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Post new topic Chord name?
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Author Topic:  Chord name?
Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 1 Nov 2018 4:56 pm    
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This is a chord I have used for years in tunes such as "Crazy", "Statue of a Fool" and many others. It is used in place of the V chord in resolving, say from a IIm, V, I. I have always looked at it as a I#7. In the key of C, the notes would be, top to bottom G#, F, C#. In this usage, would it have a name more associated with the V?
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Brian Hollands


From:
Franklin, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 2 Nov 2018 4:23 am    
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what you've spelled out there is a C#Maj.
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Doug Palmer


From:
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 2 Nov 2018 4:24 am     Name
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Those 3 notes make a #C major, if the bass is playing a #C.
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Dave Little


From:
Atlanta
Post  Posted 2 Nov 2018 4:39 am    
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How 'bout G7b5b9
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 2 Nov 2018 9:28 am    
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I'm an idiot. The low note should be B. So high to low its G#, F, B. So its clearly a C#7, but how does it relate to usage as a sub for the V in C?
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Brian Hollands


From:
Franklin, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 2 Nov 2018 9:44 am    
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That would function as a B diminished which is the vii chord of C major. The V7 and diminshed can sub for one another
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Dave Little


From:
Atlanta
Post  Posted 2 Nov 2018 12:02 pm    
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G7b9b5 = G,B,Db,F,Ab
If you're playing Db,F,Ab on the 5 chord in that 2m-5-1 progression, the G note is implied - even if the bass player is not on it (which he probably is).
It is commonly resolved to a 6-9 or a Maj7 chord.

Used a lot in jazz (especially "easy listening")
The #5 (in lieu of b5) is common also.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 2 Nov 2018 12:54 pm    
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Thanks guys. I usually ask the bass player to play the C#. Adds to the collapsing feel in getting back to the I. Sorry for the fog in the first post.
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Guy Cundell


From:
More idle ramblings from South Australia
Post  Posted 4 Nov 2018 7:25 pm    
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Clyde, this is what is commonly called a tritone substitution. The chord you spell could be described as a Db7 or, as Dave says, a G7b9. The two chords share the same active ingredients needed for a dominant chord, a major 3rd and a b7. In the Db7 chord, the F is the M3rd and the B (Cb) is the b7. In the G7b9 chord, the F is the b7 and the B is the M3rd. So the basics of the chords are the same even though the 3rd-b7th relationship is reversed. This common substitution is one of the building blocks of jazz harmony. Try it with another ii V 1 chord progression. For example: Bm Bb7 Amajor instead of Bm E7 Amajor.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Nov 2018 10:00 pm    
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Thanks Guy. Its one of the things I use just because it sounds right. Anytime something is laid out like that for me, I go back to the six string guitar and look at it and it makes perfect sense. Plus it opens up other usages. You guys and this forum are a great resource.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2018 8:53 am    
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Clyde Mattocks wrote:
Thanks guys. I usually ask the bass player to play the C#. Adds to the collapsing feel in getting back to the I. Sorry for the fog in the first post.


As Dave Little and Guy Cundell say, the chord you’re playing can be treated as an altered V7 in the key of C. I would just like to say something on your comment above.

Nothing wrong with the C# on the bass, but try having the bass player play G under your chord voicing, especially if the chord is held. That will create some tension that begs for the progression to resolve to C. If it’s a walking bass part and he walks into a D note in the G triad, it might sound a little off for that one beat, Maybe not long enough to worry about. But if he’s hip to it, he will hear the chord tones and sub a Db for the D. It is not a chord you want to hang on for more than a couple beats anyway.
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Doug Palmer


From:
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2018 10:41 am     Chords
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To quote Bryan Adams, "Don't play those demented chords. You won't get any work!"
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2018 1:24 pm    
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Thanks Fred. I'll try that. By collapsing feel, I mean its creating a different kind of tension, like backing into the I. This is opposed to just a sraight II,V,I, which has more of a "block" feel. I'm sure there is better terminology to explain than I have used. (Man, am I beating this horse to death or what?)
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2018 3:12 pm    
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No you are not beating the horse to death.

Making chord voicings work with bass lines is an important aspect of musicianship. If you play a ii-V-I with clunky chord voicings, it jumps out and says “HEY THERE I’M A ii-V-I!!!”. The art of it is to make it feel natural and unforced and not clash with the vocal line or soloist. Having the root on the bass of an altered V7 and using the #5 or b9 as a passing tones helps keep things in a more subtle ball park.

The way you are voicing that Db/G7 chord would resolve to a milk toast C chord (C-E-G-C) and be...just okay. But since you are using to add a jazzy flair to the ending of Crazy, I would voice that C chord as a C69 (C-E-A-D). That takes your two upper chord tones up a half step from the altered G7. Much cooler, IMHO.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 5 Nov 2018 4:42 pm    
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Thanks Fred. I like the openess of your C,E,A,D. For the resolution. I frequently use C,E,G,B,D.(bottom to top)
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Steve Cattermole


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 5 Dec 2018 3:58 pm    
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Check out Jim Cohens 2-5/1 video on you tube.He shows some really cool ways to play a 2-5/1 progression and explains the tri-tone in a way you can understand easy
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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post  Posted 6 Dec 2018 6:24 am    
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The crucial note here is the G# - the 'b9' in G7b9 and a typical passing chord in that situation. Tri-tone substitution.
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 8 Dec 2018 6:30 pm    
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In charting out What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong version), I see this chord appears in the ritard at the ending, the next to last chord. It's in the key of F. I find I like the bass on the F# or the C equally. The C is jazzier and maybe "cooler" and I like it better on the guitar. The F# lends itself more to the collapsing feel. So I guess its the bassman's choice.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 8 Dec 2018 9:11 pm    
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It’s all in how you want to voice the chord. There are certainly lots of ways to alter a V7, using the tritone principle or otherwise.

For the ending of What A Wonderful World, the bass is on the root of the V7, which is altered with a b9 on top. The opposite (b9 on bass, root on top) would be just as effective at adding the same kind of tension. Six of one and 3 half-dozen of the other...

Same principle, another genre, listen to the verses of the Doobies “It Keeps You Runnin”.
The vocal line hangs on the 5, the progression is Bm7/Bb7/Am7/Ab7, resolving to G. In this tune, the Ab7 functions as the V7, maximally tritoned with no ambiguity whatsoever on the very present bass. The vocal line keeps everything running...in the key of G.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_BsTF22SPyM
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Clyde Mattocks


From:
Kinston, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 8 Dec 2018 10:20 pm    
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I see Fred. Thanks for helping me with these concepts. I
like to know why certain things that sound cool are justified. I play quite a few sessions and usually the keyboard player will describe an exotic change as so and so over so and so without actually naming the chord.
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