SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #4 (Static Melody: ii-V7-I-VI7)
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 4 is an evolution to the contrary motion chordal exercise presented in part 3 but this time we select a static melody note which will not move throughout the voice-leading of all four chords of the ii-V7-I-VI7 harmonic passage.
This melodic and physical limitation forces us to get very creative in finding all remaining chordal ingredients for each element of the progression and in a way ensures that we achieve an interesting and contrary motion between the remaining voices of all harmonies.
To get the full spectrum of harmonic possibilities we will select each one of the 7 notes of the diatonic tonal center we occupy and use them as a possible static notes over which to voice all four chords of our progression. Therefore, we will end up with 7 different “static melody” cycles for the entire harmonic cadence.
If at times the static note becomes a melodic degree against any of the chords that can not be harmonized we can simply substitute that chord with its Tritone Sub and that will always ensure a proper relationship for harmonization.
We can also physically place the static note (highest note of the chord) on different ranges of the instrument, but for this study I have decided to place it only on the first string for simplification and ease in illustrating the exercise.
This kind of movement also presents quite a few technical challenges when applied on the guitar and so these type of exercises are very helpful not only to augment your harmonic vocabulary but also to improve your finger independence, coordination, stretching, strength and endurance.
All examples are presented in the key of C Major.
"Static Melody: ii-V7-I-VI7" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation).
"HD Video of all Harmonic Cycles."
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"Static Melody: ii-V7-I-VI7" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video of all Harmonic Cycles." Backing track.