Saxophone Forum


by Kitch22
(98 posts)
9 years ago

What does this mean?

In one of our jazz band's songs there is a alto sax solo that I play, and the key changes are fairly easy (stuff like Bb7, F7, C7). But then at the last few measures, there is a solo fill that I play. It has Bb13 written above it, and I don't know what the heck it means. I've never seen something like that before. Thanx for any help!

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  1. by Kitch22
    (98 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: What does this mean?

    . . . .

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  2. by YanagisawA-901
    (312 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: What does this mean?

    just go up to the 13th step using the criteria as a, i belive is a dominant 7th..if not just a regular chord..i dont usually get solos but i know the basics of improv.. so just keep building it as if u were writing a double octave scale or somthing.. hopefully someone will be able to elaborate more

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  3. by wvujazzman
    (48 posts)

    9 years ago

    Re: What does this mean?

    Bb13 is an extended dominant chord. In a normal Bb7 chord, you have Bb, D, F, Ab. Bb9 takes the 7th chord and adds a C, Bb11 adds an Eb, and Bb13 adds a G. The spelling of a Bb13, then, is: Bb, D, F, Ab, C, Eb, G. Now, if you were voicing a chord on piano, for instance, I'd caution you that you don't use all of those notes at the same time. But as a change in a solo, you can get away with using any of the notes. The fact that the 13th is specified says to me that the arranger is looking for the color of the extra tones (C, Eb and G), but if you're not comfortable with that, you can always get away with the standard Bb7. Hope this helps, Eric

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    1. by peter090
      (155 posts)

      9 years ago

      Re: What does this mean?

      I interpret this a bit differently. You are not required to build the chord by thirds to the highest listed tone so the Eb and C are not implied in Bb13 . Of course you can always alter anything you want but in this case the tones listed by the symbol are Bb D F Ab G. The tones C and E if treated as upper extensions would be determined by context. Lastly 13 chords sound more major (b9 b13 sound more minor) so that is something to keep in mind as well. All that said the typical choice for 13 chords is as the previous post said the notes of Eb major.

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      1. by wvujazzman
        (48 posts)

        9 years ago

        Re: What does this mean?

        Good catch, peter... I re-read my reply, and it is a bit confusing on adding all the thirds. Thanks for adding the clarification. Eric

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