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Playing Major 3rd over Minor Chord, Maj 7 over Dom

StevenA

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Been looking at a lot of sax transcriptions, Brecker, Potter, etc and can't quite get the reasoning behind these moves. Doesn't seem to be chromatic nor anticipate chords that follow. I wonder if memorizing a hundred various solos would give greater insight into where musicians are going with their ideas.
 

kludge

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Don't just read transcriptions - listen in context. What does it SOUND like? Playing a major third against a minor third is a common jazz trick to imply a "blue" third, especially with pianos, that can't bend notes. (Listen to lots of Thelonius Monk for it)
 

Clifford-D

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Just tell everyone "see you at the end of the tune".


Funny thing is when I play a major 3rd against a minor chord I don't really hear that maj 3rd as a functioning maj 3rd, in other words, my phrasing is going to weaken any function.
Then the tone just becomes chromatic or passing or slip slide,,,.

To enforce the maj 3rd as a strong tone against the minor chord is something I can't speak to, I would grimace if I heard it.

And then there are a number of concepts that would allow you to cycle through chromatically and allow that maj 3rd gravity, not slip sliding, something else. As long as the maj 3rd has good supporting tones that dance with the tonal center of minor.
 

kimock

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12,520
Don't just read transcriptions - listen in context. What does it SOUND like? Playing a major third against a minor third is a common jazz trick to imply a "blue" third, especially with pianos, that can't bend notes. (Listen to lots of Thelonius Monk for it)
The "blu" third thing is minor over major in 12 tone terms, not major over minor.
As a specific intonation it's the overtonal 7th of the IV chord.
Sub-minor third or blue note.
 

dewey decibel

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10,821
It's really a context thing. Consider that blues guys play a major 7th over a dom 7th all the time (blues in A, A minor pent over the V7 chord). It just doesn't sound the same as playing it over the I7 chord because of where your ear is at. A skilled player can create that same effect over the I7.

As far as a maj 3rd over a min chord, I often do it when thinking about a V7b9 sub, creating a diminished idea.

1)6-4
2)------5-3-8-6-----------5
3)-------------------6-4
4)
5)
6)

You can get to that maj7th over dom7 by thinking about diminished scales as well.
 

kludge

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The "blu" third thing is minor over major in 12 tone terms, not major over minor.
As a specific intonation it's the overtonal 7th of the IV chord.
Sub-minor third or blue note.
I'm thinking specifically of the piano thing of playing minor and major third simultaneously. In general, yeah, play a minor rather than a major third to be blue, not a major rather than minor. But both at the same time is a pretty cool sound - wondering if that's what's happening in the context.
 

kimock

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12,520
I'm thinking specifically of the piano thing of playing minor and major third simultaneously. In general, yeah, play a minor rather than a major third to be blue, not a major rather than minor. But both at the same time is a pretty cool sound - wondering if that's what's happening in the context.
Well, as Neer properly points out, there's no "rule".
Which makes sense because the theoretical rules and names lag behind the practice by centuries in most cases.
Our current batch of theoretical musings is based on observations of practice hundreds of years ago, so for sure, we haven't looked at 20th and 21st century practice long enough to describe it in its own terms.
It won't happen in our lifetimes.

That being said, there may be an acoustical template that conforms to the general percentage of using some of those intervals at apparent cross-purposes.
But I'll get to that later only if pressured to do so.
It's a subject ripe with misunderstanding.
 

StevenA

Senior Member
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3,976
No rules.
Yes, no rules; but a map perhaps especially when delving into deep tritone subs:
Play Abmin arp over C7 and get the b6, maj7, and #9, but they are just the upper extensions of F# (9, 11, 13)
 

dewey decibel

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Yes, no rules; but a map perhaps especially when delving into deep tritone subs:
Play Abmin arp over C7 and get the b6, maj7, and #9, but they are just the upper extensions of F# (9, 11, 13)
And you can get there thinking diminished too; C7➡️C7b9➡️Dbdim, which gives you three other 7th chords; Eb7, F#7 and A7. But that's just theoretical justification, if I'm thinking like that I can't make it sound good. I could, however think Abmin to Gmin over C7, that I can make sound like something.
 

guitarjazz

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I'm thinking specifically of the piano thing of playing minor and major third simultaneously. In general, yeah, play a minor rather than a major third to be blue, not a major rather than minor. But both at the same time is a pretty cool sound - wondering if that's what's happening in the context.
So basically playing minor seconds harmonically?
 

msoleno

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128
Also, a context thing, they could be using the outside notes as a surround tone- target tone type thing, where your target tone may be the minor 3rd, so you surround it with the notes around it before landing on the target tone. See if that's what is going on, that's a little jazz trick, you want to hit the 3rd, but you want to color it up a little, so you surround it with the notes around it.
 

cubistguitar

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6,059
What StevenA is describing sound like triad based lines. Guys get pretty out or add lots of tension by tossing out lots of triads, related in some way but often further and further out. The ear can take a structure like a triad much more easily than a scale run, especially when its flying by.
 

Neer

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12,699
Yes, no rules; but a map perhaps especially when delving into deep tritone subs:
Play Abmin arp over C7 and get the b6, maj7, and #9, but they are just the upper extensions of F# (9, 11, 13)

Sometimes you just create lines that sound good, regardless of the mapping of the notes. It you play a melodic line with great rhythmic phrasing, but don't really pay much attention to the pitches, you can still come up with a great melodic phrase.

I am not trying to sound ambiguous, but I do believe most of it is in the player's ears and cannot always be analyzed.
 

Aaron Mayo

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Sometimes you just create lines that sound good, regardless of the mapping of the notes. It you play a melodic line with great rhythmic phrasing, but don't really pay much attention to the pitches, you can still come up with a great melodic phrase.

I am not trying to sound ambiguous, but I do believe most of it is in the player's ears and cannot always be analyzed.
For sure, and without a transcription or recorded example of what the OP is talking about, who knows?
 

StevenA

Senior Member
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3,976
Sometimes you just create lines that sound good, regardless of the mapping of the notes. It you play a melodic line with great rhythmic phrasing, but don't really pay much attention to the pitches, you can still come up with a great melodic phrase.

I am not trying to sound ambiguous, but I do believe most of it is in the player's ears and cannot always be analyzed.
Lets not forget the swift tempo at which these lines are typically played at.
 

JonR

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15,416
Yes, no rules; but a map perhaps especially when delving into deep tritone subs:
Play Abmin arp over C7 and get the b6, maj7, and #9, but they are just the upper extensions of F# (9, 11, 13)
Whoah. That maj7 (B) has no place there. It's an "avoid note" on both chords.

OK, maybe advanced jazz musicians can make it work - by clever phrasing and emphasis - but it's not a place to start from when understanding how tritone subs work.

The tritone sub for C7 is F#7(Gb7), and E and Bb/A# are the basic essentials - the notes you need to keep (the guide tones, 3rd and 7th, the inner tritone that makes the sub work).
C you can also keep (b5 or #11 of F#).
The rest depends on where the chord is resolving. If it's going to F or Fm, then you can treat the C7 as altered and the Gb7 as lydian dominant, which is the same set of notes (C# or Db melodic minor, if it helps to think of it that way). I think of it as:
C7 with b5, #5, b9, #9;
or Gb7 with 9, #11 (not 11), 13.

It is a good trick to use arpeggios from that scale, but if you want minor ones, it would be C#m or Ebm.
Ebm7 and Eb minor pent also work, as does C#m6/9.
The idea - underlined by the bII7 - is half-step resolutions on to the next chord; and not always down, sometimes up.
 

JonR

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15,416
Been looking at a lot of sax transcriptions, Brecker, Potter, etc and can't quite get the reasoning behind these moves. Doesn't seem to be chromatic nor anticipate chords that follow. I wonder if memorizing a hundred various solos would give greater insight into where musicians are going with their ideas.
No. Not memorising.
Listening, for sure, to check if there is a sense of resolution somewhere you're maybe missing (or if the transcriber made a mistake! ;)).
Then examining, analysing, in greater detail.
And then, maybe, playing, to get the feel.

Sometimes an odd-looking note in a transcription might be a weak passing note; sometimes (OTOH) it might be a deliberately stressed chromatic, resolved a few notes later.
Sometimes, a group of notes that look odd against the chord (or against the next one) might work - when you listen to it - as a strong melodic motif in its own right. Maybe it was repeated from earlier, where it fitted the chord, but was so good the player wanted to use it again!
Sometimes - eg in some Coltrane-inspired sax playing - the fine detail is not the point, it's the overall effect of a torrent of notes (they always relate in some way to the chord, but you don't have to explain every single passing note).

IOW, usually there is a linear logic to solo phrases, that you can hear when you listen in real time, but might not be apparent looking at a transcription. The idea is to work out how that logic operates - what makes it sound logical? (And don't forget that even the greatest players make occasional mistakes - small errors that are not worth editing out if the feel of the take is otherwise good. You probably won't notice them when listening, but they could make you scratch your head when looking at a transcription; typically they might be marked as ghost notes.)

Also try to listen to many different improvisers playing the same tune. Most of the masters had their own idiosyncratic approaches, and you can't discern general principles from any one of them. Eg, if you analyse Charlie Parker, what you'll discover is not how to play bebop; it's how Charlie Parker played bebop.
The most extreme example of this is listening to Miles Davis and John Coltrane soloing on the same tune... ;)
 

StevenA

Senior Member
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3,976
Hey Jon,
The example I've given comes out of a transcription of Potter's
You can Google Chris Potter Transcription over Rhythm Changes, the second one. In the same piece, Potter plays an Amaj7 arp over Em7 A7 once again providing a G# as the 3rd of Em7 and maj7 of A7. this of course is seen throughout the piece and probably shouldn't be taken out of context but i would loce for Potter to chine in on this. Thanks for your opinion regarding playing transcriptions and the possible reason for the note choices. I wanted to see what it would be like being in their shoes, and if many players seem to choose the same harmonic venture.
 
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