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#1131601 - 03/16/05 05:37 PM Spicing up Chord Progressions
TremolO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 44
Loc: New Jersey
When playing chord progressions to something like a rock song or blues, what do you generally do to spice the chords up? Just holding out something like a D7 for four beats is very dry. What can I do to spice up my playing?
_________________________
"All you need is love."

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1131602 - 03/16/05 06:32 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
ivorythumper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/04
Posts: 1730
Loc: The Great American Southwest
I'll sometimes add in the 4th for rock, a trick I learned from Elton.

Also, try running the bass line up or down:
eg, rather than just G - C, try G-A-B-C or G-F# (or F if you're in C) -E-D-C. Also, octaves in the bass add a lot.
_________________________
Estonically yours,

Ivorythumper

"Man without mysticism is a monster"

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#1131603 - 03/16/05 06:40 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by TremolO:
When playing chord progressions to something like a rock song or blues, what do you generally do to spice the chords up? Just holding out something like a D7 for four beats is very dry. What can I do to spice up my playing? [/b]
Try messing around with different voicings and maybe put in a ninth or sharp nine (depending on the context). Also, maybe just playing one sustained chord per measure is what's making it boring for you -- try working out some groovy comping rhythm. I'll see if I can record some examples for you.
_________________________
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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#1131604 - 03/17/05 01:33 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
TremolO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 44
Loc: New Jersey
that would be great if you could do that for me, thanks guys.
_________________________
"All you need is love."

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#1131605 - 03/17/05 02:20 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
Linda in PA Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 767
Loc: PA - USA
Hi, TermolO:

Glad to see you found the right place to post your question (it can be confusing!). And glad to see you are getting some good suggestions.

\:\)

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#1131606 - 03/17/05 02:49 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
TremolO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 44
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks Linda, I'll see you round \:\)
_________________________
"All you need is love."

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#1131607 - 03/18/05 06:38 AM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
Robert J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/04
Posts: 88
Loc: west of Toronto, Ontario
don't forget the right hand. If you are comping the blues try this one. It's a bit of a stretch in some keys, but effective. The octave in there adds some punch when you play with guitarists.

pattern is
b7 1 3 1

in D
C D F# D

in Bb
Ab Bb D Bb (I use the thumb to hit both the Ab and Bb). When you get the skill, try crushing the Db before the D. You'll sound like a pro!

etc
_________________________
RJ

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#1131608 - 03/18/05 12:48 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
TremolO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 44
Loc: New Jersey
You mean playing chords in the right hand or do you mean just playing the notes C D F# D? And is the last D an octave higher than the first?

Anyway, I do use right hand to solo over blues progressions. This topic was more towards when just comping chord progressions or is that what you meant? Please rephrase lol.
_________________________
"All you need is love."

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#1131609 - 03/18/05 01:17 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
Personally for a true dominant chord I like adding b9.

Also you can try inversions and/or changing the voicing for a little bit of variety over the four beats.
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1131610 - 03/18/05 02:15 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
TremolO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 44
Loc: New Jersey
ok. thx so far, I asked this question because my piano instructor always sounds so good when he plays chord progressions and I can't figure out what he is doing lol.
_________________________
"All you need is love."

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#1131611 - 03/18/05 09:44 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert J:

(I use the thumb to hit both the Ab and Bb). When you get the skill, try crushing the Db before the D. You'll sound like a pro!

etc [/b]
Yay, I'm not the only one who does this! \:\)
_________________________
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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#1131612 - 03/18/05 10:09 PM Re: Spicing up Chord Progressions
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
Some nice "Greg" right-hand voicings for chords:

Note: lowest note first, please accompany these voicings with the root note played in the left hand. Play these voicings around middle C or higher for best results.

C9: Bb, D, E, G
C13: Bb, D, E, A
C11: A, Bb, D, F#
Cmaj7: B, C, E, G
Cmaj11: G, B, E, F#
Cmin7: D, Eb, Bb
Cmin11: D, Eb, F, Bb
Cmin13: Bb, D, Eb, A
Chalf-dim: F#, Bb, D, F
Csus: Bb, D, F, A

(Note that in major or dominant chords, the 11th is always sharped unless specified otherwise. That's just the way it works.)

EDIT: Here's some more cool voicing stuff, explained in more detail:



Just a quick thing, but hopefully it will spark some ideas.
_________________________
Greg Schlaepfer
Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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