When you first start to learn how to play jazz guitar, the idea that you can play chords and melody together is pretty exciting but can be a little intimidating. The Christmas season gives us a chance to play full songs all by ourselves on solo guitar for our family and friends. One such tune is Frosty the Snowman. This is a great tune for any studying jazz guitarist to spend some time getting under their fingers and into their repertoire. Wouldn’t it be great to learn some Christmas chord melodies in time for Christmas? It takes a while get these down so get started now 🙂
This arrangement is basically the one I picked up from Robert Conti. His arrangements have a lot of typical jazz guitar chords but you are free to remove some of the chords if it is too difficult for your current skill level.
Robert Conti’s arrangements are a great way to get started with chord melody. Two things that stand out to me is the harmonic density and the chord and related bass line movements. The arrangements usually have a different chord for each note of the melody. The chord and bass line movements follow a variety of common patterns. The chords move in the cycle of fourths (Am7, D7, Gmaj7, etc), chromatic descending (Fmaj7, E7#5, Eb13, D7, etc), and other such as chromatic ascending, and minor and major 3rds, as well as diatonically within the current key.
To help you out, I’ve included a video of me playing the arrangement to act as a guide for you in the practice room. But, if you find yourself getting stuck and need more help in learning Frosty the Snowman, send me a note through my contact page and we can get together for a video lesson to help you tackle any problem areas in this, or any other, chord melody arrangement.
Arrangement by Robert Conti
Here’s a chord melody lesson for Satin Doll (part 2). Sign up on the right to get the PDF arrangement.
Here’s a chord melody lesson for Satin Doll. Sign up on the right to get the PDF arrangement.