Playing Five-Chord Licks Over the One

Last month, we looked at ways to craft unexpected and unusual melodies by superimposing four chord licks over the one chord. As you recall, the four chord is found by locating a major scale’s fourth scale degree, and, based on the key of the song, the four chord will in most cases either be a major seven, minor seven or dominant seven. For example, in the key of G major, the fourth note of the G major scale (G A B C D E F#) is C, so the four chord is Cmaj7 (C E G B), which can be reduced to its triadic form, C (C E G), by eliminating the seventh of the chord, B. Likewise, the five chord in the key of G major is built from that scale’s fifth degree, D, which forms the basis of a D7 chord (D F# A C) or D major triad (D F# A).

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Andy Aledort

Guitar World Associate Editor Andy Aledort is recognized worldwide for his vast contributions to guitar instruction, via his many best-selling instructional DVDs, transcription books and online lessons. Andy is a regular contributor to Guitar World and Truefire, and has toured with Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, as well as participating in several Jimi Hendrix Tribute Tours.