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PaulV

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Reply with quote  #1 
In Ted's "Seven Basic Qualities" of the various V-system chords, he lists them as:
1) dominant 7
2) minor 7
3) minor 7(b5)
4) minor 6(b5)   [or diminished 7]
5) minor 6
6) major 6
7) major 7

In some of the private lesson recordings (with Mark Levy and Kevin Griffin) Ted mentions how m6(b5) makes more sense than dim7....which actually has a double-flatted 7, that is the equivalent of a 6th.  He speculated that someday the m6(b5) would become the norm, in preference to the dim7.  What do you guys think of that!?

In working through some of the 7BQ sheets, and in context of songs, I find that sometimes it's easier to think m6(b5).  Have you ever heard this mentioned from other musicians?  Seems a bit odd.  You'll see references to this in some of the V-system pages....not a lot, but a few.

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klasaine

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Reply with quote  #2 
I know the great pianist and educator Barry Harris talks about major and minor 6th diminished scales and chords. I really don't know too much about it.
Interesting thread here though ... http://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/comping-chords-chord-progressions/22015-barry-harris-my-aha-moment-regarding-chords-comping-2.html

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ken lasaine
TLerch

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi guys,
this is probably one of the only small area i have a disagreement with TG. I'm not crazy about using the name min6b5. I prefer Diminished 7. I think of Dim7 as belonging in a family of dominant type sounds rather than minor sounds so I feel the name Diminished 7 better reflects its common function. I realize we like what we like and prefer what we are used to so I can't really argue why min6b5 shouldn't be used other than it doesn't make as much sense to my mind. I'd like very much to hear from others who find min6b5 to be a better label for this wonderful and often confusing chord.
Tim
btw Ken as I understand it Barry Harris' system uses diminished 7 chords  alternating with inversions of major and minor sixth chords to harmonize an 8 note jazz scale. it is a very interesting and effective system but its a different topic than what Paul is presenting here with regard to the naming of the diminished 7 chord
klasaine

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Reply with quote  #4 
I also don't see the difference in how or why you'd name it dim7 or m6b5.
Is it just a 'root' naming thing?

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ken lasaine
James

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Reply with quote  #5 
I also strongly prefer "dim7" to "m6b5." If everyone calls it "dim 7" and you call it "kangaroo," how is that communication? I see that the dim7 has a double flat 7 in it, which enharmonically is a 6, and it CAN function similarly to a m7b5 or a m6. But it often functions quite differently. In many fascinating ways.

Basically naming is a combination of logic and history. Logic alone does not prevail. And when it does, it has to be really strong to overturn history.

It's like George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept. "Hey, let's reference all our theory understanding to the lydian scale rather than the major scale." Um, no. The major scale has been the benchmark for hundreds of years. You better have extremely strong reasons if you want to overturn that.
James

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Ken,

I'm not sure what you mean by a "root naming thing."

At the risk of telling you what you might already know -

A dim7 chord has a root, b3, b5, and bb7 (=6). So the name m6b5 would come from the fact that it has a minor third (b3), hence the "m" in the name, and it has a 6 and a b5. That's Ted's proposal.

The traditional name comes from the fact that the bottom three notes form a diminished triad, root, b3 and b5. Added to that is a "7th," which is actually a double flatted 7th. What does "double flatted 7th" mean? It means that referencing the major scale that has the same root as our chord, we take the 7th scale degree and lower it by two half steps.

Now Ted is suggesting that a double flatted 7th is a 6th. So he's saying, "Let's call it that." But we call a dominant 7th chord something like "C7." We don't call it "C/b7." Why? Because of history. Because our chord names derive from figured bass notation in the Baroque period where they wrote numbers under the bass line to indicate diatonic intervals to be played above the bass. They were thinking those intervals from the overall key of the piece, not from the major scale of the root of the chord. In fact, the whole concept of a root was thought up by Rameau in 1722, long after numbers like "7" had been written under bass lines.

Anyway, this is a long winded way to say that there is a historical aspect to chord naming.

And it is true that any of the four notes in a dim7 chord can be considered the root, since the distance between all the notes is a b3. But that doesn't have much to do with naming the chord. Since to name it, you have to pick one of the notes to be the root. And you do that by how it functions.
klasaine

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Reply with quote  #7 
I guess I'm asking, "what's the advantage for calling it an Am6b5 as opposed to an Aº7 (or C Eb Gb dim7s)?" Could it be a contextual thing? Where it's moving to or coming from? Just curious really.

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ken lasaine
James

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'd like to know the advantage, too, since I can sure see the disadvantage. Someone will stop to think, "What the heck is an Am6b5? Oh, it's just an Adim7. Well, why didn't he say so?"
TLerch

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Reply with quote  #9 
Ken, I can't think of an advantage for me, because I'm very accustomed to using dim7.
It would kind of like deciding to call a minor7th chord a minor #6 chord. I am already habituated to one name and wouldn't find an advantage to the new name. As far as logic of function, as I said before, for me diminished7 means something to my mind in terms of function that min6b5 doesn't. Another point about names of chords etc, many people refer to the min7b5 as half diminished which it is not, it is perhaps 3/4 diminished but certainly not half. Even though that name is not really accurate, it is used quite frequently especially on the east coast. Names are just names and the point of a name is to communicate with others. I think at this point in time to see min6b5 on a chart would cause most musician a bit of confusion. We'll have to wait and see if there will be a trend towards that name some time in the future as TG suggested might occur.
James

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm in complete agreement with Tim. Maybe if Ted were alive he could bring up some points in his defense. Paul, do you remember any specific supporting points he made in those lessons you cite?

The one thing I think that Ted really has right is to teach beginning students, new to the formula for a dim7 chord, that it has a bb7 which is equivalent to a 6. That can be easy to miss.

But pointing that out and changing the name are two different things.
kontiki

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think a clue can be found in the Kevin griffin lesson transcript. here's the passage:

"But I abandoned that because so much of music is more about what we hear in the melody.  [Ted plays chord sequences]  Melody is more primal than bass.  Bass generates harmony, but if I said, “Sing that back.”  You’d [Ted sings the melody of the chord sequence he just played]—so it’s more important that we have “instant harmonization” than instant ability to harmonize over a bass line.  Although both of us need some of that skill for backing up singers.  But the other one is more important." 

Ted was always looking from the melody down instead of from the bass up. So in terms of practicality, it's easier to see and/or calculate a major 6th than a diminished 7th especially if you're used to doing one more than the other. How many of us practice playing dimininished 7th intervals, for whatever reason? but 6ths are a different story. So when Ted knew the melody note was on the 6th of the chord (and not necessarily from the bass, but of the chord) he would automatically have diminished running through his head as a possible choice (depending on context of course).  
  This a likely explanation, I think, but probably not the only one. But I don't see how this could become the norm. I'd like to hear if there are other reasons.

there's also some discussion about this in the MarK lavy lesson where they do "But Beautiful" 

p.s. where does the Kevin Griffin transcript come from?
 

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PaulV

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Reply with quote  #12 
Kevin Griffin recently sent us (Leon and me) several of his recorded lessons with Ted.  We will be posting them in the near future (you'd have to check with Leon on that.  I'm not involved with posting any of the audio or video clips).  I haven't listened to them all, but as chance would happen, as I was skimming the recordings I heard a portion of this discussion on the V-system.  Since we had been planning the release of Ted's V-system material, I thought to type up the transcript and include it along with Mark's transcript.
I think you'll all like Kevin's lessons.  They're very informative - similar to Mark's tapes.

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James

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Reply with quote  #13 
Just to throw in another thought. In classical music, the voice leading is that the diminished seventh interval tends to contract. The bb7 tends to resolve downwards by step. The voice leading can be a bit freer in jazz. Sometimes the pull is still there but strict classical voice leading is not called for. A 6 in a chord implies a more stable tone, not so much of the tendency tone implied by a bb7.
kontiki

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Reply with quote  #14 
Actually, the more I think about my theory about Ted's preference for m6b5, the less I like it. Because as soon as you hear that you're on a note that's part of diminished harmony, you don't have to think about anything except which diminished voicing you want to play under the melody. So no need to think about 6ths or diminished 7th intervals or what the root is.
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PaulV

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Reply with quote  #15 
Well, I found the audio clip of the Ted audio lesson with "Dave" wherein Ted discusses the m6(b5), or "diminished 6th".  It's a little over 9MB that I'd like to post here, but the Forums don't allow mp3 attachments or anything that big.  I'll sent it to anyone who's interested in this subject.
The full version of this lesson will eventually be posted in the audio section on this site - but again, I don't know when....so I made this little clip.
I'll send it to your email address if you've provided one in your membership info.
(I'll send to all those who have participated in this thread.  Anyone else needs to speak up.)

In addition, here is an excerpt from Ted's pages for the "V-6 Seven Basic Qualities" page.  It is his comment about the minor6b5 chord.


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