String Theory: How to Compose and Improvise Melodies Over a Chord Progression, Part 2

The following content is related to the March 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.

Picking up where I left off last month, I’d like to offer two final melodic variations on my “Autumn Leaves Counterpoint” theme. Here, I’ll shift gears to smaller and thus “quicker” rhythmic values, or subdivisions, in order to demonstrate smart ways to add even more “melodic fill” between targeted chord tones within a chord progression, using a sort of “connect-the-dots” approach. The objective is to create satisfyingly logical-sounding, breathtaking classical-style runs that convery a sense of meaningful harmonic direction.



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Over the past 30 years, Jimmy Brown has built a reputation as one of the world's finest music educators, through his work as a transcriber and Senior Music Editor for Guitar World magazine and Lessons Editor for its sister publication, Guitar Player. In addition to these roles, Jimmy is also a busy working musician, performing regularly in the greater New York City area. Jimmy earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance and Music Management from William Paterson University in 1989. He is also an experienced private guitar teacher and an accomplished writer.