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Practical Music Workshop #8 - Jazzy Eights (Two Chords, Two Modes)

Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by dogletnoir, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V Strat-Talk Supporter

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    We'll be taking a little break from the circle progressions this month.
    This time around, i hope that you will join me on a 'modal' expedition.

    First, a little background:
    In the late 1950's, Miles Davis was getting tired of playing ii V I changes
    and improvising over the same old standards.
    On March 2nd of 1959, he convened his ensemble at Columbia Records
    Studios on 30th Street in New York City to document a new approach.
    There was almost no prior rehearsal and the musicians had little idea what
    they were to record. Davis had only given the band sketches of scales and
    a few sparse melody lines on which to improvise.
    The result of that session (and a second one on April 22nd) was an album
    that has gone on to be acclaimed as one of the greatest jazz recordings of all
    time: 'Kind Of Blue'. It pointed a way forward to a looser style of composition
    and improvising which would reach its apogee on his late 60s 'Sorceror' and
    'Nefertiti' albums (the last acoustic ones; the next one after those two,
    'Miles In The Sky', would mark the start of his electric period).

    All this preamble is by way of saying that there won't be an awful lot of complicated material
    to work with this time around, LOL.
    i promised that there would be no weird chords or time signatures, and in fact it's 4/4 time and
    we will be using only two simple chord forms: the minor 7th and the major 6th.

    the A section is: G minor 7 l A minor 7 l Bb major 6 l A minor 7
    the B section is: B minor 7 l C major 6 l B minor 7 l A minor 7


    The trickiest thing about this one is probably the form, which is this:
    4 bars intro
    A section (repeats 4x)
    B section (repeats 2x)
    A section (repeats 2x)
    B section (repeats 2x)

    A section (repeats 4x)
    B section (repeats 2x)

    A section (repeats 3x)
    B section (played once)
    end on G minor 7 chord


    The goal: play a melody over the 1st A and B sections, repeat or use some thematic
    variation on the 2nd two A and B sections, solo over the 3rd A and B sections, and return
    to the melody for the final A and B sections.
    .. all within the confines of a 60s style 3 minute
    'radio airplay' single.
    As for the modes mentioned in the title, use G Dorian for the A section, and B Phrygian for
    the B section.

    Of course, you can also choose to try this with the chord tone approach we've been using so far,
    and compare and contrast the result.

    Now, on to the backing tracks...





    This time around i have included a backing track with the chords, just so you can
    hear the changes a bit better (because that walking bass might be a bit cray cray),
    and if you want to use it to work on your melodic parts please feel free to do so.
    Or just go ahead and work with the 'drums and bass only' version.
    Am i rushing or dragging? LOL again...
    As always, take your time... and i hope that you will have fun with this one, folks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  2. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Super interesting thing I don't have time to do. Wonderful idea.
     
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  3. Omar

    Omar ✪✪ Miserable Old Curmudgeon ✪✪

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    Interesting story! I’ll listen to the albums you’ve mentioned.

    Luckily, I have the chords under my fingers :D

    Thank you so much, E :)
     
  4. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You have all month... and the rest of your life after that. But no worries... glad you like the idea anyhow!
    :D
     
  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Thanks E. I'll read this again after more tea, some bacon, more tea and then possibly again later, after a Guinness or two. :)
     
  6. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    Cool. I have Kind of Blue. I bought it when I was looking for something interesting to listen to about 20 years ago. I bought Kind of Blue and Jeff Beck Wired. Can’t wait until tomorrow morning (I mean later today) to have a proper look and listen at this.

    Thanks @dogletnoir
     
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  7. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster

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    @dogletnoir
    Thank you for taking the time to put this together!
     
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  8. Alan L Cole

    Alan L Cole Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you Professor E! Cool background and well thought out and written post This will be fun and interesting for me.
     
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  9. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    Kind of Blue is one of my desert island discs. I will definitely dig into this one. Thanks for putting this together!!!
     
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  10. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    Oh, thank you thank you thank you for providing a track with the chords. Without that I had a hard time finding/hearing The One. Once I found it, I can hear the progression from the bass.
     
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  11. Alan L Cole

    Alan L Cole Senior Stratmaster

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    Here's mine (Yeah, I'm that guy), playing to the "Rhythm Track". Panned right are chord tones. Panned left, octaves, modes, arpeggios, chords, solo. Thank you E.

     
  12. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i thought it might be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  13. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Very nice work!
    i'd love to hear each side as a separate track over the trio too.
    One take of chord tone approach, and another with the fancy stuff.
    :)
     
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  14. Alan L Cole

    Alan L Cole Senior Stratmaster

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    Will give that a shot E, thank you. I will take my time with it.

    Edit: And forgive me - awesome backer. Sweet drum track and very cool bass work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  15. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Thanks, @Alan L Cole... i'm glad you enjoyed it!
    i might as well post my first version.
    Jazzy Eights
     
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  16. duzie

    duzie Senior Stratmaster

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    Silly question #1 lol
    Would I be wrong thinking
    A section key of F Major
    B section key of G Major
     
  17. Alan L Cole

    Alan L Cole Senior Stratmaster

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    Sweet - gots some swing to those cool jazz lines!
     
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  18. Stratbats

    Stratbats Senior Stratmaster

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    Miles... Coltrane... Bill Evans... Cannonball... I honestly can't think of ANY album that has come out in the last 60 years that would be considered a greater album.
     
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  19. DancesWithWeasels

    DancesWithWeasels Where there's a weasel there's a way Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I hope it isn't silly, because I was thinking about this as well this afternoon, scratching my head why G Dorian and B Phrygian were selected. So I had to try and work it out for myself:

    Dorian scale: 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7
    Gmaj: G A B C D E F#
    G Dor: G A Bb C D E F, which is the same notes as Fmaj

    Gmin7: G Bb D F
    Amin7: A C E G
    Bbmaj6: Bb D F G
    These chords can be played using the notes in Fmaj, so I expect one can play G Dorian safely over these chords without being a chump, as Fezz might say.


    Phrygian scale: 1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7
    Bmaj: B C# D# E F# G# A#
    B Phr: B C D E F# G A, which is the same notes as Gmaj

    Bmin7: B D F# A
    Cmaj6: C E G A B (?)
    Amin7: A C E G
    These chords can be played using the notes in Gmaj, so one can play B Phrygian safely.

    Voila! I think. Maybe.

    Did I figure this right? The major 6 stuff is kinda new to me-- there seems to be several possible interpretations so I hope I figured that right. This is all probably second-nature to anyone attempting this workshop, but I still have to work this stuff out the hard way. I hope I'm not disrupting the workshop.
     
  20. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Re: that major 6th chord, and thinking in terms of major tonalities for this piece...

    In modern popular music, a sixth chord is any triad with an added sixth above the root as a chord factor.
    In this case, we're talking about a major triad with an added major sixth interval (hence 'major 6th' chord),
    so it is made up of 1 3 5 6. When playing 6th chords, the 7th scale degree is not included in the chord stack,
    and in fact back in the early swing days the major 7th interval was actually considered to be somewhat dissonant, LOL.

    You might notice that a C Major 6th chord ( C E G A ) in first inversion (i.e. taking the 6th interval and playing it
    as the lowest note in the stack) is the same as an A minor 7th chord ( A C E G ). The Bb Major 6th inverts to G minor 7.
    However, using the major 6th voicing gives the progression a sense of movement which would be totally absent if we
    simply cycled back and forth between two minor 7th chords a whole step apart.
    The walking bass part also is also lending the tune a minor feeling.
    i generally sort modes into 2 sub groups: Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian are the minor modes and Ionian, Lydian, and Mixolydian
    are the ones which feel major. Locrian is simply the 'weird' one most of the time (although it does have its uses).

    Using the suggested modes not only keeps you from 'being a chump' by sticking with notes that fit the chord progression,
    but also gives a nice jazzy minor feel to your melodies &/or solos.
    When i'm playing over the changes with F major and G major as the tonal centers, it will sound quite different.
    Not wrong per se; just different.
    But this is supposed to be a modal expedition, so... Dorian and Phrygian.

    Questions that pertain to the matter at hand are never silly or disruptive. Ask away!
    :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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