Mittwoch, 27. April 2011

Using 7th chord inversions in actual music

Ok, now we know our 7th chords plus the inversions. Time to use them in actual music!
Take any chord sequence you like, a song of yours, a standard, whatever. Now play that sequence using the 7th chords we learned and their inversions. Again, try to play the next chord using the inversion closest to the one being played.

An example:
I took a standard major II V I progression and played it using the 7th chord inversions. In D major this will look like this:
Major II V I progression using 7th chord inversions on strings 2, 3, 4 and 5 in D major (click to enlarge).
By doing this you will start to see the notes of the chords all over the fretboard. Be aware that the chord tones are the "safest" tones you can play while improvising, meaning they will sound the most "correct" (maybe not the most interesting, but you won't sound wrong). So, if you want to improvise over the given chord progression it will be a good starting point to aim for these notes.

Try this:
After you are comfortable playing your chord progression using the 7th chord inversions, try playing improvised lines using only chord tones.
In the above example you would play just chord tones of the II chord over the II chord, play just tones from the V chord over the V chord, etc...
I added an example of a short line played using only chord tones and very few passing tones (2 or 3). The line uses the exact fingerings you can see above. You will notice that, because I am only playing chord tones, the chords are quite evident even though there's no accompaniment.

II V I chord tone line by vidi74

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