Tag Archives: chord

Pentatonics part 3 – Arpeggios and Melodic ideas

 

In this lesson I am going to take another approach to using pentatonic scales so that we can get some other sounds than what you might already use from it. I am going to do that by analyzing some of the different structures that are contained in it and later demonstrating how that can be used in a solo.

The Scale and some arpeggios

For the theory part of this lesson I’ll use the C minor pentatonic scale as shown here:

Pentatonics part 3 - Arpeggios and Melodic ideas - ex 1

I assume that you are familiar with the notes in the scale : C Eb F G Bb

Let’s have a look at what triads we can pull out of the scale, if you try to build a major or minor triad from each of the notes in the scale you find that these 2 triads are the only possibilities:

Pentatonics part 3 - Arpeggios and Melodic ideas - ex 2

Finding them is quite simple, For each note in the scale you look whether they have f.ex a minor 3rd, so that is only possible for C and G, and for G we can’t make a triad because we don’t have a fifth(D) in the scale.

In last weeks lesson I was talking about: Sus4 Triads as Upper Structures and you can in the same way as I described above find three of those in the scale: Csus4, Fsus4 and Bbsus4.

As I talked about in the lesson on the Sus4 triads they are connected to quartal harmony, and this lesson: Diatonic chords of the Pentatonic Scale Will show you how pentatonic chords and quartal harmony are very closely related.

Pentatonics part 3 - Arpeggios and Melodic ideas - ex 3

So now we have 5 different triads that we can use to make lines with, and don’t remember that you can also use their inversions and use them as Open Triads in your lines so that is in fact a vast amount of structures to play with.

The lines

Our goal is of course to make pentatonic lines that sound less “standard pentatonic” so that we can combine the fact that we are using a scale we know very well with some structures in the scale that we might not very often use.

Pentatonics part 3 - Arpeggios and Melodic ideas - ex 4

The first example is the 1st 4 bars of the song Night and Day. On the Abmaj7 I am using C minor pentatonic and playing a Csus4 triad followed by an Eb major triad. The scale choice for the G7al is Db maor or Bb minor pentatonic. On that I am first playing a Db major triad in a sequence followed by a Bb minor triad before it resolves to the fifth(G) of Cmaj7.

The second example is a II V I in G major. Here I am using Am pentatonic over the Am7 and Fm (or Ab major) pentatonic over the D7alt.

The first part of the line is just an Am triad melody until the 3 of the bar. It is followed by a Dsus4 root position triad. On the D7 it descends down an Ab major triad followed by an ascending Bbsus4 triad that resolves to the fifth(D) of Gmaj7

Pentatonics part 3 - Arpeggios and Melodic ideas - ex 5

The last example is a II V I in D major. On the E minor I am (again) using the pentatonic scale of the root of the chord, and the A7alt is using a C minor (or Eb major)  pentatonic scale. The Em line is the combination of first a G major triad in a pattern and then a descending Asus4 triad. On the A7alt the line is constructed by first an Fsus4 arpeggio followed by a Csus4 arpeggio before it resolves to the 9(E) of Dmaj.

Pentatonics part 3 - Arpeggios and Melodic ideas - ex 6

I hope you can use some of the ideas I covered in this lesson to make up new lines with pentatonic scales. This approach can also serve as a bridge towards using different arpeggios over chords in major or melodic minor situations, so in that way it might be a gateway to more jazz approaches when soloing.

As always you can download a PDF of the examples here for later study:

Pentatonics part 3 – Arpeggios and Melodic ideas

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

 

 

Jazz Chord Essentials – 3 note 7th chords part 1

In this lesson I want to introduce a type of chords that I use a lot which are a versatile and practical way to play chords with 2nd intervals in them which is often difficult on guitar, but has a very nice and interesting sound.

 

I had quite a hard time coming up for a name for this kind of chord as you might have noticed on social media, but I think the name that I have now is a good description and it is of course also more or less the same as what people tell me it is called in literature (though there is not one single name in use).

In this first part of the two lessons I’ll focus on the chords that are constructed of 3rds and 2nds. There is another version possible that consists of 2nds and 5ths or 4ths which I’ll cover in the next lesson.

The Voicings

Let’s first go over the voicings. The first one is a diatonic 3rd followed by a diatonic 2nd, so from C that would give us C E F (in the key of C major), which is the 4th chord in example 1.

Example on is that construc through a C major scale on the middle strings. I find that with voicings like this I prefer to have the 2nd placed on the D,G or G,B strings. Probably because it does not get muddy but also because it is practical.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 1

The 2nd example is the version that has a 2nd followed by a 3rd through the C major scale. From C (the 4th chord in example 2) C D F

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 2

 How to use the voicings

As the name suggests the chords are derived from 4 note chords with one note left out. Even if you could try to rationalize how you would use the chord I think that I mostly just look at the notes it contains and listen to check if it makes sense in the context I am playing.

In the examples that follow I<ll try to explain why I chose this voicing, but if you play the example you can probably also hear how the voices lead from one chord to the next.

For all of these examples I am using the voicings from example 1 and 2 for the chords diatonic to C major (Dm7 and Cmaj7) and I am using the same construction from the Abm Melodic or G altered scale for the voicings on the G7alt.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 3

In this first example I am using a chord consisting of F E and C fro the Dm7 which gives me a fairly clear Dm7 sound. The G7 altered is using a voicing that consists of b13, 3 and #9 so it lacks the 7th but in the context of the II V I it works quite clearly as an altered dominant. The C chord is using the same sort of voicing as the G7, but moved up a half step so. On that chord that is in fact a 3rd,root and 7th so a complete chord.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 4

The 2nd example use the same voicing for Dm7 but now the chord is moving to the G7alt by lowering the C and the E to B and Eb yielding a G7b13. I also use m 4th finger to add a Db on top. One of the advantages to using 3 note voicings is the freedom to add and alter notes above and below the chord. The G7 is resolved to a Cmaj7(9) which is infact an Drop2 E minor voicing.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 5

In the 3rd example I am using inner voice movement which is a way to have small simple melodies moving within the chords. It can be a nice way to add details to a chord progression. In this example the inner voice movement is on the 3rd string on both the Dm and the G7 chords. The Dm7 is using another voicing containing the C, D and F, which then via the inner voice movement becomes a C E, F voicing of the first two examples. On the G7alt I am using the fact that the sound of the altered notes are enough to get the sound of the chord in this context, so the chord consists of Eb, G and Ab which means that it has no 3rd or 7th, Cmaj7 is a voicing consisting of D, E and G.

The 4th example is also demonstrating inner voice movement, on the Dm7 the chord contains A F and E, but again in the context the C is not really missed. The E moves to D. On the G7 the chord is the same as in the 3rd example except that it is turned around and the movement is in the other direction from F to G in the middle voice. The voicing on Cmaj7 is again the C(9) sound used in example 3.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 6

In the last example I try to show how you might connect these voicings to other kinds of voicings since in the end you’d want to combine them all as a natural whole. On the Dm7 chord I use the same as in the first example but now add the 4th finger to play a high D on the E string. I then voice lead that into a G7 alt drop2 voicing which resolves to a CMaj7, where the voicing used for the C is a G triad over a C note.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 7

I hope you can use these examples as a way to get an idea about how I use voicings like these, and then make it part of your own playing.

As always you can download a PDF of the examples here:

Jazz Chord Essentials – 3 note 7th chords part 1

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

 

Cdim Drop2 Voicings

Here’s an overview of the Cdim as drop 2 voicings on all sets of strings.

I have made 2 lessons on how to use them in a jazz context:

You can also download the chart as a pdf by entering your e-mail here:

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with me!

CMaj7#5 Drop2 Voicings

Here’s an overview of the CMaj7#5 as drop 2 voicings on all sets of strings.

I have made 2 lessons on how to use them in a jazz context:

You can also download the chart as a pdf by entering your e-mail here:

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with me!

CmMaj7 Drop2 Voicings

Here’s an overview of the CmMaj7 as drop 2 voicings on all sets of strings.

I have made 2 lessons on how to use them in a jazz context:

You can also download the chart as a pdf entering your e-mail here:

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with me!

Chords and Walking Bass – part 2

In my previous lesson on playing this sort of accompaniment: Chords and Walking Bass – part 1 I mostly talked about how to combine the two and how to practice getting both layers to work together. In this lesson I am more focusing on how to write the basslines for faster moving chord progressions like a rhythm change A part.

The main part of this lesson is based on the two examples that I play in the video which should demonstrate a simple and a more advanced approach to creating a strong bass line.

The Examples

In the first example I am mainly using a 1 – 5 movement to construct a logical sounding bass line on the Rhythm changes. Just to clarify what I mean: 1 – 5 on the Bb would be Bb(1) and the next note would be F(5).

Chords and Walking Bass lines - part 2 - ex 1

In the first two bars the bassline is only constructed of a 1 – 5 movement on all chords. On all of them I can resolve that down wards to the next root except for the Bb (Bb – F) that is resolved up to G. For the next two bars I play a Dm instead of the Bb chord. A very common thing to do, since the two are almost identical. The bass line is again moving 1 – 5 all the time except for on the Dm where it is 1 b5, yielding a chromatic leading note to the G7. This is also a very common way to move from one chord to the next.

On the Fm7 I use the 1 – 5 bass line again to get to Bb. On the Bb I go from the root to the 3rd because it is leading into a chromatic ascending movement (Eb to E resolving to F). The Eb and the E are played with repeating notes because that emphasizes that sort of movement. The resolution to F (on Bb/F) is chromatically moving up to the G, which then via its fifth(D) moves to C. The bassline on C is a b5 leading down to F, and on the F I play the 3rd to go to the Bb on beat one of the next A part.

Chords and Walking Bass lines - part 2 - ex 2

The second example employs a few other approaches too. The first turnaround uses a chromatic leading note Ab to lead to G. In a slower tempo you can even harmonize it as an Ab7. Form the G it moves via the 3rd(B) to C minor where the bassline on the Cm7 F7 is purely chord tones. The 2nd Bb Major moves via it’s 3rd(D) to G. This is in a way using that the D is a chord note on the Bb and the fifth of G so it makes sense harmonically and is a nice way to get a bigger interval in the bass line at that point. The Cm7 F 7 is again using thirds and fifths as leading notes. The solution for the Fm7 Bb7 EbMaj7 Edim is identical to example one. Mostly because the chromatic ascending line is so strong at that point. On the last two bars I uses the F and the C under both the Bb/F and the F7. On the Bbmaj7 the bassline is the triad ending on an Eb to lead to the D7 in the bridge.

Putting this to use

I hope you can use these examples as models to make your own bass lines. For me the process with this was always based on finding some solutions for the different progressions in a piece and then practice to play them and hopefully have a few different ones so you can start varying. Over time the ability to get more variation in both chords and bass lines should grow.

As always you can download a PDF of the examples here:

Chords and Walking Bass lines – part 2

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

 

Harmonic Minor Dominant Lines

In this lesson I want to show how I might use harmonic minor on the dominant in a II V I resolving to a major tonic. This is a very useful way to apply this scale to get a surprising sound on the dominant in a major cadence.

The II V I cadence

Let’s first look at the cadence. In this lesson I am using a II V I in the key of G major, so the chrods are Am7 D7 Gmaj7.

For the Am7 and Gmaj7 chord I use the G major scale which in the 10th position would be this.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 1

For the dominant, D7, I play that as if I was in the key of G minor, so I use the G harmonic minor scale which in the 10th fret would be this:

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 2

You’ll notice that the G minor harmonic scale is the G major with a flatted 3rd and 6th degree, giving us the b9(Eb) and b13(Bb) on the D7.

The lines

The first example uses a trill and a scale fragment on the Am7. On the D7 the line is base around an Eb minor triad. The Ebminor triad is not really diatonic to G harmonic minor, but since you have both a G and an F# you can construct it.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 3

The line ascends up the triad and then resolves to the 3rd(B) of Gmaj7

The next example uses the diminished arpeggio which, to me, is the stereotype sound or a D7 from G harmonic minor.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 4

The line on the Am7 is a Cmaj7 arpeggio followed by a stack of fourths from A. The line on the D7 consists of an F# dim arpeggio followed by a chromatic encircling that resolves to the 3rd of GMaj7.

Another very useful device in the D7(b9b13) repertoire is the augmented triad. In the scale the triad is found on the 3rd of the scale which in the key of G would be a Bb. SInce I mostly use it on a D7 I guess I tend to think of it as a D augmented triad. Of course it is that too since the augmented triad is symmetrical.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 5

On the Am7 I start out with an encircling of the root which is then followed by a Cmaj7 arpeggio.  The line on the D7 is build from the Bb augmented triad followed by a scale run that resolves to the 5th(D) of G.

A good way to create interesting lines is to combine triads in pairs. I have written a few articles about this subject they can be found on the list here: Online lessons

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 6

In this case I am using the D and Eb major triads which give you a good set of notes to convey the D7(b9b13) sound.

The line on the Am7 is a combination of two arpeggios. Am7 followed by an Em7 arpeggio. The D7 line connects the Eb and D triads and resolves via the b9 and b7 to the 5th of G.

The last example makes use of the diatonic chord on the 3rd degree of the scale, so in this case a BbMaj7#5.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 7

The Am7 line is a combination of a C major triad and an Asus4 triad, both good devices for that sound. On the D7 I start of with a melodic fragment that to me sounds like a dim chord (I don’t actually have a name for it though) and then I descend down the BbMaj7#5 arpeggio and resolve to the 3rd of G.

I hope that you can use the material I presented hear in you own improvisations and that you get some new ideas and melodic devices to use over a b9b13 dominant chord.

As always you can download a PDF of the examples here:

Harmonic minor dominant lines

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords

In my lesson on scale choices for dominant chords: Dom7th chords One of the examples was using the diminished scale. In this lesson I want to show how I make lines using the major triads in the diminished scale and give a few examples and exercises to help developing that.

Scale and Triad exercises

The diminished scale when applied to a dominant gives you the sound of for example a G7(b9#11,13) chord. To me the 13th sound very major this is because it is the major third of the chord that the dominat resolves to (the E in the case of the G7 to Cmaj7). At the same time the chord contains the b9 (Ab) which sounds minor so it is sort of in between the major (using the mixolydian sound) and minor dominants (harmonic minor or altered scales).

Let’s first try to play the scale:

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords ex 1

I never spent a lot of time practicing the scale, and have always use more time on making lines with the arpeggios and structures I took out of it. That said you still need to be able to play it and should know it over the whole neck.

If we build chords by stacking thirds in this scale we will only get diminished chords, but if you start looking at the material you’ll see that it contains Major and minor triads too as well as dom7th and m7th chords. Since the diminished scale is symmetrical and you can moving everything around in minor thirds we can also see that if we have a G major triad, we will also have Bb, Db and E major triads.

To learn the triads and have material to make lines it is practical to learn the inversions of the triads:

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords ex 2

Here are 3 of the 4 string sets. Of course there are many other ways to practice this than string sets, but for now let’s focus on these.

Since it could be useful to use more triads in one line it can be a good exercise to connect them and get an overview of where they are placed in one position. One exercise (you can and should make more yourself!) is to play the triads in this progression on one string set: G, E, Db, Bb G, etc.

That might look like this:

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords ex 3

You can try to do thi son other string sets and come up with other ideas for connecting the triads and getting an overview of how they a placed in relation to each other.

Example lines

Often when people start working with the diminished scale they use the symmetrical aspect a lot. Probably because it is very practical on guitar and requires little effort in learning the scale or the structures in it. Personally I don’t like those melodies that much so I try not to use that too often and focus more on treating it like I would any other scale, which should be clear from the examples.

All my examples are II V I progressions in C major. For these examples I did not try to stay in one position, mostly because I think that this is material you should check out when you already have that knowledge covered for major and minor cadences.

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords ex 4

In the first example I play a simle Dm7 arpeggio followed by a scale fragment. The Diminished line is first an E and then a Db major triad. Notice that I don’t only use root position inversions. After the triads I make a small trill on the b9 before resolving to the 3rd of C

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords ex 5

The line on the Dm7 in the second example is very closely related to the one in the first since it is almost a diatonic transposition of it. On the G7 I play the same sort of pattern on a Db and then a Bbmajor triad. I guess this melodic pattern is developed from a RH picking pattern, but it does work well for arpeggios because it emphasizes the top note in the arpeggio. The line resolves chromatically to the maj7th on the C.

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords ex 6

In the last line I use an Fmaj7 shell voicing on the Dm7, followed by a scale run from the root to the 5th. The line on the G7 consists of a 1st inversion E triad and a 2nd inversion Bb triad followed by the b9 and the third before resolving to the 5th of C.

As I mention in the video I find the 2 string inversions of triads a useful tool in soloing so it can be worthwhile to check that out, and I will probably make a lesson on that in the future.

As always you can download a PDF of the examples here:

Diminished Scale on Dom7th Chords

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

 

 

Get more out of the licks you already know

In this lesson I want to describe how you can make new lines or variations on the licks you already know by analyzing the licks and use the theory and technical exercises you already know to make variations on them.

Taste and Theory, Analysis and Association

Everybody has standard licks or lines that we play all the time. Stuff we’ve practiced and transcribed and that is already in our ears and fingers.

To make these variations we need to analyze the material that is used in the lines and then use that information to replace parts with other things that we already practiced. The analysis is of course not strictly systematical or following a set of rules but just as much based on association and taste so what you end up with is depending on that more than anything else. This means that it is handy to be able to associate for example as many arpeggios as possible with a certain chord, and to be able to see a phrase in several contexts. This should be clear from the examples.

I would suggest you check out these lessons for reference on how to practice some of the building blocks I mention in terms of stacks of 4ths, arpeggios and scales. This should make it easier to have a wide range of options for replacing parts of a line.

I will approach this from some examples that I analyze and then generate new lines from them.

Diatonic transposition

In my examples I have a one bar lick that I’d use on  Am7 in a G major context. The other bars are the variations I make by moving it around diatonically.

If I was to analyze the line I’d see it as the diatonic arpeggio from the 5th of the chord (so that would be Em7 in this case) and followed by an intervallic structure or a pentatonic fragment from the 3rd(C) of the chord.

As you might already know you can try diatonically transpose a line and if you choose to do so in 3rds you have a fairly big chance that you will end up with something that fits the same chord. In this case we could start by moving the same line to C, so we’ll start with the arpeggio on a C which gives us a Cmaj7 arpeggio (bars 2 and 3).

As for the second half of the line for me there are two obvious options. If you see it as amelody in G and transpose it like that you get the notes A, B, C and E (bar 2) or as part of a pentatonic scale you could get the notes A C D and E (bar 3). Notice how is makes a difference how we interpret the line (even if it is subtle in this example)

Get more out of the licks you already know - ex 1

In the rest of the examples I move the line around in the key of G and it yields lines that then works well with other chords like D7 or Gmaj7. In each case there are a few options in terms of how it sounds good to move the last part of the line.

Replacing building blocks

In the first example I only transposed the line, but since we identify the lines as conisisting of building blocks and that those are in a context we can also take the building block and replace it with something else that will fit in it’s place.

The main line for this is in bar 1. If I was to analyze it I’d say it is build by a stack of 4ths (A D G) from the root, then a 1st inversion triad from the 13 (F#, A and D) followed by a diatonic 3rd from the 3rd so: (C and E).

Let’s replace the first part. I chose to stay close to the original and wanted to use a structure that ends on a G so it moves smoothly to the next part of the line, but of course that is not something you have to do, and you could also take something that ends of for example an E to lead to the D major triad inversion.

bar 2 uses an Am shell voicing (Jazz Chord Essentials: Shell Voicings) instead of the stack of 4ths. Bar 3 uses an Open C major triad inversion, and bar 4 uses a Cmajor 7 voicings played as arpeggio.

In the last two examples I replace the D major triad with a stack of 4ths (bar 5) B minor triad (bar 6)

Get more out of the licks you already know - ex 2

As you can probably already see there are an almost endless amount of options available when working like this. In my examples I deliberately chose to stay a bit close to the original, but more variation is fairly esay to achieve using this method, and it is a good way to get good sounding lines that should be fairly easy to play. This is also a very good way to find a musical way to apply stuff that you have practice like a new sort of arpeggio, inversion or scale.

I hope you can use this approach to come up with some new stuff, and hopefully also use it when applying new ideas like arpeggio inversions in a musical way.

As always you can download the examples as a pdf here:

Get more out of the licks you already know

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

 

 

Drop 2 voicing charts, 1st batch

I have added 4 reference charts of Drop2 voicings in the PDF download section of my website:

PDF downloads and charts

Each chart shows the 4 inversions of the chord for each of the 3 string sets both as individual chords and together on the neck.

Drop2 voicings

Feel free to let me know if you have any requests or comments!

You can do so by connecting with me via YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter, or sent me an e-mail. Then you will also stay up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.