Author Topic: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar  (Read 1839 times)

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Offline close2u

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Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« on: March 02, 2019, 08:41:55 am »
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« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 08:28:29 pm by close2u »

Offline close2u

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 04:14:31 pm »
Following on from this post which was specifically in response to a comment by Balamuthiah, I thought some other members might benefit from these simple steps to learning how to incorporate the magical art of targeting chord tones in lead guitar.

Soloing with the approach of targeting chord tones.
First, you need to know the notes (triads will work) of the chords in the progression. These will become your target notes, comfortable landing places when the chords are changing. So for your chosen chord progression / backing track, chart the chords as triads on the top three strings. Visualise the five moveable CAGED barre shapes and just mark the notes on the G, B & E strings. If you know your intervals, mark the root and the 3rd and 5th too. Definitely the root. Have these neck diagrams in sight when playing.

Here are some examples.

1] Triads for a progression using the I V vi IV chords in C [chords C G Am F]

2] Triads for a progression using the I V vi IV chords in G [chords G D Em C]

3] Triads for a progression using the I V vi IV chords in D [chords = D A Bm G]


The sort of backing track that will work best with this will have only three or four chords, be fairly slow and perhaps hold each chord for two bars. Here are three lengthy backing tracks following the famous and ubiquitous 4-chord progression I - V - vi - IV (as made infamous by Axis of Awesome).

Backing in C [chords C G Am F]


Backing in G [chords G D Em C]


Backing in D [chords D A Bm G]

To begin, play just one note per bar of the progression.

Start with the root note of each chord as it comes around. Just the root. Play the root of the chords on just one string at a time to begin. If there is a repeat above and below the 12th fret play both. Then mix it up and start to play the root on any of the three strings. Get used to where the roots are. Practice to the point where you can play the roots of each chord in turn without making large jumps up or down the neck, allowing your hand to stay in position.

Then repeat but with either the 3rd or the 5th.

Then repeat but play any two notes per bar over the chords, root & 3rd, root & 5th, 3rd & 5th.

Then repeat and extend the idea. Make up a little run of 3 or 4 notes that either start and / or end on the root note of each chord per bar. You could progress to runs, licks & phrases. For now, still limit your choice to notes that are only from the triads – the root, 3rd and 5th.

Note – for minor chords, the 3rd is a b3rd.

Try this for a few weeks over a variety of backing tracks in different keys.



 :) :)

« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 05:44:04 pm by close2u »

Offline Balamuthiah

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 04:17:33 pm »
Thank you Close! Just the motivation I need! :)

Offline close2u

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 05:45:26 pm »
You're welcome Bala. I have made a couple of amendments (paragraph concerning root notes).
 :) :)

Offline Garfield

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 07:27:59 pm »
Thanks for this close. I've been practising triads but not like this. I'll give this a whirl with these backing tracks.

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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2019, 08:12:31 am »
Richard

This looks a really useful exercise. I've been working on Blues Lead 1 reasonable intensively the last 5-6 weeks and I think this will also help me considerably, as I get more into exploring Lead.

Definitely going to add this to my schedule, even for just one or two spins of the BTs to start with.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
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Offline close2u

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 09:10:13 am »
@ Garfield @ Toby
Thanks. Let us know how you get on.
 :)

Offline close2u

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 09:10:27 am »
The major focus in using these practice ideas to begin with is to identify and play the all defining triad notes of each chord in a progression. By definition these chord tones will bring a harmonic quality to your playing. It is more than just the notes, you also need to be thinking about the attack on each note, the phrasing etc.

To help develop further, you will want to add spice to the recipe. Chord tones are wonderful, and their beauty is enhanced further when accompanied by additional ingredients. So you want to slowly start to bring in these spices in the form of notes from an appropriate scale.


If you are looking at playing bluesy, this would involve using notes from a simple pentatonic scale. So you would mix and match between playing a short phrase using some chord tones in with some notes from a pentatonic scale and add to that some out-and-out blues licks.


If you are looking at playing pop / rock / melodic music this could involve using notes from a full 7-note scale. For the progressions above the Major scale works great. So you could continue playing short phrases with lots of attention on hitting those target notes, the chord tones, and add in some extra spice by playing quick runs, phrases, licks using small sections of nearby notes from the Major scale.


In all of this work, it will benefit you to also think about your phrasing - bending, sliding, hammer-ons, pull-offs, attack, dynamics etc.


I have made up an additional neck diagram to complement those linked on Dropbox above. This shows the four triads for G, D, Em and C as before, but now with the notes from the G Major scale also shown alongside all of those triad shapes. It is here


[edit - I have now made new diagrams relevant to all three keys used as examples - see down below in the thread]
:)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:59:56 pm by close2u »

Offline DavidP

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 10:11:46 am »
Good vibes to you, Richard.

Much food for thought here.  Reminds me of the posts you wrote some time back inspired by Maggie's post of the Chet Atkins video ... chord tones in C using open to 4th fret.

Thanks again for taking time to help us all out.

Offline Edwin010

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2019, 10:22:24 am »
Great, tnx!

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2019, 10:39:57 am »
Thanks for those diagrams Richard, they are a useful aid. I'm pretty comfortable with notes on the neck and more importantly their positional relationship (5th over R/1st, 3rd 1 down 1 back, adjust for B) etc but having these visible while doing these exercises will be beneficial.

Quote
If you are looking at playing pop / rock / melodic music this could involve using notes from a full 7-note scale. For the progressions above the Major scale works great. So you could continue playing short phrases with lots of attention on hitting those target notes, the chord tones, and add in some extra spice by playing quick runs, phrases, licks using small sections of nearby notes from the Major scale.

For me this will be the next step to focus on after the Blues Lead courses. But an additional 5-10 minutes of this Major scale work should help me mix things up in the future. At the moment my biggest issue is speed, as I make Slow Hand Clapton look like a super shredder!!  8)
Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
My Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/tobyjenner/
Roadcase : https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg339454#msg33945

Offline DavidP

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 12:36:32 pm »
At the moment my biggest issue is speed, as I make Slow Hand Clapton look like a super shredder!!  8)

LMAO ... classic Toby  ;D
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 04:01:13 pm by close2u »

Offline close2u

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 12:58:33 pm »
Update:

I have now created new charts to complement each of the three sets of triad groups in the keys of C, D and G that show the triads (chord tones) surrounded by the notes of the respective Major scales on the G, B and E strings only.

key of C

key of G

key of D


Offline close2u

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2019, 01:10:47 pm »
Reminds me of the posts you wrote some time back inspired by Maggie's post of the Chet Atkins video ... chord tones in C using open to 4th fret.

Thanks David. Here is that thread should anyone not have seen it or lost its whereabouts.


@ Edwin. You're welcome.

@ Toby. It's not how fast you play or how many notes you squeeze in. It's what you do with the notes that you do play. Tour expressiveness, your phrasing, your style. :)

Offline CT

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Re: Ideas for starting to target chord tones in lead guitar
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2019, 03:25:38 pm »
Cool beans!

What is the reason for not including (at least) the D string in the charts? Some of the most useful and easy to learn triads are the A shaped chords up and down the neck. You would pick up the 5th just by adding the D string, instead of having to (always) pick up the 5th on the high e two frets lower. Having both voicings under your fingers is a good thing to have.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 04:02:08 pm by close2u »

 

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