Can you see the difference? Go back and
look at the chord voicing again. The 7 is
not placed at the end, but in the middle.
The 4th is closer to the end, and there are
two 5ths that are spread way apart. I think
this chord voicing actually sounds better,
is easier to play, and projects the character
of the sus4 with more clarity. There isn’t a
musical reason why the chord voicing has
to ascend strictly in order. It’s my favorite
chord and the voicing sounds good, so I’m
sticking to it.
So here is the big moment. I want to
disregard the rule of “ascension,” and create
an arpeggio using the same voicing as my
favorite chord. For that, I need to invent a
completely new fingering. When you play
Fig. 2, I think you’ll immediately feel why.
The key to the fingering in Fig. 3 is
that there isn’t any barring, so the notes are
separate from each other and have more
potential for vibrato. Plus, in some areas we
use a “two-notes-per-string” arrangement,
which is very useful for speeding up the
line and making new phrasing patterns. My
favorite chord has become a SOLO. I can
now simulate “A Hard Day’s Night,” but at
This will also work for other chords.
In Fig. 4 you can see an A9 chord—also
known as the “James Brown” chord. I tried
to find a fingering that would allow me to
play this chord voicing as an arpeggio. I
couldn’t do it exactly, but I could use my
lug wrench to pound a note off of it and
then it worked just fine. Fig. 5 is the arpeggio, but without the root.
But we’re not done with our lug wrench
yet. I want to play these same notes again,
but with a new rhythmic phrasing pattern.
Some of the notes in Fig. 6 will “line-up”
perfectly with nice rhythmic accents. Others
will be squeezed in between. My ear doesn’t
mind this. In fact, it gives the lick a certain
appealing, earthy feel. The car is riding a
little lopsided, but she still rolls stylishly
down the road.
If you’re willing to learn the pattern
above, then you deserve to be rewarded
with Fig. 7, another arpeggio that will
sound great and require very little additional practice because it uses the same
rhythmic pattern. Some of the “lugs” were
knocked off the bottom of this one as well,
but it still keeps the notes that are most
important to the character of the arpeggio.
So now, I ask you: Do you also have
a favorite chord? If you do, then please
waste no time in pounding it into an
arpeggio. The fingerings will surprise you,
and some new musical doors will appear
for you to explore.
If you don’t have a favorite chord here
are some ways to look for one:
• Take some lessons from a piano teacher.
• Take some lessons from a jazz guitar player.
• Learn 20 Beatles songs—learning 25 or
30 is even better.
• Learn 10 songs where piano is the
• Listen to your favorite music and when
your eyebrows jump up, go back and
learn that chord.
Finally, I would like to thank Jeff
Martin for saving the day and getting my
car back on the road. I suppose there’s the
possibility that the abandoned car had an
owner who returned to a very nasty surprise. If that owner was you, then I send
my apologies for the missing tire and my
warmest gratitude for helping the band
and me finish a face-melting heavy metal
album. It’s called Second Heat if you want
to have a listen.
44 & Ó
™™ OE ‰ ≈oe R oeoe oe oeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoe
oeoe oe oeoeoeoeoeoeoeOE ‰ ≈oe R
44 & Ó
™™ OE ‰≈oe #R oeoe oeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeoe
oeoe oeoeoeoeoeoeoeoeOE ‰≈oe #R