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David Cook

Chord flavour

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Hi

Hope this isn't a daft question but!

When you are following a chord sheet and say a C dominant 7(C7) comes along but there isn't much space within the music, ie 1 beat ,before the next chord change comes along. How do you show the correct flavour of the chord ? Do you play a B flat or stick to the root ie C and let the other instruments  play the C7 chord.

Thanks

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It all depends on the context of course. But, I like using the guide tones, in the case of C =>  E & Bb, to resolve in the next chord (if possible)

For example

_ _ _ C7  [ F _ _ _   

Could be played:

_ _ _ Bb | A _ _ _ 
Or simply:

_ __ _ E | F_ _ _

Maybe even:

_ _ _ E | A _ _ _

or even:

_ _ _ Gb | F _ _ _  (substitute dominant is  Gb7)

But there's nothing wrong with

_ _ _ C | F _ _ _

 

Edited by ChrisDev
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You could probably get away with playing any of the notes C7 chord, but it really depends on the context. What chords come before and after? Sometimes playing the 3rd or flat 7 can make the line flow more, especially if you are walking. You really just need to look at how the chords fit together.

For example (I'm assuming that you're in the key of F), if the C7 is followed by an Am, playing a B flat might work well as you are decending to the next chord. But if the C7 is followed by an F, you'll probably be better off playing the roots in order accent the perfect cadence.

I hope that makes sense. It's late, so it might not.

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In terms of context - I’d also think about tempo and how many other people are playing at the time. 
 

As a general rule of thumb I was taught that the more bodies on stage the less everyone should play. 
 

Also if it’s a fast tempo I’d probably just bang the root and move on to the next chord. 

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22 minutes ago, Nickthebass said:As a general rule of thumb I was taught that the more bodies on stage the less everyone should play. 

This - mo' folks, less notes.

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1 hour ago, Nickthebass said:

As a general rule of thumb I was taught that the more bodies on stage the less everyone should play. 
 

I tend go the other way on this. I find that I can play busier in a 9 piece funk band than I can in a rock trio. But a big part of that is dependent on the guys you're playing with.

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55 minutes ago, Doddy said:

I tend go the other way on this. I find that I can play busier in a 9 piece funk band than I can in a rock trio. But a big part of that is dependent on the guys you're playing with.

As I say - rule of thumb - depends on the situation. Also depends what you mean by “busy”.

A bubbly 16s rhythmic part that sits in one register, locks with the hi hat and kick and sits mainly on roots and 5s may sound like it takes up less space than something with fewer notes but is moving through registers and especially with big downward drops across arpeggios. 
 

Sitting on a C playing 16s may stay out of the way more than moving from a high E (on the g string) quickly down the C7 arpeggio, whallopping the open E before bouncing back to the C - even if it was rhythmically less “busy”. (Think of a Jameson style rake all the way down.) When I say busy I am thinking “ear grabbing” as much as the actual number of notes. 

Edited by Nickthebass

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44 minutes ago, Nickthebass said:

Sitting on a C playing 16s may stay out of the way more than moving from a high E (on the g string) quickly down the C7 arpeggio, whallopping the open E before bouncing back to the C - even if it was rhythmically less “busy”. (Think of a Jameson style rake all the way down.) When I say busy I am thinking “ear grabbing” as much as the actual number of notes. 

When I say busy, I don't mean one note semi quaver style grooves. I mean playing up and down the neck, fills, chord tones- going full on Jaco at times. Of course, it's all about knowing when to do it ( you're not going to do it on every tune) and having a rhythm section that allows you to do it, and actively encourages it at times.

But, I think this is a different conversation for another time that isn't really helping the OP

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22 hours ago, David Cook said:

Hi

Hope this isn't a daft question but!

When you are following a chord sheet and say a C dominant 7(C7) comes along but there isn't much space within the music, ie 1 beat ,before the next chord change comes along. How do you show the correct flavour of the chord ? Do you play a B flat or stick to the root ie C and let the other instruments  play the C7 chord.

Thanks

Back to the topic at hand ... 

I think the answer is “it depends”. Harmonically as the others have said - some sort of chord tone that leads you to the next chord is often nice. 
 

You could even go full Chuck Rainey, don’t bother with the root, slide up to a double stopped high E and Bb somewhere up the dusty end of the neck - give it a shake and then slide back down for the next root.

For the sake of one beat - you could just sit on the C. Chances are that if it’s only a passing chord then the root movement is important to the structure of the tune. (Maybe hit the root first time around and do something more fruity 2nd or 3rd time.)

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What is being asked is essentially the magic of creating bass lines out of nothing. You can play the root, the third, fifth, a scale note, a chromatic note or, get this, play nothing at all. It's all context; where you were and where you are going and the musician's decision as to how to get there. Your decision is what makes you you and what makes me me etc. 

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Thanks to you all for your contributions. The comments have been a real education for me. I will certainly try the options given and hear what sounds best in any given situation. In my original question I thought that there may be just one answer ie: When a dominant chord comes along you play the b7 but I was obviously wrong.

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3 hours ago, David Cook said:

Thanks to you all for your contributions. The comments have been a real education for me. I will certainly try the options given and hear what sounds best in any given situation. In my original question I thought that there may be just one answer ie: When a dominant chord comes along you play the b7 but I was obviously wrong.

No ... you weren’t wrong. There are just many ways of being right.

I once heard “there are no wrong notes, only poor choices”.

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On 01/10/2020 at 11:01, Bilbo said:

 or, get this, play nothing at all

God no. Spray 16th notes everywhere.  Sorry. More seriously, no-one's really grappled with the problem that a Dom7 is such a tangy chord with such a strong movement that it's really hard to do anything but extend it and/or set it up where it's going, i.e. a fifth below.

Jeff Scheinder has a great vid on this: (283) Get that Classic Bebop Sound with a Scale You Already Know (but never use) - YouTube

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