Simple chords

Progressive Lessons

This is a general introduction to the playing of a melody accompanied by chords.It involves the execution of independent lines, the chords and the execution of a melodic line on chords.


For Tap-guitar two regions tuned in fourths



maj 7th root melo 5str min 7th root melo 4str dom 7th root melo 4str
  CMaj7  Cmin7  C7


Chords explanation



The Blues

Simple form

The simple form of the blues will help us to learn the basic chords of harmony.

We start with a very simple blues form. The chords are all dominant 7th, built with two notes only: the third and the seventh. Notice that the chords have all the same pattern: two notes on a diagonal.

Parsimony: you pass from one chord to another by a simple translation of of one or two rows only.  This is called parsimonious voice leading and is a very important element in harmony. The bass is ultra  simple also, just the root note of the chord.


Boogie bass

The next step contains the same chords but with a boogie bass  Blues_3_7_BoogieBass

A boogie bass, is a just a pattern which is famous in the boogie-woogie style. The pattern remains the same, it is just transposed on the successive roots of the blues.

Walking bass

The following step contains elements of a walking bass, again with the same simple chords Blues_3_7_WalkingBass

In the walking bass, the bass line has more a linear form. Usually, the first note is a note of the chord, the root mainly. Another characteristic is that the last note of a bar is parsimoniously linked to the first note of the next bar.

Next step

The next step is to add one note to the two notes chords we have studied here in order to form triads instead of diads. Usually the fifth or another note will be added. However, with the third and seventh we have practiced before we have defined the most characteristic notes of the chord. We shall also study chords with a rich and sepcial sound: the four-notes chords.