Am7-E7b9

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by rich2k4, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. rich2k4

    rich2k4 Supporting Member

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    [SIZE=-1]i was wondering, would it be correct to play the A harmonic minor scale over this chord vamp? someone told me that it wouldn't work over the Am7 chord, but the G# still sounds good to me over the Am7, even though it is supposed to clash[/SIZE]
     
  2. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    If you like the G# over the Am7 go for it. Usually you'd use E phrygian domiant (5th mode of A harmonic minor over the E7alt) and A aeolian, phrygian or if you like even dorian over the Am7.
     
  3. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Let me just say this Rich (which will probably piss off a bunch of people):

    The idea of "playing a scale" over a chord is a little bit of an oversimplification - not that it isn't done all of the time but...

    1. You don't have to play the same scale over two chords in a vamp - you can play one scale over one of the chords, and a different scale over the other.

    2. You don't have to play a scale at all - you can play arpeggios, or subsets of scales, etc.

    I constantly see these questions "what scale do I play over" - but these guys seem to forget that you don't have to play a 7 note scale or mode - pentatonic scales are available, as are arpeggios.

    If one of a set of 7 notes doesn't sound right from X scale over Y chord, you're allowed to leave it out. Furthermore, if a note from X scale sounds good over Y chord, even though you should be using Z scale, it doesn't mean you can't use it (as Ed pointed out).

    So, just some thoughts...

    Steve
     
  4. ivers

    ivers Member

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    For the E7 chord, popular choices are the half whole diminished, and the Fminor melodic, and for the Am7, you can pretty much play any minor scale you can think of, I guess. Whether the G# works has to do with movement, rhythm, and how you phrase it, but sure, I wouldn't wanna be without it as an option when playing over Am7.

    When you play over stuff like that, though, try perhaps to not think as much in terms of fitting one scale over that chord and another one over that chord, and explore the movement you can create across the bars, so there's a continuity going on. If you have a nice moving line on the dominant, there's no reason it has to stop when the tonic comes.

    Damn, I hope I make sense, cause I'm struggling hard to explain this.
     
  5. rich2k4

    rich2k4 Supporting Member

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    well in my lessons, me and my teacher were working on the standard Out Of Nowhere, the whole thing goes like this.

    ||: GΔ - - - | GΔ - - - | Bbm7 - - - | Eb7 - - - |

    | GΔ - - - | GΔ - - - | Bm7 - - - | E7b9 - - - ||

    1. | Am7 - - - | E7b9 - | Am7 - - - | Am7 - - - |

    | Eb7--- | Eb7 - - - | D7sus4 - - - | D7 - - - :||

    2. | Am7 - - - | E7b9 - | Am7 | Cm6 - |

    | Bm7 - E9 - | Am7 - D7 - | GΔ - - - | GΔ - - - ||

    he told me for the first 2 measures do stuff in the G major scale, then for the Bbm7 and Eb7 shift up to Ab, and try to play the same lines.

    then for Bm7 and E7b9, shift up to A and play lines in there.

    then he told me for the Am7-E7b9 vamp that i can use A harmonic minor, for the entire 4 measures, along with Ab diminished stuff.

    later on when it repeats again use he said to use harmonic minor, except when it gets to the Cm6 use C dorian

    for the D7sus4 and D7 he said to use D dorian.

    we aren't going through a chord by chord approach yet. i think we are going scale by scale approach because he wants me to develop playing melodically first.
     
  6. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Imo, that is an oxymoron. I don't think chord/scale playing is very melodic. Rather it is pretty scale like sounding. I agree with Steve's post above, plus I would make sure I had the melody in my ear and play off of it rather than thinking about what scale goes with what chord.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Litsa

    Litsa Member

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    I secondly agree with Steve on Arps. There is this killer method called Plane Talk and the author who wrote the book stress TRIADS and that when learning them inside in out one can easily play against the chord changes easily.

    I don't understand why so many just recommend what scales fit over what chord because one still has to know the correct notes to pull....With the Arpeggios one is already pulling the correct notes the rest of the notes in the scale are just passing tones...

    Just my 2 cents!!! Great topic!!
     
  8. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Supporting Member

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    Correct doesn't matter. You can play anything that sounds right to you. I agree with the others in that you'll get much further thinking about chords rather than scales, in which case you can decide if you want the sound of Amin/maj7 or Amin7.



    Well, that's not the way I would tell a student to approach it. The thing is there are a million ways to approach those first couple bars. But the goal is to play ideas, not scales or chords. But it can help you get to your ideas if you have a strong understanding of the notes in the chords and where they are on the neck. Shortcuts (which I consider you're teacher's advice) only slow you down in the long run. If you're looking for more of an idea I'd say play a line based on an Bmin7 arpeggio over Gmaj7 and then move it down a 1/2 step over Bbmin7. Similar to going from G to Ab, but a little more of a jazz idea.


    Again you want to think of chords and chord movement. While you can use a single scale over those bars you'd be better off to try and hit the E7 and resolve to the Amin. And there are other sounds there as well, like I said above sometimes you'll want a 7th over Amin rather than a maj7th. Or even a natural 6th- you could play A dorian there or A harmonic minor. For instance, you could play A harmonic minor over Amin and Bb lydian dominant (Gb melodic minor) over E7b9. In which case you could be thinking of the chords Amin6/maj7 - Bb7#11.


    Well eventually you'll want to know the chords and scales. But IMO once you get the chords and arpeggios down adding the remaining 3 notes to build a scale is very easy. What I've found is players that begin by focusing on chord tones tend to play more melodic lines, where as players that begin with scales don't. Just my experience...
     
  9. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I'll third what Steve says. Scales are fine but if you can't play the arpeggios from the chord scales and specifically, those that generate the colors you are interested in "painting" over the chords, you should break down and learn the chords/arpeggios.

    I do find usefulness in using the scales as a palette to get the ear "used" to hearing new sounds but in the case you describe, the sounds are not that complex in the first place.

    One thing I'd recommend is going back and transcribing ii-v-i riffs from Benson, Martino, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, etc. Have you picked up Joe Pass Guitar Style? It's also excellent for those types of progressions.
     
  10. joejazzguitar

    joejazzguitar Silver Supporting Member

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    :agree +1000 !!
     
  11. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    A "scale" is not something you play over a chord or series of chords.

    A "scale" is an abstract concept which helps you narrow down the choices somewhat to achieve a desired sound.

    Alternatively, rather than a prescription for what to play over a chord, a scale is a means of grouping notes in your mind-- an organizational strategy to determine what types of consonances or dissonances you would like to select.
     
  12. steven.rogers

    steven.rogers Member

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    Another plus for arps. One thing I do for every tune I learn is to play through all the arps and then try to take a solo with nothing but.
     
  13. jzilla

    jzilla Member

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    are you sure that's what he said? dorian seems like an odd choice there to me. dorian has a flat third.

    another vote on chord tones / arps... (FWIW)
     
  14. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    What does the triangle symbol mean?
     
  15. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I agree. There are a couple of definitions for "scale", and that creates some confusion regarding their application.
    When folks are just learning, a scale is a fingering or a pattern.
    More of a physical prerequisite to getting around the fingerboard, and an aid to memorization than an actual musical resource.

    At some point the student discovers the chord/scale thing, and the old working definition says that the scale is "a set of notes taken from a related family of chords."
    As if the chords generated the scale. Kind of backwards, but that's the set-up for the basic diatonic major scale harmonized in thirds routine where you have a C scale assigned to a C chord.

    More recently the chord/scale thing has evolved into scales that refer to the sound of the chord rather than the resolving tendency of the key, so you would have a G scale assigned to a C chord. Or in the case of the example above, a D scale for the Gmaj7 chord to lose the "avoid tone" F.

    This still all assumes that the scale is some fixed thing in a fixed relationship to some harmony that all moves across some grid in a stable way.
    It's not really like that.

    The working definition of scale for me is "A baseline set of notes that a melody is restricted to, except when it departs from it for purposes of contrast.
    Which I think is pretty much the same thing as Brad is saying.
    In any event, of those four basic concepts for "scale", The physical technique, the resolving tendency of the key signature, the color of the chord, and the players choice in the moment for whatever tonality serves the music, only the last is suitable for improvisation.
    But y'all know that already, right?

    peace sk
     
  16. kimock

    kimock Member

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    The triangle notation is borrowed from the Just Intonation 5-limit lattice.
    So, for "C triangle", the left hand point of the triangle is G, the 5th above C, the right hand point is D, the 5th above G, and the top of the triangle is B, the Major third above the G.

    So, the literal interpretation would be the slash chord indicating a root position G major triad with C in the bass.
    In popular use it's shorthand for a major 7 chord, but y'know. . .

    peace
     
  17. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Just proof that your ears are screwed in correctly
    and you're allowing them to function properly ...

    No one needs to confirm anything if you like the way it sounds ...
     
  18. funkycam

    funkycam Member

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    & the G# does not have to come from the harmonic minor scale.
    You are simply implying A minor major 7.
     
  19. rich2k4

    rich2k4 Supporting Member

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    meant D mixolydian not D dorian, sorry
     
  20. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Major.

    Usually you see it as C^7 (^ is a triangle for now) for CM7 or CMaj7.

    Sometimes you see just C^ but, like when you see Co (or Cdim) we assume it to mean a 7th chord or other "non-triad" structure.

    So for C^ you might play CM7, C6, C6/9 depending on the context. But I rarely see it just by itself - more typically the 7 is with it (at least in my limited experience).

    Steve
     

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