The “Major” Line Cliché | Hub Guitar

The “Major” Line Cliché

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Hi. This is Hub Guitar.

We're introducing a concept we're calling the "Major Line Cliche".

This is a chromatic line used to walk through chord progressions

It starts on a major chord, and the fifth of the chord gets raised to a sharp fifth, and then to a major sixth, before walking back down.

This is how it goes. And here is the second example.

Hopefully this will give you some other interesting ideas for using chromaticism in chord progressions.


The minor line cliché is a chromaticism used in the minor key. Essentially, a note in the harmony “walks” down from the root, to the major seventh, to the minor seventh. It can continue chromatically until it reaches the fifth. The Beatles used this device a number of times. It’s fairly common; it’s not called a “cliché” without cause.

In this lesson, we’ll explore a similar chromatism that can be used in the major key between the fifth and the sixth. This chord technique can be heard on standard Bossa Nova tunes such as “Lucky Southern”.

Note that we want to play the moving or changing note in a way that is both easy to finger and sounds nice. Drop 3 in root position is one good choice, as the moving note is on the top line. This is not too difficult to play.

Major Line Cliché: Drop 3, root on 6th

Fmaj7

c natural
f natural
fret tile
a natural
e natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
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fret tile

Fmaj7♯5

f natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
a natural
e natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

F6

f natural
fret tile
a natural
e natural
fret tile
d natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Fmaj7♯5

f natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
a natural
e natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Major Line Cliché: Drop 3, root on 5th

Fmaj7

fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
c natural
f natural
fret tile
e natural
fret tile
a natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Fmaj7♯5

fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
f natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
e natural
fret tile
a natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

F6

fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
f natural
fret tile
e natural
fret tile
d natural
a natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Fmaj7♯5

fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
f natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
e natural
fret tile
a natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Major Line Cliché: Drop 2, root on 6th

These voicings are certainly a little more challenging.

Fmaj7

fret tile
fret tile
f natural
fret tile
fret tile
c natural
a natural
fret tile
fret tile
e natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Fmaj7♯5

fret tile
fret tile
f natural
fret tile
fret tile
a natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
fret tile
e natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

F6

fret tile
fret tile
f natural
fret tile
fret tile
a natural
fret tile
fret tile
d natural
e natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Fmaj7♯5

fret tile
fret tile
f natural
fret tile
fret tile
a natural
fret tile
c sharp, d flat
fret tile
e natural
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile
fret tile

Key Exercises

  • Learn, memorize, and apply the pattern.
  • Record yourself playing the pattern.
  • Improvise a melody based on the pattern. Be sure to either adjust your major scale to a major ♯5, or simply avoid tones 5 and 6 altogether.

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