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  1. #1

    Barry Harris Borrowed Notes

    I was just noticing how much riches and variety is available in a contextualized way,
    meaning one chord is the reference and the borrowed notes bringing additional movement
    and color. I was playing around with this on piano closed voicings, where 2nds are easily played.

    All of a sudden, I have greater insight where some of those crunchy but beautiful Barry voicings
    are coming from. Of course, his amazing touch and feel are also a crucial aspect of why he sounds as
    good as he does. It seems to have implications both for comping and soloing.

    Certainly plenty of Barry talk at jazzguitar.be but I haven't noticed much discussion about
    the borrowed note idea. Anyone who's explored this area willing/able to share some of
    your observations?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    It’s discussed quite a bit in the Alan Kingstone study group thread.

    My personal observation is that it is like chilli. Some people want all heat and no flavor. Some people are scared of a little heat.

    Part of BH’s touch IMHO is he doesn’t linger on borrow notes or go from chord + borrowed note to chord + borrowed note without resolving the borrowed note. But you will definitely hear people play few actual 6 or dominant chords without throwing a borrowed note in. I guess you can think of them as chilli-heads.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett;

    Part of BH’s touch IMHO is he doesn’t linger on borrow notes or go from chord + borrowed note to chord + borrowed note without resolving the borrowed note.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Good post, I would just respectfully disagree with the above part. I can hear it in his playing, and have seen in edu materials (the youtube videos come to mind)

    then again i’m a chilli head for sure! (NOT with food though)
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  4. #4
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    I tend to resolve borrowed notes

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I tend to resolve borrowed notes
    me too. but not in such an obvious way. If someone thinks they will sound like Barry Harris by playing 6th diminished scales and resolving borrowed notes as soon as they’re played, they would be dissapointed.

    The cool stuff happens when a borrowed note is taken through a scale and resolved at the end. or a borrowed note is resolved in the next chord, but a new borrowed note in another voice appears at the same time. That’s how you sound like a string arranger...or Barry Harris
    White belt
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  6. #6
    i seem to borrow notes all the time,

    might as well start calling TT subs, inversions, & Modal Interchange borrowed chords,

    all enclosure are borrowed notes, playing Melodic Minor over certain chord functions

    quite frankly the whole borrowed notes thing is BS. what exactly am i borrowing?

  7. #7
    I can’t tell you, I was sworn to secrecy by the Brotherhood of Barry.

  8. #8
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    Barry Harris Borrowed Notes

    In general I think learning harmony only from guitarists is a mistake.

  9. #9
    I think you borrowed that quote from somewhere.

  10. #10
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    No it is a completely original thought #gaslighting

  11. #11
    I think learning anything only from guitarists is a mistake. Like forensic pathology.

  12. #12
    Borrowing is a term that could apply to many things.
    Barry Harrisapplies it in a very specific way.
    His harmonic scales are constructed out of, major, minor and dominant family chords
    interjected with a symmetrical structure, a diminished 7th chord.
    The borrowing in Barry's case is about the sharing of notes between the diminished
    and the major/minor/dominant structure. It is a different perspective than laying out
    a scale as an extension. Each chord maintains it's original function. Playing around with
    close voicings on piano, it led to these crunchy close interval voicings that were still
    organized in a simple tonic/dominant way.
    When I listen to Barry play I would hear some passing chords with 2nds and say what was that?
    Now I have a greater understanding of the source of these crunchy voicings. The logic
    of his harmonic scales channels them easily into more simple harmonic scenarios.
    The musical results he has been able to achieve is a very good one.
    It took more than these describable methods to do so, but if you listen to him play
    the role of this approach that he has taught for decades is not insignificant.

    You are free to use the word borrowing any way you choose. Being of the personality type I am,
    I would apply this idea to other 7th chord pair and triad pair scenarios.
    I'm curious about structures surrounding the symmetrical augmented triad,
    chord pairs in a dominant/tonic relationship or scale pairs with at least a 5o% differential.
    Time gets in the way to follow through on every passing thought my brain comes up with.

    I doubt anyone from the Barry Harris organization is going to file a lawsuit if you use the word
    "borrowed" in a way that supports your musical approach. His approach is organized and well
    though out and offers something good for interested parties.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Borrowing is a term that could apply to many things.
    Barry Harrisapplies it in a very specific way.
    His harmonic scales are constructed out of, minor and dominant family chords
    interjected with a symmetrical structure, a diminished 7th chord.
    The borrowing in Barry's case is about the sharing of notes between the diminished
    and the major/minor/dominant structure. It is a different perspective than laying out
    a scale as an extension. Each chord maintains it's original function. Playing around with
    close voicings on piano, it led to these crunchy close interval voicings that were still
    organized in a simple tonic/dominant way.
    When I listen to Barry play I would hear some passing chords with 2nds and say what was that?
    Now I have a greater understanding of the source of these crunchy voicings. The logic
    of his harmonic scales channels them easily into more simple harmonic scenarios.
    The musical results he has been able to achieve is a very good one.
    It took more than these describable methods to do so, but if you listen to him play
    the role of this approach that he has taught for decades is not insignificant.

    You are free to use the word borrowing any way you choose. Being of the personality type I am,
    I would apply this idea to other 7th chord pair and triad pair scenarios.
    I'm curious about structures surrounding the symmetrical augmented triad,
    chord pairs in a dominant/tonic relationship or scale pairs with at least a 5o% differential.
    Time gets in the way to follow through on every passing thought my brain comes up with.

    I doubt anyone from the Barry Harris organization is going to file a lawsuit if you use the word
    "borrowed" in a way that supports your musical approach. His approach is organized and well
    though out and offers something good for interested parties.
    Great post.

    Sent from my SM-J727P using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe2758 View Post
    me too. but not in such an obvious way. If someone thinks they will sound like Barry Harris by playing 6th diminished scales and resolving borrowed notes as soon as they’re played, they would be dissapointed.

    The cool stuff happens when a borrowed note is taken through a scale and resolved at the end. or a borrowed note is resolved in the next chord, but a new borrowed note in another voice appears at the same time. That’s how you sound like a string arranger...or Barry Harris
    what a great post - this second paragraph is just great - THANKS

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    I doubt anyone from the Barry Harris organization is going to file a lawsuit if you use the word"borrowed" in a way that supports your musical approach.
    This would however be one of the more interesting legal cases in recent years.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    This would however be one of the more interesting legal cases in recent years.
    Legal precedent would likely have to look back to the first appearance of the phrase borrowing as presented
    in classical theory and analysis books. Perhaps even earlier still, when one one cave person fashioned herself
    a very effective fishing spear and her friend said "I'm working on making one of these for myself
    (copyright/patent laws had not yet come into effect) , meanwhile is it possible that I could briefly make use of uhh borrow yours".

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Borrowing is a term that could apply to many things.
    Barry Harrisapplies it in a very specific way.
    His harmonic scales are constructed out of, major, minor and dominant family chords
    interjected with a symmetrical structure, a diminished 7th chord.
    The borrowing in Barry's case is about the sharing of notes between the diminished
    and the major/minor/dominant structure. It is a different perspective than laying out
    a scale as an extension. Each chord maintains it's original function. Playing around with
    close voicings on piano, it led to these crunchy close interval voicings that were still
    organized in a simple tonic/dominant way.
    When I listen to Barry play I would hear some passing chords with 2nds and say what was that?
    Now I have a greater understanding of the source of these crunchy voicings. The logic
    of his harmonic scales channels them easily into more simple harmonic scenarios.
    The musical results he has been able to achieve is a very good one.
    It took more than these describable methods to do so, but if you listen to him play
    the role of this approach that he has taught for decades is not insignificant.

    You are free to use the word borrowing any way you choose. Being of the personality type I am,
    I would apply this idea to other 7th chord pair and triad pair scenarios.
    I'm curious about structures surrounding the symmetrical augmented triad,
    chord pairs in a dominant/tonic relationship or scale pairs with at least a 5o% differential.
    Time gets in the way to follow through on every passing thought my brain comes up with
    Bako I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here. Are you talking about using the triads in a specific harmony and playing with them while in that harmony to represent the extensions ( or borrowed notes )?
    Or are you talking about adding extensions of the approaching harmony so as to resolve them when they arrive? Or are you even talking about thinking of them as triads vs. scales?

    I'm not clear on your perspective and wonder if you have a demonstration ( reference video or yourself playing ) of how you were thinking of this before and then with the Harris construct?

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    this approach - the bebop approach really (its a lot bigger than barry harris) - leads you to hear and conceive chords as abstractions from movements or interconnected series of changes (as a process is an interconnected series of events): we think and hear movements as fundamental (and we classify them into a few fundamental types), and conceive any particular chord just as whatever is happening at a particular moment, as one of these movements unfolds.

    Chords are events - things that happen at a particular time - to understand what they are you need to know what sort of process they are parts of - and processes are collections of events that take time to unfold.

    II is best understood/heard as a process whose basic form is a maj 6th diminished chord scale starting on IV. V is best heard either as a harmonic process the basic form of which is a min6th diminished chord scale starting on the 5 of V (D min6 in Cmaj) or as a min6th diminished chord scale starting on #5 (Ab in C maj). (It can also be heard clearly as a min 6th diminished chord scale starting on 4 - F m6 in C maj). I can be heard clearest as a maj6th diminished chord scale starting on I (C in C maj) - but through its relative minor it is very close to IV too (IV is just the first inversion of VI - or VI is just IV with its root on the 6th degree).

    of course the music sounds exactly as if it is constantly pressing forwards (substitute your own favourite image here).

    modal jazz - jazz which involes lots of time on one sound - does not lead you to this conception of the fundamental nature of the music. because it involves a lot of floating (sub. your own image) rather than a lot of pushing forward - it leads to a conception of the nature of the music on which a chord is something that lasts for a long time and is not just a moment abstracted from more fundamental underlying harmonic processes.

    you CAN use the terminology natural to the description of be-bop to describe modal jazz - but it generates lots of awkwardnesses and confusions. and you can use a terminology natural to the description of modal jazz to describe be-bop (chords have to last for a certain period of time after all...) but this too will be awkward and it will generate apparent disagreements about the music that are really only about the terminology we should use to describe it.

    practically speaking - i think the real deal is that if you're playbing be-bop you are playing into chords - and if you are playing modal music (in which one sound lasts quite a long time quite often) you are playing over chords

    i suffered for a long time by burdening myself - as someone wanting to play in the be-bop style - with the idea that i play over one chord for a while and then i play over another chord for a while.

    now i play into chords (from other chords) - quite short ideas tend to go from one sound into another (like VI to II or V to I), and longer ideas go through a series of sounds before arriving at their terminus or target-sound (like from II into V ending in I). typically for example i will only play I 'over' I for a single moment - the moment that the final note of my line sounds. before this moment i will be playing notes that belong to II or V over I. the other thing i will do over I is play out of it into VI or II - my line that i think of as a line into II may start at I and go through VI before it gets to II - some of this linemight be played over the last bit of I. so when I is sounding I do not think of playing over the I sound - but either into it from somewhere else, or out of it to somewhere else.

  19. #19
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    Hi Groynaid, has been a while!

  20. #20
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    Btw I think you nailed it

    Bebop is the science of lines on dominant chords and so on resolving into target chords.

    Modal is the science of exploring individual chords, static moments.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Legal precedent would likely have to look back to the first appearance of the phrase borrowing as presented
    in classical theory and analysis books. Perhaps even earlier still, when one one cave person fashioned herself
    a very effective fishing spear and her friend said "I'm working on making one of these for myself
    (copyright/patent laws had not yet come into effect) , meanwhile is it possible that I could briefly make use of uhh borrow yours".
    yes I was thinking more in terms of seeing a barrister trying to explain sixth/diminished scales to the judge.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    yes I was thinking more in terms of seeing a barrister trying to explain sixth/diminished scales to the judge.
    Ha! I can imagine it now,

    Atty: "So in conclusion, you can add motion and interest to a harmonic progression using maj6th chords by 'borrowing' notes from the surrounding diminished chords."

    Judge: "What did the six majors do?"

    Atty: "No. Not 'six majors', 'Maj6'"

    Judge: "I have no intention of diminishing the service of any Army officer."

    Atty: "No. Not 'MAJORS', 'Maj6' chords. As in music. With all due respect, your honor, but we have been talking about music all day, not the military."

    Judge: "Quite honestly I have no patience for you hippies and your music trying to diminish the military. I have no choice to rule against you and declare everyone must play John Phillip Sousa for the next 30 days."

    Attn: "Thank you, your honor."

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by keith View Post
    Bako I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here. Are you talking about using the triads in a specific harmony and playing with them while in that harmony to represent the extensions ( or borrowed notes )?
    Or are you talking about adding extensions of the approaching harmony so as to resolve them when they arrive? Or are you even talking about thinking of them as triads vs. scales?

    I'm not clear on your perspective and wonder if you have a demonstration ( reference video or yourself playing ) of how you were thinking of this before and then with the Harris construct?

    Thanks
    I was respondin to Durban's post in which he stated his opinion that the use of the term "borrowing" is BS.
    If you ask me a very specific question, I will do my best to answer.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    I was respondin to Durban's post in which he stated his opinion that the use of the term "borrowing" is BS.
    .

    Not the Term but ACTUAL Borrowing,

    once again no such thing as borrowing its either Chromatic or non diatonic, its simple

  25. #25
    M’lud, I move that the case be dropped, my client’s defence being that there is in fact no such thing as ‘borrowing’, therefore no offence has been committed.
    Last edited by grahambop; 07-12-2018 at 07:21 PM.

  26. #26
    M'lady, No offence taken

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    Ha! I can imagine it now,

    Atty: "So in conclusion, you can add motion and interest to a harmonic progression using maj6th chords by 'borrowing' notes from the surrounding diminished chords."

    Judge: "What did the six majors do?"

    Atty: "No. Not 'six majors', 'Maj6'"

    Judge: "I have no intention of diminishing the service of any Army officer."

    Atty: "No. Not 'MAJORS', 'Maj6' chords. As in music. With all due respect, your honor, but we have been talking about music all day, not the military."

    Judge: "Quite honestly I have no patience for you hippies and your music trying to diminish the military. I have no choice to rule against you and declare everyone must play John Phillip Sousa for the next 30 days."

    Attn: "Thank you, your honor."
    Well that's why you need this fella:

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