Quartal harmony and Quartal arpeggios are a great sound to also have in your vocabulary and especially on m7 chords. They also really fit with the sound you get when you super-impose pentatonic scales on chords. That’s a great way to approach it.
This video is going over some examples, how you can use them in for m7 chords in your own solos drawing from examples of players like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Peter Bernstein, and Allan Holdsworth.
Modal Application for m7 chords
All the examples in this lesson are on a modal Am7 setting, but it will fit on other m7 chords in songs you play as well and is not too difficult to move to other chords.
Quartal Harmony and Pentatonic Scales – The Connection
A good way to appraoch quartal arpeggios is through pentatonic scales. The line shown here below is in face coming out of an Am pentatonic scale applied to an Am7 chord.
There are 3 ascending quartal arpeggios: starting on the D and starting on the A in bar 1. In bar 2 there is a higher version of the D quartal arpeggio.
To practice this you can do the following exercise in an Am pentatonic scale.
Diatonic Quartal Arpeggios for a Dorian m7 and m13 sound
Another way to work with the quartal arpeggios is to look at the scale. In this case I am thinking of the Am7 as a Dorian sound, so the parent scale is a G major scale.
This lick is using the quartal arpeggios on the middle string set and walking up the scale. Playing the arpeggio descending like this works really well for also creating groups of 3 8th-notes.
Odd note groupings – Beautiful way to break up the solo
This example is also using diatonic quartal arpeggios from the G major scale. In this example I am moving the arpeggios as groups of 3 quarter notes on top of the meter.
Holdsworth’s approach to Quartal Arpeggios
This is a great way to play these arpeggios that I picked up from Allan Holdsworth. The idea is to lay them out as 4th intervals on one string and then skip strings to construct a 4 part quartal arpeggio. You can check out this video where I discuss how Holdsworth uses arpeggios
I am using this technique in the opening arpeggio in this lick.
Later in the example I am also using another Holdsworth idea which is pulling of from on G on the G string and then pulling off to another G on the B string.
Kurt Rosenwinkel’s 2 octave Quartals
This way of using two octaves of a quartal arpeggio is something I picked up from a Kurt Rosenwinkel solo on I’ll Remember April. You can check out the solo here: Kurt Rosenwinkel Solo Lesson . He plays a lot of great phrases with a lot of very advanced ideas, both in terms of harmony and melody.
In the example below the arpeggio is used from the 5th of the chord E and is played across the barline from bar 1 to 2. I also end the line on the 13th of the chord (F#) to really drive home the Dorian sound.
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m7 Chords – How to use Quartal Harmony in a solo
Source: Jens Larsen