St. James Infirmary (Guitar Lesson)


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Peter Einhorn

St. James Infirmary

Delivering on the promise made in the lesson introduction, Peter demonstrates how to play "St. James Infirmary" in the chord melody style. He also introduces the shuffle rhythm which is needed to play the tune correctly.

Taught by Peter Einhorn in Chord Melody with Peter Einhorn seriesLength: 8:53Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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timwinttimwint replied on January 7th, 2014

Excellent lesson series. I started guitar about 12 years ago and the teacher I had at the time was attempting to teach the same thing but I was very weak on theory and not much soaked in. The major difference is the down tuning two steps and letting the whole scale be linear. It makes a major difference. The chord transitions become much more fluid. I think a couple of more trips through these lessons that I might really get it this time. One question that I have though, is where is the bass? Are you going to create another lesson series and show us how to add that?

peter.einhornpeter.einhorn replied on January 12th, 2013

YoRobMcC et al: I am very glad that you are enjoying the lesson series. I have chosen drop 2 voicings for several reasons. 1. They are easily inverted, so that using the same notes, the player can configure the chord to have any of its notes as the melody, or top note. 2. They are easy to play. These are open voicings. As opposed to the piano, our fingers are closer together as the interval opens up on the guitar. (Up to a point, of course). Small intervals on the guitar require the fingers to stretch far apart, so we use open voicings with larger intervals. By the way, if you would like to configure your own drop 2 voicing, here is how it is done. Start with the closed voicing , take the 2nd note from the top and drop it 1 octave. For accompaniment voicings with a distinct bass note try drop 3. More on that in future lessons!

YoRobMcCYoRobMcC replied on December 30th, 2012

Peter, Thanks for a wonderful lesson series. Would you explain a little more about how and why you decided to go with the drop 2 voicings as opposed to the standard R-3rd-5th-7th voicings? I've been studying chord melody for several years and have harmonized many songs, but my chord melody versions are a little boring in comparison to others I've seen. For instance, I have a book called Christmas Favorites for Solo Jazz Guitar by Paul Pappas published by Cherry Lane. Many of the chord voicings used in that book are not obvious to me why they were used, but they work and make the tunes sound more interesting. How does one decide what chord to use to harmonize a melody note? Before viewing your lessons, it would never have occurred to me to harmonize a G major scale starting with a G6/9 chord. A follow up lesson on this topic would be much appreciated. --Rob

peter.einhornpeter.einhorn replied on December 20th, 2012

Dear gharrington; would you mind going through it again? The "Rosetta Stone", or method for application to other melodies, is there. Maybe I did not explain it clearly to you. Please try again, and maybe you can at least come up with some specific questions. I would be happy to answer!

thesnowdogthesnowdog replied on December 6th, 2012

Thanks Peter, this series has been tremendously helpful.

gharringtongharrington replied on November 30th, 2012

After reviewing lessons 123&4 again I see it now. This is gold to me. All the best and thanks.

gharringtongharrington replied on November 28th, 2012

Peter thank you so much I very appreciate this focussed series. I am enjoying the 'fish' you have given me, but I am still trying to learn how to fish on my own (harmonize any melody) I get the mechanical relationship among the melody note, the chord composition (1,3,5 or 7th or 9th or 13th notes), and the numbered integral of the melody note for that particular chord as I practice chord to chord. But, I've somehow missed the ‘Rosetta Stone’ moment that is the key to understanding how to know how to select a chord/chord shape for ANY melody note. Hoping for that ‘aha’ teaching moment when I learn how to fish on my own. Can you recommend further study source on this? I heard you say that be the end of the series we should be able to harmonize the melody of any tune. I have lots of tunes in simple C from piano song books. I'd to be able to harmonize those melody notes.

machspeedmachspeed replied on August 8th, 2013

If you hear a melody that goes C G E B (for one bar) as an example, and you are aware of how chords are made up, then the most obvious chord choice for those notes would be a C major 7, which contans all of these notes. However, you could also divide the bar up into two chords, first with C major for the C and G notes, and then switch to E minor, because the E and B notes are in that chord. Why E minor over E major? Because a G was previously played and playing a G major, which contains a G#, might sound off. But you could also play a chord that doesn't have all of the notes. You could play an A minor instead of the E minor. The E is the 5th of A minor, but the B is not in the chord. However, it is the 9th of the chord and in general this sounds pretty nice. It also gives us Cmajor to A minor, which is a I Vi progression, and is very common. I think what you might be missing is the concept of keys and chord construction. basically, whenever you see notes in a bar, you can often fit an obvious chord over them, plus some less obvious chords that don't contain all of the notes. It's all up to how you want it to sound.

machspeedmachspeed replied on August 8th, 2013

Argh, when I said "Because a G was previously played and playing a G major, which contains a G#, might sound off." I meant "Because a G was previously played and playing an E MAJOR, which contains a G#"...sorry about that!

Chord Melody with Peter Einhorn

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Peter Einhorn takes a look at chord harmonization in this lesson series. Instead of the more traditional method of harmonizing the bass notes, he teaches a reverse method to harmonizing the melody.



Lesson 1

Series Introduction

In this lesson series, Peter Einhorn is going to be discussing harmonization based off of melody notes. Most traditional learning for harmonization utilizes the bass notes. As a result you'll gain more...

Length: 6:00 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Lesson 2

Learning Melody

To get you started in your chord melody journey, it's first necessary to learn a few melodies. In this lesson, Peter provides instruction on melody using the 1st string for which you'll be harmonizing...

Length: 5:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Scales

In order to harmonize a melody and create chords, you need to know what scales you're using. In this lesson, Peter discusses harmonization using the major, Dorian and Mixolydian scales.

Length: 8:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Transposing Shapes

In this lesson, Peter discusses how the shapes you've learned for the G major scale can be transposed or used in other keys. You will also start harmonizing scale tones in the second scene.

Length: 10:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Using Pivot Fingers

So you've learned the basic chord melody shapes and you're wanting to apply that to music. How do you get from one shape to the next? In this lesson, Peter discusses and demonstrates the use of pivot fingers...

Length: 6:46 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Combining Techniques

Now that you've learned how to harmonize chord and scales tones and connect chords, it's time to start putting those techniques to use. In this lesson, Peter demonstrates these techniques as applied to...

Length: 11:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Oh! Susanna

Now that you've taken a look at combining all the techniques of chord melody playing, it's time to start applying it further. In this lesson, Peter demonstrates musicality while playing. You'll learn to...

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Chromaticism

In the eighth lesson of his chord melody series, Peter discusses the use and harmonizing of chromatic notes. You'll then put these concepts to use and learn the song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".

Length: 13:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Go Tell It On The Mountain

In this lesson you'll learn the song "Go Tell It On The Mountain". Peter uses this song to discuss and demonstrate relative keys and how they apply to playing in the chord melody style.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

St. James Infirmary

Delivering on the promise made in the lesson introduction, Peter demonstrates how to play "St. James Infirmary" in the chord melody style. He also introduces the shuffle rhythm which is needed to play...

Length: 8:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Peter Einhorn View Full Biography Peter has performed and / or recorded with Joe Lavono, Jimmy Cobb, Steve Swallow, Placido Domingo, John Abercrombie, Steve Kuhn, Eddie Daniels, Roland Hanna, Walter Booker and many others.

Peter has honed his teaching skills from 20 years of service at the National Guitar Workshop, 10 years teaching guitar students and ensembles at Bard College in N.Y., and, to this day, maintains some private students. As a professional jazz & latin musician in New York City and Miami he has played in many top venues. His work at the Metropolitan opera in New York City over a period of three years should be noted. He has written for network television (NBC, ABC)) and for video (History Channel) and has over 25 scores to his credit. Peter has performed and / or recorded with Joe Lavano, Jim Hall, Steve Swallow, Placido Domingo, John Abercrombie, Steve Kuhn, Eddie Daniels, Roland Hanna and many others. Peter is licensed in Instrumental Music, K-12 in New York State. His guitar improvisational instruction books; "Introducing the Dorian Mode" and "Introducing the Mixolydian Mode", are currently available from Alfred Publishing. He lives in Woodstock, NY with his wife and two children.

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