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Take Me Out To The Ball Game: Advanced Version

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In this tutorial we will learn a more advanced version of 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game', the classic American tune about baseball in a jazz chord melody style. This tune was written in the early 1900s by Albert Von Tilzer and Jack Norworth. And it makes a great chord melody style arrangement!

I've put the tune in the key E major in order to make full use of the guitar's range. Also, I've surrounded the melody with exteneded harmony chord voicings. So, the entire first phrase could be played over a simple E major chord in various inversions. Instead, I've put E chords with extended harmony notes such as 6/9, major 7ths, etc.

This is the time to look over the score notation and take your time to crefully learn and map out the placement of the notes on the fretboard and in time (rhythmically).

Here is the basic approach to the challenge of creating a chord melody arrangement.

1. Pick a song to arrange.

2. Know the melody. Really know it. Play it on the top 3 strings: E, B and G strings. Be able to "swing it".

3. Pick chords to go along with the melody notes. Know the chords. Really know them. Be able to play the chords for the song in at least three different places on the fretboard.

4. Be able to play just the bass notes for the chords along with the melody. As in a counterpoint arrangement. You can use anyone of the chord's notes for the bass part. But makes the most sense to start with the root note. The only exception to this is if the melody happens to also be the root note of the chord. In which case you should try the (major or minor) third of the chord instead, making a first inversion chord.

5. Add in more chord notes as the melody allows your fingers to based on where you are playing the melody on the top strings, the bass notes on the bottom strings. Fill in chord notes on the middle strings.

6. Add in more bass notes where the melody and your fingers allow. Try to create bass lines that walk out of the current chord and into the next chord.

Look at these tutorials for ideas on orchestration:

  • 'Mary Had A Little Lamb' - Learning To Orchestrate
  • 'Twinkle Little Star' - Orchestrating Mozart
  • Blues Orchestration Series 1
  • Blues Orchestration Series 4
  • Blues Orchestration Series 5

    Look at these for jazz guitar style:

  • Joe Pass Series 1
  • Joe Pass Series 2
  • Easy Fingerstyle Jazz
  • Fingerstyle Jazz
  • Fingerstyle Chord Melody Comping
  • Intro to Jazz Style Guitar

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