A tune I am working on with my vocal teacher is the Ladino song Morena
. [media]https://youtu.be/x0xmJkByV7o[/media]It is in Dm. The melody sounds very Moorish. Knowing I play classical guitar, she said, "for next week, why don't you write an accompaniment for yourself?"
well...I've never done that before, nor do I know a lot of music theory. I have always played what is on the page and not necessarily known what is going on harmonically (I started to study music just nine years ago).
The next day, I met with my guitar teacher and told him about my assignment and that I had absolutely no idea where to start. He suggested a first step of printing out blank sheets of chord boxes and starting in the open position, work out the different voicings of each of the chords in the song as you go up the neck. He said this way, you will choose voicings that you can actually play on the guitar which might not be the case if you explored the voicings using staff paper. After choosing the chords you want, he said to just get comfortable with the progression, strumming or plucking bass/chord while singing before attempting to do anything fancy. Once the progression becomes comfortable, you can add ornaments, arpeggiation, etc.
Not knowing that many chords to start with and pretty much knowing only the usual ones in open position, the exercise of exploring and filling in the chord boxes with the different voicings was a revelation!
Who knew there were so many neat possibilities with such different sounds?!
I also filled in boxes with partial chords and open basses. I am sure I don't yet have all the possibilities, but a good start nonetheless.
I have a sheet with Dm, Gm, C. While I was noodling (exploring?) around trying out chords as I sang the tune, I added something at one point because it "sounded" like it needed something there before I went back to Dm...then I had to look at what chord it was that I had just fingered... it was A7. So I filled in a bunch of boxes with different voicings of A7.
I tried out the different voicings of the chords as I sang the tune until I came up with a progression that I liked and seemed to complement what I was singing. Sometimes the guitar was in a lower register than me and sometimes higher and very occasionally in the same range. This seemed to make it more interesting than playing it all in the same place.
NOW THE QUESTION(s)
I was curious about what the complete chord progression would be in Dm, so I looked it up online. I found out that there are (of course) three possible "minors", Natural, Harmonic, Melodic. Sooooo....which one should
Right now I am just using different voicings of Dm, Gm, C and A7.
It appears that I am not strictly using the complete progressions of Melodic, Harmonic or Natural because the A7 happens to fall in a descending melodic line although it does have one note ascending before continuing down and that is where the A7 sounded appropriate, two notes before reaching the tonic.
Does this matter?
I have my chords in boxes on each individual sheet, but on my page with melody line and lyrics, I have written indications like Dm@V, Gm@X, A7@V/A (where /A means an open A string bass). All this reminds me which voicing I wanted to use. How would one indicate this on a lead sheet if someone else wanted to play this or I wanted someone to evaluate my choices? Would I just put the chord box on my sheet indicating the exact voicing of the chord? Or is there some sort of shorthand that is used?
When the sun shines, bask.
Classical Guitar forever!