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HARMONIC CONCEPTS

Covering modern voicing techniques and chordal construction as well as concepts of harmonic substitution, re-harmonization, chord-melody arrangements and everything that has to do with the harmonic navigation on the instrument through a series of books, technical studies and etudes and chordal substitution guides.

 
 

MODERN VOICINGS & CONTRAPUNTAL STUDIES

OPEN (MODERN OPEN STRING VOICING COLLECTION)

  

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study I concentrate on the very unique chordal shades and hues that we can capture on the guitar when utilizing open strings in the development of our voicings.


Here I present to you 100 of my favorite chords that utilize a combination of fretted and open strings.


They are presented in a chromatic order and in different chordal qualities dependent on the relationships of the open strings against the root.


Once you get familiar with the voicings presented here you can augment your harmonic vocabulary even further by using the tonal relative major/minor and tritone substitution relationships to get more milage out of each chord shape.


For example, all the voicings presented for Emaj7 can be used for C#min7 and vice-versa all chord shapes for C#min7 can also function as Emaj7 because they are relative major/minor of each other.


By the same token all voicings for C#7alt can also function as G7 because they are tritone substitutions of each other.

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POINT OF ENCOUNTER (CONTRAPUNTAL HARMONIC EXPLORATIONS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this short technical study I illustrate some of the ways in which I like to use contrapuntal movement when playing chords and comping in order to create more dynamic and interesting harmonic passages.


This type of chordal playing/comping (which you can hear in most modern jazz pianists) has always been very attractive to my ear and my musical personality.


I do believe it is a great way to develop the necessary techniques and skills needed to transition between your melodic and harmonic voices on the instrument in the smoothest possible way. It is also great in establishing a very good linear harmonic control of your instrument.


Here you will find 7 phrasing examples for 3 different types of chords: min7, Altered Dominant 7 and maj7.


The examples can be practiced separately and can also be put together to outline a ii-V7-I progression by choosing different phrases from each one of the three chord types.


You can also combine multiple phrases from each chord quality and create longer contrapuntal lines within the same harmony.

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POINT OF ENCOUNTER (CONTRAPUNTAL WARM UP EXERCISES FOR GUITAR)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this technical study I want to present to you some of the different ways in which I like to practice contrapuntal lines and phrases within a major scale system.


I find these to be some of the most fun and challenging practice ideas when it comes down to warming up before a concert, recording session, or simply to keep your chops up and get some more interesting and creative output from your scalar practice.


To get the best out of the exercises presented here it is essential to pay attention to the notation of each contrapuntal line and sustain each note for its full value. This can sometimes create challenging finger stretches and finger coordination issues but it is extremely important in the separation of both voices and for the development of the maximum finger independence.


All exercises are presented in the key of G Major but I always suggest to start transposing them to other scales like the melodic minor and the harmonic minor once you get comfortable with the material.

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TONS OF GUIDE TONES (A MODERN LOOK AND APPLICATION)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this book I present a comprehensive way to look at “guide tones” and their physical evolution on the fretboard through all mode positions so we can build a strong and comfortable command of these essential harmonic elements.


I divide guide tones in two categories. Primary Guide Tones are the 3rd and 7th of each chord (the notes responsible for all harmonic movement and voice-leading in the Western music system) and Secondary Guide Tones are the root and 5th.


Once we can freely visualize and access these two sets of guide tones over every chord quality and position of the fretboard we can really expand our harmonic playing by simply adding an extra note to create 3 Note Harmonic Structures representative of the sound, color, flavor and harmonic direction of the original chord.


The book presents Primary and Secondary guide tones for 4 types of chords; maj7, min7, Dom7 and Dom7 alt. Over each chord type you will see 3 types of examples/exercises in all mode positions.

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POLYPHONIC MODES - PENTATONICS (VOLUME 3: SUSPENDED DOMINANT)

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by Hristo Vitchev

The concepts and ideas presented in the following pages represent my absolutely favorite way to think harmonically on the fretboard.


By cataloguing and organizing our chordal vocabulary in a systematic way which is directly connected to the physical distribution, arrangement and execution of the modes (of a tonal system) we can access all harmonic information faster and more efficiently.


That in turn can make the transition between chordal and melodic playing much smoother, elegant and sophisticated.


In this volume (volume 3) I will be exploring the suspended dominant chords and their modal evolution through the minor pentatonic scale. This process of chordal exploration is essential in building a vastly rich, multi-hued and colorful chordal library while staying rooted in the efficient navigational system of the melodic geometry of the modes.


Here I present to you my very favorite voicings for suspended dominants (D7sus4) through all positions of the modes of the A minor pentatonic scale both in the melody and bass ranges.

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POLYPHONIC MODES (VOLUME 2: ALTERED DOMINANT)

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by Hristo Vitchev

The concepts and ideas presented in the following pages represent my absolutely favorite way to think harmonically on the fretboard.


By cataloguing and organizing our chordal vocabulary in a systematic way which is directly connected to the physical distribution, arrangement and execution of the modes (of a tonal system) we can access all harmonic information faster and more efficiently.


That in turn can make the transition between chordal and melodic playing much smoother, elegant and sophisticated. In this volume I will be exploring the altered dominant chords and their modal evolution.


This process of chordal exploration is essential in building a vastly rich, multi-hued and colorful chordal library while staying rooted in the efficient navigational system of the melodic geometry of the modes.


Here I present to you my very favorite voicings for altered dominants (G7alt) through all positions of the modes of the Ab Melodic Minor scale both in the melody and bass ranges.

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POLYPHONIC MODES (VOLUME 1: MINOR)

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by Hristo Vitchev

The concepts and ideas presented in the following pages represent my absolutely favorite way to think harmonically on the fretboard.


By cataloguing and organizing our chordal vocabulary in a systematic way which is directly connected to the physical distribution, arrangement and execution of the modes (of a tonal system) we can access all harmonic information faster and more efficiently.


That in turn can make the transition between chordal and melodic playing much smoother, elegant and sophisticated.


In this volume I will be exploring the minor chords and their modal evolution. This process of chordal exploration is essential in building a vastly rich, multi-hued and colorful chordal library while staying rooted in the efficient navigational system of the melodic geometry of the modes.


Here I present to you my very favorite voicings for minor chords (Dmin7) through all positions of the modes of the C Major scale both in the melody and bass ranges.

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MODAL X-ING (3 NOTE HARMONIC FRACTALS) HARMONIC TRIANGULATION

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chapter of the Modal Crossing concept development I will be exploring yet another possible way in which we can extract interesting three note chordal textures from the major scale and its modes. Here we will be concentrating in possible harmonic textures produced by the combination of the Left and Central elements of the scale only.


The first formula will be Central, Central, Left and the second one will be Left, Left, Central. Each one of the two formulas will have three variations of HARMONIC TRIANGULATIONS as the highest note in the three note voicing can change strings and physically be positioned on the other two of the three participating strings in the subset.


As the six strings of the guitar can be divided into four groups of adjacent three string sets we will end up with 12 possible “3 note harmonic fractals” in each mode position.


The resulting chordal textures are a great tool that can be used in situations where you want to color and explore a certain harmony in a more detailed way. They are also great vehicles for connecting different positions of the fretboard in a harmonic passage and serve as a wonderful technical workout and fretboard visualization exercise. 


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MODAL X-ING (3 NOTE HARMONIC FRACTALS) PIVOT NOTE HARMONIC WORKOUT

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study I will be illustrating some of my favorite ways to practice the material presented in my MODAL X-ING (3 Note Harmonic Fractals) book through a series of modal exercises that not only help the assimilation of the concepts and ideas into our playing styles but also work extremely well for left hand finger independence, strength and coordination.


All the following exercises work on the concept of a “Pivot Note” - a note that is common between two different voicings/harmonic fractals. As we execute the exercises we also want to play close attention to such “Pivot Notes” as physically we need to keep the finger that is responsible for playing the note on the fretboard (sustaining the note) as the other two voices rotate around it to form the new harmony.


This creates all sorts of technical challenges and great practice rudiments that will serve in the development of a precise, accurate and smooth chordal technique.


All exercises are presented in they key of G Major and all 3 note harmonic fractals can be used to suggest any diatonic chord of such tonality. The strongest candidates are always the ii-7, IVmaj7(#11), V7sus4, and vi-7 chords.

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MODAL X-ING (3 NOTE HARMONIC FRACTALS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Modal Crossing: I have been researching and studying the concepts and ideas presented in this book for the last ten years. To me they open a whole new world of harmonic exploration and conceptualization on the guitar and also serve as a great way to fully develop a well anchored and solid navigational sense on the fretboard.


The main idea consists of extracting three note voicings from the geometrical layout of the modes of a given tonal system. I refer to these harmonic clusters as “fractals” and in this book I will be only concentrating on their extraction and development from the major scale.


Each “Harmonic Fractal” always has one static note which serves as the anchor and two movable notes which always rotate in a similar fashion as the crossing lines in the letter “X”. (Hence the name of the book MODAL X-ING) Not only that, but the static note can also shift places within the geometry of the shape by being on an outside string or sitting on an inside string. Because of that, the geometry of the two movable elements will also be stretched in different ways. And last but not least, the static element can also change planes from functioning as a Left Element, a Central Element, or a Right Element. 

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UNORTHODOX SUSPENSION (CREATIVE SUS4 VOICINGS FOR THE MODERN JAZZ GUITARIST)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Most of my students often ask me about different ways one can voice a SUS4 chord. It seems like many guitar players have a much easier time internalizing and memorizing voicings for extended and altered dominants but when it comes down to the SUS4 variation of such chords they know two or three different shapes at most.


To me the SUS4 is a special sonority. It has a very pastel like sonic color and possesses a rather etherial and open sound which can be adapted to fit any musical context. Here I present to you a few of my favorite ways to voice the SUS4 chords on the fretboard and how to use them throughout the entire range of the instrument.


All examples are presented in the key of F Major as C7sus4 harmonies but I advise you to transpose them to all 12 keys and try to insert them in harmonic movements and progressions that you are already familiar with.

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PENTATONIC VOICINGS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this book I present to you some of the ideas and concepts I have been using to extract harmonic information from the pentatonic scale.


Being one of the most universal scales and used often by most guitar players, its chordal applications come in handy to add color and enhance the sounds and hues of our existing harmonic vocabulary.


Here I have extracted some of my favorite voicings from the “A minor” pentatonic scale. The usage and application of these voicings can happen in many different ways. Amin7, Dmin9, Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Bbmaj7(#11), and F#7alt are amongst my favorite candidates, but I invite you to explore substituting these new harmonic structures for any chord over which you use the “A minor” pentatonic melodically.


The study and explorations of the concepts should start in one key (harmony) and then progressively move through all keys and standard harmonic progressions to develop a full and comfortable application for any musical situation.

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ADD9 TRIAD WORKOUT (MAJOR / MELODIC MINOR)

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by Hristo Vitchev

These diatonic Add9 triad exercises present a very comprehensive way to look at the fretboard through a vertical and horizontal perspective and to understand the shortest voice movement necessary for their execution.


All exercises are presented in the key of F major and F melodic minor.

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OFFSET QUARTAL VOICINGS FOR GUITAR

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by Hristo Vitchev

The concept presented in this book is something that I have been fascinated with for a very long time. The sound of chord structures and sonorities build in fourths (instead of thirds as in conventional harmony) has been always attractive to my ear. It is a sound that has played an essential role in the harmonic signature of modal jazz and modern jazz in particular.


The voicings presented here are some of my favorite variations and re-arrangements of the classic quartal voicings that many call “So What” voicings as they were the primary chord structures of the legendary Miles Davis album “Kind of Blue” where the tune “So What” was first recorded.


By moving the four different notes of the chord throughout the many possible octave displacements we still retain a structure that is build by four notes (a diatonic fourth apart form each other) but with their “offset” now we can produce a myriad of different textures and sounds that enrich and paint a whole new personality of the well know harmonic character. 

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"10 TONAL EXERCISES" (VOLUME 1: HARMONIC)

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by Hristo Vitchev

The following exercises are specifically designed to target and help improve a few specific areas of our playing. They are great to achieve finger independence, stretching and strength in the left hand, understand modal sequences and melodic motif transposition over the entire fretboard and develop creative ideas for polyphonic playing.


They are very useful for warming up before concerts and recording sessions and are rather enjoyable and fun to play. It is very important to pay attention to how they are notated and make sure we sustain the notes of all voices for their full value/duration.


For the purpose of this book all exercises are presented in the key of C major but I strongly encourage you to transpose and move to all 12 keys and also try them in different scalar systems; melodic minor, etc.

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8 CHORDAL ETUDES FOR JAZZ GUITAR

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by Hristo Vitchev

The chordal études presented in this book are specifically designed to augment and enrich the chordal vocabulary of the player while working on voice-leading, stretching, coordination, dexterity and strength training for the left hand. The many different voicings  I have used throughout the text are the result of years of exploration of the fretboard and represent some of my favorite ways to interpret harmony on the guitar. 

All études are composed over the chord progressions of famous jazz standards which would facilitate the implementation of these very common harmonic movements into any musical situation. 


For the practice and execution of the material presented here I welcome each one of you to come up with different rhythmic and stylistic ways of playing the études and transform them into your own playing styles and personalities. Playing them rubato, arpeggiating, with straight eights feel, or a specific swing rhythm, etc. I have notated them in the simplest possible way so that all the attention and concentration can fall over the study of the specific voicings at play. 

More than anything it is my hope that everyone can find some new ways to think harmonically over the fretboard and develop some of the ideas into concepts of their own.

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8 CONTRAPUNTAL ETUDES FOR JAZZ GUITAR

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by Hristo Vitchev

The études presented in this book are specifically designed to target a few different areas of contemporary jazz guitar playing techniques. It is my goal to help you improve coordination, flexibility, stretching, dexterity, articulation, and overall voice balance over the entire range of the instrument. The études are composed using well known chord progressions found in many popular jazz standards and they can also help you develop a two-voice harmonic and melodic language that can be applied in a multitude of situations in your own playing.

The main goal when practicing and playing this études is to sustain the full value of the notes written especially when the two voices get further apart on the fretboard and therefore present a higher technical difficulty on the instrument.

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BETWEEN THE VOICINGS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this text I cover my main approach for building chords and constructing piano-like voicings on the guitar.

The chord structures are divided in 3 types: Left, Central, and Right Expansion and throughout the book we uncover all possible sonorities on the fretboard.

260 pages of unique and very interesting chord shapes for guitarists of all levels.

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HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS #5 (MODERN VOICING COLLECTION) - 3 NOTE VOICINGS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types. Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure that I find attractive and interesting to my ears. Then I will present these structures (and some of their variations) on all different string sets and positions on the fretboard so that we can fully assimilate their sounds and maximize their usage.


Part 5 presents some of my favorite 3 Note Voicings for Maj7, min7 and 7alt harmonies. Horizontally they are positioned over the root, 3rd, 5th and 7th degrees of the chord and vertically they are positioned as starting on the 4th, 5th and 6th string. In my opinion these particular chordal structures are ideal for any musical situation where one seeks a more etherial, open, and light sound.


Materials Included: PDF of "Harmonic Thesaurus #5" - 3 Note Voicings (TAB and Standard Notation). 3 Backing Tracks: maj7, min7 and 7alt harmonic background.

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HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS #6 (CYCLIC II-V7-I WORKOUT IN MAJOR KEYS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types. Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure that I find attractive and interesting to my ears.


Then I will present these structures (and some of their variations) on all different string sets and positions on the fretboard so that we can fully assimilate their sounds and maximize their usage.


Part 6 presents a great harmonic workout idea that takes us through all twelve ii-V7-I progressions in all major keys. The idea behind this type of practicing is to try to stay relatively in the same physical position on the fretboard and as you go through the tonal centers try to implement as many different chord voicings as possible so that each key has its own harmonic character.


Materials Included: PDF of "Harmonic Thesaurus #6" - Cyclic ii-V7-I Workout (TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track. HD Video/Audio of full study.

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HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS #7 (CYCLIC II-V7-I WORKOUT IN MINOR KEYS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types. Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure that I find attractive and interesting to my ears.

Then I will present these structures (and some of their variations) on all different string sets and positions on the fretboard so that we can fully assimilate their sounds and maximize their usage.


Part 7 presents a great harmonic workout idea that takes us through all twelve ii-V7-i progressions in all minor keys. The idea behind this type of practicing is to try to stay relatively in the same physical position on the fretboard and as you go through the tonal centers try to implement as many different chord voicings as possible so that each key has its own harmonic character.

Materials Included: PDF of "Harmonic Thesaurus #7" - Cyclic ii-V7-i Workout (TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track. HD Video/Audio of full study.

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12 VOICING STUDIES (OVER A 12 BAR BLUES)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this book I am showcasing some of my very favorite ways to practice harmony and work on expanding my chordal vocabulary on the guitar.


I have selected the basic 12 bar blues form (in the key of F) as the canvas over which I will be presenting the different voicing studies and exercises.


Each one of the 12 harmonic etudes presented here is specifically designed to target and help improve key areas of our polyphonic navigation and control of the instrument.


Materials Included: 12 Voicing Studies (Over a 12 Bar Blues) book (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). HD video with performance of all 12 studies . Two backing tracks: 12 bar blues in F (at tempo and slowed down).

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HARMONIC DAYDREAMS (3 NOTE "ECM" STYLE VOICINGS HARMONIZING THE MAJOR SCALE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

"3 Note" harmonic structures (which could be triads in their various inversions or more modern close interval/cluster voicings) are some of the most balanced and open/ethereal ways guitarist can voice chords.


I have always been fascinated with the overall balance and harmonic color as well as the melancholic and reflective mood present in all recordings and album releases by the famous German jazz label - ECM and in this study I want to present 4 different ways in which I like to harmonize a major scale using specific 3 note voicings that are suggestive of that sound and feel.


Materials Included: Harmonic Daydreams (3 Note "ECM" Style Voicings Harmonizing the Major Scale) study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). HD Video/Audio of the presented material.

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HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS #8 (QUARTAL ALIGNMENT) - VIDEO MASTERCLASS

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 8 presents an easy and very interesting concept we can apply in order to create harmonic tension and release using quartal voicings (chords constructed using the interval of a 4th instead of a 3rd).

To illustrate the idea I am selecting the “D Dorian” mode and harmonizing it using quartal harmony. All resulting harmonic structures will be functioning as Dmin7 chord and will serve as our consonant/inside sound selections. To create tension against them we will implement a number of different techniques which will produce contrasting chord voicings that will then serve as our dissonance/outside sound selections.

In the accompanying video tutorial I will be covering step-by-step how each one of these “quartal alignments” is produced and the architecture behind it.

Materials Included: "Harmonic Thesaurus #8" - Quartal Alignment study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track. 40 mins. "HD Video" Tutorial Masterclass.

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HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS #9 (DIFFRACTED II-V7-I USING QUARTAL ALIGNMENT TECHNIQUES) - VIDEO MASTERCLASS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types. Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure or chordal concept/technique that I find attractive and interesting to my ears.


Part 9 presents an easy and very unique concept we can apply in order to create harmonic tension and release when comping over ii-V-I progressions. This way of diffracting the original basic harmony of any progression is fully based on the techniques and concepts of “Quartal Alignment” which were covered in Part 8 of the “Harmonic Thesaurus” series.

In the accompanying Tutorial Video Masterclass I will be discussing in detail the architecture and development of this type of playing (harmonic diffraction) as well as analyzing the first 4 phrases slowly so you can see and hear first hand my thinking and approach when constructing these chordal lines. The second video contains all ten phrases performed at tempo with a backing track that has a bass line playing the original ii-V-I changes so you can hear the tension and release that is created when the two parts are superimposed.

Backing Track included.

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GEOMETRY OF HARMONIC TENSION PART 2 - MELODIC MINOR (ENCAPSULATED QUINTAL CLUSTERS AND THEIR II-V7-I APPLICATION)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this study and video masterclass I will be presenting different ideas as to how we can use three unique modal voicings (RRL, RLC and RCR) to represent all diatonic harmonies of the melodic minor scale as well as the application of such chordal textures when they are incorporated within ii-V7-i harmonic passages in a minor key.


I will be exploring the three different polyphonic geometries (which are based on revolving intervals of a 5th) through all string sets and mode positions on the fretboard. This approach to “chordal playing” is based purely on the geometry and visual architecture of a chordal structure (abstract geometrical shapes that can be easily recognized on the fretboard) and does not particularly relate to the conventional harmonic principles and teachings of the western music tradition. The study will also present and analyze in great detail 5 different (4 measure) modern chordal phrases over a ii-V7-i progression in the key of C minor.


Materials Included: GEOMETRY OF HARMONIC TENSION Part 2 - melodic minor (Encapsulated Quintal Clusters and their ii-V7-i Application) study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Tracks (E7alt modal practice and ii-V7-i cycle). 90 mins. "HD Video" Tutorial Masterclass.

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HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS #10 - CHROMATIC II-V7-I (DESCENDING)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 10 presents a fun and intricate way to practice your ii-V-I voice-leading and chord patterns over a descending chromatic melody line. Forcing oneself to be able to voice any ii-V-I progression anywhere on the fretboard and over any possible melody note is a great tool and important harmonic technique that can bring a degree of comfort and harmonic understanding of the instrument that is essential for the development of the modern chordal improviser.


As the descending chromatic melodic line is bound to present certain melody to chord relationships that are outside of the main key/chordal structure we need to voice at each point of the progression, when such melodic tensions arise we will simply use the harmonic options presented to us by the tritone substitution of the original progression. So, if a melody note does not function as a regular chord tone or chord extension/alteration of the harmony at play then we will use the tritone substitution of such chord which will always find a functioning role for that same melody note/chord degree in question.


Materials Included: "Harmonic Thesaurus #10" - Chromatic ii-V7-I (descending) study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video" of all harmonic phrases at tempo and slowed down.

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POLYPHONIC TWINS - VOLUME 1 (3 NOTE VOICINGS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chordal study I will be exploring a very fun way to look at harmony on the guitar from a geometrical and pattern oriented perspective. The basic concept behind this way of harmonic navigation is to find unique physical shapes (patterns) for certain voicings of your choice and then try to move the same finger pattern up and down the fretboard as well as reposition it on different string groups to find out the many different chord qualities that can share the same geometry (physical layout of your fingers) in all ranges of the instrument. The most important thing to remember when you move these shapes around is that you are not transposing their intervallic skeleton but rather just moving around the shape itself. Obviously the same finger pattern would contain different intervals when moved across the different string groups of the guitar while its physical shape stays constant.


Here I concentrate on showcasing how we can find multiple chord applications for each one of these twins over a ii-V7-I-VI7 chord progression but there are so many other possible options for the usage of these harmonic clones that I invite all of you to continue exploring the concept past this simple progression.


Materials Included: "Polyphonic Twins Volume 1" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video" of all examples and harmonic phrases. Backing track.

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SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #1 (HARMONIC DENSITY - MIN7)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this mini-lesson series my goal is to share with all of you some of the fun and interesting practicing concepts I enjoy working on when I study harmony on the guitar.


Part 1 covers a way of finding new voicing interpretations for minor chords at different density levels where we define any minor sonority with a single note and then gradually increase its harmonic density all the way up to four notes. Once we reach the maximum density we start reducing it by one note at a time until we get back to a single note representation for such chord.


In this short study I will be illustrating these ideas through 7 variations of harmonic density development over a Dmin7 harmony.


Materials Included: "Harmonic Density" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video" of all Harmonic Variations. Backing track.

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SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #2 (DYADIC SHIFT: II-V7-I) VIDEO MASTERCLASS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this mini-lesson series my goal is to share with all of you some of the fun and interesting practicing concepts I enjoy working on when I study harmony on the guitar.


Part 2 covers an interesting and challenging harmonic exercise which consists in trying to voice a ii-V7-I chord progression where you select a four note ii (min7) chord and you are only allowed to move two of its voices/notes in order to produce the V7 (dominant) chord that should follow. Once you are at the V7 chord you are once again allowed to only move two of its four voices in order to produce the expected resolution to you Imaj7 (tonic) chord. After we arrive at the tonic you are once again allowed to only move two of its voices in order to produce a new ii (min7) chord and start the whole harmonic cycle again. The challenge is to try to continue this Dyadic Shift as much as possible until you completely run out of chordal options or it is no longer possible to produce the desired harmony with only a two note movement. In the following pages and Video Masterclass I present 11 of these ii-V7-I cycles which are produced only by the starting four note harmony and the allowed two voice movement between each chord.


Materials Included: "Dyadic Shift: ii-V7-I" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "20 mins. HD Video Masteclass." Backing track.

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SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #3 (CONTRARY MOTION: II-V7-I-VI7)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this mini-lesson series my goal is to share with all of you some of the fun and interesting practicing concepts I enjoy working on when I study harmony on the guitar.


Part 3 explores a very fun contrary motion chordal exercise which consists of voicing ii-V7-I-VI7 harmonic passages where the relationship between your lowest note (bass) and highest note (melody) moves in contrary motion (opposite directions) at all times. Here I will be demonstrating how you can find new and exciting chord voicings when your bass always descends in a stepwise motion (by a half or whole step) and your melody always ascends in a stepwise motion (by a half or whole step).


This kind of movement also presents quite a few technical challenges when applied on the guitar and so these type of exercises are very helpful not only to augment your harmonic vocabulary but also to improve your finger independence, coordination, strength and endurance.

All examples are presented in the key of C Major.


Materials Included: "Contrary Motion: ii-V7-I-VI7" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video of all Harmonic Cycles." Backing track.

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SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #4 (STATIC MELODY: II-V7-I-VI7)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 4 is an evolution to the contrary motion chordal exercise presented in part 3 but this time we select a static melody note which will not move throughout the voice-leading of all four chords of the ii-V7-I-VI7 harmonic passage.


This melodic and physical limitation forces us to get very creative in finding all remaining chordal ingredients for each element of the progression and in a way ensures that we achieve an interesting and contrary motion between the remaining voices of all harmonies. To get the full spectrum of harmonic possibilities we will select each one of the 7 notes of the diatonic tonal center we occupy and use them as a possible static notes over which to voice all four chords of our progression. Therefore, we will end up with 7 different “static melody” cycles for the entire harmonic cadence.


If at times the static note becomes a melodic degree against any of the chords that can not be harmonized we can simply substitute that chord with its Tritone Sub and that will always ensure a proper relationship for harmonization. 

Materials Included: "Static Melody: ii-V7-I-VI7" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video of all Harmonic Cycles." Backing track.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #5 (RUNAWAY BASS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 5 presents a short, simple and fun harmonic exercise that is very effective in improving your left hand chordal technique: stretching, voice independence, dexterity and endurance.


It consists of extracting “3 note” harmonic structures from the physical mode fingerings of a given key on the top three strings on the guitar and using all the remaining diatonic alternate bass notes (on the 4th, 5th and 6th string) in a descending/ascending melody line which will be played under the sustaining harmony.


This creates a lot of challenges for the left hand in maintaining and even and balanced sound between the two parts and lets us see all the possible fingerings of such harmonic structures that are needed in order to accommodate for each note of the scale becoming the lowest note. It also works great for our ear training as we can directly taste the relationship and effect that each bass note has on the sustaining chordal structure within the modality of the key center.


Materials Included: "Runaway Bass" chordal exercises (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video" lesson and concept explanation.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #6 (INTERVALLIC POWERS OF THE 7TH KIND)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 6 presents an approach through which we can study the unique sound and character of a given interval and use it as a prism or sonic filter that would let us visualize and re-imagine any harmonic structure within that interval’s own sonic spectrum.

Here I will be concentrating in exploring these possibilities through the specific textural nuances of the “major 7” interval. The study explores many different ways in which we can capture the sound of a dominant 7, major 7 and minor 7 chords by only using major 7 intervals as our building blocks. I will also illustrate how we can voice entire ii-V7-I progressions with the exclusive use of such interval.


As you will notice in the following pages there are a few chord alterations that I incorporate over some of the basic harmonies you are all familiar with that might be a bit unorthodox to many. However, I really like the uniqueness of their sound especially when used within the dissonance of the major 7 interval. These are the regular 7th (in conjunction with the b7th) degree over the Dominant chord as well as the #9th degree over any Maj7 chord. I will be addressing more on that in the short tutorial video that comes with the study.

Materials Included: "Intervallic Powers of the 7th Kind" (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video" Lesson and Concept Explanation. "HD Video" of all Harmonic Phrases at tempo.

Watch Sample Video

CHORD FLAKES #1 VIDEO MASTERCLASS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this new harmonic mini-lesson series I seek to explore in detail the different voicings and chord shapes that have inspired me in one way or another over the years and that have helped me shape my harmonic personality on the instrument.


I also seek to demonstrate the different exercises and workout concepts that have helped me construct a challenging, fun and very efficient practice routine that allows for the quick internalization and implementation of such harmonic material.


Part #1 starts with a beautiful minor 9 voicing that has an intervallic architecture of a root, b7, 9 and b3.


Materials Included: CHORD FLAKES #1 study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). Link to "HD" Video Masterclass on Hristo Vitchev's official YouTube channel.

Watch Sample Video

CHORD FLAKES #2 VIDEO MASTERCLASS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this new harmonic mini-lesson series I seek to explore in detail the different voicings and chord shapes that have inspired me in one way or another over the years and that have helped me shape my harmonic personality on the instrument.


I also seek to demonstrate the different exercises and workout concepts that have helped me construct a challenging, fun and very efficient practice routine that allows for the quick internalization and implementation of such harmonic material.


Part #2 explores a beautiful minor 9(11) voicing that has an intervallic architecture of a b7, 9, b3 and 11.


Materials Included: CHORD FLAKES #2 study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). Link to "HD" Video Masterclass on Hristo Vitchev's official YouTube channel.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #7 (UNWINDING CHORDS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 7 presents an approach through which we can execute any harmony or chord as an “unwinding” melodic line which will contain simultaneous elements of different rhythmic durations.


This in turn will create a contrapuntal harmonic tapestry as some of the notes of the unwinding melody will be sustained for different amounts of time. In my opinion this way of articulating chords is the closest we can get the guitar to sound like a piano.


Working on these techniques will also improve our fluency when it comes to transitioning between melodic and fully harmonic playing as we will be able to visualize any harmony in a melodic way and any melody in a harmonic way.


The accompanying video tutorial explores each phrase in great detail and carefully covers the unique sustain value of all notes of each harmonic passage as well as the specific fingerings and left/right hand techniques in use.


Materials Included: "Unwinding Chords" (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). 30 mins. "HD" Video Masterclass.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #8 (IRREGULAR SYMMETRY - DIMINISHED)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 8 explores a unique technique for harmonizing a whole-half diminished scale by using what I call “diminished diads” - two note harmonic clusters. Even though the whole-half diminished scale is a completely symmetrical scale the irregularity in these diads will come from the fact that the lower voice will always move through the diatonic sequence starting on the whole step interval and the higher voice will always move sequentially starting on the half step interval.


The resulting harmonic structures can be used in the place of a Dominant 7 chord as long as we start the whole-half diminished scale a half step above the root of such harmony.


The accompanying video masterclass explores each harmonic phrase in great detail and covers (step by step) all concepts at play in the construction of these modern chordal lines.


Materials Included: "Irregular Symmetry - diminished" study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). 20 mins. "HD" Video Masterclass. Backing Tracks: B7alt modal groove / ii-V7-i in the key of E minor.

Watch Sample Video

 

TECHNICAL STUDIES & ETUDES

HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS (MODERN VOICING COLLECTION) #3

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types.

Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure that I find attractive and interesting to my ears. Then I will present these structures (and some of their variations) on all different string sets and positions on the fretboard so that we can fully assimilate their sounds and maximize their usage.


Part 3 explores 3 Note harmonic textures over a basic ii-V7-I-VI7 progression in the key of C Major.


I find these 3 Note voicings to be ideal for comping over standard progressions in fast tempos as well as using them as a vehicle for improving our voice-leading skills on the instrument. 

Watch Sample Video

HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS (MODERN VOICING COLLECTION) #2

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types.


Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure that I find attractive and interesting to my ears.


Then I will present these structures (and some of their variations) on all different string sets and positions on the fretboard so that we can fully assimilate their sounds and maximize their usage.


Part 2 presents some interesting selections for D7 altered (Super-Locrian) harmonies rooted in D. You can also use all voicings presented here as Ebmin(maj7) and Ab7(#11) harmonic textures.

Watch Sample Video

HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS (MODERN VOICING COLLECTION) #1

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types.


Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure that I find attractive and interesting to my ears.


Then I will present these structures (and some of their variations) on all different string sets and positions on the fretboard so that we can fully assimilate their sounds and maximize their usage.


Part 1 presents some interesting selections for Lydian (#11) harmonies rooted in F.


You can also use all voicings presented

here as Dorian (min6) harmonic textures rooted in D.

Watch Sample Video

SHARPEN UP (BINARY HARMONIC CELLS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

This short technical study explores the two-note harmonic structures I call - Binary Cells.


These cells are made only using the intervals of a 2nd and 5th and are based on the chord degrees/arpeggio of the harmony at play.


They are ideal as a connective tissue between some of the more conventional chord voicings we use often in our playing and can be a great bridge between the melodic and fully harmonic usage of the instrument.


In this study I present these Binary Cells over minor 7, Dominant 7 and Major 7 harmonies. For the Altered Dominant variations of these two-note clusters we can simply use the regular Dominant Binary Cells a TRITONE away from the root of the altered chord.


Materials Included: PDF of "Binary Harmonic Cells" Technical Study / Warm-Up Exercises (TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track: Gmin9 (Dorian).

Watch Sample Video

SHARPEN UP (HARMONIC WEBS) II-7 V7ALT IMAJ7 APPLICATION

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by Hristo Vitchev

This short technical study presents my concepts and ideas of "Harmonic Webs" (3 simultaneous voices that together weave a harmonic web that spans the entire range of the instrument) applied over seven different ii-7 V7alt Imaj7 phrases.


This way of playing harmonically on the guitar can give us a whole new set of sonic colors and textures that are in between the contrapuntal and conventional way of comping within the modern jazz guitar idiom.


Materials Included: PDF of "Harmonic Webs" ii-7 V7alt Imaj7 Application Technical Study / Warm-Up Exercises (TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track: ii V7 I (Key of C Major).

Watch Sample Video

SHARPEN UP (WARM-UP AND MELODIC VOCABULARY) HARMONIC WEBS

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by Hristo Vitchev

This technical study presents some of my favorite concepts and ideas when it comes to multi-voice harmonic playing and improvisation on the guitar.


These exercises are designed to help you visualize any key/tonal center in 3 simultaneous voices that together weave a harmonic web that spans the entire range of the instrument.


These harmonic webs can be weaved horizontally and vertically through the different mode patterns and positions of the tonal center.


The material in the study illustrates this concept in a major tonal system (key of A major) and in a minor pentatonic tonal system (G minor pentatonic).


Materials Included: PDF of "Harmonic Webs" Technical Study / Warm-Up Exercises (TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track: D Lydian (Key of A Major).

Watch Sample Video

MODERN VOICES - CHORDAL ETUDE (HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series (“Modern Voices”) I seek to explore the vast array of possibilities that the guitar has to offer when it comes down to modern/contemporary harmony and chordal construction and its implementation over standard chord progressions and tunes from the Great American songbook.


In this Chordal Etude I present to you some new ideas and possible chord voicings over the chord progression of one of my favorite medium tempo standards by Irving Berlin - “How Deep Is The Ocean.”


Materials Included: Chordal Etude (PDF) in standard notation and tablature. HD Video/Audio of the Chordal Etude at tempo. Backing track for practice.

Watch Sample Video

MODERN VOICES - CHORDAL ETUDE (BLUE IN GREEN)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series (“Modern Voices”) I seek to explore the vast array of possibilities that the guitar has to offer when it comes down to modern/contemporary harmony and chordal construction and its implementation over standard chord progressions and tunes from the Great American songbook.


In this Chordal Etude I present to you some new ideas and possible chord voicings over the chord progression of one of my favorite jazz ballads - the beautiful tune by pianist Bill Evans “Blue In Green.”


Materials Included: Chordal Etude (PDF) in standard notation and tablature. HD Video/Audio of the Chordal Etude at tempo. Backing track for practice.

Watch Sample Video

MODERN VOICES - CHORDAL ETUDE (DARN THAT DREAM)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series (“Modern Voices”) I seek to explore the vast array of possibilities that the guitar has to offer when it comes down to modern/contemporary harmony and chordal construction and its implementation over standard chord progressions and tunes from the Great American songbook.


In this Chordal Etude I present to you some new ideas and possible chord voicings over the chord progression of the well known jazz standard “Darn That Dream.”


Materials Included: Chordal Etude (PDF) in standard notation and tablature. HD Video/Audio of the Chordal Etude at tempo. Backing track for practice.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #14 (ALTERED PENTACHORDS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar.


Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


In Study #14 I present to you a fun system by which you can extract chord voicings from pentatonic scales to create a rich and smooth modal harmonic canvas all over the fretboard. For this study I will concentrate on the “Altered Pentatonic Scale” as presented in my book “Paint-A-Tonic: Abstract Dominant 7 Pentatonic Sketches.”


This scale contains the root, #9th, 3rd, #5th/b13th and b7th of the chord. (See Pentatonic Modes diagram attached)


To extract chord voicings from it we can pretty much select any 3 or more notes from the scale and then transpose each voice (note) of the resulting harmony through the five modes of the altered pentatonic scale to produce its modal sequence.


Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #11 (ENCAPSULATED HEXAGONAL CLUSTERS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar.


Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


Study #11 focuses on extracting three note harmonic clusters from any major key and its diatonic modes. These three note clusters are produced with the interval of a 6th as their nucleus.


The resulting chordal textures can be used as embellishing harmonic structures to the regular diatonic chords of the key. In this study I am extracting the clusters from the F Major tonal center and using them as colorations over a "Gmin7" harmony.


By playing through this set of exercises we can work on stretching, endurance, strength, coordination and dexterity in the left hand as well as fretboard logic and tonal center navigation over the entire instrument.

Watch Sample Video

VITCHEV + 1 "HARMONIQUE" CHORDAL ETUDE FT. WILL BRAHM (GUITAR)

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Vitchev + 1) I seek to compose technically challenging and creative etudes with a specific player in mind.


The studies will be a great vehicle to practice different concepts and ideas that are inspired and borrow from the idiomatic vocabulary of each instrument featured.


"Harmonique" is a chordal etude that specifically works on two harmonic techniques: playing sustained chord voicings with continuously articulated melody notes on top and also sustaining a static melody note while moving continuously articulated chord voicings under it.


The etude was written for the world renowned jazz guitarist Will Brahm. (New West Guitar Group, Arturo Sandoval, Honemaje)

Includes: "Harmonique" chordal etude for Concert Key (Standard Notation + Tablature), Backing Track, Audio and Video recording of full etude featuring Hristo Vitchev (guitar) and Will Brahm (guitar).

Watch Sample Video

SHORT CHORDAL ETUDE (DREAMING OF VERONA)

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by Hristo Vitchev

This etude is inspired by Gilad Hekselman's composition "Verona" and works on sustaining a pedal note while chords are changing below it.


The high E (1st string open) is sounded over every harmony of the etude and the goal is to be able to transition smoothly between all voicings without touching, muting and preventing the first string from ringing.


The etude also works on chordal technique, stretching, finger independence and dexterity in the left hand.

Watch Sample Video

MODAL X-ING (3 NOTE HARMONIC FRACTALS) SHORT HARMONIC ETUDE: THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this short harmonic etude I demonstrate how to use the different types of "3 note harmonic fractals" (that can be extracted from the modes of the major and melodic minor scales) to comp over the changes of the well known jazz standard "The Days of Wine and Roses."

Watch Sample Video

MODAL X-ING (3 NOTE HARMONIC FRACTALS) II-7 V7ALT IMAJ7 HARMONIC PHRASES

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this study I demonstrate how to use the different types of “3 note harmonic fractals” (that can be extracted from the modes of the major and melodic minor scales) in producing intricate and captivating “ii-V7-I” harmonic phrases in a major key.


All examples are presented in the key of C Major.

Watch Sample Video

HARMONIC /THE-SAU-RUS #4 (3 NOTE VOICINGS ETUDE) - "ALONE TOGETHER"

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series I will be presenting some of my favorite voicings for a number of different chord types.


Each installment will concentrate on a specific intervallic harmonic structure that I find attractive and interesting to my ears.


Part 4 presents some ideas for applying the 3 Note harmonic textures covered in the previous Volume #3 over the form of a standard tune. This is a chordal etude based on the changes of the great jazz standard "Alone Together."


Materials Included: PDF of "Harmonic Thesaurus #4" 3 Note Voicings Etude (TAB and Standard Notation). 2 Backing Tracks: 1) drums, bass and guitar melody included. 2) only drums and bass (no guitar melody) HD Video/Audio of full etude.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #10 (ENCAPSULATED QUINTAL CLUSTERS) - APPLICATION OVER II-V7-I PROGRESSIONS

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar. Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


Study #10 illustrates how to use the "encapsulated quintal clusters" presented in Study #9 when voicing ii-V7-I progressions in major keys. These three note harmonic textures are perfect to add a different flavor and color to your chordal vocabulary when playing over basic chord progressions. All examples presented in the key of C Major.


By playing through this set of exercises we can work on stretching, endurance, strength, coordination and dexterity in the left hand as well as fretboard logic and tonal center navigation over the entire instrument.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #9 (ENCAPSULATED QUINTAL CLUSTERS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar. Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


Study #9 focuses on extracting three note harmonic clusters from any major key and its diatonic modes. These three note clusters are produced with the interval of a 5th as their nucleus. The resulting chordal textures can be used as embellishing harmonic structures to the regular diatonic chords of the key. In this study I am extracting the clusters from the F Major tonal center and using them as colorations over a "Gmin7" harmony.


By playing through this set of exercises we can work on stretching, endurance, strength, coordination and dexterity in the left hand as well as fretboard logic and tonal center navigation over the entire instrument.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #8 (INTERVALLIC QUARTAL VOYAGE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar. Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


Study #8 focuses on quartal voicings and their execution over the entire range of the instrument. Instead of thinking of the quartal harmonization of a scale on a specific string set and moving each harmony horizontally up and down the key center I like to harmonize each specific mode fingering of a given key in position (vertically) and utilize different string sets of the quartal harmony so they align with the same physical movement and space as the melodic execution of the mode. Once we get comfortable with the specific fingerings and chord shapes we can practice all quartal voicings within the mode in diatonic 3rds.


By playing through this set of exercises we can work on stretching, endurance, strength, coordination and dexterity in the left hand as well as fretboard logic and tonal center navigation over the entire instrument.

Watch Sample Video

CONTRARY MOTION CHORDAL ETUDE - "MY FOOLISH HEART"

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by Hristo Vitchev

This etude is designed to work on chordal technique, stretching, finger independence and dexterity in the left hand.


It features a stepwise descending bass line and a stepwise ascending melody line over the chord changes of the well known jazz ballad - "My Foolish Heart".

Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #3 (STATIC NOTE PROGRESSIVE HARMONIZATION) - DOMINANT 7

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar. Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


Study #3 focuses on chordal practice and the concept of being able to harmonize any given melody note as any degree, extension or alteration of a chord. Here we focus on the "Dominant 7" sonorities and select the note "B" as the static melody note we will be harmonizing.

Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #2 (STATIC NOTE PROGRESSIVE HARMONIZATION)

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar. Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


Study #2 focuses on chordal practice and the concept of being able to harmonize any given melody note as any degree, extension or alteration of a chord. Here we focus on the "Major 7" and "minor 7" sonorities and select the note "B" as the static melody note we will be harmonizing.

Watch Sample Video

10 PENTATONIC VOICINGS "II-V7ALT-I" VOICE LEADING STUDIES

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by Hristo Vitchev

In these 10 voice leading studies I explore some of my favorite ways to combine and insert pentatonic voicings within my regular chord voicing vocabulary over a standard ii-V7alt-I progression in the key of C Major.


These pentatonic harmonic structures (which are covered in full detail in my "Pentatonic Voicings" book) are great to add different hues of chordal textures over any chord or chord progression.

Watch Sample Video

6 MINIMALISTIC MAJOR SCALE HARMONIZATIONS (STATIC MELODY NOTE)

6 minimalistic major scale harmonization

by Hristo Vitchev

These harmonic warm up exercises are designed around the concept "less is more" - bringing out the elegance, space and beauty found in a more minimalistic approach to constructing diatonic harmonies. They are presented in the key of "G Major" in 6 different variations (with a static melody note) and work on interesting voice-leading, stretching and chordal vocabulary development.

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4 "DIATONIC HARMONIZATION" WARM UP EXERCISES (MAJOR SCALE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

These harmonic warm up exercises cover all diatonic chords of the key of "D Major" in four different areas of the fretboard and work on interesting voice-leading, stretching and chordal vocabulary development.

Watch Sample Video

STATIC BASS CHORDAL ETUDE - "SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME"

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by Hristo Vitchev

This etude is designed to work on chordal technique, stretching, finger independence and dexterity in the left hand. It features a static bass (pedal on the note "F") and moving inner voices and melody over the chord changes of the well known jazz standard - "Someday My Prince Will Come".

Watch Sample Video

STATIC MELODY CHORDAL ETUDE - "ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE"

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by Hristo Vitchev

This etude is designed to work on chordal technique, stretching, finger independence and dexterity in the left hand. It features a static melody note (the note G) while the bass and inner voices move around it. The etude is composed over the chord changes of the well known jazz standard - "All The Things You Are".

Watch Sample Video

CONTRARY MOTION CHORDAL ETUDE - "SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME"

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by Hristo Vitchev

This etude is designed to work on chordal technique, stretching, finger independence and dexterity in the left hand. It features a stepwise descending bass line and a stepwise ascending melody line over the chord changes of the well known jazz standard - "Someday My Prince Will Come".

Watch Sample Video

SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #6 (HARMONIC INTERVALS) - MAJOR / MELODIC MINOR

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar. Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


Study #6 focuses on harmonic intervals (5ths, 6ths, 7ths, octaves, 9ths and 10ths). This is one of my favorite ways to warm up before a concert or recording session and by playing through this set of exercises we can work on stretching, strength, coordination and dexterity in the left hand as well as fretboard logic and tonal center navigation over the entire instrument.

Watch Sample Video

3 HARMONIC VARIATIONS

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by Hristo Vitchev

3 Harmonic Variations - Short Harmonic Voice-Leading Study concentrating on the usage of interesting 3 Note Voicings and their application over the bridge chord progression of the song "James" by Pat Metheny.


Materials Included: 3 Harmonic Variations study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). HD Video/Audio of the presented voice-leading harmonic variations. Backing track.

Watch Sample Video

CHORD SOLI (CHORDAL SOLOING PHRASES OVER A I VI7 II V7 PROGRESSION)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chordal study my main goal is to explore some of the techniques, chord voicings and ways in which we can capture on the guitar the densely rich harmonic textures present in reed and brass section "soli" playing within the big band style and idiom.


The study explores five different "8 measure" chordal phrases over a basic I VI7 ii V7 progression in the key of C major. Each phrase utilizes a different set of harmonic devices for coloration, chromatic harmonic motion and secondary harmonic cadences that help us paint a much more vivid and captivating sonic landscape over the basic harmony at play.


Materials Included: CHORD SOLI (Chordal Soloing Phrases Over a I VI7 ii V7 Progression) study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). HD Video/Audio of all chordal soloing phrases at tempo and slowed down. Two backing tracks: at tempo (168bpm) and slowed down (115bpm).

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HARMONIC EVOLUTION (CHORDAL EXPLORATIONS OVER THE CHANGES OF "BRIGHT SIZE LIFE" BY P. METHENY)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study I present a concept I really like to use for my voicing vocabulary practice on the guitar which I call "Harmonic Evolution." It consists of carefully studying a tune and learning to navigate through its harmonic landscape in many different chord density levels.


I usually start exploring the voice-leading possibilities of a progression with "2 note" harmonic structures and then slowly expand to "3 and 4 note" choices as well. Each one of these density levels presents us with different sonic colors and textures as well as a different sonic weight.


Here you will find three different chordal etudes written over the changes of the great Pat Metheny song "Bright Size Live" that have been carefully designed to showcase the unique possibilities of each one of the harmonic density levels described earlier.


Materials Included: "Harmonic Evolution" chordal study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). HD Video/Audio of the presented chordal etudes. Backing track.

Watch Sample Video

"10 TONAL EXERCISES" VOLUME 7 (CHORDAL) - HARMONIC WHISPERS

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by Hristo Vitchev

The following exercises are specifically designed to help you develop finger independence and improve your chordal technique in all positions of the fretboard. They are also ideal to build and establish a very strong and reliable harmonic navigational system on the instrument and provide a strong nucleus and framework for harmonic vocabulary development.


These exercises and practice ideas are also great to develop strength, endurance and dexterity in both hands.


All exercises should be practiced without the use of any barre technique in the left hand. All notes have to be played with individual fingers in order to maximize the efficiency in developing a clean and very well coordinated chording technique.


Sometimes that might require some very specific and unorthodox fingerings but it is of great importance in the process of developing independence between the different voices of a harmonic passage.


Materials Included: "10 Tonal Exercises" Volume 7 (Chordal) - Harmonic Whispers (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video/Audio" of all exercises presented in the study.

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MODERN VOICES - CHORDAL ETUDE (WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series (“Modern Voices”) I seek to explore the vast array of possibilities that the guitar has to offer when it comes down to modern/contemporary harmony and chordal construction and its implementation over standard chord progressions and tunes from the Great American songbook.


In this Chordal Etude I present to you some new ideas and possible chord voicings over the chord progression of one of my favorite medium tempo standards by Cole Porter - “What Is This Thing Called Love.”


Materials Included: Chordal Etude (PDF) in standard notation and tablature. HD Video/Audio of the Chordal Etude at tempo. Backing track for practice.

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POLYPHONIC TWINS - 2 PART CHORDAL ETUDE (ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

This “2 Part” Chordal Etude demonstrates how to apply the material presented in my Polyphonic Twins Volume 1- (3 Note Voicings) book and chordal study over standard jazz chord progressions and forms.


The main approach of what I call “Polyphonic Twins” is a very fun way to look at harmony on the guitar from a geometrical and pattern oriented perspective. 


In Part 1 of this chordal etude I demonstrate how we could use only one physical shape - Polyphonic Twin #6 - for a 3 note voicing to comp the entire chord progression of the well known jazz standard - “All The Things You Are.” In


Part 2 I add to the mix what I call “reference voicings” (more standardized and common chord fingerings) to give some contrast and a new harmonic point of view to the voice-leading presented in Part 1.


Materials Included: POLYPHONIC TWINS - 2 Part Chordal Etude (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video" of 2 Part Chordal Etude. Backing track.


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MODERN VOICES - CHORDAL ETUDE (SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME) USING "RESPONSIVE COMPING" TECHNIQUES

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this harmonic study series (“Modern Voices”) I seek to explore the vast array of possibilities that the guitar has to offer when it comes down to modern/contemporary harmony and chordal construction and its implementation over standard chord progressions and tunes from the Great American songbook.


In this Chordal Etude I present to you some new ideas and possible chord voicings over the chord progression of one of my favorite waltz (3/4) standards by Frank Churchill - “Someday My Prince Will Come.” This etude is also designed around a technique I call “responsive comping” which consists of reacting melodically to the harmonic questions stated by the chordal selections. In my opinion this provides for a more interesting and well balanced dialogue and harmonic density as the melodic responses to each voicing serve as a mechanism for resolution and tension release.


Each chord in the transcription should be arpeggiated (while holding and sustaining all pitches) in 8th notes by starting on the highest note first, then dropping to the lowest note second and continuing in ascending order from there until the melodic response note comes in on the up-beat of beat 3.


Materials Included: Chordal Etude (PDF) in standard notation and tablature. HD Video/Audio of the Chordal Etude at tempo.

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RE-HARMONIZATION & CHORDAL SUBSTITUTION

STEPPING OUT (HARMONIC "OUTSIDE PLAYING" CONCEPTS) - MINOR CHORDS

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this short study I present to you a harmonic concept I like using very often when trying to “step outside” while playing over minor sonorities, vamps and modal sections of tunes.


The concept consists of taking a minor chord (fully extended) and breaking it down into the 3 basic minor sonorities within its structure.


My personal preference for minor chords is the Dorian sound and so here I am presenting the ideas and techniques applied in that manner but you can choose your favorite minor hues and colorations and approach them in the same fashion.


Once I break down the original chord into its three primary minor colors then I can tonicize each one of the resulting chords with its own ii-7(b5) and V7alt.


As all three tonicized minor chords are really the same harmony, each one of their preceding ii and V chords can serve as a vehicle to push us towards a resolution into the original sonority with a different degree of dissonance and outside tension.


Materials Included: PDF of "Stepping Out" Harmonic Study (TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track: Gmin9 (Dorian).

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SHORT TECHNICAL STUDY #15 (MAJOR SCALE CHROMATIC HARMONIZATION)

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented in this series (Short Technical Studies) I seek to demonstrate some of the creative and fun ways in which I like to isolate and work on specific techniques on the guitar.

Each study is designed with a unique concept and goal in mind and utilizes a variety of ways in which the technique can be used on the instrument.


In Study #15 I present to you two harmonic exercises that are designed to help us expand the chordal possibilities of any major key by using "secondary dominants" to harmonize the non-diatonic notes of the scale.


We end up by having every single one of the twelve chromatic steps harmonized within the major scale's tonal center.


Exercise #1 presents a "Chromatic Descent" approach and Exercise #2 takes us in a "Chromatic Ascent" direction.

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THE REHARM FARM (MODERN RE-HARMONIZATION STUDIES) - AUTUMN LEAVES

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by Hristo Vitchev

n this video masterclass series I concentrate in illustrating some of my favorite modern concepts for re-harmonization and arranging applied over the standard harmonic progressions of the jazz idiom.


In Episode #3 I will be showcasing modern techniques for chordal substitution and the implementation of the minor7(b6) chord (Aeolian) as the main harmonic color over the changes of the well know jazz standard "Autumn Leaves."


Materials Included: 70 minutes detailed HD video masterclass which will cover theory and re-harmonization concepts, specific guitar chording techniques and harmonic analysis. Chord chart with re-harmonized changes and chord fingering diagrams for all voicings presented in the study (PDF file).

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THE REHARM FARM (MODERN RE-HARMONIZATION STUDIES) - MY FOOLISH HEART

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this video masterclass series I concentrate in illustrating some of my favorite modern concepts for re-harmonization and arranging applied over the standard harmonic progressions of the jazz idiom.


In Episode #2 I will be showcasing a "chromatic descent" chordal substitution technique over the harmonic progression of the well know jazz standard "My Foolish Heart."


Materials Included: 1 hour detailed HD video masterclass which will cover theory and re-harmonization concepts, specific guitar chording techniques and harmonic analysis. Chord chart with re-harmonized changes and chord fingering diagrams for all voicings presented in the study (PDF file).

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THE REHARM FARM (MODERN RE-HARMONIZATION STUDIES) - STELLA BY STARLIGHT

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this video masterclass series I concentrate in illustrating some of my favorite modern concepts for re-harmonization and arranging applied over the standard harmonic progressions of the jazz idiom.


In Episode #1 I will be showcasing a few different ideas for chordal substitution over the harmonic progression of the well know jazz standard "Stella by Starlight."


Materials Included: 1 hour detailed HD video masterclass which will cover theory and re-harmonization concepts, specific guitar chording techniques and harmonic analysis. Chord chart with re-harmonized changes and chord fingering diagrams for all voicings presented in the study (PDF file).

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THE HARMONY TREE (PEDAL POINT HARMONIC EXPLORATIONS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

n this study I will be covering a harmonic substitution concept I have been researching and exploring for the last few years. I call this approach “The Harmony Tree” as it evolves from a starting “stem/trunk” harmony and just like a tree eventually it branches out in many different directions producing more distant and dissonant harmonic substitutions that are all connected to the same root system.


The concept starts by selecting an initial chord and then using its root as a pedal point over which other chords will invert and branch out. The root/bass note of our first harmony will eventually circle through all possible functioning degrees, extensions and alterations to form other chords (branches) of the harmony tree. These chords will then become possible substitution selections for the original harmony.


In this study I have extracted a ii-7 | V7alt | Imaj7 in the key of Eb major (Fmin7 | Bb7alt | Ebmaj7) and we will apply the Harmony Tree approach to all three chords of our progression individually. Then I will illustrate how the newly formed chords/branches can be used as harmonic substitutions in the context of the ii-V-I progression.

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ENCLOSED - HARMONIC ENCLOSURES (MINOR CHORDS / DORIAN)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In the previous two volumes of this book series I presented some of the ideas and concepts for “enclosing” melodic structures that I use in my own playing.


In this volume I would like to present a few harmonic enclosure ideas that have been very helpful for me in expanding my chordal palette and tonal boundaries when playing over minor/modal progressions and sections of tunes.


For the purpose of illustrating the concepts with more clarity and ease I will select an Amin7 chord (Dorian) as the harmonic foundation of all enclosure ideas and exercises presented in the study.

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HARMONIC REFLECTIONS (ALTERED REFRACTIONS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

The main concept behind the Harmonic Reflection approach for chordal substitution and coloration involves literally reflecting or mirroring the diatonic degrees and harmonies of a scale across its root axis.


The new Harmonic Reflection of such scale will contain a different key signature as well as a whole new set of diatonic chords but across the axis of reflection we can substitute or use together the same diatonic degrees/harmonies of both scales.


Once we extract the new set of reflected/mirrored diatonic harmonies we can freely substitute them or use in conjunction with their regular versions from the original key.


In this short study we will concentrate on the Altered Dominant chord and its parent melodic minor scale.


This approach can provide us with 13 different harmonies to explore over any given altered dominant and really help us find the perfect balance of chordal consonance/dissonance.

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HARMONIC REFLECTIONS (MIRRORING RESOLUTION II-V7-I)

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by Hristo Vitchev

The main concept behind the Harmonic Reflection approach for chordal substitution and coloration involves literally reflecting or mirroring the diatonic degrees and harmonies of a scale across its root axis.


The new Harmonic Reflection of such scale will contain a different key signature as well as a whole new set of diatonic chords but across the axis of reflection we can substitute or use together the same diatonic degrees/harmonies of both scales.


To illustrate the concepts more clearly I will concentrate on the Major Scale and its harmonic reflections in this study. Once we extract the new set of reflected/mirrored diatonic harmonies we can freely substitute them or use in conjunction with their regular versions from the original key.


In the following pages I present to you some of my favorite ways to harmonize the basic Major Scale, its “Harmonic Reflection” and “Retrograde Harmonic Reflection”.


Then, I present you with some of my preferred ways to incorporate these new substitutions into the basic ii-V7-I progression in the key of C Major.

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UNDERCOVER SUBSTITUTIONS (CHROMATONAL II-V7-I)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this study I illustrate how to apply the concepts from my “Undercover Substitutions” book series to "ii-V7-I" progressions and how to find different substitutions and colorations for the original harmony by using all the degrees of the chromatic scale.


Once we extract a series of possible substitutions for each original chord moving through all 12 degrees of the chromatic scale we can put them back together in the form of a “ii-V7-I” progression that also moves chromatically up or down.


The concepts and ideas presented in this harmonic study are among some of my favorite ways to re-harmonize tunes as well as sonically contrast and spice-up standard chord progressions.

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SHORT CHORDAL ETUDE (ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET) - USING "UNDERCOVER SUBSTITUTIONS"

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by Hristo Vitchev

This etude is designed to illustrate the application of the concepts and ideas presented in my "Undercover Substitutions" re-harmonization and chordal substitution study over the chordal progression of the well know jazz standard "On Green Dolphin Street".


The etude also works on chordal technique, stretching, finger independence and dexterity in the left hand.

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UNDERCOVER SUBSTITUTIONS (EVOLUTION OF THE MINOR BLUES)

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by Hristo Vitchev

The concepts and ideas presented in this harmonic study are among some of my favorite ways to re-harmonize tunes as well as sonically contrast and spice-up standard chord progressions.


In the following pages I will show you the standard 12 bar minor blues form (key of C) and some of my favorite voicings I use when comping over it. Then I will present you with a re-harmonization of the form using the "undercover substitutions"method in two different versions.


The first version will be the combination of the original harmony with the newly selected substitutions which can showcase the possibilities for harmonic shading and coloration against the standard chord progression. The second version will contain only the substitutions without the original harmony so it can take the minor blues to a whole new harmonic landscape.

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SHORT HARMONIC SKETCH #1 (WILD II-V7-I) SUS4 RE-HARMONIZATION

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by Hristo Vitchev

With the material presented here I seek to illustrate some of the ideas and ways in which I like to practice and develop both the melodic and harmonic characters of the instrument.


These are very short phrases that combine different melodic/harmonic and technical elements to make for a fun, musical and challenging way to practice.


In Sketch #1 (harmonic) I want to illustrate a concept I use often in my harmonic playing over ii-V7-I progressions. If we take all three chords of such progression and represent them as SUS4 harmonies we open up a whole different textural landscape to be explored.

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DIAMETRIC HARMONY PART I: THE II CHORD (MINOR 7)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this study I will be demonstrating one of my favorite ways to utilize all the elements of the chromatic scale (the 12 possible pitches of our music system) to add different shades and colorations to any given harmony.


In Part I we will be taking a look as to how to apply this concept over the ii chord (minor 7) and in subsequent studies we will cover all harmonic types and functions.

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SUS4 TONAL TRANSLATION (SUSPENDED TENSION)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this short harmonic study I will share with you one of my very favorite ways to add tension, contrast and coloration to minor harmonic vamps or modal sections.


This concept involves some of the theory and ideas of “Opposite Sonorities” - a book I have co-written with Ezequiel Ocampo.

I will illustrate all examples by taking an Amin7 harmony as our sample vamp. The concept works best in situations where we are presented with extensive intros/outros of a static minor harmony or where we are simply approaching a modal tune with a minor chord progression and want to add these contrasting harmonic textures.

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SUS4 TONAL TRANSLATION (HARMONIC APPLICATIONS OVER II-V7-I)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this short harmonic study I illustrate a concept I use to substitute or tonally translate the chords of a ii-V7-I progression in a major key with “sus4” type chords and their related harmonic varieties to add a more open, etherial and modern sound to the classic back bone of jazz harmonic movements.


The study covers the theory and chordal substitution practices behind this approach and contains 4 examples of some of my favorite ways to apply the concept in my own playing style.


All examples are demonstrated in the key of C Major but I invite you to explore the concepts in different keys as well as different harmonic progressions.

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5 "NON-FUNCTIONAL HARMONY" SUBSTITUTIONS (II-V7-I)

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by Hristo Vitchev

This book presents a concept/principle I use for constructing possible chordal substitutions by extracting the 3rd and 7th (guide tones) of each chord and building a new harmony which contains such two notes as chord tones, extensions, alterations, or any combination of them.


The new chords can be used in conjunction with the original harmony or simply used as improvisational and compositional tools to create interesting harmonic passages.

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HARMONIC PARADOX (A NEW LOOK AT MAJOR SCALE HARMONIZATION USING TRITONE RELATIONSHIPS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this short harmonic study I present to you a few concepts and ideas that I find very useful when trying to expand and augment the harmonic possibilities of any diatonic chord progression by borrowing tonal material from keys that share tritone relationships.


I find this type of harmonic navigation extremely appealing not only for one's improvisatory chordal vocabulary but also when it comes to composing and arranging as it can open your ears to a multitude of new and lush harmonic roadways.


Materials Included: HARMONIC PARADOX Study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). "HD Video/Audio" of all exercises presented in the study.

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GEOMETRY OF HARMONIC TENSION (MODAL CONTRAST - MINOR CHORDS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this study/video masterclass I want to present a unique method for introducing tension/dissonance to a harmonic passage that I have been developing over the years.


This approach to “outside playing” is based purely on the geometry and visual architecture of a chordal structure (abstract geometrical shapes that can be easily recognized on the fretboard) and does not particularly relate to the conventional harmonic principles and teachings of the western music tradition.


In Part 1 I will be presenting these ideas as applied to minor chords. All examples presented here are based on a Dmin7 harmony (key of C major).


In the accompanying video masterclass I break down the concepts step by step and carefully show you the way they are constructed as well as how to practice them in a comprehensive and organized way that could speed up their implementation into your own playing styles. Materials Included: GEOMETRY OF HARMONIC TENSION (Modal Contrast - minor chords) study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Track (Dmin7 harmony). 75 mins. "HD Video" Tutorial Masterclass.

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GEOMETRY OF HARMONIC TENSION (MODERN II-V7-I CHORDAL PHRASES)

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by Hristo Vitchev

This study/video masterclass is the continuation to Part 1 of the Geometry of Harmonic Tension book series. Here I will be presenting different ideas as to how we can use the Modal RRL and RLR voicings and their contrasting tensions in conjunction with basic reference chord shapes when playing over ii-V7-I harmonic passages.


This approach to “outside playing” is based purely on the geometry and visual architecture of a chordal structure (abstract geometrical shapes that can be easily recognized on the fretboard) and does not particularly relate to the conventional harmonic principles and teachings of the western music tradition.


The study consists of 7 different (4 measure) modern chordal phrases over a ii-V7-I progression in the key of C Major which are analyzed and studied in great detail to expose their architecture, function and degree of tension.


Materials Included: GEOMETRY OF HARMONIC TENSION (Modern ii-V7-I Chordal Phrases) study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). Backing Tracks (At Tempo and Slowed Down). 60 mins. "HD Video" Tutorial Masterclass.

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SHORT CHORDVERSATIONS #9 (DISTANT TRITONES - MAJOR)

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by Hristo Vitchev

Part 9 presents a concept through which we can apply the basic principles and rules of the traditional “tritone substitution” between Dominant 7 chords but this time over the tonic chord of a progression or tonal center - the Maj7 harmony.


I call this way of substituting Maj7 chords - “Distant Tritone Substitution” as it takes the application of the original rules to a new and more distant sonic place.


The accompanying video masterclass explores in great detail some of my favorite ways to practice these concepts and find new ways to harmonically contrast Maj7 sonorities within the context of a static chordal vamp or a standard functional progression.


Materials Included: "Distant Tritones - major" study (PDF file - TAB and Standard Notation). 20 mins. "HD" Video Masterclass. Backing Tracks: modal Cmaj7 vamp / ii-V7-i in the key of C major.

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CHORD-MELODY ARRANGEMENTS

VOICING & REJOICING (CHORDAL STUDY - MY ONE AND ONLY LOVE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chordal study I demonstrate some of the ways I like to re-harmonize standard tunes and arrange them in a chord-melody fashion for the guitar.


Here I present a great workout for some contemporary jazz guitar voicings over the harmonic progression of the great ballad by Guy Wood - "My One and Only Love."


(Standard Notation and Tablature) + HD audio/video of the chordal study.

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VOICING & REJOICING (CHORDAL STUDY - THE NEARNESS OF YOU)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chordal study I demonstrate some of the ways I like to re-harmonize standard tunes and arrange them in a chord-melody fashion for the guitar.


Here I present a great workout for some contemporary jazz guitar voicings over the harmonic progression of the great ballad "The Nearness Of You."


(Standard Notation and Tablature)

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HARMONIC PORTRAIT - CHARLIE CHAPLIN (SMILE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chordal study series I seek to depict and illustrate the magical character of some of my favorite musicians expressed through my own harmonic brush just like an artist painting a portrait.


This episode is dedicated to the greatness of one of the world’s most renowned comedians and actors (and who also composed one of the sweetest songs ever - “Smile”) - Charlie Chaplin.


This is my take on his brilliant composition - “Smile.”

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HARMONIC PORTRAIT - THELONIOUS MONK ('ROUND MIDNIGHT)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chordal study series I seek to depict and illustrate the magical character of some of my favorite musicians expressed through my own harmonic brush just like an artist painting a portrait.


This episode is dedicated to the legacy and memory of one of the most original voices in jazz - the great Thelonious Monk.


This is my take on one of his most beautiful compositions - “'Round Midnight.”

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HARMONIC PORTRAIT - CHICK COREA (WINDOWS)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this chordal study series I seek to depict and illustrate the magical character of some of my favorite musicians expressed through my own harmonic brush just like an artist painting a portrait.


This episode is dedicated to the legacy and memory of one of the true giants of jazz and music in general - Chick Corea.


This is my take on one of his most beautiful compositions - “Windows.”

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SHORT HARMONIC ETUDE (SILENT NIGHT)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this etude I demonstrate some of the ways I like to re-harmonize standard tunes and arrange them in a chord-melody fashion for the guitar.


Here I present my take on the classic Christmas song "Silent Night" by Franz Gruber.

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SHORT HARMONIC ETUDE (MISTY)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this etude I demonstrate some of the ways I like to re-harmonize standard tunes and arrange them in a chord-melody fashion for the guitar. Here I present my take on Erroll Garner's beautiful ballad "Misty".

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SHORT HARMONIC ETUDE (PEACE)

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by Hristo Vitchev

In this etude I demonstrate some of the ways I like to re-harmonize standard tunes and arrange them in a chord-melody fashion for the guitar. Here I present my take on Horace Silver's well known ballad "Peace".

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