Relative Diminished - Pat Martino content

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by gwade, Jan 7, 2008.


  1. gwade

    gwade Member

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    I saw a you tube vid on Mr. Martino over the weekend which covered playing various minor scales over a A7#5 chord. The comments below mentioned a relative diminished approach.

    GREAT sounding stuff. Can someone explain?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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  3. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    Some people like to think of a minor chord instead of a 7th chord. For instance, lets say you have a tune with a long section of A7. Instead of thinking A7 that whole time, you could think Emin7. This is something Wes Montgomery did a lot, which is where Martino got it. But he took it a step further. Anyway, instead of A7#5 you could think of Emin/maj7 (E melodic minor). E harmonic minor gives you another color over A7, etc. Basically the idea is the 7th chord is a V7 (regardless of it's function in the tune) and you can preceed that V7 with it's ii7. So A7 - Emin7.



    As far as relative diminished I'm not sure, but I could guess. It's very common to imply a diminished chord over a minor chord to give a line some movement. Let's say you have a section of Emin- you could imply the V7 of Emin (some type of B7 chord). B7b9 gives you the notes of a dimished chord (Cdim). So it's a sub of a sub. Anyway, if you look at the notes in Cdim7 you have C Eb Gb A. That's the same notes as an Adim chord. In some way, everything can be connected by diminished chords.
     
  4. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    This info is excellently layed out in a number of Martino books.

    I'm going to explain it because this concept does not belong to Mr Martino.
    It belongs to the universe.

    The diminished chord is what is called symetrical and moves in parallel motion up by minor 3rds.

    |---3---6---9---12-|-|
    |---2---5---8---11-|-|
    |---3---6---9---12-|-|
    |---2---5---8---11-|-|
    |------------------|-|
    |------------------|-|

    See how these diminished chords are all made of the same notes.
    E Bb Db and G, and they move up and down by minor 3rds.

    Here's the trick
    Lower any note and create a Dominant 7th chord with that name.

    ..Dim7...Eb7...A7....C7....F#7
    |---3-----3-----3-----3-----2-|-|
    |---2-----2-----2-----1-----2-|-|
    |---3-----3-----2-----3-----3-|-|
    |---2-----1-----2-----2-----2-|-|
    |-----------------------------|-|
    |-----------------------------|-|

    You can also use the '4 chord shapes'
    to play the same chord up/down the neck

    Eb7
    |---3---6---9---11-|-|
    |---2---4---8---11-|-|
    |---3---6---8---12-|-|
    |---1---5---8---11-|-|
    |------------------|-|
    |------------------|-|

    You can create major and minor triads from the
    augmented chord in the same way as the diminished 7th chord.

    Augmented chord
    |---3----7----11-|
    |---4----8----12-|
    |---4----8----12-|
    |----------------|
    |----------------|
    |----------------|

    Major chords
    ...Aug..G..Eb...B
    |---3---3---3---2-|-|
    |---4---3---4---4-|-|
    |---4---4---3---4-|-|
    |-----------------|-|
    |-----------------|-|
    |-----------------|-|

    Minor chords
    ...Aug...Emin..Cmin..Abmin
    |---3-----3-----3-----4-|-|
    |---4-----5-----4-----4-|-|
    |---4-----4-----5-----4-|-|
    |-----------------------|-|
    |-----------------------|-|
    |-----------------------|-|


    I find the dim/aug concepts an interesting way to
    span the fretboard with a chord.
    Much like the five shapes of the CAGED Chord System.
    It's an organizational tool.

    Of course the dim/aug approach can really expand into
    some advanced harmonic applications.
    Check out Jack Zucker's Dodecaphonics posts.
    If you want to really step outside. Excellent.





     
  5. JonR

    JonR Member

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    So is this what Martino means by "relative diminished"? That Edim7 is a "relative diminished" of A7#5?

    If so, how does that work, scale-wise? (No diminished scale fits A7#5, not exactly.)
    If not, what exactly does he mean, in the OP's context?

    EDIT:
    It's just occurred to me - maybe the OP didn't mean "relative diminished" in the context of A7#5? (it's not clear). (I just did a search for the term as used by Pat Martino, and came up with nothing connecting the term to augmented chords.)

    If it simply refers to the idea of four dim7 chords relative to a 7b9 chord, then that's well known in jazz, as you say - not Pat Martino's property! ;)
     
  6. gennation

    gennation Member

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    I never really found this info to have anything in regards to Pat's playing, but more for memorization and relation of chords. Maybe it's what he calls "relative diminished" I don't know, but he bases things off the Augmented chords in this idea too, not just diminished.
     
  7. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I don't remember intimately the details (so sorry if I butcher this explanation), but his instructional book(s?) called "the Nature of The Guitar" had all sorts of ideas about how the guitar was layed out, in terms of dividing the octaves, triads, etc...

    He saw the piano as a system based on addition -
    5+7 = 12 (octave), or 7 white keys for diatonic and 5 black keys for pentatonic.
    He saw the guitar as a system based on multiplication -
    3 major thirds x 4 min thirds = 12 (octave) Each segment of the fretboard 'belonged' to an augmented or diminished chord, according to this logic. I think that's where the 'parent' or 'relative' diminished and augmented chord concept comes from.

    These sections were occupied by augmented and diminished chords, which he elaborates on by going into the whole 'move any note a 1/2 step' concept which has been covered in previous posts.

    This was a big part of his system of harmony and voice-leading, and it's mainly based around that geometric idea (which is really pretty simple) of dividing the octave into 3 aug and 4 dim thirds. He sort of stretched the specific tonalities of traditional 7th and minor chords a bit, and if you break down his solos you can really hear that at work...he'll move between stock augmented, diminished, major and minor lines all at once, but he just had a way of making those occasional 'out' notes sound good.

    I don't specifically remember the term 'relative diminished' or what he meant by it, but it's probably related to this geometrical concept of the fretboard he used. Likewise for the augmented.
    Ok...raise your hand if you're confused!
     
  8. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    Thanks for the lesson Rob...You too John
     
  9. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Martino talks about reducing his lines to minor sound regardless of the name
    of the scale, in fact he gets away from scale names and just calls them
    'activities' because internal structures change so much.
    Gmin7
    |-----------------------------------|-5-|
    |---------------------------------3-|---|
    |-------------------------2-5-2-3---|---|
    |-------------2-3-5-2-4-5-----------|---|
    |---------3-5-----------------------|---|
    |---3-5-6---------------------------|---|


    Replacing the F with the F# creates 'forward motion'.
    That is more important than naming a scale.

    It also occured to me that maybe this is what the op
    was asking about and not the dim/dom concept I posted.

    Take your choice. It's all good.

    If you want to talk to Pat Martino directly,

    check out this thread at 'AllAboutJazz'

    http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showthread.php?t=14335&highlight=Pat+martino

    Pat is very accessable.



    :)
     
  10. gwade

    gwade Member

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    Here is the link to the You Tube video I referenced -

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dur8uocnBY

    If you do a Google search for relative diminished pat martino it's the 2nd thread that pops up. I had downloaded an article off the binary newsgroups sometime ago that was called "Relative Minorising" which was similar in nature. Thinking back to the video I think he was using minor scales (dorian, melodic minor) in m3rd steps starting on the b7...so if he was playing A7#5 (don't know why that was the example chord) he would play the minor scale over G, Bb, Db, E. Hence the diminished movement.

    Whatever it was it sounded cool, highly recommend watching the vid.
     
  11. gennation

    gennation Member

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    When playing over a dom7 chord you can use any dom7 arp, a m7 arp, and a m7b5 arp in minor 3rds from the Root of the original dom7 chord. This is due to them being found in the Diminished scale.

    So, for G7 you can use:

    G7, Bb7, Db7, E7 arps
    Gm7, Bbm7, Dbm7, Em7 arps
    Gm7b5, Bbm7b5, Dbm7b5, Em7b5 arps

    And, don't forget to try every combination either :)

    This works really good when G7 is the V7 moving to either a Imaj7 or a Im7 chord.
     
  12. gwade

    gwade Member

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    Thanks Gennation for the info!!

    I think I'm getting sidetracked by the new terminology (relative diminished?) when I should have just mapped out the scale tones. (please forgive my lack of enharmonic correctness)

    G dorian over A - G A Bb C D E F
    b7 R b9 b3 4 5 #5 - cool tones over dom 7, not too much to avoid

    G melodic minor over A - replace the F with F# (6)

    Bb melodic minor works better over A dom7 than dorian due to the 7th IMHO

    Db MM or dorian over A dom7 has the lydian dom vibe with the natural 7

    E MM or dorian over is pretty stock as it covers the standard chord tones except the D# (#4) if you use MM.

    Looks like it would make it easier for me as being a rock player by nature the dorian scales come a lot easier.
     
  13. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    I'm not overly familiar with Martino's concept, but I am working on a book on tonal diminished-based dodecaphonic melodization*. I won't give away too much, but just some food for thought:

    Each of the three diminished scales in equal-temperament contains:

    4 major triads
    4 minor triads
    4 minor seventh tetrachords
    4 dominant seventh-type tetrachords
    4 half-diminished tetrachords
    2 diminished seventh tetrachords (8 if you think of the ones they represent in just-tuning).

    Just as the tritone bisects the octave, a diminished seventh tetrachord quadrisects the octave (divides it into four equal parts).

    In reference to the above, any non-extended major, minor, dominant seventh, half-diminished, minor seventh, or diminished chord would have three others-- closely related quadrisect substitutes-- that share the same parent-diminished scale. For this reason, they can freely substitute for one another, functionally. E.g., V7, bVII7, bII7, and the less obvious III7 (try it! make sure you include the 5th of the chord!) resolving to I all exploit the same type of leading-tone energy.

    Although as soon as you extend the chords beyond the tetrachord the sharing steps outside of the parent diminished scale, artistic license allows us to continue to dip into this pool to exploit these oblique relationships. As long as the artist is comfortable with the logic behind the relationships, the audience will be comfortable with it, too.

    There are some ways of extending the logic out further to allow completely tonal (i.e. chord-scale based), yet dodecaphonic melodization.

    *I like to use "melodization" rather than "improvisation," because these concepts can be applied in real-time or during conventional composition. I also like the implied contrast with "harmonization." When we "harmonize" something, we derive chords from the melody. In conventional playing-over-changes, we are doing just the opposite: deriving a melody (hopefully beautiful and imaginative) from the chords. Also, improvisation is everywhere. When I accompany another soloist as a member of the rhythm section, I am improvising just as much as the soloist is.
     
  14. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    WOW now that is some awesome info right there. I would never have thought about that or thought of it that way...

    Really good.
     
  15. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    You lost me... I knew I was in deep but I was good until this...LOL
     
  16. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    when I finish the book, you can buy it and it will be hopefully explained with more clarity. ;)
     
  17. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    You got it. Maybe Ill do a search for tetrachord eh? LOL
     
  18. Swain

    Swain Member

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    One thing I've gotten from Pat's ideas, is using both his "Convert to minor" and "Parental Diminished" concepts together.

    If a Parental C Dim. 7 chord yields 4 Dominant chords (B7, D7, F7, Ab7), then, you have the implied 4 minor chords (ii chords leading to V chords.

    So, B7 = F#m7 to B7 = F# Dorian

    D7 = Am7 to D7 = A Dorian

    F7 = Cm7 to F7 = C Dorian

    Ab7 = Ebm7 to Ab7 = Eb Dorian

    Again minor 3rd. movement.
     
  19. JonR

    JonR Member

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    OK I watched it. It's interesting, if not totally convincing (IMO).
    As you say, he is using minor 7th subs over an A7#5 chord; and I can see the diminished link, with the 4 roots of the m7 chords.
    I think the problems (such as they are) arise from the fact that that dim7 chord (E-G-Bb-Db) is not a normal sub for A7#5. A7b9 yes...quite a different chord.

    Anyway, I particularly like the Bbm7 sub.
    I'm not convinced by the Em7 - to me, presumably because I'm hearing it as the usual ii chord before an A7, it sounds like some good preparatory licks which could end up on an A7#5 as the next chord. Obviously, the essential #5 of the chord is being ignored. And you have the problem of the D "avoid note".
    Similar (potential) problems bother me about the Gm7 lick (good apart from the D note) and the Dbm7 lick (good apart from the Ab (!)).
    Even the Bbm7 sub - which sounds coolest to my ears - has a (theoretically) problematic Ab in it.
    (The usual jazz convention for the altered scale, which would fit A7#5, is Bb melodic minor, which has A natural, not Ab. I think perhaps his Bbm7 arps sound good because of how close they sound to a Bbm6 or Bbm(maj7) arp, which would fit more perfectly.)

    These problems are largely obscured, however, by the speed at which he is playing (never settling on any "wrong" note), but mainly - I think - by the fact that arpeggio patterns contain their own inherent structural strength which over-rides any passing discords with the harmony.
    The essential factors, of course, are resolution to chord tones, which will make any "wrong" notes all right in the end.

    IOW, there's a lot of "smoke and mirrors" going on here. IMO, he's finding melodically strong patterns using arpeggios, which contain enough chord tones (or "right" extensions) to fool the ear, letting "wrong" notes whizz by, and which are, in any case, resolved to chord tones... "so that's all right then". ;)
    I would imagine one could play any kind of chord arpeggios over any chord, if you follow those rules. (Assuming your tone and technique is as nice as his is...)

    For me the whole focus of the exercise is wrong in any case. I want to know what's happening after the A7#5! (and before). That ought to govern what one plays over the A7#5: what is that chord (already a tension) resolving to?

    And lastly, what's wrong with the usual soloing conventions for a 7#5? (altered scale or wholetone) There's enough work and melodic potential in those to last the rest of my lifetime... (I mean, keeping it in perspective with everything else there is to think about...:rolleyes:)

    I haven't transcribed exactly what he is doing, however, so I may try and do that and get back... (Obviously he is a great player worthy of immense respect, so I want to dig into this a bit more.)


    EDIT:
    OK, as a taster, here's what he plays to demonstrate Bbm7 over A7#5. This may not be exactly where he played it, but the notes are correct. I'm showing how the notes he chose fit various theoretical scenarios:
    Code:
     
    --11-8/9--8-6-------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------9--8-6--------------------------------------------------------------
    ----------------------8--7\6----5----4---3--------------------------------------------
    ------------------------------7---6----5----5---------3-------------------------------------
    ----------------------------------------------6--3/4----3-2-0/1--3/4--6p3--3p1----0--0-0-----------
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------3--------------------
      Eb C Db C Bb Ab G F Eb D Db A C Ab B G Bb G Eb C Db F C B A Bb C Db Eb C C Bb G A  A A
    Bbm7 arpeggio
      .  .  |_._|__|__._|_.__._|__._.__|_._.__|_._.__._|__|_._._._|__.__|_.__._.__| . .  . .
    A7#5 chord tones
      .  .  |_._.__.__|_|_.__._|__|_.__._._|__._|_.__._|__|_._._|_.__.__|_.__._.__._|_|__|_|
    Bb dorian
      |__|__|_|_|__|__|_|_|__._|__._|__|_._|__|_|_|__|_|__|_|_._._|__|__|_|__|_|__|_| .  . .
    A altered scale (Bb melodic minor)
      |__|__|_|_|__.__|_|_|__._|__|_|__._._|__|_|_|__|_|__|_|_._|_|__|__|_|__|_|__|_|_|__|_|
    A wholetone
      |__.__|_._.__.__|_|_|__._|__|_.____|_|__._|_|____|__|___|_|_.__.__|_|__._.__._|_|__|_|
    Approach notes to chord tones (immediately resolved)
         |(b3)      |(M7)    |(4)                    |(b3)           |(b3)            
     
     
    
    As you can see, the interpretation that gives most "hits" is Bb melodic minor, or the A altered scale: a standard jazz choice for an A7#5 chord.
    How he interprets this as a "Bbm7" substitution escapes me. At the very least, he is interpreting that concept as a full Bb dorian scale, not just the Bbm7 arpeggio. Bb dorian has the second best number of hits.
    In fact if you allow the final 3 notes - A chord roots as a resolution of the lick, then the Bb dorian scores equally to A altered: only 5 "wrong notes" each.
    (A "wrong" note is defined as one not belonging to either the chord or the scale in question, and not an approach note to a chord tone. Sometimes these can be judged as passing notes, but not always, IMO.)

    If we allow approach tones (half-steps resolved up or down to chord tones) - which we should - the hit rate for the altered scale improves by two notes. A wholetone improves by 5 notes. Bb dorian improves by just one hit.

    Of course, it's possible he made the odd mistake (a couple of notes are indistinct ghost notes), but he didn't play a second example of this one, as he did with some of the others. Presumably he was satisfied with it.

    So interpreting that whole lick as it stands - (pretending we don't know the intention of the player) - the closest verdict is:
    "A altered, with 2 approach notes" (and 3 "wrong" notes)

    If, as I say, we allow that the final 3 A notes are resolutions of the lick (which is a safe bet), then "Bb dorian" scores pretty well, with one approach note and only 4 "wrong" notes.

    A wholetone looks good, with 5 of the additional notes working as approach notes, but the 8 "wrong notes" look too many. (IOW, he - this guy whose intention we hypothetically don't know - probably wasn't thinking of wholetone.)

    But overall, it's pretty hard to see how this concept ("Bbm7" sub for A7#5) improves on - or even differs from - the old A altered concept. Or indeed the A HW dim concept, which would also give you the 4-fold symmetry of licks if you want it.
    (I haven't checked the other licks, but the Gm7 and Dbm7 ones also sound a little like altered scale passages.)

    If there's an advantage to Martino's idea, it's maybe the way that these "minor 7" phrases combine various conventional approaches (altered, wholetone, diminished) into a kind of "average" application.
    But then if that's the case - and judging by the above analysis, it seems to be - then IMO it's hardly an "advantage". Altered, wholetone and diminished approaches to altered dom7s each have their own special character, worth keeping distinct (IMO).

    I can see that a concept which involves superimposing arpeggios (or pentatonics) is handy to apply, and the structural strength of such phrases - combined with sensible resolutions - will counter any possible "bad" notes they might throw up. (Better than running up and down scales in any case...)
    But that's isn't what Martino is doing here. He is NOT using plain and simple m7 arpeggios (as he seems to be claiming). He's using whole scales, with passing notes too. He's blurring the edges, IOW, making it hard to see just what he is doing.
    So what exacty IS he demonstrating? "Yeah, it's kind of based on Bbm7.... stretched out into Bb dorian mode...and then with some other notes thrown in..." :rolleyes: How does this help anyone?

    Yes, maybe I'm being unfair. It's only a free video on YouTube. I only transcribed one lick. All in all, it doesn't sound bad. But there's still zero revelation here as far as I'm concerned. Maybe I just like to hear licks with more relationship to the harmony - including approach notes - than he demonstrates here.
    And yeah I think melody and rhythm - horizontal aspects - are more important than harmony, but then this is a harmonic (vertical) discussion. ;)
     
  20. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    Maybe this is where I get into trouble. Or not. What you've posted here is a pretty simple concept to me compared to the other stuff presented here.

    I dont like thinking modes. Dorian, ionian whatever... In the instances you've given for the 7 chords and the ii-V there Im thinking keys. And, because Im an improvisational novice, I usually will look at a piece of music and go ahead and find all the key changes and solo over major scales (because Ive related it all back to a major scale ex. Ebm7-Ab7 automatically becomes key of Db for me) with the exception of certain chords such as Amin7b5 were I use different scale choices.

    Do I need to abandon this line of thinking?
     

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