One ironic aspect of the current information-overload era of music instruction is that melody is usually overlooked. I’m always mystified by this because we all love melody and when we think of a particular song, isn’t it the melody we hear in our minds? Melody is one of the primary aspects of music that resonates with us, yet it’s one of the least-mentioned when it comes to learning music these days. Indeed, there are entire websites devoted to improvisation that don’t even contain a single melody.
Let’s remedy this for ourselves, and rediscover what Mozart, Charlie Parker, and Elton John know and love.
Interpreting melody for ourselves is a very fluid process and is similar to how we speak. Sure, we may see a friend and say, “How are you doing?” Yet the pacing and inflection of the words changes every time. That’s what makes each of us unique individuals.
It’s the same with how we can approach melody.
Watch this video to see how you can vary and embellish a melody. I start out playing the standard tune “Like Someone In Love,” which was a popular ballad of the 1940s and has become a standard, with just my right hand alone for two full choruses. You’ll hear how you can take any melody you like, from folk songs to jazz to rock and pop, and “make it your own.”
Like Someone In Love: Journey Through The Real Book #209
Have fun watching this video and then applying the way I play the melody to your own favorite songs!
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