Two up/ Two down


Hiya all, hope all is well. This week, we’re going to have a look at extending our chord vocabulary by putting what we already know and then twisting it a little and seeing where it takes us.


For this exercise, we’re going to use a C major 7 chord as out point of departure and take each note of it 2 frets lower, then 2 frets higher.  In the first line, the E is lowered to an Eb, making a C minor major 7 chord, this is often thought of as a I chord in both harmonic and melodic minor. The Eb is then lowered to a D making a C major 9 chord, while this voicing doesn’t have a 3rd, it is often perceived as major because of the the B ( the major 7th). The E is then raised to an F, making a C add 4 voicing, this could be C sus 4 if it was resolved to some kind of C chord, it could also be viewed as some kind of F Lydian voicing. The F is then raised to an F#, giving a C Lydian voicing.


Moving on to the notes on the G string, lowering the B to A Bb makes a C dominant 7 chord, when the Bb is lowered to an A, this gives either a C major 6 or an A minor 7 chord. Raising the B to a C results in a C major triad. Raising the C to a C# gives a C b9 chord, this could also be viewed as an A7 #9 voicing.


When the notes on the D string are lowered, the resulting chords are a C ma7 #11 voicing followed by an F Lydian voicing. When the notes on the D string are raised we get an augmented sound, though it could be viewed as an E major triad with a C in the lowest part of the chord ( it’s the chord that shows you mean business in ‘All The Things You Are’). When the G# is raised to an A, we get an inversion of an A minor 9th chord.


Popping over to the notes on the A string, lowering the C to a B gives us an inversion of an E minor triad, lowering it again to  Bb makes things interesting…it could be viewed as an G 7#9 inversion. Raising the note on the A string to a C# makes a C#minor 7 b 5, which could also be viewed as an A 9 chord without the root. Raising the note again to a D makes an inversion of an E minor 7 chord.



So you can see, just by moving a little, you can get a lot!! Use some of these ideas and get broad with their descriptions ( so…if I raise the root of a major 7th chord I get a dominant 9th sound for a new root a major 6th higher…that kind of thing). More fun next time!!