Introducing polychords – the mind-bending guitar shapes that will take your playing into new harmonic and melodic worlds

Larry Carlton
Larry Carlton (Image credit: Jun Sato/WireImage)

GUITAR SHOWCASE 2023: There are many ways to analyse the possibilities of diatonic harmony. Chord scales and modes are two popular choices that spring to mind. Another, often cited by Larry Carlton, is the principle of superimposing an alternative triad or arpeggio over a chord.

Try, for example, a D major triad or arpeggio over an E minor chord. The combination of these would imply an E minor 11th, even though no single instrument is playing that specific chord. 

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.