Watch the Good Vibes: 5 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Guitar Cubed
Guitar 1 is built upon a static tonal center within a shifting minor tonality. The center is B and the minor flavors put forth are hints of Aeolian and Dorian. While the first and final Bm7 chords could go either way, it’s the middle chords that are more succinct. The Bm6 is a text book Dorian chord with not only the presence of a natural 6th, but the fact that it’s placed within a tritone that includes the b3rd of the chord. The Bm7#5 indicates Aeolian, but there’s a little more to it than the previous chord. You see, the #5 in the chord name is a shout-out to the chord tone on the 5th fret, 4th string. Against a B root a #5 or augmented 5th is F##, but enharmonically that’s also a G natural. That G is a b6th and that’s what ID’s this chord with Aeolian since it’s formula calls for one. While this could pose a problem for improvisers who seek a safe horizontal approach for soloing, don’t worry--Guitar 3 has you covered.
A cool way to make a one chord jam breath is to compose a progression of chords that has an internal melodic event going on and that’s exactly what Guitar 1 does. The first two chords in bars 1 and 2--the Bm7 and Bm6 respectively--are voiced exactly the same with the A and G# determining their identities. While the following Bm7#5 is voiced differently, it’s the F## that connects it to the previous two chords. How? Remember the F## is enharmonically a G and that G is a half step below the G# that is in the Bm6. Follow that trail and you’ll see that G# is a half step below the A in Bm7. So what’s the deal? There’s a descending chromatic melody contained within the “changes” that ends on F#, which is nested in the final Bm7 in bar 4. That’s what makes the progression have the moving quality it does.
As discussed in the Rhythm Track Analysis, Guitar 1’s second and fourth chords are placed on the upbeats that precede the bar they’re ringing into. This rhythmic concept is referred to as an “anticipation” and they are meant as a groove injection that requires minimal effort. Simply put, but HUGE idea. Look for more of it in Guitar Cubed and get it into your own progressions ASAP.