So what chord - Jazz rhythm guitar lesson - Modal comping
- By Stef Ramin
- On 24/01/2017
- Comments (0)
The origin of the "so what chord" name would be due to its use by the jazz pianist Bill Evans in the modal tune "So what" by Miles Davis. This is is a cool and modern sounding chord voicing often used as an alternative to quartal voicings. It is built with a fourth chord on the bottom (3 perfect fourths stacked) and a major third added on the top. This particular chord was originally played on a piano, but it is quite interesting to play it on the guitar to support rhythmically and harmonically a soloist over a modal tune.
This jazz guitar rhythm lesson with tabs and diagrams provides you some interesting ideas of comping inspired by McCoy Tyner's playing on "impressions" by John Coltrane.
What is a "So what chord"
Before learning the "so what chord" it is better to know how fourth chords are built, so go take a look at this post about the quartal harmonization.
The "So what chord" is a five note chord voicing coming from the dorian mode. It is built with three perfect fourths and one major third. This creates a combination of quartal harmony (chords built in fourths) and tertiary harmony (chords built in thirds). The example below show you how is built the Em11 chord. Starting from the degree I of the E dorian mode, a first perfect fourth (A) is added to the root note (E), a second fourth (D) and a third fourth (G) are stacked. Thus giving a perfect fourth chord in its pure form (3 fourths are stacked). Now, just add a the major third (B) starting from the higher note of the fourth chord and you get the "So what chord" named Em7add11.
The "So what chord" is identical to the standard tuning of the five lowest strings of the guitar. (E-A-D-G-B). It is considered as m11 chord, but in theory m11 chords must contain a 9th. That is not the case here, so what chords are made up of 1, 4, b7, b3 and 11. You can even name them m7add11.
Chords used in this lesson
For the 10 following exercises, we will use two "so what chords" and one major 7th chord built from the degrees I,II and III of the D Dorian scale. First, you have to know how the D Dorian mode is built. This is a minor mode, the second of the C major scale.
|D Dorian mode||D||E||F||G||A||B||C|
|Formula||1||2 (9)||b3||4 (11)||5||6 (13)||b7|
So what chords
In the Dorian mode the I and the II chords are minor chords. By stacking three fourths and adding a major third on each note related to the degrees I and II we obtain two "So what chords" (Dm11 and Em11).
So what chord diagram
To play the Dm11 "so what chord" on the guitar using the guitar shape on the left, you have to put locate the root note "R" which is on the fifth string at the fifth fret. Em11 is located at the seventh fret, two semitones higher than Dm11.
Major 7th chord shape
The guitar diagram on the left show you how to place your fingers to get a major 7th chord. It is not built in fourths, but in thirds. This is is an inverted drop 2 chord position. Put your first finger on the fifth string at the eighth fret and you get the root note of Fmaj7 used in the patterns below.
10 jazz guitar rhythms - Modal comping
The 10 jazz guitar rhythm exercises below are arranged for guitar to practice modal chords inspired by Mc Coy Tyner's comping on "Impressions" by John Coltrane. First, be sure to master the two previous chord shapes before learning these 10 rhythm patterns. Once you have learnt all these patterns you have to transpose them a semitone up, from Dm7 to Ebm7 and try to fit them with the backing track which is 16 bars of Dm7, 8 bars of Ebm7, 8 bars of Dm7. You can play with your thumb, as it is shown in the video, or you can use a pick.
Which makes a total of 6 chords to play : Dm11, Em11, Fmaj7 (D Dorian mode) and Ebm11, Fm11 Gbmaj7 ( Eb Dorian).
Modal comping - Rhythm #1
Modal comping - Rhythm #2
Modal comping - Rhythm #3
Modal comping - Rhythm #4
Modal comping - Rhythm #5
Modal comping - Rhythm #6
Modal comping - Rhythm #7
Modal comping - Rhythm #8
Modal comping - Rhythm #9
Modal comping - Rhythm #10
This PDF eBook contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, analysis , explanations and audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale.
40 easy jazz, blues guitar licks with tabs & scale charts. Printable PDF & eBook method to learn to play in the style of Wes Montgomery & Charlie Christian.
This PDF eBook is about 25 soul jazz guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks. Lessons with tabs, diagrams, backing track & audio files.
This printable PDF book will help you to understand which scales should be played over a minor II-V-I sequence. Jazz guitar lesson with tabs & audio.
This jazz guitar eBook pdf contains 10 II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, backing tracks, scales charts. Dorian, mixolydian, bebop and altered scales.
This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.
This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
This jazz guitar eBook PDF contains 10 dominant jazz guitar licks with tabs, analysis and backing tracks using arpeggios, mixolydian, pentatonics & dorian scales.
10 major jazz guitar licks eBook pdf with tabs, analysis & video links.
This jazz eBook contains 5 II-V-I jazz guitar licks & comping lessons for beginners. Tabs,analysis, videos and backing track links included.
The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook
jazz chords chords guitar chords comping chords in fourths jazz guitar comping guitar comping lesson Modal comping comping tips So what chords fourth chords jazz guitar rhythm jazz guitar modal comping jazz guitar modal rhythm jazz guitar rhythm lesson rhythm modal chords
This jazz guitar comping lesson provides you different ideas using drop 2, inverted and extended chords to apply to "there will never be another you"
How to harmonize the major scale in fourths. Understand and mastering quartal harmony & fourths comping in the style of Bill Evans & Mc Coy Tyner.
11 blues progressions for jazz guitar. Printable PDF eBook with tabs, analysis and audio files. Comping and chord studies.
This free lesson is about 15 basic jazz guitar chord positions that every beginning jazz guitarist should know. Charts and diagrams.
This lesson contains a Bb blues jazz guitar walking bass transcription with tabs and improvisation.
- 5 tritone substitution jazz guitar licks PDF ebook - Pay what you want
- Guitar walking bass lesson and improvisation with tabs | Bb blues jazz progression
- NEW PDF eBook available | 11 blues-jazz progressions for guitar | Chords and comping studies
- How to play minor and major 6 chords on the guitar | 24 Diagrams and voicings
- So what chord - Jazz rhythm guitar lesson - Modal comping
- Jazz guitar chord changes & comping study - There will never be another you
- Chords in fourths - Quartal harmony - So what chord
- There will never be another you - Jazz guitar improvisation
- What's a II-V-I chord progression
- How to harmonize the major scale in thirds
- What are guide tones and how to use them
- How to connect dominant 7th arpeggios in blues
- How to play drop 2 chords on the guitar - Lesson with diagrams & voicing charts
- Misty (Erroll Garner) analysis - Arrangement with chords & melody - Jazz guitar lesson
- 48 triad chords | Guitar diagrams | Root positions & inversions