21st Century Chords for Guitar by Steve Bloom

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Neer, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. Neer

    Neer Member

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    I purchased this book by Steve Bloom a number of years ago, and I just wanted to bring it to your attention, if you are interested in exploring some extremely uncharted territory for chord work.

    The book presents some very interesting chords that are constructed using the theories based on Atonality or 12-tone music. For instance, in this system, the notes are designated as numbers 0-11, with C being 0, C# being 1, D being 2, etc. Steve builds a large number of chords, beginning with 3 note chords (Tri-chords), all the way up to 6 note chords. The stuff is really pretty fascinating.

    It is way too heavy for me to go into detail about, but if you are interested in modern jazz and avant-garde music, this book can definitely add a very systematic approach to your thinking and playing. Check it out! I'm very impressed with this book as a tool for long-term use. You can check out a sample on the web site, but without knowing his approach (which he outlines in his introduction), you may be left scratching your head.

    http://www.bloomworks.com/21stCentNew.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    If it's based on "atonality or 12-tone music", then it's really 20th Century stuff (early 20thC at that).

    Just sayin'...;) (The point, of course, is that pop/rock/jazz lags behind "classical" by several decades, in respect of harmony at least.)
     
  3. Neer

    Neer Member

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    Paul Bley surmised that Jazz is 75 years behind developments in Classical music. I think he is on the money in his assessment.
     
  4. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Yep, that's about right - very approximately.
    Miles was probably less behind than that, but he was ahead of everyone else (in jazz).
    Rock, of course, is some way behind jazz (if it's even interested in fancy chords anyhow... ;)).

    Not that I'm making any value judgements here... I feel more at home with rock than with jazz, and with both way more than with classical music of any kind, however avant garde. (I'm not in the market for Bloom's book. I've kind of been there, done that, as much as I wanted to, back when I was in my 20s. Of course, I only dipped my toe in at the edge, but the water was kind of cold....)
     
  5. Double V

    Double V Supporting Member

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    Fantastic book. Always coming back to it for new sounds.
    Here's an arrangement of the standard Invitation using 012 chords.
     
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  6. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Yeah, it's kind of sad to me. It's old news to me, because I studied music in college. But then there are these people every day who are discovering it for the first time (which is a good thing of course) as if it were "new".

    After John Cage, it's all been done (or not done as it were). I suppose in some ways though, ignorance is bliss because if something "new to them" gets people inspired to write, we at least get some new creations from it!
     
  7. Neer

    Neer Member

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    I still like to purchase educational material, because it usually triggers something for me. There are books that I've never made past the first 3 pages that I would call important to me because of how the basic premise inspired me in terms of my own thinking. I will admit to not being very capable of seeing any particular book through to the end, because I am very tangemtial and I need to see things through my own lens, even if it means missing something important element. I believe they call that ADD. I am not kidding.

    yesterday, I purchased Lage Lund's video from jazzheaven.com because I know the premise of it will reinforce some of the thinking and exploration that I've been going through on steel guitar. I watched about 1 minute of it and turned it off only to spend the next hour in a wonderland of new discovery, not necessarily tied to the material, but also very much so.
     
  8. Neer

    Neer Member

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    Loved it when I first heard it, still do!
     
  9. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Sounds great, didn't know about the book so thanks.
     
  10. Bloomworks

    Bloomworks Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks so much for the discussion of my book!

    I just wanted to add one thing. Yes, there are unusual chords, and many 12-tone Structures, in the book. However, because I explored all combinations of notes, there are many variations of Standard chords as well, including the regular chords that everyone knows very well. There are also unusual voicings of standard chords too, which I would never have discovered without using the 12-tone system.

    I felt that it was important to point out that the book is not only for avant-garde music. Thanks!!

    I'm still studying the book myself as well. It started out as a project to help in my own studies.

    Sincerely,

    Steve
     
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  11. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Yes, writing our thing out and hanging it
    out there for the whole world to see, and be critical and supporting or tearing it down, hopefully the former


    Bravo and welcome to TGP.
     
  12. Neer

    Neer Member

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    Steve, care to share a few of your favorite voicings and usage?
     
  13. SoulPower

    SoulPower Supporting Member

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    Yeah Steve. Go on.


     
  14. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    THAT was BEEyouTEEful.

    I'm listening.
     
  15. Bloomworks

    Bloomworks Member

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    Here's something I've been meaning to write out for a while now. Just figured out the last voicing which makes it possible to play this and not lose the groove. I didn't write out which Tri-Chords these voicings are, but you'll get the idea!

    It's the Bridge of "Speak No Evil" by Wayne Shorter, Guitar Trio version (bass/drums underneath this).
     
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  16. Bloomworks

    Bloomworks Member

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    Here are some chords using an 0134 Tetrachord. You'll see the standard name for the chord as well. Also, if you barre the chord to the 4th string you'll get a "bonus" note! Enjoy.
     
  17. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions Gold Supporting Member

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    hey Mike, thanks for posting this.

    I have some new material to work on now

    Thanks to Steve Bloom for doing the heavy lifting of exploring and cataloging this material
     

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