#1
Hello. I am looking for some advice on learning chords. I feel like I have a strong grasp of the following: all triads, major triad inversions, M7 inversions, 7 and m7, 6 chords, and 9 chords. The problem is that learning each 'set' of chords becomes a very, very tedious process when I am writing notes out and fining each voicing on my own.

I also have a hard time deciding which chords to learn... which ones maybe fit my style more or are more commonly used. So, I pose the questions. What order should I learn these chords in? How do I do it? What resources could help me out?
#2
Quote by Kaos_00
I also have a hard time deciding which chords to learn... which ones maybe fit my style more or are more commonly used.
I'll give you a hint, there are only really 5 types of chords, minor, major, dominant, diminshed, augmented. They all have their place in a progression, they all have a purpose.
Quote by Kaos_00
So, I pose the questions. What order should I learn these chords in?
Before you "learn new chord" do you know how to use a chord? Would you know how to construct a nice sounding, resolving progression.
Quote by Kaos_00
What resources could help me out?
Classical harmony books (Walter Pistons Harmony is great) and jazz theory books (Mark Levines Jazz theory)
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#3
If you understand theory you should be able to build any chord then you just need to do research to find out which chords are common for a genre.

Quote by demonofthenight

Classical harmony books (Walter Pistons Harmony is great) and jazz theory books (Mark Levines Jazz theory)


Ill second those recommendations.
Last edited by hd7373 at Jan 29, 2009,
#4
Thank you for your replies.

To answer some questions - I am pretty sound on theory. I can write fairly technical progressions, harmonize scales, change keys... ect. My biggest problem is that I don't know the voicing for a lot of chords that I harmonize out of a scale and such. I'm looking for a guide, or system other than building every chord myself. If you suggest that as the best way to learn then I will accept that. I want to learn the best way I can.

Harmony is a book that I've been asking for for a long time. I would eat that book up. But, I don't have that right now. I guess if it has such great recommendations I could come up with the $ for it. Worth it?
#5
Quote by Kaos_00
Thank you for your replies.

To answer some questions - I am pretty sound on theory. I can write fairly technical progressions, harmonize scales, change keys... ect. My biggest problem is that I don't know the voicing for a lot of chords that I harmonize out of a scale and such. I'm looking for a guide, or system other than building every chord myself. If you suggest that as the best way to learn then I will accept that. I want to learn the best way I can.
Well what are you learning these chords for? If you're specifically learning just to write some songs, I'd recommend you learn (and understand) counterpoint and then rape the rules Ellington style.

If you just want to be in a jazz band comping out some tunes, find a guitar jazz book and memorize some voicings.

You can build your own voicings if you know the theory.

Quote by Kaos_00
Harmony is a book that I've been asking for for a long time. I would eat that book up. But, I don't have that right now. I guess if it has such great recommendations I could come up with the $ for it. Worth it?
*cough*internet*cough*

Seriously, I'm a cheap arse. I haven't bought a single music theory book. I read them off the computer.
        ,
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[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#6
If you know your basic 7th chords in all inversions, and know the intervals in each, then other chords can be found by modifying these for the most part. That's what I do, just understand which are the necessary notes to retain the sound of the chord and then modify them. For example, Cmmaj9... you don't want to learn that in all inversions. but if you take Cmaj7 (as you say you know it in all inversions) then flatten the third and forget the root in favour of the 9th a tone up, and you have your chord. Just understand what is needed in each chord and it's quite simple, but I think more effective really than memorisation.
#7
Quote by demonofthenight
I'll give you a hint, there are only really 5 types of chords, minor, major, dominant, diminshed, augmented. They all have their place in a progression, they all have a purpose.
Before you "learn new chord" do you know how to use a chord? Would you know how to construct a nice sounding, resolving progression.
Classical harmony books (Walter Pistons Harmony is great) and jazz theory books (Mark Levines Jazz theory)


Bit misleading, but I get what ur saying.


TS start with learning harmony with those 5 chord types, and then build off off that with voicings. Once again this requires long time studies and is probably never ending.

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