Guitar Techniques - - INTRO -

So, dom­i­nant chords can be made more tense (while main­tain­ing their func­tion), with the use of slash chords. The same can be done for ma­jor and mi­nor chords. Ten­sion can be added with the ba­sic essence of the chord main­tained. One ex­am­ple is that a ma­jor 7 chord (say Fmaj7) can be made more tense in 3rd in­ver­sion, (F/E). This beau­ti­ful chord can be found from Bach to Ravel to Bowie. Another more tense ap­proach can be made on a mi­nor chord, so long as there is a mi­nor 3rd; a ma­jor 7th may be added as well as a #11(or 5) both adding a mag­i­cal qual­ity. So G mi­nor can be re­placed with F#/G, which is still in the mi­nor ‘fam­ily’ but a far more mys­ti­cal sound. Sim­i­larly,

Gb­maj7) Bb/Gb a maj7 chord (say can be sub­sti­tuted with for an ex­otic maj7#5 sound. Here’s the ‘orig­i­nal’ chord se­quence, fol­lowed by the ‘added ten­sion’ chords in the con­tem­po­rary jazz style. The use of slash chords means that there can be a nice voice-led se­ries of up­per chords with a counter melody bassline. Check out Not Ethiopia by the Brecker Brothers for a great ex­am­ple of this.

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