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  1. #1

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    How about two note voicings, just the 3rd and 7th? With an occasional root thrown in or plucked before or after the 2 note voicing, when there is no bass player. And when there is a bass player no root even needed, though it doesn’t hurt. I asked my favorite jazz guitarist how he comps when I’m playing piano and he said he plays real little chords mostly just the third and seventh and avoids playing 9th 11th and 13th. It sounds really clean and he gets a great rhythmic comp going behind me and never gets in my way even when we comp at the same time.
    Last edited by rintincop; 07-10-2020 at 04:09 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    ... never gets in my way even when we come at the same time.
    Way too much information.

  4. #3

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    3 and 7 two note voices sound good and are easy to play on guitar. Usually done with a bassist. Provides some propulsion while staying out of the way of the keys.

    Another two note idea I like is to hold one note and then move the second, often down a fragment of a scale. I got that from listening to Jim Hall.

  5. #4

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    Let's face it, the guitar has way too many strings. Two is all you need. Seriously, you could go a long way in jazz with just two strings and a sense of swing. No sarcasm here, I mean it.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Let's face it, the guitar has way too many strings. Two is all you need. Seriously, you could go a long way in jazz with just two strings and a sense of swing. No sarcasm here, I mean it.
    C'mon, just TWO strings ?! How will you make the ladies swoon with a romantic version of "Georgia" when all you have is a root and a third or
    a third and a 7th ?
    I agree when we're talking about a larger band , some faster tunes and when you're trying to cop the classic Freddie Green sound but only under the proviso that "beauty of tone" is not on the agenda - it's more like "it don't mean a thing ...."

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Let's face it, the guitar has way too many strings. Two is all you need. Seriously, you could go a long way in jazz with just two strings and a sense of swing. No sarcasm here, I mean it.
    Good advice if you can't get out to buy new strings due to covid lockdowns!

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Let's face it, the guitar has way too many strings. Two is all you need. Seriously, you could go a long way in jazz with just two strings and a sense of swing. No sarcasm here, I mean it.
    I agree. Especially the D and G strings. 3rds and 7ths voiced there are out of the way of the bass and the melody. It's great to know everything in relation to those two notes played there (-for major, minor, and 7th chords, anyway.)

    Tim Lerch calls those "essence chords." He also voices them lower (A and D strings) to have more room above them for melody. But it all starts with knowing those two-note voicings. And they sound so good!

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Tim Lerch calls those "essence chords."
    Tim has a lesson at JGS on two note accompaniment and it's a key part of his chord-melody improvisations.

    Jimmy Wyble had some thoughts on the subject as well, beyond 3 and 7 dyads.

  10. #9

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    They were also essential to Lenny Breau’s concept of comping for himself simultaneously with his solo lines. Good discussions of his voicings in the Visions book and in Paul Bordeau’s video lesson.

  11. #10

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    At Berklee they call these, "Guide Tones."

  12. #11

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    Starting with these two notes on the two middle strings is a great way to approach chords. On 2nd and 3rd strings they are also great melodic centers for navigating changes. They work for comping with and without playing the bass. Practicing them along with a songs melody is the best way i have found to learn tunes.

  13. #12

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    I first delved into the 3rd and 7th two-note voicings after a bass player set me straight on avoiding chords with roots. Listening to Jim Hall was a revelation for this approach. Depending on the context, you can add other relevant harmonic notes and have fun with voice leading.