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  1. #1
    Hey.

    I'm not very adept in theory and in jazz, those rules can be confusing sometimes.. as much as the "analysis"s and chords on sheets tend to have differences.
    Here are some statements to confirm or refute. For a peace of mind.
    Generally speaking.. rule of thumb.. most of the time (only speaking about the diatonic, harm and mel scales here):

    1.A7 : no alterations, unless its in minor (that case its b9, harmonic)
    2.A7b9 - indicates the harmonic scale.
    3.A7#11 - lydian dominant, no other alterations besides that #11
    4.A7b13 - mixolydian b6, no other alterations
    5.#9 and #5 only belong to alt scale, alt dominant chord.
    6.minor 2-5-1 is pretty much meant in harmonic minor unless the dominant chord has #9, #5 or alt signs.
    7.having more than 1 alterations marked in the dominant chord symbols means that the composer wants all of those notes to sound under the melody or that someone was overthinking.
    9. A7alt - just whatever "dominanty" sounding chord you like, but surely in the alt scale
    10. in minor 2-5-1, the last chord almost never sticks with #7 degree. gets flattened to m7.

    ----
    Probably messed up some. Thanks for pointing it out in advance.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    10. in minor 2-5-1, the last chord almost never sticks with #7 degree. gets flattened to m7.
    Or m6.

    The rest of it looks okay. Nevertheless, 'rules' are always flexible. You should probably include altered sounds over an altered dom but you don't always have to be diatonic over an unaltered one. For example, using the lyd dom over an unresolved V.

    Depends on context and what sounds good.

  4. #3
    Thanks.

    I thought that it's better to know about the rule before bending it
    Never read a theory book, only went through some tunes on my own.

    One thing still bugs me with written sheet music. When checking the chords against melody (a solid well established notes), then sometimes the sheet may have dominant chords that disagree with the melody. How can that be? Also, when saw some analysis, they usually go through the functions but rarely mention any melody notes. Whats up with that?

  5. #4

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    Lead sheets are just a guide, you sometimes have to apply a bit of knowledge to make sense of them.

    For example they will often say the chord is just G7, when common jazz practice at that point in the tune would be to play some kind of altered G7 (e.g. G7#5). This might be because the melody requires it, or it might just be it sounds better in the context of the chord progression.

    It helps to learn tunes by listening to a few of the great recordings as well as consulting the sheet music, that’s how I always try to approach it.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    sometimes the sheet may have dominant chords that disagree with the melody.
    Again, depends on the context. In Blue Bossa there's a Bb that lands solidly on a G7, just like that. But it sounds good.

    Some questions about dominants.-untitled-jpg

  7. #6
    Oh geez.. got to take a deep breath and accept the chaos

  8. #7

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    A7#5 -- you can also use the A whole tone scale, or as we say in Canada, take the "eh" train.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  9. #8
    I've not yet got into dim and aug scales. Heard a rumor that they can make you lazy.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Hey.

    I'm not very adept in theory and in jazz, those rules can be confusing sometimes.. as much as the "analysis"s and chords on sheets tend to have differences.
    Here are some statements to confirm or refute. For a peace of mind.
    Generally speaking.. rule of thumb.. most of the time (only speaking about the diatonic, harm and mel scales here):

    1.A7 : no alterations, unless its in minor (that case its b9, harmonic)
    2.A7b9 - indicates the harmonic scale.
    3.A7#11 - lydian dominant, no other alterations besides that #11
    4.A7b13 - mixolydian b6, no other alterations
    5.#9 and #5 only belong to alt scale, alt dominant chord.
    6.minor 2-5-1 is pretty much meant in harmonic minor unless the dominant chord has #9, #5 or alt signs.
    7.having more than 1 alterations marked in the dominant chord symbols means that the composer wants all of those notes to sound under the melody or that someone was overthinking.
    9. A7alt - just whatever "dominanty" sounding chord you like, but surely in the alt scale
    10. in minor 2-5-1, the last chord almost never sticks with #7 degree. gets flattened to m7.

    ----
    Probably messed up some. Thanks for pointing it out in advance.
    Sure. "Context needed" goes without saying.

    Beyond that, b9 and b13 very often indicates a harmonic minor reference.

    #5 is very often a wrongly-written b13. So, same.

    Lydian dominant works and is common practice for "something to play over 7#11".

    #9 by itself is very often "just a blue note" in terms of original reference. Altered works as an option to play....

    Having more than one alteration...well, to that, .....I'd give one guideline for ALL of the above: chord symbols are as much about what NOT to play as anything. b9 or b13 can be covered with several different things, but more than anything, they mean "don't jump on the nat9 (or nat13) with both feet, like a complete rookie"...

    Understand that, in terms of real theory....

    1. Most things are "from" major and harmonic minor. It's really helpful to be able to write out or spell full 13th chords for each scale degree from both of these just for the "where things come from" part. (Melodic minor is just as important for basic coverage in modern jazz, but it's not the functional starting reference.)

    2. Be able to spell secondary dominants within the key to full 13th chords. They end up being myxo, harmonic minor and Mel minor, but it's cool to know where they're "from".

    3. Once you can spell the above, you'll be more aware of the rest, which is made up of things like "just blue notes"etc.

    Melodic minor, whole tone, diminished and other scales cover things you "can play" but are rarely WHERE things "come from" (to butcher some grammar). For example, once you play b9 or b13, you open the door to melodic minor and can use it, but that's different from saying that it "comes from" melodic minor/diminished/whole tone etc.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 07-31-2019 at 04:14 PM.

  11. #10
    Thanks. Gonna digest for a bit..

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Hey.

    I'm not very adept in theory and in jazz, those rules can be confusing sometimes.. as much as the "analysis"s and chords on sheets tend to have differences.
    Here are some statements to confirm or refute. For a peace of mind.
    Generally speaking.. rule of thumb.. most of the time (only speaking about the diatonic, harm and mel scales here):

    1.A7 : no alterations, unless its in minor (that case its b9, harmonic)
    2.A7b9 - indicates the harmonic scale.
    3.A7#11 - lydian dominant, no other alterations besides that #11
    4.A7b13 - mixolydian b6, no other alterations
    5.#9 and #5 only belong to alt scale, alt dominant chord.
    6.minor 2-5-1 is pretty much meant in harmonic minor unless the dominant chord has #9, #5 or alt signs.
    7.having more than 1 alterations marked in the dominant chord symbols means that the composer wants all of those notes to sound under the melody or that someone was overthinking.
    9. A7alt - just whatever "dominanty" sounding chord you like, but surely in the alt scale
    10. in minor 2-5-1, the last chord almost never sticks with #7 degree. gets flattened to m7.

    ----
    Probably messed up some. Thanks for pointing it out in advance.
    If you're asking "what is the 7 note scale associated with this chord in chord-scale-theory?" sure. But that does not mean "when you see this chord in a chart, comp exactly this voicing and/or play notes from this scale".

    When I see any form of a dom7 written in a chart, I think "dom7, with alterations TBD according to the melody, taste, and context", no matter what extension or alterations are actually written there. For some tunes, one has to pay more attention, and sometimes the chart really is correct to be so prescriptive, but that's the exception IME, and typically only during the head. Improvisation is improvisation. Your idea that there is a "rule" and playing something other than that is breaking the rule (intentionally or not) is just wrong. There is not a rule that the voicing as written in a chart dictates that a comper play that voicing or that soloist draw on the associated CST scale. In the real world, nearly all 7's are alt7's, and your job as an improvising musician is to pick voicings and notes according your ears, the context, and your intention.

    John

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    ...In the real world, nearly all 7's are alt7's, and your job as an improvising musician is to pick voicings and notes according your ears, the context, and your intention.

    John
    I'd be interested to know what the good people of this Forum think about this - ie - where would you NOT treat V7 as a V7alt? Maybe not the I7 or IV7 in say a blues, and perhaps not the II7 in many tunes, anywhere else?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I'd be interested to know what the good people of this Forum think about this - ie - where would you NOT treat V7 as a V7alt? Maybe not the I7 or IV7 in say a blues, and perhaps not the II7 in many tunes, anywhere else?
    If a dominant chord is NOT functioning as a ‘V resolving to I’, then I would probably not alter it. I might put a #11 on it though, that works ok. That is also how Emily Remler explains it in one of her videos. For example the first 2 bars of Benny Golson’s ‘Killer Joe’.

    Of course there are exceptions to this, such as disguised/delayed resolutions. Ultimately I just do what sounds ‘right’ in the context.

  15. #14

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    What Graham said, the fully altered sound is usually best when resolving to the tonic, but, be warned, what to play over dominants is a very complex subject.

    I suggest you google it and prepare to be confused. Sorry :-)

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    I'd be interested to know what the good people of this Forum think about this - ie - where would you NOT treat V7 as a V7alt? Maybe not the I7 or IV7 in say a blues, and perhaps not the II7 in many tunes, anywhere else?
    I can't think of any situation where I would absolutely not ever play a particular voicing. I'd say the guideline (not rule) I follow is V is alt by default; in other functions, alter 9 or 5 (and add or alter 4/11 or 6/13) with intent, not by default. For instance, it's fairly common to play 7#9 on I or IV on a blues, when going for the effect of doing that.

    John

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by John A. View Post
    I can't think of any situation where I would absolutely not ever play a particular voicing. I'd say the guideline (not rule) I follow is V is alt by default; in other functions, alter 9 or 5 (and add or alter 4/11 or 6/13) with intent, not by default. For instance, it's fairly common to play 7#9 on I or IV on a blues, when going for the effect of doing that.

    John
    So, calling 7#11 altered?

    Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

  18. #17

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    Music notation is a symbolic representation of sound. It is amazing that it communicates as much as it does, however there always remains parts of the musical panorama omitted that need be made whole by the performer.

    Lead sheet formats and chord symbols are especially
    incomplete. Sometimes the notator is going for simplicity, covering the general
    harmonic idea. Other times the aim is for detailed specificity.

    Harmony is made up of the sum total of all the notes played in the ensemble in temporal proximity. When we are reading a chart, we have to consider the options and necessities
    in relation to the melody. When we are playing in a band, we have to consider all else being played. We, as guitarists have a tendency to take chord symbols too literally, that there is a
    chord grip or several combined needed to fulfill the notational request.
    This is not a terrible thing, it is a survival level but can still be executed with a great result.

    Take the Barry Harris statement though, "I don't play chords, I play movements".
    There is a life that exists beyond the chord symbol on the page.
    A good musical response will be contextually defined.
    Emanresu, your list is pretty good for the school of the literal interpretation of
    dominant chord symbols.

    Modal thinking links a chord symbol to a source scale and subsequent extensions. This is one possible expansion of the chord symbol.There are also many instances where several dominants derived from multiple modes can be combined, moving from brighter to darker or the reverse before moving on. This can be done, regardless what the chord symbol indicates.
    There are approach chords to the chord of the moment and to the following chord.
    There are back and forth possibilities, like those built into the Barry Harris 8 note scales.
    There is the hyper awareness of chord patterns, that forum member Reg demonstrates
    great dexterity with.

    Anyway my major point: the chord symbol is not the whole story.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Sure. "Context needed" goes without saying.

    Beyond that, b9 and b13 very often indicates a harmonic minor reference.

    #5 is very often a wrongly-written b13. So, same.

    Lydian dominant works and is common practice for "something to play over 7#11".

    #9 by itself is very often "just a blue note" in terms of original reference. Altered works as an option to play....

    Having more than one alteration...well, to that, .....I'd give one guideline for ALL of the above: chord symbols are as much about what NOT to play as anything. b9 or b13 can be covered with several different things, but more than anything, they mean "don't jump on the nat9 (or nat13) with both feet, like a complete rookie"...

    Understand that, in terms of real theory....

    1. Most things are "from" major and harmonic minor. It's really helpful to be able to write out or spell full 13th chords for each scale degree from both of these just for the "where things come from" part. (Melodic minor is just as important for basic coverage in modern jazz, but it's not the functional starting reference.)

    2. Be able to spell secondary dominants within the key to full 13th chords. They end up being myxo, harmonic minor and Mel minor, but it's cool to know where they're "from".

    3. Once you can spell the above, you'll be more aware of the rest, which is made up of things like "just blue notes"etc.

    Melodic minor, whole tone, diminished and other scales cover things you "can play" but are rarely WHERE things "come from" (to butcher some grammar). For example, once you play b9 or b13, you open the door to melodic minor and can use it, but that's different from saying that it "comes from" melodic minor/diminished/whole tone etc.
    Btw, the above mentioned material and the material in the OP is the vanilla part or a "starting reference". You can do a lot more than that, but that's not what you're talking about in your op.

    But that idea of vanilla or a "starting reference" will sort of reconcile what has been said about being able to play "just about anything". Both are true, but you're somewhat talking about different things - or at least different LEVELS of the same thing.

    When you learn some basic starting reference/ vanilla material, you can then start applying it in outside contexts. That's where "everything else" mostly comes in.

    Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    So, calling 7#11 altered?

    Sent from my SM-A505U using Tapatalk
    Which gets me a prize, saying yes or saying no?

    I really don't want to get too deeply into the Marshes of Enharmony (worse than the fire swamp ...). I usually think of 7#11 and 7b5 as the same thing (even though I understand why they're not), and most of the time I treat them as suggestions, not as a command.

    John

  21. #20
    Thanks, it was so helpful read everybody.

    Just to emphasize one last thing that still nags me. Putting improvisation aside for a bit.. When we got melody notes - long and strong, for example - part of an unaltered dominant chord for sure. ..And it's marked as such in a trusty lead sheet. While it may be cool to alter some of the other notes and of course the added passing dominant chords could be whatever we like atm., wouldn't it be somewhat required to actually use the melody to.. indicate the most suitable choice at least?
    Although the Blue bossa example... that was a fun way to debunk the issue. Still, I've told (and passed the wisdom ) many times that whenever in doubt (whether the sheet is right), check the melody.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Thanks, it was so helpful read everybody.

    Just to emphasize one last thing that still nags me. Putting improvisation aside for a bit.. When we got melody notes - long and strong, for example - part of an unaltered dominant chord for sure. ..And it's marked as such in a trusty lead sheet. While it may be cool to alter some of the other notes and of course the added passing dominant chords could be whatever we like atm., wouldn't it be somewhat required to actually use the melody to.. indicate the most suitable choice at least?
    Although the Blue bossa example... that was a fun way to debunk the issue. Still, I've told (and passed the wisdom ) many times that whenever in doubt (whether the sheet is right), check the melody.
    That's the first choice when comping under the melody, but things can be looser under soloing.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Thanks, it was so helpful read everybody.

    Just to emphasize one last thing that still nags me. Putting improvisation aside for a bit.. When we got melody notes - long and strong, for example - part of an unaltered dominant chord for sure. ..And it's marked as such in a trusty lead sheet. While it may be cool to alter some of the other notes and of course the added passing dominant chords could be whatever we like atm., wouldn't it be somewhat required to actually use the melody to.. indicate the most suitable choice at least?
    Although the Blue bossa example... that was a fun way to debunk the issue. Still, I've told (and passed the wisdom ) many times that whenever in doubt (whether the sheet is right), check the melody.
    Build the chords from the top down?

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Build the chords from the top down?
    Uh?
    I try to keep the top note not moving too much usually so kinda yes.. But it's different topic?

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Uh?
    I try to keep the top note not moving too much usually so kinda yes.. But it's different topic?
    Well, it's just as simple as having a sense of how the melody relates to the chords... So you build voicings from the melody down and you can't get into trouble. Of course you may not want to play those voicings necessarily, but you have an idea of what to avoid. So I know I can put a 13b9 chord here, or whatever.

    It's why making a chord melody is always a good idea... I usually do something I can play in a trio, so sketch in the chords.

    In terms of reading charts, it depends on the comping style. Modern style comping tends to involve more complex voicings, so you probably need some precautionary digits after the chords.

  26. #25

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    Personally, I would never set out to make a list of "rules" like that, but if I did, for each rule I would reference a couple of examples of the rule being followed in known songs, and a couple of examples of the rule being violated in a couple of songs.

    Musical judgement develops from examining and discovering how and why the rules apply in some contexts and not in others.

    It's important to know the meta-rules that guide the application or exception of the first level rules, and then know the meta-meta-rules above that which guide the application or exception of the meta-rules guiding the application or exception of the first level rules... see how crazy this gets?... but this is the nature of the overall musical judgement... you struggle, explore, and internalize nested layers of rules and exceptions until they become diffuse and intuitive, which is how you want them as the objects of musical judgement.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  27. #26

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    My wife and I have now 40+ years as pro portrait photographers, working a wall portraits trade. Images needed to be very interesting and beautiful to view in 30x40 inch or bigger prints. Sold for up to a couple grand for a print. And yea, that has been our entire household income.

    Yea, we needed to know the rules of composition and tone, proportions and relationships. Emotions expressed in positioning and lighting and surroundings.

    In great detail.

    And also when, how, and why to adhere to most of them, but vary or shatter one, to make a more interesting and intriguing image.

    Same thing applies to music. It's part of the intense and deep knowledge base required to excel at any craft or art form.

    And some very, very few people "get" this almost intuitively. More of us have some parts intuitively and can learn so much more. (And some ... oh well ...)

    I've taught a lot of people over the years. And could pretty quickly tell which people I taught Rules to, and which people ... could learn guideposts ... and use them ... modify or interpret them ... or choose to discard one now and then.

    I refused to teach Rules to those who could ... see. Sometimes to their great frustrations. Or waste our time teaching Guidelines to those who could only create under Rules.

    I know some very fine professional actors, amazing talents, and have performed lead roles on Broadway or the Met Opera. And they can also teach acting and expressive singing.

    As noted above, to those who have the ability to learn their respective crafts.

    Sadly, though I dearly always wanted to act, and have been in numerous productions as a major character in college and since ... I always knew why I got my role:

    The director didn't gave a "good" option, but knew I could learn a part reliably and enable the others to get on with the show.

    Never bad enough to get bad ink, never good enough to get mentioned for a review positively. As much a nonentity for reviewers as anyone else attending.

    So I know both what it's like to be able to be highly performant at a craft, and ... what it's like to be a very, very disappointed block of wood.

    And I ain't never going to be your favorite jazz soloist either on trombone or guitar. Sigh.

    But oh I love to play that guitar ...

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Again, depends on the context. In Blue Bossa there's a Bb that lands solidly on a G7, just like that. But it sounds good.

    Some questions about dominants.-untitled-jpg
    Holy shit, didn't I literally cite this example about two pages back or am I going mad? (EDIT: it was another thread)

    You did it better & clearer though. Nice graphic.

    The melody is clearly C natural minor, Dorham not thinking notes on chords. You can find a lot more examples like that.

    Yer Cst guys would say #9 b9 therefore G altered, of course. I think it's fairly clear Dorham wasn't thinking of the altered scale when he wrote that tune.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by rNeil View Post
    My wife and I have now 40+ years as pro portrait photographers, working a wall portraits trade. Images needed to be very interesting and beautiful to view in 30x40 inch or bigger prints. Sold for up to a couple grand for a print. And yea, that has been our entire household income.

    Yea, we needed to know the rules of composition and tone, proportions and relationships. Emotions expressed in positioning and lighting and surroundings.

    In great detail.

    And also when, how, and why to adhere to most of them, but vary or shatter one, to make a more interesting and intriguing image.

    Same thing applies to music. It's part of the intense and deep knowledge base required to excel at any craft or art form.

    And some very, very few people "get" this almost intuitively. More of us have some parts intuitively and can learn so much more. (And some ... oh well ...)

    I've taught a lot of people over the years. And could pretty quickly tell which people I taught Rules to, and which people ... could learn guideposts ... and use them ... modify or interpret them ... or choose to discard one now and then.

    I refused to teach Rules to those who could ... see. Sometimes to their great frustrations. Or waste our time teaching Guidelines to those who could only create under Rules.

    I know some very fine professional actors, amazing talents, and have performed lead roles on Broadway or the Met Opera. And they can also teach acting and expressive singing.

    As noted above, to those who have the ability to learn their respective crafts.

    Sadly, though I dearly always wanted to act, and have been in numerous productions as a major character in college and since ... I always knew why I got my role:

    The director didn't gave a "good" option, but knew I could learn a part reliably and enable the others to get on with the show.

    Never bad enough to get bad ink, never good enough to get mentioned for a review positively. As much a nonentity for reviewers as anyone else attending.

    So I know both what it's like to be able to be highly performant at a craft, and ... what it's like to be a very, very disappointed block of wood.

    And I ain't never going to be your favorite jazz soloist either on trombone or guitar. Sigh.

    But oh I love to play that guitar ...

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    What you said reminds me of the thoughts of this chap, do you know of him?

    Michael Polanyi - Wikipedia

    Who said (among other things) 'we know more than we can tell'

    Interestingly, he was a scientist. But his ideas come up in arts education.

    He argued most scientific discoveries come from intuition. Connoisseurship (e.g. of wine, or music, or art - or photography) comes from intuitive, personal knowledge that cannot be written down. Tacit or 'hidden' knowledge.
    Last edited by christianm77; 08-02-2019 at 03:57 AM.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Holy shit, didn't I literally cite this example about two pages back or am I going mad?
    Dunno, thought of it all by myself :-)

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    ... Just to emphasize one last thing that still nags me. Putting improvisation aside for a bit...
    Ah, there's your problem. Improvisation can't be put aside in a discussion of what chord symbols imply, because there is always, if not improvisation, some sort of interpretation and construction of harmony going on when people play jazz. A lead sheet is not a score, it's a framework. You can decide that when certain things happen in the melody, a vanilla dom7 sounds better, but that doesn't mean there's a rule you're supposed to play an unaltered dom7 in that context. If you take it more rigidly than that you're missing the whole idea of jazz.

    John

  32. #31

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    Stella by Starlight is an interesting tune to consider. The second bar is usually played as an A7 altered but it is not a V7 to the following chord (Cm). So I guess it is a kind of delayed resolution or something, but I will leave that to the theory experts!

  33. #32

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    Well as we all know, it's a II-V sub for a Io7/bIIIo7 (Em7b5 A7b9 subbing in for Bbo7/Dbo7),

    Dbo7 Cm7 F7 pretty common... But... to start on Dbo7 unusual.

    Also Dbo7 Cm7 - is not a typical dominant type resolution, more bridging chord

    Db E G Bb
    C Eb G Bb

    Two common tones, right, two a semitone above? Put that between a Bb6/D and a Cm7, and you have a very smooth connection:

    D F G Bb
    Db E G Bb
    C Eb G Bb

    No-one studies diminished harmony these days so people blather on about 'non-functional' ii-V's.... There's a few examples of them knocking around.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Stella by Starlight is an interesting tune to consider. The second bar is usually played as an A7 altered
    Only to A7b9. That's okay, you can have an unresolved, or a series of, minor ii-V's as well as major ones. In fact, that's exactly what happens at the end of the tune.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Only to A7b9. That's okay, you can have an unresolved, or a series of, minor ii-V's as well as major ones. In fact, that's exactly what happens at the end of the tune.
    Flat 9 is still ‘altered’ in my book. But I often play it as A7#5 anyway. The dominants at the end are back-cycling, i.e. they all act as the V to the next chord, I don’t exactly see that as ‘unresolved’. But that’s just how I think of it.

  36. #35

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    Stella goes Em7b5 - A7b9 - Cm7 - F7 - Fm7 - Bb7 - Eb. If that minor ii-V is reverted back to its relative major (Gm7-C7) then it's a simple series of V's going down the cycle: C7-F7-Bb7-Eb.

    I think they're all 'unresolved' except the Bb7 at the end. By unresolved I don't mean they don't sound good one after the other, I mean the C7 and F7 aren't followed by their 1 chord. But any player can alter the chords how they want. There's no law against it :-)

    You know all this!

  37. #36

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    That Blue Bossa example Bb melody note in the G7 chord falls so strongly that I'd be playing a G7#9 most times for that bar. The Real Book lead sheet doesn't call out the #9, which IMO shows restraint on the part of the transcriber to let the player figure it out. Play a simple lower register 1-maj3-b7 voicing where the major 3rd doesn't clash with the melody instrument and you'll still be right in the pocket with the band. There's a Maj 3 almost an octave below the #9 which makes the dom7#9 sound (think the Hendrix Purple Haze chord).

    Now the key to this example (and it's great simple example) is that when the melody of Blue Bossa continues after landing on the G7 chord with the Bb (or A#) note (a #9), the next melody note is an Ab: yup, a b9. So the melody goes #9 to b9, a classic altered G dominant scenario in Cm. The improvisor has several good scale choices at this point and it's worth exploring them to discover for one's self how they fit and don't fit (translation: how they SOUND) with the Cm chord to follow. 1) C natural minor scale fits the melody perfectly...too perfectly for most modern players, but playing inside ain't a bad thing, just ask Stephane Grappelli. 2) G half-whole diminished is a 1st choice "go to" for lots of players in this situation, just ask Robben Ford. I can't get what he gets out of it, but he's Robben Ford. I've been working the diminished scale for a few years and it still sounds formulaic for me but I'll get there some day. 3) G altered scale (G# melodic minor ascending) ticks the # & b 9th boxes for the chord and throws in the maj3, #11, b13, & b7...in short, everything you need to sound like a card carrying jazz player.

    I like option 3 because it's interesting sounding and can resolve cleverly once one has developed it, I can throw it in for a cheap modern jazz vibe ("that ain't cooking, you just threw in a bunch of garlic"), it's more tonal that a diminished scale, and I have developed a whole mess of licks off of that scale to such an extent that I can even make it sound good with a slinky strung Telecaster in a country band.

    So that couple of measures in Blue Bossa was a study place for me where I learned a lot in a small sandbox. It's a great tune to work out all the suggestions in this thread.

    Cheers.

  38. #37

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    Richard Feynman said that his best innovations came when he was playing around, not from when he was trying to develop something.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by benrosow View Post
    That Blue Bossa example Bb melody note in the G7 chord falls so strongly that I'd be playing a G7#9 most times for that bar. The Real Book lead sheet doesn't call out the #9, which IMO shows restraint on the part of the transcriber to let the player figure it out. Play a simple lower register 1-maj3-b7 voicing where the major 3rd doesn't clash with the melody instrument and you'll still be right in the pocket with the band. There's a Maj 3 almost an octave below the #9 which makes the dom7#9 sound (think the Hendrix Purple Haze chord).

    Now the key to this example (and it's great simple example) is that when the melody of Blue Bossa continues after landing on the G7 chord with the Bb (or A#) note (a #9), the next melody note is an Ab: yup, a b9. So the melody goes #9 to b9, a classic altered G dominant scenario in Cm. The improvisor has several good scale choices at this point and it's worth exploring them to discover for one's self how they fit and don't fit (translation: how they SOUND) with the Cm chord to follow. 1) C natural minor scale fits the melody perfectly...too perfectly for most modern players, but playing inside ain't a bad thing, just ask Stephane Grappelli. 2) G half-whole diminished is a 1st choice "go to" for lots of players in this situation, just ask Robben Ford. I can't get what he gets out of it, but he's Robben Ford. I've been working the diminished scale for a few years and it still sounds formulaic for me but I'll get there some day. 3) G altered scale (G# melodic minor ascending) ticks the # & b 9th boxes for the chord and throws in the maj3, #11, b13, & b7...in short, everything you need to sound like a card carrying jazz player.

    I like option 3 because it's interesting sounding and can resolve cleverly once one has developed it, I can throw it in for a cheap modern jazz vibe ("that ain't cooking, you just threw in a bunch of garlic"), it's more tonal that a diminished scale, and I have developed a whole mess of licks off of that scale to such an extent that I can even make it sound good with a slinky strung Telecaster in a country band.

    So that couple of measures in Blue Bossa was a study place for me where I learned a lot in a small sandbox. It's a great tune to work out all the suggestions in this thread.

    Cheers.
    Yeah I think the dividing line as you say is whether you choose to play over each chord or create a line over the changes. The suggestion that me and ragman made is that Dorham clearly wasn’t thinking chordally here.... I mean I think he wrote the melody first and if you study the melody in isolation it’s a really good one.

    The option you haven’t listed is perhaps the most common for the era. The minor key itself on Cm includes 3 separate scales that can be interchanged to create flowing melodies. Now if you use the natural 7th you create more harmonically dynamic lines that suggest chordal movement without necessarily trying to map every chord.

    Anyway I’d need to transcribe what the cats do on it....

    This I think is the principle technique of minor key playing up until the cst era...

    This might be hard for modern day player to get their head around but I honestly think players - even pianists - thought of the accompanying chords and melodic line as two separate things for a long time. There’s quite a bit of evidence to suggest this...

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Stella goes Em7b5 - A7b9 - Cm7 - F7 - Fm7 - Bb7 - Eb. If that minor ii-V is reverted back to its relative major (Gm7-C7) then it's a simple series of V's going down the cycle: C7-F7-Bb7-Eb.

    I think they're all 'unresolved' except the Bb7 at the end. By unresolved I don't mean they don't sound good one after the other, I mean the C7 and F7 aren't followed by their 1 chord. But any player can alter the chords how they want. There's no law against it :-)

    You know all this!
    These are the chords at the beginning, but I thought you said the chords at the end of the tune were unresolved.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    These are the chords at the beginning, but I thought you said the chords at the end of the tune were unresolved.
    Both. At the start, the Eø-A7b9 doesn't resolve to Dm.

    Of the three descending minor ii-V series at the end, none of them resolve to their 1 chord. Or rather they resolve to the right 'root' but a m7b5 chord. I'm not sure that qualifies. But there may be different versions.

    Eø - A7b9 - Dø - G7b9
    Cø - F7b9 - BbM7 - %

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    Hey.

    I'm not very adept in theory and in jazz, those rules can be confusing sometimes.. as much as the "analysis"s and chords on sheets tend to have differences.
    Here are some statements to confirm or refute. For a peace of mind.
    Generally speaking.. rule of thumb.. most of the time (only speaking about the diatonic, harm and mel scales here):

    1.A7 : no alterations, unless its in minor (that case its b9, harmonic)
    2.A7b9 - indicates the harmonic scale.
    3.A7#11 - lydian dominant, no other alterations besides that #11
    4.A7b13 - mixolydian b6, no other alterations
    5.#9 and #5 only belong to alt scale, alt dominant chord.
    6.minor 2-5-1 is pretty much meant in harmonic minor unless the dominant chord has #9, #5 or alt signs.
    7.having more than 1 alterations marked in the dominant chord symbols means that the composer wants all of those notes to sound under the melody or that someone was overthinking.
    9. A7alt - just whatever "dominanty" sounding chord you like, but surely in the alt scale
    10. in minor 2-5-1, the last chord almost never sticks with #7 degree. gets flattened to m7.

    ----
    Probably messed up some. Thanks for pointing it out in advance.
    it is probably the most common misconception in jazz music that we improvise over chords. nothing could be further from the truth.
    Last edited by djg; 08-03-2019 at 07:11 AM.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Of the three descending minor ii-V series at the end, none of them resolve to their 1 chord. Or rather they resolve to the right 'root' but a m7b5 chord. I'm not sure that qualifies.
    To me, if it is a V in relation to what follows, that qualifies as resolving, for the purposes of guiding whether the chords can be altered. The exact quality of the ‘I’ chord does not matter.

    Same as the rhythm changes bridge.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    To me, if it is a V in relation to what follows, that qualifies as resolving, for the purposes of guiding whether the chords can be altered. The exact quality of the ‘I’ chord does not matter.

    Same as the rhythm changes bridge.
    Okay, probably right. If it sounds okay, it's right :-)

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Okay, probably right. If it sounds okay, it's right :-)
    To be honest I didn’t have a clue about this dominants stuff when I got into jazz, my understanding sort of evolved over time. But I think the distinction Emily Remler made in one of her videos (between ‘static’ and ‘resolving’ dominants) was very helpful, it clarified things a lot.

  46. #45
    In Stella, when it finally goes to Dm7, before that I would keep the A7 clean. Not only because the melody notes but also any alteration would feel "just because" for me there. Just feel.. no theory involved

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
    In Stella, when it finally goes to Dm7, before that I would keep the A7 clean. Not only because the melody notes but also any alteration would feel "just because" for me there. Just feel.. no theory involved
    one of the few rules: do not ever play a dom13 chord into minor.

    maybe it would be beneficial to study all 12 dominant chords and their function in a key first.

    I7 goes to the IV chord, straight or alt
    bII7 tritone sub for V7, straight or alt
    II7 double dominant, straight
    bIII7 tritone sub for VI7, straight
    III7 sub for I, alt
    IV7 sub for Im, tritone sub VII7, straight
    #IV7 tritone sub for I7
    V7 goes to I, straight or alt
    bVI7 sub for bIIIdim, tritone sub II7, straight or alt
    VI7 sub for I, alt
    bVII7 sub for IVm, straight
    VII7 tritone sub for IV7, alt

  48. #47

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    [QUOTE]one of the few rules: do not ever play a dom13 chord into minor. [\QUOTE]

    Lol. No it’s not.

    I think that might be a rule for playing pseudo music.

    Plenty of examples of this happening in jazz... Cannonball, Charlie Christian, Wes....

    Peter Bernstein really likes 13b9 into minor.

    I must really sit down and properly get into these sounds. They are super hip.

  49. #48

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    [QUOTE=christianm77;970227]
    one of the few rules: do not ever play a dom13 chord into minor. [\QUOTE]

    Lol. No it’s not.

    I think that might be a rule for playing pseudo music.

    Plenty of examples of this happening in jazz... Cannonball, Charlie Christian, Wes....

    Peter Bernstein really likes 13b9 into minor.

    I must really sit down and properly get into these sounds. They are super hip.
    i'm happy to learn, got some examples?

  50. #49

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    I do this a lot on a tune like Invitation, i.e. put a rootless 13b9 between those descending minor chords, sounds cool. Pretty sure I got this from listening to Peter Bernstein.

    e.g. Bm, E13b9, Am.

    7x777x
    x5666x
    5x555x

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    I do this a lot on a tune like Invitation, i.e. put a rootless 13b9 between those descending minor chords, sounds cool. Pretty sure I got this from listening to Peter Bernstein.

    e.g. Bm, E13b9, Am.

    7x777x
    x5666x
    5x555x
    i do that too, but to me that's not really minor harmony but parallel harmony. but people do enjoy the "dimished" scale, which does have the nat13. so my statement is somewhat exaggerated.