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Sage Wisdom

"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."



« Major 'ii7 V7 I' 3-note Mandolin Chord Blocks | Main | Minor 'ii7v5 V7 i' chord blocks »

February 28, 2013 | Tasty Major landing chords

Last week we looked at some stock 'ii V7 I' chord blocks. We mentioned potential confusion in past versions of these with chord extension qualities and character, noting we wanted to streamline these. There's nothing wrong with going with just a 3-voice triad, sometimes simpler is better.

Let's revisit these stock positions and add a little flavor this time. Even if you're not into the theory, have some fun and just PLAY the chords!

The original chart can be downloaded here, if you don't have it already.

Download PDF: pdf_sm.gif Major 'ii V7 I' Blocks
Major_ii7_V7_I_Blocks.jpg

Our first option is to take a CMaj7 and spice it up with an Add9. You could also call it a CMaj9, depending on what other instruments are playing, but we've left the 7th (B) out of the label. Both function as our "landing" tonic chord:

CMajChordBlock2.jpg

We'll do the same with the G Major block. G Add9. Lovely sound!

GMajChordBlock2.jpg

As we mentioned, sometimes a simple triad is all you need. Want to give it some character, you can give the landing D major triad its 7th (C#) for an enriching DMaj7. Note, with the root D missing, the block sounds better in the context of an ensemble with another instrument voicing the missing voice. However, if you've established the "D-ness" in chord melody fashion, it will work solo, too.

DMajChordBlock2.jpg

We'll do the same for our Bb Major set, only we'll give it a Texas Swing taste with a Bb6 chord:

BbMajChordBlock2.jpg

Again, move these around to different keys and employ them in new ways. You want to ingrain the chord movement into your fingers, not just the individual chords.

Further
Major 'ii V7 I' 3-note Mandolin Chord Blocks
ii V7 I Home Positions
Vamps. Expanding the Diatonic triads
Chord economy
7th Chord Streams. Under the hood

Posted by Ted at February 28, 2013 9:08 AM


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