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Close Harmony Version 2

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Practicing Minor Triads & Inversions Series 1

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This time we use our new concept of close harmony to further incorporate all three chord voicings we've learned thus far: root position, first inversion and second inversion.

This time we start with the first inversion A minor chord. The closest possible D minor chord is a root position chord. Again it has a common tone A, and the other two notes of the chord move minimally; one note moves up a half-step and another moves up a whole-step. Pitchwise, from low to high, we get:

C to D - up whole-step (2 frets)
E to F - up half-step (1 fret)
A to A - same pitch

We move back to the A minor chord. Next we look for the closest possible E minor chord. This happens to be the first inversion shape E minor below the A minor. Again, the note E is a common tone. The other two notes of the chord move minimally. One note moves down a whole-step and another moves down a half-step. Pitchwise, from low to high, we get:

C to B - down half-step (1 fret)
E to E - same pitch
A to G - down whole-step (2 frets)

Notice the pattern emerges concerning our i-iv-iv chord progression. In this case Am(i)-Dm(iv)-Am(i)-Em(v).

The distance from any given i chord to it's closest voicing iv chord always involves three characteristics:

Root note of i chord to 5th of iv chord - same pitch
3rd of i chord to root note of iv chord - up whole-step (2 frets)
5th of i chord to 3rd of iv chord - up half-step (1 fret)

Depending upon which voicing you start with, these motions could be in a different order, but all three will always be present in some order. Likewise, the distance from any given I chord to it's closest voicing v chord always involves three characteristics:

Root note of i chord to 3rd of V chord - down whole-step (2 frets)
3rd of i chord to 5th of V chord - down half-step (1 fret)
5th of i chord to root note of V chord - same pitch

Again, depending upon which voicing you start with, these motions could be in a different order, but all three will always be present in some order.

This is a very important feature of all I-IV-I-V chord progressions with incredibly wide ranging implications, applications and potential.

Also, remember we are altering the E minor chord (v) to an E major chord (V) in order to get that leading tone modulation of the major 3rd of the V chord to the root of the I chord: G# to A! We'll do this on the last measure of every cycle before we start again.

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