#1
First, I'll give credit where credit's due. Here are the videos on YouTube that gave me the idea for this challenge. They also help explain a bit of the concept for anyone who's unfamiliar with it.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=iSfzKflDoLI
http://youtube.com/watch?v=gzhipMYF8JY
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ddyOSJWyDfo

I've taken the information that he gives in the videos a bit further to really systematize everything.

There are 15 distinct combinations of 4 strings on a 6-string guitar: EADG, ADGB, DGBE, EDGB, EGBE, AGBE, EAGB, EABE, ADBE, EADB, EADE, ADGE, EDGE, EAGE, and EDBE. Here is a visualization of each possible combination:


e--------x-------X--X-------X--X------X--X----X--X--X-------------------
B-----x--x----X--X--X----X--X--X---X----------------X-------------------
G--x--x--x----X--X--X----X---------------X----X--X----------------------
D--x--x--x----X----------------X---X--X--X----X-----X-------------------
A--x--x-------------X----X--X--X---X--X--X-------X----------------------
E--x----------X--X-------X--X------X--X-------X--X--X-------------------


Here is a list of all (I believe) the strictly-four-note chords (Note: I realize that some can be played using only three notes, and other chords can reduced to 4 notes too):
maj7: (1-3-5-7)
maj7#5: (1-3-#5-7)
maj7b5: (1-3-b5-7)
maj6: (1-3-5-6)
m7: (1-b3-5-b7)
m7b5: (1-b3-b5-b7)
m7#5: (1-b3-#5-b7)
m6: (1-b3-5-6)
7: (1-3-5-b7)
7#5: (1-3-#5-b7)
7b5 (1-3-b5-b7)
m(maj7): (1-b3-5-b7)
dim7: (1-b3-b5-bb7)
add9: (1-3-5-9)
m(add9): (1-b3-5-9)

Here's the plan:
A two-week workout program, starting this Sunday, in which everyone who participates figures out how to play each and every possible voicing of each of these chords on every stringset, without the use of chord books/dictionaries. Six days of practice and one day off each week; a different root note for each day of practice over the course of the two weeks. It's up to you to figure out which note you'll be using as your root each day, ideas being following the circle of fifths, ascending/descending chromatically, etc.

In theory, there should be roughly 60 voicings of each type of chord: 15 string sets and about 4 voicings per string set. In reality, the number of possible voicings is somewhat less than that, since you can only get your fingers to stretch in so many different directions. And you obviously won't remember all of them at the end of the two weeks, but just once through the program could take your chord vocabulary and understanding to an entirely new level. I realize that this is a lot of work: you would be playing close to 900 chords per day, but consistently doing this over the course of months or years could do immeasurable amounts of good.

If you take it upon yourself to record your work, you would have an almost complete dictionary of four-note chords.

That's my pitch. So who's interested?
#8
Quote by titopuente
No time like the present. How about we start today with F? Why F? Just because.

Alright, sounds good - I'll get at this right now.
#9
Quote by branny1982
Ok. i don't see why we are starting with a note rather than a chord? surely it is the same voicing for any chord.... shouldn't we start with Maj7?

Maybe i'm wrong, I'm going to start with F# to be different.

I'm going to go through each voicing of each chord for a single root each day. I tried it about a year or so ago with a single chord type each day, and I couldn't stay on task without thinking, "Okay, that voicing a fret up." This way you're thinking about the relationships between chords.
#11
So, I might have miscalculated just a teensy bit. How about we stretch this out to 4 weeks and for each root do half of the chords one day and half the next? I'm creating an actual chord dictionary on Notepad and this is taking forever and a day. I'll post what I finish at the end of each day.
#13
Let's make it even more ridiculous: Figure out how to voice lead ii-V-Is in major and minor, all inversions, on each one.

But to make it less herculean, focus on the key 5:

Maj7
7
m7
m7b5
dim7

(all in 4 inversions)

from those, it's normally easy to alter commonly or to achieve upper harmony through substitution.
#14
Quote by Nick_
Let's make it even more ridiculous: Figure out how to voice lead ii-V-Is in major and minor, all inversions, on each one.

But to make it less herculean, focus on the key 5:

Maj7
7
m7
m7b5
dim7

(all in 4 inversions)

from those, it's normally easy to alter commonly or to achieve upper harmony through substitution.

Sounds interesting.

Besides, this wasn't going to take long enough anyway.
#15
Also - some string groups are more useful than others.

For comping with a bassist:

---x--x-x
-x-x-x--x
-x-x-x---
-x----x-x
-x-x----x
----------

without, bring the sixth string into play.

Note also that groups 5432 and 4321 (and, similarly 6432 (it's the same...)) lend themselves very well to drop voicing.
#16
This sounds extremely intriguing to me... I'm going to start once I finish with school for the year.. only a week and a half! I was thinking about writing them all down.. but I think that just playing them and figuring them out off the top of my head may help me remember them better, and allow me to focus on constructing just in my head instead of on paper (or in notepad). We'll see just how daunting that becomes, though.
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
--Wordsworth

last.fm
#17
At some point I'm going to tab out an exercise I regularly do. Basically it's going
up and down the major scale in harmonized 7th chords. It's 3 note voicings
on adjacent strings and it does this on a per position basis so there's 7 different
positions for it. It's actually a pretty regular pattern in the 3 NPS fingering system.

Maybe along with it I'll tab out harmonized 3rds too. That's also a good exercise.
#18
Theres a video where Vic Juris mentions something Mick Goodrick said about when he learns a voicing, he runs it up the scale.

Similar thing, I assume.
#19
Quote by Nick_
Theres a video where Vic Juris mentions something Mick Goodrick said about when he learns a voicing, he runs it up the scale.

Similar thing, I assume.


I'm not so sure. That sounds like taking 1 voicing and moving it up and down the
neck in the scale and modifying the voicing slightly as determined by the scale
harmonization.

I'm talking about going across the neck. As if you were practicing a scale fingering
position. Instead of single notes it would be going up and down the scale in 7th
chords playing 3 adjacent strings at a time. The only criteria is 3 adjacent strings
and the 3rd and 7th must be present -- the root or 5th is omitted (this makes the
m7b5 a bit ambiguous but that's ok). Actually a few different voicings are used to
do this but they do repeat.
#20
interesting ...

I'd like it if you wrote that out/scanned in sheet (I can barely read tab anymore). It sounds useful.