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  1. #1

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    Can some one explain this for me (from Joe Pass Guitar Style) I get why 7b9 chords are subbed for the Dim, why does he make a point of emphasising the +5 tho ?
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  3. #2

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    The #5 of E is C, which is the 3rd of the next chord. It sets up an anticipation of the C. A perfect 5th or diminished 5th would be fine too.

  4. #3

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    I don't know about the various chord symbols/descriptions above the notes but I see what he's playing.

    First one is A harmonic minor.
    Second one is probably an Fm9 arpeggio but still basically harmonic.
    Third one is F melodic minor.

    He's using the Fm sound before the Am7 because it gives the b9 and the E altered sounds, which is correct.

    I wouldn't say he's particularly emphasising the #5 (C) of the first one, it's just part of the scale.

    The other two are definitely Fm sounds so the C is an integral part of the required sound. In any case using F melodic minor wouldn't include the natural B, it would be a Bb.

    What he does over the other chords is interesting too so I'd say forget the complex symbols (which I totally doubt he wrote himself) and work out what he's playing, the sound it makes, and how it fits in with the whole thing. Much more important.

  5. #4

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    I see now that the chord symbols aren't harmonic subs, but someone trying to name the line in chord symbol terms for some reason. I agree with Ragman1. My answer is out of context here.

  6. #5

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    Ease of fingering.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I don't know about the various chord symbols/descriptions above the notes but I see what he's playing.

    First one is A harmonic minor.
    Second one is probably an Fm9 arpeggio but still basically harmonic.
    Third one is F melodic minor.

    He's using the Fm sound before the Am7 because it gives the b9 and the E altered sounds, which is correct.

    I wouldn't say he's particularly emphasising the #5 (C) of the first one, it's just part of the scale.

    The other two are definitely Fm sounds so the C is an integral part of the required sound. In any case using F melodic minor wouldn't include the natural B, it would be a Bb.

    What he does over the other chords is interesting too so I'd say forget the complex symbols (which I totally doubt he wrote himself) and work out what he's playing, the sound it makes, and how it fits in with the whole thing. Much more important.
    Thanks, that makes much more sense - the +5 gets highlighted in the text as well as in the chord symbols (that's the only text given for these lines) hence my confusion - back to the looper...

  8. #7

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    They're really nice lines too. Pity the fingering isn't given.

    What Drumbler said is right too, that often playing those altered notes is actually easier to play than diatonic lines; the altered notes fall under the fingers more often. Easy to say, of course, but it's not a short cut. One has to understand what's going on.

    Joe Pass disdained too much theory and there's virtually no chance he wrote in the chord names; the publishers did that. He'd just say 'It's all E7' because he rarely played a straight dominant chord; he'd say it was all the same dominant sound.

    And that D7 too, of course. In fact, probably more so because it's not going to a minor but is the V before the I and ripe for interesting alterations.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by corpse View Post
    I...someone trying to name the line in chord symbol terms for some reason....
    It's just occurred to me that earlier in the same book JP says (something like) always try to find the strongest explanation for a line's direction - I being the clearest, followed by V I, followed by a tritone / 1/2 step sub. Some of these lines look like a determined effort to make the line fit that.

  10. #9

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    The seat-of-the-pants way I might make such decisions on the bandstand:
    The 5th of the E7 chord is B. B is the third of the preceding chord (G) and the ninth of the next chord (Amin9). It can be boring to sit on a stable note for three chords in a row. Since E7 is a dominant, its purpose is to cause some tension to add forward motion, so let’s add a little more tension by making it a #5 (C). The #5 pushes a little harder to Amin9.

  11. #10
    #5 is very often written in place of b13. The first line is written in notation as C natural and B nat, (flat 13 followed by Nat 5). Most players know the implications of using either way of notating, but it's inherently confusing in the beginning. That first line is harmonic minor, and technically 7b9b13.

    The last two I think were altered scale from melodic minor, (with a great deal of enharmonic baggage in notation vs chord symbol )? I'd have to look back. Anyway, writing that as 7#5b9 COULD be argued as more clearly stating that there's NOT a natural five(thus altered and not harm minor). Natural five versus b5/#5 IS a primary distinction between harmonic and melodic minor (altered).

    Where it comes from... E7 in A minor = raise Gnat to G#. That gives you E F G# A B C D - V7 from harmonic minor or phrygian dominant.

    Common jazz practice says that once you've played a 7b9 you "open the door" to altered as a sub for harm. minor: E F G G# Bb C D. All of the similarities between the 2 are harder to see if you spell it as F mel minor. You can use F melodic minor to work out fingerings and notes for Mel minor, but eventually you have to spell as altered to see the comparison more clearly for analysis: 1-b9-#9-3-b5-#5-7.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-01-2019 at 05:34 PM.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    They're really nice lines too. Pity the fingering isn't given.
    I started out playing these lines in one position but soon found that several can be played by moving a fingering pattern up & down the neck with minimal changes, something JP talks about earlier in the book - & did when he played live.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    They're really nice lines too. Pity the fingering isn't given.

    .
    Pass put out a booklet with fingerings.

    For example, E7+5+9 most likely is: x76788

    So, a convenient fingering and a variation on a common E7 fingering: x767xx.
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  14. #13

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    • A progression like this is basically I VI7b9 ii V I; think of the G#dim as E7b9 without the root. I happen to have this book, and this point is made at the top of the page that the quoted example comes from.
    • Shortcomings of the chordal notation aside, the thing I noticed about these lines is that the first two show C natural resolving down. The first is typical downward resolution of b13. The second shows a more "angular and intervallic" approach, that does not resolve b13 functionally. The third one shows C natural resolving up (like #5). I think that's what the comment intends to point out: that you can use this note to go in any of several directions. Also that you can use alterations to add interesting color, even when they aren't in the chord chart ... that's really what all these examples do: as Matt says, they show that when you substitute an altered dom, you can pretty much substitute any altered dom*, as long as it doesn't clash with the melody or what someone else in the band is doing, and you use it in a way that makes musical sense. Example 2 shows that there's a lot of latitude about "what makes sense" as long as you eventually resolve tension one way or another.
    • I also looked on previous pages to see whether this terse note was meant to refer to a previous discusssion. My own TLDR encapsulation would be that use of an altered dominant opens the door to use of any other alteration of that dominant. The JP book basically says this at the top of p. 22, in the section titled Whole Tone Scales. In this example, it says that the C whole tone scale

    ... fits C7+5, C7-5, C+ or C9+-5 chords. When the #9 and b9 are used in combinations with whole tone passages, they fit ALL the "C7" chords: C7+5b9, C13-5-9, C7+5+9, etc.

    The use of "-" or "b" is just inconsistency. For example, C13-5-9 could have been written (more consistently) as C13b5b9. This kind of thing is all over the book, but I don't recall ever having been confused by it.

    Hope this helps. I worked through this book many years ago and I learned a lot from it. Another thread asks to name a single book that helped you get to another level. I would nominate this one as required study for anyone attempting to play jazz guitar. I'm not saying it's the only book you should study, or the best, but it is an excellent crash course, especially for those new to the idiom or new to JP.

    HTH

    SJ

    * This is not to imply that the use of any altered dom always means nonfunctional chromaticism. Consider that E7b9 occurs naturally as the V in A harmonic minor, and the b9 (F natural) can resolve down to the E that is the fifth of i.
    Last edited by starjasmine; 02-02-2019 at 02:10 PM.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    They're really nice lines too. Pity the fingering isn't given.
    Perhaps that's intentional, so the reader doesn't get the impression that there is just one "right" way to play these. All of these ideas work well in any number of keys, fingerings and positions.

  16. #15

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    starjasmine -

    Not so sure about that. Have you played fluently through all of it?

    Drumbler -

    It's not fingering for the chords, it's the lines.

    JP should have put his fingering onto those lines. Of course, technically, there are several ways to do it but that's not the point. His book, his fingerings for beginners.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    starjasmine -

    Not so sure about that. Have you played fluently through all of it?

    Drumbler -

    It's not fingering for the chords, it's the lines.

    JP should have put his fingering onto those lines. Of course, technically, there are several ways to do it but that's not the point. His book, his fingerings for beginners.
    Oops!
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    starjasmine -

    Not so sure about that. Have you played fluently through all of it?
    About 30 years ago :-)

    Seriously, though, what I really meant is that I played the quoted examples today and didn't find myself wondering where to play any of it. It struck me as really standard jazz vocabulary that I could easily play in multiple ways. If you know your fretboard well and can read the standard notation without effort, the first phrase for Gma7 in bar 1 stanza 2 could be played in II pos, IV pos, VII pos, IX pos or XII pos without really even having to think about it. This isn't meant to put anyone down: I certainly struggled with it when I was first learning, and there are still plenty of things that I find challenging to read or play.

    While some specific notes can be played in only one position, that doesn't mean that the idea can't be moved, transposed, or used in other ways. For example, there's only one place to play the G below middle C that starts the first phrase of the last staff, so that narrows down the possible fingering choices there very quickly. But, again, you can take that phrase and play it an octave up in a lot of places, and with a lot of different fingerings. That phrase is literally a one-octave G major scale; I'm sure you know many ways to play it, move it, etc.

    Best,

    SJ

  19. #18

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    I know all that but it wasn't the point. Joe wrote this stuff for learners. He ought to show them how to play it.

    Doesn't matter, I know what I mean :--)


  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I know all that but it wasn't the point. Joe wrote this stuff for learners. He ought to show them how to play it.

    I think there's merit to both approaches: showing some fingerings with the understanding that it's not the only way to play something, or making the student figure it out himself as an exercise.

    To acknowledge your point, though, and hopefully to help out, here are some fingerings for folks to try out. I don't claim that any of these are necessarily how Joe played this line; they just show some ways that work for me. If I can find time, I'll try to post a demo video later. Or, if someone else wants to do that, I'd be grateful for the proofread; I think everything's correct now, but I did catch a couple errors in previous versions. If anyone gets stuck, let me know, so I can address any possible errors.

    All of these fingerings are comfortable for me and thus enable the ability to play the line fluidly and comfortably, at reasonable tempos for my level of skill, in a variety of places on the neck. What actually holds up my fluid execution at this point is that I just need to memorize the line and the hand movements a bit more. You can't play fast and fluid lines if you have to stop and think about what comes next, and I still have to do that in a couple places. I'm sure that'll go away soon, at which point I'll post that demo video to back up my original point that any number of fingerings and positions enable fluid playing of an idea in multiple places on the neck; really, across the entire neck.

    In addition to simply being able to access your musical mental model in real time without hesitation, there are mechanical aspects to fluid playing that involve left- and right-hand technique. The discussion of RH technique is off-topic, so we can skip that; regarding the left hand, these fingerings use some techniques that may feel awkward at first, but should become very comfortable with regular practice. They're all common techniques for jazz or classical players.

    The first technique is the ability to stretch one finger out of position to reach a note that is one fret away from your current position without changing position. You can do this with your first finger to reach a note that is a half-step below the current position, or with your fourth finger to reach a note that is a half-step above the current position. This is really common in jazz playing; IDK whether classical players do it much, but I suspect its not uncommon. The first example utilizes this technique to play the G# on beat 3 of bar 2; we also use it to reach the Db on the "and" of 3 in bar 3. Aside from these two places, in which your first finger stretches out of position VII but your other fingers and the rest of your hand do not leave VII position, all of the notes in this line fall under the fingers easily in VII pos. I don't claim to know whether Joe did it this way, but it is the most straightforward fingering of the three, so it seems possible that this example might have been conceived in this position.

    But Joe was not a position player, he played the whole neck and floated among positions as necessary to execute any given idea, so he might very well have used some of the other fingerings the attached PDF shows, or others that are not on the PDF. As I suggested, there are a lot of ways to execute any given idea. I'll also say that an idea and its execution are intertwined with where you are on the neck and where you're planning to go; that is, the overall harmonic content of this idea could be realized in a lot of ways, in a lot of places, at different tempos, and with different moods, depending on the situation; i.e. a solo ballad setting vs. uptempo latin feel with a full band will affect how you execute an idea that might pop into your musical mind. So taking an exercise and deliberately playing it with different fingerings is really more of an exercise than an attempt to say that Joe did it in ANY of these ways. In my case, this effort was borne of the fact that trying to sight-read this stuff presented some interesting challenges - the kind of challenges that might indeed be difficult until you sort of work through all the different fingerings that might work and find the one(s) that are comfortable for you.

    In fact, my first example was really about the fifth way I tried to play this line. The second example in my PDF was how I played it on a cold read. I found myself having to do some interesting things to get out of a corner here and there... things I did not know how to do when I first worked through this book years ago. So I thought it might be helpful to use this discussion to show some useful left-hand techniques.

    The second example shifts position several times, using a guide finger to do the position shift without losing contact with the fretboard. We start out in IV pos with the pinky on the E at the seventh fret on the fifth string. Sliding the fourth finger from A to G# in bar 2 moves us one fret down into III pos, and then we slide the first finger from F to E to get into II pos, at which point the next set of notes (a Cmaj arpeggio) falls easily under the fingers. However, we are now quite far away from the B that we will have to reach on the "and" of 1 in bar 4. To avoid an awkward leap that takes us out of contact with the fretboard we use our first finger to reach the G on beat 1 of bar 4, instead of using the second finger we would normally use in II pos. This simple movement shifts the hand easily and comfortably into III pos, and that one-fret movement makes the B available as an extended fingering reach with the fourth finger.

    The third example is another way of making the shift out of II pos into III pos. On beat 4 of bar 3, we grab the C natural with our second finger, which then puts all of the remaining notes in the example under our fingers, using extended position fingering for both index and pinky fingers (fingers 1 and 4, respectively, in standard notation.)

    The fourth example will be weirdest of all for those who have never used this particular technique to shift hand positions, but it is REALLY useful once you master it. The magic happens in the second half of bar 2, where we use our first finger to play G#. Yes we go from playing A with the pinky to G# with the index, which shifts us effortlessly and solidly into VI pos, and sets us up to use a similar fingering to play the E on beat 4 and shift into VII pos, where all the rest of the notes fall under our fingers easily.

    If you experiment, you will no doubt find other ways to do this too. These are just a few ways. Once you learn how to extend one finger out of position or to use alternate fingerings to facilitate position shifts, you'll find yourself using these techniques often.

    I hope this is helpful, and I look forward to any feedback that anyone might care to provide.


    Cheers,

    SJ

    UPDATE: Here is video of the four fingering examples in the PDF. Sorry the audio is a bit distorted on the low notes. Still figuring out a few things!

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by starjasmine; 02-11-2019 at 02:22 AM. Reason: added video

  21. #20
    All other instruments with fingering issues , like piano or violin, even classical guitar, give very detailed fingering indications method instruction. I think I probably could excuse the absence of fingering indications , if guitarists were generally MORE capable and skilled as a class musician then say pianists or violinists , but I think mostly it's the opposite . Guitar pedagogy is decades behind every other instrument, and this is just another example in my opinion.

    Students who don't know a SINGLE way to finger something , don't need LIMITLESS options , especially on an instrument with too many options already. This is common practice in countless guitar methods . Maybe the fact that guitarists are exponentially worse readers and musicians generally is merely coincidental.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    All other instruments with fingering issues , like piano or violin, even classical guitar, give very detailed fingering indications method instruction.
    That's more applicable to learning to perform a static composition than it is to learning to improvise. This book is more about the latter than the former.

    The "INTRODUCTION" page that has a facsimile of Joe's signature seems to indicate an expectation that the reader is not a total beginner, and goes on to state an intention to emphasize improv, theory and ear training; i.e. it's not a "mechanical technique" book for beginners.

    ...

    With a couple worthy exceptions, there was virtually nothing in existing guitar literature designed for the working musician, teacher, or even for the "middling" guitarist.
    ...

    ...
    The emphasis here is on improvisation, which seems the most neglected and widely misunderstood area of modern music, and on the ear training essential to mastery of that gentle art.
    ...
    The "FOREWORD" from "THE PUBLISHER" on the flyleaf states straight up that omitting fingerings and diagrams was a deliberate choice:
    ...
    You will find no diagrams (a cassette is available for audio-visual aid in sight-reading) and very few words. Guitar has been played by diagrams for too long which can cause players to be poor sight-readers (they read diagrams too well).
    ...
    So I don't fault this book for not being something that it says explicitly that it is not trying to be. Hopefully, the fingerings in my previous post may serve as a starting point for those who may not have the assumed skill set or a teacher who can fill in the gaps.
    Last edited by starjasmine; 02-03-2019 at 07:02 PM.

  23. #22

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    If you know where notes on the staff are located on the guitar neck it narrows down the possibilities for fingering.

    (This is very helpful so I will also post it in a separate thread.)

    Guitar Strings Notes Chart, Tab & Info: Master The Fretboard
    "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing." - Socrates
    “Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.” - Alan Wilson Watts

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot75 View Post
    Can some one explain this for me (from Joe Pass Guitar Style) I get why 7b9 chords are subbed for the Dim, why does he make a point of emphasising the +5 tho ?
    Super-locrian.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by dot75 View Post
    Can some one explain this for me (from Joe Pass Guitar Style) I get why 7b9 chords are subbed for the Dim, why does he make a point of emphasising the +5 tho ?
    Dim7 chords and 7b9 are intimately linked - you take the third of the 7 chord and build a dim7 on it, and you have a 7b9....

    So,

    G7 + Bo7 = G7b9

    So G#o7 is related to E7b9

    It's probably easier for Joe to think 'dominant' or 'altered dominant' than dim7. TBH I think most players find dim7 a pain, and Joe was famous for saying there are only three chord types - major, minor and dominant.

    OK that second bar has a rather nice example of the thing I always talk about - the E7b9#5 sound expressed by the A harmonic minor scale. This is super common in bop for a VI7 chord (like an E7 in G major), and it's no surprise to see Joe using it here. The #5 is probably just added in to reflect the scale quality, although we would maybe call it a b13 today.

    The E7#5#9 bar below could be spelled G F C Ab G F G Ab. This appears to be an Fm(add9) arpeggio on E7, a common bop trope. This arpeggio points us in the direction of the altered scale. However, playing Fm on E7 does not require us to think about this scale necessarily - just the arpeggio.

    E altered/super locrian is what we definitely see in the third line on E7#9 - I suspect Joe would have thought of it as F minor (melodic) rather than a mode name.

    If we write out that line Ab Bb C D E F G Ab, it's clearer that this is what it is - we are going from the third of both the F melodic minor scale and the E7 chord. Nice.

  26. #25

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    In the book, Joe stresses that the chord symbols above the lines are for analysis, not for comping. He also says that the main thing is to get the SOUNDS of the lines in one's ears. Also, in the lines written in straight eighths, part of the goal is to get away from playing licks. You have to figure out how to fill up the space between changes and then make the changes on a strong note. (Mimi Fox studied with Joe and she also stresses the value of creating lines in straight eighths as an exercise.) Ideally, one makes up one's own exercises until it becomes second nature. (Not there yet.)

    Joe also says that he thinks of chords as major, minor, or dominant. He doesn't care about the alterations (as given in a chord chart). For him, augmented and diminished chords fall under the umbrella term dominant chord. So above when he has E7+5+9 (b9), that's just E7 to him, but he's alerting the student to the use of those alterations in that measure.

    So the answer to the question in the OP, why does he do this? is this: he likes the sound.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    In the book, Joe stresses that the chord symbols above the lines are for analysis, not for comping. He also says that the main thing is to get the SOUNDS of the lines in one's ears. Also, in the lines written in straight eighths, part of the goal is to get away from playing licks. You have to figure out how to fill up the space between changes and then make the changes on a strong note. (Mimi Fox studied with Joe and she also stresses the value of creating lines in straight eighths as an exercise.) Ideally, one makes up one's own exercises until it becomes second nature. (Not there yet.)

    Joe also says that he thinks of chords as major, minor, or dominant. He doesn't care about the alterations (as given in a chord chart). For him, augmented and diminished chords fall under the umbrella term dominant chord. So above when he has E7+5+9 (b9), that's just E7 to him, but he's alerting the student to the use of those alterations in that measure.

    So the answer to the question in the OP, why does he do this? is this: he likes the sound.
    The E7#5b9 can be played as a Bb9 which lays very nicely on guitar and doesn't sound like a diminished chord. That's a common chord substitution. Sounds good and easy to play.

  28. #27
    In jazz a dim7 chord often functions as a b9 chord. So in the progression above the G#Dim7 is simply an inversion of an E7b9 chord which he simply extends to be an E7 with various alterations, one of which is the #5 which is based off the Super Locrian (F melodic minor) and which he discusses several times throughout that book.

    Great book by the way.