#1
I'm really interested in learning how to more commonly use 7 and maj/m7 and 9 chords into my chord progressions but I don't exactly know when to use them.

I know my basic theory if not a little more, like using a 7 if it's the V of the key is acceptable.

How do I better understand when chords can be changed into more jazzy chords without the progression losing it's tone and melody?


Lets say for example I have: D, A, Bm, G, Em, A in the key of D.

If I make the V a 7 chord(A7), then the progression kinda loses its melody and doesn't sound as good as the normal A. which other chords can I change to what?

If I change all of them into: Dmaj7, A7, Bm7, Gmaj7, Em7, A7, then it does sound more jazzy but it loses it's intended melody. Especially since the Vocal melodies at the beginning start with a F# and another with a D. By making that D flat for the Dmaj7 it would sound weird with the vocals.

Any help here?


And please correct me if it seems like I don't know what I'm talking about.
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#2
major7, minor7 and dominant7 chords are a good start. extensions and alterations can also work nicely: your 9, b9, #9, b5, #5 are some common ones in your arsenal, although your possibilities are endless.

I like to use voice leadings (i don't know how to say it) like putting a A#dim7 in between the A7 and the Bm7 because A7 and A#dim7 are quite closely related and you have a nice chromatic bass vibe going there. Perhaps the Gmaj7 could transition into a Gmaj(min7) chord and then go into a Em7(#9) chord.
My jazz theory is quite limited, as much as I love it - I'm still learning. I just use my ear as to what I want to hear and alter the chords accordingly. I'm probably not so helpful
#3
Hard to hear what you're hearing since we don't know the melody and how it fits over the changes. One thing you should know is Dmaj7 is made up of the notes D-F#-A-C#. The Db is actually a C# and it shouldn't sound that bad considering you are also using an A chord which contains the notes A-C#-E.
#4
Extend the scale out...keep stacking thirds.

Key of D:

D- D F# A
Em- E G B
F#m- F# A C#
G- G B D
A- A C# E
Bm- B D F#
C#º- C# E G

Extend out a third

Dmaj7- D F# A C#
Em7- E G B D
F#m7- F# A C# E
Gmaj7- G B D F#
A7- A C# E G
Bm7- B D F# A
Cm7b5- C# E G B

extend out a third

Dmaj9- D F# A C# E
Em9- E G B D F#
F#m7(b9)- F# A C# E G
Gmaj9- G B D F# A
A9- A C# E G B
Bm9- B D F# A C#
C#m9b5- C# E G B D

...

Dmaj11- D F# A C# E G
Em11- E G B D F# A
F#m11b9- F# A C# E G B
Gmaj7#11- G B D F# A C#
A11- A C# E G B D
Bm11- B D F# A C# E
C#m11b5- C# E G B D F#

...

Dmaj13- D F# A C# E G B
Em13- E G B D F# A C#
F#m11b13b9- F# A C# E G B D
Gmaj13#11- G B D F# A C# E
A13- A C# E G B D F#
Bm11b13- B D F# A C# E G
C#m11b13b5- C# E G B D F# A

Obviously...you're usually not going to extend out to the 13...and you have to keep in mind basic conventions to keep your head on straight.

Typically...you aren't going to want b9's or b13's on Minor chords - so don't extend out to the 9 if it's b9. You don't really want b9's on anything that isn't dominant. You aren't going to want maj11s, because it has a m9 dissonance between the 3rd and 11th - they raise the 11 in Jazz for this reason (maj7#11).

You don't need to voice every note in a chord. Drop the 5th first, then the root, then the 9th, 11th or 13th - don't omit an extension if it's altered though. 3rd & 7th are the "meat" of the chord.

But keeping this all in mind...if you alter these chords to fit the above conventions it may or may not "work" or sound good, which is a really to simply avoid extending it out that far if you have a choice. For instance, in you're progression playing an F#m9 rather than F#m7b9 is going to sound "weird", most likely. The b9 will not be pleasing and it obscures the function of the chord, but the F#m9 will sort of throw off what you'd expect - because the 9th isn't diatonic to D.

If I were to "jazz" up your progression I'd take:
D, A, Bm, G, Em, A
and turn it into

Dmaj9-A7#5-Bm9-Gmaj7-Em9-A13-A7#5
Last edited by chronowarp at Feb 29, 2012,
#5
I tried to record the chord progressions with the vocal melody over it here:

http://soundcloud.com/viktorkry/d

The progression:

D, A, Bm, G, Em, A
D, A, Bm, G, A, D

Both As, Bm, and Em are only played half as long in the first one

In the 2nd one, everything except the D chords is played half as long.
Schecter Omen 6FR
Line 6 POD X3 Live
Line 6 spider IV15
Yamaha F325
#6
If I change all of them into: Dmaj7, A7, Bm7, Gmaj7, Em7, A7, then it does sound more jazzy but it loses it's intended melody. Especially since the Vocal melodies at the beginning start with a F# and another with a D. By making that D flat for the Dmaj7 it would sound weird with the vocals.


the study of diatonic harmony and learning the inversions of the four note 7th chords on all string sets will help you with chord/melody concerns...its the alternative to guessing what chord works over a melody note and finding the reason it does or not..

there are many factors that can make the choice of chords over a given melody work..voice leading being a major one..

in the extream end of this type of study..chord substitutions and even using partial chords that may not even be in the origional key may work for your harmonic needs..

it would take some time and study to be able to apply these concepts into your playing if your new to diatonic harmony..a teacher (recommended) that can show you aspects of chord melody will speed your learning curve..

in your example..you state the melody note is F# and the piece is in the key of D..you could try F#minor7 with F# being the top note in the chord (2nd fret) as the third chord of a key is often substituted for the tonic chord .. it may or may not work...experimentation is a major part of chord/melody studies..by learning the inversions of the chords you will find which chord form has the melody note on top that you need..and perhaps..the triad voicing is more useful that a 7the chord voicing..and it can still sound "jazzy" (george benson plays alot of triads - its the way he voices them!)

be patient...learning harmony is rough at first but worth it as it opens doors to creating wonderful melodic lines..

play well

wolf
#7
The other thing that helps it sound "jazzy" is the rhythm. Jazz usually has more of a swing feel and not a straight feel.
#8
After listening to the melody, my take on it is a lot more mellow lol. Fingerstyle chord melody with some bass approach notes creates some temporary dissonance.
-----5-------
-7-8-7-8-7-5-7-8-7-5-3-3-3
-----6-----7-----7---4-5-3
-----7-----7-----5---5-6-3
-----5-------8-----------6
-------6---7-----0-4-5-6

Last edited by mdc at Feb 29, 2012,
#9
Quote by mdc
After listening to the melody, my take on it is a lot more mellow lol. Fingerstyle chord melody with some bass approach notes creates some temporary dissonance.
-----5-------
-7-8-7-8-7-5-7-8-7-5-3-3-3
-----6-----7-----7---4-5-3
-----7-----7-----5---5-6-3
-----5-------8-----------6
-------6---7-----0-4-5-6



What are the note durations for those?
Schecter Omen 6FR
Line 6 POD X3 Live
Line 6 spider IV15
Yamaha F325
#10
Free time, man!

But generally, all the chords are crotchets, everything else would be quavers.
#11
Lets say for example I have: D, A, Bm, G, Em, A in the key of D.


The main thing that occured to me, with regaurd to your complaint about the A7, is that it's only the first A7 which then goes to Bm. You're disliking the sound of a V7 not going to I. If you wish to lead to the Bm, then either an F#7 of some sort (for a V/vi) or a C7 (tritone sub for V/vi) would work much better in place of that A.

However, I have not listened to the melody you speak of.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Mar 1, 2012,
#13
Quote by jsepguitar
The other thing that helps it sound "jazzy" is the rhythm. Jazz usually has more of a swing feel and not a straight feel.

Yeah,that's right. (Invalid img)