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Can someone help me out and perhaps suggest key centres through these changes? Or perhaps a way to think of them lyrically? Arpeggiating them is one thing and I'm working on that [this is a new tune for me to learn to solo over] but I am more a lyrical soloist and this tune is frustrating me. Any suggestions would be great.

The tune form is 8-8-16-8 and here's the first 8 bars - and it is these 8 bar sections that I am having the most issues with:
Dm7 B7b5/BbMaj7 Eb7#11/Dm7 F9/Em7b5 A7b9/G9sus F#7#9#5/Eb7#11 C9sus/B7#9#5 Ab7/G9sus A7#5

The tune is swing style, T=120 to put it in context
Thanks
 

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Interesting changes. Dig how you can play the same note over them.

A A|A A|A A|Bb C
C A|A Bb|A Ab|G A

I think one approach I'd try is to shape lines around the notes that the changes share, and play the scales/chord tones that change to give different colors to the line.

Edit: this illustrates that idea a little bit.
View attachment 224686
 

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Yes. Once you practice the arpeggios of each chord, then do it in meter. Consider the melody of the number to get some ideas for playing off of it. Here's the 'intangible' part - each chord has a 'sound', and when the next chord comes, there is a 'mood' or 'mode' created by the change from one chord to the next. Knowing the melody, the chords and now feeling the changes, certain little lines and figures should occur to you to go with the modes as well as to play off the melody.
It may be interesting to note that experienced musicians can sit down and sight-read a new piece and do all this automatically. They know one trick that speeds up the process - 'shortcutting' the complicated chords to a simpler form. Since they have been playing from chords forever, they already know all the basic chords so they can play good solos without being concerned about the 'outside' aspects of some of the chords. At the same time, they are going to 'hear' some of those extra tones and include them as 'pretty notes' that increase the interest of the solo.
What bokagee posted about playing the same note through different chords is also an important part of it - a harmony master does this in his head because he knows the composition of most all chords. I do it on dual saxes, playing alto and tenor at the same time. For example, in 'Can I Get A Witness', that title line is over concert A for two bars then F# minor for two bars (this trick is called 'going to the minor because the root of the first chord is the minor third of the second cord'). I play both chords without moving my fingers, using (concert) A3 on tenor and Ab 3 on alto. So on the first chord I'm playing the 1 on tenor and the 3 on alto. On the second chord, this becomes minor3 on tenor and 5 on alto. The sax notes are B3 tenor and Bb3 alto.
 

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Thanks for these ideas, guys, will certainly help. bokagee, you hit the melody note! The tune starts with the A rhythmically repeating. I think once I get real familiar with the chords [arpeggios] I will then start by playing off the melody line an inserting 'extra' notes to 'liven up' a solo. I figure that I'll start by not thinking about the extensions as suggested by 1saxman.

But, is there some 'pattern' to this progression? I'm not firm enough in theory to see things like ii-V's and the chords seem random but I'm sure they must not be.
 

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But, is there some 'pattern' to this progression? I'm not firm enough in theory to see things like ii-V's and the chords seem random but I'm sure they must not be.
I'll be interested in hearing an answer to this very good question. Because to me also the chords seem random and I can't even find the key center from that progression (I'm guessing Dm, but can't be certain). By the way, what tune is it and what key is it in?
 

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Ok, I listened to the clip, played along a bit and the tune is in concert C minor. Are those chords you wrote out transposed to the tenor key (Dmin)? Must have been. In any case, playing along in C minor (D min on tenor) works well even if I ignore all those chords. I can't really make sense out of the progression, though. Maybe someone here can help out and enlighten us?

Cool tune, though, and not difficult to solo on if you stick to the natural minor key.
 

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JL, yes I noted the chords as tenor key. You are correct about playing in minor over much of the tune works and maybe I'm just being too analytical. Playing by ear is one way to do this tune. Perhaps in time, after playing the tune many times, I can start to add in the colour notes from the chords. Would still like to make sense of the progression...
 

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Would still like to make sense of the progression...
Yeah, I agree and you've got me curious. I suspect the whole thing is simpler than it looks because I can play through the tune (playing along with the recording) just fine by sticking pretty close to the natural minor (occasionally adding in the maj 7 'color note') & it sounds fine all the way through. One way I try to make sense out of a strange progression is by putting it into Roman numerals. In this case (I simplified just a bit by leaving out some of the altered extensions):

/ Im7 VI7b5 / bVImaj7 bII7 / Im7 bIII9 / IIm7b5 V7b9 /

/ IV9sus III7 / bII7 bVII9sus / VI7 bV7 / IV9 V7 /

And I'm still scratching my head. In fact, it makes my head hurt! The minor II-V in bar 4 makes sense but it doesn't resolve and otherwise the progression seems very odd. I didn't sit down and try to play through those chords on the piano. That might help, but still I don't know how to keep track of a progression like that.

Hope someone who understands this far better than I chimes in to help clear it up!
 

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Can someone help me out and perhaps suggest key centres through these changes? Or perhaps a way to think of them lyrically? Arpeggiating them is one thing and I'm working on that [this is a new tune for me to learn to solo over] but I am more a lyrical soloist and this tune is frustrating me. Any suggestions would be great.

The tune form is 8-8-16-8 and here's the first 8 bars - and it is these 8 bar sections that I am having the most issues with:
Dm7 B7b5/BbMaj7 Eb7#11/Dm7 F9/Em7b5 A7b9/G9sus F#7#9#5/Eb7#11 C9sus/B7#9#5 Ab7/G9sus A7#5

The tune is swing style, T=120 to put it in context
Thanks
It's basically D minor with other notes in the bass.
Dm7
B7b5 is basically an altered chord that Dm fits over
BbMaj7 Dm fits in
Eb7#11 is basically a sub for A7b9 which is in Dm
Dm7 is the resolution from that sub of the V7 chord
F9 is closely related to Dm as it has the F and A in it
Then you have Em7b5 A7b9 which is the ii- V7 of Dm
G9sus is basically Dm with G in the bass so it actually is resolving there but the bass is a different note
F#7#9#11 The #9 is A the #5 is D which are in Dm
Eb7#11 sub for A7b9 again
C9sus you take D minor and put C in the bass and you have C9sus so......
B7#9#5 is basically an altered dominant chord the Dm works on
Ab7 is the one chord not related to Dm but it's only 2 beats
G9sus is basically Dm with G in the bass.
A7#5 is the V7 os Dm

So basically play the tar out of D minor on this tune..........
 

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It's basically D minor with other notes in the bass.

So basically play the tar out of D minor on this tune..........
Thanks Steve! All that you said makes sense out of it. Now that you mention it I see the bII7 - Im7 resolution btw bars 2 & 3. But yeah, I'd just 'play the tar out of D minor;' I have to keep things relatively simple. I'm sure a guitarist or keyboardist could get some mileage comping on all those chords, though. Nice tune, in any case.
 

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Big thanks to Steve for that analysis. Huge help in figuring out what I can play over these changes and for relating the chords to the D minor - that's not something I would ever have figured out!
 

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Big thanks to Steve for that analysis. Huge help in figuring out what I can play over these changes and for relating the chords to the D minor - that's not something I would ever have figured out!
No problem. Looking at chords is a bit like detective work. You have to see the common threads that connect them.
 
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