#1
Hi,
What are some options for improvising over m7b5 chords other than using the chord tones?
Some different scale options?
What do you usually play over this chord in a jazz/minor ii v i context or just a static vamp.

Thanks.
#2
The bare m7b5 itself does not "show" very strongly its harmonic linkages to other things... it works if you know how to use it but it does not reveal its mechanism without a struggle. The result can be a vague feeling that one does not know what to do with it as far as playing lines over it, or even the feeling that it might not be quite the right chord for that place in the tune.

In a 2->5->1 move,
the 2 is often a m7b5
the 5 often a #9

Generally, if you play something that sounds good over the 2, if you keep playing that over the 5 it will sound bad, but if you play something that sounds good over the 5, it will sound good over the 2 as well... so generally the focus over a 2-5-1 is getting the 5 to sound right and the 2 before it will sound right. A lot of people consider the 2-5-1 as just a 5-1 because of this.

When you consider just what to do over the 5, interesting things come up:

- the chord you play for the 5 may not be a chord rooted on the 5, it may be rooted on the 4, or the b2
- the chord may be augmented if rooted on the 5, or diminished or 7sus4b5 if rooted on the 4, or 7#11sus2 if rooted on the b2

Now, if you try these things out, you will find that for a particular 2-5-1 the actual movement transforms into a 2-b2-1 movement where the b2 is the tri-tone substitution of the 5.

If you compare the notes of the augmented rooted on the 5 with the notes of the Lydian Dominant rooted on the b2, you will see that the Lydian Dominant contains all the notes of the augmented. You can force the phrasing to make it sound either way.

If you compare that same Lydian Dominant rooted on the b2 with the diminished (whole-half) rooted on the 4, the only difference between them is that from the perspective of the Lydian Dominant, the diminished is changing the Lydian Dominant's 9th to a b9... just one note difference between them.

All three, the augmented from the 5, the diminished from the 4, and the LD from the b2 will all sound great over the 2-5-1 change. The actual sound of what you play will be different based on phrasing - you make it sound augmented, diminished, or LD by choice of phrasing (which notes to start with, end on, which are emphasized...).

Back to the m7b5... I rarely use this chord as is, I change it to 7sus4b5. This allow rooting on the 4 during the "5 chord", treating it as LD rooted on the b2, or augmented rooted on the 5.

The relationships of the augmented and diminished to the LD hold for wherever the LD is used - the 1 , b2, 4, b6, 6, and b7 are all popular roots for the LD and the related augmented and diminished lines can be mixed as desired, so there is a lot of freedom and flexibility. The degree of "outsideness" will vary depending on the progression.

In the formal jazz world, the LD is considered an inversion of the famous altered scale, but in my personal ear and hand and mind the LD is more fundamental and I think of the altered scale as an inversion of the LD (which means I never have to think about it).

I don't know if all this answers your question or just opens the investigation; hope it helps either way.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#3
Quote by PlusPaul
The bare m7b5 itself does not "show" very strongly its harmonic linkages to other things... it works if you know how to use it but it does not reveal its mechanism without a struggle. The result can be a vague feeling that one does not know what to do with it as far as playing lines over it, or even the feeling that it might not be quite the right chord for that place in the tune.

In a 2->5->1 move,
the 2 is often a m7b5
the 5 often a #9

Generally, if you play something that sounds good over the 2, if you keep playing that over the 5 it will sound bad, but if you play something that sounds good over the 5, it will sound good over the 2 as well... so generally the focus over a 2-5-1 is getting the 5 to sound right and the 2 before it will sound right. A lot of people consider the 2-5-1 as just a 5-1 because of this.

When you consider just what to do over the 5, interesting things come up:

- the chord you play for the 5 may not be a chord rooted on the 5, it may be rooted on the 4, or the b2
- the chord may be augmented if rooted on the 5, or diminished or 7sus4b5 if rooted on the 4, or 7#11sus2 if rooted on the b2

Now, if you try these things out, you will find that for a particular 2-5-1 the actual movement transforms into a 2-b2-1 movement where the b2 is the tri-tone substitution of the 5.

If you compare the notes of the augmented rooted on the 5 with the notes of the Lydian Dominant rooted on the b2, you will see that the Lydian Dominant contains all the notes of the augmented. You can force the phrasing to make it sound either way.

If you compare that same Lydian Dominant rooted on the b2 with the diminished (whole-half) rooted on the 4, the only difference between them is that from the perspective of the Lydian Dominant, the diminished is changing the Lydian Dominant's 9th to a b9... just one note difference between them.

All three, the augmented from the 5, the diminished from the 4, and the LD from the b2 will all sound great over the 2-5-1 change. The actual sound of what you play will be different based on phrasing - you make it sound augmented, diminished, or LD by choice of phrasing (which notes to start with, end on, which are emphasized...).

Back to the m7b5... I rarely use this chord as is, I change it to 7sus4b5. This allow rooting on the 4 during the "5 chord", treating it as LD rooted on the b2, or augmented rooted on the 5.

The relationships of the augmented and diminished to the LD hold for wherever the LD is used - the 1 , b2, 4, b6, 6, and b7 are all popular roots for the LD and the related augmented and diminished lines can be mixed as desired, so there is a lot of freedom and flexibility. The degree of "outsideness" will vary depending on the progression.

In the formal jazz world, the LD is considered an inversion of the famous altered scale, but in my personal ear and hand and mind the LD is more fundamental and I think of the altered scale as an inversion of the LD (which means I never have to think about it).

I don't know if all this answers your question or just opens the investigation; hope it helps either way.
Thank you!This post is amazing.
It does both
It gives me a starting point and an awful lot of homework.
#4
PlusPaul

good post...you may have overwhelmed Eyeball...

Augmented/diminished theory allows harmonic freedom that few explore in depth..yeah its work..but well worth the effort as you have discovered .. I also see the mi7b5 as a gateway to extended harmonic exploration..Bmi7b5=G9=Dmi6=Db7b9#5=E11b9 etc..and then using the symmetric approach with these type chords you have many avenues to explore..add in the melodic minor and augmented scale and the six chords it produces and you have ample material to solo over just about any tune..

Teaching new players these concepts I have to remind them..not to play every scale, arp, riff etc all the time when they solo..try and create some nice melodic lines that are tasty..my reference is Kind of Blue..the tune Blue in Green,,the solos by some of the best are the goal of many musician in any genre
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Jul 27, 2017,
#5
Quote by wolflen
PlusPaul

good post...you may have overwhelmed Eyeball...

Augmented/diminished theory allows harmonic freedom that few explore in depth..yeah its work..but well worth the effort as you have discovered .. I also see the mi7b5 as a gateway to extended harmonic exploration..Bmi7b5=G9=Dmi6=Db7b9#5=E11b9 etc..and then using the symmetric approach with these type chords you have many avenues to explore..add in the melodic minor and augmented scale and the six chords it produces and you have ample material to solo over just about any tune..

Teaching new players these concepts I have to remind them..not to play every scale, arp, riff etc all the time when they solo..try and create some nice melodic lines that are tasty..my reference is Kind of Blue..the tune Blue in Green,,the solos by some of the best are the goal of many musician in any genre
One thing your post made me think.You are right that Bm7b5 is the same as G9 so would G mixolydian work over that chord?I'm assuming it will do right?
#6
Quote by EyeballPaul
One thing your post made me think.You are right that Bm7b5 is the same as G9 so would G mixolydian work over that chord?I'm assuming it will do right?


here is where experience-and a lot of it comes in..much depends on where your coming from and where your going .. in functional harmony..the mixo scale is going to want to resolve naturally to its I maj7 chord..in this case C major something..7 9 13 etc..now if you know how to use that G9 into a Bb7 flavor say Bb13 in theory it can be seen now as a flat five of E dom and goes nicely into some form of Aminor..which is where we started the progression...iimi7b5 (Bmi7b5)-(V7#9) E7#9 to Ami7 etc...

that move can be created if you know your diminished /symmetric harmony and realize that - in theory G7-Bb7-D7-F7 can be seen-and used-as ONE chord - this kind of thinking comes from the reality in diminished scale chords repeat every minor third with the exact same notes but in their inversion form..and in doing so they can also be named correctly as 7b9 chords without a root note in the chord..so in this type of thinking an Ab7 diminished chord Ab-B D F can be named and used as a G7b9 no root--Ab-b9 B-3rd-D-5th-F-b7--in their inversions B7b9-D7b9 and F7b9..

now each of these 7b9 chords can resolve to any major minor or other dominate chord to extend the harmonic progression as long as it returns to the original tonic center ... example..extended original progression....Bmi7b5 -Bb13-Ebmaj7-Gmi11-C7b9-Fmi11-Bb13-Ami7

Moving from one tonal center to another is a common technique in most compositions in jazz and a lot of pop music..even though the same chord forms are used their "function" (and name) changes to fit the new tonal center...thus a Bmi7b5 and also be a G9 etc

A study of diatonic harmony (major scale harmony) would be more than helpful to your musical life..and clear up a lot of confusion
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Jul 27, 2017,