The Eternal Cabbage Chords

I guess it's been nearly twenty years since I self-published the first edition of Chordal Explorations for 3-String Dulcimer: Tuning C-G-G. My, how time flies!

So maybe it's time for a bit of an update on this hardy chord progression....I know I've had my fun with it year after year, weaving various genres of traditional fiddle tunes around and through these chords.

Starting at the most basic, we have a Chord-Melody arrangement, with the melody(highest in pitch)played on the melody string or strings-and the supporting chord tones (lower in pitch) played on the middle and bass strings. The second and third arrangements are just tweaked versions of the first, using slightly different chord voicings.

Now you can play these things in many different ways, and as time goes on, I will have examples in a wide variety of styles; each having its very own rhythmic feel and texture.

These files were created on a Macintosh using Composer's Mosaic 1.44, from Mark of the Unicorn. (Update: This program is no longer available)

 

Now, the "chordal explorations" will begin in earnest--as we get away from the melody and move through several different forms of each chord in every measure. The following three chord variations are just a rough jumping off point: there are thousands of ways to get through this chord progression, and you should find as many ways as you can.


Chordal Explorations 2

Now here is a version of "Cabbage" that starts with high chords,
and winds its way down the fingerboard, using two different forms
of each chord,as in example 6 above:

D       G       D       A       D       G       D   A   D 
/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /
0---0--|0---0--|0---0--|1---1--|0---0--|0---0--|0---4--|0---0--||
7---5--|6---6--|5---3--|0---0--|0---0--|3---3--|5---4--|3---3--||
9---7--|7---5--|4---2--|1---3--|2---4--|3---5--|4---3--|2---2--||

There are literally thousands of ways to get through these chords.
We could start low, and work our way up the fingerboard: 

D       G       D       A       D       G       D   A   D 
/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /
0---2--|3---5--|0---0--|4---4--|0---0--|0---0--|9---8--|7---7--||
0---0--|3---3--|3---3--|4---4--|5---7--|8---10-|0---0--|0---0--||
0---0--|0---0--|2---4--|4---6+-|7---9--|10--12-|11--10-|9---7--||


Passing Chords We can create more interest by connecting these chord forms with passing chords. Don't worry about what these chords are--it really doesn't matter--they are simply "connectors", and they usually occur on the weak beats(two and four). And don't worry if they sound a bit strange and dissonant when played out of context: this is good, because you'll feel a sense of relief when you get to the main harmonies on beats one and three. Passing chords are usually found in-between the two consecutive forms of any chord. For example: D G D A / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 0-1-2--|3-4-5--|0-0-0--|4-4-4--| 0-0-0--|3-3-3--|3-3-3--|4-4-4--| 0-0-0--|0-0-0--|2-3-4--|4-5-6+-| OR D G D A / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 0-0-0-0|0-0-0-0-|0-0-0-0|6+7-8--| 3-4-5-5|6-7-8-8-|7-6-5-5|0-0-0--| 2-3-4-7|5-6+7-10|9-8-7-4|4-5-6+-| See how many ways you can find to connect the chords--keep it loose and flexible, and have fun!
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