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  1. #1

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    I came across this in a lesson video. It sounded good.

    Specifically, Bb WH played over D69 (maybe with a maj7).

    The chord is D F# B E A.

    The scale contains A E and F#. But is also contains some notes that would seem to conflict including Bb C Eb.

    I'm no theorist, but I wondered if one way to understand this is to think of A7b9 as sort of alternating with D69. Or if the dim scale just has such a clear character that you can get bitonality over almost anything.

    There must be another way, though.

    Anybody know?

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I came across this in a lesson video. It sounded good.

    Specifically, Bb WH played over D69 (maybe with a maj7).

    The chord is D F# B E A.

    The scale contains A E and F#. But is also contains some notes that would seem to conflict including Bb C Eb.

    I'm no theorist, but I wondered if one way to understand this is to think of A7b9 as sort of alternating with D69. Or if the dim scale just has such a clear character that you can get bitonality over almost anything.

    There must be another way, though.

    Anybody know?


    i just glanced at your question, so my apologies if I’m mistaken.


    It looks like you’re saying

    A half whole diminished, over D



    Thats just playing a dominant tension over the I. Very common/cool sound.

  4. #3

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    Yeah, what Vintagelove said. A HW.

    Try that scale from the 7th step too (C# HW). Nice tension on the I major.

  5. #4
    If you put together the chord tones of D69 and the notes of Bb WH, you get the entire chromatic scale but for F and Ab.

    If you play Bb WH you play every chord tone except D and B.

    So, the sound is created by avoiding two notes of the chord (D and B) and adding every note from the chromatic scale except F and Ab.
    Or is it?

    Are all these notes equally good? Or do you have to manage them carefully? For example, as if varying between D69 and A7b9? Or some other way?

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    If you put together the chord tones of D69 and the notes of Bb WH, you get the entire chromatic scale but for F and Ab.

    If you play Bb WH you play every chord tone except D and B.

    So, the sound is created by avoiding two notes of the chord (D and B) and adding every note from the chromatic scale except F and Ab.
    Or is it?

    Are all these notes equally good? Or do you have to manage them carefully? For example, as if varying between D69 and A7b9? Or some other way?
    It's a matter of what the listener hears, or what you WANT the listener to hear. In this example, D 6/9 is a major chord sonority, so let's analyze the notes of Bb W/H dim in the context of a major chord rooted in D.

    The following chart analyzes the notes of Bb W/H dim over a D root:

    Relationship to D b13 b7 ma7 b9 9
    3
    sus4
    or
    11
    5
    Notes of Bb WH dim Bb
    C
    Db Eb Fb Gb Abb Bbb
    Enharmonic spellings C# E F# G A

    The notes in blue are a diminished arpeggio that can be thought of as Bbdim, Dbdim, E dim, or Gdim. They're literally all the same chord. And Bb WH dim is the same scale as Db WH dim, E WH dim or G WH dim.

    The notes in purple are a diminished arpeggio that can be thought of as Cdim, Ebdim, Gbdim or Adim. Again, they are all the exact same chord, and all the same scale.

    This alone opens up a LOT of ways to think about how to use these arpeggios and scales, but let's keep it simple and just think about D 6/9, since that was the original question.

    You could drive yourself crazy trying to find notes that "fit" or "don't fit" but the easy way to deal with "managing" your choice of notes comes down to what the D 6/9 is doing in the context of what's being played. Very often, a 6/9 chord functions as a dominant; if the D 6/9 fits into the chord progression in that way and functions that way - if you hear it as leading you strongly to another chord as a dominant or as a secondary dominant or as a tritone sub, then feel free to use any alterations you want as long as they don't clash with what the rest of the band or the melody is doing. For example, if the vocalist is hanging on a natural 9, don't hammer on the b9. (That's not to say you couldn't touch on it as a passing tone if you resolve in a musically appealing way.) But if you're soloing, then go ahead and throw in the kitchen sink, as long as you use those alterations in a musical way, a way that sounds good.

    Don't drive yourself crazy trying to think through this on the stand; learn what b9 and b13 sound like in the practice room, till you recognize the difference between b9 and natural 9 or b13 and 13 as easily as red from blue. Altered dominants based on superimposing a diminished arpeggio on a dominant triad really have a distinctive sound that you will learn to hear easily. And they have a pretty easy formula: begin the WH dim scale or full diminished arpeggio from the b9, 3rd, 5th or b7 of your dominant 7th chord and you will construct nice altered-dominant lines or chords very easily.

    The other way that a 6/9 chord can work is like a simple major 9 chord with an add6... like a pretty-sounding major chord with the diatonic extensions 6 and 9. In that situation, you can just throw this whole approach out and treat the D 6/9 as any diatonic D major scale, such as Ionian or Lydian. Or you can use the "other" diminished arpeggio, which contains a ma7 and a natural 9... and, watch out, a sus4 and an aug 5. These can work well as interesting substitutes for plain vanilla ma7 chords when done tastefully - again, let your ear be your guide. LISTEN to the rest of the band and the melody. If you are playing solo, then by all means drop in that +5ma7 in place of the vanilla major chord when it fits stylistically and does not clash with what the melody or the band is doing. (Not on your country gig, tho, as Clint Strong would say!)

    In short (what? this isn't short!) use the chart above to understand how the notes of the WH dim scale SOUND against the root of the chord and then teach your ear to recognize these sounds. And work out a few cool licks of your own, or steal like mad from the greats. Then, on the gig, let your ear be your guide.

    Last... this is the surface, the very literal answer. On a real gig, you might substitute an entirely different chord for that D 6/9 if it's appropriate. Or not... if, for example, you are playing a fully-notated part in a big band.

    HTH

    SJ

    PS: Some things to think about:
    - What is the analysis if D 6/9 (functioning as a dominant) is a tritone sub for some sort of Ab7 dominant? What do the notes of Bb WH dim mean in that context?
    - What if the 6 (B) is in the bass? That is Dadd9/B or Dma9/B?
    Last edited by starjasmine; 03-12-2019 at 03:22 AM.

  7. #6

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    One more way to organize this collection of notes is to think of them as two diminished arpeggios that are a half-step apart. And that pattern repeats across whole steps. Very easy to see as a symmetrical fingering pattern on strings 2 through 4...

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post
    It's a matter of what the listener hears, or what you WANT the listener to hear. In this example, D 6/9 is a major chord sonority, so let's analyze the notes of Bb W/H dim in the context of a major chord rooted in D.

    The following chart analyzes the notes of Bb W/H dim over a D root:

    Relationship to D b13 b7 ma7 b9 9
    3
    sus4
    or
    11
    5
    Notes of Bb WH dim Bb
    C
    Db Eb Fb Gb Abb Bbb
    Enharmonic spellings C# E F# G A

    PS: Some things to think about:
    - What is the analysis if D 6/9 (functioning as a dominant) is a tritone sub for some sort of Ab7 dominant? What do the notes of Bb WH dim mean in that context?
    - What if the 6 (B) is in the bass? That is Dadd9/B or Dma9/B?
    Thanks so much for the detailed reply. The video just had the guitarist (Chico Pinheiro) playing a D69 in isolation and then playing the Bbdim in relationship to it. He made it sound great.

    In effect, he may be superimposing an A7b9 #9 #11 chord on top of a D69. It worked and he gets his characteristic harmonic impressionism out of it. That can be challenging to hear against a vanilla A7. Against a static D69... very challenging. It doesn't fit comfortably into my current limited understanding of theory.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post

    There must be another way, though.

    Anybody know?
    Yes.

    Bb WH does not work over D69. You can force it but it's rubbish. The nearest thing that works is Bb melodic minor. Try that.

    Be warned there's no A (5th) in it but if you start from any other chord tone it works fine.

    (You've also got A melodic minor and B harmonic minor but they're not quite so 'cool')

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    I came across this in a lesson video. It sounded good.

    Specifically, Bb WH played over D69 (maybe with a maj7).

    The chord is D F# B E A.

    The scale contains A E and F#. But is also contains some notes that would seem to conflict including Bb C Eb.
    The chord name is D6add9. Important, as it means it doesn't contain a -7. Then you see that C is not part of the scale. It's a very major chord, with a lot of options. Close to DMaj7 sonically.

  11. #10
    Here's the video.

    Chico Pinheiro - Harmonic Freedom & Improvisation - Guitar Lesson Bundle

    The part I'm referring to is in the teaser clip.

  12. #11

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    Oh, for goodness' sake. The score says the chord changes from D69 to Bbo to Am7. He's not using the diminished notes over the D69!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    Here's the video.

    Chico Pinheiro - Harmonic Freedom & Improvisation - Guitar Lesson Bundle

    The part I'm referring to is in the teaser clip.
    Every time someone links to a Chico Pinheiro clip, I'm really taken by his playing. I need to look into him, further!

    vintagelove answered your initial question: Chico's just playing off of the D6 related V chord (i.e. A7 -- think A13(b9)).

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post

    Specifically, Bb WH played over D69
    But he isn't. Look at the music.

    D69 and Bb diminished.-untitled-jpg

  15. #14
    The part I'm referring to is before he plays the written line.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by M-ster View Post
    Every time someone links to a Chico Pinheiro clip, I'm really taken by his playing. I need to look into him, further!

    vintagelove answered your initial question: Chico's just playing off of the D6 related V chord (i.e. A7 -- think A13(b9)).
    Next month he does a week in Australia with Herbie Hancock and Brian Blade among others.

    D69 and Bbdim are the first two chords of Wave. I haven't tried it yet, but does this mean you could play BbHW over both of them? His written out line, btw, looks like the first few chords of Wave.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    The part I'm referring to is before he plays the written line.
    I know, but what makes you think he'd play Bbo over D69? Have you actually tried it to see what it sounds like? It's horrible! Why do it differently to the music? He just didn't play the chord, that's all.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I know, but what makes you think he'd play Bbo over D69? Have you actually tried it to see what it sounds like? It's horrible! Why do it differently to the music? He just didn't play the chord, that's all.

    The notes implied in the OP are A hw diminished.

    To my ear, they sound fantastic over D anything when resolved properly.


    Im not implying you have to like them, just letting the op know Art is subjective.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCat View Post
    The chord name is D6add9. Important, as it means it doesn't contain a -7. Then you see that C is not part of the scale. It's a very major chord, with a lot of options. Close to DMaj7 sonically.
    Thanks for this clarification. It IS important, basically the difference between the two main points of my analysis: whether the D chord is acting like a dominant (which means you can throw in a ton of alterations if you so choose) or a "very major chord... close to DMaj7 sonically" which is where I suggest that in such situations you might make more vanilla-sounding choices if what you're trying to do is fit in with that sound.

    I am a bit pressed for time now; if someone could please post info about the line in question, that would help: which clip is it and at what min:sec count into the clip?

    Regarding the whole A7b9-in-place-of-D69 question (hinted at in my previous answer) A7 is a secondary dominant to D... so, yeah, you can sub the latter for the former, as long as it makes sense in the context of what you're playing and you do it in a way that makes sense (resolves).

    To the OP: be careful about trying to arrive at one-size-fits-all formulas. As this thread has revealed, it's not just a question of "can I play these notes against this chord". Because if you're asking, the answer might be "no", but if Chico's asking, the answer is "yes, I can, can you?" :-)

    Don't get discouraged. The ability to break the rules in beautiful ways is what we love about jazz! But you gotta learn the rules before you learn how to break them :-)

    SJ

  20. #19

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    You're all bloody crazy. He's playing D over D, Bb diminished over Bbo, and Am-something over the Am. Unlike you lot who obviously think that totally the wrong scale over totally the wrong chord is 'jazzy' and 'cool' man, he - thankfully - knows what he's doing.

    Did you know the word gullible isn't in the dictionary?

  21. #20

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    So... I finally got a few minutes to listen to these clips.

    Overall, he is explaining that you can superimpose other chords over an existing one to get a fresher, outside sound. He does this repeatedly, establishing a "vanilla" tonality like D maj and then playing substitutions over it. But he does it really subtly and polytonally, not hitting you over the head with an obvious chord change so much as superimposing a related chord while still keeping the original tonality in the listener's ear... he "drifts away" from the vanilla tonality without abandoning it entirely, essentially using both the original chord and the sub at once.

    At 0:41 he is using B mel minor (ascending) over D6add9. This is a nice way to create an outside sound that's not "too outside." Using MM in place of the diatonic Aeolian mode that occurs naturally on that step adds the sound of +5 to the D maj.

    However, the chord he's playing at 0:53 (which he identifies only as "this chord") is NOT D 6add9, which is where all the confusion arises. What he's actually playing is

    Bb G Db Gb

    You can think of this as Eb7#9 with the 5th in the root. (Eb7#9/Bb)
    Or as A7b9 with the b9 in the root. (Like the typical A13 shape with the sixth-string root note raised a half-step.)
    These are both altered dominants. They're tritone subs for each other.
    And the Bb WH dim scale works over both.

    At about 1:18 in the Teaser 1 video (0:52 from the end) he plays the following over the D root that he establishes on the first half of beat 1: an Ab triad followed by a B7 arpeggio. The Ab triad is the TT sub for D7; analyzed against a D root, these notes are #11(Ab), b7 (C) and b9 (Db aka C#). Nothing wrong or unusual there. However, it is worth noting that there is no D7 playing in the background. All we hear is his single line. The D7 is someone's notation about the harmonies that these arpeggios imply; it seems fine to me, but its certainly possible that Chico is not thinking of D7 but thinking a tritone away. Or maybe he IS thinking of D7 but saying to himself, "I'll sub the tritone here." More likely he just knows he can use this sound and isn't thinking about it that much.

    Analyzing the B7 against the D root we have 13(B), b9(Eb aka D#), 3rd (F#), 5th(A). This is a cool sub; essentially V7/iii subbing for I. When you consider that D6 and Bm are the same chord (and b is the relative minor of D), it's easy to see how he might think of D6 as Bm (with the 9 of D being the 11 of the B, giving us B-11). From there, it's easy to say "instead of playing the relative minor, I'll play a dominant arpeggio built on that root note." That B7 sub differs from the diatonic relative minor 7th chord by exactly one note, the D#, which takes us into the territory of using an altered dom to sub for our original vanilla major... but subbing the Ab triad already created an altered dominant sound, so swapping in another altered dominant does not sound out of place.

    The entire next bar is diatonic Gma7 EXCEPT for the Bb, which anticipates the Gm6 in the next bar.

    To bring it back to rp's original question, the way to think about this is that you can build lines around chords other than the ones on the page. Always let your ear be your guide. Even if you do know a ton of theory, you still must always use your ear to play in a way that is stylistically appropriate. Like Clint says, don't use that augmented chord on your country gig :-)
    Last edited by starjasmine; 03-13-2019 at 03:24 AM.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post
    Or as A7b9 with the b9 in the root. (Like the typical A13 shape with the sixth-string root note raised a half-step.)
    It's also a Gb triad over a b9 root. I suspect that means there's a way to analyze these notes against the other two notes of the Bb dim as root, but I will have to try that out later.

  23. #22

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    Does sound like Wave... D69 -> Bbdimb6 the way I do it.

    You can play Bbdim harmony over a D69 if it is the kind of song that let's your ear hear that dim as passing, foreshadowing, or actually settling into an A7 sound...
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post

    Bb G Db Gb

    You can think of this as Eb7#9 with the 5th in the root. (Eb7#9/Bb)
    Or as A7b9 with the b9 in the root. (Like the typical A13 shape with the sixth-string root note raised a half-step.)
    These are both altered dominants. They're tritone subs for each other.
    And if you pop up a level, you can see these examples as drawing on the "back-cycling" concept that we all know and love. Back-cycling is based on the insertion of secondary dominants (or dominant-tonic root movements) in a chain that leads back to the resolving chord. In this case, A7b9 is dominant to the D6add9, and the Eb7#9 is the TT sub to A7alt. So you can view this way of constructing lines as being similar to cycling between I and V (or its TT) but not doing it in a really obvious cadential way so much as using those V subs to drift away from the major key center before drifting back in.

    SJ

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post
    So... I finally got a few minutes to listen to these clips.

    Overall, he is explaining that you can superimpose other chords over an existing one to get a fresher, outside sound. He does this repeatedly, establishing a "vanilla" tonality like D maj and then playing substitutions over it. But he does it really subtly and polytonally, not hitting you over the head with an obvious chord change so much as superimposing a related chord while still keeping the original tonality in the listener's ear... he "drifts away" from the vanilla tonality without abandoning it entirely, essentially using both the original chord and the sub at once.

    At 0:41 he is using B mel minor (ascending) over D6add9. This is a nice way to create an outside sound that's not "too outside." Using MM in place of the diatonic Aeolian mode that occurs naturally on that step adds the sound of +5 to the D maj.

    However, the chord he's playing at 0:53 (which he identifies only as "this chord") is NOT D 6add9, which is where all the confusion arises. What he's actually playing is

    Bb G Db Gb

    You can think of this as Eb7#9 with the 5th in the root. (Eb7#9/Bb)
    Or as A7b9 with the b9 in the root. (Like the typical A13 shape with the sixth-string root note raised a half-step.)
    These are both altered dominants. They're tritone subs for each other.
    And the Bb WH dim scale works over both.

    At about 1:18 in the Teaser 1 video (0:52 from the end) he plays the following over the D root that he establishes on the first half of beat 1: an Ab triad followed by a B7 arpeggio. The Ab triad is the TT sub for D7; analyzed against a D root, these notes are #11(Ab), b7 (C) and b9 (Db aka C#). Nothing wrong or unusual there. However, it is worth noting that there is no D7 playing in the background. All we hear is his single line. The D7 is someone's notation about the harmonies that these arpeggios imply; it seems fine to me, but its certainly possible that Chico is not thinking of D7 but thinking a tritone away. Or maybe he IS thinking of D7 but saying to himself, "I'll sub the tritone here." More likely he just knows he can use this sound and isn't thinking about it that much.

    Analyzing the B7 against the D root we have 13(B), b9(Eb aka D#), 3rd (F#), 5th(A). This is a cool sub; essentially V7/iii subbing for I. When you consider that D6 and Bm are the same chord (and b is the relative minor of D), it's easy to see how he might think of D6 as Bm (with the 9 of D being the 11 of the B, giving us B-11). From there, it's easy to say "instead of playing the relative minor, I'll play a dominant arpeggio built on that root note." That B7 sub differs from the diatonic relative minor 7th chord by exactly one note, the D#, which takes us into the territory of using an altered dom to sub for our original vanilla major... but subbing the Ab triad already created an altered dominant sound, so swapping in another altered dominant does not sound out of place.

    The entire next bar is diatonic Gma7 EXCEPT for the Bb, which anticipates the Gm6 in the next bar.

    To bring it back to rp's original question, the way to think about this is that you can build lines around chords other than the ones on the page. Always let your ear be your guide. Even if you do know a ton of theory, you still must always use your ear to play in a way that is stylistically appropriate. Like Clint says, don't use that augmented chord on your country gig :-)
    Thanks! That all makes sense. I think the video may have been spliced just before the Ebdominant.

    And, when I finally figured out what he played just before that, it was, exactly as you said, B MM. I don't I've heard anybody else use the #5 in quite the way Chico does.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    it was, exactly as you said, B MM
    I already suggested that.

    D69 and Bb diminished.

    I think I'm going to give up. You'd argue that black was white. He never ONCE played Bb dim over the D69, not once. Even in the second teaser vid he doesn't do it.

    What is WRONG with you!!!!! For god's sake, come on! I'm not being rude, it's just bonkers!

    D69 and Bb diminished.-untitled-jpg

  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I already suggested that.

    D69 and Bb diminished.

    I think I'm going to give up. You'd argue that black was white. He never ONCE played Bb dim over the D69, not once. Even in the second teaser vid he doesn't do it.

    What is WRONG with you!!!!! For god's sake, come on! I'm not being rude, it's just bonkers!

    D69 and Bb diminished.-untitled-jpg
    What is wrong with me is that I made a mistake. I thought that Eb dom was a D69. Obviously, it makes more sense to play Bb dim over an Eb dom.

  28. #27

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    What Eb dom????? There's a D7alt (which is Eb MM) at the end of the second teaser. The chords are D69 - Bbo - Am7 - D7alt. There's no Eb dom!

    You just like the way he plays. He's not doing anything clever at all. D for D, Bbo for Bbo, Am for Am, D alt for D7alt. That's it. He's just pretty good at playing it, is all.

    In fact, it's so simple you could do it yourself. Why not?

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    What Eb dom????? There's a D7alt (which is Eb MM) at the end of the second teaser. The chords are D69 - Bbo - Am7 - D7alt. There's no Eb dom!

    You just like the way he plays, that's all. He's not doing anything clever at all. D for D, Bbo for Bbo, Am for Am, D alt for D7alt. That's it.
    starjasmine pointed out that the chord could be considered an Eb7#9. That made sense to me. Call it what you like.

    Here's the quote.

    However, the chord he's playing at 0:53 (which he identifies only as "this chord") is NOT D 6add9, which is where all the confusion arises. What he's actually playing is

    Bb G Db Gb

    You can think of this as Eb7#9 with the 5th in the root. (Eb7#9/Bb)
    Or as A7b9 with the b9 in the root. (Like the typical A13 shape with the sixth-string root note raised a half-step.)
    These are both altered dominants. They're tritone subs for each other.
    And the Bb WH dim scale works over both.

  30. #29

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    I refuse point blank to start with that malarkey.

    I don't 'consider' the given chord to be other than what it is. Why complicate your life and mess up your head? Play what it says, don't invent stuff that isn't there.

    If you want to reharm the tune, of course, that's a different matter.

  31. #30

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    If the question is whether, or why one can use that symmetrical scale over a major chord...Whatever mister Chico did or not, yes you can. As harmonic movement/dominant tension. To move in and out of. And it obviously requires a certain tempo. Staying on a long D# over D major will likely not sound that good.

    The A HW will give you an A7 dominant tension. C# HW will give you a C#7 flavour (dominant to iii, which is pretty much just a first inversion of I maj7). Those two are the most common. Though less common, you can of course use the last HW too if you slide in and out of it in a good way There's a certain logic/chromaticism/tension/ambiguity to this symmetrical scale that makes it fit in many places.