Advanced Comping by Combining Polytonality & Quartal Harmony || Jazz Guitar Lessons Daily 24
From our free, Jazz Guitar Lessons Daily Series: Lesson 24
Thursdays - How Chords Move
Polytonality is when we use multiple keys, or tonalities, simultaneously in music. Quartal harmony is when we build chords using 4ths (usually allowing for perfect and augmented 4ths), a la McCoy Tyner.
In today’s lesson we are going to combine these two concepts to get some comping, solo guitar, and trio playing ideas happening.
One of the biggest things that sets the melodic triads approach apart from traditional jazz guitar pedagogy is that we’re borrowing from the physicality of the piano player who has two hands to create sound with. A great pianist can play a simple sound in their left hand (like a CMaj7 shell voicing) and a simple sound in their right hand (like a B major triad) and when done simultaneously (polytonality) will create an incredible rich, colorful, complex sound. What I would call a CMaj7#11#9.
What we’re doing in this lesson is building on yesterday’s melodic triads for our basic ii V I biiiº chord progression.
The left hand of our “piano player” starts with our basic 1-3-7 shell voicings and then mutates into quartal shell voicings.
[See Link Below To Full Post To See Notated Examples]
And our “piano player’s” right hand is playing slash chords. These will be four note voicings constructed by taking the melodic triad and placing one of the chord tones from the basic chord underneath it. We’re attempting to avoid the basic guitar approach and so we aren’t going to automatically choose the root note of each chord to put under the melodic triad. For the D-7 chord we’re using an E major melodic triad and we’re going to use the F note (the minor 3rd of the D-7 chord) as our fourth note. So our right hand voicing for the D-7 chord is E/F. For the G7 we’re using a basic root structure triad, so our slash chord will be G/F. For CMaj7 our melodic triad is B major, so the slash chord is B/E (E being the major 3rd of CMaj7). Finally, for the Ebº7 chord we’re going to play D/Eb… using the chord’s root note for the bottom voice.
See if you can find these voicings on the fretboard or grab a copy of the PDF to see these right hand voicings written out in tab and standard
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