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  1. #1

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    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 TH; 05-22-2016 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Original posting #1 has disappeared.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    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

  4. #3

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    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.

  5. #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.

  6. #5

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    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

  7. #6

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    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.

  8. #7

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    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.

  9. #8

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    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

  10. #9

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    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

  11. #10

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    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.

  12. #11

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    Thanks Dave!

  13. #12

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    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...

  14. #13

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    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

  15. #14

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    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...)?

  16. #15

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    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

  17. #16

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    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...

  18. #17

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    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?

  19. #18

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    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

  20. #19

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    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.

  21. #20

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    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...

  22. #21

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    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

  23. #22

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    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.

  24. #23

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    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 TH; 07-02-2011 at 04:35 AM.

  25. #24

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    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

  26. #25

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    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...

  27. #26

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    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

  28. #27

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    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.

  29. #28

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    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...

  30. #29

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    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

  31. #30

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    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.

  32. #31

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    When faced with a voicing that I can't play simultaneously, I break it into fragments.

    Ex. for a 4 note chord

    1 + 234
    123 + 4
    12 + 34
    12 + 23 + 34
    13 + 24
    14 + 23
    12 + 13 + 14
    12 + 23 + 24
    13 + 23 + 34
    14 + 24 + 34

    Etc.

    I can be at times a bit of that other word for thorough. I try to not omit a voicing just because it's a bit unplayable.

  33. #32

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    The first volume (triads) is on arrival.. :-)

    Looking at all the combinations, it's going to be

    2 pages * 4 scales * 6 cycles * 2 positions (open/close) * 3 inversions

    ... wow... 288 pages!

    maybe making a file per scale is better...

    If someone could write some guidelines on how to use these diagrams, I'd be glad to insert them as an introductory page...

    oh, and is there anyone fond of Creative Commons licencing, and all that stuff?
    Ther shouldn't be any problem because I'm writing this "permutation exercise" from scratch, and moreover the original work in not available anymore... anyway I'd like NOT to be involved in any future legal dispute for this work... :-)

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    The first volume (triads) is on arrival.. :-)

    If someone could write some guidelines on how to use these diagrams, I'd be glad to insert them as an introductory page...
    There is an intentional lack of instruction in these books. You're supposed to just follow the notes and read them through and draw your own conclusions. That's why I wanted to make this group, so any pre-conceived notions about what you can or cannot do don't get in the way of what a small group of "advancing guitarists" can share after we've had some time to chew it up.

    I thought we'd let the comments of our group provide any further "liner notes."

    One thing people have done is play them as a group, each person taking a voice. It makes you listen to the whole, and you get a feel for the way a chord feels when approached very subtly. Anything you can do with another person will help a great deal.

    Also the book most definitely is NOT sequential. You don't go from one to another. You can of course if you want, but the people I know of that have used and benefitted from it tend to be pianists, and they often say they've thumbed through the book, cracked open a page and played it. If they like it, they work with it. It's up to us to call one grouping for study.
    I'd recommend we pick a chord type (ex: drop 3) a scale (melodic minor) and a key (C is a good standard, and since these forms are all movable, all other keys should be just as easy.) and work with all cycles.
    This gives us a sound, familiar chord shapes and plenty to think of as the voices find their qualities horizontally.

    Sound good?
    David

  35. #34

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    I've been reading the keyboard articles, and think I'm getting the idea. I guess you can just take a given starting chord, and then work through the cycles, using a particular scale, and see what the voice leading produces. Then figure out how to play it on the guitar! Am I in the right ballpark?

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meggy View Post
    I've been reading the keyboard articles, and think I'm getting the idea. I guess you can just take a given starting chord, and then work through the cycles, using a particular scale, and see what the voice leading produces. Then figure out how to play it on the guitar! Am I in the right ballpark?
    Yes, even the mistakes can be cool. I miswrote a line and came up with a chord inversion that was valid and I never played before. I thought I'd worked out the inversions before hand. The voice leading was wrong but I've got a new inversion to mess with.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billnc View Post
    Yes, even the mistakes can be cool. I miswrote a line and came up with a chord inversion that was valid and I never played before. I thought I'd worked out the inversions before hand. The voice leading was wrong but I've got a new inversion to mess with.
    Cheers Bill, I guess I will get started with something before long. So far there has been quite a lot talked about triads - not something I've gone into in great detail before, I tend to take 7th chords as a starting point. So I'm thinking maybe I'll look at 4 note voicings initially, though of course I am still interested in what the triad stuff produces. I will be sure to share what I find though, especially any cool sounding stuff, which I guess is the practical object of it all. What was your cool mistake and new inversion by the way? I'm curious!

  38. #37

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    I think there's a tendency to overlook triads because there's not as interesting a sound when we're learning chords, or we think of them as limiting. Since a big part of why this approach is different is to hear the voices horizontally, the triads do this really nicely with less juggling.
    Voice leading triads are also really nice to play over a bass note accompaniment. When you're in a part of a tune where there's a chord and a pedal, maybe like the bridge of Funny Valentine, try cycle 2 triads 1 per beat. Try this with a tonic pedal. Does this offer any ideas?
    David

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz View Post
    I think there's a tendency to overlook triads because there's not as interesting a sound when we're learning chords, or we think of them as limiting. Since a big part of why this approach is different is to hear the voices horizontally, the triads do this really nicely with less juggling.
    Voice leading triads are also really nice to play over a bass note accompaniment. When you're in a part of a tune where there's a chord and a pedal, maybe like the bridge of Funny Valentine, try cycle 2 triads 1 per beat. Try this with a tonic pedal. Does this offer any ideas?
    David
    Yes, and cheers for the ideas, and I certainly accept all that you say about triads - I'll have to get on to this stuff! I do agree also that triads are unfairly overlooked a lot of the time (I have books that state that jazz harmony starts with 7th chords or words to that effect) and I have been guilty of this myself. But I just thought maybe it would be good to have some the team working in different areas, and for some reason I'm interested to know what sort of sounds/voicings/progressions 7th chords, or maybe add 9 type chords, might produce with Mick Goodrick's ideas. Do you think we might be better off all focusing on triads to start with?

  40. #39

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    Explore! Explore! Explore! By all means. The 4 part chords are perfect because we do use them so much. I suggested the triads because it's a good foundation to this way of thinking that we could all have the commonality of working on together. But as we begin to explore, I figure that people will start saying "I stumbled across this amazing sound with harmonic minor cycle 6! Let's all take a look." or something like that.
    Some observations I've come across from the voice leading:
    - I don't think of the chords so much as "chords" anymore but as ways that voices move together, kind of like watching a group of geese flying, it's not so much different formations at different times but one group shifting in different locations. In this way triads are a smaller flock. I start to see harmony in a different way, and my ear also learns to hear harmony better.
    Anybody out there work with Bach Chorales? Those that I've known that have, ALL see harmony different from the way jazzers and guitarists specifically tend to.
    - The cycles are not designed to include extended harmony per se, or not in the volume we're working in. There seems to be a good reason for this: it makes the travel from essential chord tone movement clear and smooth. I'd like to see how others begin to alter the individual voices to include other harmonies.
    - There is more in these books than we can possibly cover in this format, but once we all understand the approach, we can pool our discoveries and, like you, do our own thing. It's nice, though, to be able to have common material so we can better compare our own notes.
    - There are very different ways we can use this to actually apply to standards or tunes, to write into compositions, etc. I can already see it involves rethinking of the way I see my relationship to chord symbols.
    - If your world consists strictly of reading a chord symbol, rooting the chord in the bass voice 5th or 6th string, and playing a chord you're comfortable with with variation maybe until the next symbol, then you might just find the Goodchord studies opaque, indecipherable and unrelatibly "un-jazzy."
    Any thoughts, answers or questions out there?
    David

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    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...


    As it turns out, there is a specific formula for every cycle. You have pointed out a shifting intervallic pattern, but it is also useful to note how the pattern can be reduced to a single line if you think about chord tones (i.e. in cycle two the fifth of one chord will always move down a tone to the third of the next chord, the third down a tone to the root, and the root down a third to the fifth. Since the chords keep shifting inversions, the strictly intervallic pattern keeps cycling on the strings).

    One of the ways that this is represented in the almanacs is with circles. The most abstract representation is found in the third volume where all possible voice leading circles are represented. This is done by using letters rather than numbers, it is up to us to fill in the letters with whatever functions we want. It turns out there are only 6. A related philosophy involving "seeds" can be found in Jon Damian's book.

    I've attempted to show this on an old blog entry which includes a study on All the Things. What I find most beautiful about this approach is that you can unlock through brute computation or what I like to think of as thoroughly algorithmic exploration really unintuitive possibilities which turn out to be quite beautiful. It's like in the world of chess, where computers have now discovered through the statistical analysis of millions of moves per second moves which humans would never have thought of, and the analysis of these moves has changed the face of modern chess strategy. I believe that to unlock a similar musical development requires turning off the ear and pushing forward with the mind, and then letting the ear hear and become accustomed to what it would never have heard naturally since we're talking about sounds which have basically never been made before, or at the very least the thrusting of preexisting harmonic structures into such a novel context that they seem to be entirely refreshed. The ideas of process music and of electronic textural exploration have been around for a long time, but I think the explicit harnessing and evolving of those ideas to form a powerful new practice method utilizing these almanac reference books to help evolve jazz theory is the big conclusion to be drawn from Mick's writings. Pretty exciting!

    As far as the triads go, the first 8 bars are a good example of how you could unlock them, using open triads based off the thirds as chord substitutions.

    Musical Experience: More Things On All The Things
    Last edited by jcaplan; 07-04-2011 at 12:07 PM.

  42. #41

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    Exactly! I never in a million years would have thought of a progression through a cycle as a canon, but there it is! And when you insert a cycle as a substitute for an existing passage in a song, and you can solo canonically, it can be pretty stunning.
    David

  43. #42

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    Meggy,

    Root note-----C---E---G
    C--------------1---3---5
    A-------------b3---5---b7
    F--------------5---7----9
    D-------------b7--9----11
    B-------------b9--11--b13
    G--------------1---3---5 (5th in bass)
    G--------------4--6----1 (also)
    E--------------1---3---5 (3rd in bass)
    E------------b13--1---#9 (also)

    F#------------b5--b7---b9 (from G Major, E Harmonic Minor)
    Bb------------9--#11---13 (from F Major, G Melodic Minor)
    Ab------------3--#5-----7 (from C Harmonic Major)
    Db------------7--b3-----b5 (from F Harmonic Minor and Major)

    Less usable in my opinion

    D#---------bb7--b9-----b4 (from E Harmonic Minor)

    Triads are versatile.

    First I learnt triads in triadic contexts. Then I focused on 7th chords and extensions and alterations. Later I became re-interested in triads and also intervals to get at the basic anatomical building blocks of harmony.

    I think you should follow your interests as you see fit but it will probably lead you back to triads at some point.

    Best,
    Bako

  44. #43

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    As far as the triads go, the first 8 bars are a good example of how you could unlock them, using open triads based off the thirds as chord substitutions.

    Musical Experience: More Things On All The Things
    Jcaplan, I was at the site. Is it just a lesson type environment? Or is there more to it?


  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaplan View Post
    As it turns out, there is a specific formula for every cycle.
    Here what I found:
    the numbers down here are the amount of diatonic steps the voice moves passing from one chord of the cycle to the next.
    Triad voices here are stacked vertically, and here are represented the first threee steps of every cycle.
    After that, the pattern repeats again and again.

    You find the complete developement of the cycle in the first row of every Chord Cycles Diagram, where notes are indicated as scale degree instead of actual notes...


    CYCLE 2
    Code:
    (5th)   -1  -1  -2
    (3rd)   -1  -2  -1
    (Root)  -2  -1  -1
    CYCLE 3
    Code:
    (5th)    0  -1   0
    (3rd)    0   0  -1
    (Root)  -1   0   0
    CYCLE 4
    Code:
    (5th)    1   1   0
    (3rd)    1   0   1
    (Root)   0   1   1
    CYCLE 5
    Code:
    (5th)    0  -1  -1
    (3rd)   -1   0  -1
    (Root)  -1  -1   0
    CYCLE 6
    Code:
    (5th)    1   0   0
    (3rd)    0   1   0
    (Root)   0   0   1
    CYCLE 7
    Code:
    (5th)    2   1   1
    (3rd)    1   2   1
    (Root)   1   1   2
    ... I hope it's not too cumbersome.
    In this kind of stuff the risk is that math overwhelms art...

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meggy View Post
    Cheers Bill, I guess I will get started with something before long. So far there has been quite a lot talked about triads - not something I've gone into in great detail before, I tend to take 7th chords as a starting point. So I'm thinking maybe I'll look at 4 note voicings initially, though of course I am still interested in what the triad stuff produces. I will be sure to share what I find though, especially any cool sounding stuff, which I guess is the practical object of it all. What was your cool mistake and new inversion by the way? I'm curious!
    I haven't used it in anything yet, and maybe only new to me!
    A on 1st string
    E on 2nd
    D on 3rd
    Bb on 4th

    We'd all recognize it as a rootless C13 when played E Bb D A on the 2nd fret.

    I'm going to stick with quartal, I did a lot with the basic triads years ago. Should maybe go back but when I laid off guitar quartal is what I was studying and I love that sound, didn't realize how often I gravitated towards 4ths and 2nds either.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    In this kind of stuff the risk is that math overwhelms art...
    It's because of that risk that so many have not explored it, I suspect. It's a dense and powerful tool, and if you come out with a creative application, it is a thing of beauty.

    As far as some ways to use this, I'm sure everyone has noted that a tune like All The Things You Are is a nice example of a tune that uses cycle 4 a lot. So you might take cycle 4 and voice lead the comping chords on beat 1 and get a feeling for how harmony and melody might flow in a familiar tune. But did anyone notice that cycle 6 has the cycle 4 chords every other chord? That means you can comp on half notes, voice lead and on beat 1 you have the right chord. Or how about cycle 7, 4 chords on the quarter note and your cycle 4 chord on beat 1 of the next measure.
    Any other things people have come across?
    David

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by e_del View Post
    Here what I found:
    the numbers down here are the amount of diatonic steps the voice moves passing from one chord of the cycle to the next.
    Triad voices here are stacked vertically, and here are represented the first threee steps of every cycle.
    After that, the pattern repeats again and again.

    You find the complete developement of the cycle in the first row of every Chord Cycles Diagram, where notes are indicated as scale degree instead of actual notes...


    CYCLE 2
    Code:
    (5th)   -1  -1  -2
    (3rd)   -1  -2  -1
    (Root)  -2  -1  -1
    CYCLE 3
    Code:
    (5th)    0  -1   0
    (3rd)    0   0  -1
    (Root)  -1   0   0
    CYCLE 4
    Code:
    (5th)    1   1   0
    (3rd)    1   0   1
    (Root)   0   1   1
    CYCLE 5
    Code:
    (5th)    0  -1  -1
    (3rd)   -1   0  -1
    (Root)  -1  -1   0
    CYCLE 6
    Code:
    (5th)    1   0   0
    (3rd)    0   1   0
    (Root)   0   0   1
    CYCLE 7
    Code:
    (5th)    2   1   1
    (3rd)    1   2   1
    (Root)   1   1   2
    ... I hope it's not too cumbersome.
    In this kind of stuff the risk is that math overwhelms art...
    Or simply put for the non-math inclined:
    Cycle 2 3 and 5 descend
    Cycle 4 6 and 7 ascend
    of course this is with the proper voice leading.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billnc View Post
    Or simply put for the non-math inclined:
    Cycle 2 3 and 5 descend
    Cycle 4 6 and 7 ascend
    of course this is with the proper voice leading.
    right

    and looking at the formulas, maybe cycle 3 and 6 are the easiest to remember, or to start studying, as the have only one voice moving at a time...

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billnc View Post
    Or simply put for the non-math inclined:
    Cycle 2 3 and 5 descend
    Cycle 4 6 and 7 ascend
    of course this is with the proper voice leading.

    other "features" i found peculiar in Cycle 3 and 6

    - They are the same cycle in opposite directions, one ascending and one descending. Same for cycles 4 & 5, and 2 & 7...

    - One voice only of the triad is diatonically moving from chord to chord, but this "locks" the direction on the neck.
    In both cycles, to invert the position shift direction maintaining the chord cycle, you have to move 2 diatonic steps for all the voices, and "magically" you find yourself at another cycle position, from which you can then continue moving one voice only ...
    Mastering this mechanism allows to play the cycle progression in any neck position at any time...

    (hopefully there will be some similar mechanism for the other cycles too, but yet I'm busy with these...)

  51. #50

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    Here is what I am doing.
    Writing out progressions. There will be 7 chords, with the three inversions of each for a total of 28 chords in the cycle (using 4 note chords). 7 chords is basically one trip up the neck, so I will write the exercises as whole notes with 7 measures to the line. So cycle 2 will be up the neck, reverse the process for cycle 7.

    Every day something new comes up, some grip, new idea for uses for old grips etc.

    So my practice for all of this each day is
    each chord in the key regarded individually up and down the neck, root position and it's inversions.

    The cycle I am working on that day, pausing of course for difficult changes and working them out.

    I have worked out cycle 2 and 7, four note chords, quartal harmony string groups 1 2 3 and 4. Major scale.