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  1. #1

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    Can anyone recall the details of what Barry Harris says about:

    "On Gmaj7 think a Maj6 built on the 5th (Dmaj6) or on the tonic (Gmaj6)."


    Obviously, we know built on the 5th highlights the Major 7th, the 9th, the 3rd and the 5th of the Gmaj7 chord (1,3,5,7,9).
    On the tonic emphasizes the G6 (1,3,5,6) chord quality rather than the Gmaj7 chord quality.

    Does Harris leave it to personal taste or does he lay down some specific rules or guidlines about when to apply each case? I notice in some workshop videos he'll say "that's got to be built on the 5th", like when he encounters the Bb tonic chord in bar 23 of Stella By Starlight.

    Last edited by rintincop; 03-09-2020 at 09:04 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    Can anyone recall the details of what Barry Harris says about:

    "On Gmaj7 think a Maj6 built on the 5th (Dmaj6) or on the tonic (Gmaj6)."


    Obviously, we know built on the 5th highlights the Major 7th, the 9th, the 3rd and the 5th of the Gmaj7 chord (1,3, 5, 7, 9).
    On the tonic emphasizes the G6 (1,3,5,6) chord quality rather than the Gmaj7 chord quality.

    Does Harris leave it to personal taste or does he lay down some specific rules or guidlines about when to apply each case?

    He leaves it to taste just like choosing the tritone’s minor vs the minor 6th on the 5th of the dominant chord in a 2 5 1

  4. #3
    Thanks, excellent answer, and it's what I assumed. I think I actually prefer it because of it's major 7th quality.

  5. #4

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    You’re welcome. Barry uses it a lot. The chord that precedes the Bb in Stella is an Ebminmaj7, so the statement about the f in the bass makes total sense.

    However, If you land on the root of Bb you can do major to minor to minor with the 6th in the bass.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    You’re welcome. Barry uses it a lot. The chord that precedes the Bb in Stella is an Ebminmaj7, so the statement about the f in the bass makes total sense.

    However, If you land on the root of Bb you can do major to minor to minor with the 6th in the bass.
    I am not sure I get your meaning here: "If you land on the root of
    Bb you can do major to minor to minor with the 6th in the bass."

    I assume you mean Bb to Gmi to ____?

  7. #6
    Barry Harris harmonizng "Stella By Starlight" in Rome 11/03/2016


  8. #7

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    These are the most textbook tonic substitutions. Tonic major can be substituted with vi minor (BH calls IMaj6) or iii minor (BH calls 6th on the fifth).

    Anytime a tune goes to the I chord within the form other than the 1st chord, it usually sounds better to resolve to one of these tonic substitutes, that way resolution isn't very strong and the tune doesn't get a premature resting feeling (classical cats call this deceptive resolution I think). In fact, most tunes will go to iii minor or vi minor inside the form instead of I.

    In the BH world this is where you play Maj6dim chords (alternating dim and maj6 chords) to create movement. So when the chart calls for a major chord (or dominant (EDIT: dominant has a difference see below)), these two major 6 diminished scales can be played.

    Or (non-BH thinking) you can just think iii min 7 and vi minor 7 (along with any substitutions or passing chords you play on minor chords eg. leading note diminished, secondary dominant, quartal whatever), alternate them with the Major 7 chord. Maj6dim is just a minor 7 chord and it's leading note diminished chord played in inversions afterall.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 03-10-2020 at 06:26 AM.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    . So when the chart calls for a major chord (or dominant), these two major 6 diminished scales can be played.
    Or Dominant? Wouldn't it not be the same two major 6 dim scales for Dominant but rather minor 6 dim scale?
    G think G6 or D6
    D7 think A-6 or Eb-6
    Last edited by rintincop; 03-10-2020 at 12:33 AM.

  10. #9
    "Major to minor to minor with 6th in the bass" Stella

    Bb to G-7 to E-7 b5

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    Or Dominant? Wouldn't it not be the same two major 6 dim scales for Dominant but rather minor 6 dim scale?
    G think G6 or D6
    D7 think A-6 or Eb-6
    Yes sorry, For dominant, one of the scales would be different. For G7, GMaj6dim or DMIN6dim (as opposed to D Maj6dim). Of course also F Maj6dim or Ab Min6dim (for altered).

    I find it a lot easier to think these in more traditional terms. D min6dim = iiim7b5 (Bmin7b5), F maj6dim = the related minor (ii of ii V) D min. Ab Min6dim is Ab just minor (ii of the tritone or altered scale).

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    "Major to minor to minor with 6th in the bass" Stella

    Bb to G-7 to E-7 b5
    Bb6 - A dim - Bb6/G - Gb dim - Bb6/F - G-6/E

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    Bb6 - A dim - Bb6/G - Gb dim - Bb6/F - G-6/E
    Precisley

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Maj6dim is just a minor 7 chord and it's leading note diminished chord played in inversions afterall.
    hiya Tal , can you explain this a bit futher ?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    Bb6 - A dim - Bb6/G - Gb dim - Bb6/F - G-6/E
    i don't get this....
    are you saying this is Stella ?
    or subs for some bars of Stella ?

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    hiya Tal , can you explain this a bit futher ?
    Leading tone diminished is one of the common uses of a diminished chord. You can put a diminished chord half step below any chord to create movement towards that chord. By any chord I mean major, minor or dominant (not half diminished or diminished obviously).

    For example G#dim - Amin7
    G#dim is really G7b9 which is the back door dominant of Amin7. So G#dim is acting as a secondary dominant of Amin7.

    If you alternate inversions of G#dim and Amin7 you are playing what BH calls C maj6dim scale:

    Cmaj6 = Amin7 and G# is the b6 which is the added note to the maj6dim scale. In other words the notes of G#dim (G#-B-D-F) and Amin7 (A-C-E-G) combined gives you the Cmaj6dim scale.

    There are only 2 distinct diatonic tetrian chords of this scale: G#dim and Amin7 (or Cmaj6) (and their inversions). So if you play diatonic chords of this scale going up starting on each scale degree, you are just alternating between inversions of these two chords in a repeating tension resolution pattern.

    This is one way BH talks about creating movement when playing major chords and minor chords. For major chords you use the tonic minor substitutions as I said in an earlier post (relative minor (vi) and secondary relative minor (iii)).

  17. #16

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    Ok thanks Tal ..... Great explication !

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    i don't get this....
    are you saying this is Stella ?
    or subs for some bars of Stella ?
    A way to outline, harmonically a move from a MAJOR to a HALF-DIMINISHED a tritone away.

    Dr. Harris also uses it to a MINOR - SEVENTH a tritone away on Giant Steps.

    Major To Minor To Minor With Sixth In The Bass.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    i don't get this....
    are you saying this is Stella ?
    or subs for some bars of Stella ?
    It was in regard to the bar of Stella the OP mentioned. Forget me though, because I think A. Kingstone literally wrote the book on it.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    It was in regard to the bar of Stella the OP mentioned. Forget me though, because I think A. Kingstone literally wrote the book on it.
    No man: you nailed it.

  21. #20

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    thanks all !
    im just dipping my toe into
    Barry’s ideas ...

  22. #21
    If you are harmonizng a given melody then one case or the other would become obvious.