Tag Archives: quartal harmony

6 Types of Easy 3-Note Arpeggios That You Need To Know

You should always try to learn new melodies that you can use in your solos. And in Jazz, Arpeggios are a great place to start.

In this video I will go over 6 different types of 3-Note Arpeggios which are really useful because they are 3 notes, so they are easy to study and also very easy to use in solos giving you a lot of material that you can use when improvising over a song.

An Arpeggio is a Melody and a Great Building Block

What a lot of people miss is that an arpeggio is really just a short melody. We think about what the notes are and what alterations and extensions it is over the chord, but you often forget to listen to it and just realize that knowing this arpeggio is really knowing a very strong melody that you can use in your solos.

If you play jazz and especially more modern jazz then knowing these structures is really something you need as a part of your vocabulary and you will find it everywhere in the playing of people like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jonathan Kreisberg and Lage Lund.

The way I made this video is that I played a short solo on minor blues that I will take apart and talk about all the different arpeggios, give you some exercises and ideas on how to use it.


0:00 Intro – Arpeggios are Melodies!

0:52 The Minor Blues Example

1:42 Phrase #1 The Essential Triads

2:25 A few thoughs on Triads and Finding Triads for a chord

2:50 Practicing Triads and Inversions

3:26 Phrase #2 Quartal Arpeggios and Altered Dominants

5:11 How To Practice Quartal Arpeggios

5:51 Phrase #3 Shell-Voicings

6:43 Break up the groove with 4-note groupings

7:24 Exercise for Shell-voicings

7:42 Phrase #4 Quintal Arpeggios and Sus4 Triads

8:17 Sus4 Triads8:37 Quinatal Arpeggios Exercise / Message in a Bottle

9:04 Sus4 Triads on a 2-string set

9:40 The Two “Weird” Sus4 Triads (That Joe Henderson Knew)

10:25 Phrase #5 – Spread Triads

11:05 What are Spread Triads or Open-Voiced Triads

12:09 Technical exercises with Spread Triads

12:51 Phrase #6 – The Major b5 Triad (That you didn’t know you knew)

14:37 Move the b5 triads through the scale (as a 1 3 4 structure)

14:55 Thoughts on moving Interval Structures Through a Scale

16:02 Like the Video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Why You Want To Write Your Own Jazz Licks

Playing Jazz is about learning a style and a language but it is also about finding your own voice.There are many reasons you want to write you own licks and work on your own vocabulary:

  • – You want it to sound good to you (and sound like you)
  • – Develop Your taste – figure out what you like and what you don’t like
  • – Learn How to Incorporate New things in to your Playing
  • – Practice coming up with Playable licks and material.

Composing Jazz Licks

In this video I will discuss these topics and while it is made with Jazz Guitar in mind it probably holds true for other instruments and styles as well.

Table of Contents

0:00 Intro – Why you want to write your own licks

1:08 Playing in time = Deadlines

1:44 Coming Up With Playable Lines

2:10 Example lick with a Drop2 voicing arpeggio

4:40 Learn How To Use New Material

5:11 Quartal Arpeggios Example

5:45 Three Variations

6:31 Develop Your Taste – Learning The Language

6:53 Listen to what you play – Did you like it?

7:23 Wes Montgomery Lick and variations

8:38 Make Vocabulary that Sounds like you want it to sound

8:56 Investigate what works together.

9:11 Example 1

9:47 Example 2

10:21 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

Jazz Chord Voicings – The 9 Different types you should know

Once you start having a vocabulary of Jazz Chords it becomes clear that there are many different ways to play any jazz chord on the guitar. For that reason it can be very useful to star working with different categories of chord voicings. If you have categories you have an idea of voicings that may work well together and you have an overview of the chords you know where you can also fill any gaps or chords you don’t already know.

In this video I will go over 9 very common types of chord voicings that I use a lot when comping and playing chord melody.

List of content

0:00 Intro 

1:15 Drop2 voicings — Diatonic set in C major 

1:37 Construction of Drop2 voicings (even though it doesn’t matter..) 

2:50 Inversions of a Cmaj7 Drop2 voicing for jazz chords 

3:14 Drop2 videos playlist — adding extensions, altered dominants 

3:28 Drop3 Voicings — construction 

4:08 Where you use Drop3 

4:32 Drop3 voicings — Diatonic set in C major 

4:41 Drop2&4 Voicings — Construction

5:14 Allan Holdsworth Lessons with Drop2&4 chords

5:35 Shell Voicings — Construction 

5:56 Diatonic set of Shell voicings 

6:05 Different places Shell voicings are useful 

6:27 Shell Voicing Based Chords — Construction 

7:00 Diatonic seof of Shell voicing based chords 

7:28 Shift from Voicings with a clear root in the chord 

8:16 Triads as Jazz Chords — Basic use as upper structure 

8:41 Triads through the scale 

9:08 II V I example with triads 

9:40 Spread Triads or Open-voiced triads — Construction (triad drop2) 

10:08 Diatonic Spread Triads 

10:18 II V I example 

10:57 3-part Quartal Harmony 

11:10 Diatonic Quartal Voicings 

11:17 How we use Quartal Voicings as Jazz Chords 

11:33 II V I example 

12:17 4-part Quartal Harmony 

12:25 Diatonic Quartal Voicings 

12:36 m13 voicings and How we might use Quartal harmony 

13:51 Inversions and detailed way sto use these voicing types 

14:10 Did I forget a type of voicing? 

14:45 Like this video? Check out my Patreon Page!

How to Come up with New solo ideas – Rethink the stuff you already know

It can be difficult to come up with new ideas for your solos, but this video talks about how you can use all of the diatonic triads, arpeggios, pentatonic scales etc and find the right ones to the chord you are playing over. Not only playing just with the arpeggio, but also how to mix it with the other material.

The video has a lot of examples and explanations and also a lot of philosphy on playing over changes, superimposing arpeggios and other things like developing a personal sound and taste.


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0:49 The Maj7 and the F Major Scale

1:10 What I will check out

1:48 The Fmaj7 chord and diatonic arpeggios

2.55 Solo using Fmaj7 arpeggio

3:12 How you solo with an arpeggio when learning new ideas

3:53 Arpeggio from the 3rd

4:18 Solo using Am7 Arpeggio 

4:43 Why we don’t really want the Bb in there and C7 doesn’t work

5:46 A 3rd below: Dm7

5:56 Solo using Dm7 Arpeggio

6:31 Arpeggios against another root note and the having an overview of the scale

8:20 Solo using F major triad 9:29 Am triad solo

9:51 Thoughts on making melodies with Am triad vs Fmaj7

11:01 Solo using C major triad 11:23 C major triad and not having the 3rd in the arpeggio.

12:14 Solo using D minor triad

12:32 Finding associations with the different arpeggios and the sound they make

13:48 Quartal Harmony

15:19 Solo using Quartal Arp from G

15:34 DIfferent fingerings and mixing it with other things

16:27 Solo using Quartal Arp from A

16:53 Connecting to the chord, using chord tones

17:28 Solo using Quartal Arp from D

17:46 Emphasizing the intervals in the arpeggio

18:32 Solo using Quartal Arp from E

18:53 Different patterns of the Arpeggio

19:37Other options like spread voicing, drop2 and inversions..

20:14 Pentatonics

20:27 Solo using Dm Pentatonic

20:47 Choosing pentatonic scales for a chord

21:48 Solo using Am Pentatonic

22:13 The “other”Pentatonic scales lesson series

22:48 Shell Voicings – Finding Useable

24:10 Solo using Fmaj7 Shell Voicing

24:51 Solo using Am7 Shell Voicing

25:05 Ways to practice shell voicings in postition and along the neck

26:26 Solo using Dm7 Shell Voicing

27:38 Solo using Em7b5 Shell Voicing

27:55 Compensating for the lack of chord tones in the arpeggio

28:44 What am I trying to do when practicing with these arpeggios

29:26 Sus4 triads and Mark Turner

30:03 Finding useable Sus4 triads

30:38 Difference between Sus4 and Quartal Harmony?

32:02 Solo using Gsus4 triads

32:33 Solo using Asus4 triads 32.49 The sound of the sus4 triad

33:35 Solo using Csus4 triads

33:51 Using the resolution of the sus chord in the melody as well.

34:42 Solo using Dsus4 triads

35:05 Sus4 triads as voicings.

35:33 Using this approach to develop and understand your own taste

37:38 Outro


Quartal Harmony on a Jazz Blues

Using Quartal Harmony on the guitar is a great way to tap in to the modern jazz chords. In this video I am going to show you how you can use quartal voicings on guitar to get a more modern jazz blues. First going over all the voicings available for each of the chords in the blues chord progression.

The Stacks of fourths are especially connected to way McCoy Tyner played piano with John Coltrane

As a bonus I have also added a few extra turnarounds to explore and see how you might use this in a context with more moving harmony.

The F blues

Since I am using a twelve bar blues in F as an example it might be good to just have that chord progression:

The F7

To get started using these chords on a blues in F we need a set of voicings for each of the chords. The F7 chords are found by harmonizing an F mixolydian or Bb major scale in 4ths.

For the middle string set this is shown in example 1:

In the video I also demonstrate how this chords might sound as F voicings over an F pedal.

The general idea is that not all the voicings are complete F7 voicings, but the picture you create by using several voicings will still convey the sound of the F7. The specific sound of these voicings is inn this case also important because the quartal voicings are in themselves a bit unclear.

The Bb7

The next chord is the Bb7 in bar 2. You can construct the chords by harmonizing a Bb mixolydian or Eb major scale in 3 part stacks of 4ths.

The F7alt

The F7 alt voicings are coming out of the F altered or Gb melodic minor scale. In this context the chords all include a lot of notes that are not in the F7 sound.  This means that it is somehow easier to hear the F7alt, as you can probably hear in the video.

The Bdim

In the style of jazz that makes extensive use of quartal voicings (mid 60’s and on) it is very common to use the diminished scale on both dim chords and dominant chords. In this case we can use the single stack fourths for the Bdim(b6): B Ab D G. Here the top three notes are a stack of 4ths and we can move that through the scale as shown in example 4:

The D7alt

TheD7alt voicings are coming out of the D altered or Eb melodic minor scale. We can treat these voicings exactly the same as the F7alt chord. This wil get us the chord voicings shown in example 5:

The II chord: Gm7

The cadence in an F Jazz blues is a II V I in F: Gm7 C7 F. The voicings for the Gm7 are found by building stacks of 4ths in an F major scale.

Note that again for the period where these voicings became common it also became much more common to play unclear II chords with a m13 voicing. Usually the II chord was there to suspend the V so the 13 could not be included. From McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock on it became quite common to play m13 voicings for the II chord.

You can check out more on m13 chords here:  The Minor Chord You Never Use

The C7alt

The dominant is an altered dominant, again to fit the style and sound associated with this sound.

The F blues with Quartal voicings

The 1 chorus example shown below is an F blues played entirely with Stacks of 4ths.

The first chord is a stack of 4ths from Eb that you might recognize as an F13. This is a complete F dominant sound and we start by giving a complete picture of what is being played. From there the chords are walking up through the scale to the same type of chord voicing on Bb7. 

In the end of the Bb7 bar the voicing is also moving up step wise and this makes it possible to descend down to an F7 voicing chromatically. From that voicing the melody skips down to again walk up and approach an F7alt voicing. Note that the context makes this clear even though the voicing does not contain an A or an Eb.

Via the F7#9 voicing we can move down a half step to get to the Bb7. With step wise descending movement the melody continues down to a Bdim voicing and repeats this voicing before resolving back up to an F7 voicing. The melody of the F7 and the Am7(b5) are really using the same set of voicings. On the D7alt the chord is an D7(#9) voicing.

Gm7 is played with a Gm13 voicing and the melody can again move up in a step wise motion to reach the C7alt chord. On the C7alt, the chords are encircling the F7 voicing that it resolves to in bar 11.

The turnaround uses this voicing and the D7(#9) voicing, The Gm7 voicing is in fact more of a Gsus4 or Dm7 type voicing but in the context it comes across as a Gm and it makes it possible to move up to the C7 voicings with an ascending half step. As in the cadence the two C7 alt voicings encircle the final F voicing.

A few extra turnarounds

I decided that it might be useful to demonstrate how more dense progressions sound if you go through them only using the quartal voicings.

Turnaround 1

The first example is starting out in the same way the last part of the blues did. From the D7(#9) voicing I use a vocing that i can move up a whole step to get a Gm13 voicing on the II chord. In this turnaround the C7alt is first a clear C7(#9) and then a stack of 4ths that only contains alterations. Thes alterations can then be resolved a half step down to F7 and I end on the F13 voicing. 

Turnaround 2

In the 2nd turnaround I am now starting on the same F7 but then moving up stepwise on the D7alt. By moving up further it lands on a complete Gm7(11) voicing. The C7alt voicings are also just moving up in scale steps. The line ends with the same voicings of turnaround 1 but an octave higher.

Turnaround 3

The last turnaround is again starting with the same F6/9 voicing as the previous versions. The D7 alt voicings are now reached by moving to the closest voicing below the F chord. From here the melody continues  in steps dwon to Gm13 and continues to the closest C7alt voicings before it resolves to F13.


As you can hear in the examples there is a very charateristic sound to the quartal voicings. When using them in the way that I am doing on the blues in F in this lesson it works really well even if all voicings are complete. 

The way you want to work on this is probably to work on your diatonic stacks of 4ths. Then try to comp through progressions you are very familiar. Since you know them you can tell if the solutions you come up with are working in the context.

Get a Free Ebook

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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Quartal Harmony on a Jazz Blues

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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3 Pentatonic Scale Exercises You Never Played

It is incredible how wide the range of sounds you can pull from a minor pentatonic scale is! This video is on 3 exercises and some licks showing how to make some great modern sounds with a simple A minor pentatonic scale.

The lesson goal

The material I cover is going to give you some new ideas for what you can play with a pentatonic scale. It will also give you some solid exercises that you can use to get a better overview of the fretboard and help you connect the different scale positions 

I also discuss how I come up with the exercises, This should give you some tips on how you can make your own exercises and develop this material further.


Know your Pentatonic scale

All the examples that  in this lesson are using an A minor pentatonic. You want to know this scale in positions but it is also very practical to know it along the neck on each string. If you want to have an overview of the scale then check out these Downloadable PDF scale and chord charts

The examples that are using a chord progression are all on this II V I in G major:

The first exercise and lick

The first line, that I also play in the beginning of the video is shown in example 1 here below:

The Am exercise that I am using here is a quite random construction. The idea was to take 2 notes on one string and one on the next.

If I do this on the middle string set and the 1st Pentatonic box we get example 3:

This is a great example of how we can take a random pattern and still make it into music. The pattern turns out to be a set of triads, major, minor and sus4.

The way I am using it in the line is in position so that is shown in the last bar of example 3.

The II V I line is using this pattern in box 2 on the Am7 chord. On the D7alt I use an Fm pentatonic scale and play a line consisting of two quartal arpeggios.

The concept behind using Fm over D7alt is covered in this lesson: Soloing over a II V I with Pentatonic scales.

Exercise 2 – Quartal arpeggios 

Another great aspect of the pentatonic scale is that it is very closely related to quartal harmony. One way this is clear is that if you try to build “diatonic thirds” in the scale you get a lot of quartal chords.

The quartal chords are great arpeggios that you can use to get a more open soundin you lines. In example 4 is a simple Am7 line using only the pentatonic scale and one of the quartal arpeggios found in it

The way I play the quartal arpeggio in the first bar of example 4 is using a string skip and two stretches. This is easier way to play it than the one note per string version that we use for chords.

In example 5 I have written out this exercise up the neck

This exercise is great since you are basically playing two different scale positions for each arpeggio in the scale. In that way you are creating a better overview and linking the two positions. 

Since the exercise also requires some stretches you have to make sure you are warmed up playing it it. If you find it hard to play then start higher on the neck to relieve your left hand.

Example 6 here above is a II V I line using a quartal arpeggio from A. On the Am7 I run down to an Am7 arpeggio and then make a simple D7alt line. This resolves to the Gmaj7.

Exercise 3 More ideas from pentatonic chords

Another way to find material and exercises in a scale is to approach it from chord voicings. The last exercise is coming out of playing the minor pentatonic scale as chords. You can think of this as playing the scale on 3 strings at the same time. This is shown in example 7.

If you arpeggiate these chords and add an extra note you get the exercise shown in example 3.

Using this exercise we can easily make some Am7 lines that move around the scale in a new way:

If I take this exercise and use it in a II V I lick we can get something like this:

Here I am chaining together the exercise by using 4 notes from one string set and 4 notes from the next. On the D7alt I am using the triad pair Ab and F#aug. This is a great triad pair for the altered sound. If you want to check out more about triad pairs in the altered scale you can check out this lesson: Triad pairs in the altered scale  on this topic!

Check out how I solo on a standard

If you want to investigate the way I play solos you can check out this lesson on a 4 chorus transcription of my improvisation over the jazz standard There Is No Greater Love

There is no greater love – solo transcription


If you want to study the examples I went over in the lesson you can of course also download them as a pdf here:

3 Pentatonic Exercises You Never Played

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

5 Quartal Harmony licks

An important part of more modern sounding jazz solos is often the use of quartal harmony. In this lesson I am going to take 2 exercises and 5 examples of how I use quartal harmony and demonstrate how you can incorporate the sound into your own playing.

Two exercises and a II Valt I cadence

I have a few lessons on quartal harmony already that you can check out if you want to explore further into the sound both as arpeggios and chords. Here is a lesson on using the arpeggios in solos: Quartal harmony in solos

In this lesson I am first going over to simple exercises of diatonic stacks of 4ths in F major and Db melodic minor (which is the same as C altered). I am then going to use this material in the 5 examples, all on a II Valt I in F major.

Quartal arppeggios are constructed by stacking 4ths in the scale.  When we build chords in a scale we ususally start with 3rds, so in F major if I start from a G. I get:

G A Bb C D E F G – so a G minor triads; G Bb D

If we use quartal harmony we stack 4ths:

G A Bb C D E F G so the stack of 4ths from G is G C F

If we use this structure as an arpeggio that we can move through the scale and play it up the neck on the D,G and B string set we get:


And using the same principle to play the diatonic stacks of 4ths in Db melodic minor:


A few of the arpeggios in the last example are a bit unusual especially the one on the 7th degree of the scale (C) which is actually a C7 shell voicing. The one on the 4th(Gb) is also a not found in the major scale version.

5 Quartal harmony licks

The first example  starts with a Gm7 arpeggio and then continues into a quartal arppgegio from the D which is played in a pattern from the G. The C7alt line is based around an inversion of a Bbm7(b5) arpeggio (Check out this lesson for more ideas: The Altered Scale in Three Approaches) and then resolving scalewise down to the 5th of the Fmaj7 chord.


In the second example, here below, I am starting with a stack of 4ths from the C. You might recognize that as a fairly common Gm11 voicing. From there the line continues with a descending scale run.  On the C7alt the line is starting with a trill using the #9 and the 3rd of C. From there it continues with a line derived from the Db minor triad and resolves via the #9 an octave higher to the 5th(C) of Fmaj7.


Of course we can also use the quartal arpeggios on the altered dominant since we have the material from example 2.

The third example starts with a Dm7 arpeggio that is used to target and highlight the Bb on beat 3. From there the line continues with a descending scale to the 3rd(E) of C. On the C7 we first have a stack of 4ths from the E which is infact the equivalent of a C7(#9) sound. This is a diagonal line on the fretboard and we can actually flip it around and use that as a descending pattern. On this string set that gives us a Gb major triad. This trick works really well in diminished contexts as well. The altered line is the stepwise resolved to the 3rd(A) of Fmaj7.


Another good stack of 4th idea for the C7alt is to use the one on Ab because it gives us a lot of colourful notes: Ab,Db,Gb – (b13,b9,b5).

The line the on the Gm7 is based on a Gm7 arpeggio with a scale note added here and there. On the C7alt I start with the stack of 4ths from Ab, which you could also think of as a Dbsus4 triads. The line then continues with a Bbdim triad and resolves to the 5th(C) of Fmaj7.


In the final example I am using several quartal arpeggios and also making use of that they are 3 note groups to create a cross rhythm in the line.

The example starts out with a scale run down from Bb to G. From the G and from the A we have two quartal arpeggios that work well over Gm7. Over C7 we can use two other stacks of 4ths a half step higher so from Ab and Bb. This means that I can make a pattern of three notes with the bottom notes being G, A, Ab, Bb all with 3 notes in each arpeggio. This gives us a period of 3 note groupings creating osme nice rhythmical tension on top of the meter. The line and the cross rhythm is resolved by encircling the 3rd of F chromatically and resolving on the 1.



That was a few examples of how I use quartal harmony in my playing. When you work on this you will of course get something out of checking out my lines, but don’t forget that you will probably learn more form trying to l take the concept of my examples and make your own lines combining the things you already know. That is also how I work.

If you want to support my videos and check out more examples of how I use quartal harmony and other more modern devices in my solos check out this solo lesson in my webstore:

There will never be another you – Reharmonization Solo

If you want to study the examples I went over in the lesson you can of course also download them as a pdf here below:


If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you want to hear.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.


Quartal Harmony in Solos

As I promised in earlier lessons, here is my take on putting the chords I talked about in the 3 part quartal harmony lesson and the one on diatonic chords of the pentatonic scale to use in improvisation.

In this lesson I want to demonstrate how I use it in solos by going through some technical exercises and some lines I wrote using quartal harmony.

I am going to demonstrate a few exercises and then give you a few examples and of lines and how I constructed them. In this lesson I am only going to be concerned with the 3 note variation of these chords, since that is the one that is the easiest to put to use.

All my lines and exercises are going to be related to a II Valt I in Bb so we need to check out the Bb major scale and the F7 altered / F# melodic minor scale before we start working on making lines.


First let’s just talk a bit about what you might practice to prepare for making lines with stacks of 4ths arpeggios in them. Here are the chords for the Bb major scale on two sets of strings. I’d suggest you practice them both as chords and as arpeggios to get technically prepared for using them in improvisations.

Quartal Harmony in Solos ex 1

As you might already see we can’t really name the chords in the way we are used to with diatonic chords and triads. You chose them by looking at the notes they contain and how that relates to the chord you are playing them over. This can be a bit heavy if you are not used to think like that, but is actually a very useful skill for “the thinking improviser”. It will also help you to analyze transcriptions and identify what s being played.

In my examples I chose the arpeggios for the Cm7 chord on the criteria that I don’t want it to contain an A, because I want to save that note for the F7. That is a choice, and not even a route that I always take myself, but for now it makes the lines easier to hear.

Since we don’t often make solo lines by only moving up and down a string, but more often make use of positions, it can be very handy to also try to play some scale positions in diatonic stacks of 4ths like the one I have written out here below:

Quartal Harmony in Solos ex 2

Playing stacked 4ths requires a lot of string changing for the right hand which is a bit difficult and for the left hand you need to bar with different fingers to be able to play the them which can also be a bit demanding. Frank Gambale has a few good left hand exercises for this in one of his books. As for the right hand I generally alternate pick the arpeggios as you can see in the video, mostly because I like the sound of that sort of picking better than sweeps or economy when I play these arpeggios.

Here are the chords for the F altered/F# melodic minor scale.

Quartal Harmony in Solos ex 3


I’d suggest you also try to arpegiate these chords and play F# melodic minor in diatonic stacks of 4ths in the way that I did it with the Bb major scale.

II V I lines with stacked 4ths

Here’s the first example of a line on the II Valt I in Bb major:

Quartal Harmony in Solos ex 4


If I break down the construction of the line it is an EbMaj7 shell voicings followed by an stack of 4ths beginning on G. Then on the F7alt I am playing the Coltrane 4 note pattern, and following that up with a stack of 4ths on the A in F#melodic minor. I resolve the high Ab to the major 7 of Bb.

Quartal Harmony in Solos ex 5


The 2nd example is first chaining to stack of 4th arpeggios on the Cm7, one from F and one from D. Then I play a sort of cliché F#m melody which is followed by an F#mMaj7 arpeggio that resolves to F the 5th of Bb major.

Quartal Harmony in Solos ex 6

The 3rd example is beginning with an Ebmajor 7th arpeggio that is then followed by a stack of 4ths from c. On the F7 altered I have made a melody using two stacks a whole step apart: one from Eb and on from Db. This pair is a useful tool when making lines and when playing chords in my experience.

Quartal Harmony in Solos ex 7

I start with a Cm9 arpeggio which I then follow with a stack of fourths played descending from C to D. This arpeggio I then can shift up a half step to fit it on the F7 chrod and then I lead that into an Ebm7 shell voicing which with a few notes from the scale is resolved to the 9 of the Bb.

You can download the examples in pdf format here:

Quartal Harmony in Solos

I hope that you liked the lesson. 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 part Quartal Harmony

In this lesson I want to demonstrate how I use quartal harmony when I am playing in both modal and moving harmony. I also want to give some ways to practice these voicings and put them to use in those situations.


Quartal Harmony

What is Quartal harmony. The chords that w e use are for the most part derived from stacks of thirds as I described in these lessons: diatonic arpeggios, jazz chord essentials – triads. Quartal harmony is derived from stacks of 4ths giving other note groupings as seen in Example 1.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 part Quartal Harmony Ex 1


Since we get different note groups but still want to use them in situations that we define from a stack of thirds (like a Cmaj7 or Dm7) We need to figure out how to apply them.

The voicings and some exercises

The first thing to check out is the voicings themselves. Here is a harmonized major scale on the 2 top sets of strings.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 part Quartal Harmony Ex 2

Once you can play them I suggest you try to play with them over a pedal, so that you have an idea of how each of those voicings sound in a modal context and you can start building up a vocabulary of melodies that you can play. In the beginning you can do this over the basic chords II V and I, but as a pedal so a vamp consisting of a Dm chord, on for G7 and one for Cmaj7, as I demonstrate in the video.

In order to start playing over changes we need to be able to play chords found in the melodic minor scale, so here’s a harmonization of the Ab melodic minor scale, which is also the scale we need to play G7alt:

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 part Quartal Harmony Ex 3

For this scale it is also useful to check out how the voicings sound on a G7alt, Db lydian domininant or AbmMaj7 pedal point.

Examples for chord progressions

I chose to apply the voicings to a II Valt I in C because it it is an easy key and a vert common progression. Here are some examples:

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 part Quartal Harmony Ex 4


Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 part Quartal Harmony Ex 5


Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 part Quartal Harmony Ex 6


Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 part Quartal Harmony Ex 7



In the video I break down each example a bit more and add some more info on how I made them and how I see them.

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

Jazz Chord Essentials – 3 part Quartal Harmony

I hope that you liked the lesson. 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.