“Yankee Doodle” – American Traditional

Below is the lesson for “Yankee Doodle”.

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An American classic, this arrangement builds upon the melody by harmonizing it. Throughout this tune, we will be playing harmonized 3rds alongside most of the melody. Okay, I know what you’re thinking… “Harmonized 3rds? What?” Let’s explain what this means.

Take a look at bar 1:

Keep in mind that our melody note is on string 1. Now, look at beats 3 and 4. Beat 3 has us playing B and D. Consider B the root (or parent) note. D in relation to B is a minor 3rd interval. Beat 4 has us playing C# and E. Consider C# the root note. E in relation to C# is a minor 3rd interval.

“Okay, okay, I’m still confused…” No worries, let’s look at beat 3. A simple way to conceptualize the above is to hold your index finger out and consider that B. Now count up the musical alphabet until you get to D:

1 (index) – B
2 (middle) – C
3 (ring) – D

Boom, we have counted to 3. Therefore, our interval is a third (interval is the distance between two notes). This distance of 3 is the main thing that I want you to takeaway from this lesson on understanding harmonies. It’s important to note that there are also different qualities of intervals (for ex: Major and minor), but don’t worry too much about that for now.

Part 1 – Performance & Free Lesson

Tab Play Along