Harmonically rich single note lines are embedded in many chord forms!
Certain chord forms can be arpeggiated to yield beautiful single note lines and then connected to make satisfying musical phrases. In this masterclass we’ll examine the shapes that translate best in making interesting single note lines. All string sets will be covered over the entire fretboard using every chord quality. This practice helps the guitarist see the fretboard as “one big position” while giving important visual landmarks for both chordal and single note playing. The deeper a player gets into voice leading chords the easier it is to make strong harmonic connections via single note lines.

The other side of the coin is what I refer to as “Gradual Chords”. “Gradual Chords” often begin as a scalar single note line that builds as string crossing occurs. Each time a new string is employed a note gets added from the previous string. The evolution of the chord begins with single notes becoming two notes sustained below a melody line. Then it becomes three notes sustained below a melody until we run out of fingers! So we arrive at a four note chord beginning modestly as single note run. Open strings can always be added to get further interesting results.

Both of these techniques can dramatically affect the way a guitarist looks at music. The wall comes down between chords and single note lines so that the improviser can move freely and naturally between the two so that they really become one entity. As always there are many pages of written examples that accompany each class.

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Class Content

Exploring the Chord/Single Note Line Connection
Exploring the Chord/Single Note Line Connection 01:27:00

Course Reviews


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  1. Profile photo of Brandon Foster


    Great Video and a Great Lesson! It’s basically a system of organizing great sounding arpeggiated chord shapes over standard progressions. First half focuses on ii V’s with some REALLY GREAT voice leading and extensive use of the Altered scale. IT really makes those colors easy to obtain all around the neck and gives you some great chord subs. IT can go even deeper if you look at all the other possible uses of the melodic minor over dominant chords.

    Great Extensive PDF files with some great exercises.

    The lesson also dives into passing tones based on the shapes and the diminished sound over dominant chords. And something I think sounds like a pedal steel guitar technique…but it is using standard chord shapes and playing in a legato fashion to incorporate single note lines into full ringing chords. Very Frisellian.

    Great lesson and better teacher.

    ~ Brandon Foster (September 14, 2017)

  2. Profile photo of jeff stocks


    Another challenging but extremely useful lesson from Steve. I found this one to be a great way to expand both my chordal and melodic vocabulary. After working through the material, I noticed I ‘saw’ harmony on the neck better, and as a result, saw more improvisational possibilities. The class material is not easy, but I found it all playable and adaptable to my style and was fun to pop over tunes. The ‘gradual’ chords section was an eye-opener. I am still trying to get the concept down, but it is intriguing. Steve shows great ease in teaching and makes the material seems ‘reachable’, even to those who don’t possess his level of fluency. Highly recommended to those wanting to ‘see’ harmony/melody on the neck better.

    ~ jeff stocks (January 29, 2008)

  3. Profile photo of adam fluger


    This class provides extremely useful and creative concepts. The concepts are clearly explained and demonstrated by Steve in the class. Steve also provides a considerable amount of written material, which will keep you motivated to practice for months!

    ~ adam fluger (January 27, 2008)

  4. Profile photo of James S.


    This is the ideal basis for attaining the style of modern players like Lenny Breau, Lorne Lofsky, Ed Bickert, Bruce Saunders, Adam Rogers, guys that incorporate a lot of chord fragments into their lines. I once had a teacher who made me play something, and at ANY random point, would yell, "STOP!!! Play the chord you’re over NOW!!!" For single-note players, this course is the way to visualize that.

    ~ james seaberry (January 4, 2008)

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