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Chord Soloing Using 4ths

Christopher Sung (9641) · [archive]
Style: Jazz · Level: Advanced · Tempo: 140
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

When you get right down to it, soloing is all about the melody, and there are a lot of different ways you can play the melody. When I think about chord soloing, I focus on different ways to harmonize the melody, and one classic way to do this is use voicings in 4ths. In this context, a 4th refers to an interval where you take one note in a particular scale and find the note that is either 3 scale degrees above or below this note. You can keep continuing to find these notes in relation to each other to form 2, 3 or 4 note reharmonizations.

To better illustrate this concept, let's look at the G major scale which has the notes G - A - B - C - D - E - F#. If we take our G at the 3rd fret, 1st string, and continue to find the notes that are a fourth below it, we get G (1st degree), D (5th degree), A (2nd degree), and E (6th degree). This harmonizes our G melody note. If we continue this up the scale, you get the harmonization in 4ths for the G major scale shown in the example below. Each chord is first played melodically so you can hear the individual note, and then harmonically.
Chord Soloing Using 4ths