#1
Hey folks,

Does any one have any tips for practising and improving voice leading? mainly in a jazz context.

I read the article on voice leading in the music theory section of the column section on this site and it all made sense. Moving as little as possible when changing chords and keeping the chords moving forward easily from one to another. I just need to practice, but am not entirely sure how.

Any tips would be great.
#3
the best way to do that, by and large, is to construct the voicings yourself, and play them until you've got them down pat. do some ii-V-I (and iiº-V-i) voicings. maybe some I-IV-V (and i-iv-V) voicings, too. then extend it. ii7-V7-Imaj7. iim7b5-V9-Imaj7. and keep going.

you said you read the article in the theory columns, so i'm left to assume you know some theory (at least enough to construct chords, hopefully). if not, then you'd better get on that first. if you know enough theory about chord construction, you should be good to go.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#4
Quote by AeolianWolf
the best way to do that, by and large, is to construct the voicings yourself, and play them until you've got them down pat. do some ii-V-I (and iiº-V-i) voicings. maybe some I-IV-V (and i-iv-V) voicings, too. then extend it. ii7-V7-Imaj7. iim7b5-V9-Imaj7. and keep going.

you said you read the article in the theory columns, so i'm left to assume you know some theory (at least enough to construct chords, hopefully). if not, then you'd better get on that first. if you know enough theory about chord construction, you should be good to go.


Yeah I know plenty of theory. I just misunderstood voice leading until recently.
#5
a study of single voices moving and how they change the chord they imply...this takes time and patients..but the results are priceless in learning music in general and fretboard knowledge ..

ex: take two prime notes in a dominate 7th chord - C7 lets say the 3rd E and the b7th Bb

ok .. from the 7th fret finger the E note on the A string and on the D string - on the 8th fret the Bb

now..just move these two notes lower one fret..now your playing Eb and A..and now the chord implied is F7..

from here move two frets higher..the notes are now F and B and the chord implied is G7

you can now fill in the rest of the notes to if you want a 4 note 7th chord and you will see the inversions of 7th chords...

just my suggestion..using a simple blues progression I7 IV7 V7..find the above 2 note example in as many keys as you can and fill in the full chords

if you dont know all the inversions of the 4 note 7th chords..look them up and study them..

if this kind of study is what your looking for..do the same with major and minor 7th chords and the half diminished chord...from this you with have the diatonic scale harmonized with 4 note chords..and all their inversions..if you study that simple 2 note movement in all the chords and inversions..you will begin to see many "connections" with little finger movement from chord to chord...and your ear will begin to hear many melodic lines that are going to be familier..as many song writers have use the same technique in some form or other..

in the later stages of this type of study..applying wider spaced chord voicings on different string sets increases the leaning process and you will at some point you will be able to anticipate chord movement and where it is coming from and going to..

play well

wolf
#6
Quote by wolflen
if you dont know all the inversions of the 4 note 7th chords..look them up and study them..

if this kind of study is what your looking for..do the same with major and minor 7th chords and the half diminished chord...from this you with have the diatonic scale harmonized with 4 note chords..and all their inversions..

wolf

^What I came here to say.

A lot of it is down to how the bass note moves, or doesn't move. You need to know your inversions, particularly 7th chord inversions for Jazz.

Below I've done a I - vi - ii - V - I in A Major, and a i - VI - iio - V - i in A Minor.

In both examples, the voices move no further than a step, as opposed to a leap (intervals of a m3 or higher). In the latter, I decided to alter the 5th in the V, can you spot which voice it is in SATB? I was lucky enough to have Dylan Kay for Jazz.
---------
-5-5-3-3-2
-6-6-4-4-2
-6-4-4-2-2
---------
-5-5-5-4-5


----------
-5-5-3-3-5
-5-5-4-5-5
-5-3-3-2-5
---------
-5-5-5-4-5
Last edited by mdc at Jan 30, 2012,
#8
work on connecting notes (chord tone to chord tone to start with, then start working in tensions/suspensions like 6, 9 and 11, then altered tones, then passing tones) through chord progressions. start with one note at a time, then go to two, then three and four. Try to move voices by the smallest interval possible, and, once you get into multiple voices try to see how making different melodic decisions with each note leads to different types of motion (parallel, contrary oblique) between voices.
good rules of thumb with seventh chords in ii-Vish situations
roots go to roots, sometimes fifths
3rds go to sevenths, and vice versa
5ths can go to 9ths, and vice versa
6ths make nice common tones, altered fifths on dominant chords lead nicely to the root and third of the corresponding tonic chord (going from Db to C or Eb to E in a G7-C situation).
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
Last edited by tehREALcaptain at Jan 30, 2012,
#9
Quote by tehREALcaptain
work on connecting notes (chord tone to chord tone to start with, then start working in tensions/suspensions like 6, 9 and 11, then altered tones, then passing tones) through chord progressions. start with one note at a time, then go to two, then three and four. Try to move voices by the smallest interval possible, and, once you get into multiple voices try to see how making different melodic decisions with each note leads to different types of motion (parallel, contrary oblique) between voices.
good rules of thumb with seventh chords in ii-Vish situations
roots go to roots, sometimes fifths
3rds go to sevenths, and vice versa
5ths can go to 9ths, and vice versa
6ths make nice common tones, altered fifths on dominant chords lead nicely to the root and third of the corresponding tonic chord (going from Db to C or Eb to E in a G7-C situation).


Big thanks.
#10
tehREALcaptain makes a great point. What I have found is that it's easy to bite off more than you can chew - I didn't really get any progress made until I started working on triads and finding the closest available fingering of each, working on sets of 3 strings (eg, 123, 234, 345, 456). So, I might work on a I-IV-V, moving up the e b g strings to the closest available fingering of each chord and so on.

Another good exercise is the "four fret guitar" which John Wheatcroft endorses - pick a four fret position and play through all the chords there, and the melody too!
#11
^ Another thing about triads is to apply them to soul, motown, reggae and funk tunes. Especially on the top 3 strings where the tone cuts through better.

Look at the songs progression and see where the closest available voicing is. A great one was Until You Come Back To Me and I Heard It Through The Grapevine.
Last edited by mdc at Jan 31, 2012,
#12
Just using (or mostly using) triads (or just 3-note voicings, which can include 7th chords) can definitely be a good idea in terms of finding the smoothest voice leading. I found that I can voice lead most freely with such a "simple" approach.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Feb 1, 2012,