It depends on what the progression is. But in the case you describe, you can pretty much play anything, as long as you resolve nicely to the Am chord.
I'd probably play either E altered, diminished half/whole or A harmonic minor. _________________ "Fishing for the right note"
Cool, I always find it interesting to find out how other people think about these things.
I always think along the lines of: 7 chord = use mixolydian scale, then replace the 9 with a b9 (or have both). Then i noodle in the outside notes here and there. Also, using pentatonics with the appropriate altered notes.
I did use others as well, the great thing about music is that if something doesn't technically fit, you can still make it sound good.
I'll never EVER forget seing Pete Callard once show me that is possible to play a completely wrong scale over a chord, but making it sound audible by using good phrasing
Joined: 19 Sep 2004 Posts: 125 Location: Over Here
Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:46 pm Post subject:
I'd probably go for one of the following:
E half/whole - E F G G# A# B C# D
E phrygian dominant - E F G# A B C D ( same as A harmonic minor )
F diminshed arpeggio - F G# B D
For a more outside sound I'd possibly use:
E altered- E F G G# Bb C D ( same as F melodic minor)
G minor pentatonic- G Bb C D F
Bb triad- Bb D F ( possibly alternating between E and Bb triads)
Bb Lydian Dominant - Bb C D E F G Ab ( same as E altered but thinking of it as a Bb scale makes me play different phrases - strange but true)
You can also play all the arpeggios in each of the scales mentioned.
Faling that, something fast and chromatic until I find a chord tone to stop on
firstly, the Bm7 , you can just play a Bm7 arp and then lead into a B melodic minor for the E7b9 [playing a Mel. Min. a P5th above a dominate chord produces interesting outside tones] ... that way the transition is smooth and then go up a semitone to Cmajor during the Amin chord... [C major is diatonic to the G major scale - if we treat the Amin as a iim chord then the G is the IV..interesting sounds] ..
generally speaking though - 7b9 chords usually just call for the diminished scale, just S, T, S, T, ... [ie semitone, tone, semitone,tone]....
altered will work as well - but i think 'officially' the correct scale for use is the diminished scale, because 7b9 chords are share the same notes with diminished chords anyway..
7b9 technically comes from the V of the harmonic minor scale. In this case, E7b9 = A harmonic minor. In a lesson I had with John Stowell, however, he talked about various melodic minor scales to use over dom7 chords (there are 4 that he uses). The one that I lean towards over a 7b9 chord is the melodic minor scale down a whole step (Dorian b2). In this case, E7b9 = D melodic minor. The melodic minor down a whole step contains the b9 and also the #9, but as an added bonus, keeps the natural 13 (C# in this case), rather than the b13 (C) that you would have with A harmonic minor.
As other people have mentioned, the altered scale works as well, since it contains all possible alterations. Dorian b2 is just a slightly different sound that you might want to try. I also saw the suggestion of the half-whole diminished scale, and that's also a really good pick.
Triads are another cool thing to try. Straight from the half-whole diminished scale, you can use major triads ascending in minor 3rds off the root (in this case, E, G, Bb, and Db triads). And out of the D melodic minor we talked about earlier, there's an augmented triad you can play as well--from the b9 (F), giving F A C#. Since augmented triads are the same when you invert them, this means you can also play A+ and C#+ triads as well.
Another thing you might want to check out is a minor pentatonic scale down a whole step. With that you get the b9, #9, and #5. You can get in your blues licks with this option too!
Splitting hairs here, but isn't a dorian flat 2nd more commonly known as a Phrygian Natural 6? _________________ Fabulous powers were revealed to me the day I held my magic Suhr(d) aloft and said "by the power of great scale!"
I've heard it called both ways. I like to call it Dorian b2 because of the natural 6--to me, that implies a Dorian sound more than the b2 implies a Phrygian sound. To each his own though! Names are just names, I guess.
You can think more intervallicaly, through the whole thing, remember it's all about resolving. So...
Bmin7 to E7b9: Bmin7(B,D,F#, A) arp then change 2 notes to (B,D,F,G#) By lowering the last 2 notes by half step. Giving you the the (5th, 7th, b9, 3rd)
Bmin7 to E7b9: Dmaj7 (D,F#A,C#) lower the 2 inner voices (D,F,G#,C#) giving you the: (7th, b9, 3rd, 13th) or lower the C# as well and get the b13th.
Bmin7 to E7b9: F#min7 (F#,A, C#, E) lower the first two or 3 voices down a half step.
Bmin7 to E7b9: Amaj7 (A, C#, E, G#)(7th,9th,11th, 13th) then lower outside two voices down half step.
All these things will make you sound like a genius,
But be careful and try and put the 3rd and 7th in all chords or you will sound like you have no idea what you are doing. especially if you do it often. and especially on the V chord, you can play all the altered shit in the world, but it will sound like shit if you don't have something there to ground it.
For instance you have a window, and you put all these fancy curtains up and shining stickers, and bamboo, but without the window it just be a bunch of crap all over your wall.
So good luck, also, thinking scalier is ok, but you need to balance it out with intervallic stuff, otherwise it sounds too linear, same as with intervallic stuff, it sounds to disjunct. Most people seem to play to linear, so definetly work out the intervallic stuff.
Also, stay away from the root on every chord until you are ending your solo, it's pretty lame otherwise, and sounds like you're finishing.
That's why it's generally better to think of upper structures on chords, like maj7 from the 3rd of a minor chord, make that your standby, so when you see a dmin7 you automatically grab for a Fmaj7.
This is pertaining to soloing mostly, and some comping, as long as you have a bass player.( who plays the root)
So anyway, I hope this helps out, it is constantly helping me out, this is some stuff I learned from Jack Schantz a killer, trumpet/flugelhornist, whom has very scary ears (musically) and has played with all kinds of cool cats around the world.
Sounds a lot like the stuff in Bret Wilmott's book on Harmonic Extensions except, for simplicity, the arpeggios are chords and you're playing the lines rather than a melodic piece.
That way you can think in terms of chordal extensions but apply them to melodic playing over a known progression. Also it's quite easy to remember the sound of extensions in this way, I kinda like as many paths to a musical decision as possible, the more I have and the more familliar I am with each alternative the more I can explore and have my train of thought derailed by the realisation of sounds.
I agree with the Dorian b9 thought, b9s occur all over the shop in chords.. I call it Phrygian nat 6 because of the way I recall the melodic minor modes, they can be laid out on a cycle of fourths next to the major modes to show they borrow attributes from the comparative major modes, naming it Dorian b9 would name the mode in a retrograde motion.. I'll have a look if all the modes named this way make more sense _________________ Fabulous powers were revealed to me the day I held my magic Suhr(d) aloft and said "by the power of great scale!"
Definetly important to have as many possible ways to play something.
Another way I'm looking at it more and more is tonality over harmony. Though I may be using the terms incorrectly, I'll explain.
For example, over a maj7 chord. The chord tones and extentions are:
R, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, #11, 13th. In C that is C, E, G, B, D, F#, A. Now some would take those notes and combine them to the lydian mode. And there is nothing wrong with that. Others might think Cmaj7 and Dmaj (CEGB, DF#A) to access that sound. I prefer to think of it as a pallette of available notes.
Now I know that is sort of what happens anyway, but when people think modes or scales they tend to think linear, and when they think chords they think angular. but for me it's kind of like this:
C E G
B D F#
A C E
It's kind of like you can pick and choose among the notes you would like to use. Then you start seeing patterns within the system. So you might grab a C then aug 4th to F# up to B, G, A, to E to what ever. And if you can generate these notes on the fretboard, where it's almost like notes light up as the chords change, you have access to all notes in all positions and desires. This is a good way to get out of position playing, which I'm not really a fan.
I don't know if this makes sense. but finding the notes of arpeggio and extensions for each type of chord gives you many possiblities. So you might see the Lydian mode on a major chord. Or on a dominant chord you see the mixolydian, altered, half/whole, wholetone, and you have access to all of these sounds instanly and you can go in and out of them, with out really knowing it.
So for dominant chords
R, 3, 5, b7, b9, 9, #9, #11, b13, and 13.
There are so many possiblities if you can see them all at the same time.
And if the pallette can change as the chords change underneath. This is pretty advanced and I'm constantly working on it, but I see plenty of rewards in the end for such an approach.
So for example again, anytime I see C7, I see the notes, C, E, G,Bb, Db, D#, F#, Ab, and A. These are all accessible. Some will obviosly work better than other, and nailing the 7th and especially the 3rd, give credibility to the other tones, but this is with out thinking of all the other structures to get there.
Anyways, I will leave it here, just thought I'd even give another view.
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