Colonel Scott ups the ante this month tak­ing it to the ninth de­gree and be­yond with some al­tered b dom­i­nant chords – 7 9 and 7#9 – in dif­fer­ent styles.

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Iain Scott takes it to the ninth de­gree with some al­tered dom­i­nant chords in var­i­ous styles.

In the last is­sue we dis­cussed al­tered dom­i­nant 7th chords, start­ing with ‘al­ter­ations’ of the 5th de­gree: the dom­i­nant 7th with a di­min­ished (or flat­tened) 5th; and the dom­i­nant 7th with an aug­mented (or sharp­ened) 5th.

This is­sue we take it a lit­tle fur­ther to look at al­ter­ations of the 9th de­gree. Take the key of G: spelling on in thirds from the G root we get G-B-D-F-A (R-3-5-7-9), which is G9. Al­ter­ing the A (9th) up or down a semi­tone

G7b9 will give us a or G7#9 chord. Th­ese are both very handy chords for the fol­low­ing three rea­sons: 1. They both op­er­ate as mov­ing (func­tion­ing) V chords, say in II-V-I pro­gres­sions etc.

7b9 2. A Dom­i­nant can also sub­sti­tute for a di­min­ished chord. 3. A Dom­i­nant 7#9 can op­er­ate as a static dom­i­nant V chord – just ask Hen­drix. First, let’s re­cap the dom­i­nant 7th chord

7b9 shapes, and then learn and 7#9 al­tered chord four-note voic­ings across the fret­board us­ing CAGED shapes. The ex­am­ples will show typ­i­cal us­age of the more com­mon shapes. See if you can recog­nise them in songs you know.

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