Fret­board flu­ency

In this month’s in­stal­ment Martin Gould­ing con­tin­ues ex­plor­ing har­mony with ex­ten­sions based on the mi­nor7 chord. Let’s go Do­rian!

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Martin Gould­ing looks at how to ex­tend chords and runs us­ing mi­nor 7ths, 9ths and 13ths.

Wel­come to this month’s col­umn on de­vel­op­ing fret­board flu­ency, with the sec­ond part in our se­ries ex­plor­ing ex­tended har­mony. Con­tin­u­ing from last month’s les­son where we looked at the ex­ten­sions of the tonic (I) ma­jor 7 chord, along with con­cepts for build­ing ex­tended arpeg­gios, this month we’ll move on to ex­ten­sions based around the su­per­tonic (ii) mi­nor 7 chord. These will in­clude mi­nor 9, mi­nor 11 and mi­nor 13 voic­ings ar­ranged in five shapes. We’ll then study two ap­proaches for cre­at­ing ex­tended arpeg­gios, the first – sim­ply adding the triad from the next con­sec­u­tive scale de­gree to our ba­sic mi­nor 7 ar­peg­gio to cover all three ex­ten­sions up to the 13th - and the sec­ond; su­per­im­pos­ing the di­a­tonic arpeg­gios from the b3rd, 5th and b7th de­grees of our ‘home’ mi­nor 7 chord, which as we’ll see gives us a range of ex­tended and rather so­phis­ti­cated sounds.

In ad­di­tion to our ex­tended chords and arpeg­gios, we’ll also be look­ing at other com­mon four-note forms such as the mi­nor add 9, which we can use to add colour to the ba­sic mi­nor 7 chord tonal­ity. On all ar­peg­gio-based ex­am­ples, we’ll be us­ing our usual legato ap­proach, which com­bines ham­merons and pull-offs with sweep strokes for a smooth and even tone. As well as pick­ing lightly and ham­mer­ing down firmly and from a height, the qual­ity of your ex­e­cu­tion will also de­pend on ef­fec­tive use of mut­ing tech­niques with both hands, so fol­low the rule that the first fin­ger on the fret­ting hand mutes the lower ad­ja­cent string with its tip, as well as lay­ing flat over the higher strings un­der­neath, and in con­junc­tion with the pick­ing hand palm, which mutes off any unat­tended lower strings as you as­cend the neck.

The mi­nor 9 and mi­nor 11 chords can be heard in many con­tem­po­rary styles in­clud­ing pop, funk, jazz and rock, whereas the mi­nor 13 is pre­dom­i­nantly used in jazz, due to its fully ex­tended and more dis­so­nant sound (it has a semi­tone be­tween the b7th and 13th de­grees). Many of these voic­ings are used in the con­text of static vamps, as well as within pro­gres­sions such as the IIm-V-I, which forms the back­bone of many jazz stan­dards, such as Au­tumn Leaves, Tea For Two, and many oth­ers.

Make sure you lis­ten to the au­dio ex­am­ples as they give a far bet­ter idea of the sounds and tech­niques on of­fer this month.

NEXT MONTH Martin looks at ex­tend­ing more chords, this time the IV Maj7/Ly­dian

Andy Sum­mers played many ex­tended chords on his Tele Cus­tom

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