Lesson 8: Some seriously advanced sh*t (for me anyway) – Lydian Dominants, Super Locrians, Melodic Minors, Minor/Major 7s.

Alright. This lesson gave me some serious new cool sounds – wow – after the end of it I feel just a leeeetle bit more Jazzy.

I swanned into Master’s teaching studio yesterday (actually it reminds me more of a small cave with walls lined with musical paraphernalia than a studio) and he said “Ok – what do yo want to learn?”

I told him that I’d been practicing my Pop ‘n’ Play rigorously (ii V Is in all of 2 different keys) and that I was now looking to spice them up a bit – after all, I’d been playing completely diatonically – e.g. over Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 I’d be staying totally in the key of C the whole time – and now wanted to get some new sounds; I muttered a mention of some Db thingy that I was certain he’d alluded to in a past lesson and could we do something with that, i.e. what kind of substitutions could be played over my vanilla ii V I? A tritone sub (on the G) for the V chord perhaps?

Here’s a summary of some of the stuff we went over:

  1. Over the G7, I can continue playing stuff that I would normally play over a D minor. Seemed to work. Must ask why.
  2. I can play the Ascending melodic minor off the root of the 5th, i.e. D Melodic Minor (D is the 5th of G). This turns out to be the 4th mode of D Melodic Minor – and is called G Lydian Dominant. This contains a C# note (#4 or b5) note which is a tension tone (see further).                        dmelodic
  3. I can play the Ascending melodic minor off Ab, i.e a half step higher, but start on G, i.e. the seventh mode of the melodic minor. This is called G Super Locrian.  This contains the notes Ab (b9) and A# (#9) as well as Db (b5) and D# (#5). These are all 4 tension tones.             Abmelodic
  4. Harmonizing the I of the melodic minor gives a nice Minor/Major 7 chord which works nicely over G7
  5. Master considers three groups of notes in relation to a root chord. Let’s consider the chord G7:
    1. Chord tones – these are G, B, D, F – the 1, 3, 5, 7 that make up the Dominant Seventh chord spelling. Nice strong notes to land on when playing over the G7.
    2. Color tones – these are A, C, E – the 9, 11 and 13. The are the remaining notes of the diatonic scale (in this case we are in the key of C since G7 is the Dom (V) chord of C). Landing on one of these notes over the G7 gives the flavour of a 9th, 11th or 13th chord.
    3. Tension tones – these are Ab, A#, Db, D# (or their enharmonic equivalents) and are the remaining notes in the chromatic set except  the Major 7 (apparently this isn’t useful as much – must explore with Master) – namely they are the Flat 5, Sharp 5, Flat 9, Sharp 9 (b5, #5, b9, #9). These provide the most tension since they lie outside the parent key. Playing these notes over the G7 provides the flavors/colors of the respective chords G7b5, G7#5, G7b9, G7#9. These chords are known as the Altered Dominant Chords.
  6. Just playing the scales over the chords isn’t good. One must home in on the notes which give the scale its character and then resolve them correctly, i.e. perhaps focus on the b9 and resolve to I, or play around the b5, then the #5 and then resolve on the V.

Amidst all this, Master, as usual imparted a priceless (God I’m getting amazing value for money) trove of info. He played me a tune called ‘Laura’ which used some weird color and tension tones in a very melodic way. Must track it down to learn.

He also mentioned the Whole Tone and Diminished Scales – 6 and 8 note scales (as opposed to the Major scale’s 7 notes). No point me going in to this in much detail here.

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3 Responses to “Lesson 8: Some seriously advanced sh*t (for me anyway) – Lydian Dominants, Super Locrians, Melodic Minors, Minor/Major 7s.”

  1. […] Jack D. LailnHI told him that I’d been practicing my Pop ‘n’ Play rigorously (ii V Is in every of 2 mixed keys) and that I was today labour to edit them up a discernment – after all, I’d been state completely diatonically – eg over Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 I’d … […]

  2. […] Joe Vitale wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAlright. I swanned into Master’s teaching studio yesterday (actually it reminds me more of a small cave with walls lined with musical paraphernalia than a studio) and he said “Ok – what do yo want to learn?” … […]

  3. […] Lesson 25: More Lydian Dominant It’s been a while since I first learned what the Lydian Dominant and the Altered Scale were and I (erroneously) posted about them here. […]

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