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Thread: Need arp superimposition crash course!

  1. #1
    Registered User Revenant's Avatar
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    Need arp superimposition crash course!

    I've been looking all over the web for a basic introduction to arpeggio substitution and superimpositions, but can't find it. I'm just looking for formulas because I'm getting into the Frank Gambale style. My sweeping technique is excellent, but I'm getting tired of playing the same arpeggios as the chords im soloing over. Currently, I know one superimposition: Fmaj7 over Dm7(maj7 arp a minor third up when playing over minor 7th chords) to make a minor 9th sound. But that's it. If any jazz guys feel like listing the formulas for some arpeggio superimpositions for me, I would be eternally grateful! Basically I'm looking for ways to make superimpose over simple triads and seventh chords. I'm not playing that much over those big altered chords and all that jazz(yet).
    So any help would be appreciated!
    The Young Apprentice

  2. #2
    bitter old fool Jed's Avatar
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    We could do that work for you but what satisfaction would you get out of that? Have you tried writing out the major chord types as extended chords to see how other chords form their upper structure?

    For example:

    Cmaj7 - C E G B = Cmaj7 or Emin triad

    Cmaj9 - C E G B D = Cmaj7 or Emin7 or Gmaj triad

    Cmaj9#11 - C E G B D F# = Cmaj7 or Emin7 or Gmaj7 or Bmin triad

    Cmaj13#11 - C E G B D F# A = Cmaj7 or Emin7 or Gmaj7 or Bmin7 or Ddom7 or F#min7b5 or Amin7

    Certainly it wouldn't take you long to write this stuff out on your own?

  3. #3
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    as jed said or one simplistic way ive had interesting results is to:

    choose chord you're going to play over eg Em (e g b)

    think of another chord eg Bm (b d f#)

    analyze new chord in terms of first chord eg b=5th d=b7th f#=2nd

    so playing a Bm over Em gives a m9 sound (root, b3rd, 5th, b7th, 2nd)

    experiment with non diatonic chords, chords with no common tones, 7th chords, 9th chords, ect ect

    eg A with say a Gm7b5 over it becomes A7(#5,b9)

    so every time you need a R7(#5,b9) sound (which hopefully wont be very often) play m7b5 off the b7.

    i agree with jed, working them out yourself will be much more beneficial than trying to memorize a bunch of spoon fed information.

  4. #4
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    i should point out my method will often come up with strange (unusable at times) arps. such as the A7(#5,b9) example, but also very cool unorthodox arps. depending on how much thought/experimentation you put into it.
    Good luck! its alot of fun!

  5. #5
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    What you can do is take the scale you want to play over any chord and use any of the arpeggios that you get by harmonizing that scale.

    For example, say you see an F7#11 chord. The logical scale to play over this is F lydian dominant, which is the same as C melodic minor. Therefore, over this chord you can play any of the diatonic triads, 7th chords, and extended arpeggios from C mel. minor. These include:
    Triads: Cmin, Dmin, Ebaug, Fmaj, Gmaj, Adim, Bdim.
    7th chords: Cmin(maj7), Dmin7, Ebmaj7#5, F7, G7, Am7b5, B7 or Bm7b5
    and so on...

    If this seems really complicated, don't worry--it isn't. If you know how to harmonize your major, melodic minor, and harmonic minor scales and can relate any mode back to those scales it's easy.
    "I second-hand smoke two packs of cigarettes a day." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  6. #6
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    So how do these superimpositional chords relate to each other - maybe there is only one note different between them, and they both belong to a certain key or scale, or will change key?

    I use a chord program to find chords that relate in certain ways to other chords.

  7. #7
    Carrots!! All_Ľour_Bass's Avatar
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    [DIATONIC METHOD]
    You can use chords that are

    Up a third
    Down a third
    Up a sixth
    Down a sixth
    Up a fourth
    Down a fourth
    Up a fifth
    Down a fifth
    Up a ninth
    Down a ninth

    So say for a Cmaj chord you could play these chords over it.
    Em, Am, Fmaj, Gmaj, Dm, Bdim

    Cmaj7
    Em7, Am7, Fmaj7, G7, Dm7, Bmin7b5

    Am
    Cmaj, Fmaj, Em, Dm, Bdim, Gmaj

    Am7
    Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Em7, Dm7, Bmin7b5, G7

    [NON-DIATONIC METHOD]
    Now for a more outside sound you could more or less play any chord against any chord and see what works.

    Some of my favorites with this second method are
    Playing two major chords a major third apart
    Playing two minor chords a minor third apart

    two majors a major ninth apart
    two minors a minor ninth apart

    two minors a tritone apart
    two majors a tritone apart

    two minors a minor sixth apart
    two major a majopr sixth apart
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim
    Be different.

    Do it for the OATMEAL.

  8. #8
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by All_Ľour_Bass
    [DIATONIC METHOD]
    You can use chords that are

    Up a third
    Down a third
    Up a sixth
    Down a sixth
    Up a fourth
    Down a fourth
    Up a fifth
    Down a fifth
    Up a ninth
    Down a ninth

    So say for a Cmaj chord you could play these chords over it.
    Em, Am, Fmaj, Gmaj, Dm, Bdim

    Cmaj7
    Em7, Am7, Fmaj7, G7, Dm7, Bmin7b5
    IMO, you need to differentiate between inside and outside sounds here.
    Fmaj, Dm, Dm7, G7, Bdim and Bm7b5 all contain F, a note which fights the function of a Cmaj7 - so they are "outside" sounds, which need resolution, at least of the F back to E.
    F and Dm7 also contain C, which can be problematic above the B of the chord (needs resolving down to B).

    Similar exceptions apply to your other rules.
    Quote Originally Posted by All_Ľour_Bass
    [NON-DIATONIC METHOD]
    Now for a more outside sound you could more or less play any chord against any chord and see what works.

    Some of my favorites with this second method are
    Playing two major chords a major third apart
    Playing two minor chords a minor third apart

    two majors a major ninth apart
    two minors a minor ninth apart

    two minors a tritone apart
    two majors a tritone apart

    two minors a minor sixth apart
    two major a majopr sixth apart
    Yes, but again you need to differentiate between inside and outside. Most of those are "outside" sounds. (The minor 9th in particular!)

    Generally the "superimposed arpeggio" concept is about finding arps that form the upper extensions of a chord, that enhance its function: "inside" sounds.

    "Outside" strategies are a whole other concept. Well worth exploring, of course, but it's important to bear the distinction in mind.

  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dublshot
    So how do these superimpositional chords relate to each other - maybe there is only one note different between them, and they both belong to a certain key or scale, or will change key?

    I use a chord program to find chords that relate in certain ways to other chords.
    It all begins from the diatonic scale - the scale of the key.

    DIATONIC CHORDS, MAJOR KEY

    As you pile extensions (from a key scale) on to a triad, those extensions will form other chords.

    Eg, for a C chord in C major, add the 7th, B: C-E-G-B. E-G-B = Em triad.
    Add the 9th: D. Cmaj9 = C-E-G-B-D. E-G-B-D = Em7. G-B-D = G major.

    Trouble is, not all 7 notes (1-3-5-7-9-11-13) can be added to every chord without some of them confusing the harmonic function of the chord.

    Eg, if you add the 11th (F) to Cmaj7, you get a G7 chord G-B-D-F, with that distinctive tritone B-F. The F will also sound bad against the E lower down. G7 is the dominant chord, and C is the tonic - which is its opposite. So the chord is a mess.
    So the F is considered an "avoid note". It's the one note in the scale that threatens to oppose the function of a Cmaj7 chord. IOW, it sounds bad! (But only if held over the chord, as if part of the chord - it can still be played in scale runs.)

    All chords in a major key except one have at least one avoid note in their full set of diatonic extensions. Here's a chart (the extensions to the base chord contained by each arp are shown in brackets):

    Code:
    CHORD  AVOID NOTES   SUPERIMPOSED ARPS
    I           11       iii (3-5-7), iii7 (3-5-7-9), V (5-7-9), vi (13-1-3)
    ii          13*      IV (3-5-7), vi (5-7-9), vi7 (5-7-9-11), I (7-9-11)
    iii       b9, b13    V (3-5-7)
    IV          -        vi (3-5-7), vi7 (3-5-7-9), I (5-7-9), iii (7-9-#11), V (9-#11-13), ii (13-1-3)
    V           11       vii (3-5-7), vii7 (3-5-7-9), ii (5-7-9), iii (13-1-3)
    vi          b13      I (3-5-7), iii (5-7-9), V (7-9-11)
    vii       b9, b13    ii (3-5-7)
    * 6ths (13ths) on a ii chord can sound fine, but are not often used as extensions; they make the chord too similar in sound to an extended V chord.

    Note that some of those superimposed arpeggios may omit important chord tones. Watch out for those that omit the 7th of the base chord - ie, the "13-1-3" options above. Over a maj7 in particular, the "1" is not a good note to use, without being able to resolve it down a half-step.


    IOW, I disagree with All Your Bass. Arps up a 4th (down a 5th) are not a good idea - unless you are working over sus4 chords. Sus4 chords will not have maj7s, but commonly have b7s. They do not have avoid notes, but you may need to consider whether the missing 3rd will be major or minor, which depends on position in key.
    Generally, sus4s are assumed to be major, because there's no need to omit a b3 when adding a 4/11 to a chord.
    In jazz, sus4s are normally V chords, with b7s. As such, the following superimposed arps work:

    V7sus4: ii (5-7-9), IV (7-9-11), IVmaj7 (7-9-11-13), vi (9-11-13).

    You can even use an arp which contains the major 3 of the chord, if it's voiced high (above the 4/11), such as a Imaj7 (11-13-1-3) or iii (13-1-3).


    DIATONIC CHORDS, MINOR KEY

    "Diatonic" has a broader meaning in a minor key, because the 6th and 7th of the scale can be altered; so more varieties of chord are available. The ground rules are that the tonic chord is melodic minor (major 6th and 7th), the V chord is major (with two scale options), the vii chord is from harmonic minor (but uses the WH dim scale); but all other chords are harmonised from natural minor. That gives us this chart:

    Code:
    CHORD  AVOID NOTES   SUPERIMPOSED ARPS
    i           11*      IIIaug (3-5-7), V (5-7-9)
    ii        b9, b13    ii (3-5-7)
    III         11       iii (3-5-7), iii7 (3-5-7-9), V (5-7-9), vi (13-1-3)
    iv          13       IV (3-5-7), vi (5-7-9), vi7 (5-7-9-11), I (7-9-11)
    V7b9        -        vii7 (3-5-7-b9)
    V7alt       -        vim (b9-3-b13), vim6 (b9-3-b13-7), bviim (#9-#11-7), bviim7 (#9-#11-7-b9), bII7 (#11-7-b9-3), bII9 (#11-7-b9-3-b13)
    VI          -        vi (3-5-7), vi7 (3-5-7-9), I (5-7-9), iii (7-9-#11), V (9-#11-13), ii (13-1-3)
    vii         -        vdim7 (9-11-b13-maj7)**
    Chords ii, III, iv and VI are the same as for vii, I, ii and IV in the relative major.
    * The 11th is not an avoid note in the way it is on a major chord, but it's very rarely used on a tonic minor chord.
    **The vii7 chord - a full diminished 7th - will rarely have a superimposed arp, but a dim7 chord a half-step below (or whole step above) provides the other 4 notes from the WH dim scale.

    If those roman numerals on V7alt throw you, here's examples for an E7 chord (key A minor):

    E7alt - Arps: Fm, Fm6, Gm, Gm7, Bb7, Bb9
    ...in fact, any chord from the F melodic minor scale can work!

    This is the charm of melodic modes for jazz players. There are no avoid notes in any of the modes - although they each have specific applications, not connected to the minor key scale degree they derive from (apart from I)


    CHROMATIC CHORDS

    Naturally, music frequently contains chords from outside the current key, or diatonic chords that have been altered in some way.
    However, ANY chord (in key-based music) - with one common exception - can be referred back to a role in a diatonic major or minor key, as listed above.

    Eg, if you get an A7 chord in key of C major, you can treat it as a V7 from the key of either D major or D minor (perhaps depending on what chord follows it), and apply the relevant subs/arps.

    The important exception is Lydian Dominant chords (7#11, 9#11, 13#11). These are diatonic to the 4th degree of melodic minor, but (as mentioned) they are not used that way in minor keys.
    Where they will be used is as bII chords in minor or major keys, and sometimes as bVII chords in major keys.

    The arps you can superimpose are related to those for 7alt chords.

    So, for a C7#11 chord, you can use any arp from the G melodic minor scale. (Same as for F#7alt, the tritone sub for C7#11). These include the following (with the C7 chord extensions shown):

    Gm (5-7-9), Bbaug (7-9-#11), D (9-#11-13), Em9b5 (3-5-7-9-#11), F#7#5 (#11-7-9-3)

    This chord (these arps) will typically resolve to Bm (as will F#7alt), and sometimes B major or D major.

    Which is a crucial point: Don't get too lost in these rarefied upper regions of chord tones! The way you get from chord to chord (melodic intervals and voice-leading) are more important than anything you do on one specific chord.
    In music which spends a long time on a single chord (eg modal jazz), you are freer to explore various outside sounds (eg chromatic arps of various kinds), returning to the "inside" chord tones before any chord change.
    Otherwise, you need to bear in mind the function of each chord (the role it's playing in the sequence), and not stray too far from the guide tones (3rds and 7ths) for too long. (Arps that contain the relevant 3 and 7 will always work, but too many with 9ths, 11ths and 13ths will end up disconnecting the lead line from the chords.)

    In short, don't overcomplicate matters before you understand the basic rules!

  10. #10
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    Good info, but was all that in respose to my short post?

    Cool!!!

    I just have no idea what you mean by ‘IOW, I disagree with All Your Bass’.

  11. #11
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dublshot
    Good info, but was all that in respose to my short post?

    Cool!!!

    I just have no idea what you mean by ‘IOW, I disagree with All Your Bass’.
    "In other words".
    In the post before mine, he suggested chords a 4th above as suitable superimpositions. But they don't work in the way I think you are asking (as replacements for upper chord extensions).

  12. #12
    Carrots!! All_Ľour_Bass's Avatar
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    I agree the fourths are not really a great choice. I included the m for the sake of completness. Also, I'm defining inside as that it exists within the key.

    So in the key of C on a Cmaj chord I consider D F A and B to be 'inside' extensions, C# D# F# G# and A# would be 'outside.'
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim
    Be different.

    Do it for the OATMEAL.

  13. #13
    Carrots!! All_Ľour_Bass's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    Generally the "superimposed arpeggio" concept is about finding arps that form the upper extensions of a chord, that enhance its function: "inside" sounds.
    This is the first time I've seen 'superimposed' apply to related things. I've always been led to believe it had to do with putting two or more things together that have nothing to do with each other.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chim_Chim
    Be different.

    Do it for the OATMEAL.

  14. #14
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    JonR is like some kind of robot that does your theory homework for you.

    Seriously people read books and figure stuff out on your own, one of these days JonR is going to type himself to death because of you!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by All_Ľour_Bass
    This is the first time I've seen 'superimposed' apply to related things. I've always been led to believe it had to do with putting two or more things together that have nothing to do with each other.
    superimposed can many any one thing put over another thing. If they share notes it matters not, if they are two different chords they can be superimposed

    Also, while all that theory information is nice, what matters is if you like it and it fits your song. If you want to superimpose something go with what you like not what theoretically sounds good.

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