Cluster chords

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by 57fenderstrat, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    479
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Location:
    Binghamton NY
    hey chord people,

    I was looking for some new ideas for dense rich chords for guitar. I understand the layout in standard tuning can be difficult to get notes ringing close together but I was wondering if any of you folks are into these sounds.

    Each time I find myself using a “cluster-ish” sound it’s normally some kind of aminor or cmaj7th.

    Are there other scenarios and chord types that you would find yourself using a cluster like a dominant chord ?

    Just fishing for some new ideas and chord types you might try to use some kind of cluster.

    I enjoy using the open e b and g strings which usually means it’s based on C or A roots. Any ideas you guys do that would wanna share ?
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  2. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    809
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    Have a look at "drop 2 chords".
     
    Greggorios likes this.
  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,759
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    G G# A# B -- G altered dominant sound:

    x11.8.0.0.x

    Cluster pluck!
     
    Greggorios and klasaine like this.
  4. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,626
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    Utilizing the open strings is the most obvious and natural way to do it on a string instrument. Here's a nice E7#9b9 - 056060 or just X760XX (E7#9).

    This is a particularly evil F#7b9 chord - 2X4020. It sounds great going to Gmaj7b5 - 3X4020 (Gmaj13b5). This is a McLaughlin/Mahavishnu move.

    I've spent some time trying to find that 'bite' in voicings that don't depend on any open strings. What I've found is that just two notes a half step apart and then another chord tone (or not) can usually accomplish that sound within the context of a band. For example: XX955X.
    That can function as Am9, Cmaj7, D13, F#-7b5, G#7(#9#5), E+ and B phrygian (Bsusb9).

    Another shape I like is XX9966 - G7#9 (G13#9)
    1/2 step in the middle surrounded by maj.7th
    It's also a Bb(b9b5) or an E7b9b5. *Notice these two are a tri-tone apart.
    Guess what? It's also a Db7#9 - a tritone from the G7#9.

    Playing 3 or 4 consecutive 1/2 steps but displacing the octaves accomplishes the bite too - E, F, F#, G played like this ... 0X30X2. It's also pretty easy as a closed barre shape - 5X85X7. These 'roughly' function as dominant or minor chords. E and A respectively. This approach can yield a lot of possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  5. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Location:
    Patterson, NY
    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  6. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,759
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    What is easy on piano is hard on guitar. What klasaine wrote! A minor second or minor ninth stands out more in a three note chord than a big one -- more bite.
     
  7. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,626
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    NELA, Ca
    Just this much for either a Gm9 or Bbmaj7 makes it's point ... XXX3X5 (Bb and A).
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,783
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Usually if I insert too many chords it's definitely a cluster:eek:... is that what you mean? :lol:
     
  9. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,880
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Location:
    Arlington, Texas
    Andy Summers and Bill Frisell have the half step, and other dissonant sounds as a part of their vocabulary. I've drawn on a lot of that myself. Something I've noticed from studying them is that a whole step can be pretty tangy depending on how it's voiced, and what other notes are used with it.

    As to cluster chords - Check out "Home" by Allan Holdsworth. While it does contain some inversions, it still remains a study in the use of clusters.
     
    klasaine likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.