parent scales and ambiguous chords

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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Fer Carranza » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:57 pm

I really don't understand very well why do you choose to name the first collection of notes as Db11(b5) and no like an inversion of Badd9#5, this is the most natural label for me. And the second is, for me an inversion of Cadd9#5. And another thing, I mostly after the study of this book I always prefer to look instead of b5, like #11 any chord given....just my point of view.....
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby NateComp » Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:09 am

@Bob, thank you! I try to speak up only when I feel like I might be able to add to the conversation :)

@Fer, when you say "like an inversion of Badd9#5", this was a point that I had raised a few posts back: sometimes it's easier to view a specific voicing as just an inversion of a more common chord, which often times makes the process of assigning a PMG much easier.

I had mentioned the voicing of Db G B Eb Gb could easily be viewed as an A13#11 in First Inversion (C# G B D# F#) - even though the root A isn't present (more on that later).

The more I play this voicing, the more I find that I can't help but hear it that way. Dominant 7th #11 chords seem to be EVERYWHERE, and to me they are a 'common sound'. Catagorizing this voicing as an inversion of PMG II chord from G Lydian Augmented seems to be a very direct way to handle this particular sound.

This brings me to my larger point (something I've been messing with for YEARS since being introduced to the LCC):

As a guitarist, I like using a lot of 4-note and 5-note voicings. The tricky part for me USE TO BE when I would encounter a chord like A13#11 and I would think "How do I get a good voicing for this chord on a 6-string instrument?"

I sat down one day and made a list of every 4-note voicings I could use in a "Lydian" context (playing over a Maj7, Maj9, Maj9#11, Maj13#11 etc.).

My list was this:

Voicings beginning with Root and 2:

R-2-3-#4 R-2-3-5 R-2-3-6 R-2-3-7
R-2-#4-3 R-2-#4-5 R-2-#4-6 R-2-#4-7
R-2-5-3 R-2-5-#4 R-2-5-6 R-2-5-7
R-2-6-3 R-2-6-#4 R-2-6-5 R-2-6-7
R-2-7-3 R-2-7-#4 R-2-7-5 R-2-7-6

Voicings beginning with Root and 3:

R-3-2-#4 R-3-2-5 R-3-2-6 R-3-2-7
R-3-#4-2 R-3-#4-5 R-3-#4-6 R-3-#4-7
R-3-5-2 R-3-5-#4 R-3-5-6 R-3-5-7
R-3-6-2 R-3-6-#4 R-3-6-5 R-3-6-7
R-3-7-2 R-3-7-#4 R-3-7-5 R-3-7-6

Voicings beginning with Root and #4:

R-#4-2-3 R-#4-2-5 R-#4-2-6 R-#4-2-7
R-#4-3-2 R-#4-3-5 R-#4-3-6 R-#4-3-7
R-#4-5-2 R-#4-5-3 R-#4-5-6 R-#4-5-7
R-#4-6-2 R-#4-6-3 R-#4-6-5 R-#4-6-7
R-#4-7-2 R-#4-7-3 R-#4-7-5 R-#4-7-6

Voicings beginning with Root and 5:

R-5-2-3 R-5-2-#4 R-5-2-6 R-5-2-7
R-5-3-2 R-5-3-#4 R-5-3-6 R-5-3-7
R-5-#4-2 R-5-#4-3 R-5-#4-6 R-5-#4-7
R-5-6-2 R-5-6-3 R-5-6-#4 R-5-6-7
R-5-7-2 R-5-7-3 R-5-7-#4 R-5-7-6

Voicings beginning with Root and 6:

R-6-2-3 R-6-2-#4 R-6-2-5 R-6-2-7
R-6-3-2 R-6-3-#4 R-6-3-5 R-6-3-7
R-6-#4-2 R-6-#4-3 R-6-#4-5 R-6-#4-7
R-6-5-2 R-6-5-3 R-6-5-#4 R-6-5-7
R-6-7-2 R-6-7-3 R-6-7-#4 R-6-7-5

Voicings beginning with Root and 7:

R-7-2-3 R-7-2-#4 R-7-2-5 R-7-2-6
R-7-3-2 R-7-3-#4 R-7-3-5 R-7-3-6
R-7-#4-2 R-7-#4-3 R-7-#4-5 R-7-#4-6
R-7-5-2 R-7-5-3 R-7-5-#4 R-7-5-6
R-7-6-2 R-7-6-3 R-7-6-#4 R-7-6-5

After spending some time with these voicings on my instrument, I made note of which ones I really liked so that I could come back to them.

Then I moved on to playing INVERSIONS of all of these voicings. THAT took quite some time.

Then I started doing this with each of the individual Scales (Lyd Aug, Lyd Dim, etc.)

And then something magical and life changing dawned on me: leave out the Root dummy!

Once I started to build voicings (and inversions) that were Root-less, I began to see (and hear) chords in a whole new way. Everytime I play a voicing now, that's all I'm concerned with: no matter what notes I'm playing in this voicing, how do I 'hear' it, and where does it fit in.

If you write it all out (like I did over the course of several years), it's thousands of voicings and inversions - but is some of the most valuable time I have ever spent on my instrument, and it all came from the LCC.
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Anatole » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:01 am

NateComp wrote:Once I started to build voicings (and inversions) that were Root-less, I began to see (and hear) chords in a whole new way. Everytime I play a voicing now, that's all I'm concerned with: no matter what notes I'm playing in this voicing, how do I 'hear' it, and where does it fit in.

If you write it all out (like I did over the course of several years), it's thousands of voicings and inversions - ... and it all came from the LCC.


whatever voicing you play, rootless, thirdless, whichever memberless, 'ambiguous'/ that could fit in several parent scales, you stick to the parent scale YOU have chosen/have in mind and play its voicings (among them those you just spelled).
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby NateComp » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:15 pm

@Anatole, exactly.

An example I always use with my guitar students is the first 4 bars of Coltrane's "Naima".

I have them play these voicings:

Db Maj7 (voiced Ab Db F C)
Gb Maj7 (voiced Gb Bb Db F)
A Maj7#11 (voiced A C# D# G#)
G Maj7#11 (voiced G B C# F#)
Ab Maj Add 9 (played in First Inversion, voiced as C Ab Bb Eb)

I do this first to have them see these as ALL PMG I chord voicings:

Db Maj7 = PMG I Db Lyd
Gb Maj7 = PMG I Gb Lyd
A Maj7#11 = PMG I A Lyd
G Maj7#11 = PMG I G Lyd
Ab Maj Add 9 = PMG I Ab Lyd

THEN, we play all of these voicings over an Eb Pedal Tone (like what is heard in Coltrane's recording), and we analyze the chords from there:

Db Maj7 (voiced Ab Db F C) over Eb sounds like an Eb13(sus4) chord.
Gb Maj7 (voiced Gb Bb Db F) over Eb sounds like an Eb min 9 chord.
A Maj7#11 (voiced A C# D# G#) over Eb sounds like an Eb min 11 b5 chord.
G Maj7#11 (voiced G B C# F#) over Eb sounds like an Eb 7 #5 #9 chord.
Ab Maj Add 9 (played in First Inversion, voiced as C Ab Bb Eb) over Eb is just a Second Inversion Ab, so nothing new there.

THEN we look at the PMG sounds for these chords, based on the 'environment' of Eb:

Eb13(sus4) chord = PMG II of Db Lyd
Eb min 9 chord = PMG VI of Gb Lyd
Eb min 11 b5 chord = PMG +IV of A Lyd
Eb 7 #5 #9 chord = PMG +V of G Lyd Aug
Ab Maj Add 9/Eb = PMG V (second inversion PMG I) of Ab Lyd

You end up with all of the SAME PARENT SCALES in this context that you did with the original voicings.

Very cool stuff :)
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Fer Carranza » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:35 pm

I see your point, it just a voicing of a chord without the root. Well, if it's a A13#11, it seems like a II degree of G lydian, but you can use already SMG or AMG. I choose very freely the options, talking about my own stuff.
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Fer Carranza » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:36 pm

Thanks for share your inversions over the chords, I use it when I play piano, in "The Jazz Piano Book" of Mark Levine is very well explained and it´s very cool, but in the guitar, that I play too (well, I use it to compose, I´m not a guitar player), I never thinks on made the inversions that I use in piano. Really really cool stuff my friend.
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Anatole » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:21 am

say I have a lead sheet which I want to understand the chords harmonic motion (ie find the most ingoing parent scale of each chord),

when I find a dim chord (diminished tetra chord), I have a symetric/ambiguous chord, which taken solely/vertically, can be considered at once for a PMG I chord (cf GR's note about dim and augmented as PMG I chords).

now I what I really want to do is considering this dim chord horizontally, by looking at the chords before and after that dim chord to understand which PMG that dim is within the song ?
should I presume I want the minimum harmonic motion ? or/and a motion on the flat/sharp side that is coherent with the previous and following chords of this dim ?

well I feel I should bring an example of a song but they are too many and the situations are quite very different. I didn't ask about the melody over this dim chord because I would consider that the melody and the harmony are in a parallel universe (to use ML words) though we could/should also look for a PMG which the melody sounds within ?
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Fer Carranza » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:27 pm

Well, I think that every dim chord can be seen in horizontally way using Alternate or Conceptual Modal Tonic Degree, like a Vh of another one, or IIh, or Ih of another one scale. This is located in the same chart A.
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Anatole » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:18 pm

arf :( ! ahah I guess I can understand but can you try to explain more? otherwise it only shows indeed you have your way of using the things of the concept but you don't really mean to explain it anyway, or at least try. I know it is hard to explain though and it takes some (very long) time to write specific answers and even more for those who aren't native speakers. If one feels better to write in spanish, it is cool for me. it's a very beautiful language.

again, thanks a lot to everyone who got involved in this thread and spent his time writing answers!!
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Fer Carranza » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:23 pm

Look, I don´t know if I use this theory in my way, I think it´s in the way that the book suggest. Viewing another example, before to talk about dim chords, if I have a 7b9 chord, I clearly pick this chord like a II degree of a Lydian Scale, and doing so I freely choose one of the seven principal Lydian Scales, I don´t pay attention to the b9 in the chord, I use anyone I want. I can do the same choosing this chord like a +V of another Lydian Scale, and so I pick any scale of de Seven Principal Lydian Scales from it. The same if a choose to look this chord like a VII of another Lydian and his Seven Principal Scales, or III degree, or +IV, or IIh, or I, all of this with his seven principal scales. When I look at a dim chord I do the same, I know that the main and primary modal tonic degree is a I and his seven lydian principal scales, and I choose freely one of them, not looking if any contains just the alterations of the dim chord. I know that doing the opposite (searching for the scale that contains the alterations) can be viewed like the right use of the Concept. I don´t suscribe with this. And I think that the spirit of the author was the same.
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Re: parent scales and ambiguous chords

Postby Anatole » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:05 pm

yes! thanks for your longer explanation Fernando, you are right and about the book too.
OK great!
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