Chord Melody 1 final output

Hi all,

So, I have recently started chord melody 1 course and have done first couple of lessons which feel like a unique and interesting take on understanding harmony.

I wanted to ask to some of you who have done this course that what are you able to do after finishing this course? Are you able to create chord melody arrangements of popular songs on the fly in any key ? How different you feel composing chord melody with this method compared to standard music theory where you play melody on top strings and then add chord voicings underneath?

Also, as I understand this system currently teaches all harmony concepts in g major in one position on the fretboard. What if there is some melody note faraway what to do then?

Please share your experience.


Welcome to the forum @Rishabh_Bhatia.

After CM1 I’d say that I had the ‘tools’ to allow that for a subset of popular songs (CM1 looks at 4 chords), but not the experience (& in my case, not the technical skill set either - I only started to learn guiitar less than 3 years ago). CM2 extends that subset by considering more chords & ‘environments’.

I expect that for most people, to get from there to what you describe in a practical sense requires further post-course practice & appliation of the ‘tools’ that the course provides.

Little, if anything, in music is instant…:wink:

David (@ImproviseForReal )'s Chord Melody approach feel like the natural way. :smiley:

You move. The concepts found in that position extend out from there all along and across the fretboard.

CM2 is based around a different location.

In general, the ideas shown in the course provide an approach that can be applied anywhere on the fretboard.

If the course itself were to actually go though all the possibilities it would need to be far, far, longer (& thus much more expensive). Instead that extension is left as an exercise for the student.

I hope that helps?

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Thank you @DavidW for the excellent insights and perspectives that you shared. I’ve already responded to @Rishabh_Bhatia via e-mail but I want to share some of my comments here as well, just in case anyone else has the same doubts. Let me just respond briefly to the three main areas of concern that Rishabh is raising:

  1. Arranging songs: I don’t teach specific arrangement examples in the video course itself because each person has different physical abilities and different musical tastes. So this is where there needs to be a handoff between teacher and student, and each student needs to approach this creative work individually. But if you get to the end of Chord Melody Guitar 1 and you still feel that you’re not capable of arranging a simple song for chord melody guitar, please write to me and we’ll look at a song together.

  2. Different keys: In Chord Melody Guitar 2, you’ll learn a totally different position on the fretboard. When you combine these two positions together, you’ll be able to play in all 12 keys because you will have explored every possible configuration of the major scale on the fretboard.

  3. Notes that are far away: This doesn’t exist. Any melody you can imagine can always be placed on the upper strings of the guitar, and any one of those notes can be wrapped in any chord you want, using the techniques that you’re learning in this course. So you probably just need to get farther into the course in order to see that.

@DavidW also touched on an essential point about how much content to include in a video course. What I want to give you in this video course is the knowledge and the skills to master improvising melodically in chord melody style over ANY chord, in ANY key and in ANY position on the fretboard. But to do this, we need to focus on core concepts and develop an understanding that we can generalize to the entire fretboard. It’s not necessary or useful for us to go through every possible chord together. The issue isn’t so much what @DavidW said about making the course too expensive. The real issue is that nobody would watch a video course that goes on for the rest of your life, forcing you to study every possible musical situation in a predefined order. What you want is a deeper understanding of REASONING behind these exercises so that YOU can take control of your own learning.

I also recognize that it’s not always easy to apply your knowledge to a new scale configuration. That’s why we do this work together in Chord Melody Guitar 2. But this new scale configuration is really the only stumbling block that we need to face together. Changing keys by moving up the fretboard is trivial. Everyone in this forum can certainly take the ideas from Chord Melody Guitar 1 and slide them up one fret (key of Ab), or two frets (key of A), etc. The only thing you might need help with is building the entire system with your note 1 on the A string, so that’s what we do in Chord Melody Guitar 2.

Likewise, in Chord Melody Guitar 1 and 2 you’re going to have so many opportunities to build new chords with me that by the end of these two levels you could probably teach the course yourself. There’s no secret about how to apply this technique to any new chord that you want to master. So after we’ve done many examples together, it’s just not necessary to do any more examples because you can already see exactly how it works.

I hope that helps explain some of the choices I made in the design of the course. It’s always difficult to find the perfect balance between giving lots of clear examples vs. “beating a dead horse” and becoming repetitive. I totally respect that other people might have made different choices, and they could also be totally right in their thinking. But I do believe that if you practice this course sincerely and just go through the process patiently, by the end of level 2 you’ll feel totally capable of continuing your music practice on your own for the rest of your life. And if that’s not your experience, then definitely come to our forum for support and we’ll all try to help each other get on that path.


Thanks @DavidW ans @ImproviseForReal for sharing the insights. I understand that some things like different position will be covered in chord melody 2 and some other things like adding new chords and keys I will have to explore on my own. I believe by the end of both courses ideally one should be able to structure and advance his own learning.

I almost included something like “…and only watched by a rapidly decreasing audience” when composing my post. :wink:

That’s my experience in a nutshell. The whole IFR ethos is about equipping us with flexible tools that we can employ for years to come.

There is no ‘finished’, just deeper & deeper understanding.

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Hi @Rishabh_Bhatia and welcome to the forum. I’ve nothing to add to the excellent responses already. Only to recommend, if you haven’t already, to immerse yourself in the IFR book. It has so many nuggets of wisdom, every time I go back into it I find more.

Happy improvising for real!