Cool Chord Progressions

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By Mark Hanson It was fun to read about Sting studying scores of French Impressionist composer Maurice Ravel (“Bolero”) for new harmonic and chord progression ideas. In this article we’ll study a chord progression you may not have seen: a dominant 7th chord resolving down 1/2 step (G7 to F#, or D-flat7 to C, for instance) — the “Augmented 6th” progression. First, here’s a fundamental harmonic movement to understand: You all know that V7 chords (“dominant 7th”) resolve regularly to the I chord (“tonic”): G7 to C, for instance. They also resolve effectively up to the vi chord of the […]

Chords With Root on the Fourth String

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Earlier I wrote about my “six-chord” neck visualization method, with two chord shapes anchored on each of the three bass strings. The advantage of knowing this is to gain access to a different range of melody notes on the treble strings while fretting the root note in the bass. Let’s start with the fourth string. You all know the first-position, end-of-the neck D shape, with the root note as the open fourth string. This fingering is “in front” of the root note – meaning the fretted notes are at a higher fret position. This shape, of course, can slide all […]