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Some vids about arranging on fingerstyle guitar say to figure out the chords first either by ear or through tabs, then to play the melody on top of them. But that seems like too much work. For one, even if I know the chord I'd have to start thinking of the different ways to play that chord all over the fretboard so it could be played next to the melody note I want.
Instead, I thought that chords could be inferred from the melody. For example first I find the melody by ear. Then for each melody note I’d like a chord on, I add a bass note that sounds good with it and then add middle notes and eventually the chord reveals itself from the shape I formed.
So I just keep adding supporting notes to the melody until I have my chord. And I keep doing this to find the other chords. Sometimes I don’t even bother to know what the name of the chord is (especially if it’s somewhere in the middle of the fretboard) as long as it just sounds “good” with my melody note. So I was wondering if this is right. Can chords be found from the melody alone when arranging by ear?
Edit: Please note that this question assumes that I have heard the song before. I mainly arrange for well known songs that I have in my head. Pop songs, traditional songs, etc. Mainly as an exercise for myself. I am aware of what these songs are "supposed" to sound like as I'm arranging them. But I'm trying to find the chords from the melody as the melody is what I usually start off with. Here's an example of the style I'm working towards. I wrote this question with the guitar in mind. Especially due to its complexity with chord-melody throughout the entire fretboard. But I guess this would work for any instrument that can play chords as well as melody.