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New Leon Rodriguez Lesson: In Position Vertical Cycles (Part 3) – The 3-note 7th

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In this Jazz Guitar Today lesson, jazz guitarist Leon Rodriguez continues the help to expand your knowledge of the fretboard.

Photo above by Roger Sadowsky

We conclude our recent series in this 3rd part of our vision of expanding by limiting. Let’s do it over Rhythm Changes. This is an AABA form. Our set limitation will be the {432} stringset throughout. We’ll stay on or near the 6th position for all of Section A. 

In measure 5 we omitted the root note opting for the flat 7 on that 4th string. If we’re going to omit a note, make it a structural note like the root or 5th like in measure 9 because the 3rd and the 7th are guide tones and have more diatonic information. Hang on to the 3rd and/or 7th to define the position in your diatonic harmony. 



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We’ve got something different for section B. We have two voicings that give us a smooth chromatic descent on the top note on the B string. Notice that the fingering on the 3rd and 4th strings allow for the same fingers, on the same frets to just swap strings in place, a minor 3rd to a perfect 5th alternating. Moving both chromatically and cycling simultaneously makes for smooth traveling. I hope you get a lot of use out of alternating those voicings. Make it your own. 

The final result is great voice leading for a dominant cycle descending. Measures 11, 12, 15 and 16 omit the root and keep the 3rd. Measures 13, 14, 17 and 18 can omit the 3rd because they keep the 7th to define a dominant, so it works great. I’m always compelled by duty to include that it goes without saying that this ought to be transferred to all stringsets for all keys.

See you next time. Enjoy! 


To be continued… Books and On-Line Private Lessons available at www.LeonRodriguezGuitar.com/shop


Volume VIII Video & Book:Leon lectures and demonstrates the relationship between Diminished 7th chord to Dominant 7th chord demonstrating how to arrive at all 12 chromatic Dominant 7th’s chord in any position to give you 144 Dominant 7th’s chords across the 12 positions.

Understanding the symmetry within music theory and relaying it to the 6 X 12 matrix that is the fretboard, will give you a totally controllable vision of the fretboard. Notice the notes that touch the corners of these two “diamonds”. Four equidistant pointsaminor third apart is where it begins. Don’t miss this adventure into fretboard control. It’s a separate vision!


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