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Fret Fax

Article from Phaze 1, August 1989


RIGHT POPPETS! You should be beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel now, as most of the initial technical slog has gone by (always assuming you've been practising as well as reading the mag!!). The last stage is to produce construction information for the six chord types:

Major 7 chord types (chords I and IV in a major key)
R 3 5 7 C E G B Cma7
R 3 5 7 9 C E G B D Cma9
R 3 5 7 9 11 C E G B D F Cma11
R 3 5 7 9 11 13 C E G B D F A Cma13

Minor 7 chord types (chords II, III and VI in a major key)
R b3 5 b7 C Eb G Bb Cm7
R b3 5 b7 9 C Eb G Bb D Cm9
R b3 5 b7 9 11 C Eb G Bb D F Cm11
R b3 5 b7 9 11 13 C Eb G Bb D F A Cm13

Dominant 7 chord types (chord V7 in major and minor keys)
R 3 5 b7 C E G Bb C7
R 3 5 b7 9 C E G Bb D C9
R 3 5 b7 9 11 C E G Bb D F C11
R 3 5 b7 9 11 13 C E G Bb D F A C13

Minor 7 b5 chords (chord VII in major keys)
R b3 b5 b7 C Eb Gb Bb Cm7b5

Diminished 7 chords:
R b3 b5 C Eb Gb Cdim
R b3 b5 bb7 C Eb Gb Bb Cdim7

Augmented 7 chords
R 3 #5 C E G# Caug
R 3 #5 7 C E G# B Cma7aug
R 3 #5 b7 C E G# Bb C7aug

Altered chords (simply follow the chord instructions)
eg: C13 b5 b9:
R 3 b5 b7 b9 11 13 C E Gt B(, Di, F A C13b5b9


Remember these are theoretical constructions. To get them on to the neck of the guitar we will have to do some thinking about what to leave out of some of the chords. C13 for instance is a 7 note chord, and your guitar only has 6 strings!! The other thing to remember is that these test examples are shown only from C as the root note of the chord. You will obviously have to make yourself familiar with the chords starting from any root note.

What has cut down the workload is the realisation that there are a limited number of chord types, and these do function in particular places in the various tonal centres. We will continue to concentrate for a while on the major keys:


Here you can see that major 7's appear on chords I and IV, b7's on II III and VI, dominant 7's on V, and minor 7b5's on VII. This does shorten the learning process, and more important still makes you realise that a progression Cma7, Dm7, G7, Cma7 (I II V7 I in Cmajor) can be transported lock, stock and barrel to any other major key:

I II V7 I
Cma7 Dm7 G7 Cma7
Gma7 Am7 D7 Gma7
Dm7 Em7 A7 Dma7
Fma7 Gm7 C7 Fma7
Bbma7 Cm7 F7 Bbma7


You should go through all the major keys and play this progression, until you are convinced that this is only one idea, the same idea, transposed to different key centres.

Just to convince yourself of the importance of all these common relationships, it is worth going back to the diagram of the neck I used last month. If you did any work at all, you will have discovered endless versions and votings of even the simplest three note triad. So these voicings of a C major only give a small number of the possibilities:


What is important is to realise that any major chord can have the same spacings in terms of root, 3rd and 5th. Here are the same interval spacings of an Eb major chord:


If that works in isolation, then surely a simple progression can also have the same relationships. Here is the Cma7, Dm7, G7, Cma7 progression, shown with two specific voicings:


Here is the same progression transposed into Eb major (still I II V7 I remember):


Not only is that still the same progression, both examples are voiced exactly the same as the C major version in terms of the spacings of the R 3 5 7 ideas. This should really encourage you to think that the musical material is beginning to be under your control, down to the finest detail.

This month's task is to transpose this simple chordal idea into as many keys as possible, and reproduce exactly the same voicings as you do it. As you tackle the problem, try and make sure that you are aware that each voicing of the first chord in a progression determines the voicing of the next chord in the progression. That is very important in your attempts to produce a melody line at the top of the chords, which is something I will be encouraging soon. Do remember, too, that any chord progression produces a melody line at the top of the chords. You should imagine that a C major chord has either C E or G as a melody note at the top. More of this when we meet again. Ciao baby!


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Pearl Export Drum Kit

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Write Now


Publisher: Phaze 1 - Phaze 1 Publishing

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Phaze 1 - Aug 1989

Do It Yourself

Feature by Peter Driver

Previous article in this issue:

> Pearl Export Drum Kit

Next article in this issue:

> Write Now


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