Teacher showed me the Lydian Dominant and Super Locrian - WOW

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by vernplum, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. vernplum

    vernplum Member

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    8 lessons in with my Jazz guitar teacher and I got my first exposure to some very cool new sounds (i.e. not the major scale).

    Over a ii V I such as Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 he showed me that I could:

    Play the D melodic minor (starting on G , i.e. G Lydian Dominant)
    Play Ab melodic minor (starting on G, i.e. G Super Locrian)

    He showed me the respective Min/Maj7 chords of D and Ab that I could play the arps over G7 and they just sounded sooo wonderful. I was ecstatic - having been playing D dorian, G Mix and C Major for the past months these new sounds blew my mind.

    Tried to summarize here - not sure of its accuracy, but trying to record stuff as I go on and remember as much as possible.

    Anyway - can you guys share your favourite Altered Dominant chord fingerings pls?

    Cheers!
     
  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    My favourite short cut for an altered dom7 is minor arps a half-step and 3 half-steps up.
    So for G7, that means Abm and Bbm arps (top 3 strings)
    Extend them to Abm6, Abm69, Bbm7, and Bbm pentatonic.

    There's also a nice little lick I like, the "Cry me a River" lick:
    Code:
    [FONT=Courier New][FONT=Courier New]G7#5b9  G altered    Cmaj7[/FONT][/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New][FONT=Courier New]|-4------6---4-----------------------------------------------------------[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]|-4------------4--------5--------------------------------------------[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]|-4--------------4------4----------------------------------------------[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]|-3----------------6----5---------------------------------------------[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]|-----------------------3-----------------------------------------------[/FONT]
    [FONT=Courier New]|-3------------------------------------------------------------------------[/FONT]
    [/FONT]
    Basically, you can use any chord arpeggio from the Ab melodic minor scale - because it has no avoid notes for a G7alt chord. As well as Abm and Bbm, try:



    Baug, Bmaj7#5
    Db(C#), Db7, Db9
    Eb, Eb7, Eb9
    Fdim, Fm7b5
    Gdim, Gm7b5

    But the really crucial thing when using the altered scale is to resolve on to a chord tone on the next chord - usually by a half-step. Eg, the above lick resolves down to G on the Cmaj7. (It could have gone up to the 6th, A; and either G or A would work on a Cm chord too.)​

    Did your teacher tell you that lydian dominant and altered are tritone subs for each other? This is the way they are most commonly used in jazz.
    Eg, you won't often see G lydian dominant used to resolve to C (or Cm).
    G altered would be far more common.
    However, you will often see Db7 being used to resolve to C (more often Cm). That takes the Db lydian dominant scale - which is the same notes as G altered! (Both are modes of Ab melodic minor)
    In a sense, G7alt (G7#5#9, b5b9,etc) is the same chord as Db7#11 (9#11, 13#11) - only the bass note is different. Both resolve (best) to C or Cm.
     
  3. purestmonk

    purestmonk Member

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    Hi
    Im a fellow Singaporean too.
    Just wondering, who are you taking lessons from?
    Cheers


     
  4. gennation

    gennation Member

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    Like JonR showed, just that simple Abm chord (or Abm6 or Abmadd9) are a simple but VERY effective to get your ears arounds the altered sounds. The Db7 or Dbnine chords are as well.

    vernplum, I have a 6 part tutorial on dealing with this chord progression that will show you a lot.

    http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/ii-v-i-playing-over-the-changes-t19.html

    I starts out with info on how it functions and why it would be so popular. It'll get you playing it a couple of common ways in all Keys.

    Then it starts to break down some of the scales/arps you can use over it. There's a BUNCH of examples. It will give you a ton of fodder as well as working knowledge.

    Enjoy!!!
     
  5. vernplum

    vernplum Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    JonR - I tried out your little tab thing and I loved it - thanks. Especially resolving to a Cm - that sounds great to me. :)

    My teacher didn't specifically mention the tritone sub, but I kind of made that connection (don't know if my mind went about the right way making it though) when first playing both the D melodic minor (contains D7 notes) and Ab melodic minor successively (contains G7 notes). I'm new at this as you can probably tell so I plan to get him to spend a whole lot more time on this in my next few lessons. All very exciting! :)

    Gennation - thanks for the links - will check out your tutorials and let you know my feedback when I get time.
     
  6. vernplum

    vernplum Member

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    Ha!

    I printed out this whole thread a few months back and have been working through it! Thanks for the great contributions.
     
  7. JonR

    JonR Member

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    typo correction: Db7 ;)
     
  8. vernplum

    vernplum Member

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    Doh! Yes - Db7. :)

    Something I noticed while playing around last night is that if you start on G and play the first four notes of the G Altered/Super Locrian, say on the low E string, then on the A string start on Db and play the first four notes of the Db Altered (is that right or do i think of it as a G Lydian Dom? Doh) anyway, you end up with a diminished scale.

    A-------------4-5--7-8----------from G Lydian dom (starting on Db)
    E---3-4--6--7-------------------- from G Alt

    then I realised that the 'second half' of the altered scale is part of a whole tone, so combining the back half of the G Altered and the G lydian dom gives me a G whole tone. Presumably over a G Alt chord (which I'm guessing includes all the #/b 5/9 chords) I can interchange G dim and G aug scales?

    This coolness kept me busy for quite a while.
     
  9. JonR

    JonR Member

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    These are all good observations.
    The altered scale is sometimes known as the "diminished wholetone", because it's diminished at the bottom and wholetone at the top.

    However, the altered scale is subtly dfferent from the (full) diminished and wholetone scales. You can sometimes interchange them, but a lot depends on context, and whether certain chord tones are important.
    In comparison with altered, eg, the HW dim scale has a perfect 5th and major 6th (13); the whole tone has a major 9th. These can be important considerations.

    In jazz you generally get clear indications of which scale the composer (or arranger or transcriber) considers appropriate:
    7alt, 7#9, 7#5#9, 7b5b9 (etc), 7b13 = altered scale.
    7b9, 13b9 = HW dim.
    7#5, 9#5, 7b5, 9b5 = wholetone.
    7#11, 9#11, 13#11 = lydian dominant.
    7sus4, 9sus4, 13sus4 = mixolydian

    Some of these symbols allow other interpretations (7b9 and 7#9 can both take either altered or HW dim), but those are the conventional recommendations.
    In a live situation, a lot can depend on how the accompanist decides to voice the chord. If s/he just goes for guide tones (3rd and 7th), you're free to play any dom7 scale you like!
    In fact, good accompanists frequently do that, for that very reason. A really good one will hear what scale you play, and might back you up with the right chord voicing. Conversely, a pianist might play a specific type of altered dom7 and expect you to hear what type and follow suit - but that would be unlikely unless they knew your ear was that good. (Or unless it was some cutting contest and they were trying to show you up...:hiP)

    BTW, the "augmented" scale is 1-#2-3-5-b6-7 (like 2 aug triads a half-step apart). It's quite rare and would only be used on maj7#5 chords.
    An aug dom7 chord would take the wholetone scale 1-2-3-#4-#5-b7. This is pretty rare in jazz - but don't let that stop you... ;)

    Don't forget - in all this cool experimentation - the MOST IMPORTANT POINT: to resolve your phrase(s) neatly on to the following chord. (Sorry I know I'm repeating myself...:rolleyes:) This is far more important than adhering to what you think a dom7 chord symbol might be telling you.
    Its like the ending of a story, or the punchline of a joke. Doesn't matter how good the rest of it is, if you don't tie it up properly, it makes no sense. And if you tie it up well, the preceding stuff needn't be that fancy.

    So pick a chord tone on the following chord (which can include 6th, 9th or maj7 as well as 1-3-5), and plan your phrase to land on it - half-step moves are always good, and altered scales give you lots of options for those (that's their appeal).
     

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