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Guide Tone Paths

September 28, 2013


From the site:

Guide tone paths are very important in building good melodies when improvising. Guide tones are often color tones like 3rds or 7ths but they may be other chord tones, altered tones or extensions of the basic chords. They are generally the notes that identify the real nature of the harmony and provide a smooth flow through the harmonic progression. As jazz players, we often think of the vertical structures of the various chords in a progression. But music does not move vertically, it moves horizontally! Guide tones are the hooks you hang your melody on! The melodic curve may move up or down and all around the guide tones but they are what give it a strong forward motion!


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