Reply to Thread
Posts 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hello, long time lurker/ first time poster here.

    I'm trying to learn a bit of jazz guitar by myself, right now trying to reverse-engineer Indiana (a.k.a. Donna Lee).

    Looking at the second part of the song:

    || F Eb7 | D7 | G7 | G7 |
    | A7 | A7 | Dm | Dm |
    | Dm | A7 | Dm | Abdim |
    | F | C7 | F | F |

    Starting on the A7 chord, you have basically 8 bars of A7 (and Dm, which would be the moral equivalent?), before going back to F (the key of the song) in the last 4 bars.

    My questions are:

    1) What is this thing? Would you call it a modulation? To which key?

    2) As a songwriter, how do you come up with amazing-sounding ideas like this?

    Bonus question:

    3) The Abdim right before the F would be a "Common Tone Diminished" chord, correct?

    And an extra bonus question for good measure:

    4) Is there some book that explains these types of concepts, that one can read without having to spend 5 years learning piano full-time as a prerequisite?

    Thanks in advance!

    (And, please let me know if this post should go somewhere else.)

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu


    My questions are:

    1) What is this thing? Would you call it a modulation? To which key?

    It appears to me the A7 signals a brief modulation to the relative minor (Dm) of F.

    3) The Abdim right before the F would be a "Common Tone Diminished" chord, correct?

    Yes, you can view it that way. Abdim is just another form of Fdim and shares the F root. That said, the fact a Dm7 precedes the Abdim suggests to me the Abdim is really a dressed up G7 (i.e. with a flat 9 in the root). So it is a II V sound (in C).

    4) Is there some book that explains these types of concepts, that one can read without having to spend 5 years learning piano full-time as a prerequisite?

    Paul Hindemith's short book "Traditional Harmony" could be helpful. see sections on secondary dominants and modulations.

    see: http://petruccilibrary.ca/files/imgl...armonyBook.pdf

    I skipped the really hard question...



  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Yes it's a change to the relative minor
    D-
    The A7 sets it up

    Maybe.try the decending guide tone line
    D on D-
    Db on A7
    C on D-7
    B on Abo (or G7 as you said) (or Do in fact)

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Howzabopping View Post

    Starting on the A7 chord, you have basically 8 bars of A7
    No, you absolutely do NOT have 'eight bars of A7'! If you think like that you'll mess yourself up no end.

    You have what it says:

    A7 - % - Dm - %
    Dm - A7 - Dm - Abo

    Except those aren't the right chords. Where did you get them from? The Vanilla Book, right?

    I have two versions:

    Em7b5 - A7b9 - Dm - Em7b5/A7b9
    Dm - Em7b5/A7b9 - Dm/Dm/C - Bo

    And/or:

    Em7 - A7 - Dm7 - Bbm7
    FM7 - Em7b5/A7b9 - Dm - Bo

    Try them. Even if you play the vanilla version it's still not 8 bars of A7.

    As someone said above, the second A7 is a modulation into Dm, best played A7b9.

    The Abdim right before the F would be a "Common Tone Diminished" chord, correct?
    God knows, just play it! In any case it's a Bo.

    As someone said above, you've got that descending bass D-C-B. Much nicer, even though technically speaking Abo and Bo are the same notes.

  6. #5
    Thanks everybody for all the great information! A modulation to Dm makes much more sense. And of course, once in the key of Dm, the moves around the key, it doesn't sit still.

    I forgot to mention in the original post, the chords were from the "Vanilla Book." Good catch ragman1!

  7. #6
    The Abdim makes a little more sense too when the last four bars are played with a 3-6-2-5 (which is pretty common when this tune is played) like |A-7 D7|G-7 C7|F|G-7 C7| or something along those lines, as the Abdim resolves smoothly into the A-7

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Howzabopping View Post
    Hello, long time lurker/ first time poster here.

    I'm trying to learn a bit of jazz guitar by myself, right now trying to reverse-engineer Indiana (a.k.a. Donna Lee).

    Looking at the second part of the song:

    || F Eb7 | D7 | G7 | G7 |
    | A7 | A7 | Dm | Dm |
    | Dm | A7 | Dm | Abdim |
    | F | C7 | F | F |

    Starting on the A7 chord, you have basically 8 bars of A7 (and Dm, which would be the moral equivalent?), before going back to F (the key of the song) in the last 4 bars.

    My questions are:

    1) What is this thing? Would you call it a modulation? To which key?

    2) As a songwriter, how do you come up with amazing-sounding ideas like this?

    Bonus question:

    3) The Abdim right before the F would be a "Common Tone Diminished" chord, correct?

    And an extra bonus question for good measure:

    4) Is there some book that explains these types of concepts, that one can read without having to spend 5 years learning piano full-time as a prerequisite?

    Thanks in advance!

    (And, please let me know if this post should go somewhere else.)
    1) It's a temporary modulation to Dm, the relative minor of F. This modulation has been extremely common in music of the last few hundred years.

    2) Learn lots of songs and analyse them? One of the most useful things you can do in this sense is to transpose songs to different keys, because you will start to see the similarities.

    The important note here is C#, the 3rd of the A7. The normal note in this key is C.

    By raising it a half step we push strongly towards the Dm, because it is the leading tone of Dm - a note a semitone below the target note. Listen to Mozart, he's the master of this stuff :-)

    3) OK so the biii dim7 is IMO one of the big blind spots in most of the books I've read. Modern jazz pedagogy focusses on ii-V-I and V-I and other resolutions get short shrift.

    You are right - it's are common tone diminished chord.

    But it's a common chord, especially when you realise it's the same chord as #IVo7 and Io7. Be on the look out for them. If it's not some form of a II-V-I or V-I then it most often would be one of these.

    So look at a lot of songs, and be on the lookout. This chord used to be a lot more common in tunes than it is now.

    4) I haven't come across many jazz books that explain functional harmony well, but one book I like is The Jazz Harmony Book by David Berkman. It's not how I learned, but as far as I can tell everything is in there.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    No, you absolutely do NOT have 'eight bars of A7'! If you think like that you'll mess yourself up no end.

    You have what it says:

    A7 - % - Dm - %
    Dm - A7 - Dm - Abo

    Except those aren't the right chords. Where did you get them from? The Vanilla Book, right?
    Haha this is what I always play! So I thought I'd do a little digging as this isn't necessarily tune I ever really studied, just something that gets called a lot on trad and swing gigs, and I played Donna Lee changes in F... No doubt that's a shibboleth in the hardcore Trad crowd as a lot of these things are...

    I have two versions:

    Em7b5 - A7b9 - Dm - Em7b5/A7b9
    Dm - Em7b5/A7b9 - Dm/Dm/C - Bo

    And/or:

    Em7 - A7 - Dm7 - Bbm7
    FM7 - Em7b5/A7b9 - Dm - Bo
    This tune has literally 100 years of recorded history, so it would be surprising if it hadn't been subjected to changes and revisions. Just look at Rhythm Changes and Blues...

    It's a bit of a trad tune - not so much modern jazz. Many modern jazzers I know are unaware that Indiana is the basis of Donna Lee for instance.

    For that style of music, I find these changes a bit needlessly busy. TBH these look like Realbook type changes, especially the first where the changes are somewhat complicated by subs. I would never play an F^7 in this tune - F major or F6, but FM7 takes you out of the style. Also using Em7b5 A7 can sound a bit busy, earlier jazz tends not to feature so many ii-V's.

    Another point is the main if only difference between these examples is what the bass is playing. In trad jazz the guitar/banjo is likely to play relatively simple chords* and is actually as much concerned with rhythm as harmony, while the bass/tuba comes up with a bassline usually based on typical melodic figures and not just the roots of the chords. So as a guitar player you can play the vanilla changes on top of that bassline, and it will basically sound the same. For instance Dm on F gives F6, so no problem there.

    Anyway, what does Louis play? This is the typical situation I would expect to encounter this tune.



    So this sounds to me like

    A7 | % | Dm | % |
    F | A7 | Dm | Bo7 |

    So closest to the second progression you gave without the Am7 or Em7b5, but I don't hear a Bbm7.

    But this one is different again - while similar you can hear bass very clearly, and it doesn't seem to acknowledge the Bo7/Abo7 at all, staying on G.



    OK what about the first jazz recording, by the ODJB? I hear (transposing to F)

    C7 | C#o7 | Dm | % |
    F/C | C#o7 | Dm | Bo7 |
    F/C | C7 | F | % |

    Notice the melodic bassline here - lots of chords in inversion. (As jazz developed and the bass player started improvising walking lines in the '40s, jazz started to feature less inversions.) Also C7 C#o7 Dm is the way we would think of Em7b5 A7b9 Dm in the Barry Harris school - it's the same thing with a different bassline.



    One thing that's quite hip about this record (no really!) is the way they play D7 for two bars at the start of the chorus - no F. So with the the F triad in the melody - well hello, triad upper structure on a dominant chord (D7#9)

    Here's the definitive bop version.



    The head changes are a little subbed. To me it sounds like he is playing in the head:

    Em7b5 | A7 | Dm C7 | Bb7 A7
    Dm | A7 | Dm | Abo7
    F | Gm7 C7 | F | %

    And for soloing

    A7 | % | Dm | A7 |
    Dm | A7 | Dm | % |
    and then an F turnaround

    He glosses over the dim7 chord, which doesn't surprise me, because Parker often did the same. Which makes sense because boppers often simplified the changes for blowing. I don't think boppers liked common tone dim7 chords much when blowing.

    *not to say that everyone does always, but there's definitely a harmonic language specific to earlier jazz. If you play too boppy it sounds wrong for the music.
    Last edited by christianm77; 04-22-2019 at 05:46 AM.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I suggest listening to early vocal versions of the tune to get closer to the original changes of this song.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    For that style of music, I find these changes a bit needlessly busy.
    Actually I agree. The backing to my Soundcloud clip on the Indiana thread was extremely basic. Can't remember exactly what I did although I'm sure I used the Bo.

    I liked the version that goes

    Em7b5 | A7 | Dm C7 | Bb7 A7
    Dm | A7 | Dm | Abo7
    F | Gm7 C7 | F | %

    That sounds like fun. Although I still think the Bo sounds better before the F.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    should beFmaj7] D7] G7] dm7 G7] Em7b5] A7] Dm] Em7b5 A7] Dm ] Em7b5 A7] Dm] Em7b5 A7] Dm] Abdim

    or some shit like that. A7 and dm isn't the same, it's a back and forth
    White belt
    My Youtube