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Watch the >> Full View online guitar lesson by Larry Carlton from 335 Improv

One cool and very useful quality about raised-9 chords is that you can move them around in minor 3rds and the chords will all be harmonically related. Just take any 7#9 and move the whole thing up or down in increments of one-and-a-half steps (that is, a minor 3rd, or 3 frets on the neck). The chord functions the same way even though the voicing has changed.

This very quickly opens up your comping options. You start with the one 7#9 chord, then move it around by minor 3rds to five or six other positions, and find all kinds of new sounds to work with. Find another way to shape the same voices and you will multiply your options again - just slide the new shape around in minor 3rds.

As I show in the video and notation, you can expand your options yet again when you recognize that the top three notes in the raised-9 shape make up a major triad. Just like the full raised-9, the triad can be moved up and down the neck in minor 3rds. Interesting!