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  1. #901

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    re. close voicings - they're a gold mine for melodies! Here's some work-in-progress, below, on Almanac Vol 2's close-voiced 4-part 4ths suggested by Liarspoker in their post - a few open strings and tricks with harmonics allow most of these C melodic minor chords to sustain all four voices - with some great ethereal sounds as David said. I've been meaning to take on some of these close voicings for ages - many thanks for the push - and I'll post a few more pages soon if anyone is interested. I've used basic ascending patterns and quarter notes, but my idea is that by using the chords in sequence each one can be phrased however you hear it. (It even makes a strange & abstract introduction to I Got Rhythm.)
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #902

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liarspoker
    What would be great too is if people started posting videos of how they are applying the almanac material.
    Quote Originally Posted by Liarspoker

    I'd love to see all the different approaches and styles and I'm sure others would love to see more vids too.
    Hi Liarspoker,

    I post a lot of short guitar clips of things I'm exploring, and they're often cycle related, and/or my approach to polyphony on the guitar has been heavily influenced by the books. I did a quick browse to find some things that were more bluntly cycle related:

    cycle 2 with some stuff -https://www.instagram.com/p/BnHBKeVFk3w
    with polyrhythm -https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs3T7KfHnY5
    harmonic major cycle 6 with drone -https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt6yS5wnTxX
    6 w modulation -https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt7oGTwHEQc
    6 w modulation2 -https://www.instagram.com/p/BuANrqBHXie
    cycle 3 triads -https://www.instagram.com/p/BucFbjwHpYZ
    cycle 3 for triad*add2, drop 3 structure, D minor, then changed to cycle 5 in D major. -https://www.instagram.com/p/CCeG-CPHFqx
    arpeggiating cycle 3 3-note clusters -https://www.instagram.com/p/CDsMDgLn2Nj
    cycle 4, 4 part clusters -https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ_23F4ir1c
    drop 2 cycle w pedal -https://www.instagram.com/reel/CMBPWhaiZ82

    there's also a guy Andres Orco who posts mostly cycles stuff, specifically with non-standard scales: https://www.instagram.com/aozmusic/


    JBN has given some excellent overview of the 'big picture' involved with this work, as well as the prerequisites for what kind of knowledge/abilities are practical to have before diving in.

    I wanted to add/emphasize that it might be healthy to think of this work as "potentially, but not definitely, having an artistic return on investment." I believe that lots of other practice has a more blunt and definite technical return on investment, as in, improving one's technical abilities. For example, trying to apply a certain type of extension throughout a standard is very blunt and practical. Transcribing your first 20 solos is a blunt and practical exposure to melodic vocabulary. As in, if you're not familiar with how post bop musicians improvised over ma7 chords, if you transcribe a bunch of solos, you'll have your answer, or at least be closer to it.

    I think of the almanac work as being nothing like that at all. Instead it's something to dive into and 'see what happens' more or less. And what happens might be absolutely nothing of value, or might spawn 1,000 new ideas, new ways of looking at the fretboard, ways of seeing and hearing harmony, etc, that eventually might play a large role in your own 'voice' as a guitarist and musician.

    Technical 'return on investment' to me means a tangible improvement in tangible abilities. Artistic return on investment to me means an improvement in being able to express something internal, or something that may be unique to the individual. It's so much less tangible, obviously. I feel my own work with the almanac (which I'd say has been less than the center of all my harmonic studies but more than just a dabble) has definitely had a profound impact on how I play and hear harmony, as well as how I make decisions on the guitar for pretty much anything that has more than two notes played (or ringing out) at the same time. But....I'm sure there are others who have spent time with the cycles and never gotten anything of interest/use out of them.

    Maybe that's all to say, if you dig into this work, focus on the process and exploration, enjoy the ride, enjoy the tiny little discoveries. Do it for 3 hours a day, 3 hours a week, or 1 hour a month, but I think at no point does it really track to ask "am I seeing improvement in my playing because of this, enough to make it worth the investment?" because I don't think there's a way to know. Just my two cents.

    Last edited by JakeAcci; 06-03-2021 at 10:14 AM.

  4. #903

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    Well done Mike. Very interesting. I started playing through your example and got distracted by a phone call before picking up the kids. I'll give it another bash tonight. The open string idea is an interesting one and I can adapt it easily to my own playing.

    Jake, very cool videos. I should join IG! There are some very cool ideas in there.

    I've been working with the almanac for about a week now. Just working on my triads really but seeing which additional note I like best with the spread triads. It has yielded some beautiful chords which I already have found a use for.

    I am already seeing the things that David mentioned such as an improved ear for harmony, a deeper awareness of horizontal movement and much more.

    My approach to the book is purely practical as I am searching for sounds that I can use in my own compositions. When my ear latches onto something I'll follow it to see where it leads too. Sometimes it'll be useful, sometimes not and if it's not then at the very least I'll have improved my ear and fretboard awareness.

    It's all good
    Last edited by Liarspoker; 06-03-2021 at 04:59 PM.

  5. #904

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    Chord progressions always move in some combination of cycles and in jazz, often drawing on harmonies derived from multiple scales. If someone suggests a song, we can observe and discuss the cycles that are at play in the lead sheet and perhaps also share some ideas on how to expand on
    the paper version of reality.

  6. #905

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    Chord progressions always move in some combination of cycles and in jazz, often drawing on harmonies derived from multiple scales. If someone suggests a song, we can observe and discuss the cycles that are at play in the lead sheet and perhaps also share some ideas on how to expand on
    the paper version of reality.
    That sounds like a plan. I think ATTYA is the standard go to tune but am happy to work with anything else that people might suggest.

  7. #906

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    Here's maybe some quirky food for thought re attya and cycles

    progression is clear cycle 4

    two movements of cycle 6 = one movement of cycle 4

    cycle 6 separates chords by 6ths/3rds depending on your perspective (eg Fm Db Bbm Gº etc)

    moving chord structures up by 3rds while maintaining same bass/root note gives 'extensions'

    eg

    Fm/F = Fm

    Ab/F = Fm7

    Cm/F = Fm9(ish) or F7sus2

    Cma7/F = Fma7#11(no3)

    below first 8 bars of ATTYA changes, the 'next' chord voicing is always a cycle 6 movement in terms of letter names, but sometimes the pitch collection changes, as indicated.

    Result is (intentionally) a mix of conventional and 'arguably less conventional' stuff.


    Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-attya-mixing-cycle-6-cycle-4-jpg

  8. #907

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    Hello all,

    I'm Andres, the guy Jake referenced in one of his last posts using cycles through non-major scales. I've known about this forum for a while but never really checked it out until Jake and I had a conversation recently that made revisit it (thank you Jake for the shout out!). I thought to post for the first time as the 'applicability' discussion of the almanacs is one I find particularly important for us enthusiasts (apologies if these points are already deep in the discussion somewhere).

    I completely agree with Jake's suggestion of seeing the almanacs as an investment with a rate of return. I used to question my time with the almanacs frequently, not because I felt I wasn't making progress, but because that progress didn't seem directly or precisely applicable to performance. I think that perception is totally understandable, particularly because many of the benefits are harder to objectively assess than something like linear vocabulary. However, that doesn't mean you can't assess whether your knowledge of voicings or your ability to voice-lead through a tune starting on a given chord inversion have improved. The books will absolutely help with that. The applicability is definitely present, it's just harder to gauge and slower moving than other markers.

    My suggestion for anyone hoping to get into the books is to reserve some time at a frequency that feels manageable and find a section of a given volume that is interesting. Think of that time as creative deliberate practice. You are making the decision to spend some time (daily for example) on exploring an idea that you're not familiar with. Don't worry about application, focus on building the habit to consistently return to and the progress and application will definitely come through that.

    Like Jake, I fully agree that it's very important to have concrete and tangible goals with specific markers for improvement. I also think it's equally important to reserve some practice time for creative endeavors. This doesn't mean playing through things you already know. It means thinking and working through something that you're not good at but have a deep curiosity towards, without a specific goal or method in mind.

    I'm a firm believer that any time spent on the almanacs is time well spent. I no longer worry about applicability, partially because the time I've invested has demonstrated it, but also because it's time that consistently opens my eyes to how amazing harmony and voice-leading are. That's rewarding enough for me.

    I'll start being a more active participant and will definitely share some ways I've used this material!

    Best,
    Andres

  9. #908

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    That sounds like a plan. I think ATTYA is the standard go to tune but am happy to work with anything else that people might suggest.
    Fm7 Bbm7 Eb7 Abma7 Dbma7 Gm7b5 Cm7

    Dm7 G7 Cma7 Fma7 Bm7b5 Em7 Am7

    The song is cycle 4 with only a few exceptions.
    Above is the A section chords in bold and the rest of the cycle in plain text.

    One simple idea putting 2 chords in the place of one via cycle 3/6 which can delineate extensions, in combination with the original cycle 4.

    Fm7 Abma7 | Dbma7 Bbm7 | Eb7 Gm7b5 | Cm7 Abma7 |Dbma7 Fm7 |

    Fma7 Bm7b5 | Em7 *Gma7* | Cma7 ||

    *drawn from G major for lydian sound*

    My example above uses extensions 3 5 7 9.
    Continuing in cycle 3 also yields 5 7 9 11, 7 9 11 13,
    cycle 6 > 6 1 3 5 and 4 6 1 3.
    Cycles present paths of arrival.

    The modulations in the song are in 3rd relations:

    Ab > C > Eb > G > E > Ab

    Modulations or the act of linking common ground between keys is also an interesting area of study. Observing modulations in songs is always good and/or you can just go mechanical and play cycles between hybrid keys/scales. The latter allows exploration of how the chords of 2 keys interact.

  10. #909

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    Hello,

    I studied with Ted in the early 90s and have as of late picked up my studies with him. I find there are fascinating connections to the Almanac work and things I was pursuing on my own. Specifically, connecting the 35 (43 total) 4 note chords to cycles through scales and voice-led and organized by specific V-system voicings.

    Volume 1 of the almanac was really a breakthrough with this work for me (I had previously being using Schillinger's ideas on voice-leading which I believe was the inspiration for Mick's voice-leading ideas) Yet, he introduced one of the most elegant voice-leadings in cycle 2 that I have ever encountered!

    I am continuing this work, but do not have access to vol 2 or 3 of the Almanac. I have seen some previous messages of those willing to share vol 2 & 3 in pdf. I am willing to provide a donation as compensation. And of course, if anyone is interested in seeing any of this material just let me know.

    Thank you.

  11. #910
    Quote Originally Posted by nospoonboy
    Hello,

    I studied with Ted in the early 90s and have as of late picked up my studies with him. I find there are fascinating connections to the Almanac work and things I was pursuing on my own. Specifically, connecting the 35 (43 total) 4 note chords to cycles through scales and voice-led and organized by specific V-system voicings.

    Volume 1 of the almanac was really a breakthrough with this work for me (I had previously being using Schillinger's ideas on voice-leading which I believe was the inspiration for Mick's voice-leading ideas) Yet, he introduced one of the most elegant voice-leadings in cycle 2 that I have ever encountered!

    I am continuing this work, but do not have access to vol 2 or 3 of the Almanac. I have seen some previous messages of those willing to share vol 2 & 3 in pdf. I am willing to provide a donation as compensation. And of course, if anyone is interested in seeing any of this material just let me know.

    Thank you.
    PM'd you
    David

  12. #911

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    I wanted to add my thoughts after a lot of time lurking this thread over the years.

    I tried to learn jazz guitar for several years. I read this thread back then (maybe in 2014-2015 - I think I have some posts in the Leavitt threads from back then). It was intriguing but I didn't know the fretboard well enough to make good use of it. Eventually, not making much progress, I decided my goal was solo improvisation on guitar. Learning fingerstyle seemed a good idea, so I immersed myself in classical technique and repertoire starting in 2016.

    Fast forward to 2021 and I decided to start improvising again. I quickly became bored with my old sounds and looked in search of new ones. I learned all close position triads; this did wonders for my improvising. At first I was playing some triad exercises over common chord progressions, but realized I could actually learn ALL possible triad movement in a short time. Inspired by the Advancing Guitarist (and maybe old thoughts from this thread), I began writing out chord movement: every triad to every other triad in closed position, all inversions (with proper voice leading of course).

    After doing this in a couple keys, I discovered the "algorithm" of the triad cycles. I tried to explain it to my classical duo partner ("it's simple - the inversions always repeat in the same pattern") but just got a blank stare. This all seemed QUITE obvious to me at the time and I figured everyone must have figured it out before me...

    Now I am rereading this thread and realizing I was doing Mick's cycles but in a verbose, inefficient way. I started playing triads in cycles instead for faster progress. Now I'm memorizing spread triad forms to navigate chord changes faster, which is working wonders for my improvisation.

    For me, this approach is far more intuitive than the haphazard "learn some chord forms, learn some scales" type of playing. Of course, we need to know all the chords and all the scales, but this approach gives me something more. "The whole picture", as Mick might say. As I was working through the various cycles I actually assumed every decent guitarist knew this stuff already, it seems so obvious in retrospect, but I guess that isn't the case.

    At this point I've done the majority of my work with the major scale. I've ventured into melodic minor some, but need to familiarize myself with those scales more before I can start that work in earnest (and there's PLENTY to do with just the major scale).

    I should say that I don't really consider myself a "jazz guitarist", I don't play jazz gigs (or any gigs really), this is just a personal hobby for me. In that regard the Almanac material has been very rewarding. I am incredibly thankful for everyone who has contributed to this thread over the years.

    I'm definitely interested in getting copies of the Almanacs, so David, if you want to PM me, I would love to hear from you. Not required, though - I have plenty of material from the thread to work with in the meantime.

    I'll leave my long post with a recording from yesterday, improvising over E dorian with spread triads the best I could. Stream Improvisation 7 - 1 - 21 2 by classicalthrowaway | Listen online for free on SoundCloud


    Cheers, and thanks,
    Derek

  13. #912

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    Another sample. This is an exercise I wrote out, cycle 6 in A major, spread triads:



    Since I'm still working on fundamentals it's important for me to write these out in notation and work out the fingering. I can sort of fumble my way through without that but I'll never get it under my fingers without writing out the exercises (and I need practice with notation anyway, so it's helpful two ways).

  14. #913

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    I'm afraid this might be a big ask, but could somebody summarize what is on the "blue" pages and what is on the "red" pages in books 1 and 2?
    I am thinking about someday working with harmonic major (use with red pages material) and Hungarian minor (blue pages) as described in book 3.

    Also are there any other colors besides red and blue in books 1 and 2?
    Last edited by JohnoL; 07-17-2021 at 10:23 PM.

  15. #914
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnoL
    I'm afraid this might be a big ask, but could somebody summarize what is on the "blue" pages and what is on the "red" pages in books 1 and 2?
    I am thinking about someday working with harmonic major (use with red pages material) and Hungarian minor (blue pages) as described in book 3.

    Also are there any other colors besides red and blue in books 1 and 2?
    Pink chapters are all the possible note combinations based upon the intervals with a diatonic (ionian based) scale and the modes withing.
    Yellow chapters are those scales, modes and sounds based on melodic minor.
    Blue chapters are the ones that use harmonic minor as their original scale and the modes derived from that scale.

    These are the three scales the almanacs are based on. If you want to create synthetic scales or other intervallic based scales, take the pink scale and alter from there. Ex: Harmonic major, change all A notes to Ab.

    All are only for the key of C and will require transposition for other 11 keys, and you don't really know them until your fingerboard knowledge is at a level where all keys can be seen as one and your ear can guide you to the intervals within each cycle and scale.
    Please keep in mind at all times that none of this will be of ANY use to you until you can play a given cycle fluidly by ear; until you can hear the movement of the voices from one chord to the next; until you can visualize the inversions of a given chord family across the entire fingerboard.

    Every page has within it this demand and every page, when learned thoroughly, will have within it all this knowledge. It will demand and reward you with a change in the way you play, hear, see and feel your way from one harmonic notion into the melodic possibilities within.

    Immerse. Commit. Listen. Play. Experiment. Learn. Have fun.
    Good luck.

  16. #915

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    Hi JonoL

    That sounds like an interesting project ... and a lot of work! To summarize the colour scheme - throughout vols 1 & 2, in my editions it's simply red for major scale, blue for the harmonic minor scale, and yellow for the melodic minor scale (all also labeled in the top right corner of each page). Does that answer your question (I think David got there first!) or was there more to it than that?

    To riff on your idea ... Both of these modifications to the seven note scales (Harmonic major and Hungarian minor, suggested in Almanac 3 p. 145) will produce entire sets of new MSRPs. While the individual chord grips will, for the most part, still be familiar from previous work on the common-or-garden major and minor scales. The new scales also mean that the resulting chords are now in an unusual sequence:

    — the harmonic major scale will sequence in Cycle 2 as:
    Cmaj7, Dm7b5, Em7, Fm(maj7),G7,Abmaj7(#5), Bdim7

    and the Hungarian minor Cycle 2
    sequences as:
    Cm(maj7), D7(b5),Ebmaj7(#5), "Ab7(F#bass)", Gmaj7, Abmaj7, Bm(add "6")

    In the
    Hungarian minor harmonisation, chord V has a dramatic-sounding major seventh. Chords IV and vii are made ambiguous by the scale's augmented 4th and minor 6th. Chord vii has an enharmonic major sixth. These intervals also produce naming complications in chord IV, with its diminished third and diminished seventh intervals, although the resulting chord sounds more conventional: in close voicing it's like a third inversion dominant seventh chord - major 2nd, major 3rd, and minor 3rd.

    I've used parentheses to describe my simplifications, based on familiarity and what I hear the enharmonics doing, but I need to explore this much further e.g. does the
    Hungarian minor's chord vii relate to other TBN II constructions?.

    Of course 'uses of' is the real test, and there are some great new pairings of chord grips, sequences, and voice movements in these exotic scales.



    All the best, Mick W

  17. #916

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    Thanks JBN and Mick.
    I was afraid that the page colors might be on the cycle level, but being on the scale level I see it's just a matter of changing 1 note.
    Note in my question I did say someday, but I might start just on the diatonic chords from each scale to get a feel for the sounds.

    I originally was just looking at some 3 note chords that couldn't find in book 1 and book 2 or in the advancing guitarist, but then I found them in book 3. Book 3 yikes!

  18. #917
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy blue note
    Absolutely. Mick wrote a book called The Advancing Guitarist within which he lays out in no uncertain terms his philosophy of the guitar's potential as an improvisational tool. It's the basis with which the book we're writing now, this time with exercises and etudes, is based.
    There's something he calls the unitar, the single string pure linear instrument and he has the suggestion that the student explore this even before learning position playing. It's the truest one to one correspondence between the guitar as a linear instrument, the sounds of intervals, sense of movement and the way the hand relates to the instrument to create sound. It's his belief that creating true improvisational music, you must know the ear, the feeling of intervallic distance (ear training), the hand (kinesthetrics) and once integrated on a guitar, the relationship of linearity with the most counter-intuitive layout of the 6 string guitar.
    As far as soloing in a linear way, he did not believe in learning solos or transcriptions before you had a solid command and sense of internal melody and the ability to translate melody from the ear/imagination to the instrument. In other words, don't learn from the hand or the imitative ear before you develop the internal ability to make music.
    He felt very strongly that knowing the foundations of music before you attempt the affectations and styles of individuals is important if you're going to be a deeply dedicated advancing guitarist. Know your toolset and don't let the limitations of others determine your own course of study or natural development.
    That's kind of The Advancing Guitarist in a nutshell.

    I asked him about transcription and he said "It's not a bad thing in itself, but you need to know the language well enough that you're not simply playing someone else's ideas. " He didn't believe in entire solo transcriptions for their own sake but rather, listen and if you want to transcribe, only take what's important to you and learn from it and NEVER play what you've lifted until you make it your own. That means until you understand the process and choices that artist was faced with, what it meant to choose that particular phrase, you cannot claim it as yours, and then not until you've made your own version of that phrase that is original and based on YOUR choice.
    He believed that if you know the language (lexicon, syntax, semantic content), you can take anyone's solo and understand it from the player's perspective. It's this ability to know that allowed him to gain the reputation of being able to read a soloist's mind and play the perfect thing that made them sound better than they could have ever been. I know, because I played duo with him for 8 years and it was an unreal experience.
    As far as a book on things to do, No, he didn't believe in giving specifics. Just be patient, learn to use your ears, build your knowledge base and keep growing. His teaching style consisted largely of pointing out things in a way that a student became aware of what they might do to unblock their obstacles of habit and prejudicial assumptions.
    It was a style of teaching that was well suited for self motivated players who were not looking for easy or quick answers. The music is the teacher, he was an informed listener.

    Actually, Mick told me that he didn't need to write a book on single line stuff (even though he'd plenty of ideas about such) because Wayne Krantz took care of that with his "An Improvisor's OS," which see.

  19. #918

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougMacMillan
    Actually, Mick told me that he didn't need to write a book on single line stuff (even though he'd plenty of ideas about such) because Wayne Krantz took care of that with his "An Improvisor's OS," which see.
    Thank you for the recommendation, I grabbed the book and am enjoying his novel approach to improvisation. Very similar to Goodrick's style in Advancing Guitarist.

  20. #919

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    Hi Derek,

    Lovely playing.

    I'm in the same boat as yourself in that I am starting at the start of Volume 1 which starts with triads. There's so much that you can do with triads!! But as Goodrick says in TAG once you know your triads you know your triads!

    Anyhow in the Classical Guitar section of this forum there are a few of us who are trying to improvise baroque style music so these triads come in very handy. Please feel free to pop in and say hi.

    Here is an example of the stuff that I have been doing with triads. I wasn't going to post this but it seems fitting in this discussion. This is not improvised as there are 3 guitars.


  21. #920

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    Hi everybody,

    sorry maybe this question has already been asked, but can someone explain to me the difference between INTERVALLIC VOICE-LEADING and FUNCTIONAL VOICE-LEADING?

  22. #921

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    Hi Fra88

    'Intervallic' is the distance moved, from note to note, within pairs of chords - here the fifth of every chord rises systematically by a diatonic 2nd (either a major or minor 2nd) while the other two notes don't move - they're common tones (c.t.) between the two chords (although their intervallic function changes). Cycle 6 is a simple one because only the fifth of each chord moves.

    Anybody use the Goodchord Voice Leading Books?-img_2878-jpg

    'Functional' describes how the top, bottom and middle notes in each chord change their function, again systematically. They move from root to 3rd to 5th in this example, so the 5th of the C chord rises to become the root of the Am in the first two chords here, and then the fifth of this resultant Am chord rises to become the root of the F chord that follows, then the fifth of the F chord rises etc... Although two notes remain the same between each pair of chords, their roles in each new chord change as the chords change.
    In each case here, the root of the old chord becomes the new chord's 3rd, the old 3rd becomes the new 5th, and the old 5th becomes the new root - that's all seen this simple example, above - but it will be different in other cycles and usually the voice-leading movement is also 'busier'.

    Hope this helps.

    All the best
    Mick W
    Last edited by Mick Wright; 08-11-2021 at 09:43 AM.