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  1. #1

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    It's understood that the harmonic minor scale is the one to use over VI7b9 -- for example, in the Key of F, use G harmonic minor over D7b9. However -- this is too much for my pea-brain to remember. While you are treating it as VI7b9 it's really a diminished chord in disguise. You sit on this chord for at most one bar, and often just 2 beats of a bar. You're not going to go deep into playing G harmonic minor. Also -- you need to outline D7 not G harmonic minor. VI7b9 is preparing for G7 or Gm7.

    Since you have to memorize a bunch of scale patterns in jazz, why not use one based on the mixolydian of harmonic minor -- 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7 (D Eb F# G A Bb C).

    And learn short licks instead of the entire scale. Here's an example. These I can memorize based on position. You'll have to look real close, where I've circled the root. I'm also degenerating into 5-6 notes max.

    My soloing over VI7b9 is much less error-prone now & sounds like I know what I'm doing. I don't have to remember the harmonic scale, just these transposable licks.

    Vi7b9 and Harmonic minor comments-harmonic-minor-vi7b9-octaves-2-jpg
    Mark

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I like your little scale patterns very much. Good stuff

  4. #3

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    thats great Mark

    thanks ....

    is the root note marked a semitones high
    on the last diagram?

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldpark
    It's understood that the harmonic minor scale is the one to use over VI7b9 --
    BV

    I've always done this in the following way.

    D7b9.

    I begin with the D7 part. I see it at D mixolydian, which means Key of G major. D E F# G A B C.

    Since there's a b9, that becomes D Eb F# G A B C. That's about as far as I think about it.

    That's 7 notes. Of the other 5 possibilities I know that Ab and Bb can work, especially if the next chord is the tonic. I know C# isn't going to sound good in my hands. E was changed to Eb, so I'll probably omit E. The #9 is the only other note, and it's likely to work. Usually b9 and #9 are applied together.

    G Harmonic minor is different form Dmixo(b9) by one note. G A Bb C D Eb F#.

    Does that B vs Bb matter? Sure, it sound different, but frankly, you can use either one. In fact, the HW diminished uses the B. The alt scale uses the Bb.

    Consider D half-whole diminished. D Eb F F# Ab A B C. This scale is also often suggested for D7b9. It has the #9 and the #11. It happens to have the B (13th).

    That might seem confusing. It is certainly confusing to me. So is a page of grids with dots on them.

    But, I know the notes in all 12 mixolydian scales. All I need to do is include the b9 (probably instead of the nat9) and I'm close enough to do the rest by ear.
    That's what I do. My $.02 for the discussion. I'm well aware that this approach isn't perfect and great players undoubtably do this differently.

  6. #5
    There are bunch ways to think of the dominant chord from harmonic minor. A lot of players prefer to think in terms of relative minor as opposed to altering straight mixolydian (parallel minor approach) , because there's one less degree of separation. With a relative approach, you change one note instead of two. This also makes the fingerings layout in a more logical way compared to familiar major scale fingerings etc.

    Anyway, probably the easiest beginner hack for harmonic minor is Barry Harris's approach. Using relative minor as the context , he basically says play straight dominant as you would in the relative major key (F7 dom.) down to the the 3rd of D (F#). Yields Eb-D-C-Bb-A-G-F#.

    This does a few things that are interesting. First, it's easy on the ears, as you can basically hear F7 dominant really well before arriving at the F# sharp. Also, it's one of the easier ways to play harmonic minor without having to work out particular fingerings ahead of time. You can almost do these on the fly when you're learning them. Also, this is the only seven note configuration of HM which completely avoids the awkward augmented second, which is the most problematic thing for beginners playing this scale.

    It's a good beginner hack for harmonic minor. I really like that you can basically easily hear the relationship between relative major/minor in that single little scale run as well. In addition, you can basically expand this simpler concept and play anything which works for F7 and just resolve to F# sharp in the end. This is good ear training long-term for the harmonic rhythm aspects of "going altered " on the weak side of the beat/phrase etc.

  7. #6

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    Good explanation, Matt. But not really a beginner's trick.
    Last edited by rintincop; 02-09-2020 at 02:01 PM.

  8. #7

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    Oh no I feel the grumpiness coming upon me. Time to take a sabbatical soon I think. Please take this advice in context from someone who actually plays bop to a reasonable level and has attended Barry's workshops for a number of years (though not as much as some here.)

    Matt talked about the Barry Harris approach but doesn’t quite get the point of it. It’s not a ‘beginner's hack.’ Actually in some way it's a bit awkward, at least at first.

    So Matt's description was reasonably accurate but misses a few things. The Barry way of doing it has the advantage of allowing you to play dominant bop language in that situation. This is helpful because you prob have more dom7 language than harmonic minor.

    (in fact it’s a beginner thing to think you have to play different things on different chords. The ADVANCED student will find as many ways to use what they already know as possible; voicings, lines, scales, patterns etc etc can all find a home over different chords. If you want to know what a genuine, and ineffective, 'hack' looks like, dig out your Aebersolds.)

    We are in C. so what’s the difference between C7 and C#o7? C becomes a C#. Third of A7, the VI7, right. We see C7 as related to Em7b5. So you play those ideas on C7 and run into the C# where you can play the scale or do a C#dim7 arp and connect to next chord, in this case probably Dm or D7. (Actually, this works for any II-V.)

    Anyhoo, we think ii-V Em7b5 A7b9, and make this sub
    Em7b5 = C7 and A7b9 = C#o7

    OK, so two scales, as Matt outlines:

    C7 = C D E F G A Bb
    C#o7 = C# D E F G A Bb
    Now you check out a lot of bop language on VI7b9 you’ll find these scales get chopped and changed. There’s often a C on the A7 (#9)

    some good examples in Donna Lee:



    go to about 3 minutes in where I start to discuss scale choices. I must also add that according to Barry, Bebop scales aren't actually a thing, but I put them in the title because that term is familiar to most.

    There is a thing I've noticed among many jazz students that see some things as 'legit' and some thing as a 'hack' or quick fix. It's all legit actually. The pertinent Barry quote is 'the more ways you have of thinking about a tune, the more ways you have of playing on it.' (I probably paraphrase.) Think of those 80s divergent thinking exercise - 'how many uses can you think of for this?'

    Right I'm off to rant at people who talk about the major sixth diminished being the 'bebop scale.' My god, I know how to have fun.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-06-2020 at 05:51 AM.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Oh no I feel the grumpiness coming upon me. Time to take a sabbatical soon I think. Please take this advice in context from someone who actually plays bop to a reasonable level and has attended Barry's workshops for a number of years (though not as much as some here.)

    Matt talked about the Barry Harris approach but doesn’t quite get the point of it. It’s not a ‘beginner's hack.’ Actually in some way it's a bit awkward, at least at first.

    So Matt's description was reasonably accurate but misses a few things. The Barry way of doing it has the advantage of allowing you to play dominant bop language in that situation. This is helpful because you prob have more dom7 language than harmonic minor.

    (in fact it’s a beginner thing to think you have to play different things on different chords. The ADVANCED student will find as many ways to use what they already know as possible; voicings, lines, scales, patterns etc etc can all find a home over different chords. If you want to know what a genuine, and ineffective, 'hack' looks like, dig out your Aebersolds.)

    We are in C. so what’s the difference between C7 and C#o7? C becomes a C#. Third of A7, the VI7, right. We see C7 as related to Em7b5. So you play those ideas on C7 and run into the C# where you can play the scale or do a C#dim7 arp and connect to next chord, in this case probably Dm or D7. (Actually, this works for any II-V.)

    Anyhoo, we think ii-V Em7b5 A7b9, and make this sub
    Em7b5 = C7 and A7b9 = C#o7

    OK, so two scales, as Matt outlines:

    C7 = C D E F G A Bb
    C#o7 = C# D E F G A Bb
    Now you check out a lot of bop language on VI7b9 you’ll find these scales get chopped and changed. There’s often a C on the A7 (#9)

    some good examples in Donna Lee:



    go to about 3 minutes in where I start to discuss scale choices. I must also add that according to Barry, Bebop scales aren't actually a thing, but I put them in the title because that term is familiar to most.

    There is a thing I've noticed among many jazz students that see some things as 'legit' and some thing as a 'hack' or quick fix. It's all legit actually. The pertinent Barry quote is 'the more ways you have of thinking about a tune, the more ways you have of playing on it.' (I probably paraphrase.) Think of those 80s divergent thinking exercise - 'how many uses can you think of for this?'

    Right I'm off to rant at people who talk about the major sixth diminished being the 'bebop scale.' My god, I know how to have fun.
    Sorry. I didn't mean "beginner hack" to be as dismissive as it might have read. ( I honestly wonder if we're not accidentally into some regional semantic issues here . It wasn't intended as anything negative.) It was more in direct response to the OP, which seem to basically be trying to devise one. Again, I think if you're trying to devise "first ways" to deal with that chord or harmonic minor , Harris's way is still probably one of the simplest. I don't think it's "easy", but I still think his approach to HM is far simpler than altering parallel mixolydian scale tones.

    There's also degree to which it was slightly "selling point", marketing language , kind of like your "bebop scales" title description.
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So Matt's description was reasonably accurate but misses a few things. The Barry way of doing it has the advantage of allowing you to play dominant bop language in that situation. This is helpful because you prob have more dom7 language than harmonic minor.
    To be fair, I actually said that.

    Anyway, honestly, I have been shedding a TON on Barry Harris in recent weeks/months. I always defer to you on anything to do with playing bebop or BH, (both at subtext levels and more overtly). There was no one around saying these things. By the way, where the heck were you anyway? :-)

    Nothing but respect for you and Mr Harris.
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 02-06-2020 at 09:03 AM.

  10. #9

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    Gumblehumfhumfgrumble

  11. #10

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    Maybe hack was meant as in "a way to manage something"...it 's not a beginner’s hack. It is in my opinion the most melodic (ideal) scale movement on a ii V in minor. Parker played it on A Night In Tunisia and What Is This Thing Called Love.
    Last edited by rintincop; 02-09-2020 at 02:00 PM.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    It’s not a ‘beginner's hack.’ Actually in some way it's a bit awkward, at least at first.

    So Matt's description was reasonably accurate but misses a few things. The Barry way of doing it has the advantage of allowing you to play dominant bop language in that situation. This is helpful because you prob have more dom7 language than harmonic minor.

    (in fact it’s a beginner thing to think you have to play different things on different chords. The ADVANCED student will find as many ways to use what they already know as possible; voicings, lines, scales, patterns etc etc can all find a home over different chords...

    We are in C. so what’s the difference between C7 and C#o7? C becomes a C#. Third of A7, the VI7, right. We see C7 as related to Em7b5. So you play those ideas on C7 and run into the C# where you can play the scale or do a C#dim7 arp and connect to next chord...
    Excellent teaching.
    Last edited by rintincop; 02-09-2020 at 02:01 PM.

  13. #12

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    ii V i in minor as learned from Barry Harris
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #13

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    it's groundhog day all over again!