[Sheet Music]

Lesson 125: Chord Voicings Playable on the Guitar

Three Note Voicings

Three note voicings go a long way. The most important notes of a chord are the 3rd and the 7th and the third voice can be the 5th, 9th, 11th or 6th/ 13th.

Below you can see a few examples of how three note voicings can be taken through a II-V-I cadence. First a few versions in C major: Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 and then two versions in C minor: Dm7b5 - G7b9 - Cm7.

Reducing Close Harmony Voicings to Triads

Below you can see the intro to "No Me Esqueca" aka "Recordame" by Joe Henderson. The written chord voicings are typical close harmony ones that a piano player would play. They are not playable on the guitar, however. That means that you have to come up with voicings that are playable on the guitar and that still sound reasonably right.

One possibility is to just leave one note out. Below you can see a version where the chords have been reduced to triads. The chords still sound very full with the bass line because they form seventh chords with the bass notes. You also have to transpose the chords up an octave on the guitar in order to sound in the same octave as the pianist.

The chords that are formed with the bass notes are:

  • C triad/ A = Am7
  • D triad/ A suggests Am6
  • Em triad/ A suggests Am9
  • Gm triad/ C suggests C9
  • Am triad/ F = Fmaj7
  • Dm triad/ Bb = Bbmaj7

Below I take the same type of three note voicings through the whole form of "No Me Esqueca" aka "Recordame":

You can do this in three different ways using different inversions - I have written them down here and here.

2014 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.