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Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
#3036462 10/16/20 09:40 PM
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This is a tricky one for me. Appreciate the help. I'm trying to fill out the sound in the right hand. I'm doing 3rds and 6ths and chords with the melody on top and it still sounds clunky is heck. What am I doing wrong?

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Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3036480 10/17/20 12:27 AM
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Can we hear some recording?

Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3036500 10/17/20 04:06 AM
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Can you play one note louder than another with the fingers of the same hand?

For instance, play C-E-A with 1-2-5 using RH. Can you play the A much louder, so that it sounds like a melodic note and the other two notes just provide the harmony?


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Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3036553 10/17/20 08:29 AM
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When I first started playing pieces with both the melody and harmony in the same hand, my teacher had me practice it at first by playing the melody loud and legato and the harmony soft and staccato.


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Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3036877 10/18/20 05:04 AM
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Just checking... 3rd, 6th of the chord, not the key?
Seems to me, you are free to pick any chord tones that sound good, you can often sustain the harmony note over other notes in the chord, leave them out sometimes etc.

Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3036902 10/18/20 06:51 AM
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Remember that your harmony only changes when the chords change. Most of your melody thus, will still be single notes. In common time you may have a chord change at the beginning of the measure (add a couple of notes from the chord below the melody here) and no other harmony is required for the rest of the measure. Some times you may have two chord changes in the measure, but this will occur less often. Same applies though or maybe just change the bass note in this case and drop RH harmony, would be enough. Experiment and see what you like.

3rds. and/or 6ths. are commonly used for a string of melody that you want in harmony. So, in this case the harmony is in unison with the melody. You wouldn't typically play an entire verse or chorus this way. More likely you would use 3rds of 6ths for a short melodic section in contrast to what you are doing in the rest of it.

As your RH will now need to change position less often (assuming you were not doing this way before) you can work on smoothing over any clunky chord changes.

Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3037618 10/20/20 04:21 AM
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I had this 'clunky' problem also

The problem for me is that if I am are too busy playing the chord notes, I loose connection with the melody. The whole balance then goes out: melody line then loses its phrasing and the chord notes get too loud and also lose their phrasing.

What I then hear is that notes start sounding separate/clunky instead of a single line. But this is only the surface effect of the bigger problem of losing the total phrasing and balance.


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Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3037646 10/20/20 06:32 AM
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It will still take practice, but so long as you're going about it the right way, the rest you can easily remedy as you do more of it.

If playing harmony in RH is new to you, perhaps try approaching systematically, like;

1st, get the notes. Decide when and where harmony will be added to RH.

2nd, work on voicing. Decide what chord notes you will have in RH and which will remain in LH. There may be duplicate notes and you can decide on that. Go back and adjust #1 smile.

Next, work on expression. Strengthen your melody to stand out and sing above the harmony.

In this way or similar approach, all of it will come in time and will be smooth once again. Just needs practice.

Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3037647 10/20/20 06:33 AM
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Correctly using damper pedal to let notes linger while playing some single notes in melody, tieing it all together, helps a lot.


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Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3037739 10/20/20 12:28 PM
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Chords naturally sound loud when you're playing 3 notes at a time. A chord would sound 3x louder compared to a single note. I try not to over-emphasize a chord unless it is the start or the end of a phrase. A chord at the end of a song I'd let it play louder naturally.

If you have a RH chord ending with your pinky, you need to focus putting more weight on that finger because it is the weak finger. In some cases, a chord can be played as an arpeggio (separate notes in quick succession) to give the effect of a chord but at the same time would lighten the overall volume.

Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3037835 10/20/20 07:21 PM
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Voicing is an important part and can make life much easier for you.

If you have a block chord in your LH, you wouldn't need a full triad in your RH in this instance, but maybe just one other chord note in RH below melody would be nice. Even if it is redundant. Or if going for rich sound you could just split the chord even. Works great for 4 note chords. 2 notes LH and 2 notes RH plus melody of course.

If you were playing a broken chord LH, so like 1, 5, 3 and back twice in a measure, than no problem using full chords RH. You won' t notice any redundancy. With stride also you may have lots of redundancy that sounds fine. It depends what you're playing, but most often you will only need light harmony in your RH as your LH already has you covered.

Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
thepianoplayer416 #3037862 10/20/20 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Chords naturally sound loud when you're playing 3 notes at a time. A chord would sound 3x louder compared to a single note.

I used to think this too, but actually it's not true. It's a logarithmic scale, so as you add more notes, it makes less and less difference to the perceived loudness. Two notes actually apparently only sound 1.4 times as loud as a single note

Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
Utkonos #3038217 10/22/20 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Utkonos
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Chords naturally sound loud when you're playing 3 notes at a time. A chord would sound 3x louder compared to a single note.

I used to think this too, but actually it's not true. It's a logarithmic scale, so as you add more notes, it makes less and less difference to the perceived loudness. Two notes actually apparently only sound 1.4 times as loud as a single note

Maybe not even that.
If you play say 5 notes with the same arm weight, each note will get 1/5th of the weight. You now have 5 notes each having 1/5th of the energy. The overall loudness would be equal.


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Re: Both Harmony with Melody Note in Right Hand?
SlowBurn #3038230 10/22/20 08:15 AM
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If you take a triad chord does not mean you do that fortissimo always.
Softer touch chord, and pedal down and fill in melody where appropriate.
Melody would stand out clearly.

But when coming jazz versions of songs melody theme is rather subtle anyway.


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