quartal harmony

(3 posts)
  1. Matt

    i'm trying to get into using more fourth type voicings, and i'm curious how you guys go about using them; i've used them to great extent over 'blue bossa' (using diatonic fourths for minor and harmonic minor), but otherwise, i haven't found ways to use them.

  2. Neither

  3. silverwater

    One concept Ive developed using this shape:

    x8889x (or xx3344) [fm11]

    ...I've found that min7, dom7, and maj7 chords each have 4 of these that that can be played without any "avoid" notes. To find them, I just go by the note in the highest voice.

    - For min7 chords, the note in the highest voice can be the b7, R, b3, or 4th, like this for Dmin7:

    (x5556x) (x7778x) (xx7788) (xx991010)

    See how the top voices are F, G, C, and D?

    - For Dom7 chords, the highest voice can be the b7, R, 4th, or the 5th.

    - For Maj7 chords, the highest voice can be the R, 2, 5, or the 6th.

    The min7 ones give you a dorian sound, the dom7 ones give you a sus4 sound, and the maj7 ones give you a lydian sound.

    The other things that I do with quartal harmony:

    - Be able to play up and down the neck through the major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales.

    - Learn all the inversions ( I generally stick to 3 note voicings for these)

    - Take a tune, for example "Solar". You know what major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales can fit over these chords. Start somewhere on the neck with a quartal voicing. Move up to the next available voicing, using half notes. The notes that you have available are the notes that you'd be playing if you were playing a single note solo. Don't worry about beating on "avoid" notes, or don't worry that you're not playing enough chord tones to outline the changes. It's not going to matter. The bass player will be outlining the changes anyways. The point here is to be musical, not to outline exactly a bunch of ii-V-Is that have been played enough already over the years.


You must log in to post.