How to Harmonize a Melody on Ukulele: 4 Easy Steps to do it!

How to Harmonize a Melody on Ukulele


As you can hear in Twinkle, Twinkle, the melody is sparse and never very full-sounding. It’s a bit boring.

To make the melody richer, in chord melody, layer the only melody notes with chords. The phrase harmony simply means the chords of the music. So as to add richness and fullness to the sound, you play chords together with the melody.

In chord melody, the melody note is near all the time and positioned as the highest note within the chord. This means that most of the time the melody note in the chord is performed on the bottom two strings of the ukulele (E-string and A-string). For the richest tone, chords are sometimes strummed down with the thumb.

If you go slow with the strumming pattern and separate the notes from each other, also play the strings in a different order, you can create a unique melody from the chord you are playing. If you add chords and other notes and even make a mix of two ukuleles, you might get something really special

But let’s check some basics first where you will read something about this topic.

How to Harmonize a Melody on Ukulele

Harmony Fundamentals

Harmony is two or extra notes performed simultaneously on the ukulele.

Most individuals are very used to listening to harmony within the context of chords that use three or more notes. (On the ukulele you nearly all the time strum one note per string: 4 strings = 4 notes.) In case you already know some chord theory, nice. It’s similar to creating harmony.

If you restrict your harmony to 2 notes – playing a pinch as an alternative to strumming a chord – you find yourself playing an interval. An interval is a gap measured between two notes.

Ukulele players usually name a two-note harmony an “interval.” That is also called a “double stop.” When you find yourself “playing intervals” or “playing double-stops” you’re playing two-note harmony.

harmonizing strings

Discover the Harmony

To find the harmony together with the melody, you first should know the chords within the tune. For essentially the most part, it’s simple to discover a tune’s chords with a fast Google search.

However, from there you should know the best way to make major, minor, and diminished chords throughout the ukulele fretboard.

Most individuals don’t understand that there are a number of methods to play a chord throughout the fretboard in the form of three-note chords known as triads. To uncover these triads up and down the fretboard, knowledge of a simple method based mostly on the key scale is required.

The objective of chord melody is to search out chord positions where the notes of the chord are inverted (or organized) in such an approach where the melody note is the highest note that rings out within the chord. In case you’re capable of making triads in root position, first inversion and second inversions, then it’s straightforward to discover a strategy to harmonize the melody with a chord.

Takeaway: Adding richness to a tune’s melody comes from understanding how to make chords throughout the fretboard in order that the melody note is the highest note sounding in the chord.

Discovering The Double-Stop Patterns

As soon as you discover the notes of the harmony, you’ll start to see shape patterns that emerge throughout the fretboard of your ukulele.

As a result of the note-to-note distance doesn’t keep consistent as you progress through a key, there are two harmony shapes that occur on every string pair for any interval.

However, due to the standard tuning of the ukulele, the shapes aren’t all the time constant throughout string pairs.

For example, to play 3rds on the E and A-strings you have got two-interval shapes. However, transfer to the C and E-strings, and also you’ll swap one among them out for a brand new shape.

Some shapes happen on two units of strings because the G string and C string are the identical distance from one another as the E and A-strings (a major third). Additionally, the G and E-strings are the identical distance from the C and A-strings (a major sixth).

double stops for g chord

Altering Keys

That’s nice once you’re playing in the key of C, however what if you wish to transfer it around?

Identical to transposing every other part of music, you’ll shift these shapes (and the 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 pattern) throughout the fretboard in order that it begins on the note of the key you need to be in.

For example, if you happen to slide the entire layout down the fretboard in order that it begins on an F note, you’d be playing in the key of F.

Or you possibly can consider offsetting the pattern by a variety of frets. By shifting up two frets, the F scale above would become G. By shifting up to four frets it will become A, and so on.


Easy methods to Harmonize a Scale – Benefits

Harmonizing a scale is the bedrock of chord ideas. It sets the foundations that are held to nearly unbreakable standards. The most chord progression in songs you hear in your favorite songs has their basis rooted within the harmonized major scale.

OK, so it’s essential. However, it’s possible you’ll be asking your self “what is going to this do for me?”

By the way, we hope you’re asking yourself that. We don’t assume you need to spend time studying something that won’t help you enhance your ukulele playing. There isn’t any merit in understanding music theory just to know it.

The advantages of understanding this little piece of music idea are tremendous. For us, studying the way to harmonize a scale helped:

  • know the key of a tune,
  • know the proper chords for any given key, and
  • study songs by ear extra quickly.

Use These Four Steps to Harmonize a Scale

Let’s harmonize the C Major scale together. If you break this down into small sequential steps, harmonizing a scale is actually not that tough. The secret is to discover ways to do it so nicely that finally skip straight to the answer without going through the steps. To get to that time takes practice. We discover that constructing this from the bottom up on paper is an effective way to apply to harmonize a scale.

Right here’s how to do this.

Step 1 – Begin with the scale

Write the notes of the C major scale on a sheet of paper from left to right.


Step 2 – Rewrite the scale

Instantly beneath that, write the scale once more. This time, as an alternative to beginning with the first note within the scale, begin with the second note. You’ll find yourself with this:



You simply added the second harmony to the C Major scale.

Step 3 – Repeat starting with every note within the scale

Proceed with the pattern from Step 2 with each of the remaining notes within the C Major scale. You’ll find yourself with this:








It is best to find yourself with a grid or chart like this with a complete of seven rows and seven columns of notes.

Step 4 – Number every sequence

Simply number every row of notes from 1 to 7, like this:

1. C D E F G A B

2. D E F G A B C

3. E F G A B C D

4. F G A B C D E

5. G A B C D E F

6. A B C D E F G

7. B C D E F G A

You now have a harmonized scale and you may clearly see every layer of harmony for the C Major scale. This little chart is extremely powerful and we’ll construct this in a number of methods as we research chords and scales.

Put This Into Motion

So, back to our harmony chart. We will use the chart to tell us what chords will match properly in the key of C Major.

To do that, we only have to deal with line 1, line 3, and line 5. For the reason that root note, third and fifth are so essential, let’s highlight them in our chart to essentially deal with these intervals.

1. C D E F G A B

2. D E F G A B C

3. E F G A B C D

4. F G A B C D E

5. G A B C D E F

6. A B C D E F G

7. B C D E F G A

C major harmonizing

Now have a look at the columns within the chart, (from top to bottom). If you choose the notes within the 1st, 3rd, and 5th rows from the first column you get the notes C, E, and G. These are the notes to a C Major chord. So, a C chord sounds good in the key of C.

Well, that is smart!

Now let’s transfer to the second column. In case you pull out the notes from the all-important 1st, 3rd and 5th harmony traces you have got D, F, and A. These are the notes to a D minor chord. So, what does that tell us?

If you wish to play a D chord in the key of C, try a D minor chord. It ought to match properly with every other chord in the key.

In case you move through the columns from left to right, the chords you derive can be:

C Major, D Minor, E Minor, F Major, G Major, A Minor, B Diminished

Utilizing this harmonized scale chart will make it easier to determine the chords that belong to the key.

These chords are engineered to sound good collectively. So in case you are writing a tune in C, construct your progressions from these chords. If you’re making an attempt to determine a tune in C, chances are high that the chords can be one of these. Understanding this helps you deal with just some related chords somewhat more than an infinite variety of potentialities.

harmonizing on ukulele

Conclusion on How to Harmonize a Melody on Ukulele

If you want to play your own chord melody songs, you need to practice and find your own chord melody versions, if you want to sound different. Playing ukulele at the same time is a great starting point because you need 4 strings (or less) for creating ukulele chords.

Learn harmonization to create your own chord melody songs and progressions that will separate you from the others!

There, I repeated that one more time.

If you find music theory hard to learn online, then you can take some private lessons and learn melodies and music creation from a person of your choosing that will take you in the right direction.

Play the same key on the same fret, find out the harmony note that you are after, and try several notes. Experiment with your instrument, pressing with the left hand and strumming with the right one.

You can develop something really good from one chord or two chords and find your ideal chord tone. Maybe the next note you will play will be crucial for your main melody and you will create a beautiful song. Experiment experiment experiment!

Charles Steinhoff

Charles Steinhoff

Charles is here and I am guitar and ukulele enthusiast. Been playing these instruments for over 10 years now and I decided to share some of my knowledge and expertise with the world in terms of these stringed instruments and it's accessories.

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