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How to harmonize a melody

how to harmonize a melody

I got another question from one of our readers: “how to harmonize a melody?

To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what exactly he meant by this question, because it can mean two different things.

1. You have a melody and you want to find a matching chord progression. (This is the topic of songwriting.)

2. You have a melody AND you also have the chords, and you want to add more voices to create a 3 or 4-part melody, something like you create for a choir or an acapella group, maybe for backing vocals. (This is the topic of arranging.)

In this article, I will answer the first question, but there will be another post soon, which will answer the second question too!

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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How to write a happy song

I just got an email from someone the other day, and he asked me “how do I write a happy song?”. I would like to answer this question here so everyone can learn from it.

I was looking for “happy” songs in order to find the answer to this question. Obviously, there are many songs that have a positive message, but I wanted to find the answer to the question “what makes a happy song happy?”. So I tried to choose songs that are mostly “happy” all the way.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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How to identify chords by ear

The absolutely best way to learn songwriting is by writing down songs for the purpose of analyzing them. In order to be able to do that, we need to recognize the chords just by listening to the music.

This could look very hard if you have never transcribed music before, but since I’m transcribing music for more than 20 years now, I can tell you exactly how you can learn to do it very fast.

There are millions of sheet music, chords, and guitar tabs out there, but unfortunately 80% of those are totally inaccurate, so we can’t rely on them. If you find the lyrics of a song with only chord symbols, you can be 99% sure that the chords are wrong.

So here is how you can identify the chords of a song by ear, either because you want to write it down, or maybe because you want to play the song.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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Lydian chord progressions

Probably more than 99% of the songs are written by using the regular major (Ionian) or minor (aeolian) modes. But you can create different moods with your music by using different modes, and your song will be more unique if you utilize these scales.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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How much does a home recording studio cost

Building a recording studio at home can be a really useful thing for a songwriter (or any musician in fact), especially in this pandemic, since we want to minimize personal contacts. But how much does it cost to set up a home recording studio?

There are different kinds of setups for a home studio, and different price levels, so let’s start with the most essentials, and then I will continue with the higher budget setups.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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How to write a song without an instrument

Can you write a song without knowing how to play an instrument?

Are you motivated to write songs, but you don’t know how to play an instrument? Don’t worry, because you can still write songs without using a musical instrument.

How is that even possible?

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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How to write a melody

Melody is one of the most important aspects of any music, regardless of the style or the genre. It is what makes a song memorable. Chord progression and rhythm is extremely important, but people usually recognize a song by its melody. Melody is what the average listener will sing along – if the melody is well crafted.

But how do songwriters come up with melodies? I will start with the very basics but don’t worry if you already know the basics, because we will get to more advanced stuff after that.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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How to learn songwriting

You are probably here because you want to know a few things about how to develop your songwriting skills. I will share some of my advice I usually teach to beginner songwriters.

These tips are really for everyone, regardless what genre of music you are doing.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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What is a bridge in a song

There is a reason why certain song structures are very often used in songwriting. A good structure leads the music listener on a journey, controls how the listener feels, and it helps maintain interest.

The bridge has an important role in this, so let’s take a look at how we can recognize the bridge in a song, and also how we can create a bridge.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.

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How to improve rhythmic accuracy

If you play live music, rhythmic accuracy is the most important aspect of your performance (besides pitch). You can immediately recognize an unprofessional band by listening to them while they are playing only a few beats, totally out of rhythm.

Let me teach you a method, which will help you improve your rhythmic accuracy.

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About the Author

Producer, songwriter of the band Barrio Latino Hungría. Author of the Songwriting Essentials.