In Others on May 29, 2012 at 6:46 am


There are also chords based on fourths instead of thirds.  These chords in fourths were made popular by McCoy Tyner (John Coltrane’s piano player).

Quartal voicings have a jazzy sound and work very well in modal music.

How is the jazz guitar chord in fourths constructed and how does it look on the guitar neck?

Quartal voicings are used most often in modal music and most often in a minor or dominant key.

Let’s start with the D Dorian scale:

D      E      F      G      A     B     C

Let’s build a chord on the first notes of the D Dorian scale, but instead of stacking thirds we’ll be stacking fourths:

D    G    C    F

The result is a chord you could call a Dm11, but I don’t want to give names to these quartal voicings because they behave like harmonic chameleons:

  • If we put a D in the bass of our first example, we get a Dm11.

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