Am pentatonic to F melodic minor transition

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Poppa Stoppa, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. Poppa Stoppa

    Poppa Stoppa Member

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    I thought this short vid from Floyd Francisco Fernandes in India was pretty cool:
     
  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    He's a great player but IMO this is meaningless without a context. Jamming is all very well (noodling in private, meandering as he says), but the point is to be able to apply it in a piece of music (that one isn't making up on the spot). I'm not against making stuff up on the spot :) - but when and where would this idea be useful, outside of aimless jamming?

    He doesn't explain, so allow me.... ;)

    On a tune in the key of A minor, F melodic would work as an altered dominant scale, implying either E7alt or Bb7, to resolve back to Am.
    In key of C major, it could resolve to C (via a Bb7#11 or Fm) or to Am as an implied secondary dominant.

    In either case, the fancy terms are neither here nor there (melodic minor, secondary dominant, etc). The reason these notes work - if and when they do! - is by chromatic voice-leading on to Am or C chord tones, including extensions on the Am such as B or F#, and extensions on the C such as A or D. As follows:

    F > E or (on Am) F#
    G > F# (on Am) or shared tone on C
    Ab = G# > A or G
    Bb > A or B (on either Am or C)
    C > C (shared tone) or B
    D > C or E, or held as 9th of C
    E = shared tone

    That's how and why the altered scale (aka lydian dominant on bII or bVII) works.
    Otherwise, it's just... er.... aimless jamming, and who wants to listen to that?

    The resemblance to F melodic minor is pure coincidence, btw. The notes are not derived from F melodic minor; they're arrived at by altering chord tones to provide the voice-leading options given above. They just happen to look like the F melodic minor scale, which is handy if you know your melodic minor scales. The point is the harmonic and melodic function of the notes: ie, where they are leading. This is functional harmony, not modal harmony.
     
  3. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Yes, in his example I would think of that more as Bb Lydian Dominant I guess, just because it keeps it closer or on context to Am. But I'm fine with F Melodic Minor too, but it doesn't necessarily show the half step tension it creates based on Am.

    He should just play it over a vamp or something to show you how people use it as a "turnaround" for a 2-bar, 4-bar, 8-bar, etc...phrase. The sound it gives you is a V7alt turnaround for a static Am chord.

    Robben does it in the video below, Bbm here starting around 3:22 in...||: Bbm7 | Bbm7 B7 :|| this is a 2-bar phrase. I'll use this as my explanation because it's got a form to it as opposed to the other guys video.

    The B Lydian Dominant scale is ONLY relevant for the B7alt sound, it's ONLY there to land you back on Bbm on beat one of the next phase. Robben sticks to it like clock work playing ||: Bb Dorian | Bb Dorian B Lydian Dominant :|| for the phrase.

    Ok, I mention V7alt (in Bbm, that's F7alt) and B7alt, they are kind of interchangeable, and actually you can play something like this below...I'll stay in Bbm since Robben actually plays the idea in context compared the the guy in your video...

    ||: Bbm7 | Bbm7 B7 :|| can also be ||: Bbm7 | Bbm7 F7#9 :|| or use them both ||: Bbm7 | Bbm7 F7#9 B7 :||

    You'll find in the last example, having both chords strengthens the ALTERED sound.

    To get the sound of the vamp in your head just comp these chords in quarter notes:

    Code:
    E--------------|---------------|
    B--6--6--6--6--|--6--6--11-9---|
    G--6--6--6--6--|--6--6--10-10--|
    D--8--8--8--8--|--8--8--9--9---|
    A--------------|---------------|
    E--------------|---------------|
    


    By comping that you should here almost verbatim the sound Robben is copping in his lines starting at 3:22 here...

     
  4. carrandstrat

    carrandstrat Member

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    I think it's pretty cool too. I get more from an example than anything else.
     
  5. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Floyd says he thinks if it going to the iv
    I think of it as mixolydian b6
     
  6. Poppa Stoppa

    Poppa Stoppa Member

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    Thanks for the interesting responses. I haven't listened to the clip with guitar in hand yet but it sounded to me like Am bluesy lines interspersed with altered E7 lines on first listen. I have no problem with the presentation and reckon can get a lot from it as it stands.
     
  7. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Another suggestion for a 2-bar vamp (in Bb minor):
    Code:
    E--------------|--------9--9--|
    B--6--6--8--8--|--6--6--9--9--|
    G--6--6--6--6--|--6--6--8--8--|
    D--8--8--8--8--|--8--8--7--7--|
    A--------------|--------------|
    E--------------|--------------|
    Optional added 6th on the Bbm, and the last chord is either F7#9 or B13 - rootless in either case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  8. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Yepper!
     
  9. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that Mike - really cool.

    Are my eyes and ears deceiving me, or is Robben also just playing a straight Bmin pent for the alt sound?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  10. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Not sure if I even technically it being that is consider that an alt sound... It's so typical of Blues to use min penta over dom7.
     

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