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Published by: api-25886385 on Jul 15, 2009
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 Jazz Harmony for Improvisation
1. Any alteration implies a #11.2. b9 implies a #9 and vice versa.3. b13 implies no 5.4. You may add the related two before any V7 and add the relatedV7 after any two.5. You may add a #11 to any major or dominant chord.6. To determine appropriate scales, first look at the dominantseventh chords and where they are resolving. Look only at the rootmotion; the quality of the next chord (maj, min, ect) is notimportant.7. If the V7 is moving down a 5th to the next chord then you havethe freedom to fully alter that chord (WT, Dim, Alt, Lyd dominant).8. If it is moving down a half step then only alter the V7 as far asthe Lydian dominant (up a fifth melodic minor).9. Note that the V7 may not go directly to its resolution. Theremay be a delayed resolution.Example:/C7 / G-7 F7/The C7 is resolving down a fifth (by way of the G-7) and can bealtered.10. If you add alterations to a dominant 7th chord, start lessaltered and add alterations.Example- If you are playing over two bars of G7 going to C, youmay play:1.
A straight mixolydian in the first bar and then
A G7#11 (D melodic minor) for the first two beats of bar twoand finally
A G7 altered dominant (Ab melodic minor) in the last twobeats of the second bar.
Here’s how to find the right scales:C7#11
G melodic minor up a fifth melodic minor
 C7 b9 or C7 #9
C# diminished up a half step diminished
 C7 b13 or C7+
C whole-tone whole-tone from root
C7 b9 b13
C# melodicminorF harmonicminorup a half step melodic minorup a fourth harmonic minor
C7 alt
C# melodicminorC alteredup a half step melodic minorfully-altered scale from theroot
C7 #9 b13
C# melodicminorup a half step melodic minor
C-7b5 = C
C# majorEb melodicminorBb harmonicminorF harmonicminorup a half step majorup a minor 3rd melodic minordown a whole step harmonicminorup a 4th harmonic minor
C sus7 (b9)
Bb melodicminordown a whole step melodicminor
C maj7 #5
A melodic minorA harmonicminordown a minor 3rd melodicminordown a minor 3rd harmonicminor
Symmetrical Scales-Diminished, Wholetone & Symetrical Major
In modern western music we use a system of tuning that divideseach octave into twelve equal semi-tones. Using this system we findthat there are only a certain number of possible ways to createsymmetrical scales. The ear hears these scales differently than otherscales because they are expressions of pure relationships of wholenumber intervals. We pick them out immediately and can easilypredict the next note. The system that I outline here is found inNicholas Slonimsky's classic book 'The Thesaurus of Scales andMelodic Patterns. This book has influenced generations of classicalcomposers and Jazz improvisers alike. The pure definition of asymmetrical scale is a scale that covers one or more octaves withequal intervallic scales between each note.The first symmetrical scale happens when you divide one octaveequally into two parts (or the 1:2 scale). This is a scale that consistsof just two different notes, in the key of C -C & F#. The next one isthe 1:3 scale, or the augmented triad- C, E, Ab. Next is the 1:4scale or the diminished 7th chord- C, Eb, Gb, A. {Again, rememberthat scales can have any number of notes}. If we divide one octaveequally into six parts we get the whole-tone scale or 1:6 scale.The two symmetrical scales that we use in Jazz improvisation arethe whole tone scale and the diminished scale. The diminished scaleis really just two 1:4 scales (augmented chords) a whole-step apart.Let's deal with these two in more detail since they are used themost in Jazz improvisation. A diminished scale fits over a dominantseventh b9 and/or #9 chord. So over a C7b9 you would play thediminished scale a half-step up: C# diminished. There are manycommon diminished licks that every young Jazzer thinks are greatwhen they first discover them. These are really cool until you realizethat just about every jazz player on the planet over-uses them atthe beginning of their careers. They are as cliché as you canpossibly get. As a matter of fact, it is hard not to sound cliché whenusing this scale. Because they are symmetrical you must play themUNSYMETRICALLY in order to sound interesting. The Slonimskybook is a great place to find interesting non-cliche diminished andwhole tone patterns.

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