#1
From time to time i'll share some tidbits that help me navigate around when improvising.

Today I'll talk about a IV chord that becomes dominant in a tune. I'll be talking about this in a jazz context.

Now as i've said in other threads, the way I visualize the fretboard is in terms of Major keys. I map out the major scale in 5 positions on the neck, in this way http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/1

I practice doing this in all 12 keys. Each key has its own 7 notes that are in the key, and 5 notes that are outside the key. I use those 5 outside notes as colorations in my improvising depending on the context.

Now with that out of the way, lets say we have this chord progression in the key of C (it doesn't really resolve, but whatever)

Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 F7

Now most theory books, or lessons I see online will try to use modes or some kind of chord scale theory to explain how to solo on this. They will say D dorian over dm7, G mixolydian over G7, C ionian over Cmaj7 and F mixolydian over F7. I don't like to think of it that way, way too many names to memorize, and can lead to thinking you need to switch scales all the time which isn't true. Here is how I see it.

the Dm7, G7, and Cmaj7 are all diatonic to the key of C since in that key we have the following chords.

Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5

so for those three chords i just think C major, and improvise using my fretboard map, and associated arpeggios for each chord.

When the F7 comes along we see that its not a Maj7 but instead a Dominant. There are a couple of ways to think about this, i'll start with the vanilla bland way, and then i'll talk about my preferred way.

The first way to do it is to think F7 is a dominant of what key? Bb. So I switch to thinking in the key of Bb over that chord, using the associated fretboard map of 5 patterns and F7 arpeggios. We see that we are making the E's into Eb's and B's in to Bb's.

This is a perfectly fine way of handling it, but to me it sounds a little vanilla plain. Whenever I see a IV chord that is a dominant I think of this trick. MAJOR to MINOR. the F7 is creating a minor tonality in the key of C. If we look at the chord tones for F7 we have F A C Eb. I see the Eb which is a minor 3rd in the key of C. I like to have that note be the only one that changes and I like to keep the B note the same. So in my fretboard map of the key of C i change all the E's into Eb's, but I still visualize the key of C on the fretboard just to help me navigate.

Now i'm soloing using these notes.

C D Eb F G A B

In theory,you might recognize this as the C melodic minor scale. Which is fine, but I don't necessarily think of that. All I care about is the sound it creates. I know that if I see a IV that is dominant, and I lower the 3rd of the key, I create that sound. You can use all arpeggios associated with these group of notes.

Another way of thinking about this is using the melodic minor up a 5th from the dominant chord. So for F7 go up a 5th to C and play C melodic minor like we just showed. I don't like this way of thinking because it's a little more brain power for me, and I don't like to think too much when improvising on the spot.

The beauty is that you don't have to stick to using just C melodic minor or Bb key. You can mix them. Meaning that you can use a B and a Bb in your line. If you phrase good, it's going to sound good.

Remember that music isn't vertical. It's not "over this chord, play only these notes" it all depends on the lines you play and how they resolve, and move through the changes. First time around you may only use the Eb and keep the B. Second time around you make use a Bb. 3rd time around, use Bb and B in the same line. Mix it up. Mix up the rhythms, learn how these notes sound like, where they like to go, etc.

This concept also applies when you see Cmaj7 going to Cm7. same major to minor change. E moves to Eb. You can keep the B the same for a melodic minor sound, it Bb if you want to move to the Bb key center. Or mix both, your choice.

I hope this makes sense, and helps someone.
http://richmusic.dmusic.com

"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible."
Last edited by rich2k4 at Apr 14, 2013,
#2
Cool.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#3
F7 (for C) is usually thought of as a substitute dominant because it can function as a German Sixth of the tonic based on the second chord member, E. But I know the jazz explanations tend to be different than the classical ones, and I doubt this is an exception.
#4
Quote by etkearne
F7 (for C) is usually thought of as a substitute dominant because it can function as a German Sixth of the tonic based on the second chord member, E. But I know the jazz explanations tend to be different than the classical ones, and I doubt this is an exception.


The usage in a jazz context is different, yes
http://richmusic.dmusic.com

"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible."
#5
what would you do over:

Amaj7 - F♯7♯9 - F7b5 - E7sus4 - A69

Could you tab the chords out for me?
Last edited by mdc at Apr 14, 2013,
#6
Look at your chord tones and then build a mode/scale around them.

F#7#9 contains F# A# E G## (omitted the 5th)

Then un-stack the chord and put the tones in scalewise order: F# G##/Anatural A# E

You can imply a full on altered dominant by using both the b9 and #9 together, along with flat and sharp 5th (assuming the 5th is omitted). That gives you F# G G## A# B# C## D# E F#, an octatonic scale.

Since the #2 is enharmonic with b3, you can also use the harmonic or melodic minor of the tonic. Use at #9 as a blue note.
#7
@TS:
This is excellent. Please keep this up. In fact, you could even write articles for the UG homepage, if you want. The quality of the explanations is excellent.
#8
Quote by mdc
what would you do over:

Amaj7 - F♯7♯9 - F7b5 - E7sus4 - A69

Could you tab the chords out for me?


look at the notes of F#7#9. F#, A#, C#, E. 3 of the chord tones are already in the key of A. the A# is the only note that is different

So you can start with soloing in A major over the Amaj7. When the F#7#9 rolls around. add the A# to your lines. (B melodic minor). Although if you treat it as a V7 chord of Bmaj7, then i would just play in B major and add an A note in there. You can use both ways because your chord has A and A# in it.

for the F7b5 lets look at the chord tones F A Cb Eb. Cb is enharmonically B which is already in our key of A. Same with A. If we add the other two notes in we get a F# melodic minor scale. Which is a typical scale to play to get all the alterations. melodic minor scale up a 1/2 from the root of the dominant 7th chord we are playing. In this case F7. C melodic minor works well too.

For the E7sus4 you can play straight A major scale over it, but i also really like the sound of B melodic minor over it.

for the A69 either A major or E major ( for lydian sound), I prefer the lydian sound over the A69.


so to sum it up.

Amaj7 - A major, or E major (Lydian)

F#7#9 - B major with added A note or A major with added A# (B melodic minor) (actually a mix, because your chord contains both the A and A# it)

F7b5 - Bb major with added B note (C Melodic Minor) or F# melodic minor

E7sus4 - A major or B melodic minor

A69 - A major or E major


voicings I just played the voicings like this

Amaj7 5x66xx

F#7#9 x 9 8 9 10 x

F7b5 - x 8 9 8 10 x

E7sus 4 x 7 9 7 10 x

A69 x 0 7 6 7 7

May I ask where this progression is from? It sounds like a heavily modified I- VI - II - V progression, that uses tritone substitutions.
http://richmusic.dmusic.com

"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible."
Last edited by rich2k4 at Apr 15, 2013,
#9
Quote by rich2k4
May I ask where this progression is from? It sounds like a heavily modified I- VI - II - V progression, that uses tritone substitutions.

Yeah it's my own. Well, not really, cuz jazz has been going for decades, but it's just generic progression stuff.

Been transcribing bits and bobs of Joe Sample's playing. He likes to superimpose arpeggios off of chord tones.

F#alt - m7b5 arp off of b7 (E)
Falt - B triad arp (tritone away brings out altered tensions b5 and b9)
#10
what would you do over:

Amaj7 - F♯7♯9 - F7b5 - E7sus4 - A69 QUOTE]

another way to see it

AM7 - C13b5 - B7b5 - E11- G11-AM69

the 11 voicings ( 1-b7-9-11)

the ambiguous open feel of the 11th chords after the sharp punch of the flat 5 chords..and then resolve into another open feel of the 69 chord...

over the b5 chords you have a lot of choices..use triton subs..mel minor a half step higher..which brings into play augmented scales off the third of the mel min..and diminished scales..

over the 11th chords...using the D and F triads you can anticipate the A69 and use D & F69 scales and pents to keep the the open feel and make the resolve to A69 very intergrated

play well

wolf
#11
this is great.
though you also didn't address its function of setting up a iii (or III7) or bvii7 chord
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
#13
Why not just see it as a chord tone, instead of just shifting this or that tonality, you see F A C and Eb, the whole things in C tonally, but sub out the Eb? That's the only thing.


@MDC - the first thing I do is just look at arranging the letters of the alphabet musically over the tonal center

A E F and F#

I see a tonic and 3 chords in chromatic motion downward, in my 2 second quick analysis. The last chord is E so it's the V of A Major

So the odd man out in my opinion it the chord F - it's chromatic.

So I'm in A MAJOR except for the F and the F# chords, where I just avoid the A to A# min 2nd dissonance (sound) in my lead - the b5 over the F chord is enharmonically a B so that's just a 9th in A, no worries. Your #9 Gx is enharmonically A...there's really nothing big going on here. over the other chords that arent diatonic, I'd avoid the A, or use it knowing it will be a passing tone, and focus upon constructing my emphasisaccording to basic chord tones. The rest is good.

Nothing complex here. I wouldn't rewrite it according to new scales or modes...its better to know what you're looking at. Then play. Its not hard at all. All you need is to know the notes on the neck, your basic major and minor scales, and how to construct every chord imaginable instantly.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Apr 16, 2013,
#14
very cool thread... it did help. Souls that act on their vision are dangerous indeed. They do stand the best chance of making an idea a reality.