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Books Composition Tools Melodic Construction Tetrachords Uncategorized

Three New Books!

Tetrachords for Guitar (also Bass & Flute): A Thesaurus of Four-Note Patterns for Improvisers & Composers

Tetrachords, or four-note patterns, offer various advantages over scalar or modal approaches to improvising and composing melodies through chord changes. 

A tetrachord-based linear approach is indispensable for navigating modern improvisational styles due to the general complexity, challenging tempos, and fast-moving harmonic rhythms involved.

Tetrachords: A Thesaurus of Four-Note Patterns for Improvisers & Composers, a comprehensive 219-page resource, offers clear solutions and stimulates creativity through:

  • An introduction to using four-note patterns (tetrachords) for melodic improvisation in the style of John Coltrane
  • A highly-organized 24-day practice plan for mastering 144 of the most common tetrachord permutations, in every key, and across the entire range of the instrument
  • Four etudes based on John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and “26-2” chord progressions
  • Advice on tetrachord-based melodic improvisation, including detailed resources for creating variations in rhythm and contour
  • The book’s six appendices include comprehensive lists of all of the tetrachords possible within the altered and chromatic scales, as well as suggestions for applying tetrachords to extended harmony and “upper-structures.” 
  • (Please note: this book does not include TAB; it is presented in standard notation only.)

Price: $21.99

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

Categories
Books Chords Composition Tools Inversions Permutations & Combinations Quartal Harmony Tetrachords Uncategorized

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

Categories
Arpeggios Chords Composition Tools Melodic Construction Permutations & Combinations Scales Tetrachords Uncategorized

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):

Categories
Chord Cycles Chord Progressions Chords Harmonic Motion Harmonized Scales Intervals Inversions Suspensions Tetrachords Triads

Triads with Doublings and Suspended 4ths (Harmonized Scale: “D” Harmonic Minor)

The following examples show various four-note triadic constructions with doublings and suspensions moved through a “D” Harmonic Minor scale.

The first chord is a commonly played triad with a duplicated root. The intervals, stacked vertically, are as follows: 5th, 4th, & 3rd. The intervallic construction is maintained and moved through the harmonized scale:

Next, the 3d is suspended (replaced with a diatonic fourth) and the resulting 5th, 4th & 4th construction is moved through the scale:

The second voicing type is a triad with a duplicated 3rd. The intervals, stacked vertically, are as follows: 3rd, 4th, & 3rd. The intervallic structure is maintained and moved through the harmonized scale:

Next, the upper 3d is suspended (replaced with a diatonic fourth) and the resulting 3rd, 4th & 4th construction is moved through the scale:

The third construction is a triad with a duplicated 5th. The intervals, stacked vertically, are as follows: 4th, 3rd, & 3rd. The intervallic structure is maintained and moved through the harmonized scale:

Next, the 3d is suspended (replaced with a diatonic fourth) and the resulting 4th, 4th & 2nd construction is moved through the scale:

Try finding additional four-note triads with duplicate notes or “doublings.” Here are two other possible starting chords:

Also, try transferring these voicings onto other string sets. Here is one of the previous chords transposed down an octave and placed on string set 5432:

Finally, experiment with various scales. Harmonic Minor is particularly useful, however, as it contains Major, Minor, Diminished, and Augmented triads.