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  1. #1

    II V question (IImin7b5 V7b9 and mode of harmonic minor)

    I'm learning How High the Moon (Ornithology.) The twelfth measure is Amin7b5 to D7b9 resolving to G major. There is a mode of harmonic minor that seems to pick up the II V (G harmonic minor.) I can't think quickly enough to consider the Amin7b5 other than as a function of D7b9. So the G harmonic minor seems to work for both chords. Whether it "seems" to work, does it "actually" work or am I being less than faithful to the Amin7b5?

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    Whether it "seems" to work, does it "actually" work or am I being less than faithful to the Amin7b5?
    No. It's common, especially in traditional bebop. Beyond that, "if it sounds good it is good" is kind of the first rule.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    I'm learning How High the Moon (Ornithology.) The twelfth measure is Amin7b5 to D7b9 resolving to G major. There is a mode of harmonic minor that seems to pick up the II V (G harmonic minor.) I can't think quickly enough to consider the Amin7b5 other than as a function of D7b9. So the G harmonic minor seems to work for both chords. Whether it "seems" to work, does it "actually" work or am I being less than faithful to the Amin7b5?
    Seems to me that it depends how you use them.

    This is a minor ii V leading to a major I. False cadence I think, is the term.

    Am7b5 is A C Eb G. Since you're sort of in a Gm tonal center, you can add notes from Gm. Those could be Bb D F. That's a G Aeolian (Bb major scale). Or, you could use a B instead of Bb, in which case it's Cmelmin. These are common choices for the Am7b5. I'd say that, since you're going to have a false cadence, the listener may want to hear that Bb move to B when you get to the I chord. Could you use G HM? Sure. All it does is change the F to an F#. Should you? Matter of taste, but I'd point out that one of the voices that moves between Am7b5 and D7b9 is the G note to F#. You could leave that for the comping instrument or you can outline it in your solo. If you choose to outline it, there's an argument for not playing the F# against Am7b5.

    Now, we arrive at D7b9. Sorry for the long winded analysis. D F# A C Eb. Since we're still in a Gm tonal center, you can add G and Bb. You could also add an F -- it's inside Gm and it's the #9, which usually works if you have a b9 in the chord. Reordering those notes gives G A Bb C D Eb F F#. That is not quite D half whole dim which would be D Eb F F# Ab A B C. So, which is better? You might not want to play G against D7b9 because it will sound too much like the chord before and the chord after, both of which have G. And, you might not want to play B either, because you'd lose the drama of the Bb to B movement when you surprise the listener with the Gmajor chord (if you want to do that -- you don't have to).

    That leaves A Bb C D Eb F F#. Then, when you hit the Gmaj chord, move the Bb to B, don't play F, and move the Eb to D.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    No. It's common, especially in traditional bebop. Beyond that, "if it sounds good it is good" is kind of the first rule.
    My goal is to be able to play traditional bebop, so even if it's common it's still new to me. As for "if it sounds good..." it was once pointed out to me that, for example, C harmonic minor over a G7 chord has the "avoid note" of C. Never really bothered me because I treated it as a passing tone. So, like you said, "if it sounds good it is good." Appreciate you!

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Seems to me that it depends how you use them.

    This is a minor ii V leading to a major I. False cadence I think, is the term.

    Am7b5 is A C Eb G. Since you're sort of in a Gm tonal center, you can add notes from Gm. Those could be Bb D F. That's a G Aeolian (Bb major scale). Or, you could use a B instead of Bb, in which case it's Cmelmin. These are common choices for the Am7b5. I'd say that, since you're going to have a false cadence, the listener may want to hear that Bb move to B when you get to the I chord. Could you use G HM? Sure. All it does is change the F to an F#. Should you? Matter of taste, but I'd point out that one of the voices that moves between Am7b5 and D7b9 is the G note to F#. You could leave that for the comping instrument or you can outline it in your solo. If you choose to outline it, there's an argument for not playing the F# against Am7b5.

    Now, we arrive at D7b9. Sorry for the long winded analysis. D F# A C Eb. Since we're still in a Gm tonal center, you can add G and Bb. You could also add an F -- it's inside Gm and it's the #9, which usually works if you have a b9 in the chord. Reordering those notes gives G A Bb C D Eb F F#. That is not quite D half whole dim which would be D Eb F F# Ab A B C. So, which is better? You might not want to play G against D7b9 because it will sound too much like the chord before and the chord after, both of which have G. And, you might not want to play B either, because you'd lose the drama of the Bb to B movement when you surprise the listener with the Gmajor chord (if you want to do that -- you don't have to).

    That leaves A Bb C D Eb F F#. Then, when you hit the Gmaj chord, move the Bb to B, don't play F, and move the Eb to D.
    Man, that's an education and a half. A lot to parse out, but very clearly presented. When you mentioned G aeolian it reminded me of a device I've used when playing Santana tunes, like Guajira for example. This picks up the F natural (#5) you mentioned, and I like the #5/b5 move over the min7b5, although I still like the sound of F# there as well (nice tension plus available diminished arpeggios). I wouldn't ordinarily play a B natural over Amin7b5. It seems to want Bb. Is another way to think of it D phrygian dominant, or am I getting lost in the weeds? Again, many thanks.

  6. #5
    WWBD ?

    Somebody once said , the answer to all your questions are in your record collection . ( Or mp3 folders or whatever the young people use these days )

    You haven't got much time to say anything about Am7b5D7b9 so just pick a few choice notes that outline it in different ways .

    Or , just play D7b9

    Or just play Gminor through that whole bit

    tbh if your melodic line is strong enough , you don't have to follow the chords that closely , especially at that tempo

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    I'm learning How High the Moon (Ornithology.) The twelfth measure is Amin7b5 to D7b9 resolving to G major. There is a mode of harmonic minor that seems to pick up the II V (G harmonic minor.) I can't think quickly enough to consider the Amin7b5 other than as a function of D7b9. So the G harmonic minor seems to work for both chords. Whether it "seems" to work, does it "actually" work or am I being less than faithful to the Amin7b5?
    So we have your II-V-I in HHTM (bar 10?)

    | Am7b5 D7b9 | G

    So yeah, pretty quick. In those sorts of situations I would tend to see Am7b5 as the disposable chord... So just play on D7 - I mean you could play whatever you like on the D7b9 - HM is a classic bop sound, but you could play D altered, D half-whole, an Ab13 chord - you name it.

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

    Here's the Barry Harris way of viewing it...

    The Am7b5 is the upper bit of the F9 chord

    F A C Eb G --> F

    The D7b9 relates to F#o7

    D F# A C Eb --> F# A C Eb

    So, you have scale outlines where you run the F7 scale into the F#o7... For instance...

    Eb D C Bb A G F#

    We say F7 down to the third of D7 (F#) - obviously same notes as G harmonic minor, but we are thinking about it differently

    (For a two bar Am7b5 D7 it would be

    F G A Bb C D Eb D | C Bb A G F#))

    Now we can create lines linking the F7 sound into the G sound using F#o7 arpeggio, too.... for example:

    C Bb A G F# A C | B

    In practice the F and F# are pretty interchangeable... Here's a line I like

    F# A C D Eb F Eb D | B

    Where Eb F Eb are a triplet

  8. #7
    F# A C D Eb F Eb D | B


    isn't there a C missing after the D?
    that's the line at the end of the first 16 of Donnalee ?

  9. #8
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  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
    You haven't got much time to say anything about Am7b5D7b9 so just pick a few choice notes that outline it in different ways. Or , just play D7b9. Or just play Gminor through that whole bit. tbh if your melodic line is strong enough , you don't have to follow the chords that closely , especially at that tempo
    Thanks. Like I said in my OP it seemed like D7b9 pretty much covers the Am7b5, at least to my ears. And, as you point out, I can just play G minor over it, provided I emphasize the underlying chord tones. Lastly, as you say, the measure goes by pretty quickly, but I'm trying to acquire a deeper understanding of the underlying theory for more global application.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    So we have your II-V-I in HHTM (bar 10?)

    | Am7b5 D7b9 | G

    So yeah, pretty quick. In those sorts of situations I would tend to see Am7b5 as the disposable chord... So just play on D7 - I mean you could play whatever you like on the D7b9 - HM is a classic bop sound, but you could play D altered, D half-whole, an Ab13 chord - you name it.

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

    Here's the Barry Harris way of viewing it...

    The Am7b5 is the upper bit of the F9 chord

    F A C Eb G --> F

    The D7b9 relates to F#o7

    D F# A C Eb --> F# A C Eb

    So, you have scale outlines where you run the F7 scale into the F#o7... For instance...

    Eb D C Bb A G F#

    We say F7 down to the third of D7 (F#) - obviously same notes as G harmonic minor, but we are thinking about it differently

    (For a two bar Am7b5 D7 it would be

    F G A Bb C D Eb D | C Bb A G F#))

    Now we can create lines linking the F7 sound into the G sound using F#o7 arpeggio, too.... for example:

    C Bb A G F# A C | B

    In practice the F and F# are pretty interchangeable... Here's a line I like

    F# A C D Eb F Eb D | B

    Where Eb F Eb are a triplet
    You reminded me of what someone told me a long time ago, that Bird reharmonized tunes using the upper partials of the extended chords. As you point out, F7 and F#dim can be thought of as the same thing, given the context. I'll definitely try that and see if I can make it work. Thanks again!

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    Thanks. Like I said in my OP it seemed like D7b9 pretty much covers the Am7b5, at least to my ears. And, as you point out, I can just play G minor over it, provided I emphasize the underlying chord tones. Lastly, as you say, the measure goes by pretty quickly, but I'm trying to acquire a deeper understanding of the underlying theory for more global application.



    You reminded me of what someone told me a long time ago, that Bird reharmonized tunes using the upper partials of the extended chords. As you point out, F7 and F#dim can be thought of as the same thing, given the context. I'll definitely try that and see if I can make it work. Thanks again!
    Yeah, I dunno if that's exactly what it is .... but that link F9 --> Am7b5 --> Cm6 is certainly something Bird was aware of, as were quite a few of the players he was directly inspired by.

    From the POV of modes and scales, it's not at all different from rpjazzguitar said, it's just a different perspective. I think it's easier to think F dominant/mixo than A locrian.... But it's the same notes...

    Barry's scale outlines are a great way to practice a tune's changes. This video demonstrates the treatment we would use for the whole tune:


  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by buduranus2 View Post
    My goal is to be able to play traditional bebop, so even if it's common it's still new to me. As for "if it sounds good..." it was once pointed out to me that, for example, C harmonic minor over a G7 chord has the "avoid note" of C. Never really bothered me because I treated it as a passing tone. So, like you said, "if it sounds good it is good." Appreciate you!



    Man, that's an education and a half. A lot to parse out, but very clearly presented. When you mentioned G aeolian it reminded me of a device I've used when playing Santana tunes, like Guajira for example. This picks up the F natural (#5) you mentioned, and I like the #5/b5 move over the min7b5, although I still like the sound of F# there as well (nice tension plus available diminished arpeggios). I wouldn't ordinarily play a B natural over Amin7b5. It seems to want Bb. Is another way to think of it D phrygian dominant, or am I getting lost in the weeds? Again, many thanks.
    D phrygian dominant is 5th mode of G HM. D Eb F# G A Bb C. If we're talking about using it against Am7b5, I'd look at it this way. It contains A C Eb and G, all the chord tones. The other three notes are D, F# and Bb.
    D and F# are coming up in the next chord, D7b9, so you have to decide whether or not you want to outline that in your solo or just leave it to the comping instrument. The Bb vs B could go either way. I would suggest considering it in light of the next two chords. When you finally get to Gmaj, I don't think you want a Bb there. So, you could use Bb against the ii V and then raise it to B against the I. Or you could go from B to Bb to B. Or you could avoid all of them. It's taste at that point.

    The main point that I want to make here is to think about the iim7b5 Vb9 Imaj progression as a whole rather than thinking one chord at a time. And, I also suggest thinking about the individual notes in the chords and underlying tonal center. So, for example, D phrygian dominant can be thought of as D7b9b13; I find it helpful to think about the chord symbol so that I know which extensions I'm playing and I can play the chord to hear the essence of the sound.

    Of course, when I'm soloing, I never think about any of this. But I might in the practice room.

  13. #12
    Am7b5/D7b9
    Just make sure you play Eb, not E natural. The rest doesn't matter that much.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Just make sure you play Eb, not E natural. The rest doesn't matter that much.
    I'm not hearing an E natural at all. Eb is the b5 for Ami7b5 and the b9 for D7b9. So that's what I would intuitively play.

  15. #14
    I know, but at speed heading toward a G major, it's easy to forget.

    Just saying, especially as the other times it's Am7/D7. Am7/D7 also appears before a Gm and that can be awkward too.

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