Lesson Two • Respelling Chords/Scales

As discussed in the previous lesson, using one chord voicing for several different chord types reduces the number of voicings one has to memorize just to get through a tune. If you extrapolate (I get paid per syllable) from this concept the idea that this device works for melodic ideas, you win a prize: a whole bunch of new material to build solos with. Here's an example of how this concept can be put to use:

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This voicing is one of the most versatile sounds in modern jazz. If you're not familiar with it, listen to the compositions of Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, and Chick Corea, for example. They all use this sound extensively.
This voicing sounds best on the middle four strings or the top four (in other keys). In addition to its use as a Major7+4, this voicing can be used as any of the following chords: F#mi7b5; Ami6/9; D13; Bmi (phrygian).
Since most playing situations involve a bass player, you don't have to (and frankly, shouldn't) play the roots of these chords.Let the bass player take care of that function.
All of these chords use the same scale: G Ionian (Major Scale, it just sounds erudite to use the Greek name). Right about now, you could easily be thinking: "If I can use the same voicing for all of these different chord types, when I improvise I could use my C Lydian ideas over F#mi7b5! Or maybe Ami6/9 ideas. Or even..." :

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