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Chord Fragment Soup
Now let's add a little more oleo to the skillet and fry us up a
greasy minor blues.
This is a 12-bar blues in C minor, without to many
alterations. In contrast to our standard C blues example we
looked at earlier, here the chord fragments suggest MORE
harmonic movement than the changes themselves
In measures 1-2 we basically stick to the basic fragments
for C-7 and C#7b5 (theory note: Db7b5, notated by
groovemaker enharmonically as C#7b5, is a b5 substitute
for G7. Try playing Ab melodic minor over this
In measure 3-4, we superimpose a II-V-I leading to F minor.
This is called backcycling.
In measure 5-6 we add a bit of color to our F-7 by playing a
minor 6th fragment shape. Take a second to look at this
familiar and usful shape. It's our friend the tritone, except
here it functions as an F-6 chord. You can see how versatile
fragments can be as this tritone could also be used for Bb7,
E7, or D-7b5, as well as many others.
In measures 7-8 I introduce a common voice leading cliche'
found in many types of music, the R-7-b7-6 line so
commonly associated with "Stairway to Heaven". You may
remember it from page 2 of this lesson. The lead sheet
does not suggest this change, but you can use the
fragments to inject the added line nicely into your comping.
Measure 10 uses a #5 on top of a G7 fragment to suggest
Gaug7, also an embellishment of the lead sheet changes.
In measure 11, we see our friend the tritone again, this time
functioning as Cmin6.
We also anticipate measure 12's G7 by superimposing it's
related IImin chord, D-7b5.
The final chord is one of my favorites, a C-maj7add13 (C
melodic minor sounds great over this chord!).
Try jamming over this by changing the playback to
measures 1 thru 12 and looping it. And again, if you remove
the groove track, you will still hear all the harmonic
information (and more) suggested in the chord