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Dm7b5 preferred over Dø

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ryco, Jun 28, 2008.


  1. DocBop

    DocBop

    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes aug and alt are two different things I don't thing I said they are the same, but the + is an overloaded symbol. The + can mean Aug, Alt, or sharp a specific note all depending on how the copyist wrote the chord symbol. At same time most will add a b7 to aug chords, and alt will have an altered 5. How and what people do depends on the tune and style its being played in. If I'm doing a pit band and see a Aug or + I'm sticking to the triad. In Jazz or Rock I will probably add the b7 or other color tones, but again have to keep ears open to what's going on.

    I was always taught Alt or Altered means any combo of altered 5's and 9's. Typically on V in minor but with care can used on any resolving dominant style depending. The b13 is a classic "Juicy Note" in major, you hear Jazz masters resolve it up to the 3rd of a major.
     
  2. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    m7b5 is incomplete info (unless you're familiar with how ppl tend to notate).
    When I see this I instantly think an altered Dorian with a b5 - with a M2 and M6.
    Then common sense kicks in and I go "OK, he means half dim or Locrian" - b2, b6.

    Ø = means one thing, one series of tones - no question. ø7 is totally from the Dep't of Redundancy Dep't, but it's not uncommon to see.

    dim7b3 -- hahaha. I like it - but OK won't use dim7b5

    As for Augmented, I see A+, A+7, A Aug (or aug), Aaug7 (= m7). A7+9 signifies Alt to me, but that's mostly from reading Aebersold material.

    However if you see A+4, *hint* don't raise the fifth. I went through three verses (cringe) before I figured this out.
     
  3. brake

    brake

    Jun 23, 2003
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I say Dm7b5 to alleviate any confusion. There are proper ways to name a diminished or half-diminished chord but not everyone does it the same way...I've been in a couple of situations where people have gotten confused about notating that particular chord...much moreso than others.
     
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    This thread is great!

    Ryco, I am not saying the following to single you out. Several other people have made similar comments in the thread, and you just happen to be the most recent! :)

    "m7b5 is incomplete info"

    Let's look at Cmin7b5 for a moment. The chord consists of 1-b3-b5-b7: C-Eb-Gb-Bb. That is the complete chord. It is not "incomplete" because it doesn't have a D (or Db), F, or A (or Ab).

    You (and others on the thread) are confusing scales with chords. The notes in the chord are fixed, and when you are improvising, there is often more than one scale that fits over a particular chord.

    It doesn't mean that the copyist isn't giving you enough information, which is what I thought your post implied. :)
     
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    ps

    I usually encounter min7b5 chords as part of a minor ii-V-i progression. In that case, I just treat it as two bars of V. In other words, Dmin7b5-G7-Cmin, any scale that works over the G7 will probably work fine over the Dmin7b5 as well.
     
  6. DocBop

    DocBop

    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Now you sound like Robben Ford. I remember when Robben played a short time with Miles Davis. Robben coming from a Blues background isn't into a lot of changes. When asked about having to play a lot of II-V's he said he just plays on the V, its going to get there soon enough. :D
     
  7. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I got it from Joe Pass actually... in a masterclass, someone asked him "how do you approach soloing over a ii-V?" and he replied, "what's a ii-V? oh, you mean like Dmin7-G7? I've never really thought about it like that." Works for him! :)

    edit: I found the Joe Pass quote:

    "First of all, if I have a ii-V... forget the ii! You don't need it. Why are you playing the ii, what is it? (noodles on guitar) If you play the V, you've got the ii. Here's the scale for the V (plays G mixolydian). Here's the scale for the ii (plays D dorian). It's the same scale, it just starts on a different note. I found out a long time ago... that you don't have to think of it as two separate chords, it's just a V chord. When you learn a song, you must learn the harmony really simple..."
     
  8. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    True - fair enough. I see this stuff and I think of the chord tones right off the bat. But the only place I see these kinds of chord symbol/designations is when I'm playing jazz out of somebody's book. In the jazz idiom the bass is walking 3 or 4 to the bar. So I'm thinking in terms of chords, but I'm also thinking in connecting lines (tetrachords and chromaticisms).
    I don't hear a lot of these chords being used in rock/country and I've never see a piece of paper on a rock gig. To those guys paper is for rolling - period. :bassist:

    When a Dm7b5 is marked, I'm gonna guess the keyboard player is going to play the full chord up to the 13th and I'd rather not clash with his treatment of 9 or 11 or 13 . That's the reason I think in terms of chord and scale. Which is why I prefer to use the term chord/scale so it doesn't sound like I prefer one over the other. They are two sides of the same coin, with the key being the coin.

    One could play just chord tones, but it starts to sound kind of bland in jazz. Arpeggios are much more common in rock/country/pop.

    What I like trying to do is kind of like Classical Melodic Minor, only experimenting with M2, M6, A4 on lines going up; and m2, m6, P4 descending (instead of M6, M7 asc & m6, m7 dec -- although this can work, too). IF I even have time to think about this stuff when playing :)
     
  9. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    There's a lot more to that whole alteration of scale degrees 6 and 7 than just ascending or descending - that's a very very popular misconception, and misleading. It's hard to simplify what exactly goes on, but the easiest way of thinking about it is "on the V, use M6 and M7, on anything else, use m6 and m7." You'll find examples of both ascending/descending, but you'll never find V with m6 and m7, or the tonic with M6 and M7. That is, in classical music, which is what you're trying to emulate.

    Transcribe some Charlie Parker. Arpeggios are bland, eh? Not common in jazz? They're the essence of bebop and hardbop, and playing in that style is at the core of what jazz evolved from.

    As a bass player, you're going to have a little more leniency with the "in between" notes than a pianist might, because of the very reason that a bassline is linear and melodic versus the comping which is vertical and harmonic. This is an interesting phenomenon. For example, a pianist likely would not voice the b9 on a Dm7(b5) chord, since its a minor 9 dissonance and in a lot of ways obfuscates the function of the chord (try playing an Eb on a Dm7(b5), sounds blah). However, a very typical bassline for a measure of Dm7(b5) would be D Eb F Ab, or something of the like. It would also be perfectly acceptable to play D E F Ab, which would give it a more "modern" sound, but wouldn't clash with the piano because the chord tones are on the strong beats. You could even do D Gb F Ab, which would sound even more modern (diminished 4ths are a very Michael Brecker-type thing to do, very hip), but because the melodic stress is on the chord tones, thats what will make it work.

    The fact is, know exactly what chord/scale to use in what situation might be useful, but isn't necessary as far as bass playing goes (if you tried to memorize the list for the many varieties of diminished chord scales, I'm sure you're head would explode) If you use diatonic passing tones, that will be enough for anybody to connect the chord tones on the strong beats.
     
  10. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    No, no - that's not what I meant. Perhaps I didn't word it correctly. My point wasn't about classical music and why the Mel min is voiced different asc & desc - that's about Harmony. My point in that post was along linear lines of moving bass lines and how I might treat the sub-mediant and supertonic notes in connecting chords.
    And I'm never gonna say "never" do this or that ('cept just now) because I'm not going to pretend I know so much to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't be doing. This is why I have a hard time teaching bass - therefore don't.
    No argument there! I paint with way too broad a brush, I guess.
    I didn't mean as an improvisational tool. I was talking about your basic support/foundation meat and potatoes walking 4s as a jazz rhythm section member. Of course Parker's solos were phenomenal and filled with arpeggios and inversions. Wish I could think that fast. Of course arpeggios and hitting chord tones are important is jazz - it's what we do, outline chords. But you gotta admit it's going to sound out of character to play 1-3-5-7, 1-3-5-7 [ch change] 1-3-5-7.... almost do-wop. It's a balance of everything - outline, chromatics, scales, devices. I merely was saying this style of "pattern" playing is far more common in rock/pop and country. And there's nothing wrong with it. I write/play way more rock than jazz or fusion -- I like patterns in rock.
    Yes I agree. I have found just through real time experience that these little clashes really aren't much to worry about between me and the piano player. Mostly because of the different tambre of the instruments and because it goes by to quickly - esp up tempo walking. I just want to play good, interesting lines with at least a little thought behind them.
    I love experimenting with ideas like this. Borrowing stuff from a couple of modes up. Playing a minor chord up Dorian and next verse down Phrygian just to see what happens. That's what I was referring to in the Mel Min statement.
    I haven't memorized all the dim scales, but I've probably played through most of them. I haven't got all the scales memorized, but I do know a lot of them and do make an effort to use some of this stuff - everyday. I work on this stuff all the time. Even though to heavy-duty players I'm an amateur hack - I do what I can to the best of my ability and do what I can to progress just 'cause I like playing bass. I read theory because I like the mechanics of music and trying to describe/define what makes devices/melodies/progressions work/sound like they do.

    I really appreciate this forum where we can talk about stuff like this and bounce ideas around. A lot of you are way more advanced and I really have a lot of lightbulb moments reading what you have to say in these threads.
    I don't always express my ideas very clearly is my fox-pass.
     
  11. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Actually I think you are right. I had always believed that was the case actually, however I did some cross referencing in order to explain some uniformity in the rationale behind why the 7th is assumed to be a bb7 in a diminished chord. I did come across one site that did spell and aug7 chord as [1,3,#5,7].

    I am going to edit my original post for now but I wonder what you all think about what is said on that site. Is it a mistake or a difference of opinion? In a way if an Aug7 chord did have a M7 it would be a good way to explain the rationale of where we assume a the 7th degree of a tertian tetrad to be as a m3 from the 5th. [edit] Actually I will hold on editing my original post since on that particular site it equates CAug7 to CM7#5 [CMaj7(#5)]

    By the way don't justify things to me by what the "jazz community" thinks is right. I only care about what is uniform and logical and in line with rational convention.
     
  12. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    I am changing my mind on this by the minute. I have to admit that I have always been a bit uncertain about this particular thing, but I am leaning towards thinking that CAug7 and CMaj7(#5) are enharmonic. I would think that the chord with the spelling [1 3 #5 b7] is an "altered" chord.
     
  13. Good luck with that, I think you are going to find that any 5 sufficiently diverse musical communities are going to have 5 different sets of conventions, not to mention 5 different ideas of what constitutes 'rational'.

    As far as the web site you linked to, that guy has a well thought reasoning for why the +7 chord should have a major 7th. Doesn't change the fact that me and thousands of others from this part of the world are going to play something else if we see that on a chart.
     
  14. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Agreed
     
  15. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    Of course its out of character to play a bunch of root position arpeggios, just as it would be out of character to play all roots in a walking bassline. Learning arppegios to the ninth and how to voice lead progressions in the inversions and both descending/ascending is one of the fundamental aspects of jazz improvisation. You wish you could think that fast? Practice them, like anything. Chord scales are important as a theoretical device, but if you're locked into playing scales, that is, seeing a chord and thinking "oh, I should play dorian over this", that will be a big indicator of being an amateur.

    Just FYI, there are two diminished scales, HW (also known as symmetric dominant) and WH. There are a whole heck lot more diatonic diminished CHORD/scales. What I meant by that, is for every diminished chord that happens in a typical diatonic situation, like #Idim7, #IIdim7, bVIdim7, etc, there is a different scale based upon what notes occur diatonically between the chord tones. For example, in the key of C, your #Idim7 chord/scale would be C# D E F G A Bb C (1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 bb7 7), but your #IVdim7 chord/scale would be F# G A B C D Eb F (1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 bb7 7) This is confusing enough, since there's going to be a separate unique chord/scale for every single different chord, but depending on how you look at it, you might even have a different chord/scale for an ascending diminished versus a descending, since sometimes there's more than one note that exists diatonically between the chord tones (bIIIo7 might have a different one than#IIo7).

    If you're really into this stuff, check out Modern Jazz Voicings by Ted Pease and Ken Pullig. It gives a brief synopsis of chord scale theory categorizing all the chord scales for major/minor key harmony and giving an overview of tensions. Chord scales in practice are best for arranging (it's an arranging book), but if you want to know a lot of the mechanics of what is going on, give it a looksie.

    We're dealing purely with convention, here, man, we're dealing with chord symbols. If somebody can't understand a chord symbol, even if its "more logical", its not going to get played correctly. Now, I don't know where you have ever seen an "aug7" that could be understood by context to mean a major 7th chord with a #5, but I know that I've never heard of it before used in that context. I personally think that the site is wrong to call it "aug7", because whenever I've seen an "aug7" written, its been on a dominant or secondary dominant resolving to a tonic, usually major. Although its filled with plenty of tension, the lack of the tritone between the tonic and dominant 7th precludes it from having dominant function. If you've ever seen in actual music an example where, based on context, you can reasonably assume a major 7 sharp 5 chord notated as "aug7", please post.
     
  16. HaVIC5

    HaVIC5

    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    That's another discussion entirely, but let me quote myself from earlier on and see what you have to say on the matter

     
  17. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    I think probably the confusion is that the term Aug7 isn't used very often. If you think about that chord, the close harmony voicing of the M2 interval between the #5 and b7, if we assume Aug7 to mean [1,3,#5,b7] probably has lead to it being thought of less as a tertian chord and more a suspension and therefore altered.

    I have personally always used the term CAugMaj7 or CMaj7(#5), myself for the spelling [1,3,#5,7] . It seems that the term Aug7 though could be taken to mean that tetrad as well. Though I can see how it might be assumed otherwise. I can also see though, that it would rationalise where I said "I guess the rule of thumb is that the 7th is assumed to be a m3 from the relative 5th of the tetrad.

    I am going to amend my previous post accordingly, but I still think there is room for interpretation on this one. I would probably continue to use CMaj7(#5) myself.
     
  18. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    Yes that is why I would see it more as an altered chord though. I don't think, and in reference to my last post as well, that because of the close harmony voicing of the #5 and b7 that the tertian reference will be to have an Augmented triad with a b7 attached. I think the context would be more to have a dominant with a #5.
     
  19. mutedeity

    mutedeity

    Aug 27, 2007
    Sydney
    One other thing. I think to avoid ambiguity I would also probably notate the chord [1,3,#5,b7] (in C) to be C7(#5).
     
  20. Some people use that notation, but we are talking matters of style here.
    Caug7, C+7 and C7(#5) all mean the same thing. In the exact same way that Cø and Cmin7b5 mean the same thing. There is nothing ambiguous about it.
     

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