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Uses of "Special" Chords

Music Theory
btimm  
15 May 2011 21:37 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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I am spending some time currently learning triads and then of course the full versions of several chord types, including augmented and diminished chords. I have heard and saw these chords used before, but right now I am hunkering down and really spending some time getting familiar with them and learning them all over the fretboard. I noticed that one great use of an augmented chord is as a leading chord. It builds very well heading into another chord, especially the I.

My question to you is about how you use various types on chords. Diminished, augmented, flatted fifths, add9s, etc. When you make music, how do you like to use these chords. I understand that you can substitute any of the same family of chords and it will "work", meaning you can replace a CMaj7 with a Cmaj7(b5), but you cannot replace a CMaj7 with a Cmin in a progression; this is not what I am asking. I am simply inquiring as to how you personally might use such chords in your progressions and why you like them. I am just trying to learn from your experience. Like do you use them as leading chords? Use them to create tension? etc.

Thanks! Hopefully this will invoke some good discussion.
RA  
15 May 2011 22:30 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
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As you eluded too this topic is huge and there is countless ways to go about it. Generally, they fall into a type of voice leading (a voice(s) of the chord [generally top or bottom] leads into the next chord).

As your into Jazz (right?) I would looking in altered harmony. coming form the altered scale (1,b2,b3,b4,b5,b6,b7) or more importantly (1,b2,#2,b3,b5,#5,b7).

One of the most important things to grasp in jazz is your fifth cycles, and this is where you deploy your altered harmony. When your cycling, (very good when strict dominates [why a lot times in jazz the 6th is a dominate chord when it should be minor]), you can sharping the fifth or second of the chords (generally end with a normal chord [depends on what you want to do like always]). Depending on whether the progression is descending or ascending the 2&5 do different things. For descending the b2 fall into the fifth of the next chord very appealing when the top voice in a descending progression. I leave you to experiment and figure out the joys of this technique.

Also, again this is just a brief overview of one theory there are hundreds and no post or entire forum could explain it too you. To get this you need a good book or a teacher. I recommend, from personally experience, Ted Greene's volumes and of course "The Jazz Theory Book" (a almost across the broad must for jazz learns). there are many more that are really great on this subject but if you need to get any books it's them.


btimm says:
but right now I am hunkering down and really spending some time getting familiar with them and learning them all over the fretboard.


Although this is what you should do I always cringe when I hear this as I'm assuming your using the learning method of, memorizing the hand position for selected chords. It not a good way of learning the chords and the neck layout. What is the most important is to learning the layout of the guitar. Not so much where all the As or bDs are but if you make the note your finger is on the tonic what are all the steps of all the notes next to it are. For example, if any fret on the A string is your tonic the note physically vertically up above on the E is the 5th, Physically down D=4th,G=b7,B=2, and 5th again.

if you want to know your chords learn the formulas for them C6 add 9 (1,3,5,6,9). Then know the layout of the guitar frontwards and backwards. I recommend the CAGED system. So if I'm in the D position I know where all the note values are; just name a chord and will play it there's no memorizing silly little forms that in the end will hurt you. So if anyone tells you to memorize a chord a day or something silly like that RUN!!! Learning the layout and the formulas and you will be much better off (this work for scales too as in the end their really the same thing).

A book I can't recommend enough for getting all that down would be Ten Greene's "Single Note Soloing"


Hear is a video on Alerted Harmony, as I feel i didn't go over it well enough but I'm pressed for time. I didn't watch the video (no time), but Justin Sandercoe is generally good; I'll view when I get the time and post back if Anything is off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95bx07DWHKc
btimm  
17 May 2011 13:35 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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RA says:
but I'm pressed for time


This is you pressed for time? What would you have written if you did have time? lol This is a phenomenal amount of information!

RA says:
Although this is what you should do I always cringe when I hear this as I'm assuming your using the learning method of, memorizing the hand position for selected chords. It not a good way of learning the chords and the neck layout. What is the most important is to learning the layout of the guitar. Not so much where all the As or bDs are but if you make the note your finger is on the tonic what are all the steps of all the notes next to it are. For example, if any fret on the A string is your tonic the note physically vertically up above on the E is the 5th, Physically down D=4th,G=b7,B=2, and 5th again.


Well, I am learning the full chords when I play for fun and just try to learn the comping of a jazz tune. Like right now I am learning "Autumn in New York". Probably not the best song for a beginner, lol. But when I am "working" on learning, I am currently forcing myself to learn triads. Also, when I do learn chords, I learn the pattern, but I learn the notes as well. For example, on a basic E-shape major chord, sure I learned the shape, but I also learned that it goes 1-5-1-3-5-1 or I guess R-5-R-3-5-R. This is helping me to understand the formation of the chords and makes it easy for me to learn how to modify the chord to get a different chord. Now I know that when I use this chord formation and I lift up my middle finger, I am changing the root to a flatted 7th, which makes the chord a dominant chord. I am not sure if this is good or poor based on what you have written, but I am hoping it proves to be helpful.

I tried learning the CAGED system, but I think I must not be thinking about it properly or something, or maybe I just don't see how it is helpful besides major chord formations. Maybe you can help. If I start making a C chord on an open formation, it is x-3-2-0-1-0. Moving up the fretboard, I can make the formation of an A chord, but using the 3rd fret as the root, and this also gives me a C chord. So I can keep using the CAGED system up the fretboard and will find various ways to make a C chord? Am I understanding it properly? I am not sure how this exactly improves my understanding of the guitar or of the fretboard really, but I may just be not understanding it properly.

And I will definitely look into altered harmony. I have seen videos from Sandercoe before, he really does a pretty solid job of explaining things in the videos I have seen.

Thanks for the comment RA!
RA  
17 May 2011 14:46 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
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btimm says:
when I play for fun and just try to learn the comping of a jazz tune


Yeah definitely that best way to do this is just going through a fake book and playing tunes. It's fun and it work great for people who have jobs and can't just study all day long.

btimm says:
I am currently forcing myself to learn triads


I can't recommend this enough, learning your 12 close voiced triad formations is a complete MUST. Chords, soloing, layouts just become so much more understandable when this is understood. Most of the great soloists when you transcribe them follow their triads. A notable guy for this is David Gilmore. A lot of Hendrix's songs are easily explained through closed triad formations and in that John Frusciante. Hell, "Snow" is just him fooling around with his closed voices. I really don't understand why people/instructors skip this for guitar; as the other most popular ploy-voiced instrument (piano) this is the first thing you do, yet we get stuck with "Cowboy chords"

I'm assuming this is what your talking about when you said triads. If not LEARN THEM :)

http://www.guitar-theory-in-depth.com/guitar-chords-chart.html

*I just Google for an image no idea about the site so don't fault me for that*


$$$$$$
btimm says:
I learn the pattern, but I learn the notes as well. For example, on a basic E-shape major chord, sure I learned the shape, but I also learned that it goes 1-5-1-3-5-1 or I guess R-5-R-3-5-R.
$$$$$

YES YES YES this is what I'm talking about. IT great that your doing this. What I don't like it when people just memorize boxes and shape yet haven't the faintest clue on what going on. Learning that it goes 1-5-1-3-5-1 is the most important part above that it is E-B-E-G#-B-E, so that's great!!

btimm says:

I tried learning the CAGED system, but I think I must not be thinking about it properly or something, or maybe I just don't see how it is helpful besides major chord formations.



Basically, with the above statement (my previous quoting of you; the one with the $ around it) your already starting to do it. The key now it just to fill in the scales/modes. So for example, at the 3rd fret when you have an A-grip (Formation, position, whatever) it's in the key of C. If you what to play a minor chord just manipulate it like your doing. So, the 3rd for the C is on the second fret for the D string the minor is on the 1st fret

--CMaj7--Cmin7
E------------
A--3------3--
D--2------1--
G--4------3--
B--5------4--
e------------

the steps are 1-3-7-3 and 1-b3-b7-b3. you should also fit your scales into these groupings and figure out how they all relate (they do again there the same thing, just in different dimensions).

I was hesitant to use that example but I feel like killing two birds with one stone. That is this is also where the CAGED system breaks down. As you should realize that example was between the C and the A Grips. Just having Five positions really doesn't cut it you need more. again I think Ted Greene does a great job at adding the required more. (you do need to learn how to read before you can buy it through [sorry forgot to mention that before]. While someone like Andrés Segovia does a horrible job at it, if I remember correctly he had about 60 something positions. But regardless learning All five positions of CADGE is a really great start and in my opinion very logical.

ask away if that didn't clear anything up or raised more questions.


edit forgot to add to relate your triads with the CAGED system as while and how the triads add up to form bigger chords
gshredder2112  
17 May 2011 18:26 | Quote
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RA says:
forgot to add to relate your triads with the CAGED system as while and how the triads add up to form bigger chords


polychords?
RA  
17 May 2011 19:44 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
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yeah, that was kind of vague huh. No I was purely talking about about the layout of the guitar and the pattens it forms.

For example, the C-grip (when major) is a top to bottom (sonically) a 2nd Inversion, 1st inversion, Root position, and 2nd Inversion.
-------------------------------F#major(frets)---Steps--
E-------------------x------x------9---------------5----
A---------------x---x------x------9---------------1----
D--------x-----x---x------x-------8---------------3----
G--x---x-----x---------x----------6---------------5----
B---x---x---------------x---------7---------------1----
e--x-------------------x----------6---------------3----

I mean of course you should also learn to recognize the triads in extend chords and also in solos. The point is to implement all of what you know into a much lager picture allowing you to freely move around the neck and not be hinder by positions, licks or anything of the short, and just be free sonically.

So in way yes to poly-chords but only in a structurally mind frame. all of theses post are more theoretical then applied.

Hope that clears it up


*edit* If someone who has the time can Tab that for me that would be great or regardless it copies and pastes out right.
btimm  
17 May 2011 23:07 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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-------------------------------F#major(frets)---Steps--
E-------------------x------x------9---------------5----
A---------------x---x------x------9---------------1----
D--------x-----x---x------x-------8---------------3----
G--x---x-----x---------x----------6---------------5----
B---x---x---------------x---------7---------------1----
e--x-------------------x----------6---------------3----
matt8675  
18 May 2011 17:11 | Quote
Joined: 15 Apr 2011
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Yay for being confused.
RA  
18 May 2011 18:51 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
if Confused ask away.

Here a video of Guthrie Govan talking about some of things I was saying In terms of CAGED.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4jbCDfSXS0

From about 2:06 On wards. Try to recognize the three voice closed triads as the playing is all around them (like Hendrix as the point of the video).


http://www.justinguitar.com/en/SC-001-TheMajorScale.php

after talking about Sandercoe, I remembered he liked the CAGED system as well and figured his Boxes would reflect that and no surprise they did. I didn't read the page what I'm focusing on is just his diagrams at the end. We show all know by now that I HATE memorizing boxes without knowing what the steps are but this may help bring in my point. What he did is label the Chords in red follow the CAGED system. Ultimately the boxes (like they always do) become very restrictive (he alludes to it in the descriptions to the right), but it should show the idea of what going on. The Key thing to know is that you can play any mode/scale in the shape if you know the step all you got to do is modify it. Which was(HOPEFULLY) were btimm was getting lost in that it is not just for majors.

as a side note, in each position you have 2 octaves and a perfect fourth thus you can play any scales/mode in existence. the question is, is it in G-grip at the 5th fret or C-grip.

For example, if your index finger is at the 5th fret playing A mixolydian your in E-grip (actually I would have my middle finger, but I'll stick with Sandercoe's horrid boxes for less confusion). If you jump to playing A-grip (still at the 5th fret) without changing any notes your now in D Ionian.

****REMEMBER, REMEMBER, REMEMBER, ****** it is note enough to memorize silly little boxes and play random notes you need to know the steps and what going on. your note in Mixolydian because your index finger is on the 5th. your in mixolydian because you know where the note values are and you know how to phase a mixolydian line.




Also, sorry to jack your thread btimm, by all means ask away on substitutions all you want.


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