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by asaxplyr
(3 posts)
10 years ago

Half diminished chords...

What do you do on half-dimished chords? I'm working on Yardbird Suite, and don't know what to do there. Also what about 7 +9 chords?

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  1. by tsax_player
    (76 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Half diminished chords...

    They can be tricky. The easiest approach I have found is to play a jazz melodic minor starting off of the third. If your chord is a C half diminished, your scale would be Eb jazz melodic minor (Eb minor scale with a raised 6&7 up and down, this would also be called C Locrian #2) . (C D Eb F Gb Ab Bb C) Another approach would be the Locrian scale. C Locrian is (C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C). I know the lingo is confusing but it is really easy. Go a half step above your chord tonic and play that major scale. If it is F half dim play F# major scale, C half dim play C# major. Right now getting the diminished sound in your ear is very important. Work on arpeggios of all dimished chords. For the altered dominant chords the best scale choice is a half step whole step diminished scale. If you have a C7b9, #9 or any altered dominant. Play (C Db Eb E F# G A Bb C) an easy way to remember this is play tonic (C) then go up a half step and play a minor tetrachord (first four notes of a scale) C# D# E F# then up another half step with anothe minor tetrachord G A Bb C. Again I am really sorry about the lingo and terms!!! They can be confusing but you will learn them, take it step by step and don't get upset. My favorite improv instructor always told me that ''When you are the most frustrated, you are making the most progress'' Its true. Hope this helps.

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    1. by cosmoo
      (4 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Half diminished chords...

      so, what eaxctly is the Eb minor scale (not dorian?). Do you play this normally with a lowered 6th? A melodic minor scale should have a b3 and M7 right? then then harmonic minor scale is b3, b6, M7 right? where do you use that?

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      1. by tsax_player
        (76 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Half diminished chords...

        A regular minor scale is in reference to a natural or pure minor scale. This has a lowered 3,6, and 7. It is not dorian, but aeolian mode. To get a standard melodic minor, going up we play lowered 3 with natural 6, and 7, then on the way down pure minor lowered 3, 6, and 7. A jazz melodic minor is alot easier to remember, just a lowered 3rd up and down. You are right about harmonic minor lowered 3 and 6. This can be played over any minor chord (C harmonic over C-7). Also through a ii V progression. I you have a ii V in C ( D- G7 ) you can play C harmonic minor over both chords. Remember to resolve to the major sound when you get to the Cmaj chord. Hope this helps, good luck, have fun.

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        1. by cosmoo
          (4 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Half diminished chords...

          Hey thanks. Also, thanks for the comment on the altered be-bop scale. I had seen it before but had yet to fully use the regular be-bop scale. It sounds awesome and it will help me remember what the #5 is :) thanks

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        2. by asaxplyr
          (3 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Half diminished chords...

          Thanks. I just hadn't really run into those types of II-Vs yet. I looked into a book that has like four hundred II-V patterns, that should be useful. As for the harmonic minor, I've always used it on minor II-Vs when it fit the song.

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      2. by Firk
        (31 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Half diminished chords...

        tsax, wouldn't the minor 3rd of the C- (Eb) clash with the II and V chords of Cmaj? the Eb would be a minor second in the D- chord and an augmented 5th in the G7 chord. is this alright as long i resolve to the Cmaj if and when it comes around? just trying to clarify and hoping to learn something. for all i know, it's one of those flavor things that seemingly no one understands or can explain. thanks, ~Firk

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      3. by asaxplyr
        (3 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Half diminished chords...

        Firk, though a II V is relative, you still have to remember to make resolutions from chord to chord. You would resolve the Eb to D, or you cold do from 7 to 3, or vis versa. You can't hold that out without dissonance, you would have to pick a common tone.

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      4. by tsax_player
        (76 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Half diminished chords...

        It is an easy approach, and a scale that will take you through both chords. There is some clash in the ii chord the alterations make the chord a iib5b9 (alt half diminished) It actually works really well on the V chord giving it an altered dominant sound with #5 and b9. Don't be afraid of this altered sound it does have some dissonance but thats what the music is all about, tension then release. The main thing to remember is the resolution to the one chord. "There are no wrong notes just wrong resolutions" I think the best way to approach any ii- V -I is by learning patterns in all keys. If you learn five patterns in all 12 it will open your ear to developing patterns of your own while you are improvising. Hope this helps Good Luck Tracy

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      5. by cosmoo
        (4 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Half diminished chords...

        Firk, Just remember C- would be in the key of Bb. That is it would be in a II-V-I that is | C-| F7 |Bbmaj. That Eb is the perfect fourth of Bb, but the resolution is from that down a half step to D. This is one of the important resolutions in a standard II-V-I. The other is the b7 of the C- resolves to the 3rd of the V chord, here Bb to A, and the A sticks around to become the major 7 of the I chord.

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