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#2144572 - 09/05/13 11:31 AM When/how to add extended chords into your progressions?
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoid_note

This link was posted in my other thread about analyzing improvisations, but I didn't want to go too off tangent in that thread. So I decided to make a new post here.

I know that every one of the 7 diatonic chords can have a 7th of some sort (Imaj7, iim7, iiim7, IVmaj7, V7, vim7, viim7(b5) ).

Now sometimes I try to add 9ths, 11ths, etc...However it doesn't always sound "smooth" like Jazz typically does. The extended chords just don't seem to work. Now, after reading that article, and seeing that there are some "available tensions" and some "avoid tensions", I assume that the available tensions are the ones you could use to make extended chords. For instance, a Cmaj7 has the 9 and the 13 as available tensions, but it says to typically skip the fourth scale degree note (therefore an 11th chord would be out right?).

But then once you start throwing 6 chords, sus chords, and the fact that the "sus" notes are the same notes as the 9 and 11, respectively, and also the fact that an 11th would be contained within a 13 chord (in the case where 13 is allowed, but 11 is not)..... Things then start to get very confusing.

Is there a really good article about this anywhere. Google searches don't seem to give me what I'm looking for. Instead I find hundreds of articles about how to construct chords, which I already know. It's how to APPLY these chords that I'm looking for.

Thanks!
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#2144615 - 09/05/13 01:02 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Elkayem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 159
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Phil DeGreg's book on jazz keyboard harmony has really helped me. You've got to get these harmonies in your head before you can start using them. I say this as someone who is also just learning the craft, and finally starting to "get it". Learn the standard voicings, and start applying them to the tunes in your fake book. You'll quickly discover which ones your ear likes best.
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#2144621 - 09/05/13 01:21 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Brian K.

Now sometimes I try to add 9ths, 11ths, etc...However it doesn't always sound "smooth" like Jazz typically does. The extended chords just don't seem to work.


This is a matter of two things:

(a) becoming familiar with the "standard" tensions people generally use. And
(b) becoming familiar with reharmonization techniques. Certain tensions work better over Chord Progression, while others work better over Chord Progression B.

I'm always preaching reharm, for a good reason.

Quote:

For instance, a Cmaj7 has the 9 and the 13 as available tensions, but it says to typically skip the fourth scale degree note (therefore an 11th chord would be out right?).


Correct. Although people sometimes get around this by sharping the 11.

Quote:
..... Things then start to get very confusing.


Pick up a book by Jimmy Amadie called "Harmonic Foundation of Jazz and Popular Music." He does a good job (through the use of exercises) in getting this to you without getting much into theory. If you have a hard time finding the book, ping me - I can arrange a copy for you.

Quote:

Is there a really good article about this anywhere.


Article? No. But there are a couple good books. Start with Amadie. In that book, you'll also learn good two-hand voicings for jazz standards. Go through the exercises - you'll learn a lot and you'll hear what sounds really good for several typical progressions.
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#2144767 - 09/05/13 06:34 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Brian K.
I assume that the available tensions are the ones you could use to make extended chords.


The available diatonic tensions on all 7 diatonic seventh chords in a major tonality are always 1 whole tone step above the coresponding chord tone. If they don't they are avoids and not used as chord tones but pasing tones.

Chord tones are 1, 3 and 5.

Tension 9 must be one whole tone step above chord tone 1.
Tension 11 must be one whole tone step above chord tone 3 (b3).
Tension 13 must be one whole tone step above chord tone 5 (b5).

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#2144981 - 09/06/13 12:17 AM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Cudo]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
Thanks Michael!

I'm not sure what reharmonization is. I'll look into that.

I'm always looking for new books. I'm trying not to overload with way too much information, but that's hard to do considering I love music theory, and have really started getting a lot deeper into it ever since starting piano!

I got your pm too. Thanks for all the help and support!

Originally Posted By: Cudo
Originally Posted By: Brian K.
I assume that the available tensions are the ones you could use to make extended chords.


The available diatonic tensions on all 7 diatonic seventh chords in a major tonality are always 1 whole tone step above the coresponding chord tone. If they don't they are avoids and not used as chord tones but pasing tones.

Chord tones are 1, 3 and 5.

Tension 9 must be one whole tone step above chord tone 1.
Tension 11 must be one whole tone step above chord tone 3 (b3).
Tension 13 must be one whole tone step above chord tone 5 (b5).




Thanks for this explanation. I didn't know this rule about whole tones. I have a few questions.

Is this always set in stone. If its not a whole tone away from one of the triad tones, then it's considered an "avoid tone" (aka. It's not an available tension)?

Since 2 = 9, 4 = 11 and 6 = 13, does this same rule apply to sus2, sus4, and 6 chords as well?

If a 9, 11, or 13 results in not being a whole tone away from it's corresponding triad tone, this can be remedied by sharpening or flatting one of the tones; whether its the triad tone or the extension doesn't matter so long as it results in forming the whole tone?

Does this rule apply for out-of-key or borrowed chords, such as a bVII or bVI?

This is definitely starting to clear some things up. I'm just not sure of the "rules" still.

Thanks!
_________________________
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#2145055 - 09/06/13 02:59 AM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Cudo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 130
Loc: Heidelberg, Germany
Originally Posted By: Brian K.

Is this always set in stone. If its not a whole tone away from one of the triad tones, then it's considered an "avoid tone" (aka. It's not an available tension)?

This is the basic rule for available tensions. The only exception on this rule is tension b9 on dominant seventh chords. But as you know, this chord is not diatonic.
For all diatonic chord this rule aplies.

Originally Posted By: Brian K.
Since 2 = 9, 4 = 11 and 6 = 13, does this same rule apply to sus2, sus4, and 6 chords as well?

No. The situation is completely different. sus4 and sus2 are considered chorde tones and they are substitutes of their corresponding original chord tones. Their is no b9 or b2 clash possible.

Originally Posted By: Brian K.
If a 9, 11, or 13 results in not being a whole tone away from it's corresponding triad tone, this can be remedied by sharpening or flatting one of the tones; whether its the triad tone or the extension doesn't matter so long as it results in forming the whole tone?

This will result in a non-diatonic tension. If you can do it or not depends on the harmonic context of the chord. You can't make a rule out of that. It is mostly not good to do it even if the chord sounds good, because you are leaving tonality.



Originally Posted By: Brian K.
Does this rule apply for out-of-key or borrowed chords, such as a bVII or bVI?

Yes it does. The exception is on tension b9 for Dom.7 chords.
Even if you have a tension b13 on a dominant 7 chord you would not play the fifth half step below because of the dissonance.
You allways can play avoid notes in a chord when you don't play the corresponding chord tone half step below it. The b13 of a Dom.7 chord is a good example for that.


Edited by Cudo (09/06/13 03:00 AM)

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#2145187 - 09/06/13 10:48 AM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
Very cool! Thanks for that explanation. I really need to put some serious thought into all this, but I definitely have learned a ton!
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http://www.musicianlifestyle.com

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#2145259 - 09/06/13 12:43 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
jjo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 625
Loc: Chicago
Brian K. I'll add a bit. You are trying to swallow a whole lot here, and are looking for rules on extensions applicable to all 7th chords. I think it better if you separate each kind of 7th chord and work on one at a time. Dominant 7ths, for example, are a world unto themselves, with people adding sharp and flat 9ths and 5ths, for example, with regularity. What works also depends on context and the kind of piece you are playing. Just some of my thoughts:
1. Major 7: I'll add the 9th and 13th regularly. I'll never add the 11th, but I do use, in more modern pieces, the #11th. I love the sound of the sharp 11th, but it's not always the sound you want.
2. Minor 7: I'll add the 9th and 11th all the time. The 13th is more problematic because which note you pick implies a different minor scale. It also depends on whether the Minor 7th is the tonic or just part of a II, V, I.
3. Dominant 7th: The 9th and 13th for sure, not the 11th, but also sharp and flat 9ths and 5ths as appropriate.

I know this makes is sound more complicated, but I think in the long run it's better to look at each 7th chord separately.

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#2145287 - 09/06/13 01:32 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
The reason why the "minor-second" intervals are not appropriate as tensions in diatonic chords is because it muddles the chord tones. Your ear will not be decide whether you are hearing a Em7 or an F-something, for example. That's basically the reason for the "whole tone" rule that Cudo mentioned above.

As other people mentioned, the exception are dominant 7th chords. This is because the dominant 7th is a tension chord that resolves to the next chord. The half-step intervals help to create that movement towards resolution. If you flat the 13 on a dom7, then where will that b13 go? It will go downwards a half step to one of the basic chord tones for the next chord. This movement helps reinforce/emphasis those next chord tones.

I'll throw out a dominant 7th rule for you:

If the next chord is minor, flat the 13, otherwise use a major 6th (natural 13).


Edited by Michael Martinez (09/06/13 01:44 PM)
Edit Reason: added "rule of thumb"
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#2145763 - 09/07/13 12:53 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
Thanks for all the tips and "rules" fellas. I definitely have a lot to play with now!
_________________________
My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race" and make a living from your passions. I now play guitar for a living at night and learn piano during the day!

http://www.musicianlifestyle.com

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#2176705 - 11/03/13 11:34 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Greg Howlett Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 79
Loc: Monroe, GA
Here are my suggestions:

Major 7th: 9, #11, 13
Minor 7th: 9, 11, 13
Dominant: b9, 9, #9, #11, b13, 13 (BTW, the 5th is assumed to be left out of all dominants)

The key to making these work is voicing. If the voicing is bad, they simply won't sound good.
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#2178463 - 11/07/13 12:36 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
RonDrotos Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 58
Loc: New York City
Here's a real easy way to get started, using a GMaj7 chord as an example:

1. With your LH, play a low G, as a bass note.

2. With your RH, play a GMaj7 chord, in any inversion. Play you 2 hands together and listen to the sound.

3. Now in the RH, substitute an A for the G. Play hands together again and listen for the difference in sound. You've now played a GMaj9 chord.

This simple technique is incredibly useful. For instance, you can play a tune using these voicings in your RH while your LH walks a bass line, as an accompaniment. Or you can use these voicings in your LH while your RH plays a melody or solos.

Try this on 4-5 jazz tunes and you'll be on your way.

Good luck!
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rondrotos@keyboardimprov.com

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#2178497 - 11/07/13 01:41 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
Basic rule of thumb is: "anything goes" with dominant chords, while the rest of the chords are mostly just diatonic tensions.
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#2178698 - 11/07/13 08:40 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Ken. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/08
Posts: 285
It sounds like you know how to construct chords, you just don't know how to apply them. I'm doing this using Ray Santisi's Berkley Jazz Piano book. What I do is to play over tunes using the basic 4 note closed voicing with no tension notes, just 1, 3, 5, 7. Then also play it closed but substituting tensions. Get the sound into your head.

Then after a while start adding the extensions. He has you playing 5 note fourthy voicings, drop voicings, upper triad structures with the LH playing 3 and 7 mainly, and more open 6+ note voicings with right hand playing a triad or 4ths and left hand playing mainly 1,3,7. Work with these over tunes.

You can also transcribe some player to see what they do.

A teacher would be good too.
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#2179167 - 11/08/13 03:43 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Michael Martinez Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 386
Loc: California
What Ken said is good. Also you need to realize that there are different approaches to voicings, and they have actually evolved over the years. It would be silly to try and tackle them all at first, so it's a good idea to actually trace the progression over the years and learn that way.
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#2181028 - 11/12/13 11:59 AM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
I've been slacking on my piano practice lately. Thanks for these replies though...I'm glad this thread was brought back up!

One thing I'm confused with is what Ron said:

"Play a G bass note with the LH, and an A chord with the right hand to make a Gmaj9".

Wouldn't that be: G A C# E

And a Gmaj9 would be: G B D F# A...

Oops nevermind...You were just talking about the single note "Replace the A note for the G note".

Okay, so that would make sense because the "G" would be covered in the Bass, and the A would be what makes it a "9".

Writing this stuff out definitely helps in my learning!
_________________________
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http://www.musicianlifestyle.com

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#2181140 - 11/12/13 03:42 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
Everything depends on context. You may learn all the rules and it is certainly helpful to learn them to understand how music is constructed on a general level. However before you do you might benefit by playing with breaking the rule first. Try to invent contexts where the natural 11 sounds pleasing for instance. If you simply don't like the sound, that's fine, avoid it, but if you can find ways to incorporate that sound on your writing and improvising you will be better off if you happen to make the "mistake" of using that tone in the future.

One thing that might be helpful would be to practice building diatonic chords without thinking about their function or name (name generally implies function). Essentially, you can stack notes in a key (or even out of it, doesn't really matter) and see what kinds of sounds you get. You will probably like some. The chords that you randomly build that you like you can take some time to analyze. Figure out what it is you're playing, what you might call it. Maybe write a part where you incorporate that chord or try to improvise with it. So long as you build unfamiliar chords you're bound to use some extensions.

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#2182309 - 11/14/13 01:27 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: stalefleas]
Brian K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 102
Originally Posted By: stalefleas
Everything depends on context. You may learn all the rules and it is certainly helpful to learn them to understand how music is constructed on a general level. However before you do you might benefit by playing with breaking the rule first. Try to invent contexts where the natural 11 sounds pleasing for instance. If you simply don't like the sound, that's fine, avoid it, but if you can find ways to incorporate that sound on your writing and improvising you will be better off if you happen to make the "mistake" of using that tone in the future.

One thing that might be helpful would be to practice building diatonic chords without thinking about their function or name (name generally implies function). Essentially, you can stack notes in a key (or even out of it, doesn't really matter) and see what kinds of sounds you get. You will probably like some. The chords that you randomly build that you like you can take some time to analyze. Figure out what it is you're playing, what you might call it. Maybe write a part where you incorporate that chord or try to improvise with it. So long as you build unfamiliar chords you're bound to use some extensions.


Yes, this is basically how I learned to play guitar...than 13 years later I started learning theory. Now, 20 years later I think that I may sometimes focus a bit too much on theory rather than just using my ear as my ultimate guide.

Good suggestion!
_________________________
My personal blog/website dedicated to giving answers on the age old question - how to escape the "rat race" and make a living from your passions. I now play guitar for a living at night and learn piano during the day!

http://www.musicianlifestyle.com

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#2182406 - 11/14/13 05:19 PM Re: When/how to add extended chords into your progressions? [Re: Brian K.]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7513
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Brian K.
"Play a G bass note with the LH, and an A chord with the right hand to make a Gmaj9".

Wouldn't that be: G A C# E

That's an A7, not a Gmaj9.
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