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251's and Tritone subs

Profusia

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You are doing it's just that 251's and common scales scream at you on this tune. CST works very well on non functional harmony and modal tunes non of which apply to this tune. Over conventional 251's NO jazz player in the world thinks Dorian Mixolydian Ionian. While the theory is correct in practice its one common scale and chord tones to highlight the chords. This not going against the course method, just using more than one part of it.. Over time we will all just look at a leadsheet and see it for what it is, a guide for playing a tune.

lol They scream at you Chris because of your knowledge and experience and appreciation of chords and chord progressions. For some of us they eventually put their hand up and whisper "I'm over here" for fear of being overlooked forever. I totally agree that seeing the progressions and therefore the common scales is the quickest way there, but when you say "don't think modes do it this way", a way we haven't really covered, it needs fleshing out so that its understood in context of what we've been learning. Not everyone will just get it. I very much welcome your guidance and the benefit of your knowledge but it needs to interact with and build on what we've learned so far rather than be a leap of faith. I know this probably sounds simplistic and ignorant to you but I for one AM VERY ignorant on this stuff and I'm guessing there will be a few other people to whom its not obvious as well. For example, I have no idea what a "key centered" piece really means. To really help us you need to lead us gently in the right direction whilst at the same time maintaining our faith in what we think we've learned so far (or correct us where we're wrong).
 

Chris

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

Hi Thomas, when you look at a leadsheet first of all check out the form of the tune, AA AABA AB etc etc. Look at the chord progression, what's it doing lots of chords or sparse changes eg ' So What' Mile Davis. or 'Olhos de Gato' both don't use loads of chords. See what patterns you can recognise 251's, 25's, min251's etc. If there is an odd chord why is it odd eg Bb7 bar 15 How High the Moon, that chord is the tritone sub for E7. The last 4 chords Bm7 Bb7 Am7 D7 can be viewed in very simple terms as 1625 in Gmaj. Bm7 is a common sub for the 1 chord think rootless Gmaj9 Bb7 is the triton of E7 which in turn is the common sub for Em7 the Vim7 of Gmaj Am7 is the iim7 from Gmaj and D7 is the V7 from Gmaj. All lead very nicely to the first chord of the second 'A' section which is Gmaj7.

Most jazz tune that was written pre 1959 follow the same type of rules/format/, the 251 progression is the most common in Jazz. Modal music and non functional harmony is a whole other can of worms, in it simplest form 'So What' 2 chords for ever. More complex would be some Wayne Shorter tunes and as you have seen Carla Bley tunes.
I know a little, but Jazz theory and non functional harmony are pretty heavy topics of conversation, beyond where I can go. I can eventually work out an easy tune, but certainly not on the fly/by instinct. I need to work through things just like all of us..

Just to back track the tunes on the original course where chosen because they made the 'Method' easy to use. If you remember the 1st tune was an 'older' standard that we played over but not using the 'method' that tune contained 251's and min 251's..
 

Profusia

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

Hi Thomas, when you look at a leadsheet first of all check out the form of the tune, AA AABA AB etc etc. Look at the chord progression, what's it doing lots of chords or sparse changes eg ' So What' Mile Davis. or 'Olhos de Gato' both don't use loads of chords. See what patterns you can recognise 251's, 25's, min251's etc. If there is an odd chord why is it odd eg Bb7 bar 15 How High the Moon, that chord is the tritone sub for E7. The last 4 chords Bm7 Bb7 Am7 D7 can be viewed in very simple terms as 1625 in Gmaj. Bm7 is a common sub for the 1 chord think rootless Gmaj9 Bb7 is the triton of E7 which in turn is the common sub for Em7 the Vim7 of Gmaj Am7 is the iim7 from Gmaj and D7 is the V7 from Gmaj. All lead very nicely to the first chord of the second 'A' section which is Gmaj7.

Most jazz tune that was written pre 1959 follow the same type of rules/format/, the 251 progression is the most common in Jazz. Modal music and non functional harmony is a whole other can of worms, in it simplest form 'So What' 2 chords for ever. More complex would be some Wayne Shorter tunes and as you have seen Carla Bley tunes.
I know a little, but Jazz theory and non functional harmony are pretty heavy topics of conversation, beyond where I can go. I can eventually work out an easy tune, but certainly not on the fly/by instinct. I need to work through things just like all of us..

Just to back track the tunes on the original course where chosen because they made the 'Method' easy to use. If you remember the 1st tune was an 'older' standard that we played over but not using the 'method' that tune contained 251's and min 251's..

Thanks for trying Chris but I think that's way too advanced for me. I can probably spot (sometimes with some effort) the form of a tune in terms of AB etc but have no idea what it tells me in terms of how to improvise over it.

No idea what a tritone sub is or how or why its used but I'll look it up and see what I can fathom.

"The last 4 chords Bm7 Bb7 Am7 D7 can be viewed in very simple terms as 1625 in Gmaj.". I don't get this at all Chris. I can see the Am7 D7 being II and V of G maj, but how do the Bm7 and Bb7 equate to I and VI? There's clearly a big step in my education missing here.

"
Bm7 is a common sub for the 1 chord think rootless Gmaj9 Bb7 is the triton of E7 which in turn is the common sub for Em7 the Vim7 of Gmaj Am7 is the iim7 from Gmaj and D7 is the V7 from Gmaj." Not a clue. I'm sorry I speak only English and a little Spanish :)))

"All lead very nicely to the first chord of the second 'A' section which is Gmaj7." No, all lead very complicatedly and scarily to the fridge! I wonder how many of us Gary Burtonites are saying "yes that all makes perfect sense". Time to invest in some music theory books and research time for me I think. Either that or just go back to winging it by ear.

Thanks for taking the time though Chris. Sometimes it good to see the size of the mountain ahead, sometimes its better to find out little by little as you clamber over each ridge.
 

MandyH

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

Thinking Modes on a Key centered tune will get you in a whole lot of trouble very quickly. This tune is just a series of 251 maj or min with the odd tritone sub..

that sentence may have been Greek to me!
I think I understand 251....so scales / chords starting on the 2nd (super tonic) 5th (dominant) and 1st (tonic) degrees of the scale.
but "tritone sub" ??? could you explain a bit?
thanks
 

Profusia

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

that sentence may have been Greek to me!
I think I understand 251....so scales / chords starting on the 2nd (super tonic) 5th (dominant) and 1st (tonic) degrees of the scale.
but "tritone sub" ??? could you explain a bit?
thanks

super tonic? Another new term to me. If you have any spare could I have some for my scalp?

I could explain tritone subs now but I'd only be copying and pasting from Wikipeadia to try to look clever and if you asked me any questions my actual lack of knowledge would soon be apparent so I'll leave that one to Chris.
 

thesaxman71

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

"tritone sub" ??? could you explain a bit?
thanks
here is how i used to teach tritone substitution in the quick way..read careful and digest !
Ian

tritone substitution = flat 5 substitute

to explain in 2 ways to look at it -
1...if you are (for example) in the key of C, the 5th note is G, so you take this G and flatten it a semitone so it is now become Gb, you then take the Gb and use that as the starting note of the Gb scale...
so a tritone substitute for C is Gb

2... you flatten the 5th note (or dominant) of your starting scale and turn it into the new substituted scale or tritone (flat 5) substitution

e.g.
in A the tritone sub would be Eb (the 5th E becomes Eb)
in B the tritone sub would be F (the 5th F# becomes F)
in C the tritone sub would be Gb (the 5th G becomes Gb)
etc etc...

hope that helps, if anyone needs any more explanation indepth just PM me.
Ian
 
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MandyH

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

super tonic? Another new term to me. If you have any spare could I have some for my scalp?

I could explain tritone subs now but I'd only be copying and pasting from Wikipeadia to try to look clever and if you asked me any questions my actual lack of knowledge would soon be apparent so I'll leave that one to Chris.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degree_(music)
each of the degrees of the scale has a name (see RHS of wikipedia link above) I taught myself up to grade 5 theory (and got a distinction in the exam!) just because I know the classical music theory that far, doesn't mean I actually have any idea what to do with it.
My music theory is solid, but slow - far too slow for improvisation!
 

thesaxman71

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degree_%28music%29
each of the degrees of the scale has a name (see RHS of wikipedia link above) I taught myself up to grade 5 theory (and got a distinction in the exam!) just because I know the classical music theory that far, doesn't mean I actually have any idea what to do with it.
My music theory is solid, but slow - far too slow for improvisation!
MandyH,
look at my post #33 above on tritone substitutes, i kinda break it down in simplified terms.
 

BigMartin

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

You are doing it's just that 251's and common scales scream at you on this tune. CST works very well on non functional harmony and modal tunes non of which apply to this tune. Over conventional 251's NO jazz player in the world thinks Dorian Mixolydian Ionian. While the theory is correct in practice its one common scale and chord tones to highlight the chords. This not going against the course method, just using more than one part of it.. Over time we will all just look at a leadsheet and see it for what it is, a guide for playing a tune.
But isn't thinking "C major but higlight the chord tones of Dm7" essentially the same thing as "D Dorian"? And similarly for G Mixo and C Ionian (or whatever key we're in)? Or am I misunderstanding something (genuine question)?
 

Profusia

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

here is how i used to teach tritone substitution in the quick way..read careful and digest !
Ian

tritone substitution = flat 5 substitute

to explain in 2 ways to look at it -
1...if you are (for example) in the key of C, the 5th note is G, so you take this G and flatten it a semitone so it is now become Gb, you then take the Gb and use that as the starting note of the Gb scale...
so a tritone substitute for C is Gb

2... you flatten the 5th note (or dominant) of your starting scale and turn it into the new substituted scale or tritone (flat 5) substitution

e.g.
in A the tritone sub would be Eb (the 5th E becomes Eb)
in B the tritone sub would be F (the 5th F# becomes F)
in C the tritone sub would be Gb (the 5th G becomes Gb)
etc etc...

hope that helps, if anyone needs any more explanation indepth just PM me.
Ian

Fits with my understanding of a tritone which I think (maybe wrong) gets its name from being 3 full tones above the root (i.e. 6 semitones) falling between the the fourth and fifth. And if I've got this right I think there are 2 ways of using it (please correct me if I'm wrong). 1. Changing a chord in a chord progression by taking the whole chord up a tritone to get a jazzy sound, either as composer or arranger, as per Chris' references in this piece. And 2. as an improviser taking the whole chordscale up a tritone again to get a jazzier sound.

So a tritone substitution for Cmaj7 would have root F# and I assume would be the same structure i.e. F#maj7. Is that correct?

Assuming I've got the above roughly correct, the bit I still don't understand is, when the arrangement has the chord raised a tritone, do we as improvisers still use the original chordscale from the original "expected" chord in the chord progression so as to keep a common scale through the progression, or do we use the chordscale for the substituted chord?

So if we saw Dm7, G7, F#maj7, we might think oh that's just a II V I in C major with a tritone substituted for the I chord. (Not sure if anyone would actually substitute the I chord but that;s not important now). But would we then play C Ionian or F# Ionian over the F#maj7 chord? It would seem very colourful to play 7 naturals over a chord with 3 sharp notes in the chord tones. But maybe that's the point?

Conversely can we really play an F# Ionian over a Cmaj chord to get a jazzy sound? It sounds the kind of thing I do regularly by mistake and instantly wish the floor would swallow me up.

Please tell me I've got something wrong here?!
 

Chris

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

But isn't thinking "C major but higlight the chord tones of Dm7" essentially the same thing as "D Dorian"? And similarly for G Mixo and C Ionian (or whatever key we're in)? Or am I misunderstanding something (genuine question)?

Yes, but thinking modes is making it more complex than it should be, it's a simple 251 the bread and butter of jazz.
 

Profusia

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Re: How High The Moon

Yes, but thinking modes is making it more complex than it should be, it's a simple 251 the bread and butter of jazz.

Now I understand why I'm having problems... I'm on a bread free diet! Seriously I AM.

You only find a tritone in the V7 chord Thomas.

Yes I had a feeling it wouldn't apply to a maj chord hence my comment in brackets, but reading Ian's comments about being in a key of C and going up a tritone it seemed to imply that it could be used that way too. Its just gets more confusing.
 

Profusia

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Re: How High The Moon

This might be of interest http://www.jacmuse.com/harmonic%20resources/newpage19.htm

Chris..

Thanks Chris. Interesting definitely but even more confusing. "The second chord...contains the essential cadential tension of the tritone". I can just about get my head around what I think essential cadential tension might mean but there's no tritone in that chord that I can spot, whether looking for a tritone of the II chord, V chord or I chord. So I'm befuddled. Its a good piece of material though so I will read it more thoroughly and try to digest and also follow its links. Maybe I'll eventually get my head around this stuff.
 
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BigMartin

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

Yes, but thinking modes is making it more complex than it should be, it's a simple 251 the bread and butter of jazz.
Well yes, but until you've learned to play over a 251 you need some kind of structure to help you through it. Personally, I don't find 251's simple at all (yet). Ubiquitous, yes, but not easy for me to play something convincing over.
 

Chris

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Re: Gary Burtons Improv Course!!!

Well yes, but until you've learned to play over a 251 you need some kind of structure to help you through it. Personally, I don't find 251's simple at all (yet). Ubiquitous, yes, but not easy for me to play something convincing over.

I know Martin but even Gary Burton talked about a common scale for more than one chord in a progression. The modes/scales was just one of a few devices that can be used to navigate through the changes

Chris.
 

Profusia

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Re: How High The Moon

Thomas, the second chord in your ref is talking about the 2nd chord of the 251 the V7 chord.

this link will explain tritone substitution http://www.jacmuse.com/improv/harmonicapps/tritone.htm

Chris..

Was looking at the 2nd chord the V7 chord. In their major key example, and assuming I can read base clef (which is questionable) I see the following chords; II DFAC, V GFBD (voice led I think), I CEGB. But what I can't see is any tritones in there so I don't understand their reference to it (the II V7 chord) containing the essential cadential tension of the tritone. I don't doubt it does in some amazing way I've yet to learn about, I just can't fathom it with my current severely limited knowledge. Or are they only talking Minor II V I progressions?

Thanks for the additional link - will try to follow it later. Really should be working.
 
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