Saturday, September 19, 2009

Black Key Chords

Based on the key of C, from the open strings to the 10th fret - within the top four strings, we can group the black-key tones into a symmetrical pattern of chords. These chords are actually not in the key of C, but made up entirely of accidentals in that key. To place them in their own context, we will move to the key of Gb. The notation in the diagram above is in the key of Gb.

Gb has an interesting complementary relationship with C. On the fretboard these to keys are linked through the positions of the black keys and the tones F and B (B is called Cb in the key of Gb). F is the 4th of C and the 7th of Gb, B/Cb is the 7th of C and the 4th of Gb. These two keys are at opposite ends of the Circle of Fifths, so their relationship on the fretboard is perfectly symmetrical.

The chords in this exercise are inversions with the roots at the top and a 6th or 7th as the low note. Notice the first chord and the 4th chord are the same form, while the 2nd and 3rd chords are geometrical opposites.

The chords are: Gb 6/9, Ab-9/Gb, Bb-7#5/Ab and Bb 6/9. These chords are based on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th tones in Gb.

Play the chords in the sequence shown then group them in pairs; 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4, 4 and 1, 4 and 2, 3 and 1. Play slowly, observe the indicated fingering. Be aware of the names of the notes you are playing and focus on their symmetrical relationships.

All contents of this blog are © Mark Newstetter

No comments: