Chord Study: Hipster Harmonization: David Bloom Rearranges “Greensleeves”

December 1, 2008

Case in point: Bloom’s arrangement of “Greensleeves.” You’ll hear the song’s traditional melody in the progression’s upper voice. In the chords, you’ll hear harmonies that are anything but traditional. (Note: A few of the melody’s passing notes aren’t harmonized with a new chord, so they appear only in the notation staff, not the grids.) “Guitarists don’t always realize that they don’t have to stay entrenched in typical, functional, II-V-I-based harmony,” says Bloom. “One of the best exercises you can do is harmonize a melody several different ways. For starters, if the first melody note is usually the root or 3 of the chord, try putting it in a new chord where it becomes the 7, the b9, the 11, or some other tone. And then think about different ways it can resolve to the next chord. The possibilities are infinite, and they’re yours to explore.”

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