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  1. #1

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    I was wondering if anyone could give me a little insight into soloing over the chord changes of Naima.

    I'm generally looking at all the slash chords by renaming it as the harmony produced (ex: Bbm7/Eb = Ebsus).

    The trouble is when I get to the Gmaj7/Eb and I'm not really sure how to tackle it.

    Any suggestions?

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  3. #2

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    For Gmaj7/Eb check out the harmonic major scale.

    G A B C D Eb F# G

    So just a major scale with the 6th note lowered, cool sound and very Trane.

    MW

  4. #3

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    You could also use any Eb augmented triad arpeggios (Eb+, G+ or B+ or even a B maj triad). Superimpose them or string them before or after a Gma7 arp say:



    G F# G B D# (Eb) F# G B D Eb G B for example. Might be a little easier to think of

  5. #4

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    Thanks Matt and John - it was a big help.
    Ok, so I have a few more issues with this tune. I'll just write out some of the chords and how I'm looking at them and maybe someone can give me a little advice:

    Bbm7/Eb - Eb Mixo (no G)
    Ebm7 - Eb Dorian
    Amaj7/Eb - Eb Loc
    Gmaj7/Eb - G Mel Maj
    Bmaj7/Bb - Bb Phryg
    Bb13b9 - Eb Mel Maj
    Bm9(maj7)/Bb - not sure
    Abmaj7/Bb - Bb Mixo (no D)
    Gb13/Eb - not sure
    Abmaj7/Eb - Eb Ionian

    If anyone had any suggestions that would help me out a lot!
    Thanks!

  6. #5

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    Looks good, here's how I would treat some of those chords:

    Bbm7/Eb = Bb Dorian, so there's no avoid note

    Amaj7/Eb = A Lydian

    Bmaj7/Bb = B major scale

    Bb13b9 = Bb half/whole diminished scale

    Bm9(maj7)/Bb = B melodic minor

    Abmaj7/Bb = Ab major scale

    Gb13/Eb = Gb mxolydian

    Abmaj7/Eb = Ab major scale.

    Matt

  7. #6

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    Hey Matt,

    Thanks again, I was always a little confused about looking at slash chords (especially this tune). I was shown two different ways of improvising over slash chords: one where you looked at the bass note as essentially the root (beginning of the mode) and the upper chord with respect to the bass note (ex: Bmaj7/Bb = Bb Phryg); the other where the bass note (or pedal) fits into the harmony (Bmaj7/Bb = B Maj). You seem to be leaning towards the second one, and that helps clear things up.

    Evan
    PS The Pat Martino book is great.

  8. #7

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    yeah you can look at it in a number of ways, but even the example you give, Bmaj7/Bb=Bb Phrygian, could also be interpreted as Bb Locrian, which is B major. There's no right or wrong way to loook at these things just personal preference. The first thing I look at with a slash chord is is the bass note a chord tone of the top chord. Like Bb(A#) is the 7th of Bmaj7, this way I have to think no further. If it isn't then I see if it's an extension, like Gmaj7/Eb, Eb is the b13 of the chord so I would play a G major scale with the 13 flattened.

    MW

  9. #8

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    Just something I do in this tune on the Ama7/Eb and the Gma7/Eb.

    I make them dominants and voice the Amaj7/Eb as Eb A C# G# which looks like a B13/D# (or F7#5#9)

    and the G/Eb as Eb G C# F# Which looks like A13b5/Eb (or Eb7#9) Then the Abma7 (missing from your list)

    Now you can use the B mixolydian and A lydian dominant these two scale are very close except one uses G# the other G nat. plus thinking of these as dominant 7ths rather than major 7th might point you in a direction you might not have otherwise thought of.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by m78w
    ...here's how I would treat some of those chords:

    Bb13b9 = Bb half/whole diminished scale

    Matt
    Matt, I understand all the other chords and scale options you give but not in this one. First of all, what does half/whole diminished scale mean? Or what is it? And secondly Bb13b9 has a major 3rd, right? But I think that the diminished scale has a minor 3rd. Maybe the point lies in knowing what half/whole diminished scale means.

    Thanks in advance.

  11. #10

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    Hey Claudi,
    The half/whole diminished scale is built by alternating half steps and whole steps.

    So over Bb it is

    Bb B Db D E F G Ab

    or

    R b9 #9 M3 #11 5 13 b7

    so you have the chords, R M3 P5 b7, and the extensions, b9, #9, #11 and the 13th.

    So you have the b9 and natural 13th in the scale.

    MW

  12. #11

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    Hi, Matt!

    I didn't know that in english it's called half/whole diminished. I knew it simply as the diminished scale. Ok, from now on I'll know we're talking about the same scale.

    So, to go on with matter; I still haven't analyzed this scale too much though I can play it all over the fretboard (without knowing what I'm playing, to tell you the truth). I see it has a major 3rd (D) and a minor 3rd (Db). So wich is the correct one? Or can I take whichever at my convenience? I don't think so.

  13. #12

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    The major third is the "correct" one, I would consider the minor third as a #9 instead.

    MW

  14. #13

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    It's a confusing scale, isn't it? Do you use it very often or just when you have a doubt?

    What I still can't understand is why you consider the Db a raised 9th when D is the major 3rd.
    Anyway, if Bb is the root then B is a raised 1st?
    Ah, okay! The 2nd should be called Cb or C#. Maybe we should have given the name of Cb or C# to the 2nd. As I said it's confusing. Spelled the way you did we have two 1sts and 2 3rds.

    .....

    No really! I want to understand it because it's the only scale which I'm having these doubts.

    Thanks for your patience. I'm not pulling your leg.

  15. #14

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    Maybe it'll make more sense if we look at it in C.

    C Db Eb E F# G A Bb C

    Don't think if it as a scale all in a row, think of it as the chord:

    C E G Bb - C7

    and the extensions

    Db(b9) Eb(#9) F#(#11) A(13)

    I use this scale all the time, it's great over any 7th chord, especially over a blues or rhythm changes.

    MW

  16. #15

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    Hi again, Matt!

    I've been thinking a little about this scale today. Some time ago I learned the scale formula as whole, half, whole, half, whole, half, whole, half.
    Before you presented it as half, whole, half, whole, half, whole, half, whole. So, I realized you meant this scale proposing the root Bb and start by half, whole, etc...

    I have another question: When we start the scale by whole, half...starting on C then we have a 2nd major, a 3rd minor, a perfect 4th and a diminished 5th (so far by now). No doubt here that the scale is minor and the chord has to be minor with a diminished 5th, right?
    But now my doubt is that when we start the scale by half, whole...could it be used for a both major and minor chord of the same name and both with a diminished 5th or perfect 5th? As I asked you in another post can I choose it at my convenience or one of them will sound bad?

    Thanks again in advance!

  17. #16

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    Yeah, if you start the scale with whole/half/whole/half etc it's called the whole half diminished scale and is used over a dim7 chord, or dimMaj7 chord.

    The best advice I can give comes from Miles, he said 'you can always play minor over major, but never major over minor". So that's why the b5 and b3 works over a major chord, BUT a major 3rd wouldn't work on a minor chord, and a Perfect 5th wouldn't work on a diminished chord.

    Of course there are always exceptions to the rules, but this is a great place to start.

    MW

  18. #17

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    You might want to check out Bob Devoz doing Naima on Playing for keeps.

    He does chording and solo. He doesn't use blinding speed, so it's learnable.



    I haven't tried to learn the solo, but I will now. I think the best way to go about soloing is to learn what someone else is playing on the changes.

    Learning scales is a good guideline, but hearing and playing the good notes are more important.

    Larry

  19. #18

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    Friends I am working since a long time on Naima using the sheet from the Aebersold. My analysis is the following

    A section
    Bb- (Bb dorian)
    Eb- (Eb dorian)
    B7+4 (B lydian dominant)
    A7+4 (A Lydian dominant)
    Ab major (Ab major, maybe lydian?)

    B section
    Bmajor (B major)
    Bb7+11b9 (Bb superlocrian)
    Bb7b9 (Bb superlocrian)
    E7+4 (E Lydian dominant)
    F- (F- dorian)
    Gb7+4 (Gb Lydian dominant)

    I would like to know if you share my analysis which to my ears (not really perfect…) work. Thank you.
    Luigi

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by luigi scatto
    Friends I am working since a long time on Naima using the sheet from the Aebersold. My analysis is the following

    A section
    Bb- (Bb dorian)
    Eb- (Eb dorian)
    B7+4 (B lydian dominant)
    A7+4 (A Lydian dominant)
    Ab major (Ab major, maybe lydian?)

    B section
    Bmajor (B major)
    Bb7+11b9 (Bb superlocrian)
    Bb7b9 (Bb superlocrian)
    E7+4 (E Lydian dominant)
    F- (F- dorian)
    Gb7+4 (Gb Lydian dominant)

    I would like to know if you share my analysis which to my ears (not really perfect…) work. Thank you.
    Luigi
    Yes That's been somewhat standard. I usually hear MM mixed in with your Bb- dorian and pentatonics with the Eb-... and with the way most Jazz players use MM the chord symbols are really simply voicings, and any of them work... the Amaj7/Eb, B7#11 or what ever else you want to pull from F#MM and the same from any of the other MM chordal structures... pick your Root... most are over a pedal anyway. Also most of the majors move in and out between lydian. When you solo on this tune... I mean you move all over... It's not like you pick a scale and stay there... the tunes all about tension/release, not just harmonic tension... almost more of building then release. Very spiritual... and there in the end of the tune is the final big release... metaphorically of course.
    Just for reference, generally when you use analysis, your implying tonal and compositional references. Your choice of what to play, in your example, scales... may reflect an analysis. From your scales... II-7, V-7, bIII7 bII7, Imaj7, could be analysis of 1st four bars. But please don't take me wrong... I understood you just fine... just a terminology thing.
    So Yes your choices are fine and I can hear. There just the start. If you listen to recordings from 59 and 60, I hear McCoy using lots of voicings... many are the Maj7s used in the latter charts... but neither McCoy or Coltrane seem to stay on one tonal center, more in the modal harmonic style of tonal areas...
    There are obviously a few ways to approach the the tune... most don't play in same style as Coltrane... This is a cool tune to cover like the acoustic version, just play through the head and stay pretty straight... but to actually gig with this tune... you really need to have something to say, and with conviction. There's a lot going on... Reg

  21. #20

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    dear reg, i understand perfectly what u say. It was for the time being necessary for me to have a frame and knowing that is correct. I know that there is not such a thing in music as right or wrong but i need to have a certain point of reference so to say. I share 100% your point of view. Naima is a wonderful song and has to played with a certain respect... thank you so much
    luigi

  22. #21

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    ooops another thought. i tend to extract some arpeggios from the scales I mentioned playing the most significant altered notes and chord tones which in my opinion and in my taste keeps more alive the feeling of the beautiful melody. unless I run out of ideas i hate to play scales up and down and i must say that i have always preferred the lyrical guitar players than those who play a lot of notes....
    L.

  23. #22

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    Sounds great... you should post a version of you playing tune... would love to hear. There's another thread where players pick a tune and then most of the players post samples of them playing over tune... It's great... you should get involved.... I have been very busy lately... or just lazy.... I haven't posted for a while... In another month, gigs will slow down... Reg

  24. #23

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    Hi Luigi! One way that you might try to apply Reg's advice is to give yourself time to thoroughly investigate each harmonic environment that appears in the composition. You just need some way to reproduce each chord so that you can improvise over it for as long as you want. You could use a computer program (Cubase, Finale, Band in a Box, etc.) or just make a recording of yourself playing a chord on the guitar. But the idea would be to give yourself a nice long recording of 10 minutes or so of just the very first chord of the song. Then make another recording of the second chord. Make a third recording that alternates between the first and second chords, etc. Human beings always overestimate what they can accomplish in the short term. We think that there must be some secret scale or bit of theory that will allow us to play beautifully over a tune like Naima. But we also tend to underestimate what we can accomplish in the long term. Studying each chord one by one sounds like a lot of work so we assume there must be a better way. But if you just give yourself time to really get to know each sound in this composition, the confidence you gain will also serve you in every other tune you play. So take your time. Improvise over each chord and try every single note of the chromatic scale and notice for yourself how each note sounds. Nobody can tell you whether a particular scale will "sound right." You need to learn ALL the notes so that can use precisely the sound you want at each moment in your solo. If you can find the patience and the respect to dig into this composition as deeply as I'm suggesting, in a few months you will be able to play on that higher plane which is about expressing whatever you want to express in the moment, and you won't be so hung up on just keeping up with the harmony. So take your time and enjoy the journey.

  25. #24

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    Wow. I just play the chords and let the bass player worry about those notes under the slash. I feel like such a slacker. The Real Book 5th ed. presents those as bass pedal tones, which offers an interesting way to analyze the tune from a harmonic standpoint. 4 bars of Eb something, 8 bars of Bb something, 8 bars of Eb something. How you think about those somethings is an interesting exercise.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by EDesa
    Thanks Matt and John - it was a big help.
    Ok, so I have a few more issues with this tune. I'll just write out some of the chords and how I'm looking at them and maybe someone can give me a little advice:

    Bbm7/Eb - Eb Mixo (no G)
    Ebm7 - Eb Dorian
    Amaj7/Eb - Eb Loc
    Gmaj7/Eb - G Mel Maj
    Bmaj7/Bb - Bb Phryg
    Bb13b9 - Eb Mel Maj
    Bm9(maj7)/Bb - not sure
    Abmaj7/Bb - Bb Mixo (no D)
    Gb13/Eb - not sure
    Abmaj7/Eb - Eb Ionian

    If anyone had any suggestions that would help me out a lot!
    Thanks!
    It seems like you are relating several chords to Eb. That's a good way to simplify. I like to relate them to Ab.

    Bbm7/Eb - Ab major
    Ebm7 - Ab Mixo
    B7/Eb - Ab minor
    Amaj7/Eb - Ab major but a raised root. Same notes as A altered
    Abmaj7/Eb - Ab major
    Bmaj7/Bb - Ab minor
    Bb7 - Ab Lydian
    E7/Bb - Ab Locrian nat2
    Abmaj7/Bb - Ab major
    Gb13/Eb - Ab mixo b6
    Dbmaj7 - Ab major

    There were two chords above that are not on the ireal chart that I used. Gb13/Eb and Bm9(maj7)/Bb

  27. #26

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    I would not look at the chord symbols but rather listen to changes... Naima is pretty simple tune imho if you go through it by ear.

    I do not discard of course anything that is said above... it could be the way too. But in his particular case it is overcomplication imho.

  28. #27

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    Old thread, but Naima is ALL major type chords over pedals.

    I play it up a half step


  29. #28

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    Yes I think Jeff is right. It’s all major sevenths and triads over bass notes. There’s also a maj7+5 iirc. I’d need to revisit it’s been a while since I looked at this tune (like over a decade)

    usually this approach sounds a lot better than a scalic approach on this tune. I think this would also be a great tune for Jordan’s quadrad approach .

  30. #29

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    So something like:

    Dbmaj7/Eb | Fmaj7/Eb | Amaj7/Eb Gmaj7/Eb | Abmaj7 ||

    Bmaj7/Bb | E/Bb | Bmaj7/Bb | E/Bb |
    Dmaj7#5/Bb | Bmaj7/Bb | Abmaj7/Bb | Gb13 (not sure what I did for that)

    lots of third relations

  31. #30

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    All those minor 9s in the Real Book chart are really the relative major7s. So Bbmin9 = Dbmaj7, etc. mr. beaumont's post covers it.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So something like:

    Dbmaj7/Eb | Fmaj7/Eb | Amaj7/Eb Gmaj7/Eb | Abmaj7 ||

    Bmaj7/Bb | E/Bb | Bmaj7/Bb | E/Bb |
    Dmaj7#5/Bb | Bmaj7/Bb | Abmaj7/Bb | Gb13 (not sure what I did for that)

    lots of third relations

    Yes, this is pretty similar to how I hear it:

    So over Eb: Dbmaj7 | Gbmaj7 | Amaj7 Gmaj7 | Abmaj7 :||

    Then over Bb: Bmaj7 | Abmaj7#5 | Bmaj7 | Abmaj7#5

    Dmaj7#5 | Bmaj7#5 | Abmaj7#5 | Emaj7

  33. #32

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    Had a few minutes here, so let me lead with saying that what's cool about maj7#5 chords is they have a major triad based off their 3rd built right into them.

    Some of these chords imply some other things...I'll post more fluently later during my lunch break, when I can grab a guitar.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Which answers my question. Thank you.

    So what would you play over them? Lydian for M7's and mel m for M7#5's? Or something else? Presumably not root major scales.
    i remember not being happy with scalic approaches on this tune. I think that would work, sure, but I want better than simply ‘not wrong’.

    i don’t have a lot of time to play for fun atm so I haven’t been able to dig into it much. I would probably start with those superimposed chord tones and go from there.

    but I generally like small pitch sets than you for improv.

    beyond that, I’d have to check out some solos I liked over it. And probably learn to play bop on it as well.

  35. #34

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    Christian -

    Remember this? I actually sat all the way through this one. Very nice, and you looked so-o-o happy at the end. I don't know what you were doing (you can tell me if you like) but it was pretty good.


  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Christian -

    Remember this? I actually sat all the way through this one. Very nice, and you looked so-o-o happy at the end. I don't know what you were doing (you can tell me if you like) but it was pretty good.

    oh turns out I have played it relatively recently.

    Not sure what’s going on there. Maybe I’m taking chord scales and breaking them up into funny intervals?

    that was something I was into in 2016 iirc

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    ... I want better than simply ‘not wrong’.
    And that is the essence of learning to play jazz. We start learning chords and scales and modes and how functional harmony works, etc. But all that stuff just really teaches us is how to be "not wrong." It doesn't teach us to be right. That's found in learning what jazz sounds like and how to make what we play sound like jazz, and then learning how to make what we play sound like us.

    A lifelong process.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by EDesa
    Thanks Matt and John - it was a big help.
    Ok, so I have a few more issues with this tune. I'll just write out some of the chords and how I'm looking at them and maybe someone can give me a little advice:

    Bbm7/Eb - Eb Mixo (no G)
    Ebm7 - Eb Dorian
    Amaj7/Eb - Eb Loc
    Gmaj7/Eb - G Mel Maj
    Bmaj7/Bb - Bb Phryg
    Bb13b9 - Eb Mel Maj
    Bm9(maj7)/Bb - not sure
    Abmaj7/Bb - Bb Mixo (no D)
    Gb13/Eb - not sure
    Abmaj7/Eb - Eb Ionian

    If anyone had any suggestions that would help me out a lot!
    Thanks!
    I have been trawling the web for charts for Naima and there are a lot of different ones.

    The chords you have listed as Amaj7/Eb and Gmaj7/Eb appear in some charts as B13/Eb and A13/Eb, which sounds better to my ear.

    Also, the Bm9(maj7)/Bb I think appears as E13/Bb. The problem of mode selection seems simpler if you think of these chords as altered 7th chords.

  39. #38

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  40. #39

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    Eric Dolphy, way ahead of his time. He stays surprisingly close to the harmony and the melody here. Wonderful.

    the enclosure of the major chord b9Maj7-7Maj7-rootMajor7 should really be used and called “the Naima Sequence”.

    there, I said it!

  41. #40

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    JC's instructions for you kids.

    Naima Chord Changes-naima-jpg

  42. #41

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    So who changed it to the Real book version Bbm7 - Eb7 etc etc? And why?

    And has he written petal instead of pedal? That's quite sweet :-)

  43. #42

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    This one gets it right.


  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durban

    JC's instructions for you kids.

    Naima Chord Changes-naima-jpg
    thats a chart I can respect. Chord symbols when it’s sensible, exact voicings when desired.

  45. #44

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    So how did the Real Book version of the chords come about? Anyone know?

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    So how did the Real Book version of the chords come about? Anyone know?
    College student's ears.

  47. #46

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    Why? Why change Coltrane? I suspect this might be a rhetorical question...

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Why? Why change Coltrane?
    interesting question, but on the other hand i suppose why not? Miles changed a lot of peoples tunes, supposedly not W Shorters.

  49. #48

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    Go over to theory and just skip thru a few threads of folks trying to decide how to name a chord. Maybe it has something to do with that? I don't have what it takes to compare Dflat maj 7/ Eflat to Bflat 13 flat 9.

    What a silly 'system'.

  50. #49

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    To be fair, he only wrote a few M7's out, the rest are just note clusters without names. So, as you say, we can spend pages worrying over their names. Can't play them on a guitar anyway!

    But they changed DbM7 - GbM7 to Bbm7 - Eb7 which seems a bit odd.

    Or (simplifying it because I'm very basic) that's C to F in the key of G with a D pedal. Which I don 't think means anything at all, it's just a sound. Or it's a quartal chord... and he did the same kind of thing later with an aug triad.

  51. #50

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    Coltrane wrote them out in close position, but it might not necessarily follow that that's way they have to played...