Two New Books!

Three & Four-Note Chord Compendiums: Permutation-Based Harmony Workbooks for Guitarists

I’m excited to announce the publication of two new books, both available worldwide on Amazon.com!

Three & Four-Note Chord Compendiums: Permutation-Based Harmony Workbooks for Guitarists

The Four-Note Chord Compendium is the first mathematically-complete book on four-part guitar harmony ever published. 

Nearly 400 pages in length, it contains 5,535 unique chord forms for analysis and exploration: every possible combination of four notes on the instrument.

Also included: suggestions for fingerings, practice approach, and harmonic analysis.

An all-encompassing encyclopedic text, and an essential part of every guitarist’s reference library, this permutation-based workbook will enable you to:

  • Explore all of the possibilities for four-part harmony on the guitar
  • Develop a personal harmonic language through the discovery of unique chord voicings and harmonies
  • Improve analytical skills
  • Expand your harmonic palette exponentially
  • Reinforce your current knowledge base by the comprehensive review of four-note chords and arpeggios

Price: $29.99

Available exclusively from Amazon.com. Please click here to view samples and purchase on Amazon.com


The Three-Note Chord Compendium is the first mathematically-complete book on three-part guitar harmony ever published. 

Over 150 pages in length, it contains 1,820 unique chord forms for analysis and exploration: every possible combination of three notes on the instrument.

Also included: suggestions for fingerings, practice approach, and harmonic analysis.

An all-encompassing encyclopedic text, and an essential part of every guitarist’s reference library, this permutation-based workbook will enable you to:

  • Explore all of the possibilities for three-part harmony on the guitar
  • Develop a personal harmonic language through the discovery of unique chord voicings and harmonies
  • Improve analytical skills
  • Expand your harmonic palette exponentially
  • Reinforce your current knowledge base by the comprehensive review of three-note chords and arpeggios

Price: $19.99

Available exclusively from Amazon.com. Please click here to view samples and purchase on Amazon.com

Complete Tetrachord Combinations: Major, Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, & Harmonic Major Scale Harmony

This post explores all of the possible tetrachords (four-note combinations) in Major, Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, & Harmonic Major Harmony.

(Download the accompanying PDF at the bottom of the post.)

These exhaustive lists may appear too information-packed to be useful. (There are 840 combinations per scale.)

I suggest dipping into them occasionally to more deeply explore the vertical (chords) and horizontal (melody) aspects of their all-important parent scales.

You’ll find every standard approach to chord voicing contained herein, as well as many uncommon sonorities.

Some structures may be impossible to play as chords unless one or more of the tones are raised an octave.

Experiment with the lists, and you’ll discover many new things about these commonly-used harmonic palettes (scales).

Below are a few examples of how the lists can be used to create chords and arpeggios (taking some liberties with octave placement and contour):

7th Chord Arpeggio Permutations, Contours, & Chord Cycles

“The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Below are 24 possible orderings of a 7th chord arpeggio.

I have organized the combinations across a six-day practice cycle for digestibility:

Though notated as C Major 7 arpeggios, these permutations can represent other harmonies. I highly recommend playing the permutations through harmonized scale “cycle” progressions, “tweaking” the intervals to suit the chord qualities involved in a given progression:

Various contours are possible, depending on the octave chosen for each of the tones. Here are four different contours for the same combination (1357):

Here are the same four contours, transposed up an octave:

Now through the harmonized Melodic Minor scale, Cycle 2:

The same four contours, transposed up an octave:

Now through the harmonized Harmonic Minor scale, Cycle 2:

The same four contours, transposed up an octave:

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

Try practicing a few permutations per day through either Major, Melodic Minor, or Harmonic Minor harmonized scales.

Remember to explore the various “Cycle” progressions, listed above.

It’s not reasonable to practice every pattern, but you’ll discover some exciting things if you occasionally dip into this well of possibility.

Contrapuntal Combinations

Here are some really nerdy PDF’s for composers.

These files list all of the possible arrangements of 2 or 3 voiced counterpoint, including the retrogrades (r), inversions(i) and retrograde inversions(ri) of the lines.

When you want to generate some unexpected material, or just marvel at the infinitude of music, give these a try.

Rhythmic Permutations & Systematic Silences

Composers rarely approach silences as systematically as sounds.

In an attempt to remedy this in my own compositions, I’ve created the following PDF’s.

These PDF’s list all of the possible arrangements using eighth notes and eighth rests in 3/4 (6/8) and 4/4 (or 8/8).

Try stringing a few of these rhythms together to create unique (and longer) rhythmic phrases, or put them in different voices to develop rhythmic counterpoint.