Chord Noodling: Creating Cool Melodies from Chords

chord noodling
Chord noodling is a cool way to embellish guitar chords with melodies. For every key, there is a certain set of notes that complement each other. Learn to choose notes that make you sound fierce and make a standard chord progression sound cool!

What is Chord Noodling?

Chord Noodling is a technique where you add notes around the chord shape in order to spice things up. You might already know about adding notes around chords, but chord noodling is a slightly different concept, as you can only add notes around the chord shape you are playing and not up and down the neck.

How to decide which notes to add to the chords?

There are a lot of different possibilities, as you will see below, and it is all about making a choice. There isn’t a magic rule to follow. Just keep trying until you find the notes that you like and stick to it!


Number System Chart

As I mentioned before, for every key, there is a certain set of notes that complement each other. Below is a table with all the notes that ‘go well’ with each key:

chord noodling

Chord Noodling Maps in Open Major Keys

It might be easier for you to visualize it with these maps. In order to do this, you basically have to change some notes within the chord. Just choose a couple of notes from a string from the maps below to complement your chord progression, and see how cool it can sound!

chord noodling
chord noodling

So, in summary, Chord Noodling is playing embellishments around chords, using the scale from which that chord was derived and adding notes in melodic ways. For example, playing an open D then adding/ removing the 4th and 2nd notes from D major on the high E string. Chord embellishments can be found around any chord, and make chords more interesting!


If this technique is still a bit confusing for you, check out this video from YourGuitarSage, who explains everything in detail.

Check other posts about guitar in the Guitar section of my blog

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