Expanding my chord vocabulary over the years has been extremely rewarding. I think of harmony as a fluid set of patterns; chords are not always the same when they share the same name. Each different way you can arrange the notes of a chord changes the voice of the harmony and what it communicates, and what it feels like when it is heard.
In this video I take a deep dive into minor 7 chords and their variations on the first four strings. There are 48 chord variations that I go through here, starting with four voicings for Emin7 (root position and three inversions) and taking a look at many different ways you can manipulate the harmony while staying both within the general position of each voicing, and in the scale that accompanies the chord.
In this case I use Dorian minor rather than natural minor, because I have found the Dorian’s natural six sound to be much more useful for the styles of music that I play, and I generally stay away from hanging on the flat sixth while chording when I am playing in a situation that calls for natural minor. In a situation where Dorian is the more fitting sound, the natural sixth sounds fantastic and is definitely not a note to avoid, and many of the variations I show in this video use the natural 6.
I hope this sparks some ideas for you to use in your rhythm playing and chord soloing. More lessons in this series coming soon.
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