• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


"Inside" voicings (or, which voicings do you play the most?)

stevel

Member
Messages
14,722
Hi all,

By "inside" here I mean, on the inner 4 strings, like for comping.

This will get long, but I feel I need to explain, so please bear with me...

I spent a long time a while back going through possible permutations of chord shapes - those with 6th string roots, those with 5th string roots, those with 4th string roots, and skipped string shapes, etc.

And so you'll know, I know the theory behind making any chord and am not just playing "by shape".

But here's something I came across - a 13th chord like:
x
10
11
11
10
x

In all my permutations, I didn't come across that possibility (though I never expected what I was doing would exhaust all possibilities) but in playing it, I find it to be a very "familiar" sounding voicing.

When you couple this A13 with D9 and E9 like:
x
10
9
10
9
x (and the E9 is up two frets of course)

I find I get a set of voicings that are very familiar sounding - Route 66 (in pre-JM versions) come to mind.

I know that this D9 voicing is rootless, and the A13 is 7th, 3rd, 13th, and root from the bottom up.

So these seem to be "common" or "choicy" voicings. Of course I can play them in other ways, but what this has gotten me wondering is, what are the most common ways you guys play these voicings?

I can easily come up with an A major 9th chord like:
x
5
4
7
4
x

But I don't feel that that's a common "rootless" voicing of a major 9th, not to mention it sounds so strongly like C#m7 that it appears guitarists avoid using a voicing that strongly implies another chord, despite a different root.

I've been through all inversions of chord shapes too - but only for four note chords - realizing of course a m7 for example can be the upper 4 notes of a "rootless" M9 chord.

However, that 13th threw me because it has it's root, but is "5thless", "9thless" and "11thless".

Of course that means it had only what it needs to make it a 13th - root, 3rd, 7th, and 13th.

So what I'm looking for are four string chords - inner 4 strings (I can easily figure out how to move them to the upper 4 strings, etc.) for your basic "extended" chord shapes:

m6, M6, 7th types, 9th types, 11th types, and 13th types, maybe 6/9 as well.

And I'm looking for ones that are "the most common". For example, I know that:
x
5
2
5
3
x

Is a C6 that fits the criteria above, but I see far more people play it like:
x
1
2
2
3
x (plus the reach on the former is uncomfortable to me).

So I'm looking for your "go to" grips for these chords, as well those that are often used. Like what are the two most common voicings for each type of chord. 4, 10, or millions won't help with the process of elimination.

For example, out of all the 7th chord possibilities on those inner 4 strings, it seems that by far
x x
3 7
5 5
4 7
5 5
x x
are the two most common and "useful" (and by the way, I'm not elminating inner 4 string "barre" chords from use).

What I'm loooking to do is find shapes - like that A13 and D9 E9 combo above that give me I, IV and V (and others) in a very compact space (i.e. stay within a few frets of each other).

Personal advice is great (like, "I've found these to be useful") and links to sites are ok - the only problem with those is I typically find them overly exhaustive, or too rudimentary.

Thanks for any help guys,

Steve
 

jb70

Member
Messages
5,697
if you're really interested in these voicings you must get the bret willmott book called "mel bay's complete book of harmony, theory, and voicing". it will completely blow your mind!

jb
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
10,658
When you say comping, are you talking about jazz? I feel like the applications for a lot of this stuff don't really fit in a lot of other contexts besides jazz. You can spend a lot of time working on this stuff, but come away with very little usable material. How I did it was rather than going at it randomly or methodically (well, I did that as well) I did it in the context of a tune. I'd prewrite a chord melody thing, or just practice comping, and when I hit a spot where I needed a voicing I didn't know I'd sit and figure it out. Anyway, here's a couple random thoughts:

What you need do to is look at what's important in a voicing. Take that 13th chord, what makes it an interesting sound is the 7th and 13th in the voicing, as that's the tension. You can actually play only those two notes and the sound will get a across. Now, if you invert that chord and end up with the 13th on the bottom and the 7th on to it won't sound right (IMO). But you can but them next to each other:

D13
1)
2)5
3)5
4)9
5)
6)

You can throw the root on the bottom as well:

1)
2)5
3)5
4)9
5)5
6)

Or the 3rd:

1)
2)5
3)5
4)9
5)9
6)

That first voicing is pretty common, mainly for Amin9. The other 13th voicing I use too much is simply:

1)
2)7
3)6
4)5
5)
6)

That can be used for several different chords. I'm sure you already know it.

With minor chords I think you'll find some new shapes by starting with the 3rd. For instance, here's Cmin7:

1)
2)10
3)7
4)10
5)8
6)
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,966
When you say comping, are you talking about jazz? I feel like the applications for a lot of this stuff don't really fit in a lot of other contexts besides jazz. You can spend a lot of time working on this stuff, but come away with very little usable How I did it was rather than going at it randomly or methodically (well, I did that as well) I did it in the context of a tune.
I think alot of these more interesting dominant voicings are quite useful for blues and funk. Alot of chords in horn arrangements have a b7 in the bass so you can sort of mimic that sound with some of these cool voicings.

Check out this thread from TDPRI for some very cool jump blues type chord ideas

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tab-tips-theory-technique/151667-jazzy-swing-blues-chords.html
 

liveone

Member
Messages
30
if you're really interested in these voicings you must get the bret willmott book called "mel bay's complete book of harmony, theory, and voicing". it will completely blow your mind!

jb
I checked out this book on your recommendation and it didn't blow my mind, it blew up my brain!

I like the idea of being able to play inversions to play melodies with chord changes but is there any simpler explanation? I'm no lightweight when it comes to theory but this book is so incredibly dry my eyes start to glaze over after getting past the first sentence of any section.

I will continue to try to tackle it since it comes with several recommendations but if some could point me to another book on voice leading it would be much appreciated.
 

jb70

Member
Messages
5,697
I checked out this book on your recommendation and it didn't blow my mind, it blew up my brain!

I like the idea of being able to play inversions to play melodies with chord changes but is there any simpler explanation? I'm no lightweight when it comes to theory but this book is so incredibly dry my eyes start to glaze over after getting past the first sentence of any section.

I will continue to try to tackle it since it comes with several recommendations but if some could point me to another book on voice leading it would be much appreciated.
hahaha! sorry! :) yeah, even vic juris said that the willmott book is a mindblower.

you might want to check out the george van epps book "harmonic mechanisms for guitar" (start with volume 1). it's very thorough and i think you'll get a lot out of it. the mick goodrick "almanac of guitar voice leading" is also great. i also have a very good book called "new techniques for chord melody guitar" by arnie berle that is good if you're at an intermediate or intermediate/advanced guitar player. i just thought the willmott book was perfect for the OP since it just deals with the inner 4 strings of the guitar. have fun!

jack
 




Trending Topics

Top