UD#92 White Christmas Chord Melody

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UD#92 White Christmas Chord Melody
from 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 you don’t immediately release the chord right after playing it. Though there may be some specific situations where a short chord is called for, generally speaking, the chords are meant to be sustained. This allows the chords to ring together with the melody, which creates…

….the illusion of two ukes!

I’ve made a video illustrating this idea. In the video, I use a little 4 bar chord melody arrangement. Here it is in tablature. Can you name that tune?

And here is the video!

Okay now for our “White Christmas” arrangement. The first page of the sheet music is below. Click the image to download the full two pages.

Here is a video of me playing the arrangement. At the end of the video, I spend some time exploring how today’s “sustain the chord” idea relates to the arrangement.

NOTE: I have a pretty nasty cold so please excuse the sniffling!

All for now! I am hoping to do more lessons in the new year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

All the best in your playing,


P.S. I am regularly adding new lessons to Ukulele in the Dark. Please subscribe to my mailing list below to receive every lesson right when it comes out. Be sure not to miss a thing!

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