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Rootless Chords

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Guitarrista, Sep 18, 2004.


  1. Hi Mike,

    My sincerest apologies if this topic has already been covered within a previous thread, I haven't been in the forum for a while........but anyways...

    Besides dominant-type chords (ie "going to" chords), are there any other harmonic contexts in which one can/may omit the root note?

    And another thing, you've told me this before, but what's the harmonic function of a 13(#11) chord again? I know that you can use it to resolve to another chord a tone below, but I can't remember its other possibility (chord progression wise).

    :help:
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    You can omit the root on many chords, but all depende on how the voice leading. If there is smooth voice leading within the progression and the ear will interpolate the root, then it is easy. If, however. there is not a logical chord progression it becomes much more difficult

    The 13(#11) is an extension of the dominant 7th chord and function as such. The natural 13 implies a natural 9. The sharp 11 combined with the natural 9 and 13 mean that the chord scale would be the lydian b7 which comes from melodic minor harmony. The other nice thing about the lydina b7 is, like all melodic minor harmony, there are no "avoid notes"

    BTW, lydian b7 comes from the 4th degree of the melodic minor scale

    Mike
     
  3. Sorry for the delayed reply Mike, I didn't have a modem for a while. Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I've had the unique experience of being a semi-classical tubist in high school whose real passion was always the electric bass, which I have studied without a teacher for seven years now.
    I ultimately respect both the schooled and unschooled approaches to music, and I think that every one of the truly inspirational bassists I've heard live was an amalgamation of both brain in feeling.
    Sorry to rant, but I find it interesting in this instance, because when you experiment with omitting the root note, whether you do this by yourself or in front of an entire audience of unsuspecting listeners, you'll know right away when you play a note that just doesn't work. At the same time, it is equally important to know the theory behind why that down beat was wrong, and why your listeners are staring at you, perplexed as to why the smooth contour of the song was suddenly broken off at a point.