Chords


The "Minor Up A Minor Third" Trick

OK it's not really a "trick" but I've been using this a lot lately so I thought it was worth a note. The idea is that on a C minor you can pivot to Eb minor, and in general substituting "the minor up the minor third" sounds nice and unexpected.

Derek Bailey Style Chords with Harmonics

I've been revisiting some Derek Bailey recordings lately and realised I never really worked on one of his most distinctive sounds: combining normal fretted notes with natural harmonics. These fascinating effects can be harsh, percussive or shimmeringly beautiful, and the technique can be applied outside Bailey's own very idiosyncratic style.

Learning the Maj 7 b5 and Maj 7 #5 Arpeggios

These are two chord/arpeggio structures that come up pretty often once you stray far from the major scale. They also sound great, so they're well worth committing to memory.

"Star Eyes" Harmonic Major Reharm

Yes, I'm on a reharmonization theme at the moment. Here's one using the Harmonic Major subs suggested in this post. In each case the original chord is subbed with one or two chords made from the appropriate Harmonic Major mode using the ones in the mode that aren't in the original chord.

"Have You Met Miss Jones" Reharm

All the hip cats are playing "Have You Met Miss Jones" because the B section has major third root movement very similar to "Giant Steps". That's fine but the A section is pretty vanilla. Here's my attempt to spice it up with the same kind of movement.

"What Is This Thing Called Love" Simple Reharm

I was playing this tune in the practice room today and came up with a very simple approach to it that gives the A section a more modal sound. Nothing radical but you might enjoy it.

Scale-Covering Seventh Pairs

I'm revisiting another old blog post (this one this time) to put together some more chord substitution / superimposition ideas. Of course the same concept can be applied to much more exotic scales but these should get you started.

Chromatic Tetrachord Covers

I recently revisisted this post and decided to smarten up some of the presentation. The idea is to take a common seventh chord and find all the ways to divide up the remaining 8 notes that aren't in it between another common seventh chord and some weird combination of the leftovers.

A few ii-V-I subs for the weekend

I've been messing about with various chord subs and voicings lately. Here are a few things I've been playing. They're mostly based on Coltrane changes, but they're not exactly that. I've written them out with voicings so even if you don't like the sub ideas themselves there might still be something to steal.

Vertical Polytonality

Here's something I picked up from Yusef Lateef's Repository: stacking chords where each voice is from a different scale. Interesting results -- check it out.