Thursday, 25 October 2012

Frank Gambale 'Magic Chords' 1

Some years ago, guitarist Frank Gambale had a regular monthly column in Guitar Player magazine. Some of his monthly columns looked at what he described as Magic Chords. These are advanced guitar chords that are constructed differently to regular triads and are therefore a little ambiguous. The good thing about this is that we can use this chords in several different contexts.

The first Magic Chord is constructed from intervals 1, 2 and 5 or C, D and G if we're in C. We might think of this as being a Csus2 chord:  

Frank Gambale Magic Chord
Frank Gambale Magic Chord

Here's the fingering for this guitar chord:
Frank Gambale Magic Chord

It's not necessary or sometimes even possible to play all of the notes in a chord, so we can also think of this same chord in the same position in several different ways. Here are some examples of how we could use this same chord - the intervals we're using from the chord are after the chord symbol:

C, D, G
Csus2 (1, 2, 5)
D11(b7, 1, 11)
Ebmajor 13 (13, 7, 3)
F69 (5, 6, 9)
Gsus4 (4, 5, 1)
Abmaj7#11 (3, #11, 7)
Am11 (b3, 11, b7)
Bb69 (9, 3, 6)

We can use our one Magic Chord in place of 8 different chords all with the same fingering in the same position.

The chord can function as:
C, D, F, Bb and G dominant 7th chords
C, Eb, F, Bb, Ab, G major7th chords
C, A, D, G, F minor 7th chords

That's a lot of possible uses for one chord. Try using this magic chord in some of the songs you usually play and tune in tomorrow for another Guitar Chord of the Day.