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***? Although I get the jist of the numbering thing (like how 'gmaj7' includes the seventh note of the scale), but I am completely lost with how many chords there are for each root.
I am interested in writing music, and I want to have a sort of dark, jazzy/bluesy sound... but I just don't know where to begin. Since I suck/am still a beginner despite 6 months of teaching myself, I strongly prefer to work with blues scales, and I'm tired of the 12-bar pattern.
aside from the X7 chords (with X being the root), which chords work with blues scales? or more specifically, which give a darker, somber sound?
thanks alot
 

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From the sound of your post, you could use a teacher to demonstrate harmony to you. If you are stuck on you "Pat malone," try getting a copy of Mark Levine's "Jazz Theory Book." The book goes intosome pretty heavy stuff but also covers the basics well. If you do work with this book, don't just read it. Play the examples given, so that you hear the chords and scales.

For a darker, more sombre blues, try a minor blues:

Go here and pay attention to the man.

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Rock_n_Roll/RockSax07.html
 

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I would suggest looking into different chord voicings as well. The way a chord is constructed can change the characteristics of its sound greatly, which is great for composition purposes.
example... play the following notes on a piano from the bottom up. e g b d f#
then play e b d f# g (so the f# and g are a half step apart). Hear how the character of the chord changes? They are the same notes, just arranged differently.
I think jamey aebersold has a good book on piano voicings. That and the Levine book mentioned above will give you tons of stuff to work on and think about.

Also, I second finding a teacher. That is probably the best thing you can do. Unless you are strapped for cash :-\
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks alot!
I'll try playing with Im7 chords. I'm getting the hang of playing the right notes now, even though my horrible tone makes the sax sound like an oversized, out-of-tune tin whistle :p
And, dohertyjazz--you're right about reversing the order of notes. Makes it sound darker when you flip it upside down.
cheers
 

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hi prezfan

i hear your frustration with learning the chords. basically there are 5 types of 7th chords that represent >99% of any given tune. they are: major 7, 7, minor 7, minor 7b5 and diminished 7. if you can learn these 5 chord types in all keys (there are 12 keys = 60 chords) you will be able to play any tune and you can use those chords to compose with. check out my website to learn more.

keep workin'
 
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