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mick goodrick Chords 3

mick goodrick Chords 3

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Published by: Jacob Sinclair on Jul 26, 2011
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42
KEYBOARD 
SEPTEMBER 2003 www.keyboardmag.com
H
ave you ever watched a professional dog walker when they’rewalking three,four,or even five dogs at a time? Can youimaginetrying to control three or four leashed animals withminds oftheir own and a will to go wherever they want atany given time? For most ofus,this would be complete chaos.Thespectacle often begs the question:“Who’s walking whom?”But this is what the process oflearning voice leading feels like formany players,especially improvisers.This aspect ofharmony requiresdeveloping the ability to hear multiple voices within chords and to guidethose voices to create melodic lines within chord progressions.Theskill could also be compared to the artistry ofa professional puppeteerworking a marionette — there’s more to it than meets the eye,and ittakes a lot ofpractice to make it look so easy.World-renowned jazz guitarist Mick Goodrick has tackled theproblem(in classic X-men style) with an immense two-volume set (soonto be three) entitled
 Mr.Goodchord’s Almanac ofGuitar Voice-Leading  for the Year 2001 and Beyond
.Don’t let the title fool you;this methodmay have been written by a guitarist,but it’s aimed at any musicianwho is interested in exploring harmony and voice leading,includingkeyboardists,composers,and arrangers.In a nutshell,Mick has provided us with every possible three- andfour-part diatonic chord that exists within a seven-note scale (triads,sevenths,hybrids,quartal voicings,and spread clusters).He shows youhow to move from any possible inversion using many voicings,to any 
 how to play 
Mr. Goodchord’s Keyboard Chord Decoder:What’s with all these Ds and DDs?
When working with different types of voicings, it’s handy to borrowthe terminology used by arrangers.An arranger will look at afour-note seventh chord in close voicing (4WC, or four-way closevoicing) and they’ll number the notes, in their mind, from top tobottom — regardless of the inversion.Here we have a
Cmaj7 
inroot position (a), first inversion (b), second inversion (c), and thirdinversion (d).Note that the numbers next to the chords refer onlyto the note order from top to bottom;no functional or intervallicinformation is implied.With the chord tones numbered, arrangers will take certain notesand drop them down an octave (D) or two octaves (DD).With anyof the inversions shown here, you can take the second note fromthe top and drop it an octave, and you’ll have a drop 2 voicing (D2).If you take the third note down an octave, it’s a Drop 3 (D3).Youcan drop more than one note at a time.See Example 1 forexamples of drop voicings and how they’re named.
 
1234123412341234
a)b)c)d)
  
This adventurous approach to voice leading might or might not turn you into a voicing superhero, but it will enable your fingers and expand your mind 
by Mitch Haupers
ILLUSTRATION © 2003 RICK EBERLY 
PART 1
 
other possible chord or voicing within the scale.That partially explainswhy each volume exceeds 300 pages,yet covers only the chords withinthe major,harmonic minor,and melodic minor scales — in the key of 
! And he does it without a speck ofstandard music notation.It’s a phenomenal system,and many keyboard players find it to beoftremendous value (Russell Ferrante and Lyle Mays,to name but two).We’ve hatched this article to provide an easy introduction to the system,and to give you enough material to work on for quite some time.Eventhough we show you everything in complete cycles and progressions in
major,by all means start transposing the material and experimentingwith it right away.The examples in this article are not meant to beexercises,but springboards.
 The Mother Lode
At the heart ofthe system are progressions — Mr.Goodchord calls themcycles — that encourage you to experience both the harmonic andmelodic aspects ofthe progressions as you play them.We use six differentcycles for each seven-note scale,which means we cover every possibleway ofmoving from one chord to another within a given key.The sixcycles aren’t numbered 1 though 6 in order,however;they’re namedaccording to the ascending root movement ofthe cycle.Cycle 2 uses rootmovement ofan ascending diatonic second,Cycle 3 moves chords by ascending diatonic thirds,Cycle 7 uses root movement ofa seventh,andso on.In the key of 
,here are the Cycles for the major scale (M),theharmonic minor scale (Hm),and the melodic minor scale (Mm).Seechart at left.When you’re experimenting with voice leading over these cycles,usevoice movement that is as smooth as possible without moving in
www.keyboardmag.com SEPTEMBER 2003
KEYBOARD 
43
Cycle 2
M Cmaj7,Dm7,Em7,Fmaj7,G7,Am7,Bm7
b
5Hm Cm-maj7,Dm7
b
5,E
b
maj7
#
5,Fm7,G7,A
b
maj7,Bdim7Mm Cm-maj7,Dm7,E
b
maj7
#
5,F7,G7,Am7
b
5,Bm7
b
5
Cycle 4
M Cmaj7,Fmaj7,Bm7
b
5,Em7,Am7,Dm7,G7Hm Cm-maj7,Fm7,Bdim7,E
b
maj7
#
5,A
b
maj7,Dm7
b
5,G7,Mm Cm-maj7,F7,Bm7
b
5,E
b
maj7
#
5,Am7
b
5,Dm7,G7
Cycle 6
M Cmaj7,Am7,Fmaj7,Dm7,Bm7
b
5,G7,Em7Hm Cm-maj7,A
b
maj7,Fm7,Dm7
b
5,Bdim7,G7,E
b
maj7
#
5Mm Cm-maj7,Am7
b
5,F7,Dm7,Bm7
b
5,G7,E
b
maj7
#
5
Cycle 7
M Cmaj7,Bm7
b
5,Am7,G7,Fmaj7,Em7,Dm7Hm Cm-maj7,Bdim7,A
b
maj7,G7,Fm7,E
b
maj7
#
5,Dm7
b
5Mm Cm-maj7,Bm7
b
5,Am7
b
5,G7,F7,E
b
maj7
#
5,Dm7
Cycle 5
M Cmaj7,G7,Dm7,Am7,Em7,Bm7
b
5,Fmaj7Hm Cm-maj7,G7,Dm7
b
5,A
b
maj7,E
b
maj7
#
5,Bdim7,Fm7Mm Cm-maj7,G7,Dm7,Am7
b
5,E
b
maj7
#
5,Bm7
b
5,F7
Cycle 3
M Cmaj7,Em7,G7,Bm7
b
5,Dm7,Fmaj7,Am7Hm Cm-maj7,E
b
maj7
#
5,G7,Bdim7,Dm7
b
5,Fm7,A
b
maj7Mm Cm-maj7,E
b
maj7
#
5,G7,Bm7
b
5,Dm7,F7,Am7
b
5
Mr. Goodchord’s Keyboard Chord Decoder:What’s a TBN?
Mr.Goodchord has a few ways of looking at triads and theirrelationship to a bass note, so there are a few unique termsthat crop up.Seventh chords can be thought of as a triad over abass note (a), separated by a third;Mr.Goodchord uses standardseventh chord terminology for these.When a triad and bass notehave a fifth between them (b), Mr.Goodchord calls it a TBN I (triadover bass note I).When a triad and bass note are separated by aseventh (c), Mr.Goodchord calls it a TBN II.
    
a)b)c)
Em/CG/CBdim/C
seventhTBNITBNII
Ex.1.There are many ways to voice a chord,and arrangers know them by name.Knowing these will come in handy when we start working our voiceleadingmagic.Each ofthese takes a particular inversion ofa close-voiced
Cmaj7
chord and redistributes the notes in a particular way.In 1a,we take thesecond note from the top and drop it down an octave for a drop 2 (D2 for short,in this article).In 1b,take the third note from the top and drop it an octave;this is drop 3 (D3).Drop the second and third notes in 1c down an octave to get a drop 2,3 voicing (D2,3).In1d,drop the second and fourth notes for adrop 2,4 (D2,4).And finally,drop the second note two octaves and the third note one octave for a double-drop 2,drop 3 (DD2D3).Note how I useddifferent inversions in the close-voiced chords,yet I ended up with
C
in the bass for every drop voicing.The trick is to know which close-position chordin which drop voicing will put the note you want in the bass.
  
CDmEmCFBdimCAmFCBdimAmCGDmCEmG
f)e)d)c)a)b) Cycle 2Cycle 4Cycle 6Cycle 7Cycle 5Cycle 3
Ex.2.This gives you an idea ofhow you can take a voicing through each ofthe cycles described in the text.Each measure contains the first three chords of one cycle.Here we’re taking a close-voiced triad through the cycles of 
C
major.
 
 
 
   
123412341234
  
1234
  
1234
  
c)d)e)b)a)
 
c)
 
parallel motion with the chord roots.Smooth voice leading meansmoving to the closest available note from chord to chord.See Examples2 and 3 to see how you can play close and open position triads througheach ofthe cycles.In the
 Almanac 
itself,we use our own text-based notation system towrite out the voicings to use over each cycle.We call it the UniversalNotation System,since anyone who knows where the notes are on theirinstrument and who can read Roman letters can understand it.SeeExample 4 for an example ofa 4WC voicing running over Cycle 4 ofthe
harmonic minor scale.Example 5 shows the same thing in standardnotation.Example 6 takes a D3 seventh chord voicing through Cycle 4in
major.What’s an 4WC and D3? See the sidebar,“Mr.Goodchord’sKeyboard Chord Decoder:What’s up with all these Ds and DDs?”Mick Goodrick and I often refer to this body ofmaterial as either “TheMother Lode,“The M-Lode,or simply,“All This Stuff.There’s almostno end to the ways you can work with it and apply it.Here are some ideasofhow to get going with it.Play all the notes at simultaneously in both handsPlay all the notes at once,split the voices between handsArpeggiate the chords in the left handArpeggiate the chords in the right handArpeggiate the chords with both hands in varying registersPlay the chord in one hand while arpeggiating with the otherPlay over different groovesBreak up the notes between hands (one note in the left andthree notes in the right,and other such combinations)Play the voice leading in different directionsExamples 7 through 20 are examples ofhow you can apply differentrhythmic approaches to a variety ofcycles,in both standard notationand in our Universal Notation.These illustrate the just a few ofthemillions ofpossibilities open to improvisers working with the M-Lode.Though they’re written in
major,feel free to change an
E
to
E
b
andplay in
melodic minor,or change the
E
s and
 A
s to
E
b
and
 A
b
and play in
harmonic minor.Example 21,in
harmonic minor,shows youhow you can use the sustain pedal to let the chords blend.Example 22is an excerpt ofa composition by Mick Goodrick himself.As improvising musicians,we can benefit greatly from fully exploringand expanding our harmonic vocabulary,which is one ofthe aims of this material.Rest assured that your soloing will also benefit from yourvoice leading practice.When we perform,the harmonic choices we make are often influencedby what we hear happening in the moment — a process ofharmonicreaction.At other times,we choose according to what our ears tell uscould or may happen — a harmonic prediction.Most ofthe time,weonly play what we know,staying well within our harmonic vocabulary comfort zone.How often do we take harmonic risks when we play? Wouldthere be some benefits to practicing risk-taking?
44
KEYBOARD 
SEPTEMBER 2003 www.keyboardmag.com
 how to play 
Mr. Goodchord
  
CDmEmCFBdimCAmFCBdimAmCGDmCEmG
f)e)d)c)a)b) Cycle 2Cycle 4Cycle 6Cycle 7Cycle 5Cycle 3
Ex.3.Here we take an open-voiced triad through the first three chords in the cycles in
C
major.Ex.4.Here the scale is
C
harmonic minor,we’re using seventh chords in four-way close voicing,and were taking the voicings through cycle 4.We’re also using the Mr.Goodchord Universal Notation System.Standard music notation doesn’t quite do justice to all that is contained within the Mr.Goodchord system.To start with,not all musicians can read notation.Our thinking was that any and all musicians who know where the notes are on their chosen instrumentswould be able to use this system.The arrows represent direction ofmovement between voices (either up or down).The dashes represent common tones betweentwo adjacent chord tones (and therefore no movement between chords in that voice).The vertical stacks ofnote names are the chord structures,and thenames above them are the standard chord symbols.
Cm,maj7 Fm7 Bdim7 E
b
maj7
#
5 A
b
maj7 Dm7
b
5 G7
BA
b
A
b
GGFFGFFE
b
E
b
DDE
b
E
b
DDCCBCCBBA
b
A
b
G
  44
 
 
 
Cm, maj7Fm7Bdim7E maj7 5A maj7Dm7 5G7
Ex.5.Here is Example 4 in standard notation,using the most basic rhythm.Note that common tones between chords can be re-played,as between bar lineshere,or they can be held,as with the lower notes within each bar.
Continued on page 50

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