Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Constant Structure 6/13ths over a Blues Scale

In this clip we play with an interesting two handed chord that makes a kind of melodic texture which is transferable and workable over blues scales.

Start with learning the chords: that is, in chromatic root sequences. Other same-interval sequences like whole tone, minor thirds, major thirds,  perfect fourths (up), and the tritone (#4 or b5) are beneficial too.

Building on that, we can put together this two-handed chord, with a 6 over a V13.

Consider a C minor blues scale (1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 1):

In the right hand play a major sixth chord in root position (1-3-5-6-1).  In the left hand play a rootless voicing of a 13th chord, with the b7 on the bottom (7-9-3-13).   Do this for each of the notes in the blues scale.  It looks terrible on paper, but it's not so bad when you play it.

Note that the general harmonic context for all these chords can be the underlying C7 of the blues.

So this voicing is played over the sequence of a blues scale (1 b3 4 b5 5 b7 1). It sounds okay and strong even though it temporarily breaks some of the niceties of some harmonic rules. Thus for example we have a G13 voicing here sounding okay over the implied C7 chord of the blues in C.  It's part of a strong chain of these voicings that work because the vertical chord sounds like it can and does overrule the horizontal key, i.e. C7 blues (as long as they are moving a little).  Those 13ths over the blues scale sequence have a constant structure -- the same-chord in parallel motion.

This idea will work over all the chords in the blues the same way a blues scale does. It is fun and the concept can be worked with other chord voicings too too.. basically infinite..

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