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Chris Martin eltrain

Soprano voice arpeggio exercise based on example 5.1

shreyasshreyas New
edited June 2010 in Gypsy Picking Posts: 6
Hello everyone,
just wanted to share something I stumbled on while working my way through the musical examples.

When I was taking jazz lessons from Rick Balestra he introduced me to 'soprano voiced chords' these are 4 note chords voiced on the D, G, B, And high E strings. You can construct all the chords typically used in bop and jazz standards on these strings (dom7, m7, M7, 9, b9, dim, etc). Rick used to make me build these chords with the root note on the lowest string (D string) and then he'd have me invert the chords up and down the neck as a comping exercise.

I applied the principle of ex 5.1 from Gypsy Picking to the soprano voicings in the following way. I'd take for example the dominant 7th and voice it at the 1st fret, this is an Eb7 chord. Then I'd play it as an arp and climb up 1 fret in the same way as ex 5.1 . This way I'd arpeggiate that chord shape in every key all the way up the neck. Then I repeat the exercise with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd inversion. Then I'd do the same for every chord I could think of. It sounds cumbersome but once you start it becomes quite fluid and really build technique fast. Also it gets your mind working to figure out those voicings and inversions. And finally it vastly expands the number of arps you have at your fingertips while improvising.

I've incorporated this drill into my daily routine and I'm focusing on the chords that are used in the tunes I'm working on for repertoire. This week it's Blues For Alice, My One and Only Love, and Minor Swing. Anyways, I've found it very helpful and thought I'd share it with the forum in the spirit of collective striving. If anyone wants fingering charts for the soprano voice chords I'd be happy to post them.
slovenly in syracuse,
shreyas

Comments

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,882
    Yes, please post or PM the fingerings.

    How do you run the arpeggios to do the drills, up and back down then move up one fret?

    Thanks!
  • RicardoRicardo Cornwall UKNew
    Posts: 41
    Hi there, I'd really appreciate a copy too - thanks very much.
    Not now dear, I have a terrible Djangover.
  • DarksoelDarksoel New
    Posts: 2
    Hi, that sounds awesome! I'd be awefully glad if you could post those fingerings!

    I've started working on them after reading your post, because I believe that when you work sth. out yourself it is much more likely to stay in your head and your work on your skills to be flexibel and aquire stuff on your own.

    But I have a slight problem with the inversions. I managed to gett the following chords as proper "soprano voiced chords" as you call them (I always call my chords X since I don't like to play with open and for an example when have the Chord Xmaj7 the fingering works on (almost) every chord up and down the neck):

    X(major), Xmaj7, X(dom)7, X6, X9, X6 9, Xadd9, X7sus4, X+7(aug.), Xdim, Xdim7, X-6, X-7, X-11 (X-9 is hard to do). Now that I started the inversions I get the 1st and 2nd inversion of the major chord np, bt then I start having a problem with the Xmaj7: I am able to construct the 2nd and 3rd inversion, but not the 2nd (that's where I am right now). I'm gonna stop working on them right now, hoping that you post your fingerings because I got no idea how to fix this^^

    Best Regards
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,886
    Hi Shreyas,

    That's a great workout! You may want to checkout the chord dictionary in the Gypsy Rhythm book, it has all the "soprano" voicings used in Gypsy Jazz (3 and 4 note chords on the top strings). Django used some unusual inversions/fingerings which are really useful.

    'm
  • Posts: 18
    [quote="Darksoel"]
    X(major), Xmaj7, X(dom)7, X6, X9, X6 9, Xadd9, X7sus4, X+7(aug.), Xdim, Xdim7, X-6, X-7, X-11 (X-9 is hard to do). Now that I started the inversions I get the 1st and 2nd inversion of the major chord np, bt then I start having a problem with the Xmaj7: I am able to construct the 2nd and 3rd inversion, but not the 2nd (that's where I am right now). I'm gonna stop working on them right now, hoping that you post your fingerings because I got no idea how to fix this^^
    [/quote]
    The four inversions of, say, an Fmaj7 chord voiced on the top four strings are as follows:

    ------5-----8----12----13------
    ------5-----6----10----13------
    ------5-----9----10----14------
    ------3-----7----10----14------
    ---------------------------------
    ---------------------------------

    You might also check "piano voicings" like the following

    ------12------
    ------13------
    ------14------
    ------15------
    ---------------
    ---------------

    but some inversions are quite unpractical.

    Regarding the X-9 inversions, they are not hard at all. You can use the substitution rule Fmaj7=Dm9[no root], so they are essentially the same as those given above!

    Some more tips: To find the X7 chord inversions, use the above forms and lower the 7th degree. For X6, use X7 and lower the 7th degree once more. For X-7 use X7 and lower the 3rd (the shapes are the same as for the X6 chords). For X-6, X-7b5 and X9, proceed likewise or use the "multipurpose chord shapes" found in Michael's book and discussed elsewhere in the forum. For X6/9, take X9 and lower the 7th. For X7sus4 use X7 and sharpen the 3rd degree (the shapes are the same as for X6/9). For X+7, sharpen the 5th of the X7 chords. Finally, Xdim7 are symmetric and repeat every 3 frets.
  • DarksoelDarksoel New
    Posts: 2
    [quote="swing_gitan"]
    ------5-----8----12----13------
    ------5-----6----10----13------
    ------5-----9----10----14------
    ------3-----7----10----14------
    ---------------------------------
    ---------------------------------
    [/quote]

    Firstly thank you very much (esp for the 2nd part, I'll go through every chord later today!

    Lets the Fmaj7 again:
    I used the "piano voicing" for my first chord and got the 3rd and the 4th like your ones aswell.

    Now if you play the chord Fmaj7 on the Piano you have
    F-A-C-E (1-3-5-7)
    1st inv: A-C-E-F (3-5-7-1)
    2st inv: C-E-F-A (5-7-1-3)
    3st inv: E-F-A-C (7-1-3-5)

    Which means, that you have minor Second in every inversion. To fix that problem you usually leave out the F and play it with your left hand an octave lower. The minor Second is extremely dissonant (in my opinion the most dissonant interval) and goes beyond the usual "tension" of a major 7-chord (in which you have 11 semitones between the root and the major 7th). Though in some aspects this extra tension is used deliberately (for example depending on the melody)((that's what my father told me)).

    Now us guitarists have the advantage of being able do finger chords over several octaves without breaking our fingers (a normal Barré-Chord (is it called like that in english?) goes over 2 ovtaves.

    That means, that (going back to your sample) from the lowest to the highest note the fingerings would leave us with these intervals:
    (TAB) (Notes) (interval) (semitones difference to the root, down or up)
    (E)
    (A)
    (D) - 3 ------- F ----- 1 ----- 0
    (G) - 2 ------ A ----- 3 ----- 4
    (B) - 1 ------ C ----- 5 ----- 7
    (E) - 0 ------ E ----- 7 ----- 11
    2nd inv
    (E)
    (A)
    (D) - 10 ------ C ----- 5 ----- 5 down
    (G) - 10 ------ F ----- 1 ----- 0
    (B) - 10 ------ A ----- 3 ----- 4
    (E) - 12 ------ E ----- 7 ----- 11
    (We still have 11 semitones between the F and the E)
    3rd inv
    (E)
    (A)
    (D) - 14 ------ E ----- 7 ----- 13 down
    (G) - 14 ------ A ----- 3 ----- 8 down
    (B) - 13 ------ C ----- 5 ----- 5 down
    (E) - 13 ------ F ----- 1 ----- 0


    So we have enough space between the 7th and the root. But the 1st inv.:

    (E)
    (A)
    (D) - 7 ------ A ----- 3 ----- 8 down
    (G) - 9 ------ E ----- 7 ----- 1down !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (B) - 6 ------ F ----- 1 ----- 0
    (E) - 8 ------ C ----- 5 ----- 7

    Has only 1 semitone in between, making it extremely dissonant.

    So any1 got an idea how to finger that inversion without having that problem?

    Best Regards
  • Posts: 18
    [quote="Darksoel"]
    So any1 got an idea how to finger that inversion without having that problem?
    [/quote]
    I think that it is impossible to finger the 1st inversion of the maj7 chord (including ALL chord tones) without having the minor second interval. I should note that the fingering I gave is used quite often (for example, I have seen it in transcriptions of Brazilian guitar pieces) despite the dissonance. Maybe it just takes a little getting used to.

    On the other hand, if you really need to finger a first-inversion major chord (with the 3rd as the lowest note), you could replace the maj7 shape by one of the following:

    ------8--------8-------8-------
    ------8--------6-------8-------
    ------9--------7-------7-------
    ------7--------7-------7-------
    ---------------------------------
    ---------------------------------

    i.e. Fmaj9[no root], F6 or F6/9[no root] respectively.

    Also, if you need to finger a maj7 chord with the 5th as the highest note (just as in the previously discussed shape), you could use:

    -------8--------
    -------10-------
    -------9--------
    -------10-------
    -----------------
    -----------------

    i.e. Fmaj7[no root].
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