~Lesson 99: 4 Note Cell

In this lesson we’ll look at 5 different harmonic contexts for a common 4 note cell. This 4 note cell is often thought of as one of the simplest Major 7 #11 voicings (1,Maj 3, #11, Maj 7).

In C this is C, E, F#, B or one simple voicing for C Major 7 #11.

By changing the root under this group of 4 notes we change the harmonic context.  This 4 note cell works well over Major, Minor, Dominant 7th, Dominant 7th Altered and minor 7th b5 chords.

Each cell can be used for improvising as well constructing simple 4 note voicings (which are in several cases rootless).

We’ll look at each of the 5 contexts in the key of concert C (over a C drone).

Kurt RosenwinkelKurt RosenwinkelKurt Rosenwinkel

These are the 5 contexts we will look at:

1: C Major 7 #11 (C, E, F#, B)

2: C Minor 6/9 (Eb, G, A, D) = Eb Major 7 #11 voicing over C

3. C7 13 9 (Bb, D, E, A) = Bb Major 7 #11 voicing over C

4. C7#5#9 or C7Alt (E, G#, A#, D#) = E Major 7 #11 voicing over C

5. C -7 b5 or C half dim (Gb, Bb, C, F) = Gb Major 7 #11 voicing over C

Practice each cell in every key, in all 5 contexts until it’s easy to hear and improvise from.  You can find other interesting harmonic contexts for this group of notes by trying them over all 12 chromatic roots.


Lesson 99: 4 note cell PDF

4 Note Cell, Harmonic Contexts:

4 Note Cell









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