Category Archives: Chord Melody

UD#103 Harmony of One: Chord Melody Backing!

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I love harmony singing and the richness that it creates. Sometimes when I am doing a song on my own, I miss that feeling: the feeing of two voices interacting. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with how to create a melodic interaction between the uke and the voice that can give a similar effect….


UD #99 Chord Melody: I’ll Be Home for Christmas

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UD#99 Chord Melody: I’ll Be Home for Christmasfrom Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek The first thing I do before I make a chord melody arrangement is learn the chords and melody of the song. So, here is a simple song sheet for “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” You can strum the chords and sing it, or you can pick the melody. Click the image for a printable version: If you are unfamiliar with chord melody you might want to check out this earlier article: https://ukuleleinthedark.com/ud-68-how-chord-melody-works/ When we create a chord melody arrangement it’s often necessary to use different chord   …Continue Reading


UD#96 Chord Melody: Brahms’s Lullaby!

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UD#96 Chord Melody: Brahms’s Lullaby!from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek Last lesson we learned Brahms’s Lullaby by ear with the plan of arranging it as a chord melody this week. If you missed the last lesson you can find it HERE. Have a look, and then come back to this lesson, when you are ready.  For those of you who learned Brahms’s Lullaby by ear, here is the answer sheet so you can check your work. You can see that I have added lyrics, which I forgot to do last week. I used the third verse because I like it the   …Continue Reading


UD#92 White Christmas Chord Melody

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UD#92 White Christmas Chord Melodyfrom Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek Today’s lesson is about chord melody, which is the subtle art of playing chords and melody at the same time. It is a solo technique that creates the illusion of two ukes playing together. I would like to talk about an aspect of chord melody that many of my students find elusive. Here is the basic concept: “Whenever possible, the chords in a chord melody arrangement are meant to be sustained for their full duration.” In essence, what this means is that chord melody arrangements sound better if   …Continue Reading


UD#83 More Classical Ukulele Romance

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UD#83 More Classical Ukulele Romancefrom Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek   In UD#80, we learned the minor section of Spanish Romance, a very famous Spanish piece written for guitar. If you haven’t learned it go here: https://ukuleleinthedark.com/ud80-gorgeous-classical-piece-spanish-romance/ I have gotten a lot of requests for the major part of Spanish Romance, so I thought I would begin this year by sharing that arrangement with you.   SPANISH ROMANCE PART 2: THE MAJOR SECTION To accommodate different skill levels, I’ve made two different versions: a simplified version and a full arrangement of part 2 of Spanish Romance.   1.   …Continue Reading


UD#82 Holiday Chord Melody: Silver Bells

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UD#82 Holiday Chord Melody: Silver Bells from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek   It’s time for our yearly holiday chord melody arrangement! I was going through some notes with a long time student and I came across a nice arrangement of Silver Bells that I had done years ago.The nice thing about this arrangement is that it sounds lovely, but is also quite manageable for the fingers. It only has two “up-the-neck” chords!   What are “up-the-neck” chords? As you may know, chord melody is a style of playing that allows us to play chords and melody at   …Continue Reading


UD#80 Gorgeous Classical Piece: Spanish Romance

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UD#80 Gorgeous Classical Piece: Spanish Romance from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek My dad was around 30 years old when he started playing guitar. An adult beginner!  One of the pieces that I remember him practicing is Spanish Romance, which is one of the best known classical guitar pieces in the world. I’d like to teach you a uke version today. The full piece has two sections: a minor section and a major section. I’ll teach you the minor section today. To learn the the major section please go to UD#83. First let’s listen to the piece on   …Continue Reading


UD#74 Beautiful Chord Melody: Love Me Tender

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Beautiful Chord Melody: Love Me Tender (UD#74) from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek   Today let’s look at a chord melody arrangement for Love Me Tender. Here is a little video of me playing through the tune in my own personal style. I take a few liberties with the melody and chords, but it will give you an idea of how the tune goes.   First things first… The first thing I usually do when I sit down to do a chord melody arrangement is learn to play the melody. For those of you who would like to   …Continue Reading


UD#69 Chord Melody: Huron Carol

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Chord Melody: Huron Carol (UD#69) from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek   Today we’ll look at a chord melody arrangement of the “Huron Carol”, which, I recently learned, is Canada’s oldest Christmas song! Here is a little video of me performing today’s song, live from my teaching studio in Vancouver. I do the song twice through. First, I do a finger-style version, which we will cover later in today’s lesson. The second time through the song I use a standard thumb strum, like we covered in the last lesson. Here is the video! Here’s what I propose. Why   …Continue Reading


UD#68 How Chord Melody Works

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How Chord Melody Works (UD#68)from Ukulele in the Darkwith Guido Heistek The process of creating chord melody arrangements is quite simple. There are three basic steps: 1. Learn the melody.2. Learn the chords.3. Put the chords and melody together! Let’s start with a song that we are all familiar with: Mary Had a Little Lamb. Not the coolest tune, I know, but making your own chord melody is SO cool that it will more than make up for it. You’ll see. At the end of the lesson there is a video recap with a special treat for more advanced players.   …Continue Reading


UD#62 Sounds Like a Harp: A Finger-style Uke Arrangement

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Sounds Like a Harp: A Fingerstyle Arrangement (UD#60) from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek   I’ve been wanting to teach a follow up lesson to Spanish Melody for a very long time. If you have not learned or heard Spanish Melody you should definitely check it out. It is by far the most popular lesson on Ukulele in the Dark!Go here: https://ukuleleinthedark.com/ud-39-chord-melody-spanish-melody/   SPANISH MELODY VARIATION! I’ve taught Spanish Melody to many people and over the years. I’ve developed a variation that I can play along side my students as they learn the song and it creates a   …Continue Reading


UD#60 The Most Useful Chord Melody Ever: Happy Birthday

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UD#60 The Most Useful Chord Melody Ever: Happy Birthday from Ukulele in the Dark w/Guido Heistek A student of mine once commented that “Happy Birthday” was the most useful chord melody arrangement that she had ever learned. So many opportunities to use it!   But, first I have a little news. My new book, The Chord Melody Book for Ukulele, was officially released on June 1. If you would like to pick up a copy please click the link below. As a BONUS, every hard copy ordered comes with a complimentary download version! You can also purchase a copy of   …Continue Reading


UD#59 Chord Melody: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

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Chord Melody: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (UD#59) from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for all of your suggestions for a holiday chord melody. I’ve settled on a chord melody arrangement of a lovely tune by Frank Loesser: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? I thought we’d have a listen to the tune first, which gives me an opportunity to share something else with you! For the past little while I have been doing “one mike recordings” of some of the students at my Vancouver studio. We gather around   …Continue Reading