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Out of the One, Came Many

RipRip olympia, washingtonNew
in History Posts: 352

For those who haven’t heard this, you might dig it. Barry Harris’ Story of Creation is really cool. Other classical musicians may have talked about this, but I learned it from Barry.  


1 chromatic scale (the only 1) divides into 2 whole tone scales (there are only 2). The chromatic scale is god and god created man and women, the 2 whole tone scales. There are 3 diminished chords, each diminished chord has 2 notes from 1 of the whole tone scales and 2 notes from the other whole tone scale. In other words, Man and woman had 3 children, each child had half of its DNA from the mother and the other half from the father. Now we take a diminished chord and do the following:


Say your are playing a D# diminished chord, with your middle finger on the 6th fret A string, ring finger on the 7th fret D string, index finger on the 5th fret G string and pinky on the 7th fret B string.


Let’s meet the extended relatives.


P.S.

As you do this, you may have to adjust your fingering and inversions may vary.


If you lower the middle finger you get D7

If you lower the ring finger you get Ab7

If you lower the index finger you get B7

If you lower the pinky finger you get F7


Do this with the other 2 diminished chords and the is where you get all 12 dominant chords.


If you raise the middle finger you get A min 6 

If you raise the ring finger you get D# minor 6

If you raise the index finger you get F# minor 6

If you raise the pinky finger you get C minor 6

Do this with the other 2 diminished chords and the is where you get all 12 minor 6 chords.


If you lower the middle finger and the index finger you get D major 6

If you lower the ring finger and the index finger you get B major 6

If you lower the middle finger and the pinky finger you get F major 6 

If you lower the ring finger and the pinky finger you get Ab major 6

Do this with the other 2 diminished chords and this is where you get all 12 major 6 chords.


The next one is interesting.

If you lower the middle finger and the ring finger you get both D7b5 and Ab7b5, they both have the same notes.  

If you lower the index finger and the pinky finger you get B7b5 and F7b5, they both have the same notes. 

Do this with the other 2 diminished chords and this is where you get all 12 Dom7b5 chords.

If you lower the index finger and raise the pinky you get a B7a#5

If you raise the index finger and lower the pinky you get an F7#5

If you lower the middle finger and raise the raise the ring finger you get a D7#5

If you raise the middle finger and lower the ring finger you get an Ab7#5

Do this with the other 2 diminished chords and you get all 12 Dom7#5 chords.


Cool things with this info.

Barry says every Dominant 7 chord has an important minor, which is the Minor 6 arpeggio built of its 5th. We all do this in gypsy jazz all the time. Take E7, for example. The 5th of E7 is B and you can use a B minor6 arp over E7. D7 would have an A minor6, C7 would have G minor6, ect.

As shown above, Diminished chords each have their own 4 family members of Dom7, min6, maj6, dom7b5 and dom7#5 and, conversely, the family members substitute well with each other, because they share the same diminished parent.

Take Coquette, for example. Instead of playing A7, there are 3 other dominant family members to choose from. (Note: you can use what ever you want over A7, but the 4 family members have the closest tension/release effect with each other, because they come from the same diminished parent). The 3 other siblings are C7 aka “backdoor dominant”, F#7 and D#7. If you take the D#7 and play its important minor, then you get Bb minor 6. Django basically made a living off of this family member. If you play C7 and play its important minor, then you get G minor 6 and THIS! Is where playing a “IV minor 6 over the V7” comes from, which Louis, Charlie and Django used all the time!

I should probably stop typing, but this is my favorite part. If you build a 4 note arpeggio from each chord tone of a Dom7 chord (1, 3, 5, b7) and it’s other 3 family members, then you get 16 different arpeggios to play over a V7. At this point it becomes almost impossible to run out of things to play.

rudolfochristbillyshakesbbwood_98Bucorichter4208swiesslervoutoreenie

Comments

  • Posts: 4,812

    It's gonna take some time before I can pick up a guitar and follow through this with it. But taking all the notes and dividing them into two piles seems a lot simpler starting point than all the major scales.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • RipRip olympia, washingtonNew
    edited June 2023 Posts: 352

    Me to! But the short answer is, that any arp can be moved in minor thirds and stay in the same family.

    Bucoswiessler
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    edited June 2023 Posts: 472

    Sort of like moving a diminished 7th chord around by minor thirds? So that if you have (in effect) sort of an "altered diminished 7th chord," and you move it around the same way, it works, even though you get different "colors" for each iteration (as opposed to the exact same notes)?

  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2023 Posts: 879

    Right…four major and minor chords in a diminished scale. Knowing it is one thing…hearing each iteration and knowing what it sounds like over the dominant chord is another. Knowing the theory while not simple is not necessarily understanding the sound. If you truly know the sound of each of these then you are probably a pretty advanced player.

    edit, one could still be a great player and not understand how each of these iterations sound, it’s great info but not absolutely necessary to sound great. As a composer though it is extremely useful. Still using it scoring is not the same as improving on the spot, again a somewhat different skill set.

    billyshakesBucoBillDaCostaWilliams
  • RipRip olympia, washingtonNew
    edited June 2023 Posts: 352

    I Agree! With that said, you can do a lot of interesting experimentation. I try to pick from these, my favorite sounds, with the goal in mind of being able to play them as effortlessly as playing the blues - total internalization, while focusing on 100% on improv.

    Edit: And then add as I go!!

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