Dorian trick - m7b5 over minor?

rotren

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This is a great little trick you should know. Play a minor7b5 arpeggio, one and a half whole-steps below the minor chord you are playing over, and you get the Dorian sound. That's 3 frets. Pretty cool?

To do the same over an A minor chord, play the F#m7b5 arpeggio. To play over a D minor chord, play Bm7b5 - do you get the idea?

 

rotren

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You also must use a band aid, preferably "Nexcare" by 3M, otherwise you will get a dull tone. Very important and crucial detail. No affiliation. :D
 

Ed DeGenaro

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Maybe seeing that the F#m7b5 as an inverted Am6 or rootless D9 might explain that.

Plus those three as well as the C∆7b5 are as Tag hammers it home over and over "the group of 4".
 

Ed DeGenaro

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It's actually a melodic minor sound - not dorian.

Comes from mode six of melodic minor.
Paging @JonR ...

Just because someone taught you to think of that chord as a F#m7b5 and not an Am with the 6 in the bass does not mean it comes from melodic minor. It IS one approach among others.
Most definitely not the only one considering it's just as much part of the major and harmonic minor scale.
 

JonR

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You called?
Just because someone taught you to think of that chord as a F#m7b5 and not an Am with the 6 in the bass does not mean it comes from melodic minor. It IS one approach among others.
Most definitely not the only one considering it's just as much part of the major and harmonic minor scale.
All I was going to say was (in reply to the OP):

Why not just play a min6 arpeggio? Why think in that roundabout way: "a minor7b5 arpeggio, one and a half whole-steps below the minor chord you are playing over". :bonkJust add a 6th to the minor chord! Duh!

Oh I get it. It's a lesson designed for people who know all about m7b5 arpeggios, and don't know what a min6 chord is... :jo :rolleyes:

As I think you're saying, there are only four notes involved, so it could be either dorian or melodic minor.
Of course, if it's a min7 chord you're playing over, then adding a 6th (or a min7b5 3 frets down) makes it dorian. Not melodic minor.
 
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Paging @JonR ...

Just because someone taught you to think of that chord as a F#m7b5 and not an Am with the 6 in the bass does not mean it comes from melodic minor. It IS one approach among others.
Most definitely not the only one considering it's just as much part of the major and harmonic minor scale.
You're correct in saying that the harmonized major and harmonic minor scales contain mi7b5 chords/arps, but only melodic minor has a mi7b5 chord/arp built from the 6th degree. Hence, you find this particular intervallic relationship (minor third interval between 6th degree and tonic) only in melodic minor.
 

JonR

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You're correct in saying that the harmonized major and harmonic minor scales contain mi7b5 chords/arps, but only melodic minor has a mi7b5 chord/arp built from the 6th degree. Hence, you find this particular intervallic relationship (minor third interval between 6th degree and tonic) only in melodic minor.
But we're only talking about a min6 and its m7b5 inversion. The OP is talking about a C#m7b5 over Em - which is just Em6 of course. E dorian or melodic minor, seeing as no D or D# is involved (yet).
 
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But we're only talking about a min6 and its m7b5 inversion. The OP is talking about a C#m7b5 over Em - which is just Em6 of course. E dorian or melodic minor, seeing as no D or D# is involved (yet).
Got it.

Then you're right: it's just one way to generate a mi6 sound.
 

Bobbyoso

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I must be missing something; F#mi7b5 is a vii in G, and Ami (or mi7) is a ii, also in G. Why add complexity to the thought process? It's like saying you're "substituting" an F# Locrian fingering for an A Dorian fingering. Outside of the harmonic tendencies of Locrian vs Dorian in the same key, why over think it? Unless you are going for more exotic scalar resources, different tensions, etc., of course.
 

Ed DeGenaro

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I must be missing something; F#mi7b5 is a vii in G, and Ami (or mi7) is a ii, also in G. Why add complexity to the thought process? It's like saying you're "substituting" an F# Locrian fingering for an A Dorian fingering. Outside of the harmonic tendencies of Locrian vs Dorian in the same key, why over think it? Unless you are going for more exotic scalar resources, different tensions, etc., of course.
Cause it's not a scale it's an arpeggio...
And if you want to think Dorian you think Am6.
But there's a lot of use for that sound outside of Am.
 

JonR

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I must be missing something; F#mi7b5 is a vii in G, and Ami (or mi7) is a ii, also in G. Why add complexity to the thought process? It's like saying you're "substituting" an F# Locrian fingering for an A Dorian fingering. Outside of the harmonic tendencies of Locrian vs Dorian in the same key, why over think it? Unless you are going for more exotic scalar resources, different tensions, etc., of course.
I agree, at least as far as the original example - which is only talking about making a plain Em chord sound dorian. You add a C#. That's it. No need for all that nonsense about "C#m7b5".

All the rest is about what else you could do with it, or what (other) context it might be used in. I mean, you can overthink it if you want. (A lot of folks here like to do that ;)).
 

rotren

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Nonsense? Look at it however you want - it’s the sound of the Em6 arpeggio over Em7 that I’m demonstrating. I see that arpeggio as a C#m7b5 arpeggio because I’ve memorized that shape and I’m starting the arpeggio on C#. That same shape can be moved around to create other interesting sounds.

View it however you like.
 
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lhallam

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Just as aside, I read that Thelonius Monk always referred min7b5 chords as their minor 6th spelling. EX. C#min7b5=Emin6 as JonR is pointing out.

My guess is like Joe Pass, Monk was all about simplifying despite how the chord is actually functioning. Which I think JonR is also pointing out in this case.

Joe Pass said that you can always play a melodic minor over any minor chord. I have found that it works most of the time except on certain rock or pop progressions where it sounds better to keep the natural 6.

To me the #7 always works when the progression has a #6. EX- Am7-Bm7-CMaj7 In other words you can switch from dorian to melodic minor even on tunes like "So What". Blasphemy I know.
 

JonR

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Nonsense? Look at it however you want - it’s the sound of the Em6 arpeggio over Em7 that I’m demonstrating.
OK, that's a little more detailed than the title.

But I still don't see the need to invoke C#m7b5.... unless ...
I see that arpeggio as a C#m7b5 arpeggio because I’ve memorized that shape and I’m starting the arpeggio on C#
Right. Now I do see. ;)
As I guessed before, it depends on whether one has memorised m7b5 shapes. And whether one knows those better than how to add a 6th to a min7.

No criticism of your lesson(s) intended! :) Apologies for pedantry.
 




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