Basic chord voicings until rebirth and beyond...

(18 posts)
  1. Alvin


    I had a moment the other day and I thought I might share it with you, maybe somebody finds it helpful somehow...
    I was watching the Monder Mel Bay youtube video, where he talks about knowing all 24 possible chord voicings for one basic seventh chord. I became curious and spent some time trying to figure out exactly what he had in mind.
    The path of my logic was like: ok, let's see... We have the
    4-way close position,
    drop 2,
    drop 3,
    drop 2&4
    drop 2&3

    Multiply these possibilities with four for the quasi-inversion type things and you'll have 5x4=20...
    So I tried to come up with one more possibility... one more, I thought... And after spending a free evening I ended up with 44 different possibilities (44/4=11 instead of the intended 6).
    I'm sure there are several books written about it and you can find this info anywhere, but I feel that I learned a bunch trying to re-invent the wheel by myself... So I deliberatly ain't gonna lay out all the 44 (this number could be even bigger) here, cause there's a great value in doing it yourself :)
    It was also quite a humbling experience, because I hadn't taken into account the different string sets (i.e. for drop 3 the sets of 6, 4, 3, 2 vs 5, 3, 2, 1). Plus the fact that it's just one basic chord, man!
    It's also worth mentioning that in the 44 I found, there is at least one drop 2 which is kind of spread out, but grammatically it's still the same drop 2. The sound is completely different though...

    Basic chords my ass...

    Okay, so here comes the question: has anyone any idea which possibility was Monder talking about besides the five mentioned in the beginning of my post?

    And another one: psst! does anyone have the complete mel bay video of Monder? I will buy you four beers! You could send it to [email protected] ;)

    All the best!

  2. Poparad

    I've talked with him about it a bit, and you were pretty much on the right track with your first guess. There's a total of 6 ways (instead of 5) to arrange the same four notes, and then the inversions of each. The one you missed was drop3/double-drop2. All in all:

    R 3 5 7
    R 5 7 3
    R 3 7 5
    R 7 3 4
    R 5 3 7
    R 7 5 3

    I've studied it a bit beyond that, and found that by making the following variations, you can come up with every possible chord voicing:

    (listed as a closed voicing)
    R 4 5 7
    R 3 5 7
    R 2 5 7
    R 2 4 7
    R 2 3 7

    If you take into account the inversions of each of them, it gives you 20 voicings, which you can then apply to closed, drop 2, etc. If you build each of the inversions of the same note, like for example, using the second group (R 3 5 7) you get:

    R 3 5 7
    R 3 5 6
    R 3 4 6
    R 2 4 6

    So if you build all four inversions of all 5 groups off of the same note, you get all 20 possible 4-note chords you can make starting on the same note. Then, of course, you have to multiply that by each of the drop voicing groups, which gives you 20x6=120. And then repeat for each of the other starting notes in the scale.

    So far, I've just been working on drop 2 voicings, but I'm getting to the point where they're starting to become this cohesive group I can draw from. I haven't yet worked much with the other voicing spreads.

    The neat thing with this is that a large number of the voicings end up being very familiar ones, and you can see how they're related other voicings that may not have previously seemed like they had anything to do with each other. The other great thing is just stumbling across new sounds I'd never thought to try that have quickly become some of my favorite voicings.

  3. Sandemose

    Alvin and Poparad: great posts by both of you. Id love to pick your brain Poparad for a day or two. I think I would learn alot.
    Alvin: reinventing the wheel is beautiful thing when it comes to theory. Apperently it becomes much more meaningful to you. I myself have done a serialistic pentatonic excercise using five tone cells structures, and Im working on a diatonic arpeggio excerice with a fingering system which alows me not to gliss with any finger while moving up or down the scale (using quite odd fingerings when preparing the diatonic movement). I need it, so I did it myself. Great job of you! I salute you.

    I asked Ben about the Melbay video. He wrote that he didnt know it was going to be realesed, so he one day just had the video sent to him. He watched one minute of it but turned it off in horror (haha!). He didnt really see himself as good clinician (I think he is anyway). I would by it from Melbay, but I dont think they ship to Europe. To bad. I want it too...

    Thanks both of you, building this text corpus of knowlegde. Its a great thing, and thanks for sharing...

    Best, Sandemose

  4. cruxtable

    my guitar teacher requires me to learn 28 voicings, 4 each on these string sets:


  5. it's all in mr goodchords almanac of guitar voice-leading......EVERYTHING is in there

  6. Poparad

    You're right, Ben. After going through all the research and experimenting to form my own system, I realized they were all in the Goodrick Almanacs. However, as Sandemose said, reinventing it gives you a more personal perspective on it, and allow for a deeper understanding than you can get by reading second hand about something.

  7. Alvin

    Thanks guys! You really helped me out here :)
    Poparad: Yeah, I know what you mean, when you say "you can see how they're related other voicings that may not have previously seemed like they had anything to do with each other". It kind of widens the palette and gives the opportunity to use some chords for different harmonic functions. Thanks guys! You really helped me out here :)
    Poparad: Yeah, I know what you mean, when you say "you can see how they're related other voicings that may not have previously seemed like they had anything to do with each other". It kind of widens the palette and gives the opportunity to use some chords for different harmonic functions. I'm trying to crack the last thing you said: "If you build each of the inversions of the same note, like for example, using the second group (R 3 5 7) you get:

    R 3 5 7
    R 3 5 6
    R 3 4 6
    R 2 4 6"

    So if i'd do it to R 4 5 7, it would be:

    R 4 5 7
    R 4 5 6
    R 4 3 6
    R 3 err... 2 6 ?

    Or did you mean to apply this method only on R 3 5 7 and its five permutations? (my monday morning IQ troubles :)

    Sandemose: Inventing odd fingerings takes a lot of patience and consistancy, in my oppinion, which I haven't had yet. So I wish you success with that! And no, man, I salute you :)
    As for Monder and his clinic thing, it's kind of funny how a lot of the greats are uncomfortable seeing their own image... Like Holdsworth says that he never listens to his own playing.

    I had a hunch that all the stuff would be in the Almanac... Since there are three bigass volumes! But they're quite an investment financially... So before the purchase I still have to pay the price for playing a medium-low priced guitar, it just keeps falling apart (it's an ode et amo relationship). I'm telling this, because again, somebody might find it helpful: even the beginner guys, if you feel like you're serious about guitar, collect for a few more years and buy a well built axe from at least 2000 EUR and above! So you'll have a tool for life. Although by not doing so, you'll learn a lot about the technological side of a guitar :)

    Ok, this post is getting too long now... So thanks again!

    All the best

  8. Poparad

    What I meant by that was this:

    Say you take one of those groups, like R 4 5 7. Let's put it into notes:

    C F G B

    Now if you invert that, you get:

    C F G B
    F G B C
    G B C F
    B C F G

    However, let's look at it with each one not being an inversion, but being a root position voicing. Let's stick with the exact notes above for a second:

    C F G B = R 4 5 7 (with C being the R)
    F G B C = R 2 4 5 (with F being the R)
    G B C F = R 3 4 7 (with G being the R)
    B C F G = R 2 5 6 (with B being the R)

    Now, let's just transpose that all to C:

    C F G B = R 4 5 7
    C D F G = R 2 4 5
    C E F B = R 3 4 7
    C D G A = R 2 5 6

    Those are the four related voicings you get from that first group, all starting on the same note. I labeled each group somewhat arbitrarily by picking just one of them as the primary one. Well, maybe not so arbitrarily. I one of the inversions of each group so when you look at all 5 groups, only one note changes between each one, so it's easier to remember:

    R 4 5 7 (group 1)
    R 3 5 7 (group 2)
    R 2 5 7 (group 3)
    R 2 4 7 (group 4)
    R 2 3 7 (group 5)

  9. poparad i couldn't agree more, great stuff, thanks for this forum

  10. Benny


    Just to let you know that I ordered the 'Master Guitar Symposium' DVD Vol.1 through Chappells here in London on Saturday as a special order and I got a call this afternoon that it's arrived. Might be worth seeing if they can order and ship over to you.

  11. socalguitar

    In case any of you had not seen yet, there are now a couple of videos available with Ben going over some of the previously mentioned concepts,
    The company, My Music Masterclass,claims to give the majority of the revenue to the artists.

    Outside of learning some of Ben's tunes, has anyone learned or picked up any right hand / finger-style exercises from Ben?

  12. thoeller

    interesting that it is 120 possibilities. Sounds like it could correlate to the 12 notes somehow.

  13. Ha!
    i love this thread!oooh, I had not seen the monder vids in one of these recent posts. Can't wait to see it ( not on my phone )! i haven't looked at this thread in a while. i lol'd when reading poparad's 2nd post in the thread where (perhaps inadvertently) he outs 'anonymous' as 'ben'... for some reason that kills me! i'm book marking this to return to it to be clear for once and for all ...( again, damn it).
    ahh, There's almost nothing that inter/ultra/infra/infra-inter/infra-ultra/infra-inter-ultrapolates my fingers and lobes in so many ( 479,001,600 )ways quite like this stuff.
    Thanks for your break downs.
    Namely, Poparad who patienty answered this line of questions more than once (... i believe later on from me in another thread ).

  14. i just watched the monder clips from the link posted by socalguitar. i love how he plays!!!!!!! his mellow and humble delivery are soo fucking cute and charming when considering the PROFOUND AND THOROUGH COMMAND he has of it all.
    lol from this vid ( that is actually quite succinctly put ):
    " ... voiceleading will either work ...or it won't".

  15. Poparad

    I'm not sure where "Ben" came from in my post, but I certainly didn't think the Anonymous poster was Ben Monder. I think when I originally replied to that, there must've been a user name there instead of "Anonymous" and it might've been "Ben" or something like that, but somehow the name was wiped. I don't know, that was over three years ago now!

  16. wilmore

    Ha! That was me. Didn't log in for a long time and guess I got wiped. I had a lesson with monder a couple months ago. It was a great/strange experience. He is so logical and practical(and dry). He talked about everything in those clips and when I would have a question he would look at me like, you know what the theory is just work on it for a long time and get it under your fingers...simple. I left kinda feeling like not much happened but when I listen to the lesson recording every minute is golden. Also having one of your music heros tell you that you sound great then invite you to a jam session is priceless and very motivating. Super nice guy.

  17. Amazing, wilmore!! That must have been ( and still feel ) great. Jealous !

  18. Just when we thought we couldn't express the same ideas again in different ( or similar ) ways, I found the thread within this forum where this issue was discussed previously.
    There is some additional tips or areas to work with ( arpeggi, chord qualities , etc) that get overlooked on this current pass.
    Others had posed great questions and ideas.
    Once again, poparad does a great job laying out the thinking behind stuff ( and in a slightly different way than how it's been discussed in this thread- which may provide more clarity through another lens or way of saying it ) and elucidates some of the confusing elements of the previous post(s) arpeggi fingering things.
    At the risk of beating a dead horse with this , the post serves more than the function of viewing 7th chords alone.


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