#1
Greeting once again MT!

So i have a question regarding a tune i have been learning recently. I started transcribing Jimmy Raneys version of the standard "There Will Never Be Another You" a few weeks ago, so i learned the melody of the tune and Jimmys solo on it. So now in order to get some good vocab over specific changes i started figuring out the progression, but there is one part of the progression i don't understand.

When we get to the second half of the theme (There will be other songs to sing, another fall another spring) the progression goes (every chord for one bar): Abmaj7, Db7, Ebmaj7, Cm7.

Now the tune is in Eb, so all the chords there are diatonic except for the Db7, and i just don't understand the function of that dominant chord. My best bet would be that it could be a tritone substitution for the Gm7 in the key, but i am not sure. Is this a tritone sub of some sort or does it function in an entirely different way?

I know, the most important thing is that it sounds good/right, but i want to understand the things i transcribe as well. I guess i am guilty of focusing much more on the theory of lines than chords, need to fix that.

Here is a vocal version of the tune (singing starts at 1:05)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xpcBx1Gm-c


Thanks!
#2
It's a backdoor dominant.

It's a elaboration of IVm7.

From a previous post of mine:

3. What the heck is a backdoor II-V?
-Check it out. Picture a classic IV-I plagal cadence:

Ab - Eb.

Imagine we want that plagal cadence, but we want to preserve the strong root motion found in a V-I "authentic" cadence. Can we do that? Is it legal? Yeah. We're gonna stick that root motion between the IV and I chords:

Ab - Db - Eb.

Cool, but now we have this weird succession of major chords. Let's fix that, smoothing the voice leading by creating a II-V:

Abm7-Db7-Ebmaj7.

Awesome, but that dominant 7 makes the motion to Eb a little heavy, maybe. Can't we do something about that whole step resolution to make it smoother? Yep. We can anticipate the 3rd of the I chord and put it into the bVII chord:

Abm7 - Db7(#11) - Eb. We now need a db Lydian Dominant chord scale. That scale is usually played over both chords, you don't need Ab Dorian.

Hopefully that helps you out. Most people slap an Abm7 in between the Abmaj7 and Db, to make a nice little II V.

And you aren't guilty at all. Knowing what the right tools for the right job are is not a crime, don't believe the haters. Improvising is hard, and you owe it to yourself and the audience to be as well trained for it as possible.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#3
Actually, there is an Abm7 before the chord. So the progression is Abmaj7-Abm7-Db7-Ebmaj7. Abm7-Db7-Ebmaj7 is a "backdoor ii-V-I" in Eb major.

Dominant chords usually resolve a fifth down (or a fourth up) or a second up. For example in C major a G7 chord usually resolves to either C major or A minor.

In this case the Abm7 and Db7 are from the parallel minor (Eb minor). So you could treat it as a short modulation to Eb minor, but it resolves to a major chord instead of a minor chord and we are back to Eb major. It's very common.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 7, 2015,
#4
^This too, although just because Db7 exists in Ebm doesn't necessarily mean that's WHY its there.

There's no modulation, we're just elaborating the hell out of IV-I.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#5
Quote by Jet Penguin
It's a backdoor dominant.

It's a elaboration of IVm7.

From a previous post of mine:

3. What the heck is a backdoor II-V?
-Check it out. Picture a classic IV-I plagal cadence:

Ab - Eb.

Imagine we want that plagal cadence, but we want to preserve the strong root motion found in a V-I "authentic" cadence. Can we do that? Is it legal? Yeah. We're gonna stick that root motion between the IV and I chords:

Ab - Db - Eb.

Cool, but now we have this weird succession of major chords. Let's fix that, smoothing the voice leading by creating a II-V:

Abm7-Db7-Ebmaj7.

Awesome, but that dominant 7 makes the motion to Eb a little heavy, maybe. Can't we do something about that whole step resolution to make it smoother? Yep. We can anticipate the 3rd of the I chord and put it into the bVII chord:

Abm7 - Db7(#11) - Eb. We now need a db Lydian Dominant chord scale. That scale is usually played over both chords, you don't need Ab Dorian.

Hopefully that helps you out. Most people slap an Abm7 in between the Abmaj7 and Db, to make a nice little II V.

And you aren't guilty at all. Knowing what the right tools for the right job are is not a crime, don't believe the haters. Improvising is hard, and you owe it to yourself and the audience to be as well trained for it as possible.


Haha, i was hoping to attract you to this post.

Thanks for the explanation! So i guess the progression would then be a IV (major 7th) followed by a IV - I (disguised as a ii-V)? I will have to read through some more of your "Jet talks..", because i will freely admit that outside of the standard diatonic progressions, chords borrowed from parallel major/minor, and some substitutions i have a fairly weak knowledge of harmony. But everything can be fixed with practice and patience!

Regarding the guilty part, i meant that i am guilty of favoring knowledge when it comes to melody over knowledge when it comes to harmony or rhythm. I can transcribe solos by my favorite players and often easily see "He is using the altered scale here", "Here he is outlining this major triad a whole step above the dominant chord" etc. But i have not put enough time into developing my knowledge in regards to the relationships between chords and keys, nor different rhythms and meters (i showed that off very clearly trying to play a latin-gig last week, i was not very familiar with the clave and blew it pretty hard). But i guess knowing your weaknesses is half the battle.
#6
Well, glad you could successfully summon me. I've basically become some jazz demon.

"WHO AWAKENS ME FROM MY THOUSAND YEAR SLUMBER, SUMMONING ME WITH THE BLOOD OF ADBOTS AND MODE THREADS?"


Sort of, you'd analyze it this way:

Abmaj7 - Abm7 - Db7 - Ebmaj7

IVmaj7 - IVm7 - bVII7 - Imaj7

Chords 2 and 3 LOOK like a II-V, as far as root relationships are concerned. It's not actually II or V, but that UNIT is a II-V. In Gb. Which is also a backdoor dominant in Eb. Whew.

There's nothing wrong with being guilty that way, it's great to know what you are working with and how to apply concepts over a variety of scenarios, not just specific licks over specific tunes.

You can expand upon your chord/key relationship knowledge by beginning to learn some CST, and taking a look into modulations, constant structures, and non diatonic harmony (mode mixture, etc.)

And DON'T EVER, EVER, DROP THE CLAVE. That transgression is a literal fate worse than death amongst the Latin cats. You can literally screw up any other part, if you do it in order to save the clave. My old professor said (yelled) it best:

"NEVER DROP THE CLAVE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE THIS SONG BUT SCRATCH YOUR HEAD THINKING OF WHAT TO PLAY, THAT SCRATCH NEEDS TO BE IN CLAVE"

Really, though, nothing sounds more un-tight, it's a mistake you only make once.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#7
Quote by Jet Penguin
Well, glad you could successfully summon me. I've basically become some jazz demon.

"WHO AWAKENS ME FROM MY THOUSAND YEAR SLUMBER, SUMMONING ME WITH THE BLOOD OF ADBOTS AND MODE THREADS?"



Haha, since i am going into music school for afro-performance (blues, jazz, fusion, funk, soul etc) this fall, i will take all the help from the jazz demons that i can.

Sort of, you'd analyze it this way:

Abmaj7 - Abm7 - Db7 - Ebmaj7

IVmaj7 - IVm7 - bVII7 - Imaj7


Alright, now i understand! I will still need to read up somewhat on backdoor dominants, but i see the relationship now. I guess that the IVm7 - bVII7 would call for Lydian dominant when playing over it? Since the melody emphasizes a #4 on the Db7 chord.

And DON'T EVER, EVER, DROP THE CLAVE.


Really, though, nothing sounds more un-tight, it's a mistake you only make once.


Yeah, i learned that lesson the hard way. I invested in a pair of claves right after that gig and have been playing the rhythms for every tune in that set since. Not making that mistake again!

Once again, thanks a lot. It is great to have people here to double-check with when you are feeling unsure about things.
#8
^Yep. You got it all right. The bVII7 chord is gonna want a Lydian Dominant scale. You can use it over both chords if you want too, not just the Db7, implying

Abm (MM) - Db7 (9 #11 13)

Or you can just use it over the second chord, and another device entirely over the m7.

Another tip on clave-ing: The real trick is not necessarily to constantly be playing the correct (Rhumba, Son, Forwards, Backwards, etc) clave, but to make sure that whatever you do, no matter how rhythmically complex, conveys the clave.

If you only play one note, it should lock in with the clave. If you play nothing but 16th note quintuplets, they should lock into the clave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2C0F7eFxhXM

Intro bass solo, and 9:48 percussion break. Never drops the clave. Ever. No matter how nuts.

And yes, only Jet would link the Mars Volta in a thread about backdoor dominants and latin rhythms.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp