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"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."

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September 8, 2012 | Free 5-string chord template PDF

The question comes up often, "Where can I find a good resource of 5-string chords?" Outside of the JazzCittern Explorer (terrific site, by the way), little is published, especially in the print world. There's an arguable case for why this isn't available in an encyclopedic form. Chords voiced on all five strings at once don't sound that great when you start moving around. You end up duplicating voices that make the harmony imbalanced. It's also pretty impressive how full a 3-note chord can sound--with the right 3 notes. So how do you begin building your own?

The best approach is thinking a sort of "tenor banjo/mandola plus." Start chording on the CGDA side (assuming a CGDAE tuning), with the high E string being bonus material. More importantly, don't limit yourself to 4-note chords. You can do a ton harmonically with 3-note chords, and this gives you a limitless flexibility moving blocks around the fretboard. (See our recent Tips and Tricks columns on Vamps.)

If you want to document these discoveries, we've got just the thing, a blank 5-string chord template.

Start creating!

Download PDF: pdf_sm.gif Free 5-string chord template


Posted by Ted at September 8, 2012 5:42 AM

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