Chord Reharmonization Overview

Chord Reharmonization Overview
Guitarist Bruce Arnold BLOG Logo Chord Reharmonization Overview

This is a followup to the Modern Reharmonization blog post about using the chord reharmonization charts.  Hang on to your seat this gets a bit deep 🙂   The first thing to realize is that a chord reharmonization chart like the one you see below is great for seeing other places to apply a C Major Pentatonic Scale, or to harmonize one of the notes of the scale with the listed chords.  Keep in mind that is only one of many ways to reharmonize.  

Think of the above chart as reharmonization based on chord tones and tensions.  You can learn to use this concept by working with the Chord Workbook for Guitar Volume Two or the New York Guitar Method Volume Two and Ensemble Book Combination  These two books give you examples of chord progressions that use reharmonization with chord tones and available tensions.   You don’t need to be a guitarist to use these books to study this type of chord reharmonization.   Next we have harmonic reharmonization.  This is where you use the 3 ways that a dominant chord can resolve, plus a few other concepts to reharmonize a chord progression.  Chord Workbook for Guitar Volume OneNew York Guitar Method Volume One and Ensemble Book show you 36 chord progressions and the voicings to use to make them sound great.  You will also find that the Harmonic Analysis course will teach you how to see these harmonic reharmonization situations quickly, which is important if you are going to reharmonize on the spot, which is what most great guitarists and pianists do.  Also any great improvisor is constantly reharmonizing through their melodies as they play so they know these concepts thoroughly  too.   There is one more concept that I don’t have a book for — hard to believe 🙂 — and that is single note reharmonization where you take a note like “G” and find every chord that could contain a “G.”  Below is a list of 7th chords that contain a “G” or to which a “G” could be added to their structure.  The list would obviously be larger if we looked at every chord in every key with all possible tensions added:  

C:  -7, 6, 7, 7sus4, 7#11, Major7, -Major7, -6, 7b13, Major7#11

Db:  7b5, 6, 7, 7#5, 7#11, -7b5, Major7, -Major7, 7b13, Major7#5, Major7#11, °7

D:  -7, 7sus4, -7b5, -Major7, -6, °7

Eb:  7b5, 6, 7, 7sus4, 7#5, 7#11, Major7, 7b13, Major7#5, Major7#11

E:  -7, 7b5, 7, 7sus4, 7#5, 7#11, -7b5, -Major7, -6, 7b13, °7

F:  -7, 7b5, 6, 7, 7sus4, 7#5, 7#11, -7b5, Major7, -Major7, -6, 7b13, Major7#5, Major7#11, °7

Gb:  7b5, 7, 7sus4, 7#5, 7#11, 7b13

G:  -7, 7b5, 6, 7, 7sus4, 7#5, 7#11, -7b5, Major7, -Major7, -6, 7b13, Major7#5, Major7#11, °7

Ab:  6, Major7, -Major7, Major7#5, Major7#11, °7

A:  -7, 7b5, 7, 7sus4, 7#5, 7#11, -7b5, -6, 7b13

Bb:  -7, 7b5, 6, 7, 7sus4, 7#11, Major7, -Major7, -6, Major7#5, Major7#11, °7

B:  7b5, 7, 7sus4, 7#5, 7#11, -7b5, 7b13, Major7#5, °7   There are of of course other non-traditional chord structures that could contain a “G.” “The Sonic Resource Guide” is a good source for finding these chords.   Then we have pitch class set reharmonization which is simply changing the notes you use to form a non-traditional chord and then using the concepts presented above.  “Sonic Resource Guide” and the Ultimate Three Note Lexicon books are great for seeing and using this concept.  The Essential Scales book looks at an important subset of these chords based on 22 scales.   So you can see that the world of chord reharmonization is BIG.  Add to this the two crucial considerations of voicing chords and voice leading when working with any of the concepts presented above; that is why the following books are so important:   Chord Workbook for Guitar Volume One Chord Workbook for Guitar Volume Two New York Guitar Method Series   These books show you how to voice these structures and how to use them in chord progressions to bring out their beauty.  I should also mention that you can apply any of these chord concepts to pitch class sets and much of that info and examples are found in the  Ultimate Three Note Chord Lexicon books.   Just for clarity: you could also have chords formed from counterpoint, constant structure, modal interchange, approach chords and intervallic structures.  There are passing references to this in some of my books but a yet I have not put out a complete method. (But stay tuned!)  

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Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!

Bruce-Arnold-Guitar-Flutterby-13 Chord Reharmonization

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