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Hello fellow saxophonists!

I need help for a tune that i'm practicing at the moment. I have to learn the chords before friday, so i need to make it a little bit simple. I have one question. If the chords go like this:

Gm7 - Gm7 - C7 - F# (b5) | Fmaj7

Can i just play in the scale of Fmajor for the whole two bars, or will the F# (b5) be too odd and the ruin the whole 2-5-1?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2008
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Hello fellow saxophonists!

I need help for a tune that i'm practicing at the moment. I have to learn the chords before friday, so i need to make it a little bit simple. I have one question. If the chords go like this:

Gm7 - Gm7 - C7 - F# (b5) | Fmaj7

Can i just play in the scale of Fmajor for the whole two bars, or will the F# (b5) be too odd and the ruin the whole 2-5-1?

Thanks in advance!
The F# is more likely F#7(b5).

You are correct that playing over an F Major tonal centre will work well for this two bar phrase. You don't need to directly address the F#7b5.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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If you want to keep it simple due to the deadline, then it's fine to think of the F scale, though of course the F would sound rather odd if emphasised or in any way a strong note on the F#.

If you get time think about the important guide tones and especially the way the lines resolve onto the F form the F# (e.g. E to F, Bb to A).

Don't be afraid to use arpeggios to outline the chords, learning the chord tones is the best way to get into impro rather than purely thinking in scales.

e.g: Once you know that Gm7 is G Bb D F, playing those notes on the strong beats and adding passing notes from the key centre (F) in between (ie on the &) gives you:

G A Bb C D E F. (Assuming 1/8th notes starting on the beat)

Playing this is probably better than just thinking "F scale" and playing

F G A Bb C D overythose chords.

However, that is for later. For now just keep it as simple as you need to. If you all you worry about is the F scale, then that frees up a bit of your brain to actually think melodically and rhythmically which is what counts above the "correctness".
 

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Forum Contributor 2011, SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
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Unless it's a v slow tempo go with F major (I think). If you have time try out the arpeggiating as well but (IMO) you'll be more likely to make a musically satisfying phrase if you think F major. You will still need to use your ear to guide how you resolve what you do.
 

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One more idea to add to the mix. You can also look for the "common tones" in each chord. In this instance the C7 and F#7b5 share C, E, Bb. The E naturally resolves up to F, and the Bb down to A in the resolution chord.
 

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Think of it as:

C7sus C7b9 | F Maj7

or

C7 | F Maj 7

...you don't have to make EVERY change. Some chords provide chromaticism and dissonances that get lost if you also make the 'change'. The harmonic premise of the phrase is really, simply, rudimentally just a V7 - I.
 
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