Chords


The Diminished Cycle and ii-V-Is

In the previous ii-V-I post I outlined what I take to be the most standard, well-known ways to play a ii-V-I. This is a quick note of a well-known fact about them.

Some Basic ii-V-I Substitutions

I guess everybody knows the ii-V-I is the most important chord sequence in jazz. A lot of folks also know that there are about a million ways to play it that aren't, in fact, ii-V-I at all. So what's going on with that?

Whole Tone Harmony Part III

We have been thinking about dividing the 12 notes of our ordinary tuning system (12-EDO) into two distinct regions, each of which is a whole-tone scale. Each region can be thought of as a tuning in itself, 6-EDO, the equal division of an octave into six notes. In this post we consider how the Augmented Hexatonic can help us bridge the gap between these two regions.

Whole Tone Harmony Part II: Added Notes

This post is a continuation of the last one in which we look at supplementing the rather limited whole-tone harmony with one or more added notes. The resulting chords take us away from "pure whole-tone harmony" in the same way that, for example, secondary dominants and other borrowed chords take us away from "pure diatonic harmony" while simultaneously enriching it.

Whole-Tone Harmony Part I

Imagine your instrument lost exactly half of its notes, and specifically every alternate one. It might make sense to say you now had an instrument turned not in 12-TET but in 6-TET. In a society that only had such instruments, which harmonies would be available to them?

The "Rite of Spring chord" and some variations

Since shifting most of my attention from guitar to piano, I've been enjoying (among other things) the ability to play two kinds of chord: those with lots of notes and those with notes that are close together. In this post we look at a family of 7- and 8-note voicings (guitarists may be able to apply these by dropping some notes or, of course, by playing with someone else).

Chords from Harmonic Major

Harmonic Major is sometimes said to be the "missing" member of the group of common heptatonic scales, the others being Major, Melodic Minor and Harmonic Minor. Whatever the value of this claim, it has some interesting chords in it.

Chords from Superaugmented

The scale I call Superaugmented is a major scale with every note sharpened that can be sharpened. It's like a major scale shifted up a semitone and then slightly adjusted. It seems to come up a lot on this blog whenever I do some of those "all the possible ways to do X with Y" posts so I though it might be worth pulling some chords out of it.

Good Chord Books

Maybe one day I'll write my own big book of chords, but chords are much harder than scales so until that day I thought it might be useful to make a list of useful things that are out there.

A Quick Bitonal Trick

Here's a kind of cheap trick using coscales, because sometimes you just want a good sound without having to work through reams of stuff to get it.