"Pivoting Primary Chords"

• Learn the smooth way to change from one chord to the next

 

• Includes...Inversions, Voice Leading, Parallel & Classical Harmony...

 

* See the companion video below (click the "On Piano" tab), for a clear explanation of Primary Chord voice leading

 

  • On Guitar
  • On Piano (For Clarity)

Points to Remember:

• The "primary chords" are the I, IV and V. (In the key of C: C, F and G.) They are used in almost every song.

• Parallel Harmony: When two chords have the same voicing (arrangement of notes).
Example: C-E-G (1-3-5) C major chord, to F-A-C (1-3-5) F major chord. This sounds pretty crude.

• "Classical Harmony": When chord tones move to the nearest tone of next chord.
Example: C-E-G (1-3-5) C major chord, to C-F-A (5-1-3) F major chord. This is a much smoother transition than parallel harmony.

• In the above example, the C note is common to both the C chord and F chord. So you can "pivot" on that note.

• This lesson uses three-note chord shapes drawn from the five CAGED chord shapes (the five open major chords: C, A, G, E and D).

• You'll learn the three major chord shapes for the top (highest sounding), strings (G, B and E strings). Then we'll learn the three shapes to use on strings 4, 3 and 2 (D, G, B).

• Playing the three triad shapes against an droning open string creates different chords/effects.

• For example, playing an A triad (A-C#-E), over a D bass note gives you a D maj 9 chord. Playing a D triad (D-F#-A) over an A bass gives you an A min 7 chord. Etc.

• A chord with the root (1) on the bottom is called a "root position" chord. With the 3rd on the bottom is called "first inversion." With the 5th on the bottom is "second inversion."

• "Voice leading" is the art of moving from the notes of one chord to those of the next chord.

• You can, of course, use the same concept with minor chords. Example: Amin, Dmin and Emin would be the i, iv and v chords in the key of A min.

 

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