Corey Christiansen – Quartal Harmony: Modern Jazz Comping & Voicings
Jun 19 2014
Quartal harmony deals with guitar chord shapes and chord voicings that are built in 4ths rather than 3rds. This type of harmony is used by pianists and guitarists alike and utilizes voicings that can be used in many settings. Quartal voicings, and their inversions, are displayed in the DVD’s accompanying chart with very clear diagrams making it very easy to learn and understand this type of harmony.
The 69-minute DVD not only presents teaching material, but also provides a play-along essence that will allow students to hear how to apply these great chord voicings.
This dvd and chart by Corey Christiansen is an excellent introduction to the world of quartal harmony and modal jazz. It’s far superior to the dvd “Jazz Guitar Techniques: Modal Voicings.” Christiansen introduces the student to the concept of quartal harmony from the ground up, laying a strong foundation right from the beginning. The C Major scale is first harmonized in fourths, then displayed and demonstrated on various string sets as triads and four note chords. Next the popular modal “So What” chord and its brethren are introduced. Following those are the very hip first and second inversions. Finally, ii-V-I and dominant progressions and ideas are presented, along with a couple play-alongs.
Corey Christiansen is easily clear and concise. The material is readily digestible and immediately applicable without a lot of frustration if you already have an understanding of basic music theory. The dvd is well-produced, with excellent sound and picture, and the included charts supplement the program nicely. It would be awesome to see a follow-up video discussing quartal harmony for the natural, melodic, and harmonic minor scales and some ideas on how to mix quartal and tertian harmony. Still, armed with the foundation given here, the diligent student should be able to figure out the rest and see the potential possibilities, which are numerous.
What you get in this package is a dvd providing a fairly in-depth lesson on quartal chords and a few demonstrations of comping in a guitar/bass/drum trio. So what is quartal harmony? Traditionally, jazz chords are built in 3rds – for example, E is the third of C, G is the (m)3rd of E, and B is the 3rd of G. Put these notes together and you get a very typical jazz chord or arpeggio (CMaj7). In quartal harmony, chords are built in fourths, so some examples in the C major scale would be less predictable C-F-B-E or D-G-C-F. Both of these might be played over a Dm7, for instance. This book covers these kinds of three and four note quartal chords in the major scale and its modes pretty exhaustively.
Although Christiansen doesn’t really dig into applications for altered dominant chords or quartal harmony in the melodic minor scale and its modes, the interested student with a bit of background in jazz theory should be able to pursue this on his or her own.
Running time: 01:08:29
Video: XviD, 512×384 (4:3), 29.970 fps, 571 Kbps
Audio: MP3, 48 kHz, 128 Kbps, 2 ch
Size: 366 Mb