Clark JM Jazz Mandolin
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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."

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February 19, 2015 | 7th Chord Streams up and down the fretboard

We think one of our most overlooked treasures on the site is our two page PDF that TABs out all the inversions of the 7th chord in 3-note shapes. It even goes a step further and inserts a passing or "filler chord" that allows you to give motion to any long section of music that has multiple measure of V7.

Take a 12 bar blues pattern for example. In it's simplest form, you have three V7 chords. That's it!

Entire careers have been built on the ability to make this classic form interesting. It's great if you're soloing, but what if you're the poor sap that has to play chords behind that.

How boring...

D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7
G7 G7 G7 G7 G7 G7 G7 G7
D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7
G7 G7 G7 G7 G7 G7 G7 G7


Not really, though. With the patterns we've mapped out, everything changes. Not only can you get your sanity back, you can amaze and impress your friends with these chord variation "streams" of V7.

How do you go about learning them? We recommend you be just as versed playing them down the neck (starting in the high frets) as you do going up, but that takes practice. Take them in chunks:

Novice Level:
1. Play two strokes per chord.
2. Play them in pairs. 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8.
3. Play them in two pairs, 1 2 3 4, 3 4 5 6, 5 6 7 8, etc.
Intermediate Level:
1. Play them in sets of pairs, up and down.
2. Start on the higher frets and work backwards
Advanced Level:
1. Start transposing to other keys.
2. Apply to songs.

Download PDF: 7th Chord Streams

Don't stop there! Transpose them up a fret or two, or down one.

Ab blues anyone?

Posted by Ted at February 19, 2015 2:16 PM

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