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Chromatic approach notes

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by jaybo, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    I'm slowly trying to get my head around why some things in jazz work. I was reading Chris' lesson on walking lines and there was a progression such as..
    Dmin7 G7
    If I'm playing a 2 feel and want to use a chromatic approach note how can I get away with using an F# over Dmin? Is the dissonance caused by it something that is desired to create tension?
  2. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    What I'm about to say may make some theory-heads cringe, but I've heard more than one bassist say it, so I'm in good company. Bass is an instrument that CAN get away with using either 3rd on either chord, if used properly. If your ear seems to be pulling you towards a strong leading tone and you want to use the Maj 3rd as a passing, knock yourself out.

    That being said, in a two feel, I might tend to use the upper approach tone of Ab.

  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Are you talking about the lesson on the main page? If so, note that the preface to all of the info mentions the distinction between diatonic approach notes and chromatic approach notes. (Diatonic approach notes can be chromatic, but more often are not) At any rate, you've guessed the answer with your last question - if you choose to use the chromatic approach method between the D and the G, you'll be creating tension whether you approach from above or below (typically more tension from above than below), and the tension will be resolved by the half-step resolution....that's the beauty of half steps.

    The diatonic approach will always produce less harmonic tension than the chromatic (except where they result in the same note choice :rolleyes: :D ) , and this fact can be used to your advantage when creating spontaneous bass lines. Want less tension? Use diatonic approach notes. Want more? Use chromatic approaches, especially from above. Good luck, and let me know if anything else in the lesson needs clarification.

  4. Surely it depends entirely what else is going on. I often produce what I think to be really cool lines when I'm practicing, and then later find out that they sound like absolute garbage when played along with another instrument. I think context is everything...

    - Wil
  5. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    Yeah I'm finding that out too Wil haha. Thanks everybody.