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  1. #1

    Anybody use the Goodchord (Mick Goodrick) Voice Leading Books?

    Mick Goodrick has written a three volume masterpiece of chord voice leading and harmonic movement. In it are all the possible combinations (without doubling) of three and four part chords.
    It was written by a guitarist. It was written for guitarists. There are things Mick has found that are not playable on the guitar is you know it, but they are sounds that are possible in the voice leading world. It has applications well beyond the guitar.

    I want to create a thread here on the forum that is devoted to the constructive exploration and adventurous creative application of this material.
    Please use this thread as (pretty much the only) open ground and community meeting space for all interested in using the materials of these books.
    Dense as they are, these books are concentrated written out manifestations of theoretical voice led harmonies in cycles based on the consistant progressions of intervallic root movements.
    They are not music. There is no instruction on how the resultant sounds are used or even how they are negotiated on the guitar.
    That's for us to do.

    Welcome to the Goodchord voice leading thread. All contributions, clips, questions, comments, frustrations, revelations and discoveries are eagerly anticipated.

    Thanks
    David
    Last edited by TruthHertz; 05-22-2016 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Original posting #1 has disappeared.

  2. #2
    Yes, advancing guitarist you can still get. The voice leading almanac is out of print with no plans for a resurrection, that's why I was wondering if anyone worked with them. They were like the immersion language version of sounds you never thought you'd get out of a guitar. He meticulously and exhaustively worked out all permutations of voicings in cycles, and the sounds are so subtle that much of the time you can't tell what the harmony is, it's just like shadows moving over a landscape. I posted this because, though they went out of print a couple of years ago, there must be some people who have worked at least some of the cycles through and use these things in their playing. I wanted to find out just how it's working out.
    When I asked him what the book was about, after the first volume came out, he said "the harmony we know is like the fish in the sea. We think of all these kinds of fish, all shapes and sizes, but what we know is just the ones that live along the surface. They're sun loving creatures. Beneath that there's an ocean filled with creatures we've never encountered. These are the sounds that voice led cycles will reveal: beings with all sorts of things sticking out, strange shapes that move in beautifully unimagined ways. Then he played some and I swear it wasn't a guitar he was playing. Like Bach chorale meets Stockhausen.
    I was hoping with this being a jazz guitar group, and one with adventurers looking for new arranging approaches, I might find someone that is making their way through those books.
    David

  3. #3
    I have the 1st book and have seen the others.
    Mick presents many scale derived chords voice led through all the cyclical diatonic progressions.
    I see this as fundamental awareness of the inherent harmonic content of a scale.
    Nothing profound or conceptually complicated but I believe that building this type of thorough foundation
    can change one's musical world.

    Book #1 addresses triads, 7ths, 1 5 7 9 and 1 7 9 11 triad over bass note structure derived from major, melodic minor and harmonic minor scales.

  4. #4
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    My very first session with the voice-leading almanac was stunning, opening up the world of voice-leading in a way that the Van Eps method could only do after months of study. amazing stuff.

  5. #5
    Ah, you are a rare and hard to find individual! For as many people I've met who actually work with the book, there are that many approaches. Some begin to see the intervals of root movement differently and have acquired an entirely different set of voicings merely from using it. Some have used it as an arranging tool. Some have created study groups to explore its use in a situation where everyone can solo while the others can run individual lines individually or in multiple voice progression. All have reported profound changes in the shift from "block" type harmonic concept to a completely linear awareness of 4 simultaneous voices.
    I was hoping to start a sort of running support group of people to use this material (its very presentation in 3 volumes of telephone book sized sections can be intimidating) so we might report and share the fruits of the collective labours.
    I'll wait and let the thread run for a little while, and see what happens. Perhaps if there's interest, a group might collectively share a cycle a week or something and report back on how it goes. In that case, maybe we might share the prerequisite pages via attachment and go from there. In this way those that don't have the book(s) might get them one grouping a week via email within the group.
    It seems people balked at the price while it was out there and now it's unobtainably out of print. The end of the semester used to see lots of these being sold by students done with the semester, now their black market value is through the roof.
    Please let me know if there's interest. Not for the faint hearted, not for those content with root in the bass drop 2 playing. Yes for those willing to explore looking at the guitar as a one man string quartet.
    David

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    Ah, you are a rare and hard to find individual! For as many people I've met who actually work with the book, there are that many approaches. Some begin to see the intervals of root movement differently and have acquired an entirely different set of voicings merely from using it. Some have used it as an arranging tool. Some have created study groups to explore its use in a situation where everyone can solo while the others can run individual lines individually or in multiple voice progression. All have reported profound changes in the shift from "block" type harmonic concept to a completely linear awareness of 4 simultaneous voices.
    I was hoping to start a sort of running support group of people to use this material (its very presentation in 3 volumes of telephone book sized sections can be intimidating) so we might report and share the fruits of the collective labours.
    I'll wait and let the thread run for a little while, and see what happens. Perhaps if there's interest, a group might collectively share a cycle a week or something and report back on how it goes. In that case, maybe we might share the prerequisite pages via attachment and go from there. In this way those that don't have the book(s) might get them one grouping a week via email within the group.
    It seems people balked at the price while it was out there and now it's unobtainably out of print. The end of the semester used to see lots of these being sold by students done with the semester, now their black market value is through the roof.
    Please let me know if there's interest. Not for the faint hearted, not for those content with root in the bass drop 2 playing. Yes for those willing to explore looking at the guitar as a one man string quartet.
    David
    I'd be interested. I took a 40 hour seminar with him in 1987 or so. Since I've been back to playing guitar seriously I've finished a review of traditional chords and I want to start working on his stuff again. I was going to start with quartal harmony as he is one of the few to go beyond just stacked 4ths and utilize inversions and voice leading that is not just parallel 4ths up and down the neck.

    I have many many notes, from the course and about 5 years work after, but I don't want to review. I'd rather have a fresh outlook. I was really disappointed to see his project with the books is discontinued. He's probably THE world expert on guitar harmony, period.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    Please let me know if there's interest. Not for the faint hearted, not for those content with root in the bass drop 2 playing. Yes for those willing to explore looking at the guitar as a one man string quartet.
    Count me in. I only have "Advancing Guitarist," though. Don't have the $$ to pay black market but would pay cover price if they became available.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Payson Arizona
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    interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    Ah, you are a rare and hard to find individual! For as many people I've met who actually work with the book, there are that many approaches. Some begin to see the intervals of root movement differently and have acquired an entirely different set of voicings merely from using it. Some have used it as an arranging tool. Some have created study groups to explore its use in a situation where everyone can solo while the others can run individual lines individually or in multiple voice progression. All have reported profound changes in the shift from "block" type harmonic concept to a completely linear awareness of 4 simultaneous voices.
    I was hoping to start a sort of running support group of people to use this material (its very presentation in 3 volumes of telephone book sized sections can be intimidating) so we might report and share the fruits of the collective labours.
    I'll wait and let the thread run for a little while, and see what happens. Perhaps if there's interest, a group might collectively share a cycle a week or something and report back on how it goes. In that case, maybe we might share the prerequisite pages via attachment and go from there. In this way those that don't have the book(s) might get them one grouping a week via email within the group.
    It seems people balked at the price while it was out there and now it's unobtainably out of print. The end of the semester used to see lots of these being sold by students done with the semester, now their black market value is through the roof.
    Please let me know if there's interest. Not for the faint hearted, not for those content with root in the bass drop 2 playing. Yes for those willing to explore looking at the guitar as a one man string quartet.
    David
    I am interested also. I went thru George Van Epps 1st book and really got a lot out of it. I've never seen the Mick Goodrick books but the desciption sounds like something I might be interested in.

    wiz
    Howie

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by whatswisdom View Post
    Count me in. I only have "Advancing Guitarist," though. Don't have the $$ to pay black market but would pay cover price if they became available.
    Great! When we reach a critical mass here (read as: when I have a little time) I'll share a small segment for us all to work on, either post as PDF to the group or email attachment or something.
    Then we can see what we collectively and individually come up with.
    More later.
    David

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    Great! When we reach a critical mass here (read as: when I have a little time) I'll share a small segment for us all to work on, either post as PDF to the group or email attachment or something. Then we can see what we collectively and individually come up with.More later. David
    Sounds like a plan. Thanks for your efforts, Dave. Looking forward to some new (to me) Goodrick.

  11. #11
    Thanks Dave!

  12. #12
    I'm interested in those books too... too late to find them i suppose...

    I was wondering if it was realistic thinking to re-write some of the cycle diagrams (at least the major scale ones) in a collective workteam, to share them in open-source format...

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    I'm interested in those books too... too late to find them i suppose...

    I was wondering if it was realistic thinking to re-write some of the cycle diagrams (at least the major scale ones) in a collective workteam, to share them in open-source format...
    I'm going to do that. Coming aboard the group?
    David

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    I'm going to do that. Coming aboard the group?
    David
    Sure
    Did you already set the specs for the documents (fonts, layout, etc...)?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    Sure
    Did you already set the specs for the documents (fonts, layout, etc...)?
    No, I was going to scan some cycles and share them with those here that wanted to. Suggestions?
    David

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    No, I was going to scan some cycles and share them with those here that wanted to. Suggestions?
    David
    Not yet... at the moment I'm exploring LibreOffice as a tool to generate the cycles, and I'm taking the two files indicated by jsepguitar as a reference...

    I'll let you know if I get into something useful...

  17. #17
    As I said, I refuse to look at my notes for review, I want to rediscover after all these years. I've just written out the quartal 4 note chords in C with their inversions. I learned the voicings of each chord's inversions up and down the neck. My next step, and where I am at now is starting with one chord, use good voice leading to work through cycle 2. I've marked off transitions I like and then tried to find some uses for those bits. Is this the working of of the books?

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    good study subject

    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    I'm going to do that. Coming aboard the group?
    David
    Include me in, David. I am very interested in anything you wish to share.

    wiz
    Howie

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    Not yet... at the moment I'm exploring LibreOffice as a tool to generate the cycles, and I'm taking the two files indicated by jsepguitar as a reference...

    I'll let you know if I get into something useful...
    It just played around with cycle 3 triads progression, and looking at the stepwise voice movement, it seems that there's a "formula" repeating:

    Code:
    -1  -1   0 ...
    -1   0  -1 ...
     0  -1  -1 ...
    Where:
    -1=diatonic movement downward
    0 = no movement

    is this true for all the cycles?
    If yes, can someone post these "formulas"? I't should be quite simple to generate the data with a spreadsheet...
    In a couple of hours I went to a sample page (that should be attached to this message.. hopefully).
    Having the cycles formula it shouldn't take too much time to generate all the other ones...
    Last edited by e_del; 07-01-2011 at 04:13 AM.

  20. #20
    much easier to write than to play on the guitar! :-)
    Here is a new, more complete version of the document...

    I hope it's of some interest for some of you...

  21. #21
    This is great!. Thank you so much.
    Let's take these and start to run them through, all sets of strings possible, as complete a coverage on the fingerboard as possible. And let's throw in our observations, questions, suggestions and frustrations after a few days.
    There are some ways I know this can be used but let's come back with our notes after spending some time on this.

    Of course let's all chime in if anyone's having any problem getting started.

    Start your engines!
    David

  22. #22
    Join Date
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    1,705
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    I was hoping to start a sort of running support group of people to use this material (its very presentation in 3 volumes of telephone book sized sections can be intimidating) so we might report and share the fruits of the collective labours.
    I'll wait and let the thread run for a little while, and see what happens. Perhaps if there's interest, a group might collectively share a cycle a week or something and report back on how it goes. In that case, maybe we might share the prerequisite pages via attachment and go from there. In this way those that don't have the book(s) might get them one grouping a week via email within the group.
    It seems people balked at the price while it was out there and now it's unobtainably out of print. The end of the semester used to see lots of these being sold by students done with the semester, now their black market value is through the roof.
    Please let me know if there's interest. Not for the faint hearted, not for those content with root in the bass drop 2 playing. Yes for those willing to explore looking at the guitar as a one man string quartet.
    David
    I never knew these books existed, but it seems like fascinating stuff to me. Don't know how much use I could be, but please do count me in to any group effort to keep this material alive - it seems too important to let go. So yes, there certainly is interest from me, and cheers for posting about this.

  23. #23
    Meggy, much of what we do here will have never been done before. Period. That's why it's so exciting. Mick discovered that there were rules of linear harmony that revealed sounds never imagined no less played on guitar, and these could be learned as compositional tools. He also saw no distinction at all between composition and improvisation, save the amount of time allowed to do each.
    So for each cycle, it marks the root movement. Cycle 2 being a walk up the scale, cycle 4 being the cycle of 4 (or 5 whether you're going up or down)-like All The Things- and so on. Maybe we'll all focus on a specific cycle or figure out how we want to tackle this as a group.
    There is next to no guidance from Mick in these books so let this little group be the research group and let's observe how it changes the way we see our relationship to the notes we use everyday.
    Sound good?
    again thank you e_del. Everyone: e_del's attachment in posting #28 has all we need to begin here. Post all questions.
    David
    Last edited by TruthHertz; 07-02-2011 at 04:35 AM.

  24. #24
    e_del's chart presents the Major triad cycles in open voicing.
    Harmonically played there are multiple forms for each chord on the following string groups.

    6 5 3-----5 4 2-----4 3 1

    6 4 3-----5 3 2-----4 2 1

    6 4 2-----5 3 1

    I practiced each line separately as an organizational method. Others may prefer to grab the easiest form of each chord.

    To get the close position triads take the top note of each chord and move it to the middle voice.

    Harmonically these are played on any 3 consecutive strings.

    There are even more ways to configure these notes melodically or 2 notes + 2 notes broken style, integrating octave doubles and pedal tones above or below
    but the above fingerings are plenty for starters.

    To get the other 7 note scale harmonizations do the following.

    Melodic Minor-----lower the 3rd of each key. The triads of Melodic Minor are I-mi II-mi bIII-aug IV-Ma V-Ma VI-dim VII-dim

    Harmonic Minor-----lower the 3rd and 6th of each key. The triads of Harmonic Minor are I-mi II-dim bIII-aug IV-mi V-Ma bVI-Ma VII-dim

    Harmonic Major-----lower the 6th of each key. The triads of Harmonic Major are I-Ma II-dim III-min IV-mi V-Ma bVI-aug VII-dim

  25. #25
    yes, those are the one I copied from the keyboard-oriented article cited earlier in this thread, to test my "generator"

    Since it seems to work fine (but if you find errors, please tell me), the next step will be to implement all the open/closed triads, and the other scales

    But actually your hints to derive all the positions/scales are indeed a good way to learn and correlate them one to another...

  26. #26
    Yeah, once we get rolling, the possibilities get overwhelming pretty fast. 3 volumes fast. That's why I thought a support group and a finite quantity each week or so would be a good idea.
    When Mick was still writing the book, he gave me a formula and the way to put it together, just as an idea. I spent that summer in the desert in Nevada with a notebook just unravelling numbers and notes for hours. It was incredibly meditative and amazing. I started to see patterns emerging about the interrelationships of chordal groupings.

    d_del, do you have the voice leading books? bako's ideas are spot on, but there are also other ways to look at them that are unseen at this point too. That's why I wanted to chew on them a few days before we "debriefed" as a group. I am looking forward to this.

    David

  27. #27
    Just wanted to say I really appreciate this thread too. There are too many other things I'm working on right now to really dig into this stuff, but it's cool to see it's here when it's time for me to spend more time on this type of harmonic thinking.

    Really nice that threads like this can exist among all the...others.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    d_del, do you have the voice leading books? bako's ideas are spot on, but there are also other ways to look at them that are unseen at this point too. That's why I wanted to chew on them a few days before we "debriefed" as a group. I am looking forward to this.

    David
    Unfortunately not.
    (I can ask a friend to borrow his ones for a while, but don't see him often.)
    That's why i started to think this DIY thing...

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    yes, those are the one I copied from the keyboard-oriented article cited earlier in this thread, to test my "generator"

    Since it seems to work fine (but if you find errors, please tell me), the next step will be to implement all the open/closed triads, and the other scales.
    oh and I forgot the 4-note chords and quartal harmony

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    oh and I forgot the 4-note chords and quartal harmony
    I'm working pretty extensively on the 4 note quartal stuff and using his ideas.

    One thing in general, Mick has to have worked very fast to accomplish anything. Not all of this results in 'good stuff'. There are gems, I'm guessing grab these, mark them and move on.

    I've also found uses for chords I already know and inversions of those. It is one thing to know G13th chords all up the neck, another to know inversions of one G13th chord up the neck. Some of these chord shapes while sounding cool are VERY difficult to go from one to the next. This really helps get the grips together.

    Anything I can do to help, let me know. Very cool thread.

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