#1
came up with a chord progression that goes from Cmaj6 (c,a,e,g) to Abmaj7b5(Ab,g,c,d) to G7(g,f,b,d) to Cmaj7(c,g,b,e)
I really like the sound of going from the Cmaj6 to the Abmaj7b5 chord, my question being is where does the Ab come from theory wise? since it's not in the key of C maj.
#2
I would think of it as changing keys from C Major to C Minor (or equivalently, C major to Ab Lydian). Though, it's really subjective and it depends on which scales you want to use to cover the chord progression. There are a lot of ways you could think of it, but basically the 6 in C major becomes a b6. That's all. If you're interested, this is how I would cover the progression (for sake of improvisation and composition)

Cmaj6 => C Major
Abmaj7 b5 => Ab Lydian
G7 => G Phrygian Dominant
Cmaj7 => C Major
Artist: Mad Orca
Album: Plan of Attack
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Last edited by pistol_whipped at Dec 7, 2016,
#3
Maybe even use G Mixolydian b6 on that third chord to make a smoother transition back into C Major.
Artist: Mad Orca
Album: Plan of Attack
Available on: iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp, Amazon mp3, Tidal, Spotify
#4
The Ab is borrowed from the parallel minor. It's a bVI7, which is a very common approach to the V, in both major and minor keys. If you're playing a melody/solo over that, you'll need to switch it up over that chord.

I'd also call it a #11 rather than a b5, because E double flat just sounds goofy.

And if you want to get really technical, you can re-spell that chord and call it a French 6th chord, in which case it's technically II7 in 2nd inversion (D7b5 with Ab in the bass).
#5
cdgraves

French 6 off Ab would be Ab-C-D-F#, fine as maj7#11

Otherwise, yeah not modal at all. Just tonal music and borrowing.

If there's any tonal function, it's not going to be strictly modal. Plus, chord-scale over-complicates notes imo
#6
thank you guys, yeah I like the movement from Ab to the G, the parallel minor makes sense
I get the lydian way of looking at it, but in this case it's not really modal
I just liked the Ab to G
I thought of it as a Maj7#11 but a book called it maj7b5 lol, either way thanks for the response guys
#7
Quote by NeoMvsEu
cdgraves

French 6 off Ab would be Ab-C-D-F#, fine as maj7#11

Otherwise, yeah not modal at all. Just tonal music and borrowing.

If there's any tonal function, it's not going to be strictly modal. Plus, chord-scale over-complicates notes imo


oops, my mistake, so used to seeing 'dominant' in that context
#8
Quote by enloartworks
came up with a chord progression that goes from Cmaj6 (c,a,e,g) to Abmaj7b5(Ab,g,c,d) to G7(g,f,b,d) to Cmaj7(c,g,b,e)
I really like the sound of going from the Cmaj6 to the Abmaj7b5 chord, my question being is where does the Ab come from theory wise? since it's not in the key of C maj.
As mentioned, it's a bVI borrowed from the parallel minor key. Very common in pop and rock (since the 1950s at least), although normally it's a simple triad. Yours is unusual in adding the maj7 and and the #11.

If you flat the 7th (Ab, Gb, C, D) then you'd have a lydian dominant chord (Ab7#11), tritone sub for D7 (V of G). That's another common variant of a bVI, especially in blues. In classical music it's an augmented 6th chord, because they'd spell the Gb as F# (Ab-F# = #6), because it would resolve up to G, while Ab goes down. In jazz and blues, the Gb would go down to F on G7.
#9
^Yes.

I(6) - bVImaj7(#11) - V7 -Imaj7.
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