A Look at Dominant Chords (Guitar Lesson)


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John March

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.

Taught by John March in Chord Alchemy with John seriesLength: 10:20Difficulty: 3.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


the_ANTIDRUGthe_ANTIDRUG replied on February 28th, 2014

No hard rules!!!!! What works for me???? Took my first lesson in 1974 and I've never heard this yet!!! I've been teaching my self for the past 10 years in my bedroom because teachers like this don't exist anywhere else on the planet. Thank you John.M and Jam-play.

John.MarchJohn.March replied on January 28th, 2016

Very kind of you to say so! New series starting next month so stay tuned!!

ktrockktrock replied on August 2nd, 2013

Hmm... you drop the A from an A C# E triad to a G, the 7th, making G C# E. But haven't we lost the root? It sounds really nice but the Chord Namer is calling this a couple things like C# dim, but not an A7. I must be missing something.

John.MarchJohn.March replied on September 7th, 2013

also I am the worlds worst typist and do not use spellcheck, as evidenced in my reply, sorry, lol

John.MarchJohn.March replied on September 7th, 2013

Ok here is a thought, anything can be called anything. I know that sounds like some sort of a zen Koan, but hear me out. There are 12 notes. Western music organizes them in certain intervallic relationships. In general context defines things. It is great to know lots of rules and descriptions of what things are supposed to be called, but in my opinion it is more important to now what things sound like, especially in context. In this example, yes we "lose" the root, but the sound, the color is still A7. The Third and the flat 7th are the colors we are looking at finding that define the sound of the chord. Here I am just showing ways of finding that sound. I am showing how to generate options. Yes you could "call" this C#dim, but extend the minor third intervals up logically and you get a Bb note, flat 9 and here you have A7b9, as well as 3 other dominant chords, but I would ask, what is the sound? The G natural and C# are still predominantly what I will here. Yes I can use and apply it elsewhere but I can say the same about Cmaj9 being Amin11, but to me it is the context and the sound I am looking for and the ability to generate new voicings and options. is that helpful?

John.MarchJohn.March replied on June 23rd, 2013

Mikewatson1 thanks for feedback, please always feel free to post questions and ask for clarifications and I will do my best to respond!

mikewatson827mikewatson827 replied on June 19th, 2013

My first comment may have been premature. As I dig into lesson 4 I see where you are going with the colors of the major triads.

mikewatson827mikewatson827 replied on June 19th, 2013

It seemed that between lesson 3 and lesson 4 there is a hole in the content. Another words it doid not seem like you picked up in lesson 4 where you left us off in lesson 3. Maybe I am missing something here. Other than that this is a great format that Ted would be proud of. I also took some lessons from Ted. He lived over on Burbank Blvd. in San Fernando Valley. A truly exceptional,giving human being. Thanks Mike W

maxjubermaxjuber replied on June 7th, 2013

Hi John, I'm liking the lesson series so far and really dug the idea of six different stringed instruments to help get out of just seeing shapes. Waxing on and off, going with it, thanks

Tyler.RughTyler.Rugh replied on June 7th, 2013

no John.. the issue has already been fixed. :)

John.MarchJohn.March replied on June 7th, 2013

Dominate? Did I miss something? lol

Funk MasterFunk Master replied on June 6th, 2013

It's called Dominant* Tyler not Dominate. Nice lesson John

Chord Alchemy with John

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

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



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 Members 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
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 Members 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...

Length: 10:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members 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 Members 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...

Length: 12:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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...

Length: 4:47 Difficulty: 0.0 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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...

Length: 9:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Members 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...

Length: 9:52 Difficulty: 3.0 Members 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...

Length: 11:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members 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 Members Only

About John March View Full Biography John March, a professional musician, audio craftsman/technologist and consultant with 30 years in the Industry, is focused on creating opportunities that utilize his aggregate skill-sets and diverse professional experience to creatively solve problems for projects and events that serve the greater good.

John March, a professional musician, audio craftsman/technologist and consultant with 30 years in the Industry, is focused on creating opportunities that utilize his aggregate skill-sets and diverse professional experience to creatively solve problems for projects and events that serve the greater good. By bridging the gap between artist and technical craftsman, March is able to solve complex problems and function as a liaison between fiscal, technical, logistical and creative team members. His specialties include advanced creative problem solving and consulting, and utilizing cutting-edge and evolving technologies. March’s resume includes having been trained at the Record Plant in NYC, and working with some of the best musicians in the world such as Michael Jackson and Sting, functioning as the lead mixer for Fox Family Channel, Director of Audio Operations for TCI International’s interactive division, designing recording studios, and working on large-scale productions for entertainment corporations such as Warner Bros, DreamWorks, and Oracle. John currently plays and records with the Zen Blues Quartet featuring; Mike Finnigan – B3 and Vocals (Grammy award winner and Platinum Artist, performed with Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Peter Frampton, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, Phantom Blues Band and Taj Mahal, Dave Mason, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Rait, Crosby Stills and Nash…), Steve Ferrone – Drums (Grammy award winner and Platinum Artist, performed with Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Average White Band…), Tim Scott – Bass and lead vocals (Jack Mack, Tower of Power, Robben Ford, Stevie Wonder…), and can be seen playing around LA with the “Existential Cowboys”, comprised of session musicians Jimmy Earl – Bass (Chick Corea, Robben Ford and The Jimmy Kimmel show), Jeff Paris – KBDS and Vocals (Dave Stewart, Ringo Starr, Keb Mo), and Sergio Gonzalez – Drums. Although the focus of March’s work has been music, audio production and post-production, he has always operated at the cutting edge of technological possibility. As a serious technologist with a strong ability to realize technological and production methodologies and solutions, as well as develop and manage teams of production and design personnel, March’s top priority is always to bring out the best in the people he works with in order to create the best possible end product. Recent projects have included consulting and sound design for multiple iPhone and iPad apps and sound supervisor for various film and TV projects. A message from John: I am a career musician/guitarist, sound mixer and audio/technology consultant, and have been since since 1980. I am also a single dad with an amazing and wonderful 19 year old son, a scuba diver, zen student, teacher, writer, Buddhist facilitator in training, and amateur photographer. I have spent most of my life exploring the connection between art and spiritual practice, service and engaged social activism. My zen teacher used to say that; “the quality of your Life is dependent on the focus of your attention.” I am deeply interested in situations and opportunities that move me towards the most creative place and the best possible solutions for each and every project that i work on. I believe that it is within our grasp to create situations and opportunities that transform and re-write the cultural status quo. To re-imagine the global culture as a communal work of Art. The great Zen teacher Suzuki Roshi said things very clearly in his book Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, when he said, “All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something.”

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