You are on page 1of 2

Harmonizing scales as chords on the guitar

by flogiston@gmail.com

There are endless chord voicing possibilities within any given scale -- just stack a chosen structure of diatonic intervals on
top of each scale step and voila! Unfortunately, instrument and player capabilities are not limitless, therefore not all
voicings are viable in every situation. Harmonizing scales as chords can yield very bizarre and big-sounding voicings,
which can be used in modal contexts of the base scale (minding the avoid notes, if any). For example, C melodic minor
scale chords could be used for:

add 9 õ 5 7 add 11 ø õ
7 5 9
Cm D E õ F A B

Here's a set of voicing structures, which can be used to enhance the harmony and visualize scales on the fretboard in
non-trivial interval combinations. Occasionally, heavy finger stretching is involved. Make sure to test them in real music
situations, find out how each voicing sounds (not all of them are equally interesting) and experiment with your own
interval stacks!

C melodic minor harmonized as stacked 5th , 2nd and 5th

K K K K
K K K KKK KKK KK KK
 KKK KKK KKK K K
I II III IV V VI VII
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
ii iv v vii viii x xii

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
x xii iii iv vi viii

C melodic minor harmonized as stacked 3rd , 5th and 3rd

KK KK KK KK KK
K KK KK KK
 KK KK KK KK KK
K
I II III IV V VI VII
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
iii v vii ix x xii

X X X X X X O X X X X X X X X
viii x ii iv v vii

C major harmonized as stacked 4th , 2nd and 3rd

KKK KKK KKKK KKKK KKKK KKKK


 KKKK K K
I II III IV V VI VII
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
vii viii x xii xiii xv xvii

1
KK
C major harmonized as stacked fourths

KK KK KK KK
K KK KK KK KK
 KKK KK KK
KK
I II III IV V VI VII
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
x xii iii v vii ix

C major harmonized as stacked 3rd , 4th and 2nd

KKK KKK KKK KKK KKK


 KKK KKK K K K K
K K K
I II III IV V VI VII
X X X X X X X X O X X X X X X
vii viii x iii v

C major harmonized as stacked 2nd , 5th and 2nd

KK KK KKK KKK KKK


 KKKK KKK KK KK K K K
K
I II III IV V VI VII
X X X X X X X X O O X X X X X X
vii viii x iii v

Version 1 , January 29, 2010 , flogiston@gmail.com


Engraved with the great LilyPond!