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Jazz Guitar Lessons

Jimmy Bruno Lesson in Fluid Harmony with Contrary Motion



Jimmy shares his ‘Classical Music’ technique to create fluid harmony.

Jimmy Bruno: From my extensive listening to Classical music, I heard a lot of contrary motion in the harmony– where one voice goes in the opposite direction of the others. Sometimes two voices stay the same and one moves. Or one voice moves and two stay the same… or move in the opposite direction. I started to use this technique on the guitar.

Example 1

Here is the use of contrary motion applied to a simple II V progression.

Jimmy Bruno Lesson #1

Example 2

Here’s an example where I took the melody to the bridge of ‘Satin Doll’ and used contrary motion on the melody. This technique can be done to many tunes.

Jimmy Bruno Lesson #2

Example 3

The closing bars of “I Hear a Rhapsody‘ below are four voices moving independently of each other.

Jimmy Bruno Lesson #3

Example 4

Example 5

The example below is about putting the melody on the bottom of the chord/melody instead of the usual way.

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