“Chords are at the foundation of everything that I do.” - Robben Ford
Robben loves chords. He’s said that many times across a wide range of instructional presentations. He has a vast vocabulary of sophisticated blues and jazz voicings and is widely respected for his rhythm guitar work and chord selection both as an accompanist and as a songwriter. Robben also loves to teach and he’s shared many of his favorite chords, chordal approaches and rhythmic techniques with us over the years.
This course is different. Other than 7th and Diminished chords, you won’t find a single other extended or altered anywhere in the course or in the 107-page manual that accompanies it. Yet, this is the course that will change your rhythm guitar playing forever and for the better.
Don’t let the “Foundations” word in the title fool you into thinking this is a beginner course. It’s far from that and in many ways, it may very well be the most advanced course you’ve ever studied. Yet, so simple to grasp and start applying immediately. It’s here in Chord Revolution: Foundations that Robben reveals the underlying logic — the Foundation — of his signature approach to chord selection and comping.
Robben first shows you how to harmonize a major scale into three major triads, three minor triads and one diminished triad. He’ll show you how to identify the relative minor triad. He’ll then show you how to break those triads down into even smaller harmonic devices we know as thirds, fifths, sixths and octaves. You may know how to do this already and that’s a good thing, but it’s not THE thing.
Your first monster revelation in the course will be learning how to determine the key of any prevailing chord progression or vamp, and then selecting the most appropriate triads, thirds, fifths, sixths and octaves to comp with. Yes, you will be comping with these smaller basic chord forms and it will sound incredible to your ears and your audience’s ears. Robben will teach you how to do this, and it’s this identification and selection process that is THE thing.
Your next major revelation will occur after Robben steps you through a series of lessons focused on major triad inversions on both low and high strings. Add these inversions to your triads, thirds, fifths, sixths and octaves for even more color and sonic qualities in your comping.
Multiple revelations will also occur in the following series of lessons covering Major and Minor 7th chords, Dominant 7th chords, Diminished chords, Modes and the use of full voicings. Robben caps this last sequence of lessons with some very enlightening guidance and demonstrations on creative comping.
To supplement all of the lessons and demonstrations in the course, Robben also includes a 107-page manual filled with tabs and notation for all of the key demonstrations, PLUS annotated reference charts for Major Scales, Major Triads, Minor Triads, Relative Minor chords, Thirds, Fifths, Sixths, Octaves, Dominant 7th and Diminished chord — ALL of it in ALL 12 keys. You’ll also get all of the rhythm tracks that Robben uses throughout the course to work with on your own.
So many of us tend to overlook simple approaches and explanations believing that the more complex and sophisticated an approach is, the better it must be. With music in particular, that is a widespread fallacy and there’s no better testimony to that than Chord Revolution: Foundations — you will be amazed when you hear the music that Robben makes using these simple chords and harmonic approaches. Adopt these principles as your own foundation and you’ll likewise be amazed at the music you make.