Here's how I practice my chords. Its a bit late so my timing is shitty. But, I usually start out with a simple bass line and loop it. Then I mess around a bit with the chord form and its inversion sometimes throwing it some lines here and there.
The other thing I do is take a simple progression and try to match some scales to them.
Again, I was pretty tired when making it.... But, this is a way to do it. Its not exactly how I really do it. But, that would take too much time to explain.
I hope this helps. Let me know...
Assuming you're talking about the PDF file, do whatever you want with it. It makes for good cat-box lining...
7ths are in the attached PDF, and yes, I do plan on creating more practice sheets for myself. Assuming I actually do this, I don't mind sharing them here.
When creating these though, please realize that I'm selecting a subset of string sets & fingerings instead of producing all theoretically possible variations. So use these with the understanding that if you want complete/correct knowledge, you should buy a book or find these yourself with pen/paper. Pretty sure you know that, but I like to caveat what I write when I know I'm an idiot.
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Interesting. Just worked for me. Try this one.
How would I post it as a picture? It's 17 pages or so and growing so I'm hoping to not have to resort to that. Would probably prefer just e-mailing it to you directly instead. PM your e-mail if this try doesn't work.
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I just used a different browser and it worked. I don't know why I didn't think of this before. It seems to work for chrome but not safari. Weird.
LOL! I thought it was just one page. Yeah, it would be too much of a pain to post all 17 pages!
It looks like you put a lot of work into it. I remember putting sheets together and using them to practice with (still do). I used to do the number analysis as well but it didn't work to well when I started to play jazz music. So I did it a bit differently. It took me a long time but I found it worth doing. Although, I don't arrange it in the same way you do. I use to write out all the notes on the neck and apply the chord voicings. I had close to over 300 sheets if you can believe it! Crazy, eh?
I still have a lot of chords I need to work on and moving from one voicing to another is still a challenge but I think I'm getting better at it as time moves on.
Interesting stuff, diraben. Thanks.
Another idea I'm trying to use when running these chord scales is to play them in position rather than up and down the neck. Obviously I need to mix up string set selections for that. I purposely am not writing out charts for that though. I run the charts to learn the shapes and then I try to play them in position to solidify my understanding of them. This is slow going which caused me to create this thread in the first place. I don't think I'm wasting my time, but I really don't know.
You helped already by showing some videos of how you use a looper. Those were great. If you have other ideas, I'd love to read them too.
Well, I recognized early on that I needed to know chords really well in order to play through lead sheets. For examples of lead sheets just open up a Real Book. Now, everything I work on is pretty much devoted towards covering what is found in those books (Real Book Vol. 1, 2, 3, etc...).
There seems to be phases in learning chords and I think you are still in the "first" stage of it. Meaning, working out the formulas and seeing the chords shapes. Which is what I did too. However, I organized it from the perspective of lead sheet playing and because most of the lead sheets I was/am looking at are based in the genre of jazz, you could say that its from the jazz perspective. But, when I think about it, I see that it can really be applied to all types of music. It doesn't have to be jazz.
The funny thing is that in order to talk about practicing chords you have to get into the theory a little bit. But, you stated earlier that you didn't want this thread to be about theory. So, it would be difficult to get into it. However, all I can say is that there are some insights that I found has helped me. Now, if it will work for you I have no idea, but here's my two cents:
Q: Whats the goal? To be good at playing chords? What does that mean?
A: When you use the lead sheet format to help provide you a way of achieving the goal of playing chords really well you will find that over time you will just get better at it.
Thats about it. I left out a lot of stuff. In fact, on the surface, you could say "thats the most generic bullshit answer I have ever read" and I would agree with you. However, as you read that sentence again, know that it is a very GENERAL statement that have has plenty of other things hidden in it.
So, if I have to spell out the "phases" of learning chords for lead sheet playing I would spell it out this way. Again, this is will still be kind of a general way of explaining it so as a result its not the exact way I do things.
Phase 1: Know the formulas, the inversion of those formulas, know the chord symbols that go with those formulas...
Phase 2: Organize them, different voicings, different string sets/string groupings...
Phase 3: Getting to know them, learning the voicings by letter note names not formula, simple voice leading to complex voice leading...
Dude, I left out alot. In fact this is the most incomplete overview I have ever wrote out. So, I don't know if this is really gonna help you. I hope it does. Let me know. I'm interested in what you come up with. Maybe post a video... perhaps of you playing the dom 7th chords through the cycle of 4ths just to see where you are at. Then in 4 months post another one to see if you got a good working strategy.
If you do post a video make sure you use that FG carvin. I want one so bad......
I'm squarely in the "first" stage. No question.
I'm not afraid of talking theory. I'm a bit past the "complete idiot" and "for dummies" stage. Mark Levine's book should arrive tomorrow. I just didn't want the thread to be totally derailed by off-topic theory. Fire away.
If by "goal" you mean what would I like to be able to do before I die, here's a wish list. I'm very aware I may never reach any of these goals. From the materials and contributors on this site, I *think* I know what is needed to cross off the first item. Of course getting there is 1,000s of hours away. The 2nd & 3rd item was the underlying reason I created this thread on chords.
1. Have technique on par with some of the rock guitarists from the 80s/90s. Rock is still my favorite genre.
2. Have strong enough ear and improvisation skills to pick up a guitar and play musically. Be it along side others, or solo.
3. Devise and play chord melodies ala Ted Greene (which is an impossible goal, but hopefully you get the idea), who is most definitely not rock.
I'm no expert but that won't stop me from spilling my two cents, eh?
Well, again here's my quick overview of chords and by no means is it complete but it will keep you busy for some time. I noticed that your goals spanned from rock, improvising, ear training, to wholly fuck Ted Greene! Those are awesome goals but I have to admit to you I'm definitely not Steve Vai or Ted Greene or the Great Lenny Breau (as you can already tell from my video in this thread). But I'll present an overview of chords by using the following general outcome or goal in mind. I feel that it will encompass a little from each of the goals you've stated. So at anytime when you find your self getting a better command of chords (I'm talking strictly seventh chords) you can alter your course as you deem fit. Meaning tweak this strategy if you want till you got it, eh? It will be probably stuff you already know but...here we go.....
General Goal: The ability to read through the chord changes of a lead sheet from a fake book.
(Insight #1: I know it may be assumed this to be a jazz oriented thing but the Real Book collections are covering not just jazz but blues, soul, gospel, rock, etc... Insight #2: imagine that your a studio guitarist on a gig where the composer puts a lead sheet on your stand and you gotta read through the changes. Time is money, first take the best take... Insight #3: think of it as a video game like shooting ducks with a rifle; meaning the ducks are the chord changes floating by and you are finding them on your guitar and strumming them is shooting... I hope that makes sense. This would be the original version of Rock Guitar in REAL TIME, eh!).
Phase/Stage One to Three:
Formulas and Theory (Major Scale)
There are four basic 7th chords (not getting into the diminished or altered stuff to keep it simple... you can later apply this strategy to them as you progress):
Major 7, Dom 7, Minor 7, Minor 7 Flat 5
They have symbols:
Ma7, 7, m7, m7b5 (these are common ones; you will find others as well just do an online search to get the lowdown)
Each chord type has four positions or what we call inversions... so you will get the following:
Ma7 (Root Position), Ma7/3 (First Inversions), Ma7/5 (second inversion), Ma7/7 (third inversion)
The other chord types will follow the same format as you see above (C7, C7/E, C7/G, C7/Bb, etc...)
Okay you have the idea of that there are formulas (which I didn't spell out because I assume you know them like a major 7 chord is R 3 5 7, a minor 7 is R b3 5 7). Also, that each formula has a symbol ( Cm7, C7, Cm7b5/Eb, etc...). Thats a quick glance at the theory. Now the part where a lot of guitarist don't get is how to approach this on the guitar. Let's go and have a look at what the standard approach is (or at least what I've found).
The voicings that we will use are the following:
Drop 2 and Drop 3
Drop 2 most useful in the string sets of 4-1 and 5-2
Drop 3 happens for us up in string set 5-1 and 6-2 (Now a lot of guys will go on and on about why not this voicing in this string set etc... but for now just realize that you want to cover this basic stuff for now. Believe me this will take plenty of time. If you can get these down you will be a .... M*****F***)
The idea now is to do the work. Here's what I did (kinda more like a version of what I did... for a full explanation i would have to spell out too many details):
1. Write out for each key all the spellings for each chord symbol and voicing on each of the scale steps using first the drop 2's then the drop threes.
Example (Key of C - this is how it could look like)
Drop 2 Voicings (string set 4-1)
CMa7 Dm7 Em7 F7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5
I II III IV V VI VII
B C D E F G A 1st String
E F G A B C D 2nd String
G A B C D E F 3rd String
C D E F G A B 4th String
Now have fun and play them ascending/descending first in the string set of 4-1 and then 5-2. Notice that you will start out on the lowest one on the neck which would be Em7. We're only concerning ourselves on the fret board-no open strings.
So you would basically play the following ascending/descending:
Em7 FMa7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5 CMa7 Dm7 Em7 //
Now isolate each individual chord and do the same thing but with its inversion this time. I'll just show the CMa7 as an example but apply it to each chord in the key of C.
CMa7 Drop 2 (apply it to String Set 4-1 and 5-2)
CMa7 CMa7/E CMa7/G CMa7/B (See Special Note Below for the 3rd Inversion)
B G B C (substitute the D instead of the C note)
E C E G
G B C E
C E G B
(Special Note: even though the the 3rd inversion is correct following the formula, it sounds kinda shitty. So, to over come the b9 sound we can change the C on the top to a D and play it as a CMa9/B).
Again, starting on the lowest possible place we get (String Set 4-1):
CMa7/E CMa7/G CMa7/B (Really you could use C6 or CMa9 here to avoid the flat 9) CMa7 //
So, if you do that for each key that would cover plenty. And as you do this realize that you can not only look at lead sheets but make up lead sheets yourself. I remember that you like to make your own backing tracks and that you like to compose, yes? Than why not write out simple chord charts for your material. I mean I could go on but your own creativity should be you guide with how you can practice this stuff.
Insight # whatever.... I forget how many there are now... :
So this is just the chords in the Major Scale. I didn't talk about sus chords or altered chords, etc. Because I like to seen things in a certain context first. Like seeing each chord individually in each key in root position first. Then seeing them by themselves with each of their inversion.
This is important for voice leading purposes. Look at this:
CMa7 D7 GMa7
IV V I
Try doing this in one area of the neck. It might look like this:
Drop 2 String Set 5-2
CMa7/E D7 GMa7/D
There is still a bit of shifting. What about this:
CMa7/E (Drop 2, 4-1) D7 (Drop 2, 4-1) GMa7/B (Drop 3, 6-2)
Ah.... I know I didn't cover the Drop 3s but thats up to you to figure out.
Try doing all the inversions in the cycle of 4ths (CMa7, CMa7/E, CMa7/G, CMa9/B..... FMa7, etc). Can you do it for more than 1 cycle? How about 5 cycles? Can you do it in time? One beat per chord? It can be overwhelming but you can come up with your own exercises.
For instants, I think you mentioned that it would be nice to be fluent to play in one area or position on your neck, yes? Well this is basic voice leading. Try doing the cycle of 4ths and isolate each chord type and do it in a fret range like frets 1 to 5. You might shift a bit but you changes generally stay in that position. In order to do so you will have to be good with the inversions.
diraben, dude... I'm tired and I'm sure that I'm boring some people by rambling on about chords and maybe have made some mistakes in this post. But, I hope this give you a taste of whats possible. Again, this is sort of what I did (and continue to do) and don't forget you've got the Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor, etc....
Let me know if there is anything else you want. No worries, just ask....
Holy cow John, I can't stress enough how appreciative I am of you writing this out for me. Forget that 'people are bored' stuff too because they can just skip this thread if they don't care.
So the first parts of that thread I understand and I believe I'm doing. For example, I understand quite well the nomenclature in terms of scale tones and the many ways different players choose to notate them. I do NOT have the chords ingrained using the note names though, but I have started to work on that and am slowly getting better.
And yeah, the application of this knowledge on the guitar is the battle I'm currently fighting. The first application part, playing 7ths diatonic to a key, is what I've been doing as of late. I've been doing this with all inversions.
The second & third+ parts, meaning take a single chord formula (e.g. maj7) and cycle through the inversions, or take a single chord formula/inversion (e.g. Cmaj7/E) and cycle in fourths, is something that I haven't worked on yet. I mean I DO play the separate chord scales based off of Cmaj7, Cmaj7/E, Cmaj7/G, Cmaj7/Bb with as many usable fingers as I can find (usually 5 or 6 total for my hands right now), but I haven't cycled Cmaj7 to Cmaj7/E to... yet.
Since you last posted, I have started to understand how powerful practicing (anything really) with the cycle of fourths can be, and I've been working that in. I can cycle dom7 chords but I guess I haven't posted that because I suspect that what I can do is not really the goal. For example, starting with C7, I can cycle using 6-3, 5-2 string set pairs down/up the neck, or various combinations of 6-3, 5-2 and 4-1 to stay in approximately one position. But, it doesn't sound all that good. To make it sound good, I'd need to write them all down and choose a good sequence of voicings. Probably throw in a few extra tones too. I haven't done that work yet.
Because of this (lack of on-the-spot voice leading) repeating all of these exercises while trying to stay in a narrow fret range is a bit out of range for me. I *think* I understand how to do this, but I just don't have all the inversion fingerings ingrained enough to be able to select them appropriately let alone to do it in time.
If I haven't caused you to spend too much time in this thread already, I don't suppose you'd be willing to provide an example of how the following should sound when it's being done well, would you? Maybe with maj7 chords?
I think you mentioned that it would be nice to be fluent to play in one area or position on your neck, yes? Well this is basic voice leading. Try doing the cycle of 4ths and isolate each chord type and do it in a fret range like frets 1 to 5. You might shift a bit but you changes generally stay in that position. In order to do so you will have to be good with the inversions.
If showing me is cheating, then I'll try to work it through when I can find the time to do so. Sometimes hearing/seeing helps the learning process though. You've helped me strategize months/years worth of practice here, but I want to be sure I'm going to go about it the best possible way so as to not waste anymore time on a wrong path.
I remember doing math exercises from a text book when I was a kid. When I wanted to see if I got the answers right I would look at the back of the book. But, the books would always show only half the answers. I alway fucking hated that. And the answers they did show never explained how they got there. I fucking hated that. Fucking bullshit, eh?
Well, I not going do that. I'll show you something more precise and to the point. Here's a quicky vid with the following:
Exercise Sample 1: CMa7 Drop 2 String Set 5-2 with its inversions
Exercise Sample 2: Ma7 Drop 2 String Set 5-2 Cycle of 4ths
I substituted the 3rd inversion of Cma7/B with a C6 chord (I explained why previously). In the second part, I tried to keep the Ma7 chords all in the first part of the neck. Practicing with restrictions really helps you to focus and spark creativity.
Now those are just two things you can do. Try taking some time and expand by tweaking these two exercises to suit your needs. Make up some cool shit that turns you on and that will help motivate you to playing more and more...
I hope this helps, diraben.
There is another approach to chords, it is worth investigating. It's based on Pat Martino's stuff (really solid player, the guy is a phenom to say the least!)
Anyways the concept is this;you can take a diminished 7th chord, and since any note can be the 'root' in a diminished 7th, drop whichever note you want a half step and you have a dominant 7th chord rooted from the note you just 'dropped' to.
This helps a lot in finding chords all around a centralized fingering. One dim7 chord has 4 notes that can be dropped a half step, meaning that each dim7 fingering is a half step away from 4 dominant 7th chords. Add to this the fact that a Diminished 7th chord retains it's shape as it inverts, stacked minor 3rds.
From "Edim7, BbDim7, DbDim7, GDim7"
To A7. To Eb7. To C7. To F#7
Of course, from there you can go to the next inversion, etc etc. It is a clever way I think, of being able to find chords from a diminished 7th. Any fingering of a dim 7th chord leads to 4 other dominant 7th chords. Pat Martino has a couple of cool chord 'finding' tricks like this that are pretty cool, not too cerebral and they really help build that "connective tissue".
I have both of Ted Greene's books, but I really never got much out of them. The Berklee books 1,2,3 were my main starting points, and then after that I just make my own chord solos and guide tone lines from the Real book.
Hope that helps or is relevant to what you are looking for...
Well theres more to Pat's theory than that! Its starts by taking any note of a Dim7 chord and lowering it one halfstep which produces the root of a Dom7th chord for sure, but then you take the Dom7th chord and lower the 7thto become a 6th, raise the 7th to become a maj7th, lower the 3rd to become a minor7th, raise the 3rd to become a Dom7Sus4, lower the 5th to become a 7b5, raise the 5th to become a 7+5 chord, so the next step is in taking that Dom7th shape and producing chords: 6th, Maj7th, mi7, Dom7sus5, 7b5 and 7+5.
This is a quick way to build your chord vocabulary RIGHT AWAY - (Ahhem Damon!). Then you take the 6th chord and flat the 5th, raise the 5th to get altered chords" 6b5, 6+5 then take the mi7 and lower the 5 and raise the 5 - Mi7b5 and Mi7+5 and then Dom7sus4 flat the 5 and raise the 5 and then the Maj7 flat the 5 and raise the 5, then the Maj7 flat the 3 and flat the 5 raise the 5, etc and so on for many many altered chords. Then you do all the inversions on many different stringsets. Its 10 years of work.
Say I want to Jam with the D major scale.
Which chord progression should I play(I will ultimately loop this and use this as my backing track) ?
Do I just take the I, IV, V (D, G, A) and have at it? Or does it get trickier, like if I want to arpeggiate the D major scale do I modify the progression ?
I realize that using your ears is the most important and not everyone will agree on the "correct" method of doing this.
What I am looking for is just a solid building block to start out with for creating my own chord progressions to jam with(play the melody over) ?
Don't listen to me
RE: Chord Threadin PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:05 am
by uderoche (deleted)
Major scale = W W H W W W H
D Major = D E F# G A B C# D
Harmonization of Major Scales = Major, minor, minor, Major, Major, minor, diminished
D Major = D Major, E minor, F# minor, G Major, A Major, B minor, C# diminished
You could do a I IV V (D G A)
You could do a ii V I (E minor, A Major, D Major) or start adding notes (Em7, A7, Dmaj7) etc etc
Not sure this is the best place for this question but here goes.
That little peice on the harmonization of the major scale has helped a lot i think.
I have been trying to play Moondance by Van Morrison. It never sounded right.
I was playing in a progression that some one showed me. The progression Am,Bm for the verses, the bridge was Am7, Dm7 and Em7 with the same chords for the chorus.
but after reading that, I found the chord progression to be really wrong and started to play the verse with Am, Bm,CM,GM
and the bridge, with Am7, DM, Em7 with a slight change in the chourus part which I now play ending on GM.
I think it starts on Am but uses the G major scale.
So the questions I have is about the Keys and Harmonization of Scales chord progressions.
(I asume that minor scales can also be harmonized)
1. Should i be working out the Key of a song by the chord progression, or just the scale the song is written in.
2. on the assumption that minor scales can be harmonized, and that there are three basic types of minor scale, melodic minor, harmonic minor and natural minor.
What is the best practice for harmonizing the Minors?
As you can read above I had/have similar questions. But here's my 2 cents.
1. To work out the key that a particular song is in at any given time, and what chord scales sound nice, you use all information available to you; typically both the current chord progression and the melody. Probably obvious, but keep in mind that there isn't always a single key that fits a whole song. Maybe there is less modulation in some genres than others (e.g. rock vs jazz). Anyway, if you are trying to fit a single key signature to the chord progression of an entire song, and can't, then it probably changes keys one or more times.
2. Any scale can be harmonized. The common starting point is tertiary harmony, which means to stack thirds on top of each note within a scale. So to harmonize C-major = C, D, E, ...., in tertiary harmony you stack thirds = CEG, DFA, EGB, ... which is = C major, D minor, E minor... You can harmonize any scale (major, minor, diminished, mel. minor, harm. minor, whole-tone, whatever). I believe you can also use something other than thirds (4ths = quartal harmony, dunno after that).
I was seeking in this thread the best way to practice all of this. I was given some great ideas by John, but progress is super slow.
However, to understand how to harmonize any scale (including the minors), write out the scale on a staff. Then stack thirds on them (first do 3-part chords, then 4-part chords). Then analyze the intervals that result. For example, do C-minor. Stacking thirds on the C in a 4-part chord within the key of C-minor you get C, Eb, G, Bb. Eb is a minor third over C. G is a perfect 5th over C. Bb is a flat 7th over C. Thus harmonizing C in the key of C-minor in 4-parts yields the formula R, b3, 5, b7, or a mi7 chord. Now, remaining in the key of C-minor, do this again starting on D. Then on Eb, etc. You'll end up with the tertiary harmonization of minor scales. You can repeat this exercise for any scale (mel minor, harm minor, etc.).
Pebber also posted a PDF of this in some old thread a long time ago (Multi_Chord_Scales.pdf). You can probably search for this, although I recommend doing this by hand. Do it for more than one key too (e.g. after C-minor, do D-minor) to see that the chord formulas remain the same even though all the note names change.
Hope this helps.
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