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"Necessity...who is the mother of invention"
These words are Plato’s but some things never change. Jim Fleser needed a better understanding of chord theory to develop a more refined pop/rock songwriting style (as opposed to random guessing and trial-and-error) and to truly grasp the progressions around his jazz guitar noodlings. He realized that chords are contextual; that is to say that a chord rarely stands on its own and it’s what comes before or after the chord that give it a place in a song. For example, an Am7 chord could belong to several keys and following it with a BbMaj7 has profound differences than playing it along side a D7 chord. Both sound great but they both take you on very different journeys.
So he dwelled on this for a quite some time and started drawing venn diagrams; putting Am7 at the center intersection of three rings representing the Keys of C, F and G. He tried filling in other chords and after hours of failures it happened. The elusive “a-ha” syndrome struck our adventurer and sometime around 3:30am, the Chord Wheel was born near a Guinness stain on some graph paper.
He still uses it almost every time he sits down to invent or decipher a unique progression. Even after years of use and guest speaking on the subject of chord theory, Jim still finds the colorful little wheel a source of knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, a source of inspiration. We trust you will too.
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