Johnny Smith's close voicings.

14/06/20 - week 1


Toninho Horta's 'Litoral' has kept my nylon string practice in check. This was a brilliant next step after studying some of Giuliani's right hand studies (from Pumping Nylon). The dotted rhythm in the fingers against quavers in the thumb is a coordination nightmare, but once nailed it will be easily applied to other tunes as a fill or to generate tension. It's barmy to think that Toninho can sing at the same time as this!


I've been facinated with Johnny Smith's chord melodies for a few weeks and have transcribed three of my favourites: Darn That Dream, Satin Doll and Moonlight In Vermont.

I extrapolated a few of my favourite voicings from Moonlight In Vermont and applied them to major 2-5-1s in all keys, and on lots of different tunes. The parallel altered chords I've stumbled accross are awesome, although I don't think Johnny would've used these!

To practice most chord groups I uncover their inversions and practice them up the fretboard, but as these voicings are stacked 3rds, it would be impossible to play them on the guitar - unless you grew some extra fingers or got your right hand/chin/nose involved! Consequently, I added 3rds to the chords to invert them up the fretboard and keep the triadic structure of these voicings. This is the family of chords I came up with:

Major 2-5-1s in C


This week I've spent too much time inbetween pomodoros watching pointless stuff on YouTube. If I'm more mindful of my actions during practice breaks, hopefully my practice will become more productive!

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