23 Turnarounds in the style of Marcelo...

by Gerardo Siere

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  • Hello everyone, today I will start a series of typical harmonic progressions, this series will have several purpouses:
    1) show you many examples possibilities of a given progression in several different keys. It is no use to say, "oh Bb Major, it is just a fret away from A major", if you can learn A major in the fretboard you will have no trouble with Bb major. Even if you are using a transportable shape it is neccesary to know where is placed with no second reference needed.

    2)Close voice leading: I will explain how did I approach to voice leading from chord by chord.

    3)Substitutions: I will show you how different chords can be substituted in the examples, some are obvious substitution, some requiers to look at the whole form structure to guess what is the target chord for a substitution.

    4)Top notes in chordal structures: this examples will show you how I deal with diatonic and chromatic melodies over a given chord progression, all the progressions were constructed this way. This is what you have to deal with when arranging for chord melody.

    5)Learn to make your own progressions: I made a resume with all the 23 progressions showing the actual chords, the grade in roman number (you will need some kind of abstraction to apply in other keys or context), also the grade shows if the chord is, major/minor, diatonic, chromatic or altered. For the third column we'll show the chords function, because even the same chord can in different context have a complete different effect. With this table you can group this chords in three categories (major, minor, dominant, by grade, by target, etc.

    6) Make your own progressions with subtraction: this progressions have all 9 chords, try taking out some of them and see if the result is good, also try leaving only the top note, or the bass, you will be surprised of how many nice things you can come up with.

    7)Learn new chords, may be there are some voices here that you don´t know.

    8)Learn to deal with the special and ambiguous chord, I shall explain case by case which chord I call ambiguous and why I do that, and I will show how to take advantage of them, you will see a lot of this chords on jazz and bossa nova.

    9)You'll get a little collections of intros, bridges and endings: this turn around pogression (I-VI-II-V) not only has a lot of useful chord relationships worth knowing, but in a lot of styles they have a big structural role, so you will gain a lot by having some turnaround at hand.

    10)Have a nice chord knowledge of the first frets of the guitar, I avoided to go very far on purpouse, in later lessons I will go further and will be using specific and transportable shape structures.

    I made this progression as a tribute to a local player that is a guitar wizard, who can play any style in anything with 6 strings. His name is Marcelo Villegas, he teached me my first C major scale (C shape of the caged system) when I was 17 (I´m getting quite nostalgic here, sorry). He isn´t a book of theory but he applies it incredibly with such a nice tone and phrasing. I used to go to his house and then he should play some popular songs, I recorded them, asked some questions and then transcribed them and try to figure out why if this guy was using the same voicings as me, still he could get such amazing results (mine are very poor and inconsistent).

    One last word on chords, unfortunately, not all voicings work so well in all styles, some "grooves" better than others, so the best way to know is playing a lot of songs and make a lot of arrangements with the lot or little chords you know, this are just 23 progressions of 9 chords. They alone will not bing you very much improvement, I hope this series inspire you to search for new stuff or just to have a good time.

    Ok here is the table for the first 8 chords and the score, the roman numbers in the "grade column" that are with lower case are minor chords. You can look for a pdf higher resolution version at my instructor board. Have fun!


    tabla 1-3.jpg


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