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  1. #1

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    I think Pat Martino is the jazz guitarist most identified with the concept of "minor conversion" (or "convert to minor") approach to single line improvisation. Pat's "Linear Expressions" is a great book for delving into this.

    Some teaching about the playing of Wes Montgomery (Adrian Ingram's, for example) stress his use of minor lines over dominant chords. (In other words, thinking of, say, D- for ii and the V7 chord in C. That is the simplest example.)

    Werner Poehlert talks about how much modern / mainstream jazz (-he was writing a few decades back now) works off the minor 7th chord shape. (Curiously, he refers to this as the "reed style" as opposed to "horn-like".) He argues that this approach is rooted in the guitar's design and that it is something players might well work out (to some extent at least) on their own without thinking of it as anything special but rather "just the way I play." Poehlert's books are interesting because they are chock-a-block with diagrams, many for piano and many for guitar and bass. (He played guitar but his material, esp "Basic Harmony", is not just for the guitar. Though he does use tab because he a big part of the approach is built upon specific fingerings.)

    A few common examples: using Dm7 over both the ii and V in C. More interestingly, Dm7 over the ii, Fm7 over the G7 and Em7 over the C. (It gets way more involved than this, but if you get this much out of it, you'll be glad you took the time.)


    There is much more to the approach than I have said here. I'm curious about it and wonder what others have discovered (or learned) about it. Also, who else teaches this approach?
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I use this a great deal, I worked it out years ago. Not from Martino but by playing around with it.

    As you say, most chords can be translated into minor forms. For example FM7 = Am, F6 = Dm, FM7#11 = Em, and so on. Gm7 is Gm and so is C7 - unless you want a b9 sound in which case Bbm, or alt sound in which case C#m.

    One has to be aware whether a minor shape needs a Phrygian, Dorian or melodic minor treatment. Am for FM7, for example, is Phrygian because of the natural F and Bb. Bbm and C#m should be played as melodic minors.

    M7b5s are played with the minor off the 3rd, so Gm7b5 = Bbm (melodic). So Gm7b5 - C7alt - Fm7 = Bb mel - C#m mel - Fm.

    The advantage is that they're very easy to play and remember. Also one can introduce blues sounds easily. They're also easy to shift and double up, like Gm/Bbm - Am for C7 - F.

    This doesn't mean one never plays dominant chords/sounds either, it's what fits best at the time. Also, there aren't really any minor subs per se for diminished and augmented sounds, although one can use b9 and alt sounds in the right places.

  4. #3

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    Pretty sure every jazz guitarist comes to the point where they finally do the exercise of looking at harmonies which the major and minor triads may express within different contexts... one notices triads serving various harmonic roles from learning and playing tunes. Which context list do you think has the more harmonies one uses the most in jazz?


    D F# A contexts:


    D
    A#+M7
    C#sus4#5addb9
    F#m#5
    C6sus2b5
    F6addb9
    Bm7
    GM7sus2
    E9sus4
    D#mM#11
    A13sus4
    AM13sus4




    D F A contexts:


    Dm
    C#+addb2
    Asus4#5
    F6
    C6sus2sus4
    Bm7b5
    G7sus2
    E7b9sus4
    A#M7
    F#mM7#5
    D#M#11sus2
    AMb13sus4
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  5. #4

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    I thought there would be more interest in this. O, well. I've been wrong before!
    "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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    I find superimposing triads and 4 note chords to be a lot more useful than true "minorization," which always comes out noodly in my hands...

    but I suspect it's not the fault of the method
    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

  7. #6

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    Barry Greene teaches the minor approach, and I believe he got it from Pat Martino.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I thought there would be more interest in this. O, well. I've been wrong before!

    I'm interested, but there isn't that much to say about it.


    Steve Khan makes passing mention of using a Dorian based approach in his 'Pentatonic Khancepts' book, but he doesn't go into any detail. Of course he's also associated with Martino, having put out his own book of Martino transcriptions.

    Jimmy Bruno was pushing Dorian fingerings before he became anti-mode. But that was only over the ii V stuff he was using to teach, not in any "convert everything to minor" context.

    Many players reference minor pentatonic when it comes to superimposing over chords (E minor pentatonic over Cmaj7 etc.). Khan does in his book. I've seen stuff by Frank Gambale and Scott Henderson doing the same. That's probably outside the idea of "minor conversion" or "minor approach" though. It's probably closer to what most guys do with arpeggios.


    I was originally attracted to the idea because I've spent so much time playing Dorian based stuff over blues influenced rock that it seemed like a doorway into jazz fusion style playing. I'm not sure if that way of thinking is holding up over time for me though. I keep finding myself wanting to approach things based on the root of the chord rather than converting.

    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry View Post
    I'm interested, but there isn't that much to say about it.
    Don't tell Werner Poehlert! His "Basic Harmony" runs over 500 pages and this is a big part of it. His "Basic Mediantic" book (based on the more thorough "Basic Harmony") is about 150 pages.

    Poehlert wrote in German and the English translation may be accurate but it is unidiomatic. A few central concepts: "Permanent-Fifth Descent & its Re-interpretations", "Unity of Material & Movement, "Unity (Fusion) of Major & Minor", "Unity of the Fifth & the Half-Step" and "Fifth-descent within one chord."

    Both books are out of print and used copies can run a few hundred bucks. Too rich for my blood. I have them from the library (inter-library loan) and have made some progress but had to return the shorter book already and only have the longer one for anoter week or so. (Plenty enough time to read a 500-page book but nowhere near long enough to absorb such content as this, esp it requires a lot of experimentation on one's instrument.)


    By the way, the use of minor shapes is based on convenience of FINGERING. It's not an attempt to make everything sound minor. (Not saying you said that but it's a common misconception.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Don't tell Werner Poehlert! His "Basic Harmony" runs over 500 pages and this is a big part of it. His "Basic Mediantic" book (based on the more thorough "Basic Harmony") is about 150 pages.



    I should have said, "I don't have much I can say about it."



    By the way, the use of minor shapes is based on convenience of FINGERING. It's not an attempt to make everything sound minor. (Not saying you said that but it's a common misconception.)

    I wonder how much of that drives even Martino's approach. I seems like in the end you're just thinking about what to play over x chord.

    I was just checking out some of Dana Rasch's stuff and he insists that you need to base everything off of the major and dominant pentatonic. Those two scales get fleshed out to become the major scale and the Lydian Dominant scale. Then you memorize all these formulas for applying the stuff. Over an altered dominant, for example, you play Lydian dominant up a b5th. How is that any better than playing melodic minor up a 1/2 step... or just learning the altered scale over the chord?

    If you're playing the scale all over the fingerboard, anyway, what you call it is just mental gymnastics. Instead of learning two ways to play the same set of notes, you've learned one way plus a formula you have to remember and learn to apply plus you still have to associate the notes you're playing with the chord you're playing it over.


    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  11. #10

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    Minor pentatonics over everything...


  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry View Post
    I should have said, "I don't have much I can say about it."

    I wonder how much of that drives even Martino's approach. I seems like in the end you're just thinking about what to play over x chord.
    For Poehlert, the same "mediant" (basic mediant or blues mediant, two different-- though related--things) can be used over several chord changes, so you have LESS to think about.

    Pat Martino's lines work this way. The first "activity" in Pat Martino's book "Linear Expressions" is a line based on a Gm7 shape at the 3rd fret. It's related to Bb Major. But you can play the line, as is, over the opening ii-V-I of the bridge to "Satin Doll" (G-, C7, FM7). It not only works, it sounds very good. It doesn't sound like a rudimentary exercise either, it's really good stuff.

    Also, and this is something Poehlert talks about but I haven't heard anyone else talk about, the way the mediants relate to one another makes it easy to shift from one to another.

    A simple example.
    For Dm7 / G7 / CM7 you can play Am7 over all three. This will keep you from making any mistakes but it won't be the most grabby stuff.
    You can also play: Dm7 (that mediant, which is, for Poehlert, a D minor pentatonic: D- F-G-A- C-D) over the Dm7 and G7 chord and then Em7 over the CM7. The move from Dm7 to Em7 is a short distance, a simple shift.

    You can also do Dm7 over the Dm7, Fm7 over the G7 and then Em7 over the CM7. That move from Fm7 to Em7 is also easy. It lays out nicely on the guitar. (The moves from mediant-to-mediant in jazz standards tend to be smaller than the moves from root to root. Also, one mediant may be used over several chords.)

    Many more complicated progressions allow for similar movements. (Actually, Poehlert seems to think that progressions that may look complicated are actually simple progressions disguised via common substitutions.)

    The goal in the end is to have what Poehlert calls the "chamelon scale" (all 12 notes) available in any situation, and to be able to move effortlessly from one to another as the harmony of a tune shifts.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Minor pentatonics over everything...

    That's what I'm talkin' about! Thanks, Cosmic.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    That's what I'm talkin' about! Thanks, Cosmic.
    Vic's example is easier to grasp if played more schematically, at least at first. He's already a few extra steps ahead from the beginning, so it helps to backup and grasp just how the mechanics drive the results.

    Pentatonics by their very nature and structure tend to be kind of "angular" sounding, often the entry for a "fusion" sound in jazz. You can take advantage of this by playing them more schematically, as a motif, in order to better hear how the individual notes' roles are being changed with respect to the fingering positions.

    Also helps to have an actual song with which one is familiar and within which it is easier to hear and recognize what is going on in the interaction between the shifty pents and the progression harmony.

    Take the bridge of Masquerade from the Ebm7...

    (leading in with Fm7 - Edimb6)

    Ebm7 - D9#11 - Dbmaj7 - Bb(13)
    Ebm7 - D9#11 - Dbmaj7 - Dbmaj7

    Dm7 - Db(9#11) - Cmaj7 - Cmaj7
    G7sus4b5 - G7b13#9 - C7b13 - E7b13#9

    The shifty pents played schematically here means simply descending arps to clearly sound the notes. Don't try to assign anything to the pent notes, just play the pattern (ignore that Bb minor pent has a tonic of Bb, start the motif from the top of the fingering pattern, Db... sounds hard headed but you'll see why in a moment)

    Ebm7 play Bb minor pent descending from Db
    D9#11 play B minor pent descending from D
    Dbmaj7 play C minor pent descending from Eb
    Bb(13) play Db minor pent descending from E

    You should hear something "coming"... by the second Ebm7 with the top starting notes of each arp having chromatically ascending up to E...

    That second Ebm7 really wants to hear something falling from the F...
    F Db Bb Gb (Fmaj7)
    ... then the D9#11 wants to hear something falling from the E...
    E C A Gb
    ... then the Dbmaj7 wants to hear from the Eb...
    Eb C Ab F

    Then when the whole thing shifts down to Dm7... shift what you just did down as well.

    Dm7 so E C A F
    Db(9#11) so Eb B Ab F
    Cmaj7 so D B G E

    This sounds so natural because by starting the shifty pents schematic, they automatically reveal the chromatic lines, which then emerge to take on their own melodic relationship to the progression harmony, and so induce you to hear "what's coming" and push the motif out of the pents altogether to learn something new and powerful.
    Last edited by pauln; 04-27-2019 at 01:17 PM.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  15. #14

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    Emily Remler minorized everything. She's talks about it in her jazz and Latin improvisation dvd in a very easy to understand way.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    For Poehlert, the same "mediant" (basic mediant or blues mediant, two different-- though related--things) can be used over several chord changes, so you have LESS to think about.

    Could you give Poehlert's definition of mediant? I'm having trouble parsing that term with any meaning I know for it in this context.



    Pat Martino's lines work this way. The first "activity" in Pat Martino's book "Linear Expressions" is a line based on a Gm7 shape at the 3rd fret. It's related to Bb Major. But you can play the line, as is, over the opening ii-V-I of the bridge to "Satin Doll" (G-, C7, FM7). It not only works, it sounds very good. It doesn't sound like a rudimentary exercise either, it's really good stuff.

    I think his lines in the book work over the ii and the V, but I don't agree they work over the I. They sort-of work played off the major 3rd over maj7 chords and don't work well at all played off the major 6th of a maj7 chord (the other option he suggests). This is just my opinion of course based off of a lot of me trying his lines over various static chords and chord progressions.

    I haven't had a chance to go through his video examples where he plays lines over actual chord progressions.


    Also, and this is something Poehlert talks about but I haven't heard anyone else talk about, the way the mediants relate to one another makes it easy to shift from one to another.

    Again, not sure I get the meaning of mediant, here. Can you clarify?



    A simple example.
    For Dm7 / G7 / CM7 you can play Am7 over all three. This will keep you from making any mistakes but it won't be the most grabby stuff.

    You can also play: Dm7 (that mediant, which is, for Poehlert, a D minor pentatonic: D- F-G-A- C-D) over the Dm7 and G7 chord and then Em7 over the CM7. The move from Dm7 to Em7 is a short distance, a simple shift.

    I agree in principle. My point was that you can just as easily, or even more easily, play C major scale over all three chords and not have to do any converting or shifting.


    You can also do Dm7 over the Dm7, Fm7 over the G7 and then Em7 over the CM7. That move from Fm7 to Em7 is also easy. It lays out nicely on the guitar. (The moves from mediant-to-mediant in jazz standards tend to be smaller than the moves from root to root. Also, one mediant may be used over several chords.)
    This coincides with Martino's having you work 'up a minor 3rd down a minor 2nd' chord cycles in his line studies.


    Many more complicated progressions allow for similar movements. (Actually, Poehlert seems to think that progressions that may look complicated are actually simple progressions disguised via common substitutions.)

    This is probably more where my interest lies. I'm not really interested in playing over ii V I progressions. I'm more attracted to Martino's basing everything off of diminished and augmented chords than his minor conversion at this point. I'm attracted to symmetrical ideas.


    The goal in the end is to have what Poehlert calls the "chamelon scale" (all 12 notes) available in any situation, and to be able to move effortlessly from one to another as the harmony of a tune shifts.

    I can agree with this in principle as well... many paths to the same destination. I'm trying to figure out for myself whether this type of stuff has any real advantage or if it's just another way of looking at things.

    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Minor pentatonics over everything...


    Scofield touches on this same pentatonic move in one of his earlier videos, except he's using it over a ii V I in G. (A minor over Amin7, Bb minor over D7 and B minor over Gmaj7)

    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Minor pentatonics over everything...

    This is one of the best short video lessons I ever saw. Kudos to Vic Juris.

    He explains clearly and simply how to get some classic sounds.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry View Post
    Could you give Poehlert's definition of mediant? I'm having trouble parsing that term with any meaning I know for it in this context... Again, not sure I get the meaning of mediant, here. Can you clarify?
    The usual way is to show like this:

    do = tonic

    re = supertonic
    mi = mediant
    fa = subdominant
    so = dominant
    la = submediant
    ti = leading tone
    do = tonic

    Unfortunately that way makes it look like subdominant is so called because it is the one just below dominant with respect to pitch. Looking at mediant and submediant you can see that is not why, but most people know about dominant and subdominant before they know about mediant and submediant, so the error is easy to make.

    The whole thing makes more sense if instead of a tonic to tonic way of looking at it one instead puts the tonic in the middle, reverses the order, and looks at everything in relation to the tonic.

    so = dominant
    fa = subdominant
    mi = mediant
    re = supertonic
    do = tonic
    ti = leading tone
    la = submediant

    so = dominant
    fa = subdominant

    In relation to the tonic:

    the dominant is the fifth above
    the subdominant is the fifth below

    the mediant is the third above
    the submediant is the third below

    the super tonic is the second above
    the leading tone is just a suggestive name for the second below
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    The usual way is to show like this:

    do = tonic

    re = supertonic
    mi = mediant
    fa = subdominant
    so = dominant
    la = submediant
    ti = leading tone
    do = tonic

    Unfortunately that way makes it look like subdominant is so called because it is the one just below dominant with respect to pitch. Looking at mediant and submediant you can see that is not why, but most people know about dominant and subdominant before they know about mediant and submediant, so the error is easy to make.

    The whole thing makes more sense if instead of a tonic to tonic way of looking at it one instead puts the tonic in the middle, reverses the order, and looks at everything in relation to the tonic.

    so = dominant
    fa = subdominant
    mi = mediant
    re = supertonic
    do = tonic
    ti = leading tone
    la = submediant

    so = dominant
    fa = subdominant

    In relation to the tonic:

    the dominant is the fifth above
    the subdominant is the fifth below

    the mediant is the third above
    the submediant is the third below

    the super tonic is the second above
    the leading tone is just a suggestive name for the second below


    I'm well aware of all that, but I can't seem to make any sense of the statements made regarding the same mediant applied to various progressions, or basic mediant vs. blues mediant.

    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry View Post
    I'm well aware of all that, but I can't seem to make any sense of the statements made regarding the same mediant applied to various progressions, or basic mediant vs. blues mediant.

    .
    Maybe in reference to what the theorists call mediant mixture... has to do with the modern use of both the major third and minor third, together, in songs - like using the minor third in the melody line with the major third in the chord harmony, and then this analysis extends to include the blue notes (microtonal).

    Or maybe since we construct major chords as a minor 3rd over a major 3rd, Poehlert is noticing this and using the word "mediant" to describe the connection between major and the minor up a major third?
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  22. #21

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    Actually I would not call it a minor approach.... superimposition is kind of local thing... when you think of superimposing one chord over anotehr to get extensions and alterations...

    But minor for me is relationship... specific movement and voice-leading dofferent from major.

    I do nto know much about Pat Martino's approach but from what I heard he is a bit deeper into real minor than just superimposition



    A few common examples: using Dm7 over both the ii and V in C. More interestingly, Dm7 over the ii, Fm7 over the G7 and Em7 over the C. (It gets way more involved than this, but if you get this much out of it, you'll be glad you took the time.)
    I do not see it as a minor approach. Superimposition. And in that context it does not matter for me if it is minor or major chord... I would not cathegorize it that way.

    For example playing line based on

    Dm7 - Bm7b5 - Am7 over G7-C quite common

    Dm7-E7-Am over Dm7-G7-C

    Dm7 - B7 -E7 over Fm7 - Bb7

    It may be only B7 over Fm7 I am just writing the whole thing to show where it comes from...

    Basically it is superimposition too, but on the key level not just one chord.

  23. #22

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    Simplification is a great concept and technique but don’t let it prevent you from doing the work of learning all and everything you should know about how every chord is constructed. You should know every note that makes up any particular chord, and which diatonic major, minor, and half diminished triad is built off of every note in that chord. Don’t let the concept of “minorizing” be an excuse for limiting more thorough knowledge of harmony. You should just as soundly know how to apply major triads and 7th chords over minor chords.
    I suggest the OP check out Garrison Fewell’s JazzGuitar Improvisation: A Melodic Approach.
    Ignorance is agony.



  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    You should just as soundly know how to apply major triads and 7th chords over minor chords.
    Absolutely. Minorisation (or whatever one calls it) is just one tool among many. It's not supposed to be just a quick 'n easy way to play solos. And it's not that quick 'n easy either :-)

    But it doesn't surprise me at all that so many well-known players have used it. It is pretty useful.

  25. #24

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    How would you apply the pentatonic approach to, say,

    E7, A7, D7, G7?

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    How would you apply the pentatonic approach to, say,

    E7, A7, D7, G7?
    Em blues over the whole lot. But it would depend on the situation.


  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    How would you apply the pentatonic approach to, say,

    E7, A7, D7, G7?
    If you want to play with the minorization idea, minor pents all the way... mix and match:

    E7 - Eminpent, Bminpent, Dbminpent, Gbminpent
    A7 - Bminpent, Cminpent, Abminpent, Gbminpent
    D7 - Dbminpent, Gbminpent, Aminpent, Bminpent
    G7 - Dminpent, Gbminpent, Bminpent, Eminpent

    But it's not going to sound good until you begin to hear how the pents relate to the standard jazz sounds.

    Standard sound is more like:

    E7 - going up E G B D F->F# A
    A7 - going down F C# A# G
    D7 - going up D F# A C# D#->E
    G7 - going down E D C# B A F E D

    To get the pents to sound right you have to find the ones that resemble or approximate their more jazz sounding counterparts, then experiment with them to find which of the notes are contributing to that sound... there is an intuitive aspect to it, you have some room between inside and outside sounding lines, and fortunately most of us are well familiar with the sound and mechanics of pents, so some experimentation pays off right away.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry View Post
    Could you give Poehlert's definition of mediant? I'm having trouble parsing that term with any meaning I know for it in this context.
    You ask a lot of questions, all good, but this weekend is nuts for me and I do not have time to do them justice. But I don't want to seem to be ignoring you.

    The first meaning of 'mediant' is middle. So Em would be the mediant of C major. (C = C E G; Em = E G B). That would be the 'basic mediant' or 'mediantic.' There is also the 'blues mediantic". For G7 (G B D F) it is, as Poehlert puts it, "Fm7 in its pentatonic surround" (F Ab Bb C Eb, giving one the b7 b9 b3 11 and #5 of G7) I wish he had chosen another term but he did not.

    Two things that are a very big deal to him. One, he thinks the great blues and jazz musicians of the early 20th century figured out (on their instruments and in their playing) the solution to something that had bothered composers since Wagner, "The crisis of the late romantic harmony." (I have no idea what that means, but Poehlert's "Basic Harmony" is not just jazz harmony; he sees it as the tying together of the whole she-bang, from monophony to Charlie Parker.) Two, the use of minor 7 chords (in their pentatonic surrounding) as a framework for improvisation was something "players of the authentic Modern Jazz and Mainstream often used." That is, it was common practice among notable pros, not a simplistic work-around for novices.

    He thinks if a novice uses these shapes and diagonal connections that they can sound polised much more quickly than with a chord-scale approach. (He doesn't seem to care for that or think that most of the great jazz innovators went about it that way.) But his claim that great players were actually DOING this is someting else. (I don't know enough to say one way or the other.)

    He thinks working with one type or one structure (the minor 7 chord in its pentatonic surrounding) allows one to develop "one consistent Basic Technique." I think that could be esp useful on the guitar, where there are so many different ways to play things. Having a "default" (as Reg calls it) seems like a good idea to me.

    But I haven't been working with this long enough to make a serious judgment about it. I can say that I wish a new, more idiomatic English translation would be made.

    More soon. Crazy weekend here. (Not bad crazy, just relentless.)
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  29. #28

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    [QUOTE=pauln;950334]If you want to play with the minorization idea, minor pents all the way... mix and match:

    E7 - Eminpent, Bminpent, Dbminpent, Gbminpent
    A7 - Bminpent, Cminpent, Abminpent, Gbminpent
    D7 - Dbminpent, Gbminpent, Aminpent, Bminpent
    G7 - Dminpent, Gbminpent, Bminpent, Eminpent

    The D7 and G7 take minor pentatonics built from 3 5 nat7 and 13.

    The E7 and A7 are each different.

    How do you arrive at these particular choices?

  30. #29

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    [QUOTE=rpjazzguitar;950355]
    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    If you want to play with the minorization idea, minor pents all the way... mix and match:

    E7 - Eminpent, Bminpent, Dbminpent, Gbminpent
    A7 - Bminpent, Cminpent, Abminpent, Gbminpent
    D7 - Dbminpent, Gbminpent, Aminpent, Bminpent
    G7 - Dminpent, Gbminpent, Bminpent, Eminpent

    The D7 and G7 take minor pentatonics built from 3 5 nat7 and 13.

    The E7 and A7 are each different.

    How do you arrive at these particular choices?
    By ear, same as everything else I do in music, based on how it sounds. The four chords are playing different roles so they don't necessarily share the same relative pents, and I didn't try to exhaust all possibilities. Main point was if you want to use pents, there are lots of perspectives to explore.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    You ask a lot of questions, all good, but this weekend is nuts for me and I do not have time to do them justice. But I don't want to seem to be ignoring you.

    The first meaning of 'mediant' is middle. So Em would be the mediant of C major. (C = C E G; Em = E G B). That would be the 'basic mediant' or 'mediantic.' There is also the 'blues mediantic". For G7 (G B D F) it is, as Poehlert puts it, "Fm7 in its pentatonic surround" (F Ab Bb C Eb, giving one the b7 b9 b3 11 and #5 of G7) I wish he had chosen another term but he did not.

    Two things that are a very big deal to him. One, he thinks the great blues and jazz musicians of the early 20th century figured out (on their instruments and in their playing) the solution to something that had bothered composers since Wagner, "The crisis of the late romantic harmony." (I have no idea what that means, but Poehlert's "Basic Harmony" is not just jazz harmony; he sees it as the tying together of the whole she-bang, from monophony to Charlie Parker.) Two, the use of minor 7 chords (in their pentatonic surrounding) as a framework for improvisation was something "players of the authentic Modern Jazz and Mainstream often used." That is, it was common practice among notable pros, not a simplistic work-around for novices.

    He thinks if a novice uses these shapes and diagonal connections that they can sound polised much more quickly than with a chord-scale approach. (He doesn't seem to care for that or think that most of the great jazz innovators went about it that way.) But his claim that great players were actually DOING this is someting else. (I don't know enough to say one way or the other.)

    He thinks working with one type or one structure (the minor 7 chord in its pentatonic surrounding) allows one to develop "one consistent Basic Technique." I think that could be esp useful on the guitar, where there are so many different ways to play things. Having a "default" (as Reg calls it) seems like a good idea to me.

    But I haven't been working with this long enough to make a serious judgment about it. I can say that I wish a new, more idiomatic English translation would be made.

    More soon. Crazy weekend here. (Not bad crazy, just relentless.)


    No worries. I know you have your hands full. I was just hoping my post didn't get lost in the shuffle.

    .
    The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar; now that's my idea of a good time - Frank Zappa

  32. #31

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    rpjazzguitar -

    If you meant literally E7-A7-D7-G7 or E7/A7 - D7/G7 then it's almost certainly a run-down to C major. You could cover the whole lot with a nice end-lick ending up on the C.

    If you insist on playing a different pentatonic over each chord you're going to find it very difficult and it's almost certainly not worth the effort. It also tends to sound odd because you're drifting in and out of key just when the ear says 'I want to hear C'.

    Up to you though. Personally I like Em because Em is the pentatonic for CM7. Am works too, especially with blue notes.

  33. #32

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    I like the minor pentatonic with a major 6 for dominants

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    For Poehlert, the same "mediant" (basic mediant or blues mediant, two different-- though related--things) can be used over several chord changes, so you have LESS to think about.

    Pat Martino's lines work this way. The first "activity" in Pat Martino's book "Linear Expressions" is a line based on a Gm7 shape at the 3rd fret. It's related to Bb Major. But you can play the line, as is, over the opening ii-V-I of the bridge to "Satin Doll" (G-, C7, FM7). It not only works, it sounds very good. It doesn't sound like a rudimentary exercise either, it's really good stuff.

    Also, and this is something Poehlert talks about but I haven't heard anyone else talk about, the way the mediants relate to one another makes it easy to shift from one to another.

    A simple example.
    For Dm7 / G7 / CM7 you can play Am7 over all three. This will keep you from making any mistakes but it won't be the most grabby stuff.
    You can also play: Dm7 (that mediant, which is, for Poehlert, a D minor pentatonic: D- F-G-A- C-D) over the Dm7 and G7 chord and then Em7 over the CM7. The move from Dm7 to Em7 is a short distance, a simple shift.

    You can also do Dm7 over the Dm7, Fm7 over the G7 and then Em7 over the CM7. That move from Fm7 to Em7 is also easy. It lays out nicely on the guitar. (The moves from mediant-to-mediant in jazz standards tend to be smaller than the moves from root to root. Also, one mediant may be used over several chords.)

    Many more complicated progressions allow for similar movements. (Actually, Poehlert seems to think that progressions that may look complicated are actually simple progressions disguised via common substitutions.)

    The goal in the end is to have what Poehlert calls the "chamelon scale" (all 12 notes) available in any situation, and to be able to move effortlessly from one to another as the harmony of a tune shifts.
    i find poehlert's approach problematic for two reasons:

    -i don't think he ever studied jazz seriously. he was mainly a baroque/pre-classical player who got involved in some mjq type of music with w lauth in the 50s. in the 80s he claimed to be some sort of flagbearer for the "authentic jazz". which he wasn't.

    -there is a hidden political agenda, which is not helpful.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    i find poehlert's approach problematic for two reasons:

    -i don't think he ever studied jazz seriously. he was mainly a baroque/pre-classical player who got involved in some mjq type of music with w lauth in the 50s. in the 80s he claimed to be some sort of flagbearer for the "authentic jazz". which he wasn't.

    -there is a hidden political agenda, which is not helpful.
    I find it problematic because I'm not sure I understand it! I don't know about the hidden political agenda.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  36. #35

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    Not sure of the interest but this is how I use minors, pents, blues, etc. I worked up a Bossa progression based entirely on dom chords (any resemblance to Satin Doll is entirely fortuitous).

    D9 - % - E9 - %
    A13 - Ab13 - G6 - Eb9
    D9 - % - E9 - %
    A13 - Ab13 - G6 - %

    G13 - % - C69 - %
    A13 - % - D9 - Eb9
    D9 - % - E9 - %
    A13 - Ab13 - G6 - %

    I just played it how I would ordinarily and captioned in what I did (it's take one). The Gbm is an alt sub for Eb9.

    Had I done more choruses I'd have branched out a bit from this. You can always slide a ii sub up a tone, so F#m - Fm over A13/Ab13 would have sounded even better than Em - Ebm.



    PS. It's harder than it looks :-)

  37. #36

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    Here's one more using what I said, the ii sub moved up a tone. I think the F#m - Fm sounds better than the Em - Ebm - although those are the 'correct' ii of V subs.

    These videos are only demos. It's all very basic for demo purposes. These tricks can be used in any style - swing, funk, bebop, standards, etc, doesn't have to be Bossa.


  38. #37

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    Haven't followed the early posts.I have no idea WTF you guys are talking about, but my very simple approach to minor conversion stems from things I seen jazz players doing on records...

    So you have two types of minor chord, right - fake minor (m7) and real minor (m6)

    So m7 - that works great on lame-ass chords chords. Cos it's fake.

    Major - on C major, Em7 and Am7 - iii and vi subs. Major third up or minor third down.
    7Sus4 - on G7sus4 - Dm7 - ii-V relationship. Fifth up.

    General principle - Cmaj7, Em7, Am7 and Dsus4 are all the same thing.

    Real minor works just great on most of the cool chords

    Half diminished - On Bm7b5 use Dm6. m7b5 is an inversion of m6. Minor third up.
    Dominant - On G7 use Dm6. ii-V relationship. Fifth up.
    Altered Dominant - On G7alt use Abm6. Altered relationship. Half step up.

    General principle - Dm6, Bm7b5, G7 and Db7b9b13 are the same thing.

    Also dim7's are handled with dim7's but can be replaced with minor (fake or real) when soloing. There also diminished symmetry which is one for another day.

    There are obviously many other applications, but these basics are pretty robust and useful. Everyone uses at least some of this shit. Django, Charlie, Bird, and everyone after.

    In terms of scales... Well... Apart form the iii on major thing, but everything can be handled with dorian for fake minor and melodic minor - real minor, and you will sound like you know scales. I like using pentatonic on fake minor and minor pent 6 on real minor.

    At some point the distinction between fake and real minor got eroded. In practice you can do the same thing, play fake on real, real on fake. In practice, you can use melodic and dorian interchangeably by ear. I blame Wes.

    So, here's some stuff on a tune....

    Rhythm Changes A
    Bb6 / Gm7 / Cm7 / F7 / Dm7 / G7 / Cm7 / F7 /
    Gm7 Cm7 / Cm6 / Dm7 / Dm6 / Cm7 / Cm6 /
    Fm7 / Bb7 / Eb6 / Ab7 / Dm7 / G7 / Cm7 / F7 /
    Fm7 / Fm6 / Eb6 / Ebm6 / Dm7 / Dm6 / Cm7 / Cm6 /

    Or (as a loose outline)
    Bb6 / Gm7 / Cm7 / F7 / Dm7 / G7 / Cm7 / F7 /
    Gm Cm Dm Cm
    Fm7 / Bb7 / Eb7 Dm7 / G7 / Cm7 / F7 /
    Fm Bbm Dm Cm

    You can also have:

    Rhythm Changes A - altered doms
    Bb6 / Gm7 / Cm7 / F7 / Dm7 / G7 / Cm7 / F7 /
    Gm7 Cm7 / Gbm6 / Dm7 / Abm6 / Cm7 / Gbm6 /
    Fm7 / Bb7 / Eb6 / Ab7 / Dm7 / G7 / Cm7 / F7 /
    Fm7 / Bm6 / Eb6 / Am6 / Dm7 / Abm6 / Cm7 / Gbm6 /

    And appreciate how the altered dominant is just a tritone away.

    I find this type of thinking helpful sometimes. However if you play m7/m6 all the time you will sound like a jazz textbook.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-30-2019 at 05:09 PM.

  39. #38

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    I have no idea WTF you guys are talking about
    I know, we can tell :-)

  40. #39

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    Eb6 to Ab7.

    Typo?

    I didn't follow the "fake" vs "real" minor terminology, but the rest looked straightforward enough.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Eb6 to Ab7.

    Typo?

    I didn't follow the "fake" vs "real" minor terminology, but the rest looked straightforward enough.
    No it's not a typo. That's one variant of rhythm changes.
    EDIT: oh I misunderstood. Yes, indeed.

    Yeah, was just trying to make it fun and a bit silly. But that is actually how I view it, and there's some reasoning behind it.

    m7 is a predominant chord really, it didn't get used much as a tonic minor sound before modal jazz. m6 is one of true tonic minor sounds. Barry Harris doesn't even consider m7 chords to be minor, but inversions of 6 chords.

    Minor pentatonic isn't true minor either BTW. It can work in more modern music of course but I'm talking about the tradition here. I believe this is what Martino is fundamentally based on, might be wrong, but I get that impression from what I've seen. He's a bebop cat, all said and done.

  42. #41

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    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  43. #42

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    Mark -

    But playing fill-in lines over shapes and arpeggios isn't really minorisation. Minorisation is what you said at the beginning -

    (In other words, thinking of, say, D- for ii and the V7 chord in C. That is the simplest example.)

    A few common examples: using Dm7 over both the ii and V in C. More interestingly, Dm7 over the ii, Fm7 over the G7 and Em7 over the C.
    That's what we've been discussing, I believe. Of course, one can also do the fills on the subbed chords too, that expands it a bit.

    Or am I missing something?