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Tutorial - 4th Voicings
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4th Voicings - Introduction

Mike Salow 210 lessons

Hello again IG!

Here's something I've been wanting to share with you guys for a while but for some reason or another I just decided to discuss other topics.

The 4th voicing!

Oh how simple it is! But wait! It can be a hard concept to use within your playing if you don't understand when and where it can function. The 4th voicing is what we would call a non-tertian chord. To be "tertian" basically means to consist of thirds, so triads or 7th chords would be tertian. That would mean that a chord that is non-tertian would not consist of 3rds. This could be stacked 4ths, stacked 2nds, etc...

The most common non-tertian chords are 4th voicings, 4-2, and 2-4 vocings. (the latter two being a 4th stacked on a 2nd or vice versa).

How to use 4th voicings?

I use 4th voicings in a few different ways.

#1. Adding to one-chord vamps.
Instead of playing Am7 for 10 minutes I'll add a little more flavor by tastefully adding in 4th voicings. These can be dangerous if overused so proceed with caution.

#2. Chord melodies or reharminization.
Instead of playing the written chord of a tune I might sub in a 4th voicing that contains the melody note on top.

#3. Slash chords.
I also like to experiment with moving different bass notes underneath a static 4th voicing.

#4. Soloing
Not much explanation needed on that one.

The most important thing is that you have fun and be creative! See you on the next page.

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