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Inner Urge - consecutive maj7 chords...

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Don Kasper, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Inner Urge was called last month on a gig - there was a leadsheet. (I did NOT play the melody!) I was not happy with my walking basslines in supporting the (many/mostly) Major7 chords that are (first) a descending minor third apart, and (then) an ascending half-step apart. See 0:18 - 0:28 below: Emaj7/Dbmaj7/Dmaj7/Bmaj7/Cmaj7/Amaj7/Bb7/Gmaj7. (This is very unusual Harmonic movement and I need to find/hear smoother connections between these chords.)
    Here are 2 separate, user-friendly paths through this section that I hope to incorporate into my vocabulary.
    vilshofen, Quinn Roberts and Tom Lane like this.
  2. Kinda surprised no one’s replied yet. Allow me to pontif- er, note:
    ― for something this gnarly the use of fourths and fifths to sweeten or clarify the harmony is apt, and crucial;
    ― numerous “provocations” ― use of the third and not the root on 1, F# on the 1 of a Gmaj7, E flat on a Cmaj7, C# on a Gmaj7; I mean, why should soloists have all the fun?
    ― the repeat-o contours in the first four mm of Ex 1, and again the first three of Ex 2;
    ― the mix of intervals (including tritones) and chromaticals;
    ― E min then E maj lines over Cmaj7 and Amaj7 (mm 13-14); that's deep! Judicious, too. In another post, I remember seeing an F7 line for a Cmin7 chord.

    An alert soloist will pick up on all this, and love you for it.

    Much obliged! Don’t get writer’s cramp!
    Don Kasper likes this.
  3. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Sorry! That is my sloppy "natural" sign that looks like a Flat! I meant E natural.
    Thanks for your interest.
  4. I was wondering about that - sure looked like a flat sign.
    Those 8 mm are thorny - I would definitely write out 3 or 4 variants, keep them within reach onstage.
    Don Kasper likes this.
  5. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    Here are 8 bars, for grins.

    Changes at the bottom there just sub the relative minor (maj)7 for every other chord. This creates only a one note difference in the chord scale every other bar. This isn't the way I'd be thinking on the head, or right out of the gate on somebody else's solo. It's just an attempt to get out of the mindset of slamming down the same root or third of the chord every bar.
    Disclaimer: Thinking subs like that becomes problematical at slower tempos, but it seems like every time some tenor player calls this tune, they want to burn it anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
    vilshofen likes this.
  6. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    I'm not crazy about the Bnatural in m. 2 - that is subbing the Dominant 7 in place of the Major 7. I would play Bb (the 13) instead.
    Also - regarding the "sub the relative minor (maj7) for every other chord..." - I'm not sure I would do that, but it might be OK at an UpTempo.
    Thanks for your interest.
  7. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Here is #3 - be sure to start every 2 note interval of a Perfect Fifth on the A string with the first finger in m.1 - 5.
    I love finding these pathways through unfamiliar changes away from the bass - this keeps me from regurgitating past ergonomically familiar (lazy?) patterns. Hopefully, these new pathways will become ergonomically familiar and comfortable.
    vilshofen likes this.
  8. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    The B natural sounds better to my ears, which is why I first wrote it, but after thinking about it, it conforms to the usual parameters when handling approach tones in bebop lines.

    Approaching a scale tone from below is almost always done by half step(s), while from above, it is preferred to use the next naturally occurring scale tone.
    So, enclosing the fifth of a chord is done a half step below and a whole step above, unless the step above the fifth is a b13 which appears in the chord. Even though this enclosure of the fifth of the Dmaj7 starts on the third beat of the previous measure, that doesn't keep it from sounding "right" to my ears.

    If subbing the minor (maj)7th (essentially changing the major chords in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th bar of this progression to maj7#5 chords) sounds too radical, perhaps just sub a regular m7th chord in those places. It gives you less common tones between chords, but if you ignore the subs "roots", and play off the arpeggios starting on the 3rd, you're getting the same sounds. It's just a way of tricking your mind into not locking on the straight roots of the changes in those bars (which we, as bass players, have been conditioned into doing from the moment we learned to read chord charts).

    ..and thanks for YOUR interest, Sir.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
    vilshofen likes this.
  9. Acoop


    Feb 21, 2012
    I'm not familiar with this tune but, if it was handed to me on the bandstand and counted off;

    I see it as 2 walking patterns the first is 1/6/2/5 in the key of E then one pattern of 1/6/2/5 in C., with substitute chords, (the 2's) and all Major7's. ... (With all those M7 this song should have been called First Kiss With Braces.)

    Instead of EM7, C#m7, F#m7, B7 ... We have ... EM7, DbM7, DM7, BM7 ... Same with new key.
    Shared chord tones= EM7 has the 1,3,5,7 DbM7/C#m7 share the 1,5,7, DM7/F#m7 share the 3,5,7 and BM7/B7 share the 1,3,5 ... That'll stay the same for the new key of C in the second round. ...
    Also feel free to substiute the third chord again with an A major it shares two notes with DM7/F#m7.
    If you just played whole notes you could getaway with 1, 3, 4, 5 in E. Then 1, 3, 4, 5 in C. ... It would get boring quick, but would work for an intro and extro.
    I'm sure not everyone will look at it this way but, for me, it's easier to walk through the chords without relying on the one, of that chord, as a starting point.
    vilshofen likes this.

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