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Thread: Cm7 or cm7 b5 ?

  1. #1

    Cm7 or cm7 b5 ?

    I’m new here.Sorry if it has already been asked.
    on some standards you see (ie) cm7b5 G7 instead of cm7 G7
    why?
    geoff F

  2. #2
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    Cm7b5 will be used in the key of Bbm; most m7b5 chords will be leading to the V7b9 of a minor tonic. the b5 and b9 are justifying the key signature.

  3. #3
    Cm7 G7? Did you mean this to be ii- V?

    That would be Cm7 F7
    ... or Dm7 G7...

  4. #4
    Assuming, as Matt suggested, that you probably meant Cm7 - F7...

    It's an oft used substitution in jazz to replace the major 2-5 with the minor 2-5 even though it's going to a major I chord. So, instead of Cm7 - F7 - BbM7 you get Cm7b5 - F7 (or F7b9) - BbM7 (instead of Bbm7).

    It doesn't have to end on the I chord, it can also happen in the middle of a tune. It's done to create a different flavour, that's all.

    'Where it comes from' is a theory question and the answer to that is very complex. It would take a lot of explaining (far too much) to go through it all here. The process is called Modal Interchange or Borrowed Chords and I can only suggest you google it up yourself. Sooner or later you'll find a site you can relate to.

    I like this guy. He sounds a bit overbearing but he's actually very thorough, very clear, and definitely one of the best.



    There's also his text version:

    http://www.thejazzpianosite.com/jazz...rrowed-chords/

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    if we are talking about ii of the key, it’s a ii diminished chord that borrows the tonic of the key where the leading tone of the key was.

    or could also say playing iv minor 6 instead of IV6, and that is super common
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffF View Post
    I’m new here.Sorry if it has already been asked.
    on some standards you see (ie) cm7b5 G7 instead of cm7 G7
    why?
    geoff F
    Can you give us an example? What tune/chart are you seeing this in? It's hard to explain a chord change without context.

    John

  7. #7
    Can you give us an example? What tune/chart are you seeing this in? It's hard to explain a chord change without contex
    sorry,I wanted to write Dm/Dm7b5--G7__C
    As exemple
    on my version of easy living(Aebersold), it's written ,bars 24,25,26:
    Gm7b5---C7---Fmajor

    cheers
    geoffF

  8. #8
    Hi !
    on your exemple,Gm7b5 is borrowed (=modal interchange) from the seventh mode of the Ab major scale
    cheers

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    You'd Be So Nice to Come Home Too

    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    Can you give us an example? What tune/chart are you seeing this in? It's hard to explain a chord change without context.

    John
    Note that the Cole Porter song, You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To is based on the m7b5\ Dom7b9 \ m7 (or m6).
    E.g. In the key of C, the song starts with Am6, (I), and goes to Bm7b5 (II), to E7b9 (V) and back to Am6 (I).

    This is a harmonic minor chord sequence and use of that scale can be used to get an outside sound (as long as one doesn't beat the use of this scale to death).

    What is also common in a minor key song like this is that one plays the Key center chord (I or C6 in C) only at the very end. I enjoy playing these type of tunes since the tension isn't fully released during the solo choruses since they end with a Dom7b9 (or #9) instead of the I.

    Edit note: You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To does contain the I prior to the altered II \ V turnaround so the above is mistaken. (I was thinking about Corcovado). So the ending to You'd be, is very standard, with one bar of I (C6) and one bar of that altered II \ V turnaround.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 10-29-2018 at 02:47 PM.

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    Cm7 or cm7 b5 ?

    I’m not sure if this is your question but the colour of the ii and V chord (Dm7 G7 say) is constrained by the melody.

    Using a Dm7b5 instead of a Dm7 is a common way to make a progression sound a bit richer but it’s not always a good idea...

    As others have said the Dm7b5 is borrowed from another key - in this case C minor (natural or harmonic.)

    it’s very common for the melody to be on the 11th on a ii chord actually, in which case I often don’t even play the 5th in my voicing if I’m playing chord melody. But obviously if it’s an A on a Dm7 chord you can’t get away with playing a Dm7b5 - at least not when accompanying the tune.

  11. #11
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    If I see Gm7b5 going to C7, I automatically alter the C7 to C7b9 and/or C7#9

    For example:

    3x332x

    x3234x

    X3232x

    1x221x

    which gives nice voice leading on top. Just make sure the singer isn't singing a d natural over the C chord.

  12. #12
    Probably this has been flogged to death now but, following from what Christian just said, it's not a question of throwing these substitutions around willy-nilly, they have to suit the melody.

    Usually the lead sheet will contain the substitution for you - in fact, if the tune is composed that way, it will already contain the m7b5-7b9 and the melody will conform to those sounds. It's not a question of just popping in different chords when comping, they have to be in line with the melody.

    Which is why using these substitutions are really for composers. If you're composing a tune of your own then, instead of the boring old ii-V, you might want to give it some flavour by using the iim7b5-7b9 and your melody will obviously conform to that.

    Alternatively, if you're reharmonisng a tune yourself, then your substitution chords must sound right with the melody. Otherwise you've changed the whole nature of the tune, which is probably inadvisable.

    For example, in 'All The Things You Are', the first 4 bars of the tune go like this. Chords with melody notes in brackets:

    Fm7 (Ab)
    Bbm7 (Db Ab)
    Eb7 (G)
    AbM7 (G C G)

    Which sounds great. And if you changed the chords to this it wouldn't clash:

    Fm7
    Bbm7b5
    Eb7b9
    AbM7

    BUT, if you take the last 4 bars, it looks like this:

    Bbm7 (Db F Ab Db)
    Eb7 (F G)
    AbM7 (Ab)...

    Now, if you changed it, it clashes horribly. Play it and see:

    Bbm7b5 (E and F don't fit)
    Eb7b9 (E and F don't fit)

    So the subs have to fit otherwise it won't work.

    You may say okay, but when I'm improvising it doesn't matter, I just play over the new chords and it'll sound fine. Sure, it will, but you've changed the essential format and feel of the tune and there's no real point to that. Instead of saying 'That's a lovely reharm' they'll probably say 'What the hell's he done to it?'


    And for everything one person says someone will contradict it... so ultimately it's up to ourselves :-)

  13. #13
    But you could change those last bars to:

    Bbm7
    A7b5

    or

    Bbm7
    Gb7

    and it would be fine.

  14. #14
    Yea... then after you start to understand harmony....you start to become aware of where... the spatial thing, Harmonic rhythm. Anywhere.... just like when you solo or whatever you do... there is an accent pattern.... the feel or groove of whatever your playing.... that becomes the Strong beat.... and you can learn how to use different changes on the weak beats.

    So what you play or use on the weak beat... called the weak side, becomes another tool you use to play with and in your example... even if the tune was basic vanilla.... II V I.... you can use other changes on the weak side to help support or create more going on ... on the weak side... yea I'm layin it down on the weak side, sorry I'm going back in time.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffF View Post
    sorry,I wanted to write Dm/Dm7b5--G7__C
    As exemple
    on my version of easy living(Aebersold), it's written ,bars 24,25,26:
    Gm7b5---C7---Fmajor

    cheers
    geoffF

    Got it. As others have said, you can look at this in terms of borrowing from C minor (modal interchange) to explain/organize why it's "legal" to substitute a iimin7b5 for a iimin. Another way to look at is in terms of color and motion. I see that in a chart, and I think "voice lead from some flavor of Gmin to some flavor of Calt7" or "keep the top voice of the chord moving to contrast with the static melody in half-notes" or "play a blue note." But I have a relatively unschooled/seat-of-the-pants approach to harmony.

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 10-29-2018 at 03:11 PM.

  16. #16
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    I am answering a question that wasn't asked by the OP but I wonder if it's what he's getting at.

    Cm7 F7 resolves to Bbmaj7

    Cm7b5 F7 resolves to Bbm7

    It took me twenty years but I've finally discovered that harmonic minor is around for a reason...

    Although whoever posted this link deserves a medal. I think this answers the OP question: http://www.thejazzpianosite.com/jazz...rrowed-chords/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomems View Post
    I am answering a question that wasn't asked by the OP but I wonder if it's what he's getting at.

    Cm7 F7 resolves to Bbmaj7

    Cm7b5 F7 resolves to Bbm7

    It took me twenty years but I've finally discovered that harmonic minor is around for a reason...

    Although whoever posted this link deserves a medal. I think this answers the OP question: http://www.thejazzpianosite.com/jazz...rrowed-chords/
    ... until it doesn't. You can borrow from the parallel minor and still resolve to BbMaj7.
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  18. #18
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    chords for soloing

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I’m not sure if this is your question but the colour of the ii and V chord (Dm7 G7 say) is constrained by the melody.

    Using a Dm7b5 instead of a Dm7 is a common way to make a progression sound a bit richer but it’s not always a good idea...

    As others have said the Dm7b5 is borrowed from another key - in this case C minor (natural or harmonic.)

    it’s very common for the melody to be on the 11th on a ii chord actually, in which case I often don’t even play the 5th in my voicing if I’m playing chord melody. But obviously if it’s an A on a Dm7 chord you can’t get away with playing a Dm7b5 - at least not when accompanying the tune.
    For the soloing chores doesn't one have more freedom to colour a chord? E.g. when backing someone playing the melody, especially a singer, I'll mostly stick to the standard II \ V chords \ voicings, but when the solo chores start I'll change the m7 to m7b5 and the D7 to D7B9 or #9 or D7#5. As you note this make the progression sound a bit richer and the musicians I'm playing with have the 'ear' to highlight this richness in their solo note choices.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal View Post
    For the soloing chores doesn't one have more freedom to colour a chord? E.g. when backing someone playing the melody, especially a singer, I'll mostly stick to the standard II \ V chords \ voicings, but when the solo chores start I'll change the m7 to m7b5 and the D7 to D7B9 or #9 or D7#5. As you note this make the progression sound a bit richer and the musicians I'm playing with have the 'ear' to highlight this richness in their solo note choices.
    Yeah, sure - it depends on your aesthetic.

    For instance Jordan's approach seems rooted to the melodic harmony (if you catch my drift) to an high extent. On the other hand, most bebop rooted improvisors tend to just go from the basic shell harmony, and play the extensions etc as they want.

    In terms of comping for the soloist, that obviously requires flexibility.

  20. #20

    Cm7 or cm7 b5 ?

    Ultimately, it’s a matter of trying it both ways (Cm7 vs. Cm7b5) and being guided by your ear. The b5 of Cm7b5 is chromatic approach to the 5 of Bb. It adds tension and forward motion. It can sound cool as long as it doesn’t conflict with the melody.
    But if you’re comping it also must not conflict with the soloist. If I’m not sure whether the soloist is thinking of that chord as a Cm7 or Cm7b5, I’ll leave out the 5th. And if I’m soloing I’d like my accompanist to do the same.
    The b9 of F7b9 is the same note, so I think of it the same way.
    Last edited by KirkP; 10-29-2018 at 10:14 PM.

  21. #21

    Cm7 or cm7 b5 ?

    Jimmy Bruno posted a video on ii-Vs today. It’s in his typical stream-of-consciousness style, but in a couple of spots he shows how the iim7b5-V7 often resolves to a major chord. If it sounds good, play it. Cm7 or cm7 b5 ?
    Last edited by KirkP; 11-01-2018 at 04:19 PM.

  22. #22
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    In general I see two options to analyze in context of funtional harmony..

    - it can be either a passing meldic note - in C major - from A (that must have been somwhere before) to G (that must come in the next chord

    - in major it is an anticipation of an altered dominant sound... it is alt dom sus4 chord without root actually

  23. #23
    I am answering a question that wasn't asked by the OP but I wonder if it's what he's getting at.

    Cm7 F7 resolves to Bbmaj7

    Cm7b5 F7 resolves to Bbm7

    It took me twenty years but I've finally discovered that harmonic minor is around for a reason
    About Gm7b5, if we take the Schoenberg's concepts about the relations existing between scales,(before his dodecaphonic period), Fmajor scale has 2 closely related minor keys : Dminor,F minor and 2 closely Major scales : AbMajor and D Major. Fmajor is also in relation with his subdominant scale BbMajor and his Dominant Scale :C major

    Schoenberg's diatonic regions ot the Fmajor scale :

    Ab Major---Fminor --- / F Major---Dminor /---Dmajor---Bminor
    DbMajor---Bbminor---/BbMajor---Gminor/---GMajor---Eminor
    EbMajor---Cminor----/ CMajor ---Aminor /---A major___F#minor

    Gm7b5is the second degree of Fminor scale (II subdominant).
    In term of modes,Fminor is the eolian mode of AbMajor scale.
    So,in an historic perspective,it is more exact to say that Gm7b5 is borrowed from the VII degree of AbMajor Scale and not from F Harmonic minor scale

    cheers
    EmilP

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    Yeah I remember learning the iim7 chord was basically a V9sus4, so iim7b5 is a V7b9sus4 - and the bass completes the chord.

    I found that really helped.

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    Cm7 or cm7 b5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by emilP View Post
    About Gm7b5, if we take the Schoenberg's concepts about the relations existing between scales,(before his dodecaphonic period), Fmajor scale has 2 closely related minor keys : Dminor,F minor and 2 closely Major scales : AbMajor and D Major. Fmajor is also in relation with his subdominant scale BbMajor and his Dominant Scale :C major

    Schoenberg's diatonic regions ot the Fmajor scale :

    Ab Major---Fminor --- / F Major---Dminor /---Dmajor---Bminor
    DbMajor---Bbminor---/BbMajor---Gminor/---GMajor---Eminor
    EbMajor---Cminor----/ CMajor ---Aminor /---A major___F#minor

    Gm7b5is the second degree of Fminor scale (II subdominant).
    In term of modes,Fminor is the eolian mode of AbMajor scale.
    So,in an historic perspective,it is more exact to say that Gm7b5 is borrowed from the VII degree of AbMajor Scale and not from F Harmonic minor scale

    cheers
    EmilP
    It’s important to bear in mind Schoenberg was self taught. He had his own way of looking at things.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    It’s important to bear in mind Schoenberg was self taught. He had his own way of looking at things.
    It's interesting how influential Schoenberg's fucntional theory became in the States (especially in non-classical world...)

    I never heard it mentioned in Europe and it seems nobody really uses it for learning - except modern jazz players who seem took through States again...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    It's interesting how influential Schoenberg's fucntional theory became in the States (especially in non-classical world...)

    I never heard it mentioned in Europe and it seems nobody really uses it for learning - except modern jazz players who seem took through States again...
    I don't really feel qualified to comment. I didn't study classical harmony formally. I read Harmonielehre about 20 years ago alongside a bunch of other theory texts. I think some of Schoenberg's concepts have probably stayed with me. I got a lot out of Fundamentals of Musical Composition.

    I also understand Schenker is a bigger deal in the US than he is in Europe?

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