Skeleton Seventh Chord Voicings


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Zamboni
09-22-2005, 07:09 PM
This is a list of some common jazz/swing style chord voicings. The type of chord is called a "skeleton" chord, because it only contains the required amount of notes to actually define the chord. So, in essence, it's the skeleton of the chord.

Here we go (All sixth string root chords are tabbed in A, but are completely moveable. For the sake of positioning, all fifth string root chords will be tabbed in D. These are also completely moveable.):

Sixth String Roots (Three Note Chords)


Maj 7
|------
|------
|--6---
|--6---
|--x---
|--5---

Min 7/Half-Dim
|------
|------
|--5--
|--5--
|--x--
|--5--

Dom 7
|-----
|-----
|--6--
|--5--
|--x--
|--5--


Sixth String Roots (Four Note Chords)


Maj 7
|------
|--5--
|--6--
|--6--
|--x--
|--5--

Min 7/Half-Dim
|------
|--5--
|--5--
|--5--
|--x--
|--5--

Dom 7
|------
|--5--
|--6--
|--5--
|--x--
|--5--


Fifth String Roots (Three and four note chords)

Maj 7
|-----
|--7--
|--6--
|--x--
|--5--
|--x--

Min 7
|------
|------
|--5---
|--3---
|--5---
|--x---

Dom 7
|-----
|-----
|--5--
|--4--
|--5--
|--x--

Half-Dim
|------
|--6--
|--5---
|--6---
|--5--
|--x--


There we have it.

-Mike

casualty01
09-22-2005, 07:31 PM
um... ok lol.


also, I believe those are most often referred to as shell voicings. same concept though.

and the ones in the middle (the 6th string root osition) aren't skeleton/shel voicings, they're drop 3 voicings. they have all 4 of the notes within the tetrad, hence not skeletal or shell like lol.

same goes for the bottom min7b5 voicing, that's just a drop 2 voicing.

Cas-:peace:

Zamboni
09-22-2005, 07:37 PM
and the ones in the middle (the 6th string root osition) aren't skeleton/shel voicings, they're drop 3 voicings. they have all 4 of the notes within the tetrad, hence not skeletal or shell like lol.

same goes for the bottom min7b5 voicing, that's just a drop 2 voicing.

Oh I see, but am I O.K. theory wise?

Oh, also, what should I rename the lesson to, so I can incorporate those drop 3 and 2 voicings, AND, heh, what does drop 3 and 2 mean?

casualty01
09-22-2005, 09:06 PM
well, yeah. the theory is fine. except the whole "skeleton" voicings thing for the middle area and the last chord, as they're not shell voicings.

so, you can either A.) get rid of those and do a more comprehensive list of shell voicings or B.) rename it "Stock Root position 7th chords" in which case you'd also need to fill in the rest of them, as that's nowhere's near all of them.

cause as of right now, it's just the standard root position voicings everyone learns and runs to when they have to play a 7th chord.


as far as what a drop2 & drop 3 are. basically, it's just a method of rearranging the voices in a chord. for guitar, it's moreso done out of need for playability.

think about it... arranging the voices in a 7th chord as they're naturally laid out in stacked 3rds (and it's inversions)


Root pos: 1-3-5-7
1st inv: 2-5-7-1
2nd inv: 5-7-1-3
3rd inv: 7-1-3-5

makes most of them damn near impossible to play except on the 4-3-2-1 string set (with a couple of exceptions). and even out of the ones that are able to be grabed, only a few are very plausible/realistic (unless you're alan holdsworth/me :p: (I have
a notoriously wide reach) )

so what you do is, you take a given "proper" arpeggio (i.e. the stacked 3rds of root position and the proper arrangement of the inversion) and drop either the 2nd highest voice or 3rd highest voice, down one octave.

of course, in doing so, it gives you a completely different "inversion" of said chord.

for example...

if you take a root position Cmaj7 arpeggio..

E-----------
B-----------
G--------4--
D----2-5----
A--3--------
E-----------


if you wanted to play that EXACT arpeggio, in that EXACT order, as a chord, you can't.(1-3-5-7) (well, you can in this case. but this is one of those few instances I refered to before.. like, you can play that as x3200x. but it doesn't work out for other
inversions as you'll see in a minute)

so, what we do is we drop the 2nd highest voice (the G (5th fret D string) ) down one octave. which gives us...


E-----------
B-----------
G---4-------
D---2-------
A---3-------
E---3-------

there we have a drop 2 voicing. which are also referred to as closed voicings. in this instance, you can see that a root position arpeggio/chord when converted into a drop 2, now has the 5th in the bass. so you have a 2nd inversion drop2 voicing.

to get the full effect, take a look at some more.



Literal Arpeggios

Root Pos. 1st inv. 2nd inv. 3rd inv.
E----------- E----------- E----------- E------------
B----------- B----------- B----------- B------------
G--------4-- G--------5-- G----------9 G----------12
D----2-5---- D----5-9---- D-----9-10-- D-------14---
A--3-------- A--7-------- A--10------- A-14-15------
E----------- E----------- E----------- E------------

Resulting Drop 2

2nd inv 3rd inv. Root pos. 1st Inv.
E----------- E----------- E----------- E-----------
B----------- B----------- B----------- B-----------
G-----4----- G-----5----- G-----9----- G----12-----
D-----2----- D-----5----- D-----9----- D----10-----
A-----3----- A-----7----- A-----10---- A----14-----
E-----3----- E-----7----- E-----8----- E----12-----


take a look at the resulting literal voicings of each arpeggio if you decided to play it as the voices naturally appear


Literal Arpeggios
Root Pos. 1st inv. 2nd inv. 3rd inv.
E----------- E----------- E----------- E------------
B----------- B----------- B----------- B------------
G--------4-- G--------5-- G----------9 G----------12
D----2-5---- D----5-9---- D-----9-10-- D-------14---
A--3-------- A--7-------- A--10------- A-14-15------
E----------- E----------- E----------- E------------

Resulting linear voicing

2nd inv 3rd inv. Root pos. 1st Inv.
E----------- E----------- E----------- E-----------
B-----0----- B-----1----- B-----5----- B----8------
G-----0----- G-----4----- G-----5----- G----9------
D-----2----- D-----5----- D-----9----- D----10-----
A-----3----- A-----7----- A-----10---- A----14-----
E----------- E----------- E----------- E-----------



2 out of the 4 aren't very playable to most people. hell, usually only the first one is. but again, these include alot of the exceptions I was telling you about earlier. you start pulling that sh on different string sets and with different chord
types (dominant, minor7, minor7b5, etc..) you're not gonna have too many options when it comes to a direct linear voicing like you do with a Maj7 chord. so drop 2's and 3's help us out a great deal.

they also provide greater seperation of voices, which generally sound alot better. hence why most people love the drop 3 voicings, they're the most spread out (with a majority of the voices in the melody, with only 1 voice in the bass)


Drop 3's.




Literal Arpeggios

Root Pos. 1st inv. 2nd inv. 3rd inv.
E----------- E----------- E----------- E------------
B--------12- B--------1-- B--------5-- B---------8--
G------12--- G------4---- G------5---- G-------9----
D-10-14----- D--2-5------ D--5-9------ D--9-10------
A----------- A----------- A----------- A------------
E----------- E----------- E----------- E------------

Resulting Drop 3

1st inv 2nd inv. 3rd inv. Root Pos.
E----------- E----------- E----------- E-----------
B-----12---- B-----1----- B-----5----- B----8------
G-----12---- G-----4----- G-----5----- G----9------
D-----10---- D-----2----- D-----5----- D----9-----
A-----x----- A-----x----- A-----x----- A----x------
E-----12---- E-----3----- E-----7----- E----8------


this is where all 20 of our stock 7th chord voicings come from. (drop 3s = 3 string sets * 4 inversions per stringset = 12 voicings. drop 3's = 2 string sets * 4 inversions = 8 voicings. 12+8 = 20 voicings.) although, that's a bit misleading, as there's really only 8 different ACTUAL voicings. the "20" is just a representation of shape. as the 4 drop 2's on the 5-4-3-2 stringset are the same as the ones on the 6-5-4-3 stringset (and the same with the ones on the 4-3-2-1 set) they just require different fingerings for each string set. so we label them as different voicings.


and that's not to mention drop 4's, drop 2/3's, drop 2/4's, drop 3/4's and drop 2/'3's .... those are the lesser known variety. mainly cause, like linear voicings, alot of them are either unplayable or just down right unrealistic in playing situations.

unless, you're george van eps.

(cept for those drop 2/3's... they're just down right pretty, and excellent for solo jazz guitar).

but once you understand the concept of dropping and how it applies, you should be able to experiment with all those little drop combos I just listed. each one is exactly what it looks like (i.e. drop 2/4 means you take an arpeggio, drop the 2nd and 4th highest voice one octave (the 4th highest being the lowest not in the arp.) and bame.. a drop 2/4 voicing)

anyways...so give it a go with all 4 note arpeggio sequences. apply them in a drop setting and then in a linear fashion. you'll see exactly what I mean about the implayability of many of the voicings.... and how the concept applies to all the stock (and not so stock) 7th voicings.

Cas-:peace:

Zamboni
09-23-2005, 09:13 AM
^lol, thanks Doug. I don't feel qualified enough now to submit that lesson, lol :sad: