The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Does this C#°7 mean m7b5? The A natural in the melody and the 7 make me think it’s a m7b5 notated poorly.

    How Insensitive-15105f3b-54b7-44a6-bf82-d7e19d8079a0-jpg
    Last edited by AllanAllen; 11-25-2022 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Delete

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  3. #2

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    Nevermind. Bbb is A.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    Does this C#°7 mean m7b5? The A natural in the melody and the 7 make me think it’s a m7b5 notated poorly.

    How Insensitive-15105f3b-54b7-44a6-bf82-d7e19d8079a0-jpg
    It’s a C#o7addb13. Pretty common chord actually, usually the b13 is a suspension from the previous chord (usually the fifth of a minor a half step higher.) See last 8 of Tea for Two, All the Things You Are etc, but those cases the note resolves down a step. Here it remains as an embellished pedal tone through the first four chords finally moving down to the G decisively on the G7/B.

    Ive noticed in most charts additional notes in dim chords aren’t indicated in the chord symbol. There’s probably a reason for this, not sure what it is though. Maybe just ease of reading… it’s why it’s always good to look at the melody, so nice one.

  5. #4

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    Or, if you wanna look at what it "really" is - it's an A7b9/C#, but the melody being A (1). So put the b9 an octave below and it will give you that nice maj7 sound in your voicing... (say Bb C# E A). Diminished chords tend to be dominant chords in disguise.

    This tune is actually inspired by Chopin's prelude in E minor.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    It’s a C#o7addb13.
    Interesting! I’ve always thought of it as an inverted A7 with the root in the melody above the rest of the chord. When I play it solo, I often add a B and Bb to it to resolve to A and tie the melody to the next chord (Cm6).

  7. #6

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    Really what the song is doing (in D minor) is going

    Dm - A7 - Cm - G7

    But it's played as

    Dm9 - A7b9 - Cm6 - G7

    To get the descending bass line from D to Bb that becomes

    Dm9 - A7b9/C# - Cm6 - G7/B
    BbM7 -

    But there's no root on the A7b9/C# so it's fingered the same as a C#o:

    x4535x

    hence the confusion. But the melody note is A. That's why it works.

    (If it was taken as an A9, and therefore played as C#m7b5, it doesn't sound right. If you play/sing it you'll hear that).

  8. #7

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    I see here the same chord like the 2nd chord used in Corcovado:
    Here

    9 x 8 9 10 x

    You may give that chord multiple names. It sounds nice with eyery name.

  9. #8

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    This is a good one to hear the bass clearly. Different key starting in Am. Bass notes | A E | A E | G# E | G# E | . In Dm that transposes to | D A | D A | C# A | C# A | . Because that bass line sounds good, I'm going with the second chord being A7b9/C# (in the key of Dm).


  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    But there's no root on the A7b9/C#
    Actually, there is a root - it's the melody note. That's why I look at the chord as an inversion of A7. The 3rd is the lowest note in the chord, and it's in the descending bass line. with the 7th above it and the root A on top, it's a lovely voicing. For more texture and a moving line that complements the bass line, I add a B to it in the 3rd bar (which adds a 9th to the inversion) and drop it to a Bb in the 4th bar. The flat 9 flows / resolves into the Cm6 of the 5th bar.

  11. #10
    I think the A melody works fine over a C#dim, and it doesn't need to be in the chord IMHO. Playing chord melody, I use a Gb7#9/C#, which just adds the melody note but the harmony is essentially the same.

  12. #11

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    Dominant shmoninant. It’s a lamento with chromatic inner voice leading. :-)

    In seriousness the number of tunes that stay on the 5 of the key (A in this case) while the bass goes down in half steps is crazy. The chords can vary quite a bit, but this is a common formula in composition. The second chord is often A7/C# in fact, or Dm(maj7) depending on how you invert it
    Last edited by Christian Miller; 11-26-2022 at 01:18 PM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Interesting! I’ve always thought of it as an inverted A7 with the root in the melody above the rest of the chord. When I play it solo, I often add a B and Bb to it to resolve to A and tie the melody to the next chord (Cm6).
    Yeah I mean that works too. Hotel California innit (well that goes to major in bar 3, but same sort of thing)

    tbh I tend not to see dims that resolve down a half step as Dominant function chords so much. Plus hanging out in the eighteenth century had made me allergic to the concept of inversions and chord roots… but not invertible counterpoint… go figure lol

    Anyway the most important compositional elements here is the melody and the bass line.

    Soloing wise, I would play C7 down to the C# (3rd of A7b9) so … yeah?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Actually, there is a root - it's the melody note.
    I know, I said that.

    But there's no root on the A7b9/C# so it's fingered the same as a C#o:

    x4535x

    hence the confusion. But the melody note is A. That's why it works.
    Bound to if the voicing is a rootless A7b9 (not really a diminished chord).

  15. #14

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    The root is in the A7b9/C#, the bass player plays the root (C# A| C# A|) and it's in the melody.

  16. #15

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    I think it depends what you want to see in a chart. I’m easy. But I do think you very often see this note on what is ostensibly a biiio7 chord…

    for me, identifying the chord as an A7b9/C# is a bit confusing from a voicing perspective seeing as one would usually expect to see the b9 as an upper extension of the chord rather than hanging out in the middle. There’s part of my primitive brain that expects a Bb on top of that bastard rather than in the middle.

    inversions of extended chords tend to be a bit … Lage Lund? So we can permutate, say, x 12 11 12 11 x but that’s not a conventional harmonic operation.

    Just call it a C#o7 and let the melody do its thing. If you are used to seeing a dim in that position in the key, a possible A on top shouldn’t be surprising. As I say loads of standards do that.

    You do see A13b9 6 x 5 6 7 c written as A13b9 in Gypsy jazz charts, but the bass often plays A here.

    I mean a lot of people don’t know what to do with a dim so maybe it helps to see a dom7 chord.

    In terms of soloing, I do tend to think A7 or maybe Dmmaj7.

    In practice, chord symbols are far from perfect for specifying exact voicings and dim chords particularly get the short straw. Ethan Iverson blames Bill Evans, but tbf he does that for most things.

  17. #16

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    As Christian stated, this color note is very common on diminished chords. Barry Harris would call this a borrowed note.

    Here's a great example of it from the first section on Memories of You. Yes, they are also secondary dominants but one shouldn't negate the beauty of just seeing them as diminished chords. Also it opens up diminished scale ideas as well.

    How Insensitive-screen-shot-2022-11-26-11-23-33-am-png

  18. #17

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    Almir Chediak produced many books of Brazilian songs for which he reportedly obtained the composer's own chord voicings shown on grids. There is also a lead sheet in standard notation.

    This one has Bm7 x2x232 (original key?)
    F#7/A# 6x465x
    Am6 (apparently 5x455x, but the chord grid is for an Am7 so it looks like a typo)
    E7/G# 4x243x
    G6
    Cmaj7 x32000
    and C#m7b5 x42000
    The rest are straightforward except for an Em7(9) played xx2032.

    Back in the RB key ...

    For comping I like x5355x to x4535 to D7/C (maybe with a b9) to G7/B x2303x and let the melody, played by somebody else, float over it.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 11-26-2022 at 06:25 PM.

  19. #18

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    C#dim7 for the piano and guitar, but A7b9/C# on the chart for the bass player?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    C#dim7 for the piano and guitar, but A7b9/C# on the chart for the bass player?
    or how about a C#? :-P