The Melody Machine: A powerful device for composers and improvisers

Kent here!

Today I’m sharing two video lessons, either of which is a good introduction to a commonly used idea, which I sometimes call The Melody Machine.

This “melody machine” is by no means a new technique for creating strong melodies. Singers, composers and improvisers have built melodies this way forever.  In a nutshell, it’s a specific way of using the underlying chord progression as your “generator” of melodic material.

But this “melody generating” concept doesn’t always get, I don’t know, enough of a spotlight, in places where students can really stop and realize the power of it.  So I try to teach and demonstrate this “melody machine” in places where it can really help, as in these two examples.

Audience:  Any student of musical improvisation or composition. The musical concepts in these lessons apply to any instrument or voice, although the videos are obviously keyboard-focused.

The first “Melody Machine” video for you today is from my 3-part study of improvisation on Van Morrison’s tune “Moondance.”

The second tutorial is from my Blues Piano Crash Course