Chord camp

Chord ranger Iain Scott goes off the beaten 7b5 track with a look at Dom­i­nant and 7#5 chords, ap­ply­ing them to var­i­ous styles for a dif­fer­ent feel.

Guitar Techniques - - LEARNING ZONE -

Wel­come to this is­sue’s in­stal­ment of Chord Camp. As you ex­pand your chord vo­cab­u­lary you will find some chords are de­scribed as ‘al­tered’. These are chords that have spe­cific notes changed from their ba­sic for­mu­lae. Let’s start by look­ing at one of the most com­mon and use­ful fam­i­lies: dom­i­nant 7th chords, and the ‘al­ter­ations’ of the 5th de­gree, the dom­i­nant 7th chord with a di­min­ished (or flat­tened) 5th and the dom­i­nant 7th with an aug­mented (or sharp­ened) 5th. To clar­ify, the de­scrip­tion ‘al­tered’ is be­ing ap­plied to spe­cific notes (here the 5th) within the chord, not to the over­all chord it­self (ie: it’s not a 5 chord that’s be­ing ‘al­tered’). This is an­other topic that will be dis­cussed prop­erly later on. Let’s kick off this month’s les­son with a re­cap on the Dom­i­nant 7th chord shapes and 7b5 then learn and 7#5 ‘al­tered chord’, four-note voic­ings across the fret­board fol­low­ing CAGED shapes. The ex­am­ples will then show typ­i­cal us­age of the more com­mon shapes you are likely to en­counter, or find use­ful in your day-to-day play­ing.

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