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Escape from Drop2 voicings: 7th chords in closed spacing (DADGAD content)

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Super Locrian, May 18, 2011.

  1. Super Locrian

    Super Locrian Member

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    I've been fooling around with DADGAD recently, and I'm finding that this tuning is not restricted to chords with open strings or "melody with drone" structures, which seems to be a common misconception about DADGAD.

    Restricting myself to the top 4 strings, I've mapped out all the 7th (and other four-note) chords I can think of, with their inversions:

    • Major 7th
    • Dominant 7th
    • Major 6th
    • Minor 7th
    • Minor 6th
    • Minor 7th b5
    • Minor-major 7th
    • Dominant 7th #5
    • Diminished
    • Augmented
    (let me know if I've missed any :D)

    The astonishing (for me, at least) discovery I made, was that in DADGAD nearly all of these chords with their inversions are playable on the guitar, in closed spacing (R357, as opposed to R573 or "drop 2 voicing" which is the common way to play these chords in regular tuning).

    In standard tuning, there are actually very few close-spaced 7th chords that are playable. Not that there is anything wrong with drop 2 voicings, of course, but personally I'm a little bored with this sound.

    I'll try to find some suitable chord diagram software to plot the DADGAD chords (recommendations are welcome), and I'll continue my explorations (9th, 11th and 13th chords with omissions and alterations, and linear playing). So far, DADGAD seems like a cool and refreshing way to approach jazz chords.
     
  2. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    Pierre Bensusan has done wonderful chording things exclusively in DADGAD. You're right, it's remarkably flexible chord-wise.
     
  3. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Would something like this help?http://www.looknohands.com/chordhouse/guitar/index_rb.html
     
  4. Super Locrian

    Super Locrian Member

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    Thanks kimock, it's a nice resource, but ideally I would like to be able to print diagrams similar to those in Bruce Arnold's Chord Workbook, it has the best format I've ever come across, with both note names, fingerings, and staff notation:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. medrawt

    medrawt Member

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    Well, there's 43 (if memory serves) unique groupings of four pitches (assuming our twelve-pitch equal temperament) ... but of the ones that look like everyday "seventh chords," looks like you've got them, assuming by diminished you mean diminished seventh (C Eb F# A) and by augmented you mean the major seven #5 chord (C E G# B). Maybe you want to throw in a 7sus chord as well (C F G Bb).

    I also play piano, and on the piano I often find drop 2 a much more interesting sound than close voicings, at least of these type of chords. Haven't thought about using DADGAD to make it possible on guitar, though.
     
  6. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    I'm interested in seeing your chord charts. Exploring open tunings has been on my mind lately. What little playing I do in open tunings is pretty cliched.

    What exactly is a drop 2? Do you simply drop two notes from an arpeggio or is there more to it?
     
  7. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    If you have a four note chord (root, third, fifth, seventh), it means to take the second highest note and lower it an octave. So, you'd have (fifth, root, third, seventh). You can do that for any inversion of the chord.

    A common Cmaj7 voicing on the guitar x3545x is a drop-2 voicing, starting with (fifth, seventh, root, third) and moving the root down an octave.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  8. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    Wait.. you mean take the 2nd lowest note and raise it an octave, right?

    So for the Cmaj7, you'd get: root, 5th, maj7, 3rd up an octave.

    Or, can you do both? (Raise third or start the chord with a 5th an octave down from the root).
     
  9. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    The naming comes from dropping the second highest note, but I think the two operations are equivalent (they start with different inversions, but arrive at the same voicing). Personally, I think the naming convention is poor.

    It is a really good exercise to work through all of the drop voicings you can think of. Also, no one says you need only drop one note at a time. Try drop 2-3, for example.

    Here's a pretty comprehensive site: http://www.franksinger.com/Amusic/drop_voicings.htm I do recommend working through this on your own, as you'll learn a lot more.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  10. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I'm not unfamiliar with music theory, but this is a concept I haven't come across.

    I think too much of my theoretical knowledge is guitar based, where people traditionally seemed to mostly focus mainly on scales and modes, not triads, chords, inversions, etc. At least in the rock world.
     

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