# fourths

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by c-ba55, Jul 12, 2003.

1. ### c-ba55

Feb 6, 2001
San Francisco, CA
Lately I've seen a few references to a mysteriously cool way of improvising based on foruths. Can anyone explain what this is all about? Just play some fourths?

I fooled around with that, and found that if you stack fourths starting from a scale degree, you get a mode of the scale. I think the degree you start on + the mode you get will = 8. Is that a random useless fact, a useful fact unrelated to my original question, or something actually to do with this mysteriously cool fourths thing?

2. ### fivestringdanSupporting Member

Dec 4, 2001
Little Rock, AR
I like to play them forwards and backward in a circle of fiths. It works well at a turnaround. Played fast it really sounds cool. You just have to decide what note to land on and what note to start on. I usually do the entire cycle but alter it from time to time by just doing half as many notes or how many 16th there are untill the downbeat from where I start my run. It's fun.

3. ### Funkateer

Jul 5, 2002
Los Gatos, CA
The diatonic system has a bunch of interesting numerological properties. That you can generate a mode by taking any 8 consecutive elements of the cycle of fifths is one. More interesting from a modulation / key center perspective is the fact that each interval from 1 to 6 semitones (i.e count major 3/minor 6th as the same) has a unique number of occurrences in a diatonic (based on major) scale/mode. E.g:

semitones - 2
whole steps - 5
minor 3rds - 4
major 3rds - 3
perfect 4ths - 6
tritone - 1

The impact on key centers is most obvious with tritones. Only one key as any particular tritone.

4. ### fivestringdanSupporting Member

Dec 4, 2001
Little Rock, AR
semitone=halfstep??

5. ### Funkateer

Jul 5, 2002
Los Gatos, CA
semitone == half step. Also to expand on the tritone example ... there are two semitones in a major scale. Therefore any given semitone is a part of two major scales (e.g. E-F is in C maj and F maj).

6. ### j-rajBassist: Educator/Soloist/PerformerSupporting Member

Jan 14, 2003
Indianapolis, IN
I've been messing little around with fourths, but usually with the chords... here some fun chords I've been messing with:

msus7: rt, p4, b7, m3
Msus7: rt, p4, 7, M3
Mmsus7: rt, p4, b7, M3
m7#11: rt, #4, b7, m3
M7#11: rt, #4, 7, M3
.... etc.

7. ### NJL

Apr 12, 2002
San Antonio
have you ever listened to McCoy Tyner or Woody Shaw?

8. ### fivestringdanSupporting Member

Dec 4, 2001
Little Rock, AR
In spelling out the chord this way I am assuming that the (M3) is on top. A (M or m 10)?? Is this how you spell it?

9. ### j-rajBassist: Educator/Soloist/PerformerSupporting Member

Jan 14, 2003
Indianapolis, IN
yeah, those cats are real '4th' or quartal gurus...

I hear alot of McCoy in Charlie Hunter's chordal voicings

10. ### LiquidMidnight

Dec 25, 2000
I find that if you want to properly execute 4ths, you should also be consious of the meter. A 4th being played on a 1 or 3 may not sound right (unless that's your intent). I take it the reason for that is the strong root movement going on and it "tricks" the ear into thinking it's a chord change.

11. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
FWIW, j-raj...

This would be called m7b5 or half-diminished. I've never seen it called m7#11.

12. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
Yeah, I never heard of sus7 either. I thought you used sus4 where the perfect 4th replaced the 3rd and sus6 where the Major6 replaced the 7th. the 3rd and 7th being the most impotrant chord tones. All in general at least...

I'm confused what does this mean?!

I'm not too sure about this either - what are you trying to say here? I'm just a bit confused by this

Of course every interval occurs a specific number of occurances within a diatonic key? A diatonic key is made up of certain chords all based around the Major scale which is a set pattern of intervals TTSTTTS

Am I missing something?

13. ### Funkateer

Jul 5, 2002
Los Gatos, CA
Example:

C G D A E B F# C# == modes based on D maj

14. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
None of the modes of the D Major scale have a C in them. I'm not sure what the advantage is in looking to the cycle of 5ths for the modes of the major scale.

15. ### Richard Lindsey

Mar 25, 2000
SF Bay Area
I can't see that there is any. That approach IMO would be more interesting numerologically than useful musically.

16. ### Funkateer

Jul 5, 2002
Los Gatos, CA
Oops. Can't count Should be

7 elements of cycle not 8. Therefore:

G D A E B F# C# == D maj

I agree that this is more of a numerological curiosity than something you can jam on.

17. ### j-rajBassist: Educator/Soloist/PerformerSupporting Member

Jan 14, 2003
Indianapolis, IN
Yeah Moley, it might be enharmonic to the same thing, I was making my own names up, but using the description to say where I got it from.

sorry for the confusion...

BUT... there is the usage for a Major 7 sharp 11.... Think Freedon Jazz Dance (Bb), by Eddie Harris.

18. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
Yes, but you said m7#11 not M7#11.

19. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
Not that I'm an expect in such matters but I'd advise against that - it gets horribley confusing!

M7#11 - so you could play a lydian over that nicely?

moley, while were on the subject, what would you call a chord containing: m3, b5, M7 ???

i was looking at the transcription of the Mingus number 'boogie stop shuffle', and the horns make up this chord together over the turnaround. I wondered what one would call it?

20. ### Bruce LindfieldUnprofessional TalkBass ContributorGold Supporting Member

Are you sure we're not just talking about a half-diminished - very common in Jazz?

I have the lead sheet for this in the Mingus more than a play-along and there is a Cm7b5 in there...or there is a chord notated as D/Bb ?

But often as a Jazz bass player you will get these things where you can use the Major 7th as a passing tone or a 'blue' tone...although it's not really part of a conventional chord/scale relationship?