Pip Eastop, Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Random chord symbols

Following on from that I thought I would try some serious practice of what Ken Bartells taught me (a year ago!). In my Psion Revo, a pocket computer, I keep many useful files, one which is a spreadsheet in the form of a randomised row of chord symbols. There are 11 chord types for each of the twelve notes – thus 132 in all. Here are the some of them to give an idea of their randomness:

BbM +4, C7 -9, F7+, Bb mM, D mM, A, A7 +4, AM +4, CØ, E7+, C# mM, F mM, B°, Eb7 +4, G7 +4, FM +4, G°, B7, Ebm, D7 +9, EbM +4, BbØ, DØ, Bb7, C7, Db7 -9, Bb7 -9, BM +4, C7 +9, DM +4, Fm, FØ, F7 -9, D, EbØ etc…
Taking the first string of four chords from this random row: BbM +4, C7 -9, F7+, Bb mM. I played through each one in turn. First up and down the chords, then as scales, trying to hear the next one coming before actually playing it.

After beginning to get the feel of this I programmed the sequence into the Yamaha QY70 and got it to repeat the four chords around and around in a variety of stimulating styles such as “Bossa Nova” or “Cool Jazz” (better described as tepid). Good fun and, I think, very stimulating of the right kind of neural links for hearing the flavours of chords just by looking at their written symbols.

Progress, I think…

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