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  1. #1

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    Hi all, I have been playing about in a primitive way with the Tonic or Dominant approach where the I, iii, vi diatonic chords are tonic and in C you play C major flavour lines and the ii, V, IV, viii are viewed as dominant so you play (in C) D Dorian or G Mixolydian flavour lines. Also you can look at all subdominants and tritone subs as dominants in this method. The dominants all share the 4th of the home key.

    I have tried out some of this approach and find it very exciting. Of course it is just the bare bones of an approach and I am exploring it after self teaching myself lots of scales, knowing what notes are in each chord and arpeggios, I don't think it would have made such an impression without some hard work before hand. You can also look at various A minor forms over the tonic group of chords. Presumably the various alterations you can do with either the Major (tonic group) or the Dorian (dominant group) scales as you play will then colour the feel in interesting ways, for example if you start playing Dorian #4 over the ii,V,IV, VII dominant group chords in a progression. I think this seems quite a cool way to develop interesting lines while simplifying your approach and not having to learn loads of different scales with confusing names. You just think major or dorian and then alterations. I have been experimenting with jamming and then when I find a line I like going back and seeing what I did on a more technical level. Sometimes it works and sometimes it is a train wreck but fun to do!


    However I need to dig more into the theory as there are things I don't really get. Specifically if we are playing a tonic minor progression in natural minor it works the same way. However what about when we bring in chords from Melodic Minor or Harmonic minor we are not really looking at the minor chord as being a ii chord of a major key. It feels like it's own thing. For example my tiny mind can't get how we would divide up the chords of C Harmonic Minor into the tonic /dominant grouping and then whether we are still going to use the dorian / major approach? I have tried some lines and they sound interesting but not sure if they are the same approach.

    I thought the C-maj7 is obviously the tonic and also the III, VI. The G7b9 is the dominant along with ii, iv, vii?

    In Melodic or Harmonic Minor chord choices or progressions does the tonic (major) and dominant (dorian) approach still work?

    Cminmaj7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7#5 Fmin7b5 G7b9 Abmaj7 Bdim7

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Those are well beyond "beginner" questions. As for a "primitive" approach as mentioned in your first paragraph, many jazz greats used just that much theory to play amazing jazz (e.g., Joe Pass). It's all about developing your "ear," which is what studying chords, arpeggios, scales is supposed to do along with learning lines that you really like from recordings.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #3

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    Warren Nunes taught essentially the same thing. I iiim Vmaj7#11 vim are all interchangeable. Also iim IVmaj V7 vim - all interchangeable. He said, there are two types of chords, type I and type II. Others might call them major and dominant types. And, as you noted, it's all about the 4th.

    Warren taught that melodic minor is another sound of jazz, but I don't recall how he organized it.

    Mark Levine wrote, in Jazz Theory, that all melodic minor chords are, essentially, the same chord. Meaning they're all interchangeable. Try it, you'll hear that they all sound different but they all work. So, just one type.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Warren Nunes taught essentially the same thing. I iiim Vmaj7#11 vim are all interchangeable. Also iim IVmaj V7 vim - all interchangeable.
    This is a neat idea. I was unfamiliar with it. Thank you.

    But, um, you have vim in both groups! I'm thinking the vim belongs to the first group only, not to the second.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    This is a neat idea. I was unfamiliar with it. Thank you.

    But, um, you have vim in both groups! I'm thinking the vim belongs to the first group only, not to the second.
    Yes, vim is both. That's how Warren taught it.

    Cmaj7 Em7 and Gmaj7#11 -- none of these has an F.

    Dm7 Fmaj7 G7 -- all have an F.

    Am7 would therefore seem like it would be a type I because it does not have an F.

    But, in practice, A C E G works pretty well over G dominant. From the point of view of a G7, it's got 9, 11, 13 and R. That 11 could be a sus4. You might need to be a little careful with the C.

  7. #6

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    Peter Bernstein thinks this way

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Those are well beyond "beginner" questions. As for a "primitive" approach as mentioned in your first paragraph, many jazz greats used just that much theory to play amazing jazz (e.g., Joe Pass). It's all about developing your "ear," which is what studying chords, arpeggios, scales is supposed to do along with learning lines that you really like from recordings.

    No I just meant my playing was primitive! I'm not going to suggest any just theory or amazing players like Joe Pass are "primitive"

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Warren Nunes taught essentially the same thing. I iiim Vmaj7#11 vim are all interchangeable. Also iim IVmaj V7 vim - all interchangeable. He said, there are two types of chords, type I and type II. Others might call them major and dominant types. And, as you noted, it's all about the 4th.

    Warren taught that melodic minor is another sound of jazz, but I don't recall how he organized it.

    Mark Levine wrote, in Jazz Theory, that all melodic minor chords are, essentially, the same chord. Meaning they're all interchangeable. Try it, you'll hear that they all sound different but they all work. So, just one type.
    Yes I forgot to mention the melodic minor chord thing, it is quote a liberating way of looking at things!!

  10. #9
    The way I have it laid out so far is that if playing in C for these chord groups I play lines like this.

    in C Major for example

    Tonic ie I iii vi and the alternations - C Ionian lines

    Dominant ie ii V iv vii and the alterations - G Mixolydian lines (or D Dorian, altering the root adds interesting colours)

    Over melodic minor chords.

    Tonic ie I - i III vi - I play C Melodic minor

    Dominant ie ii IV V vii - I actually find the G mixolydian lines work better than still playing C MM.

    I am going to now play groups of Harmonic Minor chords and see what works as a base scale starting point for melodies and update. I am also going to mix up mm and hm and dorian chords as a minor group and see the best approach to a mixed modal tonic and dominant group in a minor context and update.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Those are well beyond "beginner" questions. As for a "primitive" approach as mentioned in your first paragraph, many jazz greats used just that much theory to play amazing jazz (e.g., Joe Pass). It's all about developing your "ear," which is what studying chords, arpeggios, scales is supposed to do along with learning lines that you really like from recordings.

    PS the reason I put this in beginners section is that I am a total beginner as far as jazz goes. However I found this approach completely opened up for me a way into jazz. I am not talking about a short cut because there is no such thing but as a way to focus on melody, lines and to train my ear and listen rather than be reliant on CST. I now play a line, here what I like and what I don't like and make adjustments. The cool thing is that lines I may not like the sound of someone else make love and make musical!

    As long as it goes hand in hand with other study I have found it useful and I think some other beginners may like it to.

  12. #11
    I've practiced this, but never organized it with scales that much. Mostly think of chords and resolution, doesn't really matter what the overlying scales are, it is just different colors. Tonic means consonant, something in agreement with the current chord, resolving movement, dominant means dissonant, something with different notes, creating movement.

    If playing over C-7 I might use C melodic minor as a mildly outside sound (rather than natural minor or Dorian), so I would think of i-iii-vi as tonic and create cadences over them with 2-5s and similar stuff. But if I think G7alt, then the G altered scale comes up which is Ab melodic minor. Now I see all chords of this Ab melodic minor as dominant motion over the original C-7 chord. Then I create different cadences mixing it up, or different lines using other scales over the chords.

    For me it's not the actual chord or scale, but the function, how it works on the particular moment and place. The goal is to practice superimposing different cadences every time, so adding variety and richness to even the most basic chord passages. Most of this was explained to me by Ritchie Hart, and I feel it really helped me understand how this particular way of thinking works. Then you see players like Bernstein who take it so far they can play different stuff forever. That's one of my favorite practice sessions theme, to start over one chord, or one 2-5-1, and see what comes up! It never ends!

  13. #12

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    There have been a few threads about the T/D approach, and there seems to be a few variants of it. For myself, I, iii and vi are "T", whereas ii, V and vii(m7b5) are D. The IV I see as ambiguous, it can be both despite the apparent "avoid" 4th/11th over the T.

    Take ATTYA, when you get to the IV chord, try it as T and then as D. It can work both ways. In other contexts I may prefer D over T for a IV...

    I think it's important to consider any Vb9 or Valt chord as belonging to a third, different group. For me I relate these chords to a Diminished group, with a further subdivision between V alt chords containing either a 13th or b13th. Just how I like to look at it, YMMV...

    In fact, my diminished concept helps me deal with most Valt situations without resorting to the usual modes of MM which I personally don't care for. I prefer the sound of chromatically embellishing the altered tones as opposed to couching them in various MM modes.

    As for applying T/D to minor keys, well that can get complicated but once again, you can investigate your own solutions. Me, I try to apply Tonic / Diminished, or Dominant-Dorian / Diminished instead of the Tonic / Dominant approach as you would for major keys. There are exceptions of course, but it mostly works the way I like to do it (which is not terribly "modern")...

    My advice is to work out your own "system" - it's fun and guarantees you will find your own distinctive style through it.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Yes, vim is both. That's how Warren taught it.

    Cmaj7 Em7 and Gmaj7#11 -- none of these has an F.

    Dm7 Fmaj7 G7 -- all have an F.

    Am7 would therefore seem like it would be a type I because it does not have an F.

    But, in practice, A C E G works pretty well over G dominant. From the point of view of a G7, it's got 9, 11, 13 and R. That 11 could be a sus4. You might need to be a little careful with the C.
    Fascinating! Thank you.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Fascinating! Thank you.
    I can hear a I6 chord (vim) as a sub dominant also. I think it's even in Mickey Baker's book!
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  16. #15

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    I have a slightly different view. It’s tonic and subdominant and the dominant is one form of chromatic voice movement between the two.

    So anything with the 4th of the key in = subdominant

    Anything without = tonic

    The former category of diatonic 7ths gives you the ‘family of four’

    V7 viim7b5 iim7 IVmaj7

    The latter gives the tonic chord and two most common tonic subs

    Imaj7 iiim7 ivm7

    So that’s quite good as a working model I think. Model interchanges also can be used.

    Everything else (mostly) is handled as voice leading.

  17. #16

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    vim7 is also an extension of IVmaj7, so I agree it’s ambiguous.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    There have been a few threads about the T/D approach, and there seems to be a few variants of it. For myself, I, iii and vi are "T", whereas ii, V and vii(m7b5) are D. The IV I see as ambiguous, it can be both despite the apparent "avoid" 4th/11th over the T.

    Take ATTYA, when you get to the IV chord, try it as T and then as D. It can work both ways. In other contexts I may prefer D over T for a IV...

    I think it's important to consider any Vb9 or Valt chord as belonging to a third, different group. For me I relate these chords to a Diminished group, with a further subdivision between V alt chords containing either a 13th or b13th. Just how I like to look at it, YMMV...

    In fact, my diminished concept helps me deal with most Valt situations without resorting to the usual modes of MM which I personally don't care for. I prefer the sound of chromatically embellishing the altered tones as opposed to couching them in various MM modes.

    As for applying T/D to minor keys, well that can get complicated but once again, you can investigate your own solutions. Me, I try to apply Tonic / Diminished, or Dominant-Dorian / Diminished instead of the Tonic / Dominant approach as you would for major keys. There are exceptions of course, but it mostly works the way I like to do it (which is not terribly "modern")...

    My advice is to work out your own "system" - it's fun and guarantees you will find your own distinctive style through it.
    Hi, I'd like to know a bit more about your diminished concepts if you care to expand please? Do you mean both diminished scales and if so the context for using them? Thanks in advance!

  19. #18

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    Keep in mind, while Bernstein thinks this way (mixolydians) he is NOT just playing G mixoldian over a G7 chord...

    I'm a big fan of this--I and V, tension and resolution. I started a thread some time back called "playing to targets" which had some great replies.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
    Hi, I'd like to know a bit more about your diminished concepts if you care to expand please? Do you mean both diminished scales and if so the context for using them? Thanks in advance!
    Haha, well, no one will ever be crazy enough to go into it the way I have, but in a nutshell, a rootless V7b9 is a diminished chord/arp, right? Now if you add another note you construct a kind of pentatonic scale (ie, a 5 note scale). I have ways I like to embellish all kinds of pentatonic scales with chromatics. So which note of 8 possibilities to add? Any of them! Start with each of the usual suspects after the b9 (ie #9, then b5, then #5), then the other 4 (with the possible exception of #7). Each of these "pentatonics" will have a unique sound and when moved up 3 frets at a time will respell a different "added" note. Not for everyone, but I like pairing the b9 with just one other main altered tone, so a total of 2 altered tones instead of all 4 all the time. Mind you, because I add chromatics in certain ways (standard bop formulas really), then many of the other altered tones are also often present.

    I do a similar thing with half diminished pitch groups which get used over non altered Dominants (using extensions up to 13th), as well as to maj 6 groups for Tonic situations. It's weird, I know, but I dig it, and it's why I encourage others to roll their own concepts.

    Bet you're sorry you asked! ...

  21. #20

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    Fwiw, this is one of my main approaches.

  22. #21

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    I omitted viimb5 from my description of Warren Nunes' system. That's because I can't remember how he taught it. I have a vague recollection that it was a category of its own rather than a "type 2". Anybody know?

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Haha, well, no one will ever be crazy enough to go into it the way I have, but in a nutshell, a rootless V7b9 is a diminished chord/arp, right? Now if you add another note you construct a kind of pentatonic scale (ie, a 5 note scale). I have ways I like to embellish all kinds of pentatonic scales with chromatics. So which note of 8 possibilities to add? Any of them! Start with each of the usual suspects after the b9 (ie #9, then b5, then #5), then the other 4 (with the possible exception of #7). Each of these "pentatonics" will have a unique sound and when moved up 3 frets at a time will respell a different "added" note. Not for everyone, but I like pairing the b9 with just one other main altered tone, so a total of 2 altered tones instead of all 4 all the time. Mind you, because I add chromatics in certain ways (standard bop formulas really), then many of the other altered tones are also often present.

    I do a similar thing with half diminished pitch groups which get used over non altered Dominants (using extensions up to 13th), as well as to maj 6 groups for Tonic situations. It's weird, I know, but I dig it, and it's why I encourage others to roll their own concepts.

    Bet you're sorry you asked! ...
    No this is great, I love hearing other people's approaches, I am going to add this to my study! Thanks very much.

  24. #23
    a rootless V7b9 is a diminished chord/arp, right?
    Another approach for using the diminished scale is using its triads. So if vamping over a G7 chord, you can use the G half/whole diminished scale which gives you 4 major triads (or dominant 7th arpeggios) to mess with, G, Bb Db and E. These would work as a tonic/resolution sound. And if you play a bit out, superimposing the dominant chord of the G7 which is the D7, you can do the same thing with it, so D half/whole diminished scale would give you 4 different major triads, D, F, Ab and B. These would function as dominant/outside/tension triads.

  25. #24

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    I'm just remembering that the first time I encountered this function concept was in a book about Motivic jazz improv.

    I think this may be it: The Motivic Basis for Jazz Guitar


    written by the same guy who did the excellent Tal Farlow book from whence I first learned a IIm7 chord is just a V7sus4 (useful info!) and the moving 5th concept

    However it seems to be out of print! I'd like to revisit, as I never really read beyond page 1 in a music shop, and found it confusing because I was in the throws of a CST vibe at the time (20 years ago). But the idea lodged in my head ...
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-28-2019 at 03:56 PM.

  26. #25
    Man, Steve Rochinski, i studied with him at Berklee. This guy was a master of harmony, really passionate! Wrote most of the Berklee harmony books. Never talked to him about that specific stuff unfortunately..

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Man, Steve Rochinski, i studied with him at Berklee. This guy was a master of harmony, really passionate! Wrote most of the Berklee harmony books. Never talked to him about that specific stuff unfortunately..
    Awesome, would love to track this book down. There's not many copies around, but not many books of this type either... Clearly a real bopper among other things... Devotee of Jimmy Raney etc...

  28. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Keep in mind, while Bernstein thinks this way (mixolydians) he is NOT just playing G mixoldian over a G7 chord...

    I'm a big fan of this--I and V, tension and resolution. I started a thread some time back called "playing to targets" which had some great replies.
    Sorry I can't find your thread. Please can you post a link.I found one called aiming for a target but someone else started it

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
    Sorry I can't find your thread. Please can you post a link.I found one called aiming for a target but someone else started it
    Let me see if I can find it.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Let me see if I can find it.
    Much appreciated!

  31. #30

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    Took a minute but got it, I guess I called it "Going after targets" not "playing to targets."

    Anyway, a lot of folks had some really good contributions, check it out.

    Going after targets...
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Took a minute but got it, I guess I called it "Going after targets" not "playing to targets."

    Anyway, a lot of folks had some really good contributions, check it out.

    Going after targets...
    Excellent thanks for digging it up for me!!

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
    Excellent thanks for digging it up for me!!
    Thanks for reminding me of it...I went back and read, and dang--I've been after this for 3 good years and there's STILL a whole bunch of ideas in there I haven't checked out. Time to get practicing
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  34. #33

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    I've been watching this thread and finally I started this post originally with, "What in the world are you guys promoting?", but after a cup of coffee I'm calm now... ...so I will try to be as nice as possible raising some thoughts here... my observations, and some leading questions.

    This whole class of dual approaches (Tonic / Dominant, Type 1 / Type 2, Major / Dominant, Tonic / Diminished, Dominant-Dorian / Diminished, Subdominant / Dominant, etc.) really appears to be minimalist versions of some kind of chord scale theory, which I find surprising because the usual common wisdom around here is that CST as an applied strategy tends to be frowned upon, tending to perhaps produce "sounds of the cook book".

    If CST, (which I don't care for and so am not defending) using all its theoretical machinery to relate complex chords and complex scales tends to sound lousy, for argument's sake, then how is it going to sound when the chord set and scale set are restricted to about two members each, fairly directly connected?

    Taking this...
    in C Major for example

    Tonic ie I iii vi and the alternations - C Ionian lines
    Dominant ie ii V iv vii and the alterations - G Mixolydian lines (or D Dorian, altering the root adds interesting colours)
    ...means the same seven notes available for all of the seven chords and their alterations. How do you express the harmonies of the altered chords without using the altered notes?


    If "play Dorian with its tonic on the roots of the subdominants and tri-tone subs" means what it reads, I'm not hearing a jazz sound from that either. Dorian does not have the correct pitches.

    "So anything with the 4th of the key in = subdominant" fails to convince my ear. The 13th chord on the bii as a tri-tone sub for the V has the 4th of the key (the major third of the 13th chord), but it does not sound subdominant, it sounds dominant (it is literally subbing for the dominant).

    Am I wrong?

    The good sounds are coming from beyond ionian and dorian, especially when the harmonies are altered... melodic minor, augmented, synthetic symmetric diminished, and my favorite - made up things that sound right.

    Now, this thread, and a few others at the moment, are very much concerned with teaching. There is a thing in teaching where one first learns the incomplete or even "wrong" way of thinking about something until one is ready for the "right way". Maybe this is based on some incorrect assumption about what one can learn or perceive.

    Ever notice that children's books and toys favor garish fully saturated colors, as if their new little eyes and minds were too undeveloped to perceive subtle hues and shades? The real world is almost entirely the subtle hues and shades.

    Ever see how books about drawing want you to start by decomposing the subject figure into circles, ovals, and other primitive blobs, from which one is encouraged to add smaller same blobs until enough form is apparent that one can finally depict the figure? In the real world we perceive the figure as a whole, not as a composite of approximate blobs.

    Has anyone ever taught the finished end result (like a Wes record) from the beginning? I think so, but maybe we are those who were self taught... the finished end was always the complete actual sound, with all its hues and shades, its whole figure, no unreal primary colors, no nonexistent blobs...

    Thanks for listening.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  35. #34

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    I occasionally lurk at tgp (I do other things I'd be embarrassed to divulge) and think you might get something out of this lengthy thread.


    The George Benson Method To Playing Changes. Get Ready To Improve | The Gear Page
    Ignorance is agony.



  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
    Hi all, I have been playing about in a primitive way with the Tonic or Dominant approach where the I, iii, vi diatonic chords are tonic and in C you play C major flavour lines and the ii, V, IV, viii are viewed as dominant so you play (in C) D Dorian or G Mixolydian flavour lines. Also you can look at all subdominants and tritone subs as dominants in this method. The dominants all share the 4th of the home key.

    I have tried out some of this approach and find it very exciting. Of course it is just the bare bones of an approach and I am exploring it after self teaching myself lots of scales, knowing what notes are in each chord and arpeggios, I don't think it would have made such an impression without some hard work before hand. You can also look at various A minor forms over the tonic group of chords. Presumably the various alterations you can do with either the Major (tonic group) or the Dorian (dominant group) scales as you play will then colour the feel in interesting ways, for example if you start playing Dorian #4 over the ii,V,IV, VII dominant group chords in a progression. I think this seems quite a cool way to develop interesting lines while simplifying your approach and not having to learn loads of different scales with confusing names. You just think major or dorian and then alterations. I have been experimenting with jamming and then when I find a line I like going back and seeing what I did on a more technical level. Sometimes it works and sometimes it is a train wreck but fun to do!


    However I need to dig more into the theory as there are things I don't really get. Specifically if we are playing a tonic minor progression in natural minor it works the same way. However what about when we bring in chords from Melodic Minor or Harmonic minor we are not really looking at the minor chord as being a ii chord of a major key. It feels like it's own thing. For example my tiny mind can't get how we would divide up the chords of C Harmonic Minor into the tonic /dominant grouping and then whether we are still going to use the dorian / major approach? I have tried some lines and they sound interesting but not sure if they are the same approach.

    I thought the C-maj7 is obviously the tonic and also the III, VI. The G7b9 is the dominant along with ii, iv, vii?

    In Melodic or Harmonic Minor chord choices or progressions does the tonic (major) and dominant (dorian) approach still work?

    Cminmaj7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7#5 Fmin7b5 G7b9 Abmaj7 Bdim7

    Thanks!
    Just realised I didn't actually answer your question (hey its JGO, what do you expect?) It's a little more complex...

    So,as you say, the T/D thing in the natural minor works like the major scale with a different root:

    Cmin7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7 Fmin7 Gm7 Abmaj7 Bb7
    T D T D T/D D D

    So the other scale in common use in a minor key is the harmonic minor. Melodic minor is not so important for functional harmony. It's either an alteration to make melodies flow better (classical) or a colouristic sound to make individual chords sound richer or add more voice leading (jazz.) So anyway, harmonic minor:

    Cminmaj7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7#5 Fmin7 G7b9 Abmaj7 Bo7
    T D T D D D D

    Not much fundamental difference, but the difference is the Bb going to a B gives us a sound that probably works better on V7 then it does on IIm7b5. So there is a bit of a difference. Just the leading note really. You can hear that in lots of jazz lines. Try playing a C minor blues line on Dm7b5 for instance and resolve it to Cm by using the B note.

    B is the most important note here. It's what gives the V7 sound its movement in minor.

    So... in your terms, we would use dorian on IV (natural minor) or mix on bVII but then move to a dorian #4 on IV. That would give you the Bb --> B movement.

    Now that second chord also where you would tend to use the altered scale.

    Instead of using IV dorian #4 use IV locrian #2 is what it is called, but TBH I often just think bVI melodic minor. Easier, right? Still has the B, but also has the Bb as well, which is more useful than you might think.

  37. #36
    Has anyone ever taught the finished end result (like a Wes record) from the beginning?
    Wes is a huge user of all this! He plays chords over chords all the time, also substitutes chord progressions, alternate II-Vs, etc. Not scales so much, but chords, arpeggios, and whatever lines he likes to use.

  38. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    I've been watching this thread and finally I started this post originally with, "What in the world are you guys promoting?", but after a cup of coffee I'm calm now... ...so I will try to be as nice as possible raising some thoughts here... my observations, and some leading questions.

    This whole class of dual approaches (Tonic / Dominant, Type 1 / Type 2, Major / Dominant, Tonic / Diminished, Dominant-Dorian / Diminished, Subdominant / Dominant, etc.) really appears to be minimalist versions of some kind of chord scale theory, which I find surprising because the usual common wisdom around here is that CST as an applied strategy tends to be frowned upon, tending to perhaps produce "sounds of the cook book".

    If CST, (which I don't care for and so am not defending) using all its theoretical machinery to relate complex chords and complex scales tends to sound lousy, for argument's sake, then how is it going to sound when the chord set and scale set are restricted to about two members each, fairly directly connected?

    Taking this...
    in C Major for example

    Tonic ie I iii vi and the alternations - C Ionian lines
    Dominant ie ii V iv vii and the alterations - G Mixolydian lines (or D Dorian, altering the root adds interesting colours)
    ...means the same seven notes available for all of the seven chords and their alterations. How do you express the harmonies of the altered chords without using the altered notes?


    If "play Dorian with its tonic on the roots of the subdominants and tri-tone subs" means what it reads, I'm not hearing a jazz sound from that either. Dorian does not have the correct pitches.

    "So anything with the 4th of the key in = subdominant" fails to convince my ear. The 13th chord on the bii as a tri-tone sub for the V has the 4th of the key (the major third of the 13th chord), but it does not sound subdominant, it sounds dominant (it is literally subbing for the dominant).

    Am I wrong?

    The good sounds are coming from beyond ionian and dorian, especially when the harmonies are altered... melodic minor, augmented, synthetic symmetric diminished, and my favorite - made up things that sound right.

    Now, this thread, and a few others at the moment, are very much concerned with teaching. There is a thing in teaching where one first learns the incomplete or even "wrong" way of thinking about something until one is ready for the "right way". Maybe this is based on some incorrect assumption about what one can learn or perceive.

    Ever notice that children's books and toys favor garish fully saturated colors, as if their new little eyes and minds were too undeveloped to perceive subtle hues and shades? The real world is almost entirely the subtle hues and shades.

    Ever see how books about drawing want you to start by decomposing the subject figure into circles, ovals, and other primitive blobs, from which one is encouraged to add smaller same blobs until enough form is apparent that one can finally depict the figure? In the real world we perceive the figure as a whole, not as a composite of approximate blobs.

    Has anyone ever taught the finished end result (like a Wes record) from the beginning? I think so, but maybe we are those who were self taught... the finished end was always the complete actual sound, with all its hues and shades, its whole figure, no unreal primary colors, no nonexistent blobs...

    Thanks for listening.
    There are some good thoughts here, I am a beginner really so there is a lot to learn and I don't see this as a short cut but as a good way for me to think melodically from a simple frame work. I will still use notes outside Dorian and Ionian when jamming. I have studied some CST and some other approaches and I find all of them interesting and useful in different circumstances. However I don't know very much hence putting this in beginners so good to hear all sides.

  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    I occasionally lurk at tgp (I do other things I'd be embarrassed to divulge) and think you might get something out of this lengthy thread.


    The George Benson Method To Playing Changes. Get Ready To Improve | The Gear Page

    Wow this is a beast of a thread, pretty much what I was thinking about cheers!

  40. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Just realised I didn't actually answer your question (hey its JGO, what do you expect?) It's a little more complex...

    So,as you say, the T/D thing in the natural minor works like the major scale with a different root:

    Cmin7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7 Fmin7 Gm7 Abmaj7 Bb7
    T D T D T/D D D

    So the other scale in common use in a minor key is the harmonic minor. Melodic minor is not so important for functional harmony. It's either an alteration to make melodies flow better (classical) or a colouristic sound to make individual chords sound richer or add more voice leading (jazz.) So anyway, harmonic minor:

    Cminmaj7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7#5 Fmin7 G7b9 Abmaj7 Bo7
    T D T D D D D

    Not much fundamental difference, but the difference is the Bb going to a B gives us a sound that probably works better on V7 then it does on IIm7b5. So there is a bit of a difference. Just the leading note really. You can hear that in lots of jazz lines. Try playing a C minor blues line on Dm7b5 for instance and resolve it to Cm by using the B note.

    B is the most important note here. It's what gives the V7 sound its movement in minor.

    So... in your terms, we would use dorian on IV (natural minor) or mix on bVII but then move to a dorian #4 on IV. That would give you the Bb --> B movement.

    Now that second chord also where you would tend to use the altered scale.

    Instead of using IV dorian #4 use IV locrian #2 is what it is called, but TBH I often just think bVI melodic minor. Easier, right? Still has the B, but also has the Bb as well, which is more useful than you might think.
    I need to go through this in more detail when I get home but thanks very much for the answer

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Just realised I didn't actually answer your question (hey its JGO, what do you expect?) It's a little more complex...

    So,as you say, the T/D thing in the natural minor works like the major scale with a different root:

    Cmin7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7 Fmin7 Gm7 Abmaj7 Bb7
    T D T D T/D D D

    So the other scale in common use in a minor key is the harmonic minor. Melodic minor is not so important for functional harmony. It's either an alteration to make melodies flow better (classical) or a colouristic sound to make individual chords sound richer or add more voice leading (jazz.) So anyway, harmonic minor:

    Cminmaj7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7#5 Fmin7 G7b9 Abmaj7 Bo7
    T D T D D D D

    Not much fundamental difference, but the difference is the Bb going to a B gives us a sound that probably works better on V7 then it does on IIm7b5. So there is a bit of a difference. Just the leading note really. You can hear that in lots of jazz lines. Try playing a C minor blues line on Dm7b5 for instance and resolve it to Cm by using the B note.

    B is the most important note here. It's what gives the V7 sound its movement in minor.

    So... in your terms, we would use dorian on IV (natural minor) or mix on bVII but then move to a dorian #4 on IV. That would give you the Bb --> B movement.

    Now that second chord also where you would tend to use the altered scale.

    Instead of using IV dorian #4 use IV locrian #2 is what it is called, but TBH I often just think bVI melodic minor. Easier, right? Still has the B, but also has the Bb as well, which is more useful than you might think.
    Sorry I am sure this is super clear but I am not quite getting it. Could you please right the scale next to the chord numeral for HM and then I can work backwards in your post because I almost get it but need to see it more visually. Sorry to be dim and thanks for the detailed answer!

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
    Sorry I am sure this is super clear but I am not quite getting it. Could you please right the scale next to the chord numeral for HM and then I can work backwards in your post because I almost get it but need to see it more visually. Sorry to be dim and thanks for the detailed answer!
    Sorry I'm not quite sure what you mean?

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Sorry I'm not quite sure what you mean?

    Sorry my fault for being unclear. I am just not clear on which chords within the HM system you are referring to require the locrian and dorian #4 scales you mention as different from the natural minor? I think you are referring to the IV and the VII? Sorry very tired from work so probably just not being very preceptive as moist of your post made total sense!

  44. #43

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    Babaluma -

    Tell you what I think. I think when you try to simplify everything down to two chord-types, only dominant and tonic, it ends up being ten times as complicated as it was in the first place.

    There's no short cut. I don't think any player in his right mind would think 'Now the dorian #4, now the dorian #2' and all that. It just doesn't work like that unless you're crazy.

    Look at some transcriptions by anybody - Wes, Pass, Raney, even Parker - and half the time they're just arpeggiating or playing within the chord with passing notes.

    Here's one. At 0.38 there are two 2-5-1s, Em7b5-A7-Dm and Gm7-C7-FM7. There's nothing fancy about either of them. He's using the ordinary notes with a couple of passing notes.

    At 0.47 there are two minor 2-5-1s. Same thing, mostly chromatic runs between chord tones... etc. That's how real people play :-)


  45. #44

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    Here's another one. The solo begins at 0.50. Check it out for yourself. At 2.02 at the bottom he uses the blues scale quite a lot.


  46. #45

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    What Ragman said, for me anyway. I get the concept, I actually came upon it myself before I knew it was actually a concept, but I feel you still need to deal with every chord’s individual tones, not just “a scale” that lacks “wrong” notes.
    Ignorance is agony.



  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
    Sorry my fault for being unclear. I am just not clear on which chords within the HM system you are referring to require the locrian and dorian #4 scales you mention as different from the natural minor? I think you are referring to the IV and the VII? Sorry very tired from work so probably just not being very preceptive as moist of your post made total sense!
    No it was the IV both times.

    TBH I just think of chord types... It's all about the leading tone, B, right?

    So if I play in C harmonic minor I can play

    F Ab C Eb = Fm7
    But if I want to create a true dominant function, we need to use the B. There's these secret chords hiding out in the harmonic minor if you use the B that wouldn't come up if you just go through the scale like major... They are things like:

    Abmaj7#9
    Abmin6
    Abmin(maj7)
    Fm7b5

    So...

    F Ab B Eb = misspelled Fm7b5 (really Fm7#11) = Abm6
    Which gives upper structure of G7b9b13

    Now,
    You can then relate that Abm6 chord to the Ab melodic minor, and you have the altered scale sound. It's all near at hand.

    The Fm7b5 opens the door.

    G Ab B C D Eb F = C harmonic minor from G
    G Ab Bb B Db Eb F = G altered

    So the main difference is the Bb and, particularly, the Db (b5) - that note gives you altered.
    So now we have the E, right?

    It's about being aware of the colour of particular notes... The Bb/A# you see a lot (#9) and can come from a lot of places (including the blues scale or mixing up the natural and harmonic minor. But the Db/b5 is a very strong colour, like a strong spice.

  48. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Babaluma -

    Tell you what I think. I think when you try to simplify everything down to two chord-types, only dominant and tonic, it ends up being ten times as complicated as it was in the first place.

    There's no short cut. I don't think any player in his right mind would think 'Now the dorian #4, now the dorian #2' and all that. It just doesn't work like that unless you're crazy.

    Look at some transcriptions by anybody - Wes, Pass, Raney, even Parker - and half the time they're just arpeggiating or playing within the chord with passing notes.

    Here's one. At 0.38 there are two 2-5-1s, Em7b5-A7-Dm and Gm7-C7-FM7. There's nothing fancy about either of them. He's using the ordinary notes with a couple of passing notes.

    At 0.47 there are two minor 2-5-1s. Same thing, mostly chromatic runs between chord tones... etc. That's how real people play :-)

    Thanks very much, this is all going on my practice sheet to study, very interesting! I agree there are no short cuts, I just like different approaches and then try and take elements of all of it

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    No it was the IV both times.

    TBH I just think of chord types... It's all about the leading tone, B, right?

    So if I play in C harmonic minor I can play

    F Ab C Eb = Fm7
    But if I want to create a true dominant function, we need to use the B. There's these secret chords hiding out in the harmonic minor if you use the B that wouldn't come up if you just go through the scale like major... They are things like:

    Abmaj7#9
    Abmin6
    Abmin(maj7)
    Fm7b5

    So...

    F Ab B Eb = misspelled Fm7b5 (really Fm7#11) = Abm6
    Which gives upper structure of G7b9b13

    Now,
    You can then relate that Abm6 chord to the Ab melodic minor, and you have the altered scale sound. It's all near at hand.

    The Fm7b5 opens the door.

    G Ab B C D Eb F = C harmonic minor from G
    G Ab Bb B Db Eb F = G altered

    So the main difference is the Bb and, particularly, the Db (b5) - that note gives you altered.
    So now we have the E, right?

    It's about being aware of the colour of particular notes... The Bb/A# you see a lot (#9) and can come from a lot of places (including the blues scale or mixing up the natural and harmonic minor. But the Db/b5 is a very strong colour, like a strong spice.
    Thanks very much for this detailed reply, this is very clear, starting to get it!