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  1. #1
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    Video JonnyPac's Lesson on Upper-Structure Voicings (and Chord-Tone Soloing)

    Here's a brand new video lesson I made. I go over lots of my favorite "modal jazz" voicings and grips (though they work great in functional tunes). You'll see and hear lots of superimposed pentatonic "So What" harmonies, P4 triads, clusters, and partial drop 2's. I also noodle over the shapes to illustrate how my grip vocabulary affects my choice of notes, etc. Hope you dig it!


  2. #2
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    Text from my site on this lesson:

    In this 20 minute video I explore some of the chord-scale possibilities within the basic diatonic modes (all of the examples were played in the key signature of C Major (no sharps or flats besides the embellishing accidentals). My personal approach blends basic chord-tones with superimposed triads and pentatonic scales (all "inside"). I do not demonstratively run CAGED or 3-notes-perstring scales in my playing whatsoever; instead, I focus on smaller "grips" that engage my ear to find the sounds I am seeking. Besides that, I hope my thinking-out-loud duologue and the improvisations will speak for themselves and inspire you experiment for yourself. The voicing grips I used are all in the back of the book (with a few exceptions); I suggest pausing the video if you hear anything that you want to add to your vocabulary.

    Also, I recently posted this quick explanation of "superimposed triads" (or "triad pairs") on a jazz guitar forum. You may find it interesting and/or helpful. The written example is in the key signature of G Major (one sharp). Here it is...

    The idea becomes clear (and arguably redundant) once you get the bigger picture of tertiary harmony (harmony based on stacked 3rd intervals - major and minor). The word polychord is often used to describe the multiple triads found within seventh chords and extended chords.

    Look at Cmaj13#11 the chord. It is C E G B D F# A, the R M3 P5 M7 M9 #11 M13. Rearranged alphabetically it is the same pitch collection as C Lydian ( C D E F# G A B). BTW that is the basis of chord-scale thinking (that extended chords are very close to scales).

    If you look at the Cmaj13#11 in triadic groupings you'll "see" triads stacked (superimposed) on top of each other. I will bold text them here:

    C E G B D F# A = C Major Triad
    C E G B D F# A = E Minor Triad
    C E G B D F# A = G Major Triad
    C E G B D F# A = B Minor Triad
    C E G B D F# A = D Major Triad
    Notes repeated/inverted:
    C E G B D F# A C = F# Dim. Triad
    C E G B D F# A C E = A Minor Triad

    By playing these over an existing Cmaj13#11 (or suggestion of one) you are emphasizing the intervals that they represent in the Gestalt of Cmaj13#11. For example, by playing a D Major triad (in any inversion) over Cmaj13#11, you are bringing the M9 #11 and M13 tones to the forefront. That's about it! Look at the chords and scales you know and play the triads you see within.

    This is essentially what happens when we superimpose pentatonic scales over existing harmonies; the five-notes in the chosen scale emphasize certain intervals (and de-emphasize others). For example, B Minor/D Major pentatonic over Cmaj7#11 brings out the M3 M7 M9 #11 and M13 while de-emphasising the Root and P5. Like triads, pentatonic scales sound cohesive and strong- they are one of the fundamental structures within harmony.

  3. #3
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    Video

    Also this lesson will help with learning the basic triad shapes over the full fretboard.



    From page 16 in the book: "[Tertian] Triads are some of harmony’s most solid structures. There are interesting explanations based on the sciences of acoustics and cognitive musicology as to why they generally sound good to the human ear. “Triumphant” sounding major triads exist in the overtone series of what we think of as a single musical tone. Deviations from the major triad seem to create a sort of conflict leading to an emotional response. By lowering the third we get a minor “melancholy” sounding triad. By altering the notes further in diminished triads and augmented triads we get more complex and evocative sounds that are somewhat difficult to describe in words.

    Simple triads (especially major and minor) make up a huge percentage of the underlying harmony in Western music. Even in harmonically advanced music, triads are used in clever ways to create a variety of lush sounds and gripping dissonances. As this book goes on, and as you continue to play music, you will begin to spot triads left and right. They are almost everywhere, from three-chord campfire songs to jazzy upper-structure polychords."

    This lesson covers voice-leading with basic major and minor triads on the guitar fretboard (something that page 18 is notorious for confusing students over!). After showing the basic method of overlapping the shapes, I play some country-folk style chord-tone-based improvisations that outline and address the basic triad tones. I also dabble with basic triadic superimposition, D minor triads over G7 (G Mixolydian) to outline G9, etc.
    More lessons here, and the printable fretboard triads page: Free Video Lessons - Chord-Scale Theory and Linear Harmony for Guitar: Creative Tools for Improvisation and Composition in Contemporary MusicJonathan "JonnyPac" Pac Cantin - Guitarist - Composer - Artist - Educator

    Enjoy!

  4. #4
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    Anybody sit through these yet?

  5. #5
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    Jonny,

    You guys (I am referring to you members that share your expertise and give free lessons) throw so much good stuff at us that it takes time to get to through it all. I sampled your first video and heard some nice sounds and also got some good ideas on how and when to reach for the upper structure notes when playing solos.

    I will definitely hit that triad lesson because my view of arpeggios requires a good knowledge of triads. But I won't be seeing it today.

    Thanks and please leave it up!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyPac View Post
    Anybody sit through these yet?
    Hmm... Sorry I don't mean to complain. I really tried wathcing some of your vids but I just can't. Your voice is recorded rather low and this beat box thing pretty loud. But don't take it to seriously. I personally have a problem with noise and verbal communication, so maybe it's just me. Just can't keep focus on what is being said when there is too much noise. Especially when we're talking my 2nd or 3rd language....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aniss1001 View Post
    Hmm... Sorry I don't mean to complain. I really tried wathcing some of your vids but I just can't. Your voice is recorded rather low and this beat box thing pretty loud. But don't take it to seriously. I personally have a problem with noise and verbal communication, so maybe it's just me. Just can't keep focus on what is being said when there is too much noise. Especially when we're talking my 2nd or 3rd language....
    Too bad. I just borrowed a video camera and did these thinking-out-loud lessons without a ton of technical preparation- I hope some people can get though it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Jonny,

    You guys (I am referring to you members that share your expertise and give free lessons) throw so much good stuff at us that it takes time to get to through it all. I sampled your first video and heard some nice sounds and also got some good ideas on how and when to reach for the upper structure notes when playing solos.

    I will definitely hit that triad lesson because my view of arpeggios requires a good knowledge of triads. But I won't be seeing it today.

    Thanks and please leave it up!
    Will do- I hope you enjoy it for whatever it's worth! Let me know- Thanks!

  9. #9
    Hey Jonny
    Thanks heaps for your videos.
    I liked your
    succinct and clear way of showing how the triads can
    be accessed....Great stuff!......Specially when you consider
    how many [dozens?] of pages Bill Leavitt gave to this topic.
    My only suggestion, which I offer since aniss1001 mentioned it;
    is that perhaps you could mute the keyboard sound while you explain
    and demonstrate the idea you're dealing with.
    I too, found it took some effort to tune out the repetitive sound,
    so I could concentrate on your words/musical demos.
    Got a footswitch for that thing? Kick it in and out...or maybe use your loop pedal.
    I really dig your teaching style....You're a natural bro.
    ....What I like to call "serious fun"!
    Gonna get me a copy of that book pretty soon.

  10. #10
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    Hey thanks! I'll need to tame my omnichord down a bit! That thing is something a warm-up to every day so I hardly notice it anymore- like a clock or fridge running. I'll be more aware of volumes if I ever get around to making more lessons. BTW he basic triad lesson, meter/beats lessons, and interval lesson are without any distracting devices.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  11. #11
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    Here are some of my favorite voicings!





  12. #12
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