Modal Voicings for Guitar

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
  • Format: Book with Online Media
  • Pages: 104
  • Dimensions: 9x12
  • Duration: 14:45
  • Audio Tracks: 62
  • ISBN: 9780876392034
  • SKU: 00151227
  • Publication Date: November 03, 2020

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Bring new colors and voicings to your guitar playing. Berklee Professor of Guitar Rick Peckham unlocks the mysteries of modal tonality, with a series of exercises and demonstrations that will expand your chord vocabulary, capturing the signature sounds of groups led by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, as well as contemporary jazz, pop, and R&B artists. Peckham will show you how to extend your capabilities by integrating a variety of new voicings and chordal phrasing into your playing so that you can handle any modal situation guided by your own ears and instincts. Going beyond single chord vamps, this approach allows you to play through simple and complex chord progressions using these modern sounds.

Techniques are presented with videos and play-along audio tracks, demonstrating examples and practice strategies with a live recorded jazz/rock trio. Traditional notation, tablature, and chord grids are included.

You will learn to:

  • Create chords based on modes, using them as a source of melodic and chordal material and as a way to define form
  • Develop chords from diatonic fourths, and explore how they function
  • Embellish chords using both diatonic and chromatic material
  • Explore rich jazz harmonies such as altered chords, minor 7%5, dominant 7sus, and diminished 7
  • Add modal harmony to standard progressions
  • Combine and use various major and minor scales and modes, as well as lesser-known scales (such as the gospel scale and composite blues scale), to create harmonies
  • Harmonize pentatonic scales, using 7- and 8-note scales for  harmonic texture

This new edition adds a book with new explanations and examples to Rick Peckham’s original video tutorials.

Modal Voicings for Guitar does a great job of breaking down chord playing for guitarists. It’s practical and clear and moves from simple things to a full range of harmonic colors. It will help guitarists to get away from just playing ‘grips’ and help them to make real music. I like Rick’s approach!”

—John Scofield

“Rick Peckham was one of my most important teachers when I was in school at Berklee College of Music. Being in his Thelonious Monk Ensemble was a highlight of my student years. He has been a mentor and inspiration for generations of young musicians, and this new book of his is a great way for musicians everywhere to benefit from his depth of knowledge and insight into music.”

—Kurt Rosenwinkel

“What  a  wonderful  book  for  all  guitarists!  Rick  has  presented a masterful and comprehensive exploration into the  world  of  modal playing, unpacking the theoretical as well as the practical implementation of this sound. This book serves as a great asset to any guitar player looking to become more versed in the realm of modern jazz guitar.”

—Julian Lage

“Rick Peckham shares his mastery of modal harmony via accessibly notated musical examples that explore a variety of practical harmonic situations. These studies will aid in developing a sophisticated syncopated rhythmic style and a real-world application of modern jazz/fusion chord voicings. I learned a lot working through the examples, and I know they will be of great value to anyone serious about improving their understanding of modal harmony and the technique involved in performance.”

—Sheryl Bailey

“I had the chance to study at Berklee with Rick Peckham, one of  the most remarkable guitar teachers and performers. His unique teaching method has helped me to understand advanced harmony concepts in general and on the guitar specifically. I recommend that all musicians get his new book, professionals or amateurs. I already have my copy, and I am so looking forward to learning from it.”

—Lionel Loueke

“Rick Peckham has gathered some powerful musical ideas into an accessible volume. It’s a great self-study guide for a guitarist who is ready to step into new territory. Rick is with you all the way. I hear his voice in advice like, ‘It’s good to know a lot of things, but it’s even better to know how to use a few things in a lot of different ways.’ I first heard some of these musical ideas in Bill Evans’ piano playing. Later, I heard Lenny Breau adapt them to his solo style. These are big ideas that you can use in a lot of ways.”

—John Knowles, CGP


Rick Peckham

Rick Peckham is an internationally known jazz guitarist and educator. He has presented performances and clinics on six continents and…