Finding chords to fit a melody

Paul Thomson from Spitfire Audio keeps publishing very good YT videos. The latest one is about choosing chords to fit a melody. The idea is to disregard the scale of the melody notes and instead just select chords that sound good.
I know about all the various ways one can find chords in Scaler and they are great but not what I am looking for in this situation. I also know that others have asked for a chord suggestion feature and maybe it will be available in a future version.
Right now it seems like the best and fastest method is manually finding chords by trial and error directly on the keyboard while looping the melody.
How useful is Scaler in this situation?
Are there other applications that can suggest chords to a melody without being constrained to a particular scale?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCl3Jqx6mDg

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This is my dream , to find chords that might follow my melody and i really hope this will be done in 3.0. Scaler already does a lot of amazing things but this would be the most amazing one
.

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this is what I do usually :astonished:
I’ll ask for royalties to Paul
well, re-thinking to it, I am ahead because I have never a melody in mind
:grin:

A melody can be really simple. Paul Thomson used only four notes! But that is enough to start exploring possible chords.
I wish someone can come up with a clever way to use Scaler in this situation.
Or suggest some other software or workflow.

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Or you could do what Paul does in the video and just try things out. He’s not using Scaler so your challenge is to do the same thing. Use your ears. :raised_hands:

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Scaler 2 Workflow | Starting with a Melody - YouTube Use the musician’s best tools, ie your own ears, and try your best. I find it easy to find with Scaler.

Yes! Working like Paul is what I do and have always done. Using my ears is my only method. But I’m looking for assistance from some clever application that can suggest chords based on the notes of a melody. I’m sure this will available in the near future but maybe not in Scaler.

Well, I see that Paul Thomson shows that he has all the chords and progression possibilities in his head. Without a doubt, he is a great teacher. And what he suggests to us throughout the video is that the more harmony we learn, the more possibilities we have to choose when we harmonize a melody.
But an important detail in the whole video is that he uses the always test method to choose the appropriate progression at each moment.
For those of us who don’t have so many chords in our heads, or for those who don’t want to do what he advises (study harmony, hehe), …we have Scaler.
We choose the scale and, starting from where Paul starts (basic triads), we try the multiple options that we have in Scaler until we find something that we like. In your example, it is a 4-note melody, which, placed in chords (a chord for each note) gives us the possibility of 14 possible progressions that we can vary, substituting basic chords, placing extensions, preparing modulations, inverting the chords in the Edit page, etc.


By the way, with our tests, we are learning harmony and how to link the chords correctly

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These are the words of wisdom, my friend. I see the light at the end of the tunnel…but Scaler could help us more :smiley:
I start with what you just explained. But i am still too lazy to learn hehe.

RC can do that and more. Absolutely great program.

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Yes jjfagot! I totally agree! Paul has a deep knowledge of music theory and years and years of experience and that is something I can never hope to achieve. I’m 67 and I have to do things my way based on my situation and limitations.
Thanks for your suggestion but that is exactly what I have tried and although it works really well and is quite useful and inspiring, it still is not what I’m looking for!
So Yes! Scaler is a great and fun learning tool but again, not what I’m looking for. I will of course continue to use Scaler and hope for some new exciting features in the next major update.

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Hulkko, I have tried the demo version of RapidComposer but I did not find a way to import a melody and have RC generate chord progressions without being constricted to a scale.
But maybe that is possible somehow. I will email the developer and ask. He seems very helpful!

Yes, Hummersallad. The trick is there: in continuing to meet years. I just turned 62. And, as Paul Thomson makes clear, the more we learn, the better; there is no age in that. And in Scaler it is easy to learn, simply by practicing, putting an idea into action. What the developers of Scaler have always done is improve, and they have taken our suggestions into account, although in the basics they have made it clear that Scaler does not want to be an AI. What is very true is that each new version of Scaler has brought important improvements to help us. I am already anxious to know Scaler 2.6

In this forum article we have talked about these things with RC

Great series of videos.

I got an almost instant reply (RapidReply :grinning:) from Attila at MusicDevelopment regarding the chords features in RapidComposer. I will post the results, if any!

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I like to use RC as a standalone program. Then I pull them from there to Dawi, in my case Logic. Somehow I don’t see the need to open it in Logic.

Hulkko, I am also a Logic user and just got in touch with Attila regarding RapidComposer and chord generation. I’ll let you know what he says!

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As an illustration I created a piece of “non-music”. Not meant as a composition, just an example of possible chords manually derived from listening to the four notes used by Paul Thomson; G, D, A, Bb.
I recorded 14 chords and when I check them in Scaler, at best, 8 of the 14 chords matched any scale. So there are several scales involved here. And that’s what makes it interesting. At least to my ear!
This ”piece" may sound a bit strange and is not in any respect intended as a ”real” composition. Just an example to what I’m trying to say. I could probably have reordered the chords for a more musical result.

BTW, the english horn keeps repeating the four ”melody” notes. Finally I added some piano notes and a bass line. Again, not meant as music, just a few possible chords.

https://soundcloud.com/formless-music/exampel-chords

BTW, Since this is a music related forum, why is it impossible to upload audio files??? I had to log into my long since abandoned SoundCloud account in order to share a file. Ridiculous!

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Most music forums I am a member of only let you post links. Pretty common. It would fill up server space so it’s not ridiculous at all. Easy to find space to host your files including Soundcloud.
Good exercise for the chords. You might try a call and answer between english horn and flute for some variety.

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