The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1226

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    I found the BH improvisation stuff incredibly useful and the harmony stuff much harder to implement on the guitar.

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  3. #1227

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    IMO, The harmonic stuff is more difficult because fingerboard mastery takes a LONG LONG time. It’s not laid out in a linear fashion like a piano. Even a kind of functional fingerboard knowledge takes years to internalize You really gotta know where all of the stuff is down COLD, without thinking. I’m not there, yet. I still don’t know my drop 2 and 4s. Because I never practiced or prioritized them. The drop 2s, drop 3s and triads are routine —ok, well, lots of times, can’t reach the 3715 quite as easily as I’d like.

    To me, it’s not a theoretical thing at all. It’s all about really learning the workspace. Every BH thing I prioritized, I practiced and use. I never prioritized the “Borrowed” notes. So I don’t know them and don’t use them at all. Lots of gaps. It’s ok. We do what we can.

    This is why the pros all practiced for years before they graduated high school, 10 hours a day. The rest of us, especially those of us for whom the instrument bug came later in life, don’t have this luxury.

  4. #1228

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    IMO, The harmonic stuff is more difficult because fingerboard mastery takes a LONG LONG time. It’s not laid out in a linear fashion like a piano. Even a kind of functional fingerboard knowledge takes years to internalize You really gotta know where all of the stuff is down COLD, without thinking. I’m not there, yet. I still don’t know my drop 2 and 4s. Because I never practiced or prioritized them. The drop 2s, drop 3s and triads are routine —ok, well, lots of times, can’t reach the 3715 quite as easily as I’d like.

    To me, it’s not a theoretical thing at all. It’s all about really learning the workspace. Every BH thing I prioritized, I practiced and use. I never prioritized the “Borrowed” notes. So I don’t know them and don’t use them at all. Lots of gaps. It’s ok. We do what we can.

    This is why the pros all practiced for years before they graduated high school, 10 hours a day. The rest of us, especially those of us for whom the instrument bug came later in life, don’t have this luxury.
    For dominant seventh drop2 3-7-1-5 I mostly play 3-7-2-5 on string groups 1-2-3-4 and 2-3-4-5 (3-4-5-6 I rarely use — maybe I should).

  5. #1229

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I found the BH improvisation stuff incredibly useful and the harmony stuff much harder to implement on the guitar.
    I use diminished shells to spice up my shell comping. That is not at all hard.

    3 x 4 4 x x

    3 x 2 4 x x

    5 x 4 5 x x

    7 x 5 7 x x

    8 x 7 8 x x

    10 x 9 11 x x

    10 x 9 10 x x

    10 x 9 9 x x

  6. #1230

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    I found the BH improvisation stuff incredibly useful and the harmony stuff much harder to implement on the guitar.
    To clarify, it's not that I didn't find the harmonic stuff useful, it's just that it's so deep with all the implications of borrowing and different string sets, and drop 2 this and drop 4 that, etc. that it was easy for me as a hobbyist to get stuck endlessly noodling around rubato with complex chord shapes that I will never recall in real-time and forget to take something easy and useful and apply it to real tunes.

    Point being: a hobbyist can step up his playing with just a couple of basic moves or spend all his time chasing fancy chord voicings. Even if you ONLY resolve a diminished up a half step to the I chord, but can do it with mastery, with good time, during a tune...well, that's more useful than being able to play some arcane movement based on drop 2 and 4 chords with 3 borrowed tones at 40 bpm. I am not dismissing the overall approach at all—for those who have the time to really dive in and dedicate themselves, I am sure the advanced stuff can be really useful and beautiful. All that slow time time I spent with the more advanced concepts of borrowing single notes from neighboring chords wasn't entirely for naught: I now have a few basic pet harmonic moves (what Reg would probably call chord patterns) I gleaned from Barry that I'm able to use somewhat readily on tunes I know well, so that's pretty cool to have. Just little things, like throwing in a diminished chord with a single borrowed diminished note on the and of 4 after a V chord before resolving up to the I chord, or whatever.

    I don't mean to suggest that somehow these little harmonic moves are exclusively Barrycentric, just that it was through his teaching—Alan Kingstone's book, actually—that I arrived at a practical way to make them work for me. From other study, I now understand a bit better from a traditional theoretical perspective what I am doing: "Oh, that minor 6 chord resolving down a half-step is actually the common sound of a dominant chord—tritone sub of V—resolving down a half-step." But I started doing it because I heard it while messing around with Alan's book and recognizing the sound as something I heard quite in Ahmad Jamal's playing.
    Last edited by wzpgsr; 10-04-2022 at 05:22 PM.

  7. #1231

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    The harmonic stuff is useful, I actually use it all the time… but the basic block chords and so on are not unique to Barry. You find that all over.

    What makes it Barry so when you start using the scales to generate movement beyond simple grips and that requires a deep level mastery of the fretboard.

    It takes a long time. I actually sort of agree with Reg in that you don’t actually need any of that advanced 8 note scale stuff to be a good jazz player.

    i decided i wanted to be a good bop improviser first and foremost and focussed on the improvisation stuff, and I think it worked to develop that side of my playing. It gives a really good road map. I would recommend that side of it if you want to get up and running as a jazz improviser

    To really get a handle on the harmony stuff as a guitar player is a massive rabbit hole a bit like the Goodrick VLA stuff. I personally just haven’t thrown sufficient time at it to get very far and I’m not sure I will in the near future (I have other projects). Theres also other approaches to fretboard harmony I currently find more drawn to. We’ll see though. I’m thinking a two voice approach might be a good direction. (I don’t like four voice harmonic approaches on guitar.)

  8. #1232

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    o
    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Head
    I use diminished shells to spice up my shell comping. That is not at all hard.

    3 x 4 4 x x

    3 x 2 4 x x

    5 x 4 5 x x

    7 x 5 7 x x

    8 x 7 8 x x

    10 x 9 11 x x

    10 x 9 10 x x

    10 x 9 9 x x
    yeah I use a lot of simple stuff like this. That’s not really what I mean.

  9. #1233

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    Gotta switch to keys. :P

  10. #1234

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    I always liked to look at the finger board in a graphical way — that probably comes from Werner Pöhlert’s “Basic harmony” book.

    Draw a grid representing the fretboard from lets say the nut to the 15 fret. Six strings horizontally and the frets vertically. Above the grid number the frets that have a dot mark. Lets say you want to learn the major six diminished drop 2 voicings on strings 1-2-3-4 in a certain key. Draw the sixth notes in one color on the grid e.g. red, the diminished notes e.g. in blue. Connect the notes that belong to one grip directly with lines in the same color. Memorize those shapes. That helped me a lot.

    Play slowly through the chords of such a string group. Note which fingers stay can stay on the same string. Those are your anchors while the other fingers might swap strings. Sometimes a change is hard to play, try alternate fingerings e.g. with a small barre if fingeringing every individual note does not work or vice versa; sometimes a grip is hard to play, then try another voicing with a borrowed note. I hate the major 6th chord in drop2 with the root in the bass (resp. min 7th with 3rd in bass) on string group 2-3-4-5 because of the unnatural stretch between middle and ring finger. I play a maj 7th instead. …

  11. #1235

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    … Practice the change from each chord in a certain voicing to the next chord on the string group above resp. below.

    This systematic approach takes a long time but slowly you internalize the sequence of the chords on the fretboard.

    Try to visualise where the neighbour notes for borrowing are located.

    At least I have a method but I am nowhere near the point where I master those things without thinking about it a lot LOL.

  12. #1236

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    When I finish my transcription of Barry's first chorus on Hot House, I'll share it here. It could be cool to analyze from a BH method perspective and then compare that to a "traditional" theory perspective. It's always the things that break generic bebop maxims like "don't start lines on the beat" that catch my ear. In this chorus, Barry starts a lot of phrases on the beat.

  13. #1237

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Head
    I always liked to look at the finger board in a graphical way — that probably comes from Werner Pöhlert’s “Basic harmony” book.

    Draw a grid representing the fretboard from lets say the nut to the 15 fret. Six strings horizontally and the frets vertically. Above the grid number the frets that have a dot mark. Lets say you want to learn the major six diminished drop 2 voicings on strings 1-2-3-4 in a certain key. Draw the sixth notes in one color on the grid e.g. red, the diminished notes e.g. in blue. Connect the notes that belong to one grip directly with lines in the same color. Memorize those shapes. That helped me a lot.

    Play slowly through the chords of such a string group. Note which fingers stay can stay on the same string. Those are your anchors while the other fingers might swap strings. Sometimes a change is hard to play, try alternate fingerings e.g. with a small barre if fingeringing every individual note does not work or vice versa; sometimes a grip is hard to play, then try another voicing with a borrowed note. I hate the major 6th chord in drop2 with the root in the bass (resp. min 7th with 3rd in bass) on string group 2-3-4-5 because of the unnatural stretch between middle and ring finger. I play a maj 7th instead. …
    Yeah the thing is you need to put it in the fretboard and do it over and over again until it is mastered.

    rinse and repeat, for everything.

    I used to draw lots of graphs and things. Maybe it helped. I stopped doing it anyway. Anyway, the question is can I do it on the instrument effortlessly?

    i mean that’s true for all fretboard work like this. It’s just grind as the kids say, ain’t no shortcut.


    So thinking about drops seems kind of clunky for me at least. Pasquale can get around 4 voices with his spider fingers but for me I prefer the possibilities of 2 or 3 voices.

    What’s important to me seem to be the intervals. All the drops features a surrounding interval. Once that interval is framed one or two inner voices can be added to taste if practicable.

    So playing Bach two part inventions gets me thinking this way - What’s a drop 2 other than a fattened 10th (unless it’s a 9th of course)? Why else would it work so well in parallel to harmonise melodies? What’s a drop 3 but a fattened 5th, and a drop 2/4 other than a fattened 13th? And so on. Borrowed notes add staggered motion to parallel moves likes a suspension chain (some of Barry’s most iconic exercises are suspensions chains)

    So I’d probably follow that approach- taking the stuff I’ve learned from baroque and classical harmony and applying to the 8 note system… might get me off the training wheels of still using grips to visualise what’s going on, but I’ve still got a ways to go with 7 notes…
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 10-04-2022 at 05:56 PM.

  14. #1238

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Head
    I hate the major 6th chord in drop2 with the root in the bass (resp. min 7th with 3rd in bass) on string group 2-3-4-5 because of the unnatural stretch between middle and ring finger. I play a maj 7th instead. …
    Miss out the 5th, I would say. Don’t fear incomplete voicings. Actually one of the last classes I saw Barry at he said he was getting more into doing stuff in 3 voices anyway.

    Anyway that drop 2 annoying shape but it does have a specific sound. I find if I pronate my hand a bit so the 3rd and 4th finger like up it’s easier.

    If you sart on the maj7 try the scale with every note a scale step higher or a borrowed note in the alto. That’s always fun

    x 3 5 4 5 x
    x 5 6 5 6 x
    x 7 7 7 8 x
    x 8 9 9 9 x
    x 10 10 10 10 x
    etc

  15. #1239

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    Little things.

    - BH

  16. #1240

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Miss out the 5th, I would say. Don’t fear incomplete voicings. Actually one of the last classes I saw Barry at he said he was getting more into doing stuff in 3 voices anyway.

    Anyway that drop 2 annoying shape but it does have a specific sound. I find if I pronate my hand a bit so the 3rd and 4th finger like up it’s easier.

    If you sart on the maj7 try the scale with every note a scale step higher or a borrowed note in the alto. That’s always fun

    x 3 5 4 5 x
    x 5 6 5 6 x
    x 7 7 7 8 x
    x 8 9 9 9 x
    x 10 10 10 10 x
    etc
    These I know.
    ATM I stay with normal drops as I systematically experiment with stuff not functioning with three-note chords

    like tritone-subbing II-Vs (in Eb)

    x 6 8 7 8 x / / / /

    x 7 8 6 8 x / / / /

    x 6 6 5 6 x / /

    x 5 6 5 6 x / /

    x 5 7 6 7 x / / <—

    x 5 6 4 7 x / / <—

    x 6 8 7 8 x / / / / / / / /

    or “sixth on the fifth” of II (= IV) as passing chord to the “tritone’s” minor as in (in C)

    x 5 7 5 6 x / / /

    x 7 7 5 8 x / <—

    x 6 6 4 6 x / <—

    x 5 5 4 6 x /

    x 6 6 4 7 x /

    x 8 9 8 9 x /

    x 7 9 7 8 x / /

    x 7 8 6 8 x / /

    x 7 7 5 8 x / / / /

    or this nice move from the the “sixth on the fifth” of I to the II

    x 7 9 7 8 x

    x 7 8 6 8 x

    x 6 8 6 7 x

    x 5 7 5 6 x

    All these muddy vanilla ideas I would not have without practicing the sixth diminished drop2s.

  17. #1241

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone
    Little things.

    - BH
    Big believer of building an entire world form small movements. As I noted above:

    I’ve become really big on using dyads (harmonized lines with one voice) to create modular bits of harmonic info. Like creating a I-VI7-ii-V7 movement with just dyads. (Lower to higher)

    EC (the I chord, a C harmonized in 6ths)
    GC# (the VI7 chord, with the guide tones, 7th to 3rd, a tritone)
    FC (the guide tones of the ii chord, expressed as a P5, 3rd to 7th)
    FB (the guide tones of the V7 chord, expressed as a tritone, 7th to 3rd)
    EB (the guide tones of the I chord, expressed as a P5 (3rd to 7th)”

    You can use this to create a kind of counter point, with this this as a linear lower line outlining the form and a top line in the soprano going to town, doing whatever it can. For me one line has to be functional (the noted above), not really “artistic”, but the interplay with the rhythms (hopefully) with the top line will make it ok.

    That’s my little theory of counter point, right now. One little piggie does the heavy lifting, the other one gets all the glamor.

  18. #1242

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    ........................

    That’s my little theory of counter point, right now. One little piggie does the heavy lifting, the other one gets all the glamor.
    That's gold.

  19. #1243

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    Great tune,(Nasecimento) Mr Bop ...and Tommy sounds beautiful. I was just wondering because he's composed lots of tunes and basically played them...they just like everyone else at the time. Anyway... It's good to actually see and hear the music... right.

    Yea your last examples are... well vanilla and muddy.... try playing over them. Sorry, I'm just being honest.

    Comping generally needs good lead lines... not voice leading. And the lowest note is generally the next most important so again... don't voice lead unless your trying for the notes to be not heard.

    (If your using montuno or line cliche like comping....then middle lines need to be heard.) And rhythmic organization always becomes most important.

    I'm just checking to see if anyone on the thread can actually comp through tunes. I'm serious, not a worked out part .... actual playing with band kind of playing.... or solo, but playing. Doesn't mean it needs to be as Jimmy says... shitty bar type of playing I like... I mean what's the point.

    Example if the tune Mr Bop posted.... Nascimento was called or you wanted to play it.... what would you sound like.

    Would it be a... play what you hear, no theory approach. Which is a little bit of an oxymoron... being that most seem to want to use BH approach and the approach is about as theory organized as you can get LOL

    The tune is fairly straight ahead... I mean it almost grooves... the 2nd ending was extended And basically a bunch of II Vs I's So try it.

  20. #1244

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Head

    Not sure exactly about Thomas’ use of the term “shell”.
    What Tom calls ‘shells’ are what Barry (and Alan Kingstone) call ‘shorts’.

  21. #1245

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    So, Mr. Echolls explains his elevator and floor in episodes 16 and 4. There is a handout you can buy for 2 bucks, 14 pages, from episode 4. It’s actually something I thought about: how to create contrary motion? Widen the intervals! My thinking was always form 3rds to 6ths to 10ths to 13ths, etc.

    His system us really neat. The elevator (contrary motion, big leaps) takes you to the floor from which you can do the same thing (parallel motion) up and down each floor.

  22. #1246

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    The elevator is fun. I try to take a part of that elevator system and improvise with it. From single note (a unison) up to 6th. Just one chord - A7 for example. Like play a line and start a contrary motion movement up to the 3rd or 6th interval from the last note of a phrase, then continue a line either from the highest or the lowest note. It's fun and generates kind of "baroque" vibe.

  23. #1247

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    So, Mr. Echolls explains his elevator and floor in episodes 16 and 4. There is a handout you can buy for 2 bucks, 14 pages, from episode 4. It’s actually something I thought about: how to create contrary motion? Widen the intervals! My thinking was always form 3rds to 6ths to 10ths to 13ths, etc.
    The advantage in the 8 note scale is that it always comes out balanced if you do this. You always cycle the same number of notes to get to where you started. So if you start on a consonance rhythmically you'll end up on one.

  24. #1248

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    I'm just checking to see if anyone on the thread can actually comp through tunes. I'm serious, not a worked out part .... actual playing with band kind of playing.... or solo, but playing. Doesn't mean it needs to be as Jimmy says... shitty bar type of playing I like... I mean what's the point.
    Are you serious? I comp and play bass at the same time through tunes. It's very easy if I don't need to worry about holding down explicit melody. It's also easy to use BH for this.

    Would it be a... play what you hear, no theory approach. Which is a little bit of an oxymoron... being that most seem to want to use BH approach and the approach is about as theory organized as you can get LOL
    Yep, there's always that. Noone uses theory. But they somehow like BH.

  25. #1249

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    One of the interesting things I would see in Chicago, a lot of young musicians would come here, after graduating from music school. So many I talked to, when speaking of their musical education, we’re looking to go to NYC to attend Barry’s talks and workshops he would regularly give there. “That’s where the real jazz education was’, said one guy.
    Last edited by NSJ; 10-05-2022 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Typo

  26. #1250

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    Here’s a screen capture of his Floor and Elevator concepts.

    I’m gonna spend a part of my days really trying to get the ELEVATOR and FLOOR concepts behind all these forms-voicings down. The more I think about it, I am amazed how practical, useful and necessary it is. It is, quite frankly, an amazing and systematic synthesis to generate motion and movement (contrary-oblique-parallel) and once we can get this down, and, moreover, interchange them freely and openly, we can really start to play with far more greater freedom. Entire new worlds of improvisation open up. Of course, it’s not EASY by any means to get this down. It will take a lot of work. In a way, it systematically integrates a lot of forms we all kind of work on, a little, or episodically.


    In contrast: as someone said, “when I first started playing the guitar a bit, if you wanted a G7 from me, I only had two options, the G7 up here on the 5th string and the G7 down there on the 6th string.”.
    Attached Images Attached Images Official Barry Harris Thread-065f7857-1ea7-4642-ad13-8299816261a3-jpeg