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  1. #1

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    I’ve got a Holman chart with these chords:

    Bb+9
    G13-9
    F7+5-9
    Db9+11
    E7-9
    E13+9

    This is my understanding:

    The + means raised 5th.but it could also mean add 9. Or maybe sharp 9.

    But -9 means flat 9.

    F+5-9 would mean raised 5 and flat 9.

    Db9+11means raised 4, raised 5, add 11???

    etc.

    Anybody?
    Last edited by Bach5G; 11-03-2021 at 01:58 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    The signs being used here not really correct, or widely used. It should be clear what they mean ie “-“ = flat, but they are not the convention. You will sometimes see “+” used to indicate altered, usually a #5. The minus sign is often used to indicate a minor chord so adding it to mean something else could be confusing.

  4. #3

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    Bb+9
    G13-9
    F7+5-9
    Db9+11
    E7-9
    E13+9
    The - sign is used to mean minor, as in E- (Em) or E-9 (Em9). It's also used to mean flat, as in Bb7-9 (B7b9). But it has to be taken in context and common sense applied. Ebm9 is not E- -9 and you'll never see it.

    The - sign is never applied to basic chord names or keys. Bb is always Bb, never B-. B- is B minor.

    ----------------------------

    Bb+9 isn't a chord. Did you write it wrong or was it printed wrong? It's probably Bb7#9. If it's printed wrongly it MIGHT mean Bbadd9, but I doubt it, although with Chordify god only knows. If in doubt check with other charts or play it and see how it sounds.

    G13-9 is G13b9 because the - sign is obviously being used that way.

    F7+5-9 is F7#5b9. F7 alt would have been simpler.

    Db9+11 is obviously Db9#11. I have no idea where this came from...

    Db9+11means raised 4, raised 5, add 11???
    Raised 4? Add 11? The add word is generally used with a major triad, as in C add 9 (C E G D) as opposed to CM9 (C E G B D).

    E7-9 is obviously E7b9.

    E13-9 is obviously E13b9.

    -------------------------

    The real problem isn't the book/web site, it's your own unfamiliarity with chord symbols, if you don't mind my saying so :-)

    Also DON'T use Chordify, it's just a complete embarrassment. Find a proper chart for your tunes.

  5. #4

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    some chord "names" are just wrong..as ragman said above..

    the minus and plus signs should be replaced with flat ( b ) and sharp (#) symbols that alter the intended notes of the chord

    over the years I have seen some improvement in getting (guitar chords) to be standardized..mostly due to more people learning about music theory and learning how to read and write music notation

    even the most complex chord names are understood better when accepted symbols are used to name chords ..

  6. #5

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    If it's a Bill Holman chart.... he knows what he's doing.

    Contemporary charts tell you what to play exactly or what to pull from to create your voicings and lead lines.

    That can imply where the harmony is from or the organization.

    Personally I always play chords or voicings from knowing the context.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #6

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    Looks like + and - are being used to denote sharp and flat.

    I don't care for that, but you definitely see it around.

  8. #7

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    Yea... sorry didn't answer your question... obviously all the chords you posted are the same right... the + and - signs are used as # and b , the + implies sharp or raised and the - implies flat or lowered.

  9. #8
    These chords are set out in a Holman chart from Sierra Publications.

    I agree it appears that + and - are being used to indicate sharp and flat. I haven’t run into this before.

  10. #9
    These chords are set out in a Holman chart from Sierra Publications.

    I agree it appears that + and - are being used to indicate sharp and flat. I haven’t run into this before. I’ve always interpreted + as augmented. See for example the A+ in Reg’s chart.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach5G
    These chords are set out in a Holman chart from Sierra Publications.

    I agree it appears that + and - are being used to indicate sharp and flat. I haven’t run into this before. I’ve always interpreted + as augmented. See for example the A+ in Reg’s chart.
    F+ = F+5 = F aug(mented)

    You may also see things like F7+ which is short for F7+5.

    I prefer # and b over + and -, but with this example, don't write F# for F+ !!!

  12. #11

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    Db9#11 is the only one I have a question about.

    There's no 4th in the chord to raise. This is a consideration relating more to soloing. But, for the moment, I'm just addressing what to play if that chord is in the chart and you're comping.

    I believe that most players would lower the 5th. For example, x43443 to play this chord. I'd leave out the root if there was a bassist. I don't think you'd be likely to hear a guitarist play the chord with both a #11 and a natural 5th on guitar, even though it seems like that's what the chord symbol is asking for.

    Db F G Ab B Eb. Hmmm. Maybe 986000 - tuning the E string down a half step?

    I don't think I could come up with a context where that chord would sound good, but you never know. A pianist could play it.

    The OP recognized this, of course, which is why he inquired about the #5. When I see a 9#11 chord I don't automatically add the #5. If the arranger wanted the #5, I'd expect the chord symbol to include the b13, like, Db9#11b13. This, btw, is a whole tone scale.

    Whole tone is not heavily used compared to lydian dominant (which includes #11 and natural 5), so I'd lean towards the latter, but some advanced players create really great harmonic juxtapositions using the #5.

    A pianist might think differently because the stuff is so much easier to play on piano.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach5G
    These chords are set out in a Holman chart from Sierra Publications.

    I agree it appears that + and - are being used to indicate sharp and flat. I haven’t run into this before. I’ve always interpreted + as augmented. See for example the A+ in Reg’s chart.
    'Augmented' means sharp! An augmented 5th is a #5.

    A C+ chord is a C maj chord with the 5th sharpened.

    C maj is C E G.

    C+ is C E G#.

    Aug = #.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Db9#11 is the only one I have a question about.

    There's no 4th in the chord to raise.
    There's no 4th in the chord. The #11 is added to the chord as an embellishment. Or the 5th in the chord is flattened.

    I think you're talking way over the OP's head, rp :-)

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Db9#11 is the only one I have a question about.

    There's no 4th in the chord to raise. This is a consideration relating more to soloing. But, for the moment, I'm just addressing what to play if that chord is in the chart and you're comping.

    I believe that most players would lower the 5th. For example, x43443 to play this chord. I'd leave out the root if there was a bassist. I don't think you'd be likely to hear a guitarist play the chord with both a #11 and a natural 5th on guitar, even though it seems like that's what the chord symbol is asking for.

    Db F G Ab B Eb. Hmmm. Maybe 986000 - tuning the E string down a half step?

    I don't think I could come up with a context where that chord would sound good, but you never know. A pianist could play it.

    The OP recognized this, of course, which is why he inquired about the #5. When I see a 9#11 chord I don't automatically add the #5. If the arranger wanted the #5, I'd expect the chord symbol to include the b13, like, Db9#11b13. This, btw, is a whole tone scale.

    Whole tone is not heavily used compared to lydian dominant (which includes #11 and natural 5), so I'd lean towards the latter, but some advanced players create really great harmonic juxtapositions using the #5.

    A pianist might think differently because the stuff is so much easier to play on piano.
    I wouldn't over think it too much, you kind of answer your own question there...it's the lydian dominant chord.

    I see that in the chart, I'm not concerning myself with a 5th in my voicing...I'm playing the meat and potatoes...if I can get 3/7/9/#11 or a combination of those, all is good.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I wouldn't over think it too much, you kind of answer your own question there...it's the lydian dominant chord.

    I see that in the chart, I'm not concerning myself with a 5th in my voicing...I'm playing the meat and potatoes...if I can get 3/7/9/#11 or a combination of those, all is good.
    When it comes to chords, I sometimes think lyrics.

    You must take the A Train = Lydian dominant chord.

  17. #16

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    If your playing Bill Holman charts... your not a beginner.

    Yea Bill's old...great history. Bach5G... Playing charts takes skill of being able to adjust to different notation from different arrangers etc.. 99% of the time + would imply augmented. But in the context of the chords you posted I would think

    Bb+9 could imply Augmented, the context and the horns would tell you. use your ears

    G13-9 could imply V chord from Har. Maj.

    F7+5-9 would really be V chord from Har. Min. or VII chord from Mel. Min. F7 Alt. chord, b13 not #5.

    Db9+11 is standard lydian Dom. or IV chord from Mel. Min.

    E7-9... standard E7b9

    E13 +9 again Har. Maj.

    Most of this doesn't mean much, but when you begin to become better player, which includes comping,
    You won't just play the same chord or voicing every time through the tune. Being aware of the harmonic organization will help you be able to develop different approaches for playing. (During solos)

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg

    E13 +9 again Har. Maj.
    Hey Reg - I confess to not getting this one. A Harmonic Major?

  19. #18

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    Hey Don... I'm guessing obviously with out seeing chart... but generally #9 would be a blue note and because the chord symbol wants nat. 13... and he used G13 b9 previously, I would assume he was using Har. Maj for V7 chords in chart.

    Bill Holman is old school, 50 years ago it was common to add #9 when using Harmonic Minor's Phrygian Dom. chords... help to get rid of gap in scale and... again use of Blue notes. (before more common use of MM)

    It could also just be added note, blue note. If I was playing chart... my ear would tell me as well as quick analysis etc...

    I'm not sure... but I also think Bill uses +'s and -'s for added notes.
    Last edited by Reg; 11-05-2021 at 09:46 AM.

  20. #19

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    Any opinions on Spanish Phrygian for Dom7#9?

  21. #20

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    The Spanish Phrygian scale in C is C Db E F G Ab Bb. That's a C7b9b13, plus an F note which you might choose to avoid.

    The C7#9 has C E G Bb Eb. You might add a Db, because #9s usually go with b9s.

    So, the Spanish Phrygian does not bring out the #9.

    Players' choice as to whether this is a bug or a feature.

    If you add in the Eb, you get C Db Eb E F G Ab Bb. That's an 8 note scale with three half steps in a row.

    If you then remove the E, you've got C phrygian (Ab major). C Db Eb F G Ab Bb. That's pretty good for C7#9, except, again, for the F.

    All in all, there's an argument in there for calling these pools of notes by their chord name or chord name plus function. But, if you're trying to utilize previously learned fingering patterns, the scale name might help, I guess. I don't really know, because I don't do it that way.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    The Spanish Phrygian scale in C is C Db E F G Ab Bb. That's a C7b9b13, plus an F note which you might choose to avoid.

    The C7#9 has C E G Bb Eb. You might add a Db, because #9s usually go with b9s.

    So, the Spanish Phrygian does not bring out the #9.
    Spanish Phrygian is an 8-note scale, Phrygian plus an added major 3rd, so it does have the #9.

    So it’s 1 b2 b3 3 4 5 b6 b7,

    or

    C Db Eb E F G Ab Bb

    so to Reg’s point also has the b13 (and for that matter b9 - but unlike the Altered Scale has no b5)

    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 11-05-2021 at 08:44 PM.

  23. #22

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    All interesting +info... I really wasn't aware of 8 note version... But phrygian has been around for ever as note source altered dominants chords. Most of this type if info... hell scales and modes are really more about large ensemble composing and arranging etc...

    Personally I haven't liked or used harmonic minor for 30 or 40 years. just to style orientated. Still love to hear and watch gypsy player and respect.... Just not my thing for a long time.

    Bill Holman arranged and composed tons of blues arrangements... maybe on some of his earlier minor and min. blues
    arrangements... most colleges have a few Bill Holman arrangements in their book. Their great...

    hey Bach... whats the tune, Sierra is great source of BB arrangements.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Spanish Phrygian is an 8-note scale, Phrygian plus an added major 3rd, so it does have the #9.

    So it’s 1 b2 b3 3 4 5 b6 b7,

    or

    C Db Eb E F G Ab Bb

    so to Reg’s point also has the b13 (and for that matter b9 - but unlike the Altered Scale has no b5)

    Google turned up the version without the Eb in several sites. I don't claim to know which is right, but it seems reasonably clear that not everybody agrees on the notes in Spanish Phrygian.

  25. #24

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    There’s no reason not to use the Berklee standard chord symbols.

    that said, chord symbols are not standardised in the real world. As a player on big band dates and so on, you have to be prepared to parse some weird shit. Singers have some strange charts too….

  26. #25

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    There's the ordinary Phrygian mode which, over Em in C, is

    E F G A B C D E

    And there's the Phrygian Dominant which is

    E F G# A B C D E

    The Spanish Phrygian is just another name for the Phrygian Dominant.

    The Phrygian is derived from the major scale whereas the Phrygian Dominant/Spanish Phrygian is from the harmonic minor.


    Say you've got the usual Spanish thing:

    Am - G - F - E

    The Phrygian scale is just C major: E D C B A G F E

    But the Spanish Phrygian has the G# in it to take care of the E (or E7) chord: E D C B A G# F E

    They're usually used together. In other words, use the G# where it suits.

    'It is sometimes called the Spanish Phrygian scale, Spanish Gypsy scale or Phrygian major scale and is common in Flamenco music.'

    Phrygian dominant scale - Wikipedia

    As for altered dominants (7b9/7#9) here it is. I posted it before but no one read it :-)

    A Lesson On Chord Formation Using The Spanish Phrygian Scale - Hear and Play Music Learning Center