Harmonising (Finding Chords to Fit ) a Melody

I initially drafted this tutorial as a reply to a query in the General Discussion Topic, but I feel it would be more appropriate here as a tutorial as it seems to recur as a query.

In the current version of Scaler (2.8.1) you can detect scales that can be used to harmonise a melody using the method I describe below. Unfortunately at present Scaler will not fit the chords directly to the melody because it does not process tempo and so you will still have to adjust the timing of the chords, however this is a method.

First using the DETECT mode detect the melody in Scaler.

In Section A Scaler will suggest scales that may be used to harmonise your melody.

Here it is suggesting that C major is the most appropriate scale to harmonise my melody, But I don’t want that so to add some spice to the melody I scrolled down

and chose the D Minor Blues Hexatonic Scale.

I know this will be a good fit because it is near the top of the list of suggestions, and clicking on the i on that line shows me the notes of the scale (D, F, G, Ab, A, C) whilst my melody uses the notes F, C, A, D, and G.

If I now click on the suggest button Scaler

will suggest a series of chords from which I can pick a chord for the first block,

Note that these are chords that
scaler’s algorithm suggests may fit the melody. They are not necessarily from your chosen scale. But by clicking on the TONAL button

I can select PER SCALE and get diatonic chords from my chosen scale.

I can now drag these into my pattern.

As a simple approach to timing I would suggest playing a chord on the first beat of each bar. So if the melody is using a 4/4 beat then set the default time for chords to 4 beats in the settings.

I can now adjust the timing of the chords using the EDIT page.

Hope this helps


ed66 Thank you for sharing this great tip! I’m usually only using Scaler to try and detect chords, but detecting a melody to add suggested chords to…:exploding_head: This could also be handy when using a vocal as the detecting sound source, and adding suggested chords to build around the vocal.:heart:

Mind if I use this technique in a video tip example to share with others?

Feel free to make video. I would do this, but I am no good at making videos.