Wes' Moveable Drop-2 Minor Chords - is there a major equivalent?

LoopyBullet

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I was watching a guitar lesson video on YouTube where the guy was talking about Wes Montgomery's moveable minor chords that he tends to use for solos. So in G minor, if you take the chord xx3333, you can invert that and make it xx5766, xx8-10-8-10, xx12-12-11-13, and back to xx15-15-15-15. However, you can also move each of those chords above one whole step and throw them in to make xx5555, xx8897, etc. On top of that, you can add diminished chords in. So, from there you have the basic building blocks to play a chord solo in G minor (really, G dorian).

I hear the above idea in my head as a similar cryptic feel as stacking 4ths and moving them around the fretboard, but it's a slightly different kind of vibe.

I'm sure on the piano it would make more sense, but is there a major chord equivalent to this moveable "whole step up" chord solo idea? I tried those inversions with a G major chord (xx4433, xx5777, xx9-11-8-10, etc.), but you can't really move these chords up whole steps because the intervals don't really work since the major scale isn't as geometrically convenient as the dorian scale on the guitar's fretboard. How is someone supposed to use these minor ideas for a major context on the guitar? Do you have to have a different fingering for every "whole step up" movement if you're playing in a major key? Or do people just not really use this idea in a major key?

I'm not very well-versed in jazz, but I'm hoping can someone point me in the right direction!
 
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guitarjazz

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Good question to ask a competent teacher face-to-face.
In the meantime....search for Ted Greene's Systematic Inversions sheet.
 

dewey decibel

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How is someone supposed to use these minor ideas for a major context on the guitar? Do you have to have a different fingering for every "whole step up" movement if you're playing in a major key? Or do people just not really use this idea in a major key?

I'm not very well-versed in jazz, but I'm hoping can someone point me in the right direction!



First off, some of your voicings are wrong.

There's a couple different things going on here, we just talked about this stuff here a couple weeks ago so rather than go into detail, here's the short answer- major 7th chords? No, not really. See, it's that pesky natural 4th, it gets in the way. Now when you do this with a minor chord, the top (highest) note follows the scale, that's what makes this a strong move. With major chords you can do things like Imaj7 to ii7 or Imaj7 to V7 up the neck in inversions, but you're not always going to be able to follow the scale, and you'll often need to change some of the extensions to fit. Check out the end of the studio take of Coltrane's Naima for an example.

So no, you're not going to be able to do straight inversions, and you need to be a lot more selective with where you put it. Now with dominant chords? Yeah, there are some similar moves you can do, but it's still not as common as with minor chords.
 
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nrandall85

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I really like viewing 4th voicings from a major 7th context. Pesky fourth or not (raise it a half step if it bothers you.)

McCoy Tyner gets his minor 7 voicings robbed a lot, but "seeing it" from a major 7 vantage point can also yield some cool results.

Cmaj7(9,11,13) would be:

x3345x
x5556x
x7778x
x89910x
x10101012x
x12121213x
x14141415x

Also, for drop two voicing workouts- Bret Wilmott's book kills, but my hands struggle with a lot of the inversions so what helped me work in more substitutions was splitting the harder inversions into two spread triads.

For instance I see C maj7 1st inversion (x7958x) as an E minor spread triad (x79x8x) and a c major 1st inversion triad (x7x5x8)
 

maracox

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For Major I would just reinterpret minor7 as relative Major. Gm7 = Bb6.

With the Wholetone up shifts You get a Bb lydian vibe. If You don't this You have to avoid them and just mix the GMin7/Bb6 with the diminshed.

You can also climb up the scale using the inversions of min7 and min7 a fifth away in an alternate fashion, like Gm7 - Dm7 - Gm7 - Dm7 ... This again works for GMin(aeolian or dorian) or BbMaj (ionian or lydian).

This whole stuff is the conceptual base of the so called "Barry Harris" Method. Barry was a jazz Pianist but there is also instructional material that translates it to the guitar fretboard. Look it up.
 

LoopyBullet

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1,170
For Major I would just reinterpret minor7 as relative Major. Gm7 = Bb6.

With the Wholetone up shifts You get a Bb lydian vibe. If You don't this You have to avoid them and just mix the GMin7/Bb6 with the diminshed.

You can also climb up the scale using the inversions of min7 and min7 a fifth away in an alternate fashion, like Gm7 - Dm7 - Gm7 - Dm7 ... This again works for GMin(aeolian or dorian) or BbMaj (ionian or lydian).

This whole stuff is the conceptual base of the so called "Barry Harris" Method. Barry was a jazz Pianist but there is also instructional material that translates it to the guitar fretboard. Look it up.

Ah, I love Barry Harris! His videos about Giant Steps and some other tunes at a clinic are really fun to watch even though I don't understand much of it, haha.

I was thinking that the relative key stuff doesn't work, but it does. G Dorian technically equates to F major, so...I realized that the while the xx3333 slid up a whole tone is xx5555, the latter Amin7 (GCEA) chord has the same notes as a rootless F major9 (7th=E, 3rd=A, 5th=C, 9th=G).

So basically the guitar-y answer is that you can use these exact Dorian fingerings for Ionian stuff, but now your "home base" is the Dorian's whole tone up shapes (xx5555 in G, etc) rather than the xx3333. Ergo, you do the exact same thing in Ionian but you slide a whole tone DOWN when you want to shift symmetrically on the fretboard. Also, the voicings happen to be rootless.

Doing the same positions but with Lydian in mind actually works too - the xx3333 G Dorian voicing is actually just a major 6th chord if you're thinking Bb Lydian.

What I get from this in total is that you this sliding up and down thing in more than just the Dorian context, but sometimes you slide down instead of up. That's probably way too simplified but that's how my mind, uneducated in jazz, thinks about it.
 
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dingusmingus

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143
For Major I would just reinterpret minor7 as relative Major. Gm7 = Bb6.

With the Wholetone up shifts You get a Bb lydian vibe. If You don't this You have to avoid them and just mix the GMin7/Bb6 with the diminshed.

You can also climb up the scale using the inversions of min7 and min7 a fifth away in an alternate fashion, like Gm7 - Dm7 - Gm7 - Dm7 ... This again works for GMin(aeolian or dorian) or BbMaj (ionian or lydian).

This whole stuff is the conceptual base of the so called "Barry Harris" Method. Barry was a jazz Pianist but there is also instructional material that translates it to the guitar fretboard. Look it up.
Yep! Here's a book on that topic:


Another one is called "Barry Harris Method for Guitar" by Alan Kingstone. I haven't used that one.

Wes definitely used this major 6 + diminished concept.
 

guitarjazz

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25,227
Yep! Here's a book on that topic:


Another one is called "Barry Harris Method for Guitar" by Alan Kingstone. I haven't used that one.

Wes definitely used this major 6 + diminished concept.

Wes and Joe Pass and others (Bill Evans!) would be flexible and not use all maj6/min7 chords. For instance Wes would go:
XX5666 Gmi7
XX7878 Cdim7 (really functioning as D7b9)
XX8 10 10 10 Gmi9
Those also work as Bb6, Cdim7, Bbmaj7
It's good to have the systematic inversions together but then be free to go for musical color.
 

frdagaa

Silver Supporting Member
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2,610
For a maj7 a whole step up, the maj7th will become a b9, which generally won't work.

I.e. In Gmaj, GBDF# becomes AC#EG#. That G# just doesn't fit well over the Gmaj7 chord. The other notes are fine (gives a G Lydian sound).

Solution? Use a maj6 voicing instead of a maj7. GBDE then becomes AC#EF#.

Of course this works for any inversion so you can do the up the neck inversions using maj6 forms analogously to the OP.

And since Gmaj6 is just an inversion of Em7 the relative minor, what I'm pointing out is really just a restatement of what maracox posted above.
 

brad347

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What did Wes do over major chords? All of this information is out there for the taking! And easier to access than ever. He had a rather healthy discography, and utilized these techniques in all of them.
 

coltranemi2012

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Pretty sure did the whole major minor thing like I said above
What did Wes do over major chords? All of this information is out there for the taking! And easier to access than ever. He had a rather healthy discography, and utilized these techniques in all of them.
 




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