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  1. #1

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    While I was playing arpeggios the other day, I started fiddling around with a Min7#5 chord. Note that this is NOT a Min6 chord because it includes both the b7 and the #5. The thing is, I have never seen this chord used in a jazz chart. The only example I could find of its use was in Peg by Steely Dan. Can anyone give me more insight into this chord? Where has it been used? How does it function harmonically? What scales can be used with? With respect to the last item, you can’t really use Dorian, and it doesn’t match up with either Melodic or Harmonic Minor. It doesn’t even match up with Aeolian because of the #5. What would even be the 6 in this case? Or should the chord be written as Min7/6, in which case it would line up with Aeolian. As you can see, I am perplexed by it.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    You never see a min#5 chord because it's just a major chord in second inversion.

    Amin#5 = A C F

    F A C = Fmaj

    Amin7#5 = A C F G

    F A C G = Fadd9

    .

  4. #3

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    Min7#5 is taught at Berklee. I don't know if I've read/heard a discussion about it's origins or use.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWolf
    Or should the chord be written as Min7/6, in which case it would line up with Aeolian.
    It's logical that it could be Aeolian shorthand.

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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    Bret Willmott covers it too. He makes a point that calling it Min7b13 is weak because it leaves the possibility of a half step between the 5th and b6th (b13th if you prefer). So b13th is not considered to be an "available tension" on that chord.

    Calling it Min7#5 guarantees that one won't use the perfect 5th on the chord.

    He also makes the point that is enharmonic with other chords. For example, Gmin7#5 is enharmonic with Cmin11 (rootless).

  8. #7

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    Thanks for all the great insight, everyone.

  9. #8

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    This chord is more commonly seen in Brazilian music. Toninho Horta, for example, uses it in Raining At Buriti Farm. Also, in Aqui Oh.

    Dori Caymmi uses it in Migration.

    Functionally, it doesn't quite fit in the usual scheme. Sometimes sounds a little like a tonic, but not quite.

  10. #9

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    On guitar there are a couple of common ways to play the chord.

    Dm7#5

    x5856x D Bb C F

    10 x 10 10 11 x D C F Bb

    So, it's Bb C F over a D in the bass. Or, in other words, a stack of 4ths C F Bb over a D in the bass.

  11. #10

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    I think of it as Dm7#5 contextually when used in a minor environment,
    otherwise it is Bbadd9/D.

    Ex.... D A C F > D Bb C F > D B C F > D Bb C F

    From a scale derivation perspective, it is generally aeolian and
    hence is really a b13 (b6) but m7#5 is a simpler name.

  12. #11

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    F6 with a borrowed diminished note from FMaj6diminished scale.

  13. #12

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    i like
    |A-7#5 Ab13|
    as the 3rd bar of
    ‘like someone in love’ in Eb

    5x556x
    4x456x

  14. #13

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    I don't suppose the James Bond theme qualifies, does it? Over an Em chord the top melody goes B - C - C# - C - B.

    Technically the C note turns it into a minor #5/b13... or maybe not :-)


  15. #14

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    Once again jazz musicians fail basic enharmony bah humbug

  16. #15

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    Berklee has made some really strange choices historically that it now (and by extension musicians in general) seems stuck with. Having separate names of 13th chords and chord scales is one area I would really like them to clear up for OCD reasons. (I also could live to never again hear the grotesque maulings of classical modal terminology that have become standard.)

    I suppose that’s what you get for putting jazz musicians in change of things haha.

    But seriously, I have seen m7#5 and I always found it to be an annoying name even on the basis of Berklee-oid CST. What minor scale in common use has a #5. Complete doofuses!

    As rag says it may come from the James Bond Line Cliche which has a history going back a lot earlier in jazz (it crops up in the Eddie Lang/Carl Kress duet ‘picking my way’ for example.)

    Another example is the m6 chord of course, which is the minor triad plus a major sixth. So yeah.

    Probably big band charts are to blame and of course Berklee started as a big band school. And chord symbols grew up as a practical shorthand and it shouldn’t really matter .

    Anyway whatever you call it, it makes an excellent all purpose ‘modern chord.’

    Try it in ‘Upper Manhattan Medical Group’ instead of Dbo7 (Dbm7#5) Be the talk of the town. Amaze your friends

  17. #16

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    yea you need context for defs...

    A-7#5 is not really a chord, at least there is no real source or reference for construction. We all know the basic two common Line Cliches. Right...

    Either melodic lines from Root or 5th.

    I'll skip all the BS.... The notation usually implies a voicing of an implied chord...with a Line cliche. Line cliches are melodic line with step wise motion. In your example the notation would imply upward step wise motion.

    So it is a Two Part notation label.

    If your soloing... or arranging a big band or orchestral section of music... you would generally make musical choices of what note collections you want to pull your Line Cliche from.

    Part of playing Jazz involves using Chord Patterns... meaning you don't just play or pull from vanilla single harmonic references all the time.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Berklee has made some really strange choices historically that it now (and by extension musicians in general) seems stuck with. Having separate names of 13th chords and chord scales is one area I would really like them to clear up for OCD reasons. (I also could live to never again hear the grotesque maulings of classical modal terminology that have become standard.)

    I suppose that’s what you get for putting jazz musicians in change of things haha.

    But seriously, I have seen m7#5 and I always found it to be an annoying name even on the basis of Berklee-oid CST. What minor scale in common use has a #5. Complete doofuses!

    As rag says it may come from the James Bond Line Cliche which has a history going back a lot earlier in jazz (it crops up in the Eddie Lang/Carl Kress duet ‘picking my way’ for example.)

    Another example is the m6 chord of course, which is the minor triad plus a major sixth. So yeah.

    Probably big band charts are to blame and of course Berklee started as a big band school. And chord symbols grew up as a practical shorthand and it shouldn’t really matter .

    Anyway whatever you call it, it makes an excellent all purpose ‘modern chord.’

    Try it in ‘Upper Manhattan Medical Group’ instead of Dbo7 (Dbm7#5) Be the talk of the town. Amaze your friends
    Chord symbol shorthand has you that upset?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Chord symbol shorthand has you that upset?
    it’s mostly joking







    mostly

  20. #19

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    Anyway I’m on the figured bass now. None of that jazz rubbish.

  21. #20

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    m7#5 exists outside of line cliches in Brazilian music. (It also exists inside line cliches in Brazilian music).

    You'll hear it in

    Desfile de Afoxe by Chico Pinheiro as a transitional chord. Also in his Mandarim, the second chord in the tune.

    E Preciso Perdoar between an Abm6 and a Gbo

    Ela E Carioca as a kind of subdominant function

    Inspiracao na Esquina. C#m7sus C#m7#5 Bb7b13

    Migration by Dori Caymmi where it's used more like a minor tonic, more or less.

    O Barquino, m9#5 used as a tonic in one arrangement.

    Prato Feito by Toninho Horta. Multiple places in the tune making different transitions.

    I think that this chord is a stack of fourths over a bass note. The stack of fourths makes the sound ambiguous, in the way, say, that xx2233 can function in a lot of different ways. The bass note makes it more specific, but still leaves a lot of ambiguity.

    In the tunes I just listed, it is more often a transitional chord, although I wouldn't call any of the usages a line cliche. But, sometimes it's more like a tonic and clearly not a line cliche.

    I think the way this chord is used in Brazil sometimes reflects something that isn't often heard in an American jazz standard, if ever. It's its own thing.

  22. #21

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    Yeah I always think of it as having a Brazilian tinge

  23. #22

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    As well as dim7, it occurs to me that this chord also functions very well as sub for altered dominant.

    In which case it becomes a 7b13#9 with no 3rd.

    And who would play a third in an altered dominant anyway? Leading tones lead to sinful thoughts. It’s in Leviticus.

    (srlsy leaving the 3rd out is a great way to make alt dominants sound open, modern, and somewhat Brazilian.

    Especially if you grab x 3 6 3 4 x

    So, minor tonic, inverted major tonic, diminished, dominant... there’s nothin it won’t do. Why bother learning other chords even?
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-04-2021 at 02:30 PM.

  24. #23

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    It seems to me that the name is quite handy for the guitar. If one knows their drop 2s and 3s they know exactly what to do.

    The artful usage of the chord is trickier than the playing of it.

  25. #24

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    The truth is out there, and so is David Duchovney... which is worse?


  26. #25

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    DD of course

  27. #26

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    Hey Rick...so in most brazilian examples the #5 is usually also part of an implied line or pedal (note) notation application. A notation of a voicing or pattern of voicings. If you want to actually go through examples... would be glad to go through. I would guess you've been through guitar material from Nelson Faria, Antonio Adolfo even Renato Vasconcellos etc.

    Usually just go through and spell the chord, with chord tones and extensions in the context.
    The obvious examples are either,

    VII-7b5 Locrian
    III-7 Phrygian
    VI-7 Aeloian

    Or MM chords
    bVI-7b5... similocrian, (aeolian b5)
    VII-7b9b11b5b13, superlocrian or Altered

    HMaj chords
    III-7 Phrygian b4 or 11

    I guess it's cool to call chords and notes what we want as long as it's serving a purpose, but we should at least know the purpose.

    I personally always use functional applications of chords...chord patterns. The fun is always in subdominant motion.
    Anyway... hope your well

  28. #27

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    Michael Hedges' tune Rickover's Dream uses this chord, first at 00:55-56


  29. #28

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    I’ve written this sort of thing in the past

    G/C C#m7#5 Am/D D#m7#5 Bm/E

    but I’m not sure if it works for Ain’t Misbehaving.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    But seriously, I have seen m7#5 and I always found it to be an annoying name even on the basis of Berklee-oid CST. What minor scale in common use has a #5. Complete doofuses!
    Phrygian's got a b6

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    Phrygian's got a b6
    That’s not a #5 is it?

    Gordon Bennett, what ARE they teaching ‘em? Why can no one spell? It’s clearly the end of days.

  32. #31

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    (TBF the altered scale is a spelling mistake made into a harmonic device.)

    Such open contempt for the alphabet rule must surely speak of gross moral squalor.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars
    The truth is out there, and so is David Duchovney... which is worse?

    The Truth, nine times out of ten, IME.

  34. #33

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    Make a vamp using B-7 to B-7#5 or B-7b13 or maybe B-7 to Cmaj7 and see what note collections you actually end up with....

    Christian your in some other world...LOL

  35. #34

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    [QUOTE=Reg;1111806]Hey Rick...so in most brazilian examples the #5 is usually also part of an implied line or pedal (note) notation application. A notation of a voicing or pattern of voicings. If you want to actually go through examples... would be glad to go through. I would guess you've been through guitar material from Nelson Faria, Antonio Adolfo even Renato Vasconcellos etc.

    Reg,

    Good to see you here, and always a pleasure to discuss music.

    Here's an example.

    The Am7#5 in Migration by Dori Caymmi. It's near the 1 minute mark in this video.

    How does it fit into the usual paradigm? (not a troll, I really don't know)

    Rick


  36. #35

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    Hey Rick...
    Nice groove, sounds fun. Love this BS.
    I mean just listening sounds like E-7 to D-7... Aeolian to Dorian. Standard harmonic groove with some personal constant structure with variations

    If he says its a B-7#5... then Phrygian to Aeolian

    The soprano solo sound like he playing with the relative majors of E- and D- anyway I don't hear any #5s on any of the Min chords or harmony.

    I mean we could transcribe etc... Do you have his chart.

  37. #36

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    There is a lick G D G C# etc against G add 9.

    Then a similiar lick up a fourth,

    Then the same lick again.

    In the next bar (bar 41 of the tune) the bass plays A and F. The chord is, low to high, G A C F. Two bars.

    Then, the chord is Eb/F. F in the bass, Bb Eb G in the chord. One bar.

    Then, Em4/7. E in the bass, A D G in the chord.

    You can hear the Am7#5 in the outro

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Hey Rick...
    Nice groove, sounds fun. Love this BS.
    I mean just listening sounds like E-7 to D-7... Aeolian to Dorian. Standard harmonic groove with some personal constant structure with variations
    .
    In the chart:

    He has the chord as Em4/7 (Brazilian style chord name). E A D G.

    And, it goes to Dm4/7. Same voicing.

    The Am7#5 isn't the same voicing though. It's A (and F) in the bass, then G A C F.

    The solo section is based mostly on those two chords. It doesn't go to Am7#5.

    What you hear as his Em4/7 in bar 5, actually has a 9th and a b3. It's an interesting sounding chord.

  39. #38

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    Yea... I thought all Brazilian chords were 9th's... LOL even if they're not notated.

  40. #39

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    A #5 sounds nice against a minor 7th, or major 7th chord. The sound will depend on where you place it; on top, in the middle, or in the bass. On top emphasizes the tension, in the middle blends it into the other notes, and putting it in the bass makes it behave like another (associated) chord. I think it sounds better in the middle to add color, or as a passing tone. For example, || DFCE / DFBE / DFBbE / DFBE / ||. You can use that anywhere, really. Placing it in a II V situation voice leads smoothly since you're adding a common tone to the alt dominant. If you flatten the 5th, it functions as the 6th of a half diminished chord. If you add the major 7th you add even more tension. For example, ECD#G. Now add the B (5th) on top and you have a lovely sound. So, I don't think it matters what you do it terms of adding extensions, or altered notes. But I do think it matters how you do it. Just my tuppence worth.

  41. #40

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    In Toucan's Dance, Dori Caymmi has a Bm7#5 as the second chord in the vocal section. This comes from a chart in his own handwriting.

    The sequence is D/C / Bm7#5 / Dsus

    In Aqui Oh, by Toninho Horta, in Bb (not the original key, but in the chart - not Toninho's own - I'm looking at) there is F/Eb / Dm9#5 // G7#9 (that starts on bar 12 of the melody). Later, there's Cm11 / Dm7#5 / Ebm9 / F7sus4.

    So, the chord seems to get used in a variety of ways, consistent, I think, with it's commonality with stacked fourths.

  42. #41

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    So I wouldn't notate or call any of those examples a minor anything #5. That's basically just someone deciding to call a voicing what they want. Which is cool, I see a lot worse sight reading different gigs etc... But I'm aware and know what they are after.... Which is part of being a professional... you know what the composer or arranger wants.

    Rick...D/C / Bm7#5 / Dsus.. Is key of Gmaj. or at least the short cord progression is.... C lydian voicing, B phrygian and the the V7 chord with a sus. Using Chord symbols to imply a voicing is common practice, it's just like slang notation.

    I don't know everything yada yada... so maybe I'm totally wrong.... I just don't believe so. Enharmonic spelling is the practice of rewriting a note so that it looks different on paper but would be played by the same key on a piano (for instance, C# and Db). But expanding that practice to chord spelling.

    The other side of using #5 is the harmonic implication etc...usually maj, Lydian, whole tone, Aug etc...

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    So I wouldn't notate or call any of those examples a minor anything #5. That's basically just someone deciding to call a voicing what they want. Which is cool, I see a lot worse sight reading different gigs etc... But I'm aware and know what they are after.... Which is part of being a professional... you know what the composer or arranger wants.

    Rick...D/C / Bm7#5 / Dsus.. Is key of Gmaj. or at least the short cord progression is.... C lydian voicing, B phrygian and the the V7 chord with a sus. Using Chord symbols to imply a voicing is common practice, it's just like slang notation.

    I don't know everything yada yada... so maybe I'm totally wrong.... I just don't believe so. Enharmonic spelling is the practice of rewriting a note so that it looks different on paper but would be played by the same key on a piano (for instance, C# and Db). But expanding that practice to chord spelling.

    The other side of using #5 is the harmonic implication etc...usually maj, Lydian, whole tone, Aug etc...
    I came to chords like "B Phryg" rather late in life. I usually think Bsusb9 because a pianist I play with a lot told me he does that.

    Some examples:

    Chico Pinheiro's new album, City of Dreams is great and the charts are for sale on his website. He has some chord symbols above a staff with multiple notes, bass and treble clefs.

    He voices:

    Dlyd/A as A D E F# G# C#

    Glyd/B as B G C# D

    Eblyd as Bb Eb F A

    Dphryg as D G A C Eb G

    I'd be oh-for-four on guessing those.

  44. #43

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    Hey Rick... yea all good. Love Chico's playing and tunes. Using mode names over roots, is still a voicing thing, but generally when you spell a mode, your implying characteristics of the mode.

    The susb9 voicing(s) from Phrygian are generally a way to camouflage dominant movement when the root motion is the reference. Or can become more subdominant when used in modal style...

    There are standards for chord spellings, at least starting points. I mean we can do whatever we choose to.
    Personally I generally use chord spellings as constructed in diatonic 3rds from roots of scales and try and keep the Enharmonic spelling as clean as possible. If your sight reading... who cares, just play what's notated, if your performing in an improv setting, notation has implications and just use your ears.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    The susb9 voicing(s) from Phrygian are generally a way to camouflage dominant movement when the root motion is the reference. Or can become more subdominant when used in modal style...
    .
    Reg, If you'll be kind enough to bear with me, I want to make sure I understand this.

    As far as susb9 "camouflage dominant movement when the root motion is the reference" ... So if we have Bsusb9 from Phrygian ... which dominant movement is it camouflaging? D7 to G?

    And, I don't follow the subdominant usage ... can you give a simple example?

    To my simplistic way of thinking, Bsusb9 is generated by G major, but I don't really know how to use it in that context. The chord name suggests a B, E F# and C, which I end up thinking of as D13, not Bsusb9.

    I know that it is also generated by A melodic minor, which, per Mark Levine, makes it interchangeable with every other chord generated by A melodic minor. I do know how to apply that.

    When Chico writes root(mode) I think he may have a specific chord sound in mind with no easy way to name it. So, in his charts, he shows the individual notes to convey the exact sound, and then maybe he names it as best he can. Or, given his command of the instrument, he may actually have all kinds of phrygian voicings worked out (or grabbed on the fly). For soloing, I imagine he is thinking of the mode he wrote.

    I have had the experience of transcribing Chico to find the following. He plays a gorgeous ear-twisting solo line in a style that is all his own. Like nobody else could play that.

    When I transcribe it (and I'm thinking of a specific passage now) it turns out the chords are Dm7 G7 and he's playing the notes of Galt. That is, he's doing the same thing as everybody else, but he's doing it with a melodic gift.