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Jazz Guitar Lessons: The Major Scale in Chord Voicings

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The Major Scale in Chord Voicings Part 1.
So, now we're gonna take that,
concept that we were just talking about of
building a chord above each note in the
major scale that we did it in arpeggios.
[SOUND] All those arpeggios
going up the scale.
Now I wanna put them in
actual chord voicings.
And I'm gonna refer to the two
voicings that we went over.
The 1-7-3-5 voicing, and
the 1-5-7-3 voicing.
We'll take them one at a time.
And I just want to, you know,
combine the theory of the major scale and
chords with the practice of
using it in chord voicings.
It's a very important thing to know, and
it's going to come in very handy both for
comping, for accompanying other
instrumentalists when they're soloing.
And also using chord solos, and
also just understanding the concept,
theoretically putting it into action.
So let's start with the 1-7-3-5 voicing.
Let's do that one first, okay?
What we're gonna do is,
do it in the key of A, so
we're right in the center of the neck.
And it's gonna illa, I'm gonna use
it to illustrate a problem and
a solution to a problem.
So, the one chord
is a major 7th.
So that's right there on the fifth
fret root on the sixth string.
The two chord,
the next note in the scale is a B.
And we know that that, from having looked
at it before, is a minor 7th, right?
It's a minor 7th.
So we need a minor 7 chord there.
So, I'm gonna use the voicing.
That's the way I played.
You can play it like that or
like that, either way.
I think it's much better
to play it like that.
So we have
1 major 7.
2 minor 7.
If you remember the 3 chord
is a minor 7 as well.
Minor 7th chord.
So, we stay in the exact same voicing.
Just play it on the C sharp
Right into the next chord.
Now for the purposes of explanation, I'm
just gonna continue up the sixth string.
So I'm gonna go a little bit out of,
out of position, but
the next note in this scale, if we,
if we play the scale all on one string.
The next note is the 4 chord.
And if you refer back
to our lesson before,
the 4 chord is
a major 7th chord.
And to voice it,
same as the first one.
Only up here.
Okay so there's your 4 chord.
Now let's just review.
Major 7th.
minor 7, minor 7, major 7.
Remember, as I'm playing and strumming
across the strings, I'm using this,
the method from muting
the strings that I'm not using.
We're just keeping to just
four note voicings for now.
We want that consistencies for that sound.
It has a consistent sound going across
the phrase.
Next one is the naturally occurring,
the, the dominant 7th chord.
It's the only one in the scale, right?
And that was
on the 5 chord.
I just did it in all six positions.
So going up the scale,
it's E up here.
Now you're getting into a little tighter
squeeze 'cause the frets are getting
smaller, but we'll make that,
that dominate 7th voicing right there.
In reviewing,
1 major 7, 2 minor 7,
3 minor 7, 4 major 7.
5 dominant 7.
All right,
doing back to review a little bit.
The 1,
was a major, 2 minor.
The 6th chord, above the, the 5.
Was another minor 7, right?
So, A.
Let's go up the scale.
So we're on F sharp minor, right?
And the minor 7 is just like this one.
All the way up there.
If you don't have a guitar with a cutaway,
you can go down here and do it.
And we're gonna talk about moving
that around like that, in a minute.
So, review
1 major 7, 2 minor 7, 3 minor 7,
4 major 7, 5 dominant 7.
6 minor 7 here or here.
And the last one, minor 7 flat 5.
And that's all the way up here
Now that's really hard
to squeeze in there.
So let's move it down here.
And we'll move it down an oct
And then you're back to 1,
back to major 7.
So lets do it all very slowly.
I will actually jump back down
when I get to the F sharp.
1 major 7, 2 minor 7,
3 minor 7, 4 major 7.
5 dominant 7.
I'm gonna jump down from the 6 chord
all the way down to your 6 minor 7th.
7 minor 7th flat 5, and
then back ending up on one.
I'll just do it quick once.
And that's the scale in 7th chords.
Major scale which with each chord,
building a 7th chord above
each note of the scale.
The Major Scale in Chord Voicings Part 2.
Now, you've noticed I had to
make quite an adjustment and
jump all the way down to
the neck to finish my scale.
But, if you remember,
there's two ways to play this voicing.
You can play it with the root on
the fifth string or the sixth string.
So when we do the switch,
rather than jumping down,
I can just move up a string with the root,
and stay in the same position.
So, here, I can just go
to the F sharp on this string.
That way, all the notes keep ascending.
Rather than jumping down an octave.
So the last three chords, the minor 7,
the 6th minor 7, I played with
the root on the, on the fifth string.
You can go back and
review that voicing from our,
our lesson on those chord voicings,
the minor 7th flat 5,
also on the fifth string.
And the A major 7.
Now I broke to create that.
I broke after the 5 chord.
But, I could break earlier than that.
I could go over to the fifth string,
even earlier and it might even be easier.
Right on the 4 chord.
I can even switch right on the 2 chord.
So, you see that crossing over
from one voice to the other,
the voicing stays the same.
But the root changes to another string,
giving us the option of not having to
go all the way up and down the neck.
So, there's several ways that I'd like you
practice with this I, this concept and
with this technique of playing the 7th
chords above each note of the major scale.
The first is kind of a dry,
practiced way to do it, but
I really recommend it very strongly.
It can take you a while but
it's a good one to know how to do.
Do it in every key.
Do it in every key.
So if you start in A.
You could even
just go up chromatically.
Up to B flat.
Or you could go around the cycle
of 5ths if you know that.
That's, I use that for practicing a lot,
because it's kinda, moves you in a,
in a good direction.
They cycle of 4ths through the cycle
of 5ths I usually go around
through the cycle of 4ths.
So that would be
you go up a 4th each time.
For example, after A,
I would do it in the key of D
That's up a 4th from A, and then up 4th,
after I've finished that one,
I would do it in G
and then up a 4th from there to C.
Eventually, it is a circle
that gets you back to A.
So, just watch how I do this, for,
I'll try to do it kinda quick.
And you can descend, too.
It's a good way to get your fingers
used to making those switches
to the different voicings.
D is a tricky one, because there's really
no way to get it in one octave smoothly,
because there's no low
version of D in this voicing.
So, you would always end up way up high,
and it's very tricky up there.
So, I usually do a break in D and
jump down the octave.
So, it would be
It's okay.
I mean, you know,
it's good to know how to do that too.
G is very, very easy.
You can just go right up.
C is a little tricky,
because it gets a little tight,
but I think most pe,
most of you can make it if you have
a pick, have a, guitar with a cutaway.
F, you can go straight up
I'm just showing you that you
can around the cycle 5ths,
you can go up chromatically, but
try and do this in every key, so
you really get these
voicings under your fingers.
And get the concept in your mind and
really know the, so
you can visualize it and
see those that pattern.
Of major 7, minor 7, minor 7,
major 7, dominant 7, minor 7,
minor 7 flat 5 all over the guitar.
And so if you are working on this and
you're gonna send in a video for
an exchange with me, do it nice and slow,
and I might wanna see something like this.
I'll do it in the key of G.
The Major Scale in Chord Voicings Part 3.
So, I want to quickly show you the same
concept of the Major Scale in Chords,
in our other standard Voicing,
the 1-5-7-3 voicing.
We did it in the 1-7-3-5,
now we're gonna do it in, in this one.
In this case we have the option.
First I'll do it I'll actually start
out by doing it in the key of B flat.
So we can go right up the neck and
you can see it.
Here remember we have the option of doing
the root either on the fifth, sixth, or
fourth string.
So it gives us a little bit more
versatility in going across the strings.
And it doesn't get as dicey
when you have to go up high.
So B flat.
I'm way back on the very first fret.
B flat, Major 7, the voicing is 1-5-7-3.
You can review the, the voicings.
They're, they're all accessible to you.
There's a whole lesson on that.
1, Major 7.
2, Minor 7.
3, Minor 7.
4, Major 7.
5, Dominant 7.
6, Minor 7.
7, Minor 7, flat 5.
And 1, Major 7 to complete it.
I'll do that one more time.
Now let's do one, let's pick one
where it goes across the strings
from the different root
positions from the six string.
So, A is a good one for that.
Because you can actually stay all,
pretty much in this one area
of the guitar to do this.
So the first, the major 7, the first
chord, the one chord, is gonna be.
That low voicing.
So the root is on the six string,
and 1-5-7-3.
And then we're gonna go one, major 7.
2, minor 7.
Then I'm gonna skip up to the A string
here, for the C sharp minor, the 3 chord.
Okay, go one, two,
three, Minor 7.
Next one is a four, Major 7.
We'll just go right up a step and
do it there.
Then the 5 chord will stay there, too.
Stay on that string.
And for the 6 chord,
I'm gonna change to the voicing
with the root on the fourth string.
The F sharp right there,
on the fourth fret.
And it's a Minor 7 chord,
'cause it's a 6 chord.
And the seventh chord is a Minor 7,
flat 5, also on the fourth string.
And the one chord finishing up,
also on the fourth string.
Let's look at that again.
One Major 7, two Minor 7, three Minor 7,
four Major 7, five Dominant 7.
six Minor 7, seven Minor 7,
flat 5, and one Major 7.
And they all descend.
Right so that,
that's very compact staged
right in this same area of the guitar.
So when you start,
when you do as I asked you to do
the exercise of playing it in all keys.
Try to find where the crossovers
are best for you.
I'm not gonna tell you you have to
cross over here or cross over there,
whatever's more comfortable for you.
The whole idea for this, is for
you to be as familiar with and
ac, have as accessible under your fingers,
these voicings in every key,
so that you can decide
where you need to switch.
And when you're improvising with chords.
You wanna be able to make those
switches quickly.
So doing it slowly in every key, and, and
deciding where it's most comfortable for
you, is gonna be very beneficial for
you later on.
So when you send in exchanges for this,
and when you're working on it at home.
First I want you to, you know, when you're
doing it, do it nice and slow and pretty.
Make it sound like a piece of music when
you're doing it.
It's kind of a nice, little,
middle-sounding thing.
I did a different
grip changeover that time.
But also, I'd like you to also try.
Then once you've gone through
the sorta dry routine of,
of playing it just in order,
switch the order.
Try to make up melodies.
The top note
of each chord,
like if I do the 1-7-3-5 voicing.
The top note is a fifth so.
Creates a little melody.
So it's a little chord solo there.
So, you can go, that's just something I
just made up in the spur of the moment.
But you can take your time,
nice and slow, and
I'd love to hear some,
some of the things you come up with.
What can you do in terms of making
little melodic studies out of,
out of these voicings?
I'll, I'll give you an example.
just something
off the top
of my head.
And please feel free to come up with
your own and, and use it to improvise.
And, you can start out doing it rubato so
that you have time to
really think about it.
Eventually put it into tempo.
And you could even try doing
this over some of the loops of,
of play logs that we have, as well.