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#1
I've realized that I've been slacking majorly when it comes to practicing chords. How do you practice them? I already run through some arpeggios up the neck in various keys, but what else? Do you find voicings for different chords or what?
#4
haha oh dear indeed, how you play then? nevermind forget it, my head already hurts.

but i suggest learning a bunch of different songs, in every style if you want to elevate you chord playing. or just take random progressions and decide on a fretboard position then see how many way you can voice them and play them
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#5
I'm thinking of studying some chordal based jazz/funk songs to get my chordiness up to scratch. Stuff like that should definately help.
#7
I need to practice chords more often. When I'm just messing around and i play a chord, i force myself to use a cool voicing/inversion of it to make me think of all the notes on the fretboard but that's about it.
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#9
most chords are a pain but i mean you cant just live with root notes and power chords all your life, right? what i do to practice chords is basically if i learn one for a song(i always choose one that is close to my abilities so i dont end up with something like a fdim7sus4) i hold my fingers in the right position and make a lame song up with only about 4 chords and play it till i can switch the chords easily.
Last edited by 9tailsoffire at Jun 28, 2008,
#10
Find a voicing with a certain string group, find all the inversions, then go on to play them in different keys.
12 fret fury
#11
If im learning a new chord, ill make sure i can play it jumping, like take my fingers on and off over and over again, and then ill put it into somekind of chord progression and practise tell i can get it smoothly
#12
I simply play songs that use chords, or reduce more complex songs that down to them. From there I'll just noodle around with different inversions and voicings to see how things sound if I change it around.
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#14
Get your hands on Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene, it's my bible on chords, it's a pity I've never used it to it's full potential.


Chords are important though, you should know several voicings for each chord especially if you want to be playing some jazz which if I don't recall incorrectly you were starting to do. Comping, as guitarists, is essential to our playing and most times the barre A7 chord doesn't sound good and we might want to play it with the third ontop, or maybe because of a voicing we just used we're miles away from the one for the next chord that we know. It's times like those when it's nice to have at least two voicings for each chord at our fingertips.

Tis also important you understand which chords you can replace with others.

For example: Dmin9 - G7#5 - C9 voiced like so:

Dmin9: x5355x
G7#5: 3x344x
C9: x3233x

sounds much better than:

Dmin7 - G7#5 - C7 voiced like so:

Dmin7: x5756x
G7#5 same as last(only voicing I know for it =( )
C7: x3535x

because noticed how the top voices in the first chords are descending thirds whilst in the other chords there's no blatant voice leading like that.

The guys with the chops have so many chords are their fingertips that for them it's not hard to find instant voice leading because they know all the tricks and tips, so I find it more interesting to practice chords simply getting the best sound using different voicings and substitutions rather than learning hundreds of chords I'll never know how to use.
#15
Quote by 08L1V10N
I try to seek some logic in the chords like D9 is |x54555 so E9 must be |x76777
Yay for shapes.

I joined a jazz band to help with the chords.
#16
I'm using the CAGED shapes right now to properly learn 6 voicings for each major chord. Them I'm going to learn each one as a minor chord. Then go from there.
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#17
Thanks everyone! I'm trying to get my chord knowledge up for jazz band maybe next year. What are some good examples of comping? Any recommendations?
#18
If I were you I'd give Miles Davis' "So What" a listen. The solo section in that is an ideal example of comping. As far as I can remember, it's 16 bars of Dm, 8 bars of Ebm and then 8 bars of Dm.

I personally enjoyed using chord extensions during that section (Dm9, Dm7b5 etc.).
#19
link

includes almost 3000 standards, with scanned partitures of songs (harmony and theme) of pre- and post-war jazz
#20
Recently, I heard a lesson on chords done by Wayne Krantz (which is available on livekrantz.com). He uses some very unconventional chord voicings in his improvisations, and he has a lot to say on the subject. The main idea is to treat your chordal playing more like a melody. For example, if the sheet music told you that you were supposed to play C7#11 for several measures, you probably wouldn't want to play 8X897X for the entire time, or in some cases at all, since it would probably clutter up the mix. It would get boring to hear that same voicing the entire time, too. Instead, you should break the chord up into smaller parts and make harmonic melodies out of your available notes.

If you have the chord C7#11, you automatically have the notes C-E-G-Bb-F# available to make little chord melodies from; depending on context, you could have D(9) or A(13) available as well. A nice little tool for practice that I sometimes use is to set a metronome to a comfortable tempo, then change the voicing that I use for a single chord on each click; a guideline that I follow that seems to work and not lead me into just playing shapes that I already know is to use ONE chord-tone(1,3, 5, or b7) in each voicing. Then, you should keep experimenting with that single chord for several minutes until you run out of ideas. After that, pick a new chord and repeat. If you do it often enough, you should be able to play chordally from intuition, and you can get some incredibly cool chords that you might not have found just by playing arpeggios.
known as Jeff when it really matters
#21
Quote by confusius
Get your hands on Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene, it's my bible on chords, it's a pity I've never used it to it's full potential.

That's because the book is unfinishable, there's always a new lesson in it. I highly recommend the book to everyone!

Kirby, I recommend you to look up 'Freddy Green style comping' or something in the likes of that. Very basic idea of how to comp (sometimes even as simple as one note instead of a chord) and it will keep you going for some time while you figure out better ways of moving chords to the next chord etc.

Oh, look up drop 2 chords and how they follow eachother up. For example, something similar to what confusius just did:

------
6-6-5-
5-4-4-
7-5-5-
5-5-3-
------


You see how every note either stays the same or moves down a step (whole or half)? That's a basic starting point until you figure out when you can go from one region of the notes to a way higher/lower region.
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#22
If you just wanna practice progressing chord to chord you can play G, Am, Bm, C, D, Em, then F open chords then bar 1st fret and do the same thing up a fret. Its a pretty good exercise
#23
Ex.

3
0
0 G
0
2
3

0
1
2 Am
2
0
x

2
3
4 Bm
4
2
x

0
1
2
0 C
3
0

3
2
3
0 D
x
x

0
0
0 Em
2
2
0

2
1
2
1 Fdim7 (not sure on this one but it sound good there)
x
x
Last edited by Zeldaik at Jun 29, 2008,
#24
then you would just bring them up like this for the G.
4
1
1
1
3
4

and do it until you reach 12th fret.
#25
Quote by titopuente
a guideline that I follow that seems to work and not lead me into just playing shapes that I already know is to use ONE chord-tone(1,3, 5, or b7) in each voicing.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying there.

Thanks for the suggestion, Mark. I think I saw a video of that on youtube or something. I'll go give it another look Thanks everyone, else too!

Zeldaik, try not to double/triple post
#26
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying there.

What I'll sometimes do is say to myself, Okay, I'm going to play so-and-so chord. Then I'll limit myself to dyads or three-note-chords that aren't standard chord forms and try to improvise by playing a series of those 2 or 3 note chords that will imply the chord that I'm trying to play. The dyads that I'll play will consist of one chord tone (the root, 3rd, 5th, or 7th of the chord) and one tension/color tone (the 9th, 11th, or 13th). They don't have to have a tension note; both notes can be chord tones, or both can be tensions and still work if they're placed right.
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#27
ok bumpybumps!


I was at the first day of my jazz course today and at one point in guitar lesson he passed us out a few sheets with shell voicings. These are generally diads or triads with the essential notes of the chord(chord tones duh!).

He was doing an Ellington tune, I believe it was In A Sentimental Mood. He just started off comping with the shell voicings and his playing fit perfectly. He wasn't chugging the chord out like a beast, he was just playing it casually sometimes he laid out in a few bars other times he played some more but what really stunned me was when on the second chorus, he started playing a solo, using only the shell voicings he'd been using before.

His whole solo, which was very good, consisted of just the thirds and sevenths with a few gracenotes and he really nailed it because he really knew those shell voicings and he could just slip in between on and the next.

So shell voicings, check em out.


Jazz courses are great by the way, sign up to any you have near you!
#29
I was amazed, it was just so on, it was all in his phrasing and his note choice. He was using guide tones and he'd managed to arrange them so that he could just glide through them descending thirds or using chromatic movements, and since it was all the essential chord tones it was just delicious to listen to.


But his phrasing, man. He was behind the beat, on the beat, ahead of it, in between it, it was great.


Then in another example about every "chord determines a mode" improvising the bastard started playing these little licks in quintuplets, it was sick.
#30
Quote by confusius
ok bumpybumps!


I was at the first day of my jazz course today and at one point in guitar lesson he passed us out a few sheets with shell voicings. These are generally diads or triads with the essential notes of the chord(chord tones duh!).

He was doing an Ellington tune, I believe it was In A Sentimental Mood. He just started off comping with the shell voicings and his playing fit perfectly. He wasn't chugging the chord out like a beast, he was just playing it casually sometimes he laid out in a few bars other times he played some more but what really stunned me was when on the second chorus, he started playing a solo, using only the shell voicings he'd been using before.

His whole solo, which was very good, consisted of just the thirds and sevenths with a few gracenotes and he really nailed it because he really knew those shell voicings and he could just slip in between on and the next.

So shell voicings, check em out.


Jazz courses are great by the way, sign up to any you have near you!

I have a great book (I think edg recommended it but I may have just gotten it, idr) that talks about just that.

Excerpt:

Linear harmony is melodic lines that connect the chords smoothly using the significant tones with careful rhythmic placement. Good voice leading is observed, sevenths resolve to thirds, ninths to fifths. Thirds are more consonant and usually occur earlier in a melody line before the more dissonant sevenths. Sevenths typically resolve over the barline to the third of the next chord beginning the cycle again. Consonance/dissonance/resolution.


That's from the book Connecting Chords With Linear Harmony - Bert Ligon

I definetly reccommend this book.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


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#31
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying there.

Thanks for the suggestion, Mark. I think I saw a video of that on youtube or something. I'll go give it another look Thanks everyone, else too!

Zeldaik, try not to double/triple post


I got the urge to sing "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey the other week, but the proper guitar part is fiddly and a bit sparse so I dropped it to open chords for a more acoustic vibe. However I still couldn't quite sing the high notes so I transposed it from E to D. I do stuff like that all the time, it's a good exercise to scan through a tab and strip it down to the basics, and its a good workout for your ears too.

Like this...


Main lead riff (taken from one of the tabs but edited because there was a wrong note!)

E||---------------|-----------------------|-----------------------|
B||----5----------|-----------------------|-----------------------|
G||-----4---------|-----------------------|-----------------------|
D||---------------|-----------------------|-----------------------|
A||------------2>-|-----2-4-6-4>----------|-----4-6-7-------------|
E||--0----0-2-4---|-----------------------|-----------5>----------|

....to simple strummed chords

     E5         B              C#m                A5 
E||--0----------2--|-----------4----------|-------5---------------|
B||--0----------4--|-----------5----------|-------5---------------|
G||--4----------4--|-----------6----------|-------2---------------|
D||--2----------4--|-----------6----------|-------2---------------|
A||--2----------2--|-----------4----------|-------0---------------|
E||--0-------------|----------------------|-----------------------|


...finally transposed down to D
     D5         A               Bm                G5 
E||--5----------0--|-----------2----------|-------3---------------|
B||--3----------2--|-----------3----------|-------3---------------|
G||--2----------2--|-----------4----------|-------0---------------|
D||--0----------2--|-----------4----------|-------0---------------|
A||--0----------0--|-----------2----------|-------x---------------|
E||----------------|----------------------|-------3---------------|
Actually called Mark!

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#32
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying there.

Thanks for the suggestion, Mark. I think I saw a video of that on youtube or something. I'll go give it another look Thanks everyone, else too!

Zeldaik, try not to double/triple post


srry about that
#33
I practice chords up and down the neck, playing them diatonically. For instance, in the key of A, we'd have Amaj7 - Bm7 - C#m7 - Dmaj7 - E7 - F#m7 - G#m7b5. Then I'd play those up and down the neck, using various drop chords.
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#34
^Very solid way of practicing fingerings.

For a bit more music, I suggest taking various cadences into play there as well. FE BM7 - E7 - Amaj7 with drop2chords all over the neck.
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#35
Here's an idea I used to use.

Take 12 flashcards of the notes on the neck.
Make yourself a list of the types of chords you will use. ie maj/min/dim/M7/m7/7/m7b5/aug/9/M9/9/m9.

Then pick a flashcard to choose your key of the day and then set about playing those type of chords in as many positions as you can manage.
Work in small time frames 5-10mins and keep a track of how many you get done.
#38
Get your hands on Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene, it's my bible on chords, it's a pity I've never used it to it's full potential

Ted was a one of a kind guitarist....chord chem is very concentrated and is not for beginners..the format of the book may turn some off as it appears to be in no discernible order...but once you see the "logic" of Teds approach...your learning curve increases greatly.

seeing a chord as just "arranged tones" opens so many ways to "see & hear" music..it goes beyond guitar..but you see the fretboard in such a new way and your approach to "key centers" and harmony expands.

take the chords C9-Gmi6-Emi7b5..they all share the same notes E-G-D-Bb..this approach uses all 12 tones of the scale and are always in flux..note that the root or other tones may be dropped from some chords but has characteristics of the named chord..you begin to "think" in several keys at the same time...thus you are not limited to one "key center" to approach solo work or build progressions within progressions..and alot of "backcycling" as Ted called it.

This study of chords takes a great deal of time and patients to understand and execute, so it is not a "quick" study...take one or two chords and see how many inversions you can find and follow the voice leading of each chord, that is just change one note, higher of lower, in the chord at a time and see how it transforms into a different chord with completely different flavor and uses...the fun begins when you connect several of these chords and throw in some melody lines in between them...

wolf
#39
Quote by metal4all

That's from the book Connecting Chords With Linear Harmony - Bert Ligon

I definetly reccommend this book.


Yeah, that's a great book. But it's really about soloing even though the title sounds
like it's about chords.

I'm lukewarm on Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry. It's ok, but it's mostly just a big
dump of voicings.

Andrew Greene's (no relation) Jazz Comping is better. It shows how common shapes
and forms can be reused and altered in different ways for different things and how
to work in various ryhthmic and melodic ideas into comping.

Chord Kahncepts might be of interest too. It's focus is the upper 4 strings are
where you build your voicings because that's the guitar's register in an ensemble.
I thought it would be better organized, but it can still be helpful.
#40
Jazz Comping is a really good book. I'm glad you reccommended it otherwise I wouldn't have gotten it or heard of it.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
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