Creative Chordal Harmony for Guitar

Using Generic Modality Compression

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
  • Format: Book/CD
  • Pages: 104
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-128-5
  • SKU: 50449613
  • Publication Date: January 31, 2012

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Play advanced guitar harmonies more intuitively and effectively.

This inventive approach to imagining and organizing notes will expand your concept of guitar harmony. You will be able to organize and use tensions more easily and with greater expression, whether you are soloing, playing in a rhythm section, or in a solo guitar context. Practical etudes over popular chord changes will help you to understand and apply these new theoretical concepts.

The accompanying recording includes examples and play-along tracks, featuring innovative guitarists Mick Goodrick and Tim Miller, along with an all-star rhythm section featuring Terri Lyne Carrington on drums and John Lockwood on bass.

You will learn to:

  • Develop and apply new chord voicings, using a rich palette of notes
  • Isolate and organize the most essential notes of any chord-scale (Generic Modality Compression)
  • View chord scales as five families of 3-note chords: triads, sus4, clusters, 7th no 3, and 7th no 5), to be used systematically and simultaneously
  • Leverage this chord-scale organization to lead you to inventive harmonies
  • Incorporate tensions more intuitively into your comping and lead lines
  • Use new arpeggio patterns in linear improvisation

“Besides being one of the greatest improvising guitarists in jazz, Mick Goodrick has also made major contributions to the literature available to musicians. With his book The Advancing Guitarist, he set a new standard for guitarists everywhere. His detailed and expansive volumes on voice leading will inspire generations to come. But his current work here, along with Tim Miller, provides an immediate jolt of pure revelation. What is revealed in this book will forever change how you think about harmony and melody. Mick has made a refined, and simultaneously giant, leap here—one that will usher in a whole new approach to music.”

—Pat Metheny

“Mick Goodrick’s books are absolutely unique and a must for serious guitarists. Creative Chordal Harmony for Guitar is the Swiss Army knife of harmonic possibilities. This material can open you up to a comprehensive understanding of harmony (and melody), and I love hearing the examples on the CD.”

—John Scofield

“During the many years I shared bandstands around the world with Mick Goodrick, I always marveled at how he could break free of the usual guitarist regimen of using overly familiar chord voicings—something that presents a challenge for all jazz guitarists. Mick has an ability to bring constant variety and freshness to his playing and now he has created Creative Chordal Harmony for Guitar, the definitive guide to his unique approach to chord voicings. Even though I don’t play guitar, just looking through Mick’s book, I found concepts that I can apply to my own playing. This is a truly brilliant piece of work.”

—Gary Burton, GRAMMY® Award-winning Jazz Vibraphonist and Bandleader

“The sound of the guitar changed. Mick Goodrick was one of the ones. Still is. Liquid. He showed me possibilities. Example. Inspiration. Challenge. Serious work. A lifetime. Mick Goodrick is a poet. Master. Thank you Mick!”

—Bill Frisell

“This book is nothing less than a unified field theory of guitar harmony by two Einsteins of the guitar, who also happen to be two of my favorite living musicians. The material is presented in Mick’s trademark style: clear, systematic, and absolutely thorough. Study of these pages should give the student unlimited harmonic freedom and access to sounds he or she may not yet have imagined. I myself am looking forward to mining its riches. It should keep me busy for years to come.”

—Ben Monder

“The concept behind this book is revolutionary, yet elegantly simple. Presented here is a view of harmony that can drastically open up a player’s palette of chord voicings and especially of movement among voicings. Going through these pages, I quickly saw possibilities that I had never considered, and which immediately produced beautiful results. Goodrick and Miller also lead us into wonderful melodic implications of this system, i.e., this is not just about chords. In fact, it’s certainly not a book for guitarists only, but rather for any player/composer interested in a whole new universe of harmonic and melodic possibilities. It will take some work, but I’m quite looking forward to having a full grasp of this approach!”

—Randy Roos, Guitarist, Composer, Owner of Squam Sound Recording

“Mick Goodrick and Tim Miller have provided us with a thoroughly practical, useful book. I haven’t encountered a more direct path to a wealth of colorful chord voicings; the means to achieving a vivid harmonic palette are made clear and simple in this extraordinarily well-organized guide. An enriched chordal vocabulary has never been more easily within reach.”

—Steve Swallow

“This is book is absolutely brilliant! One of the greatest, most inspirational and eye-opening books about harmony I have ever seen. The underlying concept is so simple and fundamentally universal that from the first page, you are playing new and fascinating harmonic structures that highlight the intricate, inner universe of harmony, all while blurring the line between traditional voicings and pure melody. Mick and Tim have done a magnificent job of presenting these fresh and stimulating ideas in a way enables the reader to continue exploring and developing their relationship with harmony to it’s fullest potential.”

—Julian Lage

“Boston, Massachusetts: As kerosene street lamps burn long into winter’s night, throwing empty, wind-swept town squares into frozen bas-reliefs of dim light and deep shadow, well above the sporadic clatter of carriages careening over icy cobblestone outside his musician’s garret, Mick Goodrick—guru, alchemist, catalyst, conceptualist, master—and his astonishingly gifted collaborator, Tim Miller, play what will be the final sequence of voicings in their landmark book, Creative Chordal Harmony for Guitar. It is finished, finally finished, and for the ages to ruminate over. Later, as a miserly sun rises above The Common and the fishmonger’s cries fill Olde Faneuil Hall, a certain young man or woman trudges through the ice and snow of Back Bay, instrument over one shoulder, with all the necessary excitement, hope, creativity and devotion to make this monumental effort a book not only for the ages, but for now.”

—Wayne Krantz


Mick Goodrick

Mick Goodrick is an active performing guitarists who has mentored thousands of guitarists at Berklee College of Music. He is also author…

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is an active performing guitarists who has mentored thousands of guitarists at Berklee College of Music.