Lesson 6 – Seventh chord three note voicings galore!
A veritable overload of information passed from Master to Gitbuddy yesterday – starting out as a ‘slight detour’, it soon became evident that there is many months of study in just this aspect alone.
Master showed me a whole bunch of 3 note seventh chord voicings and some of their applications. In all of the shapes and forms shown, the 5th has been removed from the chord, leaving only the root, 3rd and 7th which are considered ‘essential’ in order to retain the main characteristics of the 7th chord in question.
Below are the forms that were shown. Important to note is the pairing of the 3rds and 7ths on adjacent pairs of strings which lend themselves to some of the applications annotated later on.
Root on 6th, 3rd and 7th on strings 3 and 4:
Root on 5th, 7th and 3rd on strings 3 and 4:
Root on 6th, 7th and 3rd on strings 2 and 3:
Root on 5th, 7th and 3rd on strings 2 and 3:
Root on 4th, 7th and 3rd on strings 2 and 3:
Root on 4th, 3rd and 7th on strings 1 and 2:
Root on 3rd, 3rd and 7th on strings 1 and 2:
Note that since the 5th is omitted from all the forms, the minor 7thb5 turns out to have the same shape as the minor, so isn’t shown. You can pretend that they’re there.
Here’s an example of application using a root movement in 4ths figure in the key of C – G, C, F, B. I’m using the ‘Root on 5th and Root on 6th forms with the 3rd and 7th on the 3 and 4 strings. This figure is vaguely reminiscent of a thing that Joe Pass does frequently.
On beat 1 I play the root of a G7 chord, then I play a C# on the low E string (this can be considered a tritone substitution, or a passing tone that leads to the root of the C7 chord on beat 3). The notes G, C#, C, F# form a jazzy walking bass line. A multitude of variations can be derived using the same principle (perhaps in conjunction with the ‘how to construct walking basslines‘ info) with all the other forms.
An interesting thing to note is that the 3rds and 7ths remain on the 3 and 4 strings. In the first chord G7, the notes B and F# are the 3rd and 7th on the 3 and 4 strings. In the second chord C7, the notes Bb and E are the 7th and 3rd on the 3 and 4 strings, so you can see that they are swapping from 3 to 7 and vice versa on each chord as the progression descends.