Advanced guitar exercises |Creating chordal movement

Advanced guitar exercises | Creating Chordal Movement

As guitarists we can use chords to help reinforce the melodic value of a composition by defining it´s accompaniment. For example: Vocals singing the lyrics and the guitarist playing the chords.

We may also play the same composition without vocals where we define the melody and chords at the same time. An example would be that of a guitarist playing Tears in Heaven with no vocals nor band.

We may also play the composition where the guitarist defines melodically or harmonically the background of the composition. An example would be what the guitar in a band as U2 would play.

I am sure we are all aware of guitarists in these three categories that we just love listening to and that keep our constant attention. They stand out from the crowd.

Why do the stand out?
One of the main reasons they stand out from the crowd is because they are not static in their accompaniments.

advanced guitar exercises

Imagine we have a song with two chords and each chord lasts 4 bars. How would you play those chords ? How would Hendrix play the same chords? What would Hendrix be looking for?

After analysing all my favourite guitarists and exploring my own personal needs of expression I have reached the conclusion that we play chords to define and create movement within specific targeted harmonic areas of tension.

If we just strum a chord for four bars the tension is constant and the song looses excitement. If we strum a chord for 4 bars and we are conscious about how to create variations in intensity and therefore do so , the song will flow more and the music will sound much more exciting.

In my advanced guitar exercises we learn how to move chords, how to create excitement by:

  • Creating bass lines with chord inversions of similar harmonic tension
  • Creating bass lines with chords and inversions of opposite harmonic tension
  • Adding harmonic tensions in the lead and resolving such to chordal tones
  • Creating chromatic movements on weak beast towards targeted tonal notes
  • Re -harmonising with secondary dominants
  • Re .harmonising targeted weak beats either in lead or in the bass lines with chords creating harmonic contrast
  • Creating bass lines with chord inversions of similar harmonic tension

Students at the Creative Guitar School in Melbourne learn to experiment with advanced guitar exercises and with chordal inversions altering bass lines and creating new colours.

For example:

  • Next time you see a C chord play it ,with an E note in the bass
  • If this chord is followed by a G chord, play the G  with a D note in the bass
  • If the G chord is followed by an F chord , play this F with the C note in the bass.

You may also play these three chords but adding a pedal tone in the low register.

For example :

  • Play a C note in the bass and play all the above chords in order

You may do the same but with a pedal tone in the high register.

For example:

  • Play an E note on the first string and play all the above chords in order

The possibility of variations are endless and as we experiment with them we will soon start hearing colours that we may identify with Bach, Country, Flamenco, Funk and other styles.

I invite you to explore the beauty of harmony and the soothing feeling we create when we bring the chords in our playing to life.

Give me a call if you would like to know more on 0448348701. I am currently taking students that wish to enjoy themselves on the guitar for the next year..

Take a peak at my creative side on : http://www.thomaslorenzo.com

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