Thursday, August 1, 2013

5 of 5?!

  Ok this addition to the "All That Jazz" blog is going to require a leap off faith. It will take a sharp wit and strong will to pull off this concept but with a little confidence and an adventurous spirit you might just find it quit inspiring!
  One thing that is common in jazz is to play a whole tone scale over a functioning five chord. This will give a tension of a b5 and a #5 which will beg for resolution. Now lets suppose you are improvising over a static m7. In this case we will say Bm7. You can imply an alt five(F#7#5) by playing a F# whole tone scale over the Bm7 chord. This will give you an outside sound against said Bm7 chord that will surely perk your listeners ears. Of course it will be up to you how long you want to stay there and you will surely want to eventually get back into that Bm sound preferably something with some strong chord tones such as a simple B minor pentatonic for example.  Now this is nothing new but if this is a concept you have yet to explore I suggest you start there. Btw, since the whole tone scale is a symmetrical scale you can start by simply playing a 1/2 step up from the root of your Bm7. 
  To go one step further you can imply the 5 of 5! In other words the five of F#7 is C#7 so you can play a C# whole tone scale into the F# whole tone scale and THEN resolve into the Bm penta sound. What we have done here is justified both whole tone scale(yes there is really only 2) over your Bm7 chord and as fate would have C# whole tone is also B whole because of the whole step symmetry of the scale. So that means you can play a B whole tone, move up a half step and play a C whole tone(which is also an F# whole tone) and resolve back into a Bm pentatonic. (Ouch my head hurts!)
  As I said at the beginning of this blog it will take some courage and a strong will to pull this off. This is where phrasing and resolution really comes into play but with a little guts and determination you will have the ear of everyone in the room!!  I suggest you stair step into this concept and make sure you have a strong knowledge of chord tones so you can bring this sound back "inside" as not to fall flat on your face. This of course is one of many of these types of concepts. Let me know how you fare and I will try to share more of these ideas in the future!  Rock on!!!