[thechat] WAS Anybody here NOW: guitar ka-ka

Morgan Kelsey morgan at morgankelsey.com
Thu Apr 8 11:35:42 CDT 2004

RonL rumbled:

<humble grasshopper bows />

c'mon now, grasshoppers can't bow!
when you can snatch the tritone from my hand grasshopper....

> Can you just dive in anywhere? Or are there 'preferred' jump points
> for chord changes? I mean should the last note you play during the
> current chord be a perfect sixth up/down/sideways from the root of
> the 'after the change' chord to 'resolve' nicely or something?

oh $deity, what have i done!

uhh....listen to what what martin said. ;-)

there are "leading" tones that move most from chord to chord.
dig it:
ii -  V  - I
D-7  G7  Cmaj7
C     F       B
A     D      G
F      B      E
D     G      C

if we invert the G7 we can see it clearly:
C     B       B
A     G      G
F      F      E
D     D      C
d and f are common to the first two chords, g and b to the second and third.
The 'c' in D-7 moves to the 'b' in G7.
Then the 'f' in G7 resolves down to the 'e' in Cmaj.7

This interplay always happens with the 3rds and 7ths of chords, when the
chords are moving through the cycle of fourths. ii-V-I follows the cycle of
fourths, as does iii-vi-ii-V-I (E A D G C in the key of C) Bach was one of
the first composers to really exploit it. A typical style of accompanying
oneself in a jazz piano trio is to play 3rds and 7ths with the left hand
(leaving out the root and fifth for the bass player to take care of)

But no, there's no real rules. If you study great jazz solos (any Charlie
Parker solo will do), you'll see these things occurring, though the way they
happen can be boggling. Bird (charlie parker) for instance, would regularly
climb up to the 7th of a -7 chord (the one that wants to lead to the 3rd of
the next chord), and then start some other insanity, resolving the 7th to
the 3rd 2-3 bars later.

But he would say he was simply "playing off the melody". This is true, and
you'll find good melodies encompass the leading tones in creative ways. A
good soloist can play off the melody without sounding like they're doing it.

This kind of stuff (voice leading in chords) is *really* hard to learn on
guitar. Piano players improvise a lot when voicing chords, but that's almost
impossible to do on guitar. Guitar is very under-rated in the difficulty
department. The darn thing has 5 middle C's on it!!!

> (Who's now gonna take about 95 minutes to play "twinkle twinkle" cuz
> he'll have to THINK about the blankety-blank relationships between
> the blankety-blank notes ... Will little d-sharp will come out her
> coma? Will she know her daddy's perfect third is really an inverted
> root?  And what about her brother and his diminished future? Will the
> couplets survive? ...)

hehe, i play it every night for my son. try dropping your low E to D, and
then you can harmonize the melody nicely on the top three strings with
little chords.
start with regular ol' D chord, move up to the one at the fifth fret (looks
like a B chord)
for the G chord, play the d-shape triad at the 7th fret. etc, etc.
my daughter likes to do it as a round, with her starting. so i gotta sing
the melody two bars behind the chords i'm playing, ugh, can't always do it.


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