Chord Shapes with the bass on the seventh string for jazz

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by imscaredofmoney, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. imscaredofmoney

    imscaredofmoney SS.org Regular

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    Hey!

    Recently got my first 7-string guitar (a boden original 7 trem), and I'm trying to explore chord shapes to use.

    The tuning I want to use is BEADGBE.

    I constructed and tried drop 2 and drop 3 chords with the bass on the seventh string but it's missing some high end.

    So far what I've tried that works the best is taking shell voicings from the 5th(A) string (1-3-7-9) and moving the root down to the 7 string. On the 5th(A) string I now can reach a minor seventh with a bar, so I've been trying replacing the minor 7th that's usually on the G string with sixths.

    What else could I try? Is there a good resource for exploring new chord shapes? I'm mostly interested in systematic approaches that I can invert without reaching impossible shapes like drop2 and drop 3.

    Thanks!
     
  2. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    This is a personal preference thing, but i find that chords voiced with the entire chord shifted down to include the low B (except for power "chords") sound muddy to my ears. I prefer to play the standard voicings and think of the 7th string as something to include within a bass line if I'm playing one.

    I find that the 7th strings is best used for 1) playing melodies/solos within a given position, or 2) incorporating it as a bassline, but YMMV. Just watch for muddiness as the harmonic density increases.
     
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  3. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    ^ Absolutely my approach, also in B. But also worth mentioning almost every jazz 7 player I've heard of tunes to drop A, presumably as they just like playing the 5th string bass down an octave without thinking about it.
     
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  4. kisielk

    kisielk SS.org Regular

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    That's what I do with my 8 string as well. Tune the lowest two strings down to E / A. Then I can just play all my regular 6 string voicings but with the root note down 2 strings if I want a lower bass.
     
  5. Aewrik

    Aewrik SS.org Regular

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    This can be mitigated somewhat adjusting knobs and switches, but basically it comes down to what pickups you're using. I don't have a ton of experience what pickups work or not, but I'm sure there are videos on youtube!

    Regarding playing, I find it easier to think in a all fourths tuning way, than "I've got a seventh string". It's the fourth string I account for, rather than the B string.

    Other than that I feel like you already have a grip on building chords and you have probably tried all tips I can give : )
     
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  6. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Or you could just to from E to a high A ! I just make it an option to mirror or alternate my high B string and use it for riffing and chugging, not really complex chords. Sorry, I have no systematic approach.
     
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  7. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    It tends to work a little better, in my experience, if you put the root on the low string, and then make sure the third is at least an octave away, possibly two. For example, playing a D chord in the open position with a 3rd fret D on the low B sounds pretty awesome (just mute the E and A). In general though I agree, although it's probably a little easier with a clean-toned jazz sound than a distorted rock one.
     
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