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Help me understand this chord G7(#9)

CS'56

Member
Messages
1,256
I've been playing for years and a few weeks ago I decided that I need to get back to the basics. I'm trying to learn theory. I went to a website run by a forum member http://lessons.mikedodge.com/ I went through the 5 part series on intervals. They way he has this all layed out is by far the easiest for me to understand out of all the info that I have come across over the years.

I was checking out the new Gear Page webzine and I saw this link about the G7(#9) chord. http://www.tgpwebzine.com/?page_id=77
After reading the just the title, I thought I would put my new knowledge to the test. I got a piece of paper and wrote out the G major scale. I wanted to see if I could build this chord on my own. I got it almost right. I came up with G A# B D F. After reading the rest of the article, I see I was wrong in adding the 5th interval.

Please help me understand why this chord doesn't containg a 5?
 

Austinrocks

Member
Messages
7,020
the 5th is optional, it is harmonically related to the root, 1.5 times the frequency in a Just intonation system, slightly different in an equal temperment, the rules for chords are

From the Jazz Language by Dan Haerle
Notes needed for the chord
Root- May be included for strength or may be omitted
3rd - Important color tone, normally present except in sus4 chord, (also the sus2 chord, but he left it out)
5th - May be omitted unless it is altered
7th - Important color tone, normally present except in 9/6 chord
9th - Optional color tone unless specifically called for
11th - Optional color tone (same as 9th)
13th - Optional color tone (same as 9th)
since only the 3rd and 7th are the only necessary notes to sound that chord, some chords are actually formed only from the 3rd and 7th.
 
Messages
7,411
Minor quibble and maybe I'm off base, but normally you would see the chord spelled out as:
G - B - D - F - A#
Stacked thirds, and since the A# is called out as the sharp 9, you'd spell it after the 7th. Technically the same as what you wrote, but that seems to be the convention.

And agreed, the hipsters seem to leave out the 1 and the 5 pretty regularly just to make you cry like a little girl when you're trying to figure out what the F' they're playing. ;)
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,063
I've been playing for years and a few weeks ago I decided that I need to get back to the basics. I'm trying to learn theory. I went to a website run by a forum member http://lessons.mikedodge.com/ I went through the 5 part series on intervals. They way he has this all layed out is by far the easiest for me to understand out of all the info that I have come across over the years.

I was checking out the new Gear Page webzine and I saw this link about the G7(#9) chord. http://www.tgpwebzine.com/?page_id=77
After reading the just the title, I thought I would put my new knowledge to the test. I got a piece of paper and wrote out the G major scale. I wanted to see if I could build this chord on my own. I got it almost right. I came up with G A# B D F. After reading the rest of the article, I see I was wrong in adding the 5th interval.

Please help me understand why this chord doesn't containg a 5?
In jazz, "7#9" is usually shorthand for an altered dominant, which would contain either a b5 or #5. You can leave those out, but it shouldn't normally include a perfect 5th, because it would probably clash with what a soloist might play.
The relevant scale is the altered scale, aka superlocrian, or 7th mode melodic minor.
On G, that's 7th mode Ab melodic minor = G Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F.
On a G7 chord, that translates as G Ab A# B Db D# F. So you have root 3rd and 7th (G-B-F), plus both altered 9ths (b9 #9) and both altered 5ths (b5 #5).
When it comes to making the chord, you can include any combination of those notes you want. The symbol "7#9" (or "7alt") is the shorthand for it.

The important thing with any altered dominant in jazz is to resolve out of it well. G7#9 resolves to Cm (C melodic minor scale) or C6 or Cmaj7 (C ionian or lydian mode). Eg:
G7#9 > C6
-6------5---
-6------5---
-4------5---
-5------5---
------------
------------

G7#9(#5) > Cm(add9)
-11---------10--
-11---------8---
-10---------8---
-9----------10--
-10---------10
------------8----

In rock and blues, however, a 7#9 is the famous "Hendrix chord". Where in jazz a 7#9 is a V chord, the Hendrix chord is used as I (tonic), or sometimes IV. As such it would have a perfect 5th, and the associated scale is blues scale (think of the #9 as b3 or b10).


BTW, it is possible to use a perfect 5th with a 7#9 chord in jazz, if you use the HW diminished scale. On G that would be G Ab A# B C# D E F.
But jazz charts would usually indicate that scale with a 7b9 chord, or 13b9 to be sure.
Obviously, if you leave the 5th out, that leaves all the options open! ;)
 

gennation

Member
Messages
7,567
Hey Mark, thanks for using my site! I encourage you to at least continue on with the Chord Construction and Diatonic Theory topics. At that point you should have a pretty deep background/foundation.

And yes, JonR nailed the answer to the thread.
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,081
In rock and blues, however, a 7#9 is the famous "Hendrix chord". Where in jazz a 7#9 is a V chord, the Hendrix chord is used as I (tonic), or sometimes IV. As such it would have a perfect 5th, and the associated scale is blues scale (think of the #9 as b3 or b10).
I think it's worth noting that this is the far more common application
 

cameron

Member
Messages
4,179
I think it's worth noting that this is the far more common application
I agree. I think even in a jazz context, if someone means 7alt, they'll write 7alt.

If you look at a chart for "Black Coffee" and see Eb7#9 indicated in the main verse section, how likely would you be to alter the 5th?
 

Gene

Member
Messages
1,624
The notes in a dom7#9 chord does include the 5th. The alt notes are far more concerned with what came before and what came after. And the music style at hand. And then, in the end, how you hear it. At least in jazz as I know it.

Many many piano players will play the 5th, #5, and #11 all together.
 

CS'56

Member
Messages
1,256
Thanks to everyone for the help. I've learned something from all of the informative posts.

decay-o-caster. Thanks for pointing out that quibble. What you wrote makes sense!

JonR, thanks for taking the time to write all of that. I still do not have a full understanding of it. That just shows my lack of knowledge. I will continue to study it and with my new music teacher and going over Mike's material, all of this shall come together someday :phones
 

Irreverent

Member
Messages
2,900
I love this place. Most of this stuff is a little over my head still, but I'm workin' on it! I certainly appreciate the generosity of the kind respondents to the OP's inquiry!

Peace.
 
Messages
7,411
...since the +9 note is enharmonic with a minor-3rd (m3) note, you can also simplify it to just a triad Gm7 chord.


....(think about it before you start yelling and arguing)
Okay, thought about it, and you got some 'splainin' to do, Looocy. When the chord is called out as G7#9, that sez dom7, which sez Maj 3rd pretty explicitly. What am I missing here?

Yes, the #9 is the same as the minor third, but this chord implies both notes, not just the minor 3rd. So I am yelling and arguing that you have left out a critical piece of the OP's chord - the Maj3 that rubs up against the min3. A straight min 3rd won't function at all the same.

Sez me. I'd like to hear why you say it will.
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,081
Okay, thought about it, and you got some 'splainin' to do, Looocy. When the chord is called out as G7#9, that sez dom7, which sez Maj 3rd pretty explicitly. What am I missing here?

Yes, the #9 is the same as the minor third, but this chord implies both notes, not just the minor 3rd. So I am yelling and arguing that you have left out a critical piece of the OP's chord - the Maj3 that rubs up against the min3. A straight min 3rd won't function at all the same.

Sez me. I'd like to hear why you say it will.
One of my favorite voicings for the dominant function G7#9 is Bb-Eb-Ab, stack of fourths, low to high.

No root, no 7th, no 3rd. So there.

(It resolves nicely both up and down a half step to a tonic major chord)

You don't need to spell out the critical intervals of chords. You only need to be concerned with the voice leading. (Unless you got a really cool thing happening that trumps the voice leading...hey, I'm open to whatever happens in the moment...)
 

Gene

Member
Messages
1,624
The problem comes from the notion that chords are some uni-dimensional entity. I never cared about chord names or nomenclature. The music is in time and space. I see chords or whatever people call a group of 3 notes or more to be melodic progressions. They move just like the bass, melody, and the solo in an improvisational context.

The challenge is to play melodies with 3 notes or more simultaneously with the grace and musicality of a great artist.

From a practical standpoint, I find it detrimental for music that are the type of melody + changes to even write chords with extensions beyond the 7th. It is never useful in real live performance with quality players.

For some that my doubt my words, I have been fortunate to have seen the original music charts by some of the greatest 20th century jazz artists. You'd be amazed how little info there were regarding harmony.
 

bobmc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,514
Man, I love this thread. Changing the voicing (5 or no 5) in relation to function (I, V etc) of the chord makes it much easier for me to get a handle on. (and I assume is a cornerstone to proper musical education).

Here’s a voicing I found on John Scofield’s website. It’s from “Boozer” among many others and is written out under the F#7 (which is the IV in this tune).

Low to high it’s A#-D#-E-A, which is mechanically:

-5-
-5-
-8-
-8-

In my extremely limited theoretical way of thinking, I see it as (low to high) M3-13-b7-#9 (or m3). Am I close? “Proper” name?

Easy grip, maximum skronk, lotsa tension; me likey!
 

Jim Soloway

Member
Messages
14,404
A few thoughts...

There's an obvious issue of practicality here. Ignoring the theory issues entirely, when you play chords with a lot of alterations or extensions, you very quickly run out of both strings and/or fingers. The obvious answer is to leave out the notes that have the least impact on the color of the chord. The 5th is the most obvious and the general advice (as noted above) is usually pretty solid, but you can sometimes be surprised if you experiment enough.

Second, I haven't read everything in this thread so I don't know if this has been mentioned already, but at least by the way I look at these things, you're working off the wrong scale. Chords are based on the major scale of the signature key. Since the G7#9 is a dominant chord, it is by definition the V chord in the key of C. So the scale you should be working from is the C major scale (C,D,E,F,G,A,B), counting up in 3rds, starting with the G. That would give you G(1),B(3),D(5),F(7),A(9). Then raise the 9 by a semi-tone, giving you G,B,D,F,A#.
 

bobmc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,514
I jumped keys and went off topic; yes the OP was in G, the Scofield example I chose was in F.

I think we could clear this up if you sent me a guitar to practice on...
 




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