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  1. #1

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    Looking to get some succinct advise on crafting lines for a I VI ii V (2 beats per chord) in key of F for example. I've looked on the internet and while there is lots of info much of it is very long winded. There must be some simple rules to get going.

    What I think I am understanding so far is this

    Each chord has guide tones (3rds and 7ths)
    Also the fifth can be used or perhaps less desirable the root; maybe the 6th, 9th? Trying to have the notes move a 1/2 step to next chord? Chromatics?

    So for each chord I have these note options besides adding the 5th

    F chord - E A
    D7 chord - F# C
    Gm chord - F A#
    C7 chord - Bb E

    What is a simple rule or two for outlining chords these in a musical way?

    What's wrong this line I "wrote" trying to incorporate some of these concepts?
    I VI ii V in F-i-vi-ii-v-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Trying to have the notes move a 1/2 step to next chord?
    Did you ever do that?

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Did you ever do that?
    Fair enough...is this better?
    I VI ii V in F-i-ivi-ii-v-f-jpg

  5. #4

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    Yes! Now the weakest thing seems to be the G note against D7. I know it is part of an enclosure, but still.

    How about F# D Eb C against D7 (or F# D C Eb) and replace the F note on Gm with D?
    Last edited by BigDaddyLoveHandles; 10-14-2020 at 02:13 PM.

  6. #5
    Thanks for the suggestions I am trying them....I think I like this...has a flat 9 on V chord.

    There was a BigDaddyLoveHandles who posted on Mandolin Cafe....not you I suppose?

    I VI ii V in F-i-vi-ii-v-f-russian-lullaby-jpg

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    Thanks for the suggestions I am trying them....I think I like this...has a flat 9 on V chord.

    There was a BigDaddyLoveHandles who posted on Mandolin Cafe....not you I suppose?
    Not me -- you can't copyright a username!

  8. #7

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    alltunes -

    The F chord is the tonic. The D7 precedes the Gm ( it's its V) so play it as D7b9 or D7alt. The Gm precedes C7 (it's its ii) so play it that way. The C7 precedes the F so play it straight, or as a 7b9, or altered.

    Can you do that?


  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    alltunes -

    The F chord is the tonic. The D7 precedes the Gm ( it's its V) so play it as D7b9 or D7alt. The Gm precedes C7 (it's its ii) so play it that way. The C7 precedes F so play it straight, or as a 7b9, or altered.

    Can you do that?
    So in my last line above you suggest that there should be an altered note on the D7? (Eb like BDLH's suggestion) Besides being a little vanilla sounding is there something wrong with my line?

  10. #9

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    Let me hear you play it in context and I'll tell you :-)

  11. #10
    Can't record right now...but it is easy enough to play what is written no?

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    How many beats for each chord?
    Two beats for each chord

    so F / D7 / Gm / C7 / F ///

  13. #12

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    The D7-to-Gm isn't working for me. As I wrote before, the G E against D7 isn't great (play a G over a D7) and now they aren't even enclosing the next note (formerly F).

  14. #13

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    Two beats for each chord
    Same thing, only shorter.

    The point is each chord has a function in relation to the other and the whole sequence should flow as one. Don't work it out on paper, play it.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Same thing, only shorter.

    The point is each chord has a function in relation to the other and the whole sequence should flow as one. Don't work it out on paper, play it.
    I have been playing it sporadically between loads of work.....I am obviously new to this stuff...I'm posting here to look for some assistance....specifically the theory behind how to make a line flow through the changes

  16. #15

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    I don't know how fast you want it to go. Try just playing F - C7. Forget the D7 and the Gm. When you've got that alter the C7 a bit. Playing F over D7 makes a nice bluesy sound. No prob :-)


  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    I have been playing it sporadically between loads of work.....I am obviously new to this stuff...I'm posting here to look for some assistance....specifically the theory behind how to make a line flow through the changes
    I don't think I can really do that through the medium of text.

    Basic Barry Harris exercise F down to the third of D7, C7 scale.

    So like

    E D C Bb A G F# first bar
    C D E F G A Bb the second

    Last note is a quarter. Linking them up with an extra note

    E D C Bb A G F# A | C D E F G A Bb
    Descending better maybe, with added B note.
    E D C Bb A G F# A | C B Bb A G F E D | C

    So, you can then learn to run F# into a diminished arpeggio, or do a wrap around/enclosure.

    I would play figures with the F# in, but it would be quick.

    C Bb A G F# A C Eb | D

    You don't have to play F# though. Think about targeting the Gm7 chord.

    Hard to explain. Helps me if I view the Gm7 as an Bb6 or Bbmaj7 chord.

    C Bb A G F Eb C C# | D F A F Ab F E D | C etc

    Connect the chords THROUGH the barline

    But there's a lot of figures. Text is crap for talking about this stuff frankly. Maybe I should do a video if I get a moment. The F#o7 is a very bop way of dealing with the D7, but you don't need to use all four notes. For example

  18. #17

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    It's two chords per bar, no time to ponce about.

    Text is crap for talking about this stuff frankly
    Too right. Especially in the company's time :-)

  19. #18

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    .I'm posting here to look for some assistance....
    You're getting it. We can't play it for you.

    specifically the theory behind how to make a line flow through the changes
    There's no theory, it's what sounds good. Just work your way round the chords and see what happens. Improvising is playing without a safety net.

  20. #19

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    By the way, watching other people do it isn't going to help you, except maybe end up copying stuff like a parrot. Even if it's brilliant. You don't want that, it's no fun.

    Ask yourself how they got there.
    Answer: blood, sweat and tears.

  21. #20

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    It's not really that complicated. The main note to look out for is F# over the D7.

    Go collecting. Ear learning is golden, but you don't need to do whole solos.

  22. #21
    Fair enough but surely there must be a few guidelines besides what I hinted at in my OP?

    maj 7th to 3rd 1/2 step motion
    guide tones


    Duly noted though as this little self exploration exercise today has taught me more then my guitar instruction book collecting habit

    As Pierre would say "time on the instrument"

  23. #22

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    Barry Harris

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by rintincop
    Barry Harris
    Way over my head!

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    Fair enough but surely there must be a few guidelines besides what I hinted at in my OP?

    maj 7th to 3rd 1/2 step motion
    guide tones


    Duly noted though as this little self exploration exercise today has taught me more then my guitar instruction book collecting habit

    As Pierre would say "time on the instrument"
    More ideas than guidelines :
    * arpeggio up, scale down
    * a jump of a sixth or more adds interest -- you usually jump on the "and" then head in the other direction (jump up head down, or, jump down head up).

  26. #25

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    Time on the instrument, but also time with the music; listening carefully, puzzling out the lines.

  27. #26

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    You should look into how people tackle rhythm changes, as this is essentially the same progression. E.g. here’s some ideas from Jens Larsen. He starts with the Barry Harris approach, which is actually to simplify it down to just 2 chords.


  28. #27

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    Parker spent a lot of his early career playing

    Bb | Cm7 F7 | Bb | Cm7 F7 |
    Bb7 | Eb7 | Bb | Cm7 F7 |

    On rhythm tunes

    Later introduced G7 into bar 3... Maybe Ebm in bar 6

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    surely there must be a few guidelines besides what I hinted at in my OP?
    You're still asking 'how to play it'. There's no magic formula. If there was, all you'd do is repeat yourself. I told you, figure out the chord functions and play that: D7 to Gm, Gm to C7, and C7 to F. No formula, just the basic stuff. Which I described as well.

    maj 7th to 3rd 1/2 step motion
    guide tones
    That's a formula. If you follow formulas you'll get trapped in formulas and your solos will sound like formulas. Know your stuff, then you can play anything you like.

  30. #29

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    Okay, last example. Pay attention :-)

    Here are two backings.

    The first one is just F - C7 - F strummed. Completely basic.

    The next one is FM7/D7#9 - Gm9/C7b9 - F6.

    (The treble notes you hear aren't me playing a tune, they're the notes on the top of each chord).

    Then there are 3 lines, moving up the neck. I just played over the strum version 3 times, that's all. F-C7-F. No attempt at any clever stuff. No formulas, just as they came out. Vanilla.

    You hear them both twice, first with the strum, then against the jazz chords.

    You'll see that, although each line is very simple, playing them against the jazz chords gives them a different flavour. And there are no clashes. No notes were planned and no notes were manipulated to suit the jazz chords later.

    The point in this is to realise what the jazz chords are doing. The jazz chord version, although it's much more complex, is only an embellishment of the first one. D7 is a secondary dominant sub for F and Gm7 is the ii of C7, also a sub.

    So people look at jazz chords, like the second version here, and think 'OMG, how the hell do I solo over THAT???!'

    But if they know that it's just F-C7-F, and play that, the problem's over. Of course, as you get better you can pretty it up but the basic groundwork is laid.

    Hope you get the point. It's worth it.


  31. #30

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    Thanks for the example. I agree you can just play with key centers a lot and it will sound good over the jazz chords with accidentals. Imo you have to outline some of the jazz chords as you're playing for it to sound good, jazzy, and sophisticated. Even if you use the key center approach to not get bogged down with changes everywhere. Certainly when I'm practicing I'm going to work the chords to try to make up melodies to outline the changes and not just play notes from 1 key center.

    New member here. I can already tell that I like this forum because of the good players, records, and theory and resources. I've been working theory like in this thread a lot. Where I use inversions both with the chords and arpeggios to keep the 1625 in one spot on the neck to not jump around to root positions everywhere and be able to flow from chord to chord fluently. I'll try to record some examples and write up some diagrams in the future. Where's the Tal Farlow icon? haha jk.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Imo you have to outline some of the jazz chords as you're playing for it to sound good, jazzy, and sophisticated.
    I know, that's what I meant by 'pretty it up'.

  33. #32

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    Formula: play a pretty melody.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    Fair enough but surely there must be a few guidelines besides what I hinted at in my OP?

    maj 7th to 3rd 1/2 step motion
    guide tones


    Duly noted though as this little self exploration exercise today has taught me more then my guitar instruction book collecting habit

    As Pierre would say "time on the instrument"
    That's usually what gets me the furthest as well - if I create a good exercise for myself that will be relevant to creating actual music.

    In addition to what I said in my last post, ideally for me for playing 1625 on the spot would be a mix of the key center approach and of outlining chords. Because if all you do is run up and down the arpeggios the whole time it's going to sound crazy. At the same time if all you do is play in F major, it's going to sound lame. Probably have to shed the changes and then be able to play in F and then hit changes at strategic times.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 10-29-2020 at 03:09 PM.