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Old 09-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #1
Niiko
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7ths Question

I've been developing an interest in jazz since being drafted as a drummer in one but I've always been bad with theory and always wanted to learn how to construct solos in said genre.

Now I've got a question, after reading that lesson on the front page, and correct me if I'm wrong here but maj7 chords have their root notes as I and IV in a scale i.e. G major scale would have Gmaj7 and Cmaj7?

Are dominant 7 chords the V in a major scale?? In the case of G major it'd be D7?

Is it possible to then switch to a different scale during a solo if the underlying chords were G maj7, C maj7 and A7? I'm thinking G major to D major?
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niiko
I've been developing an interest in jazz since being drafted as a drummer in one but I've always been bad with theory and always wanted to learn how to construct solos in said genre.

Now I've got a question, after reading that lesson on the front page, and correct me if I'm wrong here but maj7 chords have their root notes as I and IV in a scale i.e. G major scale would have Gmaj7 and Cmaj7?

Are dominant 7 chords the V in a major scale?? In the case of G major it'd be D7?

Is it possible to then switch to a different key during a solo if the underlying chords were G maj7, C maj7 and A7? I'm thinking G major to D major?

...
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niiko
Is it possible to then switch to a different scale during a solo if the underlying chords were G maj7, C maj7 and A7? I'm thinking G major to D major?


Lots of things are possible.

How does it sound if you try it?
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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Scroll down on that article on the front page.

Read the comments.

Disregard the article on the front page.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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What is the the whole progression of the solo? I'm assuming the A7 is functioning as a secondary dominant leading to a D7 (which would mean you'll probably want to use a C# instead of a C when approaching the next chord). You could look at this as a change of scale, but it's probably better to just look at it as an altered note.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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You could be reading these articles instead;
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/sear...ch_type=columns
They will introduce you to music theory.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Lots of things are possible.

How does it sound if you try it?


Sounds fine I guess, but I'm aiming to try and understand things at the moment instead of just using my ear because I'll just end up doing things I can't back up and refer to theory wise.

I've also got a progression going on F maj7 Bb7 Gmin7 and C7. From my point of view I potentially have 3 key changes over this pogression, would I be right so far?

And thanks for link, much appreciated
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niiko
Sounds fine I guess, but I'm aiming to try and understand things at the moment instead of just using my ear because I'll just end up doing things I can back up and refer to theory wise.

I've also got a progression going on F maj7 Bb7 Gmin7 and C7. From my point of view I potentially have 3 key changes over this pogression, would I be right so far?
Nah, I'd say you don't have any key changes. Everything fits into F major except for the Ab in the second chord. This is just an added tension note pulling the progression towards the Gm7. Just use an Ab here instead of an A if you want to avoid a false relation.

Edit: It'll help if you stop thinking of "key" as synonymous to "scale." A key is defined by the inherent resolution point of a progression/melody/etc., not necessarily the exact notes used.
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Last edited by food1010 : 09-14-2012 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by food1010
Nah, I'd say you don't have any key changes. Everything fits into F major except for the Ab in the second chord. This is just an added tension note pulling the progression towards the Gm7. Just use an Ab here instead of an A if you want to avoid a false relation.

Edit: It'll help if you stop thinking of "key" as synonymous to "scale." A key is defined by the inherent resolution point of a progression/melody/etc., not necessarily the exact notes used.


Only just noticed I've put the wrong chords in.
The actual progression I've got is F7, Bb7, Gm7 and C7. I'm seeing three dominant 7ths here, right? Would it be theoretically correct in using the Bb major scale over F7, Eb major for Bb7 and F for the last two chords or am I going about it in a completely asinine way?
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niiko
Only just noticed I've put the wrong chords in.
The actual progression I've got is F7, Bb7, Gm7 and C7. I'm seeing three dominant 7ths here, right? Would it be theoretically correct in using the Bb major scale over F7, Eb major for Bb7 and F for the last two chords or am I going about it in a completely asinine way?
Ah, this is a pretty basic blues progression in the key of F. The b7s over the first two chords are color tones. They don't create the standard dominant function that the C7 does. These notes (Eb and Ab) can also be seen as the b7 and b3 in relation to the tonic, or the key of F in general. You could implement these in the form of the minor pentatonic/blues (1 b3 4 [b5] 5 b7) or some sort of major/minor hybrid.

I tried to explain that as concisely as possible, so if anything was vague I can elaborate for you.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:38 PM   #11
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What you're attempting there is what is known as chord scale theory. This is the idea that one uses the chord tones from the chord that is being played as well as some tension notes from a scale built around that chord in order to improvise or develop melodic ideas.

You're close as the scales you pointed out would fit with the notes of those chord but some people might name them differently. But don't worry too much about that at this stage.

The first thing you want to do is practice using your ear and the chord tones from the chords being played to develop tasteful coherent melodies. When you are doing this pretty well then you should start looking at bringing in tension notes that aren't in the chord itself to develop deeper more interesting melodies.

There are a lot of notes that are not in the chord. Just picking them at random on the fly can be tricky so the idea of expanding each chord out to a full scale and using notes from that scale can be useful. So once you are confident with using just your ear and chord tones to create interesting melodies then go on to trying to use some notes from the full scale to get things going.

You would still use tones from the chord itself but you will now be pulling in a few outside notes as well.

When you've got this going pretty well start playing around with some of the remaining chromatic notes to see how you can use them in your melodic improvisation to create some even more colourful ideas.

The idea here is to start fairly simple and when you are confident with that introduce a little more, get confident at incoporating those new ideas then expand a little more etc etc.

EDIT
This is just one approach to improvising solos but whatever approach you use there is one common factor - always use your ear to listen to what you are doing and try to creat something interesting that sounds good to you. Your ear above all else will tell you which note is right and which is wrong so learn to use it and learn to trust it.

EDIT2
Here is an intersting article regarding the dangers of the novice player trying to do too much with an intellectual understanding of the chord scale theory without first doing the groundwork. http://www.berklee.edu/bt/121/chord.html In particular I have copied and pasted this paragraph from that article which is important to reinforce what I was telling you about using your ear first and foremost...
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It is relevant to point out here that the pioneers of jazz improvisation relied on their listening/hearing skills and their ability to accurately outline basic chord sound to guide their improvising and to create inspired melodies. They did not rely on the mechanics of chord scales. Beginning improvisers should, therefore, first experience how good it sounds and how right it feels to play inside the chords using only the chord tones before experiencing the allure and sophistication of chord scales.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #12
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Ah, it makes a little more sense now. Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Niiko
Sounds fine I guess, but I'm aiming to try and understand things at the moment instead of just using my ear because I'll just end up doing things I can't back up and refer to theory wise.


You never have to back up what you play theory wise. It's completely unneccesary. If you play by ear and understand what you're playing aurally, there's no need to know the theoretical justification for it at all.

Quote:
I've also got a progression going on F maj7 Bb7 Gmin7 and C7. From my point of view I potentially have 3 key changes over this pogression, would I be right so far?


Why is this three key changes? Why not just F major?
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niiko
Only just noticed I've put the wrong chords in.
The actual progression I've got is F7, Bb7, Gm7 and C7. I'm seeing three dominant 7ths here, right? Would it be theoretically correct in using the Bb major scale over F7, Eb major for Bb7 and F for the last two chords or am I going about it in a completely asinine way?


No, this is a straight blues thing.

This is typical for the blues. Remember, you are allowed you use notes outside of the diatonic scale of your home key!

This is the key point you're missing. WHile chord-scale theory is an interesting way to play, it's mostly used in jazz. In rock, they key is to know how each note in your scale will sound over the chords you're playing (whether or not they're in your key) and to know to avoid specific notes which create undesirable sounds.

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Niiko
Only just noticed I've put the wrong chords in.
The actual progression I've got is F7, Bb7, Gm7 and C7. I'm seeing three dominant 7ths here, right? Would it be theoretically correct in using the Bb major scale over F7, Eb major for Bb7 and F for the last two chords or am I going about it in a completely asinine way?

In blues all the major chords are dom7. 12 bar blues: C7x4-F7x2-C7x2-G7-F7-C7-G7. You can use notes that don't "fit" the key signature and still be inside that key. Not every dom7 chord functions as a V chord. So your chord progression is just a bluesy I-IV-ii-V that is a very common progression. I think blues scale would fit that progression pretty well and could be a good starting point to base the solo on.
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