#1
Hey guys

I'm trying to get into jazz so I'm looking at chords and devising 'paths' from one chord tone to the next

So right now I'm looking at Am7

so

A
C
E
G

However C major is

C
E
G

and if I add the 6th

C
E
G
A

what i'm getting at is my runs are starting to sound more... C major than A minor 7. If that makes sense.

I understand they have the same notes but how do I make something sound more minor than the major counterpart?

Or are all of these interchangeable and it's just the context of the chord (Am7 in background or C major) that makes it sound minor or major?

Thanks and sorry for being a noob
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#3
It's mostly the bass and harmony that will make something sound major/minor. But it's also really important to get melodies that actually sound like the chord changes, too.

What tunes are you learning? If you're just playing over static harmonies, it's actually harder to make arpeggios sound distinctively major or minor because there's no harmonic motion to imply the quality. Think of how a minor V-i just sounds really, really minor and dramatic because it's a resolving chord sequence.

And remember you don't have to use the 7th in your melodies. Try arpeggiating just the triads to start, and focus on moving from one chord to the next. The nuts and bolts of jazz is about nailing those changes.
#5
The minor or major sound depends mostly on how you resolve your phrase or tensions. If you resolve your phrase in C it would sound "major" and if you resolve them in A it would sound "minor"
#6
If you want to sound 'jazzy' over that Amin7, try a dorian mode instead of a minor scale (F# instead of F), it has its own unique sound, that isn't going to get mixed up with a major scale quite as easily. Also, what's been mentioned before me about where you resolve is important. As, Cs moving down to As quickly, Es, on downbeats will help keep the A minor 7 established.
#7
no! Throwing F#s over an Am is definitely NOT jazzy. Playing the next chord's tones kinda ruins the whole resolving sound. Save the F# for when the Am resolves to D.

Playing modally only makes sense if the harmonies are very long rhythmically.
#8
Play around with the different minor scales; Natural, Melodic and Harmonnic. I personally suggest the melodic because it's easy to work with, just sharpening the seventh. The triads are as follows:


E F G# A B C D
C D E F G# A B
A B C D E F G#


But you could always make the G natural when using the C triad, or sharpen it before sliding down to the natural to resolve the suspension.
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#9
I'm not really playing any tunes because I don't know how to play any...

I don't want to 'sound' jazzy though - I want to play jazz.

I love bebop/swing/gypsy stuff but I can never improvise on them

this is why I'm taking a look at theory to try and be able to learn how to solo jazz stuff

it's one of my favourite music styles to listen to and I can't play it. It frustrates me to tears.
Quote by SlackerBabbath
My ideal woman would be a grossly overweight woman who would happy go jogging, come home all sweaty and let me put my dick under her armpit while she shuffles a pack of cards.

Stay classy, pit.
#10
Quote by N_J_B_B
Hey guys

I'm trying to get into jazz so I'm looking at chords and devising 'paths' from one chord tone to the next

So right now I'm looking at Am7

so

A
C
E
G

However C major is

C
E
G

and if I add the 6th

C
E
G
A

what i'm getting at is my runs are starting to sound more... C major than A minor 7. If that makes sense.



Well Am7/C is C, you really can't make it sound minor.


Quote by N_J_B_B
I'm not really playing any tunes because I don't know how to play any...

I don't want to 'sound' jazzy though - I want to play jazz.

I love bebop/swing/gypsy stuff but I can never improvise on them

this is why I'm taking a look at theory to try and be able to learn how to solo jazz stuff

it's one of my favourite music styles to listen to and I can't play it. It frustrates me to tears.


Learning theory won't be enough, you have to play the tunes.

I wouldn't even bother trying to "improvise" over jazz if you can't play some of the songs 1st. You should be able to play the melodies as well as comp through the chords.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 4, 2013,
#11
Quote by N_J_B_B
I'm not really playing any tunes because I don't know how to play any...

I don't want to 'sound' jazzy though - I want to play jazz.

I love bebop/swing/gypsy stuff but I can never improvise on them

this is why I'm taking a look at theory to try and be able to learn how to solo jazz stuff

it's one of my favourite music styles to listen to and I can't play it. It frustrates me to tears.

Music should be easy. Why it be hard? It's easy if the sounds you want to hear are in your head. And technique is a means of producing those sounds you want to hear.

If you like jazz, then you have to listen to so much of it until you can sing back the lines you hear almost instantly (transcribing), and that's when you know you have it internalized. You don't need theory for that, just a well developed ear.

Do you think Wes Montgomery knew theory?
#12
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well Am7/C is C, you really can't make it sound minor.



Um...what? If I play, Am7/C, Dm7, and then Em7...then it totally sounds minor. By itself, of course, it wouldn't sound minor, but context is key. The chord here is either C6 or Am7/C, depending upon the key and the context of the song. This chord is hardly the only chord where context determines what chord it is.
#13
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Um...what? If I play, Am7/C, Dm7, and then Em7...then it totally sounds minor. By itself, of course, it wouldn't sound minor, but context is key. The chord here is either C6 or Am7/C, depending upon the key and the context of the song. This chord is hardly the only chord where context determines what chord it is.


Ummm, I made no mention of a chord progression, JUST ONE CHORD..... Am7/C. For practical purposes, It's a C chord, C6 if you want and/or can find a way to play all the notes on a guitar. On it's own (the context given in the OP), It's not going to sound like Am.

If you have to create a different context to create an argument, maybe you shouldn't create that argument.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 4, 2013,
#14
Quote by N_J_B_B


Or are all of these interchangeable and it's just the context of the chord (Am7 in background or C major) that makes it sound minor or major?


It's not just the chord underneath, it's the total harmony of the song. We hear music in a context. The progression Am C G Am sounds different than C G Am C - and each individual chord in the second progression sounds different, and carries a different amount of tension with it, than the same chord does in the first progression.

Both progressions feature an Am-C chord change, but notice how in the first one, that change feels like it's going somewhere, whereas in the second progression, it feels like it's coming home. Same two chords, same change. Different effect.

Context matters. We are more used to hearing major sounds, so you will tend to hear majors more easily in the absence of a context. If you are doing runs based on that a C6 or Am7 chord, the best way to make it sound minor is to create a minor context overall, or at the very least to create a sense that the A note is home. If your ear hears A as home, the chord will feel like an Am7.

So record a droned A note, and practice your runs over that. Sounds more minor now, huh?

Music is neat that way.
#15
Quote by mdc

Do you think Wes Montgomery knew theory?


Yeah I wouldn't count on being the next Wes Montgomery. 99.99999% of musicians are going to need more than an obsessive interest to get good at jazz.

There's no shortcut to absorbing jazz sounds, but knowing how to build the chords and melodies you hear will only help you pick things up faster.
#16
Quote by GuitarMunky
Ummm, I made no mention of a chord progression, JUST ONE CHORD..... Am7/C. For practical purposes, It's a C chord, C6 if you want and/or can find a way to play all the notes on a guitar. On it's own (the context given in the OP), It's not going to sound like Am.

If you have to create a different context to create an argument, maybe you shouldn't create that argument.
I was merely pointing out that context is important. Don't get your jimmies rustled, man.
#17
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I was merely pointing out that context is important. Don't get your jimmies rustled, man.


when you say "ummm what?", it's a bit condescending and seems to me to be asking for an argument.

Speaking of context Id say that Am7/C - Dm7 - Em7 sounds more like I - ii - iii in C than it does i - iv - v in Am
#18
TS, read this word:

Wind.

Now read these sentences.

I wind my watch.
The big wind blows.

It's all about context.
#19
Quote by GuitarMunky
when you say "ummm what?", it's a bit condescending and seems to me to be asking for an argument.

I apologize. I didn't mean to come off that way.

Speaking of context Id say that Am7/C - Dm7 - Em7 sounds more like I - ii - iii in C than it does i - iv - v in Am

Now that I've played it myself, you're right. I stand corrected.
#21
N_J_B_B  Hi there, it make absolutely and definitely sense. Am7/C I play it like this  Am7/C 005555. Evidence to the contrary Google it and you will find out a bunch of evidences. There are a lot of apps for smartphone that you can try until you will find the app will satisfy you. I use several of them for these specific purpose (to look for the precise names of the chords). There are many Jazz Chords that they will look like WHAT? however they are gorgeous beautiful. Check Keith Urban he loves to use many but many jazz chords all the time. He is a virtuoso a great virtuoso.