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Post new topic Straight bar Dominant 7 chord positions on the C6
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Author Topic:  Straight bar Dominant 7 chord positions on the C6
David Famularo


From:
New Zealand
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 1:46 am     Reply with quote

Hi There

Something that has been confusing me for a while while I teach myself the C6 lapsteel is what straight bar chord positions are available to use when playing a Dominant 7 chord. When I key in the C7 chord on John Ely's (excellent) chord locater for example, the only option that comes up is the first, third, fouth and fifth strings on frets 3 and 15 but Doug Beaumier's (once again excellent) song books use other straight bar options. Can anyone let me know what choices there are.

thanks


Last edited by David Famularo on 15 Jun 2017 2:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 2:12 am     Reply with quote

Change the low C to C#

Tuning is now called C6/A7 - Jerry Byrd tuning.
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David Matzenik


From:
Cairns, on the Coral Sea
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 12:35 pm     Reply with quote

A flat seventh tone in a sixth tuning is awkward to say the least. On my 8 string A6th guitar I tune the bottom string to G. Its out of the way, but its there when you need it. Its all a compromise.
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Ulrich Sinn


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 12:47 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
is what straight bar chord positions are available to use when playing a Dominant 7 chord


the short answer: none.

the slightly longer answer: tunes like "Walkin' After Midnight" illustrate nicely how to suggest dom7 chords.

Also practically every single Hank Williams recording.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 1:12 pm     Reply with quote

Pull the third string up a half-step behind the bar with your ring finger.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 4:15 pm     Reply with quote

David, thanks for mentioning my song books. As far as I know, there's no way to play a full dominant 7th, straight bar, on C6 other than pulling the A string up a 1/2 tone behind the bar. You can play an open C7 by placing the nose of the bar on the A string only and strumming across all the strings. C6 players play part of the 7th chord and that is usually enough to establish the chord sound.

I usually slide the bar back two frets from the major (or the 6th) chord to get two notes of the 7th chord (the 5th and 7b). For example, G or G6 on fret 7... slide to fret 5, pick strings 2 & 3 (the 5th and 7b of G7) If you're playing with a band or with a track, those two notes will sound fine, maybe even better than a full 7th chord. Not as cluttered as a full chord when playing with other instruments. Make the same bar move and play strings 1, 2, 3 for a nice 9th chord... actually part of a 9th chord (5th, 7b, 9th). The "up 3 frets" from the major chord position that you mentioned is a good one too. Again, not a full dominant 7th.

Regarding my books, when the written music shows "G7" or "A7" it means that the song goes to that chord. It does not mean that I am playing that full chord in the tablature. I may be playing only two notes of the chord or maybe just the melody note and one note from the chord. So it's not accurate to say that my books show lots of 7th chord positions. I just grab whatever notes I can get in the chord Plus the melody (which has to be there) on top of the voicing. I try to find the smoothest way to move between the positions and sometimes that means simple two note harmonies.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 6:24 pm     Reply with quote

One of the reasons why it's not such a big problem is because of the very nature of the dominant 7 chord. There is a lot of possibility there for a steel player to move the bar around--dominant 7 chords are chords of motion anyway.

One of the simplest things to do is play an Amin triad:

---------
----12---
----12---
----------
----12---
--------

Then slide that chord down 2 frets to a Gmin triad, which happens to contain some important notes from the C9 chord, D G Bb.

This type of thinking and an understanding of harmony (particularly how the dominant chord works) will provide a lot of options. Depending on where that C7 is leading (maybe to F, maybe F minor), this affects the choices I make. If it were going to Fmin, I might play C#min, F#min or Bbmin. It's too complicated to get into it here, but this is what many of the advanced players do.

Remember, you shouldn't necessarily be looking for full chords. Two notes can get the job done.
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Miles Lang


From:
Rincon Beach, California, USA
Post Posted 15 Jun 2017 6:32 pm     Reply with quote

Bill Flores taught me to have a low Bb on the 7th string (strings 1-6 are a normal C6 tuning). This makes a very nice straight bar dom7 chord for comping.
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Joe Burke


From:
Toronto, Canada
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 7:27 am     Reply with quote

I think on my third lap steel lesson, my teacher introduced me to playing slants. In my mind, that's where the instrument became more fun and interesting.

Here's a C7 that I often use:

---------
----10---
---------
-----9---
-----8---
---------
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 8:06 am     Reply with quote

Here's another interesting 3-string slant 7th chord:

Tab:

       G     C7    G         

E------7-----6--------------
C------7-----------7--------
A------------7-------------
G------7-----------7--------
E------------8-----7-------
C--------------------------


Same notes as Joe's slant above.

Mike, that "back two frets" move to play Gm over a C chord (creating a C9 chord) is a good one to know. I first discovered that move on pedal steel guitar when I was a young, eager player. Slide back two frets from the major chord and press pedal A . I didn't know much about theory back then, I just knew it sounded like a 7th chord and it worked well. I later learned that it's a 9th.
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Steffen Gunter


From:
Munich, Germany
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 11:10 am     Reply with quote

Very often the Dom7 chord appears after the Major chord before moving to a B part (in AABA scheme), e.g. A to A7.

I like to end a phrase on the 8 and then without slanting (I prefer chromatically) move down 2 frets to the Dom7.

In the example below I end with A:
string 3 & 6 on fret 9 (what means octave and third)
and move down to
string 3 & 6 on fret 7 (Dom7 and 2/9)

It's just two strings, so not really a chord, but as part of a phrase ist big enough for me. In the recording we did two days ago we have exactly this situation everytime we move to the B-part ("the moon and stars …)

edit: C6 High G tuning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvbGBwqAnao
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David Famularo


From:
New Zealand
Post Posted 17 Jun 2017 1:32 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great answers, each helpful in their own way.
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 5:17 am     Reply with quote

If you're playing songs with melodies "getting" each and every chord isn't crucial. 1-3-5-b7?
You don't need to get all the notes, any two of them may well suffice. Playing with others, chord comping will often just catch the 3 and the 7. One pet peeve (another?) of mine is the way some fat-bodied jazz guitarists used to go overboard getting as many "correct" as possible, whether in the upper or lower voicings - latent pianophilia, that. Yes Ted Greene's book will show you ALL the ways you can play a b5b9 chord with those in the bass, but that makes for a really bizarre-sounding way to play a song. And ditto on steel guitar, unless you're so good... you wouldn't be asking that question. Laughing
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 18 Jun 2017 5:55 am     Reply with quote

I agree, David. No need for full chords all the time. That sounds too cluttered anyway IMO.
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 19 Jun 2017 12:41 am     Reply with quote

Learn the Theory and know when to use them I say.

If you can grab em do it.

If they don't exist you have to make do.

No matter what it comes down to knowing your instrument.

Byrd squeezed a hell of a lot of Juice out of 6 strings.

(Not for me)

I prefer Morrell or Jernigan. Less Dyads and more chords
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