Freddie Freeloader - Miles Davis

dogletnoir

V----V
Nov 1, 2013
14,026
northeastern us
Another and...

There is only one chord in this tune that can be harmonized from the Bb major scale. Which one is it?
C'mon, people... really?
It's been a while since the question was asked, so i'll weigh in now.

@El Gobernador is giving you a big hint here, though.
Don't get things twisted because the tune begins and ends on a Bb7...
all you blues daddies ought to be used to that common substitution of
dominant for major.

In the key of Bb Major, basic diatonic harmony is derived from the Bb Major scale.
The only chord in the Freddie Freeloader progression that comes directly from that
is the V chord, the F7 (F A C Eb).
The mode that follows the dominant 7 chord is the Mixolydian mode, built off of
a major scale sequence starting a 5th down from the root of the chord (Eb Major
gives you the correct pitches for Bb Mixolydian).
To put it simply, whenever you see a dominant 7, you can play Mixolydian mode
starting from the root of that chord.

Since ALL of the chords in Freddie Freeloader are dominant 7 chords, the simplest
path to not clashing with the chords would be to play Mixolydian ideas based on
each separate chord: Bb Mixo, Eb Mixo, F Mixo, etc etc etc.

Because the harmony is NOT based around a diatonic chord sequence like the classic
ii V I but instead follows a I IV V sequence of dominant 7 chords with an added bVII...
it's modal.
And in this instance the mode is Mixolydian.
 
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El Gobernador

fezz parka
Apr 21, 2011
37,086
Nunyo, BZ
C'mon, people... really?
It's been a while since the question was asked, so i'll weigh in now.

@El Gobernador is giving you a big hint here, though.
Don't get things twisted because the tune begins and ends on a Bb7...
all you blues daddies ought to be used to that common substitution of
dominant for major.

In the key of Bb Major, basic diatonic harmony is derived from the Bb Major scale.
The only chord in the Freddie Freeloader progression that comes directly from
that is the V chord, the F7 (F A C Eb).
The mode that follows the dominant 7 chord is the Mixolydian mode, built off of
a major scale sequence starting a 5th down from the root of the chord (Eb Major
gives you the correct pitches for Bb Mixolydian).
To put it simply, whenever you see a dominant 7, you can play Mixolydian mode
starting from the root of that chord.

Since ALL of the chords in Freddie Freeloader are dominant 7 chords, the simplest
path to not clashing with the chords would be to play Mixolydian ideas based on
each separate chord: Bb Mixo, Eb Mixo, F Mixo, etc etc etc.

Because the harmony is NOT based around a diatonic chord sequence like the classic
ii V I but instead follows a I IV V sequence of dominant 7 chords with an added bVII...
it's modal.
And in this instance the mode is Mixolydian.
Schooled. :)
 

Guithartic

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
2,301
Jacksonville, FL
Since ALL of the chords in Freddie Freeloader are dominant 7 chords, the simplest
path to not clashing with the chords would be to play Mixolydian ideas based on
each separate chord: Bb Mixo, Eb Mixo, F Mixo, etc etc etc.
I’m not sure if you’re saying that this song is in the key of Bb7, or that it tricks you into thinking that, even though it’s in a different key.

For what it’s worth, I find that when I’m playing it on piano, I can solo over the Bb7, Eb7, and the F7 with the Bb blues, Eb blues, and F blues scales in any order, not even matched up, e,g, any of those blues scales works over any of the other dominant 7 chords.
 

davidKOS

not posting these days
May 28, 2012
17,116
California
I’m not sure if you’re saying that this song is in the key of Bb7, or that it tricks you into thinking that, even though it’s in a different key.

For what it’s worth, I find that when I’m playing it on piano, I can solo over the Bb7, Eb7, and the F7 with the Bb blues, Eb blues, and F blues scales in any order, not even matched up, e,g, any of those blues scales works over any of the other dominant 7 chords.
Just to point out, there is no "key of Bb7" per se.... There is a key of Bb, though.

Or a modal piece is in the Bb mixolydian mode.

"solo over the Bb7, Eb7, and the F7 with the Bb blues, Eb blues, and F blues scales in any order"

Superimposition of blues scales over other chords is a time honored and useful "trick".

But that's not the same as using chord tones and the scales that are related to the chords and from which the chords are derived.
 

dogletnoir

V----V
Nov 1, 2013
14,026
northeastern us
I’m not sure if you’re saying that this song is in the key of Bb7, or that it tricks you into thinking that, even though it’s in a different key.

For what it’s worth, I find that when I’m playing it on piano, I can solo over the Bb7, Eb7, and the F7 with the Bb blues, Eb blues, and F blues scales in any order, not even matched up, e,g, any of those blues scales works over any of the other dominant 7 chords.
As @davidKOS points out above, speaking strictly diatonically, there is no 'key' of Bb7*;
The Bb Major scale is Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, and A, while looking at the pitches of Bb Mixolydian mode gives us Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, and Ab.

If we harmonise the pitches of the mode in stacked 3rds just as we would a Major scale,
the I chord is Bb D F Ab (Bb7), the IV is Eb G Bb D (Eb Maj 7) and the V is F Ab C Eb (F7).
Miles changes the IV chord to a dominant 7 by altering the D to a Db, allowing the use of the Mixolydian mode throughout the progression, even though the tonal centre of the mode changes with each chord.
One can also see the inclusion of the bVII7 chord (Ab, C, Eb, Gb = Ab7) as another 'tell' that Miles
wants to stay in Mixolydian territory, Ab being the 7th degree of Bb Mixo, and dropping the G of
Bb Mixo down a half step to Gb makes the Maj 7 chord into a dominant 7 just as he did with the IV.
It's a modal blues, with each individual chord relating to its specific Mixolydian mode.

As an exercise, you might try mapping out each of those 'blues scales' one at a time against all three chords in turn, and looking at both the common pitches and the intervallic relationships in order to gain a deeper understanding of WHY that works.
:)

*(Bb7 would belong to the key of Eb Major, and be the V chord in that key).
 
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El Gobernador

fezz parka
Apr 21, 2011
37,086
Nunyo, BZ
For what it’s worth, I find that when I’m playing it on piano, I can solo over the Bb7, Eb7, and the F7 with the Bb blues, Eb blues, and F blues scales in any order, not even matched up, e,g, any of those blues scales works over any of the other dominant 7 chords.
Bb minor pent will work over the whole thing. That's not the point.

Kind Of Blue...the entire record...is an exercise in the modal approach. Even the two "blues" tubes, FF and All Blues are part of this exercise. And the point of this and the other thread. If you're not interested in this approach and topic, these threads aren't for you.

The fact that you guessed the Ab7 could be harmonized from the Bb major scales suggests you're out of your depth with this. Time to sit back and soak some stuff in...because it isn't in there yet. :)
 

dogletnoir

V----V
Nov 1, 2013
14,026
northeastern us
This thread:
may help.
 

tzigu-migu

Repeat O'Fender
Silver Member
Feb 23, 2021
203
Planet 9
As an exercise, you might try mapping out each of those 'blues scales' one at a time against all three chords in turn, and looking at both the common pitches and the intervallic relationships in order to gain a deeper understanding of WHY that works.
The best analogy I can come up with is the game Twister, where the fingerboard is like the mat with coloured dots; and the spinner that decides the next colour is the progression of chords.

Ok, it admit it's not a great analogy 😀
 

tzigu-migu

Repeat O'Fender
Silver Member
Feb 23, 2021
203
Planet 9
As an exercise, you might try mapping out each of those 'blues scales' one at a time against all three chords in turn, and looking at both the common pitches and the intervallic relationships in order to gain a deeper understanding of WHY that works
I find it less daunting to think in chord fragments rather than scales when it comes seeing commonalities. For example, G, Bb, D is the 6 1 3 notes of Bb. Drop the D to a Db and you have the 3 5 7 notes of Eb!!! (Tickles my dopamine receptors just writing about this stuff.)

Once I understood the commonalities/differences I understood why the solo in Rip It Up works -- it's Scotty Moore, if I'm not mistaken.

I reckon I could play a not abyssmal, very simple solo to FF using just the notes Db D & Eb.
 
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Guithartic

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
2,301
Jacksonville, FL
Superimposition of blues scales over other chords is a time honored and useful "trick".

But that's not the same as using chord tones and the scales that are related to the chords and from which the chords are derived.
True. I used to just solo by following the chords, playing notes from the scale of each chord. That’s all I knew. Then I learned about playing in a certain key and realized for some songs, like Autumn Leaves, I could play notes from one scale over almost all the chords. It was a game changer. Now a I mix and match and blend, following chords, using the “correct” scale, throwing in relative scales (I might not be using the right terminology), using the actual blues scale along with corresponding other blues scales that work, etc. So much to learn. It’s tough with no formal lessons. The vocabulary alone can fill a book. It’s great learning from you guys. I’m mostly applying it to piano, which is what I play for jazz gigs. Mostly old standards that Frank, Louis, and Ella sang, but also throwing in Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.
 

Guithartic

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
2,301
Jacksonville, FL
Bb minor pent will work over the whole thing. That's not the point.

Kind Of Blue...the entire record...is an exercise in the modal approach. Even the two "blues" tubes, FF and All Blues are part of this exercise. And the point of this and the other thread. If you're not interested in this approach and topic, these threads aren't for you.

The fact that you guessed the Ab7 could be harmonized from the Bb major scales suggests you're out of your depth with this. Time to sit back and soak some stuff in...because it isn't in there yet. :)
I was trying to give a legit answer. I think I didn’t understand how you were using the the term “harmonized.” It just always seemed to me that that chord made the song different than songs like Blue Monk and Straight No Chaser. I was hoping for a lucky guess. I’m just trying to learn. I’m definitely interested in this approach and topic. I didn’t mean to imply that people should abandon the modal playing and just play blues over those songs. I don’t even know what I was meaning to get across. Maybe just pointing out something that I had figured out when I was experimenting, but I guess it’s pretty basic from what DavidKOS said. Some of you guys are way ahead of me for sure, but don’t send me packing. Maybe when I try to cover songs from Kind of Blue, I can call it Miles Behind.
 

dogletnoir

V----V
Nov 1, 2013
14,026
northeastern us
I was trying to give a legit answer. I think I didn’t understand how you were using the the term “harmonized.” It just always seemed to me that that chord made the song different than songs like Blue Monk and Straight No Chaser. I was hoping for a lucky guess. I’m just trying to learn. I’m definitely interested in this approach and topic. I didn’t mean to imply that people should abandon the modal playing and just play blues over those songs. I don’t even know what I was meaning to get across. Maybe just pointing out something that I had figured out when I was experimenting, but I guess it’s pretty basic from what DavidKOS said. Some of you guys are way ahead of me for sure, but don’t send me packing. Maybe when I try to cover songs from Kind of Blue, I can call it Miles Behind.
i don't think anyone is trying to put you off of learning...
it's more that there's a bit of remedial work that needs to be done
in order to better understand the modal vs. diatonic dichotomy.
Check out my Functional Harmony thread when you have some time.
It will hopefully fill in a few gaps for you.
In any case, we don't get better at anything by avoiding it. :)
Ganbatte kudasai!
 

El Gobernador

fezz parka
Apr 21, 2011
37,086
Nunyo, BZ
I think I didn’t understand how you were using the the term “harmonized.”
Chords are harmonized root intervals. They stand alone.

Like C major is the 1-3-5 from the C-C chromatic scale. C minor is the 1-b3-5. C7 is the 1-3-5-b7 etc.

*Chord progressions are harmonized scales.

Take C. CEG. 1-3-5.

Using the Ist, 3rd, and 5th mode, you build the basic triad chord progression.

Take the ii chord. Dm - DFA.

Standing alone it's a 1-b3-5.

In the context of the chord progression based on C major, it's the 2-4-6 of the C major scale.

I hope this makes sense.

Notes build chords.
Scales build chord progressions.
 


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