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Discussion Starter #1
Any of you advanced guys have thoughts? Ran across a chord today and have no idea how to approach it.

CMaj7(omit 3)/E

Is that like a Csus/E? Or do you just play a C Major scale minus the 3rd and 4th?
 

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MESax said:
Any of you advanced guys have thoughts? Ran across a chord today and have no idea how to approach it.

CMaj7(omit 3)/E

Is that like a Csus/E? Or do you just play a C Major scale minus the 3rd and 4th?
This is an 'open' chord, meaning that the third is not present. Really, it's probably a G/C. A major tonality, but the composer wants you to lay off of the 3rd.
 

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I don' understand that chord. Play a CMaj7 chord, omit the third, but play its tone as the bottom note? Strange. I'd want to see what's happening with the rest of the score. It would be best if the arranger simply spelled out what he wants played at that point.

It wouldn't surprise me if that was from a score by Burt Bacharach or Andrew Lloyd Weber. Or maybe Marvin Hamleisch. (I probably misspelled all three of those names.)
 

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That looks like what I call an indefinite major/minor. By omitting the 3rd, it's neither major nor minor. What I don't get is the E in the bass - that's the 3rd. So why not play the 3rd up top? Does the chord want to be an E with an indefinite C maj/min maj7 on top? Play it like a passing chord in whatever mode you're in before or after that chord.
 

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Simple question. What's the source?

Is this from someone who knows what they're doing? If so what's the context? If not, it's just a CMaj7 but it's possible that he's suspending the CGB over moving bass tones which will change the context depending on what comes before and after that particular chord. So, again, what's the context - what's it sandwiched in between?
 

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Or it's an E min6. But context is everything. What chords come before and after, and what key is the piece in?
 

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MESax said:
Any of you advanced guys have thoughts? Ran across a chord today and have no idea how to approach it.

CMaj7(omit 3)/E

Is that like a Csus/E? Or do you just play a C Major scale minus the 3rd and 4th?
CMaj7(omit 3)/E

That looks like a Cmaj7 chord with the third (E) in the bass, probably just 1st inversion.
The symbol is more useful for orchestrating purposes than for blowing. I'd ignore all the BS and just blow on C maj.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is from a Yellowjackets tune called "Invisible People". Here are a couple of the bars. Each line equals one measure.

EMa7(omit 3)/G# CMa9 (omit 3)/E
D(omit 3)/F# D
CMa9(omit 3)/E CMa7
GMa9(omit 3)/B Emi9

B/D# G7/D
CMa7(#11) Cmi6/9
Eb9sus Eb7(b9, b5)
AbMa7/C Dbmi9

It awes me that there are players that can sound natural over changes like this.
 

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MESax said:
This is from a Yellowjackets tune called "Invisible People". Here are a couple of the bars. Each line equals one measure.

EMa7(omit 3)/G# CMa9 (omit 3)/E
D(omit 3)/F# D
CMa9(omit 3)/E CMa7
GMa9(omit 3)/B Emi9

B/D# G7/D
CMa7(#11) Cmi6/9
Eb9sus Eb7(b9, b5)
AbMa7/C Dbmi9

It awes me that there are players that can sound natural over changes like this.
It used to amaze me too until I figured out that most people don't play each chord individually, but rather they pick a sound (scale) that works over the whole thing. Most of the time a pentatonic will work.

As far as the slash chord thing goes. A lot of that is just an inversions and extensions of the same old D-7, G7, C Maj7 stuff we play all the time. The composer is just asking for a specific voicing.
 

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MartinMusicMan said:
Or it's an E min6. But context is everything. What chords come before and after, and what key is the piece in?
Wouldn't Emin6 have a C#?
 

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I'm with Haywood - find the scale that's implied by all this hash, the tonal center. That sequence looks like it's moving chromatically. If you look at the bass, first it's thirds moving down a step G# E | F# D| then it's E C | B E | then D# D | C C | then Eb Eb | C Db. Looking at the bass with the chords, the scale (going down) looks like G# G F# E Eb D Db C B - very chromatic. The first 4 bars look centered around C and E, kind of C major-y, while the second 4 look like C and Eb - more C minor-ish. But listening to the recording, and playing along, will tell you much more about what really works with these changes.
 

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Pete Thomas said:
Wouldn't Emin6 have a C#?
yeah, of course you're right. dunno what I was thinking.
 

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I don't see the point of (omit 3), and then putting the 3 in the bass.
 

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Having sat down just now and voiced the progression out at the keyboard, I see a lot of value in the chord as an interesting sound and voicing in the scheme of things, but I also think it is somewhat pointless from an improvisational standpoint for a saxophonist.

If you have a piano in the house, play a Cmaj9 chord in root position and then stick the E in the bass while removing it from the higher voicing. Gives it a totally different quality (though yes, the true quality remains the same).

As far as approaching it, I think there is great potential for a sequence of some kind since the chord is re-tonicized in C, E, D, and G. The composer has given you the notes he or she wants emphasized, why not use some patterns with them as you float around the chord so many times? Or, you know, just check out what Bob Mintzer does, haha.
 

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The chord Cmaj7/E indicates 1st inversion. "Omit 3rd" could be a typo because note "E" in this case is the bass note. Omitting the 5th would make more sense. At any rate, the soloist needs only to play the chord tones 1, 3, or maj7, in any variety of rhythmic motif. Jumping octaves also works. :cool:
 

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MESax said:
Any of you advanced guys have thoughts? Ran across a chord today and have no idea how to approach it.

CMaj7(omit 3)/E

Is that like a Csus/E? Or do you just play a C Major scale minus the 3rd and 4th?



In classical harmony on the first inversion it's better not to double the third, because it sounds redundant to have two thirds of the chord. Maybe it comes from there.
 

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Some of you are confusing voicings with the chord types, themselves.

The composer simply wants a certain sound/voicing. There's nothing more exotic to it than that so take care not to make it more complex in your thinking than it actually is. And he's actually not even mixing textures in this passage; they're all the same.

Now, for the purpose of finding what to play over the chords, if you take a look at the first set of chords...

EMa7(omit 3)/G# CMa9 (omit 3)/E
D(omit 3)/F# D
CMa9(omit 3)/E CMa7
GMa9(omit 3)/B Emi9

...you will see that all the chords are complete regarding the chord tones themselves. You have, as the basic chords, EMaj7/CMaj7/DMaj/CMaj7/GMaj7 (and Emin9 which is just a plural substitute for GMaj7). These are the chords.

Now, regarding how to play through those changes, there are really only four chords and they all derive from their respective major scales. Depending on how good your chops are and the tempo of a tune, this shouldn't be too difficult to negotiate or conceptualise.

However, as was mentioned above, you can use pentatonics if the full scales are too difficult to negotiate. Practice the pentatonic on each chord out of tempo to get the notes under your fingers.

If it is too difficult still, then find the common tones between each adjacent chord and concentrate on them. Then, to make it more interesting, find the tones that colour each chord. In these cases they are the Maj7ths or 9ths, and play around those tones.

A reminder - in any case, do not confuse voicings with what the chord actually is and, likewise, don't dismiss the colour of the voicing as something to include as you play your solos.

caveat - it's also possible that it would sound better considering the overall tonality of the piece, to play variations of some of the tonic-type chords, for example, a Lydian vs. Ionian, but from the question and some of the responses, that's probably going too far at the moment. There's enough to work on above as it is. Have fun!
 

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jazzbluescat said:
I wonder, was my post (#7) not intelligible?:?
Very intelligible and answered the question quite comprehensively, articulatey and comprehensively IMO.
 
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