Chord voicing affect sound?



  • Great post @Jim Kaznosky
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,320
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    hmmm..why....just my ear they work in some places and not in others

    Hey Jazza, I found a good example of why I usually stick to chord voicings on the lower 4 strings and avoid the B and high E strings. It's partly about staying in a consistent tonal register (i.e. not jumping around from lower to higher pitches abruptly) and also avoiding most color tones in the higher register and keeping a consistent 'crunch'.

    In this video lesson Robin shows the chords for Love Me Tender and MOSTLY uses the 3 note inversions on the lower 4 strings but occasionally throws in the fuller barre type chords. Now I'm not criticizing Robin or anyone else it's just how I like to hear my rhythm playing. When a big shift like that is made the tone totally changes (i.e. voice leading) from one chord to the next. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing but I just like to keep my tone/crunch fairly consistent MOST of the time as a GENERAL rule. And I think this is relevant to the OP since changing to a more complex grip CAN affect your crunch if you are not equally as comfortable with the big grip as you are with the easy grip (as I noted earlier this is especially noticeable on beat one right after a chord change on many recordings as the rhythm player may have to let the beat 1 chord ring out a bit long or not damp at all since they are struggling with making the grip and are a bit late).

    Anyway, to counteract the tonal part of the inconsistency, as was noted in another previous post by someone else, many times you see the person playing the full barre chord but you really don't seem to hear much of the color tone on top (6th, 9th) and I think that is because they are actually laying off the top 2 strings anyway which compromises the 'crunch'.

    In Robin's vid he shows the full barre chords for the F and Fm and also the alternative 3 note voicings on the lower 4 strings. For myself I always try to stick with the lower 4 strings voicings to keep tone/crunch consistent and avoid color tones in the high register. And it seems to naturally lend itself to sensible voice leading (i.e. not jarring).

    I never have to play the high E string but sometimes it's hard to avoid the B string like Dm triad in the 5th fret position if you want to get the b3 in there.

    Just my 2 cents
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