Interlocking Chord Patterns (Peter's Tuning)

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Here’s another rhythmic/harmonic exercise. It uses the basic rhythm of “Most Excellent Weirdness”. Here is the basic rhythm:

To make things easy we only use two ‘chords’ or rather modes. This is the used pattern for the treble hand. The chord symbols are really only used as a rough guide.

Here’s the very simple bass-hand pattern. Easy to finger because it’s all fourths, just a barree chord. The naming again is a little ambiguous as always when stacked fourths are involved.

Extending this to make a two-chord pattern:

Now we put both hands together. The chord quality, or harmonic context shifts slightly. C7sus is as close as it gets, basing the chord spelling on the lowest note played. Of course to make it more accurate it would have to be a C13sus. The B7sus technically is a B11 alternating with a B13sus.

Rhythmically it’s a bit of a challenge. Keep the bass hand straight and steady. Try different articulations for the treble line playing around with short and long note durationsp>.

Now we’ll liven things up a bit replacing the last bass-hand chord of every measure by a low bass note. Again the harmonic context shifts a little. Rhythmically it’s the same but the ear wants to hear the low bass note on one. It’s much harder to keep the top line steady now.

This next variation puts a backwards march (or call it a samba) in the bass hand.

Variation three incorporates one of my favorite patterns in the bass hand. Technically the treble line is in 4/4 while the bass plays 3+3+2/4 which of course comes out to eight beats.

It’s easy to come up with cool or interesting sounding combinations of chords. Changing chords and fingerings quickly is the hard part. For me the hardest thing is to improvise stuff like that and keep track what I am doing harmonically - especially planning to move both hands to a new position while keeping the groove.

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