How to Harmonize a Melody – 2 Music Theory Hacks for Better Choruses

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In this Hack Music Theory lesson, you’ll learn how to add a captivating harmony to your lead melody, which is gonna take your music to a whole new level. But first… Tea!
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1:26 – HACK 1 – Paint a Backdrop
A backing melody can either harmonise each note of your lead melody individually, or it can function more as a backdrop, against which your lead melody can shine even brighter. We chose the latter option, as our lead melody has a lot of movement and energy, so we didn’t want to take any attention away from that.

2:57 – HACK 2 – Opposites Attract
In those moments when your lead melody has less movement, ramp up the energy of your backing melody, because opposites attract! By giving your backing melody more notes than your lead melody, your lead can get away with some long notes without losing your listeners’ attention.

The example in this video is the chorus from of our upcoming single “Down with the Drama”, which features the amazing Sarah Serene on vocals. We’re in the key of F♯ minor (AKA F♯ Aeolian), and our chords are: F♯m, Amaj, Emaj, Bm, Dmaj, Amaj.

If you want a more in-depth lesson on how to write backing melodies, watch our recommended video that’s gonna pop up on your screen right after the final playthrough in this video. And if you like our hacks, then be sure to subscribe and hit the bell to get notifications. Thanks for watching!

Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music. Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé (and wife) Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series “Hack Music Theory”, and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more. Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who’s been trained by Ray to teach his Hack Music Theory method! While these Hack Music Theory YouTube lessons teach music theory for producers and DAW users, they are designed to accommodate all music makers (songwriters, guitarists, etc.) and all genres, from Electronic Music to R&B, Pop to Hip-Hop, Reggae to Rock, EDM/Dance to Metal (and yes, we djefinitely Djent!).

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