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Jazz chord progressions with a single common tone?

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by wdinc01, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    I was hoping someone could point me to one or more jazz standards that have a single common tone running through all the chords, or even just the first four or five.
  2. One note samba?
  3. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    Not quite the answer I'm looking for
  4. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    A single tone working across changes isn't dependent on it being present in all the chords. You'd just be playing something that was already there in that case.

    As Reggie Workman says: you need to bring something to the beach beside sand.
  5. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Are you talking about the melody staying consistent to some tones while the chord move behind it or are you talking about consonant notes between a series of chords?
  6. wdinc01


    Nov 19, 2005
    Jacksonville, FL
    A constant note in a series of chords. I don't need the melody, just the chords. So say in a song with a four or five chords, one note that exists in all of those chords.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Well, okay, in that case, I would suggest that most all of them do. Randomly, looking at Take the A Train:

    C, D, G, A and D are consonant to every chord in the chart.

    F is except for the deliberate compositional manipulation of it between dominant and minor D chords.

    A is also consonant except for the deliberate use of a b5 on the second chord.

    B is consonant except for in the FMaj chord at the beginning of the bridge.

    It's more diatonic than most and therefore there are more consonant notes, but most jazz compositions will have consonant notes threading through the changes or at least blocks of them.

    It's a good thing to explore and understand as it will/should inform your improvising.
  8. Ryanpet42

    Ryanpet42 Guest

    Aug 1, 2012
    For most of "Interplay" by Bill Evans the note F is in almost every chord except for Ab7 and C+7. At the end however you could tritone substitute Dbmaj7 and Gbmaj7 for G7 and C7 but C7 doesn't have an F in it.
  9. Don't look at the chords but to the scales over these chords.
    (Chords are only a subset of notes from a scale on the scale root note.)

    If you look at it that way, you can easily find such notes yourself.

    Over III-VI-II-V-I or a subset of it you can play any scale note (with different feel of tension and release, you might like it or not for some notes).
    The notes in the scales of all these chords are the same (in major, in minor there are some changes in the sixth and seventh note or the minor scale, so don't use them for your approach).
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I think I know what you're saying, and to the extent that I'm guessing correctly, I agree. But as a person and theorist who doesn't really believe in the notion that every chord on a chart implies a predetermined scale without context being involved, I think it's also useful to rephrase your second sentence as "scales are only chord tones with passing tones inserted between them". Between the two sentences, a more holistic approach to understanding changes can emerge.
  11. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    One of the things I've been doing is practicing against a drone. It's all about context. Playing different lines against different fixed points opens your ears to possibilities that don't fit into the strict chord/scale thing. Any note has a certain interaction with another note. Rather than thinking of scales get familiar with those sounds.
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Of course you guys are right.

    Going back to the OP, what songs have you checked out and had trouble finding this commonality in? I stick with my answer "most of them", maybe this is something that you haven't really explored yet?
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Raney used to remark on my unseemly ability to find a pedal that would work under almost any progression...
  16. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    ****, Ed, I didn't say that I could FIND them. But they're there.
  17. I didn't mean that for every chord there is only one possibility for a scale. It's not. Depending on the note extension of the basic triad there are more or less scales that could be used over this chord (and you can even abandon some of the chord extensions if your playing partners agree to open up the number of scales possible).
    Some of these scales are more commonly used than others. One reason for that is keeping most of the scale notes unchanged if possible. (But a certain function of the chord may need to change some of the old scale notes.)

    What I meant is, that if you put more and more extension notes into a chord you will get all notes of the scale. So a chord is a subset of one or several different scales. Of course, if you have different scale options (not speaking of inside/outside playing or overtone-based scales), you can even change the scale during the current chord time. But this was not the question.
    Since I often use some chord over a bass note in my writeen music, I might have a different perspective than others mostly familiar with the usual triad based chords on the root note.

    Sometimes it helps to re-substitute chromatically descending II-V by descending fifths to get a few more options for keeping the same note over them. Not 100% clean in theory but practically it works.
  18. Enough, already.
    Con Alma, by Dizzy.
  19. jweiss

    jweiss Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2007
    Park City, Utah
    Beatrice, by Sam Rivers. C is a tone that can be played over most of the harmony.

    | Fmaj7 | Gbmaj7#11 | Fmaj7 | Ebmaj7#11 |

    | Dmin7 | Ebmaj7 | Dmin7 | Bbmin7 |

    | Amin7 | Bbmaj7 | Emin7b5 A7#9 | Dmin7 |

    | Gmin7 | Gbmaj7#11 | Fmin7 | Gbmaj7#11 ||