Chord Alchemy with John

A different approach to harmonic applications on guitar and developing a modern chord vocabulary.

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John March, a long time student of the late Ted Greene and a self-proclaimed "chord addict", opens up a fresh way to view the guitar fretboard. A different way to think, introducing the idea of how chords work and how to develop a “vocabulary”.

Lessons in this Series:

Lesson 1

Bio and Series Introduction

Welcome to this fresh new look at understanding the guitar fretboard as a whole! John March, a long time student of the late Ted Greene, introduces himself and his guitar series.

Length: 6:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 2

Simplicity & Exploration

Take a new look at the fretboard and learn where to find a voicing that works. There are techniques that simplify the fretboard and steps that can be taken to find the chord you are looking for.

Length: 11:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Free Sample Lesson
Lesson 3

A Look at Dominant Chords

It's time to learn what makes up a dominant chord and understand what extensions are. John covers simple movements and his overall viewpoints on how to best apply dominant sounds.

Length: 10:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 4

Thinking About Colors

When applied to music, the term "color" usually refers to various extensions and alterations within chords. John demonstrates how he adds color to chords in order to change the overall tone and mood of a piece.

Length: 10:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 5

Understanding Inversions

What is an inversion and how does it generate chords? Well it's time for John to lend his talents and techniques to break this topic down in a very easy manner for anyone to understand.

Length: 11:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 6

Chord Vocabulary: Geometry vs Geography

With a quick recap of inversions, John now discusses geometry vs. geography on the guitar and how each factor is used to create a whole new harmonic vocabulary. Shifting registers and octave displacement are used to generate new voicings.

Length: 12:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 7

Find the Voices

John dives deeper into the topic of simple note movement. This lesson covers topics like shifting register, bass development, and finding the best way to create new chord options.

Length: 16:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 8

Taking It All a Step Further

Continuing on with chord voicings, John now demonstrates how to take what has been taught already to the next level. Some examples include how to play advanced jazz material over blues sounds.

Length: 17:13 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 9

Relationships

John now provides more insight into the relationships between intervals and how the colors can vary depending on how the notes are used - whether in a full chord, small solo, or lick.

Length: 11:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 10

Chords: Dominant 7th

Now it is time for John to take the detailed concepts he has taught so far and apply them directly to certain chord shapes. This first "chord" lesson will touch on dominant 7th shapes.

Length: 13:17 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 11

Part Two Introduction

John expands on his Chord Alchemy series with different concepts and practical applications to carry you further down the road of becoming a chord master! This video gives you a clue as to what you can expect in Chord Alchemy, Part 2.

Length: 4:47 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 12

Application and Purpose

Kicking off part two of this series, John gives direction as to where we're headed, including looking at the four basic elements of music and choosing your own path moving forward.

Length: 15:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 13

Neck Mapping

A big part of visualizing and committing these concepts to memory is doing the physical work of neck mapping. In this lesson John explains what that is and gives you your first neck mapping assignment!

Length: 11:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 14

Alternate Fingerings

There's always a different way.... a different way to finger chords, that is! John opens us up to the idea of alternate fingerings in this lesson, and why you want to explore this path in your playing.

Length: 13:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 15

The Humble D Chord

In this lesson, John explores the D chord, taking the basic shape that we all learned early on in our playing, and twisting it into the coolest possible inversions and voicings!

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 16

Creating Chromatic Chord Scales

In this lesson John creates different sounds by exploring the intervallic relationship of notes to the root note of a chord.

Length: 12:26 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 17

Fundamentals of Practical Ear Training

Having a good ear is not just based on natural ability. There are steps you can take and exercises you can do to train your ear. In this lesson John gives you an exercise to start training yourself to recognize certain key intervals in music.

Length: 9:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 18

The Value of a Single Note

Earlier, John explored moving higher notes in chords against a consistent root note. Now the opposite: moving the lower notes in a chord while keeping the higher notes consistent. This makes for some very colorful chord voicings!

Length: 9:52 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 19

String Groups

The way you group strings goes a long way to determining how colorful your chord voicings can be. Certain close intervallic colors can only be achieved through odd fingerings using "big stretches". John explores a number of these "big stretches" in this lesson.

Length: 11:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 20

Chromatic Triads Over Bass Notes

John shows us yet another great technique for generating options in your playing. Superimposing chromatic triads over the same bass note gives you chord tones that you might not have thought of otherwise!

Length: 9:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 21

Alternative Options for Generating Chords

Of course, all of this discussion and chord knowledge only comes together when using it in context. In this lesson, John explores what that means and how it can generate even more chordal options.

Length: 14:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 22

Chord Sequencing, Part 1

Taking the application process a step further, John now explores what we've learned so far in the context of chord sequences.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 23

Chord Sequencing, Part 2

John continues applying our new found knowledge to chord sequences, this time using the I-Dominant-IV sequence.

Length: 11:38 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 24

Chord Sequencing, Part 3

John takes a look at even more sequences, bringing out the melodic content from the chords.

Length: 14:49 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 25

Chromatic Approach Chords

A very simple trick to expanding your chord tones is adding chromatic approach chords. John shows us how to do this in the most effective way.

Length: 8:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 26

Chords for the Blues

Now, John takes a turn in Chord Alchemy towards the blues. The blues provides us with a consistent structure to apply all the explorations thus far in Chord Alchemy!

Length: 14:37 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 27

Exploring Dominant 7th Chords for Blues

John continues to look at the blues, this time exploring dominant 7th chords. Specifically, how to draw out the melodic content to give your voicings more color and purpose in the context of the blues.

Length: 10:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 28

Mid Series Review

Now, a recap of some key ideas so far in Chord Alchemy 2. This should help solidify some concepts and techniques to help you move forward through the last part of the series!

Length: 20:49 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 29

Blues Inside to Outside, Part 1

The blues can range from very simple to quite complex. In the next two lessons, John takes us on a journey from very "inside" sounds to jazzy colors that lie "outside" the norm.

Length: 11:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 30

Blues Inside to Outside, Part 2

In this lessons, John continues to take the blues from and "inside" sound to and "outside" sound, exploring all manner of colors and voicings!

Length: 16:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 31

Utilizing Open Strings

Working in open strings when you can gives your voicings a much wider range of color and timbre. In this lesson, John shows us some of his favorite ways to use open strings.

Length: 10:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
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