Harmony/ Melody

Improvising with triads from major scale / harmonic minor etc

That’s all! ….Pick a section of a song and loop that section to focus on the vertical harmony of the section. So that when you have four bars of C7b9b13 fly by, your fingers and ears no where to go.

The idea of vertical harmony (chord construction) against horizontal harmony (melodies that flow between chords, common chord tones etc) is a good thing to grasp when trying to get more inside the harmony of a chord sequence.


simplifying harmony

e.g. over first 7 bars of Aaron Parks’ composition ‘travellers’ :

simplifyinig harmony e.g. over first 7 bars of Aaron Parks’ composition ‘travellers’ :

| Bbm     |   Amaj7   | E maj7     | Cmin7   | Dbmaj7    |  F7      |  Gbmaj7      |

use Bbm triad over Bbm, C#m triad over A, C#m triad over E, C min triad over Cm, Bbm triad over Db, F triad over F, Bbm triad over Gbmaj7 . 


Rhythm Changes 1-Melodic Minor
Use the fifth mode of melodic minor to pedal over rhythm changes e.g. Bb pedal for Eb melodic minor triads and take through bridge; D7:  G Melodic minor , G7: C Melodic minor etc. Or use F pedal on Bb rhythm changes e.g. Bb melodic minor triads over F pedal.



There are some amazing chord voicing in the music of Sylvius Leopold Weiss, a 17th and 18th century classical guitarist. The voicing are so clearly linked and can be applied to standards or used as ideas to improvise with or compose with.

New way to hear/ remember chords symbols to guide your ears e.g. listen to some 18th century guitar music by Weiss. I find I hear the 6ths on a major chord more like a minor chord with the third on the bottom. Or I hear the notes on top of the 6th bass notes (e.g. A in C major) in relation to C major not to the A. I guess just being aware of this and letting your mind wander freely with regards to being able to hear harmony (i.e. know where it is without touching your guitar).

Take Weiss chord progressions and improvise around with them. Start off on one chord and try to see if you can modulate to another key or another chord (maybe the V or VI) using only these chord movements.



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