Chords


Exploring Add 11 Chords

Adding the natural 11 to a major triad is considered rather outré in the jazz world; usually a #11 is expected and 11 is considered an "avoid note". On the basis that one player's bum note is another's hip new sound, that makes these chords worth a look.

Harmonizing Scales in Fourths

We hear a lot about quartal voicings these days but apart from the diatonic ones there's very little information about them out there, so here's a bit about how to pull these harmonies out of scales and some ideas about learning and applying the results.

Voicings for Semitone Clusters

I've been experimenting with some 12-tone rows again recently and found I had to keep pausing to find voicings for stacks of semitones. The guitar isn't really designed for playing such things in close voicing, so you have to make some decisions about octave displacement just to make the things playable. I thought it might be useful to have some of these collected together, so here goes.

Barry Harris's Sixth Diminished Scale

Here's a great excerpt from a Barry Harris workshop where he introduces an interesting diminished concept, which he (jokingly) calls his "personal scale". It produces a very cool jazz sound by a quite unexpected means. The video is a bit piano-focussed so I thought it might help some guitar players to have a summary from our point of view of the main idea.