diminished chords

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diminished chords

Postby Rich » Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:17 pm

ok. a diminished chord is when u flatten the 3rd and the 5th right? so is a half diminished when you just flatten the 5th? just wondering cause in colin cosminios new book what i have always thought of as a diminished is called a half diminished. I know that they are only names, but i like to know whats going on. THanks for the help.
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Postby Thrip » Sat Apr 26, 2003 10:04 pm

A half dininished chord (also known as m7b5) has 1, b3, b5, b7.

The diminished chord has 1, b3, b5 bb7 (6).
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Postby justjack » Sun Apr 27, 2003 7:06 am

'Nuff Said.
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Postby justjack » Sun Apr 27, 2003 7:11 am

Sorry...maybe one more thing. Just that if you're a three-note-chord type, then a half diminished will often be fingered as a minor 7th, and a diminished will often be a minor sixth shape...why? Because you're not playing the fifth at all, which, if you're trying to keep up with these guys, can be a great help.
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Postby Rich » Sun Apr 27, 2003 12:40 pm

cheers
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Postby Nev » Wed May 14, 2003 4:45 pm

justjack wrote:Sorry...maybe one more thing. Just that if you're a three-note-chord type, then a half diminished will often be fingered as a minor 7th, and a diminished will often be a minor sixth shape...why? Because you're not playing the fifth at all, which, if you're trying to keep up with these guys, can be a great help.


It can be a lot simpler than even that. Take A C6/9 on the third fret. Put a G in the bass, play only the 6th 4th and 3rd strings = classic gypsy Gm6 triad right? - This can function as 1) Gm6 2) C7/G 3) G Diminished, 4)Bb Diminished, 5) E Diminished 6) Em7b5. There's another diminished in there (Db) as well, but I'm trying to keep things simple! If you now flatten you little finger over the top three strings (3rd fret) and play the top three strings, you'll get another voicing of Em7b5 or E half diminished. The great thing about all this ambiguity, is that once you've got your head round it, you can move these chords anywhere on the neck and get great voicings at the drop of a plectrum... oops

Keep Swingin'
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Postby djangology » Wed May 14, 2003 7:07 pm

thats interesting. is it true that i can substitute a chord in the "major chord scale" for a chord of the same position in the "natural minor chord scale"?

And the C major scale is:
C Dm Em F G Am Bdim

And a minor third below that is the following natural minor scale:
Am Bdim C Dm Em F G

So does this mean i can substitute Em for G and F for the Am in the key of C major?
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Postby justjack » Thu May 15, 2003 3:32 am

'Ology,
I'm not certain, here, but it sounds like you might be thinking of modal interchange. A quick definition (from Andy Jaffe's Jazz Harmony): "Modal interchange (MI), is...defined as the process by which harmony diatonic to one modal system is 'borrowed' for use in another, parallel system. By far the most frequent use of this process occurs when harmonies from the parallel Aeolian or other minor forms are used to enrich chord progressions in their parallel major tonalities..."

The big difference here is that your question uses the relative Aeolian (Am to C major), rather than the parallel Aeolian (Cm to C). Looking at a ii-V-I progression as an example, here's what you get:

Original Progression: Dm7-G7-Cmaj7
'Borrowing' from C harmonic minor for the ii-V: Dhalf/dim-G7b9-Cmaj7
Using your example for the ii-V: Bdim-Em-Cmaj7

I used the harmonic minor only because it's a really common substitution in jazz. At any rate, you can see that using a parallel mode results more in interesting chord colors, rather than wholesale substitution, and so sounds much more natural, I think. As for your question...Em for G is certainly well-founded; it's the relative minor. F for Am will result in a #5, and may be more dictated by the melody, or better used as a passing chord. I'm not sure there are any hard and fast rules on all this. Like Duke (and others) said: If it sounds good...
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Postby djangology » Thu May 15, 2003 3:30 pm

i think your absolutely right. i spent a few hours last night thinking about what i had written above and i had the biggest epiphany i've ever had with soloing, thanks to you. not only do i now completely grasp the whole relative mode theory that you described above but i now think i understand how to do chord substitution based on the parallel chord scales of major, natural minor, melodic minor, and harmonic minor that you mentioned. in other words, how you derived the G7b9.

also, i finally had the "obvious" epiphany that you dont need to literally follow a chord progression and play the associated arpeggios. instead you can just play scales or arpeggios based on the associated chord scale of the song at any point in that song.

for example, while in a song that is in the key of G any of the following will fit great based on the "major chord scale": Gmajor, G6, Em scales, Bm scales, Am scales, D# diminished, C major, D major. of course it seems that the scale that you "choose" to lay over any particular chord in a song will create a harmony and some are better than others and can make a big difference in the mood of a song.

another example, in the key of Am: Am scale, Am7 arp, A harmonic minor, C major, Dminor, F major arp, F6 arp, G major scale, etc.

Am I getting this finally or am I still off a little? It seemed to work for me last night pretty good.
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Postby justjack » Sun Aug 03, 2003 5:38 am

Djangology,

I realize your last reply was almost two months ago; somehow I overlooked it, and I thought I'd continue on (also from Jaffe):

The V chord, in its simple seventh chord form, is no different from the V7 chord in the parallel major.
However, when we extend the V7 chord to include its ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth, we find that the ninth and the thirteenth are both flat in harmonic minor. Thus it is the extensions which distinguish the minor key dominant from its major key counterpart.

Thus the b9 and b13 on a dominant seventh chord imply that [it] has been derived form a harmonic minor and not from the major form. One might likewise say that the presence of the flatted fifth on the ii-half diminished chord also implies the derivation from harmonic minor. Thus, when one sees a chord progression iihalf/dim-V7b9, or iihalf/dim-V7b9b13, it can be assumed that the cadence implies that the chords have been derived from the parallel harmonic minor rather than the parallel major scale.
Whew!

The short version seems to be this: if you see a m7b5/V7b9, play the harmonic minor.
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Postby djangology » Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:01 pm

yep, thats one thing I noticed... that all the notes in a diminished scale are contained within its related harmonic minor scale... so anywhere where you would play a diminished, I think a harmonic minor would fit. a perfect example is in the last half of the chorus of the head to Montagne Ste. Genevieve written by Matelo. there is a ascending then descending passage where he plays up on the Db/A# diminshed scale and on the way down I play the A harmonic minor. since they both are related scales, it works perfect.
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Postby tvcke » Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:57 pm

is it true or is it just talks , but i hear a lot that the best gypsy players in the world just don't know anything about music theory whatsoever ??
I know my basic chords but all the stuff i'm reading here is total chinese fore me ... altough i can play a lot of stuff allready , i learned everything from listening and watching video's and stuff, I play the songs but i can't possibly imagine "what" i'm playing in the theoretical sense ...? I saw stochelo rosenberg one time on a documentary saying that he doesn't know anything about music theory... he can't read music , they just listen , try and play...?

do I have to believe that and can i just go on and feel happy playing guitar ? I took a lesson or two , one year ago, the teacher was a very technical perfect guitar player and knew all the theory of what he was playing, and i saw on his face that typical smile sometimes like " wow, did you see that chord progression i was playing" ( no ? ) and i felt so bored afterwards, i just didn't touch my guitar for two weeks...

I don't play gypsy exclusively, i play(ed) a lot of fingerpicking and loads of bluegrass dobro ( jerry douglas style ) and due to the open tunings i never cared a lot for the theory , but when i see you guys talking about all that stuff , pfff...

please tell me i don't need it....
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Theory

Postby Wallace » Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:59 pm

No harm in knowing all this theory and I think it's interesting how theory can explain why and how somethings work but I really can't see any of our heros sitting there thinking about this arpeggio, that scale etc etc when they're playing a solo. Surely, being jazz, it's of the moment so having a good ear and knowing, before you play a note, what it will sound like is more important than being able to give a theoretical discription of what you've just played. (and may never play the same again).
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Re: Theory

Postby Jan Primus » Mon Aug 04, 2003 2:43 pm

Wallace wrote: (and may never play the same again).


I never played the same before.
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Postby djangology » Mon Aug 04, 2003 3:13 pm

well... the music theory part of this whole thing is what makes it fun to me. i like thinking about music and relating it to other things and thinking about theory helps me do that. it helps me enjoy playing because it gives me a lot to think about instead of relying on pure "jedi" power. on the other hand, mabye music theory is my own personal way of adding something to this music. everyone takes what they learn and they add a little bit to the mix and it ends up coming out slightly different. each one of us takes a different approach, and that is good, because variety is the spice of life.
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