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#1131601 - 03/16/05 06:37 PM Spicing up Chord Progressions  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 44
TremolO Offline
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TremolO  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 44
New Jersey
When playing chord progressions to something like a rock song or blues, what do you generally do to spice the chords up? Just holding out something like a D7 for four beats is very dry. What can I do to spice up my playing?


"All you need is love."
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#1131602 - 03/16/05 07:32 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
Joined: Nov 2004
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ivorythumper Offline
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ivorythumper  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,730
The Great American Southwest
I'll sometimes add in the 4th for rock, a trick I learned from Elton.

Also, try running the bass line up or down:
eg, rather than just G - C, try G-A-B-C or G-F# (or F if you're in C) -E-D-C. Also, octaves in the bass add a lot.


Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"
#1131603 - 03/16/05 07:40 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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gregjazz Offline
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gregjazz  Offline
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CA
Quote
Originally posted by TremolO:
When playing chord progressions to something like a rock song or blues, what do you generally do to spice the chords up? Just holding out something like a D7 for four beats is very dry. What can I do to spice up my playing?
Try messing around with different voicings and maybe put in a ninth or sharp nine (depending on the context). Also, maybe just playing one sustained chord per measure is what's making it boring for you -- try working out some groovy comping rhythm. I'll see if I can record some examples for you.


Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com
#1131604 - 03/17/05 02:33 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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TremolO Offline
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TremolO  Offline
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New Jersey
that would be great if you could do that for me, thanks guys.


"All you need is love."
#1131605 - 03/17/05 03:20 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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Linda in PA Offline
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Linda in PA  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 767
PA - USA
Hi, TermolO:

Glad to see you found the right place to post your question (it can be confusing!). And glad to see you are getting some good suggestions.

smile

#1131606 - 03/17/05 03:49 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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TremolO Offline
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TremolO  Offline
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New Jersey
Thanks Linda, I'll see you round smile


"All you need is love."
#1131607 - 03/18/05 07:38 AM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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Posts: 88
Robert J Offline
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Robert J  Offline
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west of Toronto, Ontario
don't forget the right hand. If you are comping the blues try this one. It's a bit of a stretch in some keys, but effective. The octave in there adds some punch when you play with guitarists.

pattern is
b7 1 3 1

in D
C D F# D

in Bb
Ab Bb D Bb (I use the thumb to hit both the Ab and Bb). When you get the skill, try crushing the Db before the D. You'll sound like a pro!

etc


RJ
#1131608 - 03/18/05 01:48 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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TremolO Offline
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TremolO  Offline
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New Jersey
You mean playing chords in the right hand or do you mean just playing the notes C D F# D? And is the last D an octave higher than the first?

Anyway, I do use right hand to solo over blues progressions. This topic was more towards when just comping chord progressions or is that what you meant? Please rephrase lol.


"All you need is love."
#1131609 - 03/18/05 02:17 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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hgiles Offline
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hgiles  Offline
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Charlottesville Virginia
Personally for a true dominant chord I like adding b9.

Also you can try inversions and/or changing the voicing for a little bit of variety over the four beats.


Haywood
-------------
#1131610 - 03/18/05 03:15 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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TremolO Offline
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TremolO  Offline
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Posts: 44
New Jersey
ok. thx so far, I asked this question because my piano instructor always sounds so good when he plays chord progressions and I can't figure out what he is doing lol.


"All you need is love."
#1131611 - 03/18/05 10:44 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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gregjazz Offline
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gregjazz  Offline
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CA
Quote
Originally posted by Robert J:

(I use the thumb to hit both the Ab and Bb). When you get the skill, try crushing the Db before the D. You'll sound like a pro!

etc
Yay, I'm not the only one who does this! smile


Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com
#1131612 - 03/18/05 11:09 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions  
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gregjazz Offline
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gregjazz  Offline
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CA
Some nice "Greg" right-hand voicings for chords:

Note: lowest note first, please accompany these voicings with the root note played in the left hand. Play these voicings around middle C or higher for best results.

C9: Bb, D, E, G
C13: Bb, D, E, A
C11: A, Bb, D, F#
Cmaj7: B, C, E, G
Cmaj11: G, B, E, F#
Cmin7: D, Eb, Bb
Cmin11: D, Eb, F, Bb
Cmin13: Bb, D, Eb, A
Chalf-dim: F#, Bb, D, F
Csus: Bb, D, F, A

(Note that in major or dominant chords, the 11th is always sharped unless specified otherwise. That's just the way it works.)

EDIT: Here's some more cool voicing stuff, explained in more detail:

[Linked Image]

Just a quick thing, but hopefully it will spark some ideas.


Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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