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Thread: Constructing a Simple Chord

  1. #1
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    Question Constructing a Simple Chord

    I'm working thru the real basics--selecting a key, then selecting the tones to form, say, a ii chord. In working through an example (ii-V progression in Eb), I get F, Ab, C and Eb for the notes I need to make ii (Fmi7, specifically), and at that point I feel pretty good that I'm learning something.

    But the ii chord presented in my lesson does not include the Ab that's 3 semi-tones above the root, but rather includes the Ab one octave higher. Sure didn't expect that--and, it's something other than an inversion, right?

    Then, in building the V, I selected Bb, D, F and Ab. Ah, but I'm a real smart guy, so I go an octave up with the D. Great! But when I check my work against the V chord presented in the lesson, it has added a 5th tone--the Eb. Ooops, surprised again.

    So finally here's my question:

    What other rules are involved in selecting these notes (other than "the ones that sound the best")? Every textbook definition of a chord I've seen suggests that those 3 or 4 tones come from the same 12-tone scale--clearly that's not quite true, and I've missed yet another nuance of this wacky business.
    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 06-27-2002 at 04:18 AM.

  2. #2
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Every textbook definition of a chord I've seen suggests that those 3 or 4 tones come from the same 12-tone scale--clearly that's not quite true

    Since the 12 tone scale includes all tones of all scales this IS true!
    Somehow, I think you mean't the 7 tone scale here. Unless you are meaning that they must occur within 1 octave which is definately not a rule.

    But the "answer" chord does not include the Ab that's 3 semi-tones above the root, but rather includes the Ab one octave higher. Sure didn't expect that--and, it's something other than an inversion, right?

    Wrong, it is just an inversion.

    Then, in building the V, I selected Bb, D, F and Ab. Ah, but I'm a real smart guy, so I go an octave up with the D. Great! But when I check my work, the "answer" chord has added a 5th tone--the Eb. Ooops, surprised again.

    Why did you go up an octave with the 'D'?

    By answer chord, do you mean the chord of resolution from the V chord? If so then this SHOULD contain the Eb since it is the root of an Ebmaj7

    What list of rules are you using for this ?


    Eb Chords

    ii m7
    F Ab C Eb = Fmin7( in root inversion)
    Ab C Eb F = Fmin7( in 1st inversion)
    C Eb F Ab = Fmin7( in 2nd inversion)
    Eb F Ab C = Fmin7( in 3rd inversion)

    V7
    Bb D F Ab = Bb7( in root inversion)
    D F Ab Bb = ( in 1st inversion)
    F Ab Bb D = ( in 2nd inversion)
    Ab Bb D F = ( in 3rd inversion)

    IM7
    Eb G Bb D = EbMaj7( in root inversion)
    G Bb D Eb = EbMaj7( in 1st inversion)
    Bb D Eb G = EbMaj7( in 2nd inversion)
    D Eb G Bb = EbMaj7( in 3rd inversion)
    Last edited by szulc; 06-22-2002 at 05:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    No, I'm sorry. By "answer" I just mean the one that's in the lesson I'm using.

    The ONLY reason I lifted the D up one octave is that in the Fm7 chord, the second note was raised an octave. So, in my V, I thought I'd do the same thing. No other reason. This isn't so much a list of rules I've been given--I'm trying to infer the rules from the chords that appear in an online lesson on ii-V progressions (at jazzguitar.com, Lesson 1).

    ...and the reason I didn't think this was an inversion is because I thought that inversions all change the root--whereas in this case the root isn't being changed. That is, in the Fm7, the lowest note in the chord I'm looking at is still F.

    The problem is, I figure out that the chord I want is: F Ab C Eb, but then in the lesson it's actually F -- C Eb Ab, if you will. In other words, knowing the notes of the chord isn't enough to determine where those notes are placed on the staff. THere's something missing.

    Does my little 'problem' make any sense?
    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 07-06-2002 at 06:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Inversions

    This is still just an inversion just not a 'Close Voice' inversion technically since the root is in the bass it is a root inversion.
    The choice of notes used in a chord in the case of this article is likely due to the chord forms that are familiar to the person writing the article, and not some mysterious underlying rule.
    This chord is really a second inversion Fmin7 (C Eb F Ab) with
    the root moved down an octave, which is actually a DROP 2 jazz chord form, meaning you drop the second voice (from the top) down 1 octave. It is likely that is why it has been chosen, because DROP 2 forms are popular among jazz players.
    Another possibility is that since there would only have been 1 whole step between Eb and F in the 'Close Voice' second inversion the DROP 2 form moves the tension notes further apsrt and making the chord sound more pleasing.

    Eb Chords

    ii m7


    ___F Ab C Eb = Fmin7( in root inversion)
    C _ F Ab _ Eb Drop 2

    ____Ab C Eb F = Fmin7( in 1st inversion)
    Eb _ Ab C _ F Drop 2

    ___C Eb F Ab = Fmin7( in 2nd inversion)
    F_ C Eb _ Ab Drop 2

    ____Eb F Ab C = Fmin7( in 3rd inversion)
    Ab_ Eb F __ C Drop 2

    V7

    ____Bb D F Ab = Bb7( in root inversion)
    F__ Bb D _ Ab Drop 2

    _____D F Ab Bb = ( in 1st inversion)
    Ab __D F __ Bb Drop 2

    _____F Ab Bb D = ( in 2nd inversion)
    Bb _ F Ab __ D Drop 2

    ____Ab Bb D F = ( in 3rd inversion)
    D __Ab Bb _ F Drop 2

    IM7

    ____Eb G Bb D = EbMaj7( in root inversion)
    Bb_ Eb G __ D Drop 2

    _____G Bb D Eb = EbMaj7( in 1st inversion)
    D __ G Bb _ Eb Drop 2

    ____Bb D Eb G = EbMaj7( in 2nd inversion)
    Eb _ Bb D __ G Drop 2

    ____D Eb G Bb = EbMaj7( in 3rd inversion)
    G __ D Eb _ Bb Drop 2
    Last edited by szulc; 06-22-2002 at 07:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    ...you really went the extra Km for me in this reply--thanks. The explanation is wonderful--I think I get it.

  6. #6
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Extra Mile...........

    You can use the term 'Mile' with me I am in the USA.
    I enjoy answering questions on this site, and have also written a few articles here. Although I am not much of a Jazz Player, I have a good musical education and was a 'Rock' picker/singer for a living during the 70's and 80's.

    (James)
    Szulc

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