A Chord Voicing Notebook.
Here it is. Plain and simple. 30 chord passages that outline Major 2-5-1 progressions. Everything is in the key of C, so it is up to you to transpose to all the keys. Here are some ideas on how to work through the material.
- Take it slow. Better to choose a couple of examples, work them in all keys, and get them into your playing, instead of trying to memorize them all. There is a lot of information here!
- Use a metronome or backing tracks supplied at the bottom of the page.
- Improvise into and out of the example you are working on. It helps a great deal to practice getting into and out of new material in a musical context. Integration of the material is paramount!
- These chords are not written with rhythms. Be sure to add rhythms. Otherwise they sound boring and dead. A great source for rhythmic inspiration is: Jerry Bergonzi: Melodic Rhythms Book-Inside Improvisation Vol. 4
- When working on a voicing, try to move it to other string groups. Ex.
- Try connecting 2 minor chords, then 2 dom7 chords and finally 2 major chords, to create melody in your comp. Ex.
- Try comping through all keys and sticking to roughly the same position on the guitar.
- Keep a notebook of your favorite voicings. Work out variations, mix and match. Be curious, be creative…Be addicted! (sorry, that sounded so lame. you get the idea though.)
- Finally, practice these voicings over tunes. These are the fakebooks I use:
The New Real Book, Volume 1
The New Real Book, Volume 2
The New Real Book, Volume 3
The Raw Material
251_inC_2bar_90_swing.mp3 | Dm7 G7 | CMaj7 | Basically a 2 5 1 in the key of C with only bass and drums. Use this Mp3 to audition the voicings, but move to all keys ASAP.
251_inC_4Bar_150_swing.mp3| Dm7 | G7 | CMaj7 | CMaj7 | Also 2 5 1 in the key of C, but extended over 4 bars. 150BPM
251_cycle_2bar_90_swing.mp3| Dm7 G7 | CMaj7 | Gm7 C7 | FMaj7 | Cm7 F7 | BbMaj7 | etc. 2-5-1 Backing track around the cycle. 90BPM in Swing style
251_cycle_4bar_130_bossa.mp3| Dm7 | G7 | CMaj7 | CMaj7 |Gm7| C7 | FMaj7 | FMaj7 | Cm7 | F7 | BbMaj7 | BbMaj7 |etc. Extended 2-5-1 backing track around the cycle. 130BPM in Bossa style.
Note:If you are unsure of what a cycle is, or can’t seem to follow chord progressions above, let me know and I can whip together something to help. It is really important that you have fluency in all keys with these voicings.
Mel Bay Mel Bay’s Complete Book of Harmony, Theory & Voicing for Guitar: I have had this book for a while now. Every time I open it I learn something new. 3 thumbs up
Mel Bay Complete Book of Harmonic Extensions for Guitar: This works in conjunction with the Complete Book of Harmony, Theory & Voicing. Great examples of the concepts. Wouldn’t think of having one without the other.
Chord Chemistry: The late great Ted Greene! His books full of information. I have had the Chord Chemistry book for at least 20 years. It is filled with treasures and I will probably be referring to it for another 20. A Classic.