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  1. #251

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    Yeah Jake! Beautiful. ' can't wait to see what grows from that seed. Yeah, how you take any particular voicing, how you break it up, articulate it, rhythmicize it, arpeggiate or chord it changes it profoundly. I'd love to hear how this is changing the way you hear and relate to the instrument.

    e_del, don't think of this as the running, because everyone who jumps into this pool starts off as a total novice. And I have changed the way I look at this material many times in the course of studying it. Finger exercise, ear training (big aspect and the biggest part of what I'm pulling out at the moment), diatonic exercise, fitting on changes, harmonic substitution, compositional raw ore from the big mine...
    I really think that as a part of learning the guitar, having this as "etude material" is so exciting. Remember that it only seems advanced and scary from this perspective. Anybody can do it, and once you do it you have two amazing changes in your life: 1) you have access to these amazing sounds that most likely nobody else on the planet is playing and 2) you no longer have to put off knowing it.
    That's a funny one. I recently began a thread on What's Stopping You from having what you want on the guitar? and it became apparent as soon as I asked the question that if you want it, and the material is there, it can be yours.

    Oh, on a not so oblique aside, there's a guitarist out there who's been making amazingly exquisite music in a similar course of progress. Watch this guy, he's one to know:

    There's a new level of literacy within this generation of players, and I feel that the tools that are needed may go a little beyond simple transcription of solos, because each player can make their own permutation of the material.
    It's just a matter of what you want to do with the time that you have right now.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #252

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    Very interesting!
    What scale did you use in this particular example?
    Thanks e_Del!

    The scale is

    1 2 b3 #4 5 b7 7, and then the pattern repeats starting on the for example if we started it on C it would be

    C D Eb F# G Bb B C# D F F# A A# - does that make sense? Think of it 'starting over' when it gets to the B. The sequence takes 72 notes (6*12) to start over again at C.

    When we harmonize this scale we get minma7, +ma7, +ma7, ma7, ma7, minma7, and then the pattern starts over...but unlike normal diatonic scales, when we do a cycle it doesn't go back to the first chord after seven steps in the cycle, in this case it takes 72 steps - so the starting and ending points are, uh..."compositional discretion" how about that hah!

    Can you think to these sequences in terms of notes, or scale degrees?
    I'm trying to think of it as movement from one chord to to the next, or, more ideally, three or four melodies (however big the chord is, in the case of the video example they were 4 note chords) moving together, and not concerning myself with a tonal center, instead just playing with the movement.

    Improvising solo, there are a lot of things in my harmonic trick bag that I'm getting a little tired of, they feel too predictable at times. These "chord progressions" definitely aren't predictable to my ears, so I'm just trying to absorb the sound of new movement.

    A simple way to look at it, in a tonal context, is that, like the giant steps turnaround sequence, it is a number of steps to get to a destination.

    So if the first cycle is Cminma7 D+ma7 Eb+ma7 Gbma7 Gma7 Bbminma7 Bminma7 (then the pattern of chords repeats on the Bminma7) then the information revealed are things like, what's a 4-step harmonic process to resolve to Bm? You work backwards four steps from Bm and you get a cadence....Eb+ma7 Gbma7 Gma7 Bbminma7 see?

    I'm just opening my ears up to these very different ways of going chord to chord. The beauty of it to me is that there is this definite consistency to all the movement, but there's no sort of dominant substitution relationship or anything like that, or even a relationship of keys (like, borrowing from some mode of melodic minor or something, but still basically being in a minor key.) Instead the weight of it is all in intervallic movement. Yes there are clearly tonal centers or implied changes of mode, but it's not really the point, or what brought me to these ideas.

    Hope that makes sense. It's taken me a lot of steps to look at chords this way (or want to look at chords this way) and then find some use for the sounds.

    Maybe I want to "run before I learn to walk", but these sounds are so intriguing that I would explore them a bit anyway, even if only to figure out what will be the next thing to study... next life! :-)
    I guess the simplest introduction to it would probably be the cadence-oriented thinking...instead of F#7 to Bm, why not Bbminmaj7 to Bm (From the above pattern.) Instead of C#m7b5 to F#7 to Bm, why not Gma7 to Bbminma7 to Bm. Or double the rate of change and use the four chord sequence Eb+ma7 Gbma7 Gma7 Bbminma7 Bm

    And we don't have to end on the minor chord, any of the chords could be 'resolutions.'

    4 chord cadence to Gma7:

    Cminma7 D+ma7 Eb+ma7 Gbma7 | Gma7

    I can hear the sirens now....

    PS if you are going to play around with these specific progressions, make sure to voice lead DOWN, so it's not just constant structure/parallel movement going up in 2nds and 3rds.
    Last edited by JakeAcci; 10-12-2013 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Did some of the math wrong - Thanks Bako!

  4. #253

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    Without writing it out, it seems that the basic structure is a hexatonic derived from C harmonic minor

    C D Eb F# G Bb (omitting the A)

    This pattern then goes thru a cycle of ma7 or m2 putting it through every key before coming back to start.

    C B Bb A Ab G F# F E Eb D Db // C

    Wouldn't that be 72 -- 12 X 6 or 73 to state the final C note.

    I have had some fun dealing with the intersection of different keys.
    I will try and share some of that when I get a chance.
    This seems like another path into related material.
    Last edited by bako; 10-12-2013 at 11:25 AM.

  5. #254

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    Ah thanks, you're right, I did the math wrong. You mean G harmonic minor? C D Eb F# G Bb, omit the A

    As for the rest, that's neat! What kind of harmonizations or applications come to mind?

  6. #255

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    If a harmonic sequence leads to the destination, then it is functioning on some level, which kind of makes it functional.
    In that sense it is cadential and part of the continuum of possible paths to arrival.

  7. #256

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    Yes, G harmonic minor, I meant to correct that, but got distracted thinking about the rest of the post.

    I deleted the sequence I posted earlier because I saw some flaws in it's ability to generate 7th chords in 3rds.
    Perhaps the better path would be 3 note modal compression pairs in the context of the overlapping hexatonics.

  8. #257

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    Maybe a similar approach to similar notes, but a little simpler would just be

    C D Eb F# G, then up a whole step to start the pattern again:

    C D Eb F# G

    A B C D# E

    F# G# A C C#

    Eb F Gb A Bb


    Hey, as a line, that's pretty cool!

  9. #258

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    or even simpler linked tetrachords














  10. #259

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    I think it's interesting and sometimes challenging to try to figure out how to make this stuff correspond to Goodrick's approach to "cycles"

    Simplest approach with your collection above, though not necessarily staying true to the sound of the 'scale' at all times:

    cycle 2 7ths:

    Cm7 Dma7 Ebma7 F#m7 Gm7 Ama7 Bbma7 C#m7 etc

    cycle 3

    Cm7 Ebma7 Gm7 Bbma7 Dm7 Fma7 etc

    cycle 4

    Cm7 F#m7 Bbma7 Ema7 Am7 (repeat pattern on Am7)

    cycle 5

    m7 chords moving in 5ths (Cm7 Gm7 Dm7 Am7)

    cycle 6

    Cm7 Ama7 Fma7 Ebm7 Bm7 (pattern repeats on Bm7)


    In each case it's patterned movement of chords that take a while to come back to the "1"

  11. #260

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    Oh, on a not so oblique aside, there's a guitarist out there who's been making amazingly exquisite music in a similar course of progress. Watch this guy, he's one to know:

    There's a new level of literacy within this generation of players, and I feel that the tools that are needed may go a little beyond simple transcription of solos, because each player can make their own permutation of the material.
    It's just a matter of what you want to do with the time that you have right now.
    "A guitarist?!" What a funny way to introduce Ben! Hopefully (most) everyone here knows of Ben, and if not, start listening now! I actually like a lot of his sideman albums vs. his frontman albums, but they're all good.

  12. #261

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    There are many permutations of what can be done with single scale voice led cycles.
    Needless to say, the possibilities expand exponentially with the addition of a bi-tonal element.
    Attached is one possible scenario.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #262

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    Here's one more take on B/C bi-tonal thing in cycle 2.
    This one uses 2 lower notes of the C and 2 upper notes of B as a starting point.
    You may want to adjust octaves in some places.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #263

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    I actually happen to have money in my paypal account right now and I would buy it if for no other reason than it seems like a good investment opportunity! Of course I'd also like to peek inside and see what all the hubub is about! Unfortunately, they won't deliver to Europe. I just have one question for you guys: On a percentage scale, to what degree is it guitar independent? It seems guitar independent when you guys talk about exploring new sounds. But "Guitar" is right there in the title. I never understood that. Thanks.

  15. #264

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    I am on this, thanks for sharing David.

  16. #265

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    Jster I guess the only way it is restricted to the guitar is that it includes restrictions with the guitar in mind. But it is not very guitar dependent.

  17. #266

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    Quote Originally Posted by jster
    On a percentage scale, to what degree is it guitar independent? It seems guitar independent when you guys talk about exploring new sounds. But "Guitar" is right there in the title. I never understood that. Thanks.
    Yes the title is a little deceiving. It's by no means specific to the guitar world, as a matter of fact many things in the almanacs are not possible to play on the guitar without some thought to use of diads or even necessitating duo situations to realize. That said, in many ways it's an issue and solution that is very topical to guitar players especially: Thinking of harmony in 3 or 4 independent voices instead of a series of parallel drop 2 grabs that have been the way for many decades.

    It's actually piano players who have been getting a lot of mileage from the Goodchord volumes because the movement of voices can be easily played and seen, and because all of the notes don't need to be covered by one hand as with the guitar.
    It's also been proven to be a powerful compositional and arranging tool. The notation itself indicates only voice movement, and not staff notation, or instrument specific notation. It's designed to be as concrete and adaptively abstract to show voice movements through intervallic root movement cycles.

    I think because it was written by a theorist/guitarist, one acutely aware of the problematic nature of playing harmony on a fingerboard instrument, Mick devised a method of seeing harmony, not from the convenience of grid form fingerings but from a purely musical perspective of voice movements. So for the guitarist, it's left to the user to figure out how to actually play these things (you do need to know all your notes and locations on the fingerboard. There is no hand holding as far as where and how to play these cycles) and the system does lend itself to use on any instrument.

    Because of this, it's also a great ear training method, and it's quite a workout that will get the typical guitarist seeing the fingerboard in a very new way, as the movement of roots across the fingerboard as well as the line of movements within the chord progression.

    The possibilities of you coming up with a sound nobody else has even heard are staggering. It's so rich, you may indeed wind up with the facility to improvise with the chops of a Bach chorale. But don't ever think this is an easy way to plug and play. This is very much a do it yourself construction kit with a huge catalogue of what can be done. It's actually mathematically exhaustive. If you can voice a chord, it's in there. If a chord can move smoothly from one to another, it's in there.

    That's the way I see it anyway.

  18. #267

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    Hello everybody,
    I'm posting here in the "goodchord repository" thread, that I hope will last forever, to revive it a bit as I use it as a reference to retrieve informations when I don't remember them (and with age it happens more and more )

    just a brief side note: I just found this article in a blog
    It made me think that actually the "goodchord cycles" are not exhaustive, and more options of voice leading exist, that are effective and usable (in case you found the almanacs limiting.. hahaha)...

  19. #268

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    The blog post presents a 2 chord sequence (from diatonic cycle 6) progressing in a 4ths in a chromatic environment.
    The books largely address cycles in the context of scales. For better or worse there remain many more possibilities beyond the already abundant collection in the books.

    Chromatic cycles

    m2---C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B

    ma2--C D E F# G# Bb // F G A B Db Eb

    m3---C Eb Gb A // F Ab B D // Bb Db E G

    ma3---C E G# // F A C# // Bb D F# // Eb G B

    4th---C F Bb Eb Ab Db F# B E A D G

    #4/b5--C F# // F B // Bb E // Eb A // Ab D // Db G

    5th-----C G D A E B F# Db Ab Eb Bb F

    #5/m6---C Ab E // F Db A // Bb F# D // Eb B G

    ma6------C A F# Eb // F D B Ab // Bb G E C#

    m7-------C Bb Ab Gb E D // F Eb Db B A G

    ma7------C B Bb A Ab G Gb F E Eb D Db

    m2,ma7,4th and 5th progress through all 12 keys in one move
    ma2 and m7 progress through all 12 keys in two moves
    m3 and ma6 progress through all 12 keys in three moves
    ma3 and m6 progress through all 12 keys in four moves
    #4/b5 progress through all 12 keys in six moves

    I ordered each group within the cycles that don't hit all 12 keys in 4ths,
    which offers a logical way to address the remaining keys.

    Basically one can choose a chord type or a sequence of chords and consider that as a unit
    and move it through a cycle. From there, just voice lead the resultant progression.

  20. #269

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    If anyone is interested in obtaining the Goodchord books, PM me.

  21. #270
    Thanks to EVERYONE for this thread!! Really helpful and valuable information!!

    All the best from Argentina!


  22. #271

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    This is what I posted in the following thread:

    Great thread! Slightly off topic, but I think it applies. The way I have been practicing inversions is by using approaches out of Mick Goodrick's out of print Almanacs using different cycles. It helps 2 things immediately, learning and solidifying an understanding of the chord inversions/fingering and teaches great voice leading examples. I also go slow and say the chord note/numbers as I go along. It is a slow process but gets better everyday. It is also very musical.

    For example in the Key of Bb Major the diatonic chords in the key are:

    BbM7 • Cm7 • Dm7 • EbM7 • F7 • Gm7 • Am7b5

    Cycles: 6 would follow:

    BbM7 • Gm7 • EbM7 • Cm7 • Am7b5 • F7 • Dm7 :||

    This particular cycles descends. So the order of inversions (0 denoting root in the bass) will look like this as we descend.

    BbM7 • Gm7 • EbM7 • Cm7 • Am7b5 • F7 • Dm7 :||
    0 • 1 • 2 • 3 • 0 • 1 • 2
    3 • 0 • 1 • 2 • 3 • 0 • 1
    2 • 3 • 0 • 1 • 2 • 3 • 0
    1 • 2 • 3 • 0 • 1 • 2 • 3 :||

    For example this week, I am doing cycle 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 in drop 2 and drop 3 on all string sets. Every week I cycle my key to next key in the cycle of 4ths.

    If I have any typos, let me know.


  23. #272
    I've just found this scribd document called "mick Goodrick voice leading" which seems to be the introduction to the frist volume of the Goodchord books. Scribd just won't let me download the document or view more pages, but anyway I find it interesting.

  24. #273

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    hello everybody,
    I'm sorry, but it seems that my google web page with the chord cycles app doesn't work anymore, so I turned it off..
    Probably something changed in the javascript management by google, that broke the script routines I used... custom javascript routines were a tweak, as normally google has some limits on what can be contained in a web page...

    Not a big loss, as I noticed no more than one visit per day to the page, but anyway, since I also used it at some time, I set up an emergency google spreadsheet with similar functionality, although less robust and responsive...

    If anyone is interested, I'll be glad to share it via google docs... just ring a bell with your google account to
    Oh, and by the way, if there was any joomla/wordpress developer around, I'd be happy to discuss about what it takes to port it into a module... :-)

    bye for now,

  25. #274

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    Here are something for the dinner... More of it to come soon.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  26. #275

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    Hey y'all. Does anybody know of any self publishing solutions for spiral bound books? The Almanacs were originally done this way for good reason: They can sit on a music stand and you can seriously immerse yourself in one grouping, change to any other section without hassle. It kind of goes with the non-linearity of the whole almanacs.
    I've found that some times they are intimidating because there's this notion that you should start at one end and it's a progressive process. Not so. Once you get the idea of cycles, how you might use them (you don't even need this to get sounds in your ear) you can drop yourself in any volume, any page and find the place to open your voice leading world. This was one reason the third volume is so hard to find, the sounds in there are really elusively outside the conventional expectations because the core voicings are different, but the approach and what you can use them for is not really any more advanced than the volume 1 material.
    Yes, There's Staples printing, but if there's a source anyone knows, someone who does printing, isbn and wire binding, please let me know ASAP.

    A quick synopsis. The rhythm books are the first ones to be made available, one new, Repeat After Me, and one re-issue Factorial Rhythms. I've just begun working with Factorials with someone on the Ear Training curriculum at Berklee. It's proving to be an amazing learning supplement, seeing rhythms in patterns rather than reading note values. In 3 weeks he went from the bottom end of the class to ace'ing the midterm. It's how you see it.

    Next in the ready to go is Falling Grace, the catalogue of improvisational ideas, devices and techniques demonstrated and played through a voluminous series of variations on Swallow's Falling Grace. Recordings of each accompany this work, recorded by Mick.

    The Almanacs will be republished in smaller volumes. This is to fit with more bite sized and intuitive/logical breakdown of the material. You have to still do it yourself but the divisions into chord scale family types will help those working on one particular aural grouping and its possibilities. This is the reason I'm asking about wire bound solutions.

    I'm working on Mick's bio, complete with pieces and interviews with some of his former students and colleagues, materials of interesting thought provoking "concept lessons" and a treasure chest of anecdotes with their own lessons within. It'll be very readable and a lot of fun.

    And a whole bunch more projects. Mick is retiring from a VERY long career of teaching both at Berklee and New England Conservatory. These projects, and maybe special workshops, weeklong clinics, or other projects will keep him busy in his own way. The intersection of art (he's spending a lot of time on his drawing and watercolours) and music is always turning out new stuff as is an ongoing exploration of right/left brain neurology study in learning and teaching.

    It's not only a new chapter, but a new volume.

    If you can get back to me on publishing suggestions, comments or questions, I'd welcome all your options and experiences.

    I was considering deactivating my membership on this forum but I think I'll stay a part, largely because this Goodchord thread and the Advancing guitarist associated with it are taking the future of guitar into new places. I do want to be a part of that.

    I see so many changes at Berklee, and in the next year or so many huge giants and pioneers of guitar will be leaving the teaching ranks in the guitar department: Mick, Jon Damian, Garrison Fewell, to name three off the top of my head. Mick will continue to break new ground, this forum will be a place to see it as it develops. So it goes on.
    Last edited by TH; 04-26-2014 at 02:34 PM. Reason: updating my status on the forum announcement