SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #11 (Altered Bridges - Altered Dominant Harmonic Workout)
In this mini-lesson series my goal is to share with all of you some of the fun and interesting practicing concepts I enjoy working on when I study harmony on the guitar.
Part 11 features a great and fun way I use to expand my chordal dictionary which consists of selecting a traditional chord voicing I am very familiar with to start a harmonic sequence which will finish on the same voicing but an octave higher (staying on the same string group/string selection as the first chord). The chordal bridging between these two octave-apart chords will be produced by trying to discover what other voicings (for the original chord I selected) could I derive in a stepwise manner by simply concentrating on the voice-leading and what I think sounds the most beautiful within each particular transition.
Once I come up with a final sequence I like, my objective will be to practice it very slowly and meticulously so I can remember and play it in the same manner that I would play a scale. I simply remember how many elements I have used to construct my chordal bridge and what physical chord shapes represent each one of the different elements.
These bridges can contain from 2 all the way to 7 elements or in certain cases even more (especially if you desire to have very intricate inner voice movements in your voice-leading).
In a way this is very similar to harmonizing a scale with only one chord, except with this approach you can select what notes to harmonize and which ones not to, as well as have complete freedom to use any kind of intervallic structure in the voicings that will represent each element of the bridge as long as you like the sound.
In this short study I am presenting two different “Altered Bridges” for an F7alt harmony. One starting on a voicing with its lowest note on the 6th string and one on a voicing with its lowest note on the 5th string. I have included 7 elements in each bridge so you can get a better picture as to what harmonic movements and colors are possible when connecting different areas of the fretboard, but you can reduce or expand these selections as you see fit.
Here, I am also presenting a few different exercises and practice ideas that will help you augment your chordal palette once you learn the basic chordal scale sequences - harmonic bridges.
There are many more ways in which we can practice and implement this material but the ones included here should be enough to get you started on your own harmonic journey.
"Altered Bridges" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation).
40 mins. "HD" Video Masterclass.
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"Altered Bridges" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). 40 mins. "HD" Video Masterclass.