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  1. #1

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    I’m not proficient at jazz at all; I am a total novice. But I have had this chromatically regressive chord structure bouncing around in my head for over 20 years. The thing it, it needs a resolution because there’s no real release of tension. I know the tab below isn’t crucial to the theory, but sometimes the positions where the chords are played effect the tone and moving to a position at the other end of the fretboard sounds off (i.e. going from 10th fret to 2nd fret).

    Dmaj7 - C#7 - Cmaj7 - B7

    x5767x DMaj7
    x4646x C#7
    x3545x CMaj7
    x2424x B7

    So is there another chord (or set of chords) that should go at the end of this? Would you repeat this progression 4x before resolving or resolve it after each time played?

    Zac
    Last edited by zcostilla; 02-27-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Check the tabs for errors

  4. #3

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    Maybe not the answer you want to hear, but a progression can resolve (i.e., end) any way you want it to. Unless you're talking about a specific (already composed) tune and asking how to, say, continue a chord pattern so that you wind up on a particular chord that's part of the composed harmony, there's no set answer to how a progression resolves. It goes where you tell it to go. You could just keep going in that pattern until you wind up where you started, play any other chord you want after the B7, etc. A sequence of chords in isolation from a complete composition doesn't have any inherent logic.

    That said, maybe you can think of that progression as a series of modulations from one major key to another, moving down in whole steps (a reasonable thing to do in composing a tune). Under that logic, each dom7 falling between the major chords can also be been seen as a substitution (via a technique called tritone substitution) for the next major chord's dominant (or as a ii-V).

    So, your progression is:

    | Dmaj | C#7 | Cmaj | B7 |

    You can also think of that as a substitution for:

    | Dmaj | G7 | Cmaj | F7 | or

    | Dmaj | Dmin G7 | Cmaj | Cmin F7 |

    I don't know what the rest of the tune is, since you're the one who's composing it, but there are a lot of places to go after that. If I were writing a tune where I ultimately wanted to wind up back on that Dmaj I might do something like this to get there:

    | Dmaj | Dmin G7 | Cmaj | Cmin F7 |
    | Fmin | Bb 7 | Ebmaj| A7 |

    | Dmaj | Dmin G7 | Cmaj | Cmin F7 |
    | Fmin | Bb 7 | Ebmaj| Ebmaj |

    While blowing or comping on the first four bars of that, use your pattern as a substitute.

    John

  5. #4

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    It's a little hard to read those grips the way they are lining up. We usually write grips like this:

    x5767x DMaj7
    x4646x C#7
    x3545x CMaj7
    x2424x B7

    ... and how about continuing with something simple to get back to D:

    7x575x Em7
    5x565x A7
    x5767x DMaj7
    ...
    Build bridges, not walls.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    It's a little hard to read those grips the way they are lining up. We usually write grips like this:

    x5767x DMaj7
    x4646x C#7
    x3545x CMaj7
    x2424x B7
    Original post edited to reflect this suggestion. Thanks!
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

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  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    Maybe not the answer you want to hear, but a progression can resolve (i.e., end) any way you want it to. Unless you're talking about a specific (already composed) tune and asking how to, say, continue a chord pattern so that you wind up on a particular chord that's part of the composed harmony, there's no set answer to how a progression resolves. It goes where you tell it to go. You could just keep going in that pattern until you wind up where you started, play any other chord you want after the B7, etc. A sequence of chords in isolation from a complete composition doesn't have any inherent logic.

    That said, maybe you can think of that progression as a series of modulations from one major key to another, moving down in whole steps (a reasonable thing to do in composing a tune). Under that logic, each dom7 falling between the major chords can also be been seen as a substitution (via a technique called tritone substitution) for the next major chord's dominant (or as a ii-V).

    So, your progression is:

    | Dmaj | C#7 | Cmaj | B7 |

    You can also think of that as a substitution for:

    | Dmaj | G7 | Cmaj | F7 | or

    | Dmaj | Dmin G7 | Cmaj | Cmin F7 |

    I don't know what the rest of the tune is, since you're the one who's composing it, but there are a lot of places to go after that. If I were writing a tune where I ultimately wanted to wind up back on that Dmaj I might do something like this to get there:

    | Dmaj | Dmin G7 | Cmaj | Cmin F7 |
    | Fmin | Bb 7 | Ebmaj| A7 |

    | Dmaj | Dmin G7 | Cmaj | Cmin F7 |
    | Fmin | Bb 7 | Ebmaj| Ebmaj |

    While blowing or comping on the first four bars of that, use your pattern as a substitute.

    John
    Right now it’s just those four chords repeating themselves, which doesn’t sound resolved to me, and also isn’t the way jazz normally works, as I (an admitted noob) understand it. I’d like to resolve the progression and then work the entire progression up or down a step and see how it feels to me. But again, those four chords alone don’t feel like they are resolved whenever I try that.

    I can’t wait to play your suggestion and see how it feels.

    Zac

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post

    ... and how about continuing with something simple to get back to D:

    7x575x Em7
    5x565x A7
    x5767x DMaj7
    ...
    This also looks very promising. I won’t be free to mess with it for a couple more hours but I’m excited to try it out.

    Zac
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    It's a little hard to read those grips the way they are lining up. We usually write grips like this:

    x5767x DMaj7
    x4646x C#7
    x3545x CMaj7
    x2424x B7

    ... and how about continuing with something simple to get back to D:

    7x575x Em7
    5x565x A7
    x5767x DMaj7
    ...
    I am leaning towards this, using B7 as my 8th bar and final resolution, so it will go:

    x 5 7 6 7 x DMaj7
    x 4 6 4 6 x C#7
    x 3 5 4 5 x CMaj7
    x 2 4 2 4 x B7
    x 7 9 7 8 x Em7
    x 7 5 6 8 x A7/E
    x 5 7 6 7 x DMaj7
    x 9 7 8 10 7 B7/F#

    I don’t know many of the more exotic jazz chord shapes yet, so I’m stuck with what I do know for now, and these are the most familiar and pleasant to my ear. But I’m always open for constructive feedback and willing to learn, so if something here doesn’t make good musical sense, I am willing to be educated.

    Zac
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  9. #8

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    Looks a bit like Midnight Sun/What's New/Early Autumn/How High the Moon, classic A section looks like this in D

    Dmaj7 C#7 Cmaj7 B7 Bbmaj7 A7 Dmaj7

  10. #9

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    Check out Midnight Mood by J Zawinul

    or with your chords.... make a Form... A B B A Maybe....

    "A"
    Dma7 ...............10 X 11 11 10 X
    Bb7b13 .............9 X 9 10 10 X
    Cmaj7 ...............8 X 7 9 10 X or C13 8 X 8 9 10 10
    B7b13 ..............7 X 7 8 8 X
    E-9 ..................X 7 5 7 7 X
    A13 .................5 X 5 6 7 X
    Dma6/9 ............X 5 4 4 5 X
    Ab13 ...............4 X 4 5 6 X

    "B"
    Gma6/9 ............X 10 9 9 10 (10)
    C13 ................8 X 8 9 10 (10)
    F#-7b5 .............X 9 10 9 10 (10)
    B7b13 ............. 7 X 7 8 8 X
    E-9 ................. X 7 5 7 7 X
    A13 ................ .5 X 5 6 7 X
    D6/9 ................ X 5 4 4 5 X
    Ab13 ................4 X 4 5 6 X

    "B"
    G6/9 ................X 10 9 9 10 X
    F#7#9b13 ........X 9 8 9 10 X
    F6/9 .................X 8 7 9 8 X
    E7#9 ................X 7 6 7 8 8
    A-7 ...................5 X 5 5 5 X
    Bb13 .................5 X 5 6 7 7
    E-9 ...................X 7 5 7 7 7
    Eb13 .................X 6 5 6 6 8

    "A"
    Like 1st "A"
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Looks a bit like Midnight Sun/What's New/Early Autumn/How High the Moon, classic A section looks like this in D

    Dmaj7 C#7 Cmaj7 B7 Bbmaj7 A7 Dmaj7
    I listened to Midniht Sun (Herb Alpert) and didn’t recognize it but heard the progression. I listened to How High the Moon by Ella Fitzgerald and it was pretty but again, I didn’t remember hearing that progression before. Then the next song on Apple Music was the Les Paul & Mary Ford version of How High the Moon, and I recognized the song from my grandparents’ home when I was in elementary school. I don”t think I’ve heard it since. But that progression instantly popped out at me and brought me back to the first time I played it on my beat up partscaster, some 15 years later, in my friend’s basement in Germany where we used to jam back in early 1997 (I was active duty, living in Bitburg at the time).

    Now I can’t help but wonder if that piece of music had been locked away and somehow discovering a Maj7 to 7th chord a half step lower unlocked some memory I didn’t even know I had. Funny, I always thought my preference for Jazz came from my other grandfather, who was a Big Band DJ (though as a kid I didn’t want to hear much of it at the time). But this song was definitely from my non-musical side of the family.
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    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  12. #11

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    So after messing with this, my chromatic descending progression seems to be falling flat, it I FELL IN LOVE with

    Em7 - A7 - Dmaj7 - B7

    I know it’s simplistic, but it will serve to get me to improvise, and I can shift it up or down a step after two times through it. Time to play!
    Last edited by zcostilla; 03-02-2019 at 11:28 AM.
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  13. #12

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    Chromatic chord movement cannot themselves be resolved. If you take two chromatic chords, they are equal to each other. Both are as much home as the other. And if you have three, same thing.

    If you are in a key and do a chromatic movement, moving out of the key then you could be in a new key. And the chromatic chord will be a normal chord in the new key. You would then do a cadence in the new key to establish this as the new key. And the two chromatic chords is how you pivot from one key to the other.

    If you have a progression in a certain key and you insert an additional chromatic chord that connects two other chords chromatically, then this is a passing chord, as a passing note would be to a melody. It has no harmonic function.