first chord melody arrangements), some backing tracks to guide you during the learning process and have the chance to meet other ukulele players just like you, with the same mindset and energy to start playing chord melody arrangements like a pro.
Want a new set of strings, a capo, a tuner or a brand new Ukulele? We’ve got you covered!
You can find more information about this amazing Chord Melody Workshop here. Also, remember that Uke Like The Pros offers a great variety of ukulele content for all levels, from beginner to advanced, as well as baritone ukulele, Guitarlele content and even guitar courses for ukulele players.
The time is now for you to become the ukulele player that you’ve been wanting to become. Hope to see you there in that workshop!!
Good luck, and happy strumming!