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#865055 12/15/10 12:55 PM
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So called "Jazz Chords," are really just extended chords, sometimes using altered tones. Let's start with extending chords.

The garden variety chord is made by harmonizing the scale.

Do re mi fa sol la ti do

Then you harmonize it with a third and fifth, like this:

Do-mi-sol; Re-fa-la; Mi-sol-ti; Fa-la-do; Sol-ti-re; La-do-mi; Ti-re-sol; and back to Do-mi-sol. In the key of C, that gives you these chords: Cmaj Dmin Emin Fmaj Gmaj Amin Bdiminished Cmaj

Notice that we use the scale and play every other note. We start with one note, skip the second, play the third, skip the fourth, and play the fifth. So we play the note we root the chord, on, the root, third and fifth.

Now let's go further and EXTEND the chords.

Do-mi-sol-ti; Re-fa-la-do; Mi-sol-ti-re; Fa-la-do-mi; Sol-ti-re-fa; La-do-mi-sol; Ti-re-sol-la; and back to Do-mi-sol-ti.

That gives us the root third fifth and seventh notes. So we add a seventh. In C it would be: Cmajor7 Dminor7 Eminor7 Fmaj7 G7 Amin7 Bhalfdiminished7 back to Cmajor7

So that takes us out to the seventh chords.

Anyone interested? Any questions? Let me know and we'll move on to the ninth chords. Pretty soon, you'll all be jazz cats.



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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Yo Mike,

My first harmony / music theory teacher told us
to build chords very much as you describe, with
a "manual" twist, like so:

"Pick a note you want to build a chord on".

Start counting notes on your thumb, one note for
each digit.

For example "A" and the thumb, then "B", "C",
and so on.

Now, keep the first note, but leave out every
other digit.

That leaves "A", "C", and "E".

That gives you notes that are all a third apart
from each other, as in "A" = 1, "B" = 2, then "C"
is the third note from where you started ("A")."
Same if you start on "C".

It also happens to be the definition of an "A" chord,

A,C,E = "A minor"

All of us high school frosh in the "Boys Chorus"
would be furiously counting on our fingers during
the first few tests. But soon, we found ourselves
just instantly saying chords, like "ACE", "CEG",
etc., without even having to think about it.

That is a handy skill.

So, there are a few other little "gotchas", such
as the difference between a minor / major third,
but the 1,3,5 rule is always still true.

Now we are finally caught up to where you left off.

The fun begins as you keep adding thirds, using the
same basic principals, as if we had more digits on
our extremities.

So, "jazz" chords get 1,3,5,7,9 and so on, which is
no different than just stacking those memorized
triads* one after the other ("A,C,E,G,B").

* triad is another name for a basic three note chord.

You can just keep going, but us guitarists have to
economize, on account of having not many more
strings than digits. Any very "sophisticated" jazz
chord, as played on a guitar, is bound to have some
"missing" notes. But that's part of the fun, figuring
out which ones to keep, and which ones to skip, and
learning how that effects the sound as a whole.

That's what one of my later music theory teachers
called "hearing chords", rather than individual notes.

I think guitarists, pianists, and harpists have a great
advantage in that respect. Playing chords is just part
of the nature of those instruments.

Thank you Tom Preble, hope you're doing well!

Fun stuff!
Emmit Sycamore

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Thanks much, Emmitt, that's a good technique alright. I like learning things from several different perspectives. What I like about your teacher's technique is that it gives you a physical representation. What I like about using the solfeggio method (do re mi's) is that it lets you imagine the musical tones. The approach that worked the best for me was the number system, and that was after learning standard music theory from the Piston book in college. The more, the better. Thanks again.

Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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I wish it was easier to make little keyboard pictures. The best way for most people to learn these sorts of things is if they have a keyboard before them, and can hear the notes too.

Just the one octave, from C to shining C...

HEY WAIT! I found one. smile

[Linked Image]

Maybe this will help a bit for those who want to play along and can't keep those sounds sorted out in their heads.

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Interesting.......Some people are better with numbers so a numerical system works.
Some people think by sounds so a do re mi works better.

I saw a documentary about a fantastic pianist who was autistic. He could play anything note perfect after hearing it just once. He could jam with great jazz bands and play music in any style from classical to jazz. He could not tie his shoe laces or write his name...the strange thing was he heard colours. Each note had a colour and he just played the colours.

I once saw a keyboard that had all the notes labelled similar to Mark's pic to help people play and understand. It had do re mi and a b c etc but it also had colours.....belive it or not the colours worked as they stood out and were easier to work out.

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It's probably worth a whole different thread, but that color thing is very common...in fact, the same colors tend to describe the same sounds and sonic textures for most of those color-based listeners...I learned this from an online conversation between several mix engineers. They all seem to understand a "brown" sound from an amp. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, back to jazz chords.

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Mark all my music has a brown sound... at least that is what I think they mean when some folks say "your music is f$%£ing crap LOL

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Several people claim to see colors when listening to music. It's a widespread phenomenon. Also, many believe that certain notes are linked to certain colors. I see no reason to disbelieve them. Here is a link to several music/color treatises: http://home.vicnet.net.au/~colmusic/

Back to jazz chords. So far we've discussed the building of seventh chords...a root, third, fifth and seventh note of the scale, starting on any note. Now, skip another note and you'll add the ninth note. From "Do" that would be, do mi sol ti re. In C, that would be C E G B D. With piano keys, you'd play only white keys, start on C, and skip every other key. In numbers, it would be 1 3 5 7 9. The chord you produce would be a major ninth. (a major seven chord with a ninth). As you move up the scale building roots on successive notes, you would get, in the key of C: Cmaj9 Dmin9 Emin9 Fmaj9 G9 Amin9 B half diminished nine (rare but interesting chord).

Anyone following so far? Want to comment? Want to continue? It will begin to get hairy after this smile



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Now, skip another note and you'll add the ninth note. From "Do" that would be, do mi sol ti re. In C, that would be C E G B D. With piano keys, you'd play only white keys, start on C, and skip every other key. In numbers, it would be 1 3 5 7 9. The chord you produce would be a major ninth. (a major seven chord with a ninth).


And in picture form...a C9 chord:

[Linked Image]

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Just posting again to get the subject to read "The Jazz Chords thread" so folks cruising the main page can see what the original subject of the thread is about. smile


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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Hi Mike
I like to peruse these threads, but usually don't have anything to add, because I'm just not that technical...I have learned through the years when you do this, it seeps in s l o w l y !


Herbie
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http://www.herbietunes.com

Mark Kaufman #866080 12/19/10 10:29 PM
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The keyboard pics are very helpful!

Notice how the are other chords hiding inside
of the extended chords.

For instance, the CM7, and C9 have and Em chords
embedded, in the form of the E,G,B combination.

Also, in the C9, you can see that there is a
G chord as well, which is spelled G,B,D.

I think most of the interest of the extended chords
comes from exactly those "hidden" chords. The CM7
sound is what you get when you hear a C, with an
Em hiding inside. That particular combination of
a major and minor sound is the definition of a
M7 sound.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore

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Thanks Herbie, it's good to know folks are interested even if they don't post.

Emmitt, I like the concept of "hidden chords," sometimes in the studio, we'll have different players play different chords to acheive the same thing. Also, using the number system, sometimes folks will write something like a three minor chord with a one in the bass...which is the same as a one major seven. Good insights.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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Those hidden chords are good to think about when you're composing too...sometimes they help you figure out where to go next.

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I enjoy the harmony talk, but you don't really need that to PLAY jazz, as much of it is about style of playing, intonation and rhythm... aka the "swing". A good way to learn a jazz tune is to dump all the extensions, play the chords in their basic form as you know them, learn the tune, and then add the extensions you like. At least when you are just comping.. some extension notes in the chords are there because they support or don't conflict with the melody in the tune..

Jazz is much about rhythm, feel and making up stuff out of the usual box.. (I don't advocate not learning the jazz lingua, though).. so, playing 7ths and 9ths doesn't in itself, make up a jazz tune..

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Keep going - I am listening too.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


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Magne, I couldn't agree more. Jazz is much more than rhythm, it is much more than chords, much more than melodies. In this thread, though, I chose to focus on chords. If there continues to be interest, I'll include threads on rhythm, melodies, timbre and even lyric.

So now we understand the ninth chord. You start at any point in the diatonic or "do re mi" scale, call that the "root" then skip the next note, add the third, skip the next, add the fifth, skip the next, add the seventh, skip the next and add the ninth. You can keep skipping notes and adding an eleventh and a thirteenth, then you've used all the notes of the "do re mi" scale.

When you are using "ti" as the root, the resulting chords are taken over by what Emmitt referred to as "hidden chords." Also, most of those chords are so close in function to a chord built on "sol," that even if it doesn't contain the "sol" note, the ear hears it as a "sol" chord. That's why we don't read a lot of half diminished eleventh or thirteenth chords, they're just more like a garden variety thirteenth using the "sol" note as the root. Now, if you don't understand what I mean, just disregard this paragraph for the time being. smile

So, do jazz chords end there? Nope. Now we get into chromaticism. This is a relatively modern invention. It started with Galileo's father in the fourteenth century (not that long ago at all, in the grand scheme of things smile ). He was an early advocate of using a tempered scale. In other words, have a scale of equal intervals. A piano with only white keys would not have a tempered scale. A piano with both white and black keys has a tempered scale and can play using any of its keys as "do." So we have different colors that are available in a melody or harmony...colors...chromatics...we have a chromatic scale...C D E F G A B C, becomes: C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C. We can add the black keys. So now...let's add the black keys.

Here's a G9 chord (if G was "do" it would be a G major ninth, but a common G9 has G as "sol"...from here on out we'll be starting all the chords on "sol" by default, because that gives us the most common of the extended chords. other ones are major, minor, or diminished extended chords. Here's that G9: G B D F A It has the root, third fifth seventh and ninth built on G in the key of C. Just for fun, let's flat the fifth. G B Db F A. Now we have a G9b5 (G nine flat five). Try playing that one.

If anyone is interested, I'll post some examples on youtube to accompany this. Let me know.

Mike



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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aaarrrgghhhh ! ! G B D F A ---- Built on G in the key of C ?? WHY C ? because if it was G it'd be f# right ? why did you start on G then ? if you're in C and you flat the 5th, you're flatting the fifth in the key of G, why are you saying it's C ? Maybe youtube WOULD help me, i AM a visual learner !


Herbie
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Herbie asked:

"Built on G in the key of C ?? WHY C ?
because if it was G it'd be f# right ?"

Mike proposed that we consider the 5 chord for our
"jazz" experimentation, because that is the most
frequently "extended" chord, even in non-jazz
settings (at least I think that's why he chose 5).

In the key of G, the 5 chord is D, not F#.

There is an F# in the D chord, is that what you meant?

Anyhow, the G7 chord is nearly interchangeable with
the normal (non-extended) G chord, in the key of C.

So, lot's of folks are used to that "extended" G7
sound, whether they realize it or not.

Here's a mind bender. Guess what chord is "hiding"
inside of the G7?

If you guessed B diminished (Bdim), give yourself a
gold star!

Now, what makes that surprising is that most folks,
when hearing a diminished chord, of any type, would
swear they would never want to hear that sound in a
song. Except maybe spooky movie music.

Well, folks that love "beautiful" music, anyhow.

Yet, they hear it, and love it all the time, without
realizing.

It's all about what came before, and what comes after.

HTH,
Emmit Sycamore

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Herbie, Emmitt's got it right.

The most common extended chord is the seventh chord. In C, you'll play: C F G7 The seventh chord that we all know and love ( C7 D7 E7 Ab7...you name it) is built by putting the root on "sol." "Sol" is the five of "Do." Do re mi fa sol...1 2 3 4 5. C D E F G.

When you build a seven chord on C in the key of C, you get C E G B...a Cmajor7. When you Build it on D in the key of C, you get D F A C...a Dminor7. When you Build it on E in the key of C, you get E G B D ...an Eminor7. When you Build it on F in the key of C, you get F A C E (ha ha, it spells face smile ), an Fmajor7. For dramatic purposes I'll skip G here. When you build it on A in the key of C, you get A C E G, an Aminor7. When you build it on B in the key of C, you get B D F A, a B half diminished seven (also known as a B minor seven flat five). Then...drum roll...no wait we're not into rhythm yet...then....when you build a seven chord on G, in the key of C, you get....suspense....G B D F...and THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER!!! The G7.

The full name of the G7 is the G dominant seven. That's because they name the fifth tone of a major scale the "dominant," mostly because it is so dominant in the scale (how many songs just have a C and a G7? Plenty!) But the G dominant seven is so common we just call it the G7.

Just to fill out the card: the A7 is built on the fifth tone in the key of D; the Bb7 is built on the fifth tone in the key of Eb; the B7 is built on the fifth tone in the key of E; The C7 is built on the fifth tone in the key of F; the C#7 is built on the fifth tone in the key of F#; The D7 is built on the fifth tone in the key of G...and so on.

So if you're passing by a G7 chord. Stop. Give it some propers...give it some respect...remember, it's really a dominant chord in the key of C...it's the ONLY dominant seven in the key of C, the other chords are major, some are minor, and the chord built on the seven...on the B...is diminished.

Hope that helps clear it up. smile

Emmitt, yes, it's all about what came before and what comes after, except in the "One Chord Song" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMRMWpXEysI Which, for some reason, has other chords.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

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This is really good reading. I don't understand a bit of it but I am trying.
Why do all my chord charts show adding A# (or Bb) when playing a C9

In open position playing the third string third fret like when playing a C7

Does this mean to play a ninth you play a seventh and add the Ninth?
Rather than simply adding a ninth to a Cmaj

Last edited by Bill Robinson; 01/28/11 01:25 PM.

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All right, Bill! Glad to see someone's following the thread!

What we call a ninth chord, according to standard music theory, has to have a root, third, fifth, seventh and ninth.

The seventh, unless told otherwise, is always a flat seven (based on the key of the root) in other words, in the key of C, it would be a Bb.

If someone says an A#, they are not, strictly speaking, talking about a seven (1234567...cdefgab) they are talking about a six (123456...cdefga) and in this case it would be a sharp six.

So a C9 would have C E G Bb D. Having just C E G D would be a Cadd9.

Having just a C D G would be a C suspended second or Csus2. You are "suspending" the chord from being major or minor. C major is C E G, C minor is C Eb G. C D G replaces the third, E, with the second, D. C D G "suspends" you....puts you in suspense...as to whether the chord is major or minor. If it resolves to E, it is major, if it resolves to Eb it is minor, if it doesn't resolve, you are left in suspense...it is still suspended.

Hope that helps. :}


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

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That helps Mike
I have been playing C9 without knowing the theory behind it. That does help I never occurred to me I was playing the 7 when I played the 9. I was just playing what the chart showed.
Now I understand a few other chords
Thanks.

Last edited by Bill Robinson; 01/28/11 02:59 PM.

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k, I get the whole stuff to some degree, but i can't think my way through all of that on demand...I can only think of the chords...is this why I can't play lead ? I can improvise a little by using the chords, but i can't really play a flat out lead...I get lost as soon as the chord changes...BUT I can play complicated chording songs no sweat...what's up with that ? OR is that a whole nother thread ?


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Dang Herbie
I've seen you play and it surprises me you would have any trouble playing anything.


Bill
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Lead is a whole different mindset that I never work on bill ...


Herbie
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Mike,

The C9 on keys is often played starting with the Bb. So, Bb D E and G. ( C bass )

So, what inversion is this called. Can you have the 4th inversion ?

cheers, niteshift

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Nite, Sure you can have a fourth inversion. It's just the seventh in the bass. Of course you could call it a Gminor sixth in second postion too. Probably some sort of Bb augmented too, or an E diminished seventh of some kind smile That all depends on where it came and/or where it's going. Most common uses, though would be the C9 or Gmin6.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

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Hey Mike,

Yeah, I refer to it as C9 if playing a blues C scale.

Just move the E to an Eb ( Cmin9 ) and now you're playing minor blues.

Another easy jazz chord change ( transition ) on keys is F bass with a top F A C chord, then move the bass up to G..... wattya get ? A G9. Too easy.

cheers, niteshift

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Originally Posted by Herbie Gaines
Lead is a whole different mindset that I never work on bill ...


Herbie....a lot of it is just all in the mind.....I knew a rhythm guitarist who could not play lead......he played great at what he did but could not play lead....or so he thought.....it was all down to confidence experience and afraid to stray out of comfort zones.....once he was given a free reign and became more confident and less self conscious he could put most lead Gs to shame. Years of knowing chord structures inside out and playing riffs actually made him a great lead.

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Hi, Nightshift.
The chord you'e talking about could be a G9(sus4). It could also be a partial Am13: ACGF

Just as two disembodied chords in the key of F, I say probably Am13 because Am is in F major, so the A with its third would make the ear hear a minor. The third generally provides the color that makes a chord sound major or minor, and the G9(sus4) reading doesn't have a third. And of course the key of F doesn't include a G major chord.

However, it really depends on the whole chord progression. Am is in the key of F major, and especially with the extended chord notes, it could be heard as a dominant of D minor--F's relative minor. If the progression went next to Dm (or D major for that matter) Bb or back to F, it would be an Am13 for sure.

However, if the progression went to C, the V of F major, you'd be right that it's a G9(sus4). G9 is the dominant of C, and the suspended C note could be seen as an anticipation of the root of the C chord. It would be a secondary dominant at that point, and the ear would hear it used that way.


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