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Old 03-31-2016, 06:09 PM   #1
enloartworks
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Lydian Dominant scale question

I learned this a few days ago and just want to verify that I remember correctly
and also where does the Dom7#11 chord come from.

So in the key of G maj
lets say my progression is A min,G#7(my tri tone sub for D7) and finally G maj.

I was told using Lydian Dominant would be good over the G#7 chord

question being, where does the #11 come from in the chord? I know it's a Melodic Minor mode, but still can't see the #11, maybe i'm over thinking it but hopefully someone can spell it out for me!
thanks guys.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:07 PM   #2
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#11 from Ab is D. It is diatonic to the key of G major. Also, Ab7 is a tritone substitution for D7 so it's kind of logical.


Also, you could think the Ab7 in the key of G as a D7 that just has an Ab in the bass. Because that's how it actually functions. If you look at voice leading, the 7th of that chord functions as the leading tone, not really as the 7th of the chord. So it is actually a D7 chord with just a different bass note. Playing a Db instead of a D natural would be kind of strange.


Also, I would call it Ab7, not G#7 because it resolves down to G. If you move chromatically, Ab "wants" to go down, G# "wants" to go up.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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What MaggaraMarine said ^

Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
...G#7[Ab7](my tri tone sub for D7)...

[Ab7#11]...question being, where does the #11[D] come from in the chord?
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:59 PM   #4
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Ok. That helped A lot. Kind if realizing that the answer was in the question lol. So thats where the use of the lydian dominant comes to play from substituting the Ab7 which creates a Ab7#11 chord (d becomimg the sharp 11)? Resolves down to G right?
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
Ok. That helped A lot. Kind if realizing that the answer was in the question lol. So thats where the use of the lydian dominant comes to play from substituting the Ab7 (I think you meant D7 here) which creates a Ab7#11 chord (d becomimg the sharp 11)? Resolves down to G right?


Yeah, Lydian Dominant is mostly used on tritone subs. So if you take all the Secondary Dominants in a key (let's take C major as an example):

G7 A7 B7 C7 D7 E7.

And find all of their tri-tone subs.

Db7 Eb7 Gb7 Ab7 Bb7

All those Tri-tone subs use Lydian dominant. At least that is how the scale mostly work when dealing with functional harmony.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
Ok. That helped A lot. Kind if realizing that the answer was in the question lol. So thats where the use of the lydian dominant comes to play from substituting the Ab7 which creates a Ab7#11 chord (d becomimg the sharp 11)? Resolves down to G right?
Yes.
It's a little more common to resolve down to Gm, because altered dominants are more common in minor keys.
Eg. "D7alt" (altered 5th and 9th) is really the same chord as Ab7#11, it just has a different bass note. In jazz, the chords are taken from the same group of notes. Some see it as a mode of Eb melodic minor, but in reality it's as MaggaraMarine implies: it's about creating a chord with a whole bunch of chromatic voice-leading, and you call that chord an "altered V7" or a "bII7", depending on which bass note you choose.
You don't get the chord by harmonising a mode of melodic minor. It's vice versa: you get the scale by adding up all the chord tones and alterations.

In the case of Ab7#11, you already have 5 chord tones: Ab C Eb Gb D. You only need a B and F of some kind. It's not hard to guess that the most obvious choices are Bb and F (9th and 13th of the chord).
But it's not about the scale - it's about the various resolutions on to the next chord.

Seeing the chord as Ab7 (rather than D7) obviously suggests how many half-step moves you can make on to a G chord (and you should be able see upward ones as well as downward ones). And you can regard the 6 and 9 of G as targets too.
Here's how they all work:
Ab > G or A
C > B (same as with D7 of course)
Eb > D or E
Gb (F#) > G (as with D7)
D > D (shared tone)
Bb > A or B
F > E (or just maybe the maj7, F#)

...

BTW, you also see lydian dominant chords used as bVII in major keys, resolving up to I - the so-called "backdoor progression".
The same rule MM mentions about scale choice applies: use the chord tones, and add other notes from the diatonic scale.
So if you see a Bb7 in key of C major (resolving to C), you have the 4 chord tones, Bb D F Ab. Add the other 3 notes from the C major scale: C E G. There's your scale (call it "Bb lydian dominant" if you like fancy names ).
In fact, although you'd think it moves up a whole step, this chord also has some neat half-step descents to the major tonic: think of an Fm triad (5-7-9 of Bb7) descending to an Em triad (rootless Cmaj7).
This is why it's often seen as a sub for the minor iv chord (Fm).
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jongtr
In fact, although you'd think it moves up a whole step, this chord also has some neat half-step descents to the major tonic: think of an Fm triad (5-7-9 of Bb7) descending to an Em triad (rootless Cmaj7).

I've always followed tradition and see it as the b7 of the Bb7 stepping down to the 5th of the resolution chord rather than the 3rd like that of the conventional resolution but that's a neat way to look at it. Thanks
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
I learned this a few days ago and just want to verify that I remember correctly
and also where does the Dom7#11 chord come from.

So in the key of G maj
lets say my progression is A min,G#7(my tri tone sub for D7) and finally G maj.

I was told using Lydian Dominant would be good over the G#7 chord

question being, where does the #11 come from in the chord? I know it's a Melodic Minor mode, but still can't see the #11, maybe i'm over thinking it but hopefully someone can spell it out for me!
thanks guys.


Lydian dominant spelling: 1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7.

If you build a chord in thirds from this, you get

1, 3, 5, b7, 9 (2), #11 (#4), 13

Squidge that down in one octave, but keeping the names of the tensions:

1, 9, 3, #11, 5, 13, b7 (you're not literally required to play a #11 above the root, which would literally be 18 semitones away) ... these tensions can appear in any octave, including the same octave as the root.

It comes from 4th mode of melodic minor.

Great for resolving down a semitone. Even if just grooving over a chord (e.g Am7 or A7), then it sounds great to stick in licks from Bb Lydian b7 every now and again. Bit more out there ... instead of using Lydian b7 rooted off the b2 of the target chord, can also root if off the 3, b5 and 6 of the target (even if that doesn't exist in the target). Easy way to get going is just use the maj triad as a note source from the Lydian b7, and mix that with the 1, (b)3, 5 of the target chord.
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Old 04-01-2016, 05:10 PM   #9
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In the case of Ab7#11, you already have 5 chord tones: Ab C Eb Gb D. You only need a B and F of some kind. It's not hard to guess that the most obvious choices are Bb and F (9th and 13th of the chord).


ok i'm getting it a bit more now.
so as you said the Ab7#11 you have 5 chord tones. how do you go about picking the other 2 the 9th and 13th. What makes you choose the natural 9th and 13th vs using the Flat ones?
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
#11 from Ab is D. It is diatonic to the key of G major. Also, Ab7 is a tritone substitution for D7 so it's kind of logical.


Also, you could think the Ab7 in the key of G as a D7 that just has an Ab in the bass. Because that's how it actually functions. If you look at voice leading, the 7th of that chord functions as the leading tone, not really as the 7th of the chord. So it is actually a D7 chord with just a different bass note. Playing a Db instead of a D natural would be kind of strange.


Also, I would call it Ab7, not G#7 because it resolves down to G. If you move chromatically, Ab "wants" to go down, G# "wants" to go up.



if you see it as a D7 with an Ab on the bass, the Ab would be the D7s #11 right?
would you play Ab lydian dom or D lydian dominant??

Last edited by enloartworks : 04-01-2016 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
ok i'm getting it a bit more now.
so as you said the Ab7#11 you have 5 chord tones. how do you go about picking the other 2 the 9th and 13th. What makes you choose the natural 9th and 13th vs using the Flat ones?

You could also choose flat ones. It's all up to you and the sound you are after. If you used a flat 9th and a flat 13th, it would become Ab alt scale.

There are no right or wrong choices. But there are more and less common choices. There are many different scales that you can play over dominant 7th chords.




^ Ab lydian dom, not D lydian dom. My point was that the Ab7 chord actually functions as a D7 with a different bass note. I wasn't really talking about chord scales. It was more about understanding functional harmony (that's actually where chord scales come from). I was just explaining where the D comes from. Ab lydian dominant is the same notes as D altered scale. Both are the same notes as Eb melodic minor.


Maybe learn about chord functions before starting to experiment with CST. It makes you understand CST a lot better. I don't even play much jazz but I understand where CST comes from. I understand it as a concept.



As you can see, D7b5 and Ab7#11 are the same notes. They just have different bass notes.



When it comes to chord functions, in the key of G, an Ab7#11 functions as a D7b5 with Ab in bass. It's a tritone substitution for the dominant, meaning that it has the same function as the dominant chord.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 04-01-2016 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:54 PM   #12
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ok ok i THINK i got it. So lets say in the example i gave when I see it as Ab7 over D = Dalt which would give me the scale D Altered which is the same notes as the Ab lydian. If lets say the bass sticks to the D (no pun intended lol) and I played the Ab7 = Dalt?
if the bass played the Ab and I played the Ab7 = Ab lydian dom...

ultimately i'm seeing it as just playing D altered.
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:05 PM   #13
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You may have an easier time just using a 7#11 arpeggio.
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Old 04-01-2016, 08:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
ultimately i'm seeing it as just playing D altered.


Basically, yes.

In a dominant, the functional tones are the 3rd and 7th, which make the tritone. Since a tritone is symmetrical (it can resolve by step either inward or outward), any chord that contains that tritone can resolve to the tonic. D7 and Ab7 contain the same tritone, therefore, they can both resolve to G (or C#).

As far as the relevant scales go, it's easier to understand them as big arpeggios, just spelled in steps instead of thirds. Look at your Ab7#11 fully extended: Ab C Eb Gb Bb D F. Rearrange stepwise: Ab Bb C D Eb F Gb... which spells Ab lydian dominant. And if you re-spell on D, yes, it spells a D altered scale (aka "diminished/wholetone").

Last edited by cdgraves : 04-01-2016 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
ok ok i THINK i got it. So lets say in the example i gave when I see it as Ab7 over D = Dalt which would give me the scale D Altered which is the same notes as the Ab lydian. If lets say the bass sticks to the D (no pun intended lol) and I played the Ab7 = Dalt?
if the bass played the Ab and I played the Ab7 = Ab lydian dom...

ultimately i'm seeing it as just playing D altered.


This comes down to modes, and how to make related modes (i.e with identical notes) sound different ... and that comes to emphasis of the important notes in the mode.

e.g D alt to G-7

(descending) D C Bb F# (up to C and descend again) C Bb | A

e.g. Ab Lydian to G-7

(descending) Ab Gb Eb C (up to D and ascend) D Eb | E
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrykramskoy
It comes from 4th mode of melodic minor.
It doesn't, not really. That's a myth.
It just happens to match 4th mode of melodic minor.
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
ok ok i THINK i got it. So lets say in the example i gave when I see it as Ab7 over D = Dalt which would give me the scale D Altered which is the same notes as the Ab lydian.
Lydian dominant. Ie lydian with a b7/ Or mixolydian with a #4 if you like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
If lets say the bass sticks to the D (no pun intended lol) and I played the Ab7 = Dalt?
More or less, yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
if the bass played the Ab and I played the Ab7 = Ab lydian dom...
Yes - remembering it's the D note that would be make it "lydian", relative to the Ab.
Quote:
Originally Posted by enloartworks
ultimately i'm seeing it as just playing D altered.
Yes that's fine.
And don't forget the purpose of the alterations: not to make a funky sound on the chord itself, but for chromatic voice-leading between the chords either side.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:07 AM   #18
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awesome guys, everyone really helped
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jongtr
It doesn't, not really. That's a myth.
It just happens to match 4th mode of melodic minor.


??

Last time I looked, the 4th mode of MM is known as Lydian b7.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:20 AM   #20
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That's the question I always had. Did tritone subs exist in jazz before the lydian dominant became a thing or vice versa? Did Bird use the #11 in his tritone substitution?
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