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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm curious about something... (I'll use Blue Bossa in alto key as an example).

The first two measures are an Amin7 to a Dmin7.

The color tone I usually go for on these chords are the G# and the C# as some kind of a 'pivot' sound that I can sit on a little bit then resolve to the next one.

By all rights and means, it strikes me that logically, you're playing the major 7th over the minor 7th chord, which by all rights and means, should sound pretty ugly, right? But it doesn't (to me) as long as I resolve it.

Why does that work?



Edit: Here's a sound clip of the first two bars of Blue Bossa to illustrate what I'm talking about.
 

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Tension played with conviction always sounds good!! You can play a lower neighbor tone to just about any chord tone and it sounds good. Sometimes upper neighbor half step tones work well too. It all depends on the situation. Also jazz is awesome. Also look at this website to learn the most basic tenets of jazz: http://www.zombo.com/

"You can do anything at [Blue Bossa], anything you want, the only limit is yourself!"
 

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And the leading tone is an interesting note, especially in a minor key.........
 

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G# = Leading tone of A minor, gives more of a minor sound rather than, say, dorian, or other options on that chord.
C# = Leading tone into D minor, gives forward motion into the next bar.

"All the Things You Are" has a similar situation in the first two bars.

I've always found that it's surprising how much better your ear can tell your fingers what to play than your brain. You ever hear someone hold an E natural over an entire "A" section of "Rhythm Changes" (AABA)? Coolest thing I ever heard.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
gearaholic said:
G# = Leading tone of A minor, gives more of a minor sound rather than, say, dorian, or other options on that chord.
C# = Leading tone into D minor, gives forward motion into the next bar.

"All the Things You Are" has a similar situation in the first two bars.
Yeah, that tune was the other one that I was thinking about using as an example. I do the same thing over that as well. :)

I had a guitarist explain to me once that he thought it was some kind of a tritone sub or something? I dunno...

I've always found that it's surprising how much better your ear can tell your fingers what to play than your brain. You ever hear someone hold an E natural over an entire "A" section of "Rhythm Changes" (AABA)? Coolest thing I ever heard.
I don't know quite how to quantify it... I have *some* theory behind me, but I find I have more of a tendency to sort of go for certain "color tones" when I hear certain chords. I don't know why things work the way they do, I just know that they do.. and I'm more likely to understand it if I hear it rather than having someone explain it. I should work on that.

I doubt anyone really cares, but I'm going to add a small sound clip at the top to illustrate what I'm talking about anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Razzy said:
Tension played with conviction always sounds good!! You can play a lower neighbor tone to just about any chord tone and it sounds good. Sometimes upper neighbor half step tones work well too. It all depends on the situation. Also jazz is awesome. Also look at this website to learn the most basic tenets of jazz: http://www.zombo.com/

"You can do anything at [Blue Bossa], anything you want, the only limit is yourself!"
LOL. I sat there for about 2 minutes looking at that website thinking "What the hell?!?"

:D :D
 

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the Gsharp and Csharp are both major sevenths played over min7th which give a harmonic minor sound which is nice!
 

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The g# implies E7-which leads to Amin
The C# implies A7-which leads to Dmin

This is a Jazz way of explaining why leading notes function as leading notes

Even though you're already on a chord, you can still play the dominant that led to that chord.

It's good you're hearing that stuff and looking to justify the nice sound it makes

Jamie
 

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Discussion Starter #10
jamiejazz said:
The g# implies E7-which leads to Amin
The C# implies A7-which leads to Dmin

This is a Jazz way of explaining why leading notes function as leading notes

Even though you're already on a chord, you can still play the dominant that led to that chord.
Interesting... so what other substitutions would be good choices over this kind of thing?

I remember at one point going through trying to figure out how Trane would try to substitue Giant Steps turnarounds over ii-Vs, but I never really quite understood how he got there.

It's good you're hearing that stuff and looking to justify the nice sound it makes

Jamie
Thanks, man. I really appreciate it. By the way, I listened to your stuff. You sound great! :)
 

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Try Bb7 to Ami7 and Eb7 to Dmi7 (if you think of Bbmimaj going to Dmi7, you're playing at the upper part of the Eb7)
 

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One of my teachers Ron Kerber has a great exercise for this where he takes a G major scale for example, and plays every note, surrounding it with both its half-step lower neighbor and it's scale tone upper neighbor. Sometimes the half-step below winds up being a note in the scale and sometimes it does not. First you play the scale tone above, then the half step below, and finally the actual note, then move up to the next note in the scale and do the same thing. You can also surround the notes by half steps, or a half step above and a scale tone below for some real tension!! The idea is to instill these tensions in your ear and make you realize that it all sounds great as long as there is some form of pattern or sequence underlying the apparent madness!

I think exercises like this would be great to give you more freedom in playing AROUND with the color tones rather than landing right on them most of the time. Even so, it's always better to use your ears first when learning a new concept and I think you are doing the right stuff based on your recordings, mang! Just a little more study like the above exercise and it will be easier to wrap your brain around tensions and make them sound better.

That's also a good point though re dominant chords. It is fun and works well to play the related dominant 7th chord over a minor chord even if the minor chord is just sustaining. Stitt did this a lot: 2 beats of E7, 2 beats of A minor back and forth while the A minor sustained. There are some great patterns you can play over this. Check out Stitt's "New York Jazz" and the tune Alone Together on there. He also does it in a different key which is refreshing. But the pattern I'm thinking of goes something like, in 8th notes:

A C E C - B D F B - C E A2 E (these are all ascending) etc.

This implies a dominant b9 chord what with the F natural and the next iteration of the pattern might be D F G#2 F, and so on.
 

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Razzy made lots of good points, especially regarding leading tones, or chromatic tones that surround and embellish a chord tone.

But there is a case where the major 7th is a chord tone in a minor chord. The minor/major chord is spelled 1 b3 5 7 and gives a very evocative and dark sound. This chord is used in the tune "Harlem Nocturne," for one example. Also the melodic minor mode/scale is 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7, again employing the major 7th. It's a very cool sound and not uncommon.
 

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edhara said:
The color tone I usually go for on these chords are the G# and the C# as some kind of a 'pivot' sound that I can sit on a little bit then resolve to the next one.

By all rights and means, it strikes me that logically, you're playing the major 7th over the minor 7th chord, which by all rights and means, should sound pretty ugly, right? But it doesn't (to me) as long as I resolve it.

Why does that work?



Edit: Here's a sound clip of the first two bars of Blue Bossa to illustrate what I'm talking about.
I think the main thing, as you say yourself, is how you resolve it (clip sounds v v good BTW). What Razzy refers to his teacher demonstrating is interesting too and (if i understand right) implies that any melodic tone colour is usable at any time provided it is resolved convincingly. One of the "jazz sayings" that always made most sense to me is "you're only ever half a step away from the right note". It's kind of reductive, I suppose, but i've always found it helps me to get jazz harmony in some kind of perspective.
 

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It's all the same stuff-but it's important to understand the function of each scale note. There's not a lot of fat in Sonny Stitt's lines-each note has some melodic function. Also, arrangers need to know these functions so they can harmonize each note correctly.

Essentially, a harmonic minor scale (from a bebop perspective) is made up of 2 chords
Imin (C Eb G) and V7b9 (G,B,D,F,Ab)

So you have Cmin and G7b9 which wants to resolve back to Cmin

Razzy was describing outlining I then V then I then V etc. Rocking back and forth from Cmin to G7. Bud Powell, Bird, Stitt all made big use of this.

It's similar in measures 5-8 in the tune 'Bebop' or Bird's intro on 'Koko'

Of course, it's just whether it sounds good or not.

Shocked by my geekness,
Jamie
 
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