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MichaelKeller

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #1 
I was hoping some of the more knowledgeable folks here might be able to answer a question for me:

As i understand it, the spelling for a minor 6th  chord is:

1-b3-5-6

So in the key of C, if we're playing the II minor, it would be:

D-F-A-B

D minor 6

But if we start playing in the key of F, D minor is now the VI chord, and if we play the chord as spelled above, the B natural is an out of scale note for our new key of F. 
My question is would you still play the chord with this spelling, or should you play a B flat note as your sixth degree of the chord instead ie:

D-F-A-Bb

Thanks in advance for any help!

Michael
barbarafranklin

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Posts: 940
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Michael, 
The mi6 chord has to contain the interval of a minor 6th.  Using your example if you used the B natural you would have a major 6th.  

Using your example for the key of C - (D F A B) you still need a Bb.  (or again, you would have a major 6th) The Dmi6 in C would be D F A Bb.

Chord construction and chord names can get somewhat complicated.  Ted wrote out a page titled Chord Formulas which is very thorough.  I think it is somewhere in the forums.  I can not scan the page again for you at present because there is a glitch in my computer.

Does anyone remember where that page is?  In the meantime, I hope this helps.
I hope I understood your question correctly.
Barbara

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Barbara Franklin
MichaelKeller

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Barbara,

Thanks so much for the reply. Although now i'm really confused because on the "Chord Substitution 1" page where Ted wrote out all the chord formulas, he has a min 6th chord spelled:

1-b3-5-6

Again if we're in the key of C major, and D is our minor II chord we have:

D, which is the root
F natural which is the flat 3rd
A which is the 5th
B natural which is the 6th in our key

If i understand you correctly, we need to flat the 6th?
This means our D minor 6 chord has a B flat note, which is the flattened 7th note of our key of C major.

So i guess my next question would be, if i played that chord but with  the B natural instead of the B flat, what would the name of my chord be if it's not D minor 6?

Thanks again,
Michael
barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Michael,  I got confused by your question.  I was thinking minor 6th interval in the chord.  But...  a regular mi6 chord is exactly what you had initially (DFAB).  I misinterpreted what you wanted.  You would call the chord with the b6 a dmib6 ( I think).   The regular dmi6 will have the maj.6th interval.
 I guess you could also call the DFAB some kind of Bdim7 depending on use.
As you can probably guess I find chord names very confounding at times  - especially out of context -  Perhaps someone else will jump in here and make this a lot clearer for you. 

 I hope I haven't confused you more.  Barbara

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Barbara Franklin
PaulV

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Posts: 1,711
Reply with quote  #5 
I looked over my Ted Greene materials and found no definitions or references to a minor b6 chord.  I didn't see anything in Chord Chemistry either.  (Maybe I'm missing something here!)

Ted does refer to the b6 as belonging to the Aeolian (and other) scale for minor sounds.  But to me, a b6 on a minor chord sound more like a #5.  I think of that as more of a melody note attached to the minor chord.

There's a common sound you've heard a thousand times:  the ascending 5 in a minor chord:  1, b3, 5  to  1, b3, #5  to  1, b3, 6  to 1, b3, #5 and then back to 1, 3b, 5.
Spy movie stuff.  James Bond.  Jack Bauer. 

Often I've seen the b6 (or #5) on top of a minor 7th chord, but usually without the natural 5th included.  Pretty common is this chord for a C minor sound:  1, b7, b3, #5.  Add the 4th after the root and you get a nice stack of 4ths.

I hope I didn't add to the confusion.
--Paul

PS.  Barbara, if you need any of those pages, I can probably provide a scanned copy.  Please let me know what is needed.


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MichaelKeller

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks Barbara and Paul. I understand the spelling now, but now my original question remains:

If i'm playing D minor 6 (D-F-A-B) in the key of C (II chord), do i play the same voicing if i'm in the key of F? The B natural in the chord becomes an out of scale note (a #4 in this case). Do you flat the B note or would you just not use a minor 6th chord when playing the VI chord in a key?

Thanks again,
Michael
theodoregeisel

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Michael,
Lets try this.
You could make the B natural but you would be leaving the key of F Major.
Lets leave it diatonic D-F-A-Bb and re-spell:
Bb-D-F-A look familiar? Sure does: it's a diatonic 4 chord Bb major 7. The D in the bass would simply make it 1st inversion.
Does that Help?

B

MichaelKeller

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks for the response B. I do understand what you said, and can see how changing the spelling of the chord yields a different name.

No one has answered my original question though- if i'm playing through a tune in the Real Book, and i see "Dmi6",  and we agree that the spelling is D-F-A-B natural, then that's fine if the song is in the key of C.
Would that chord appear as a substitution for the VI chord (Dmi7) if the song was in the key of F? If so, our B natural is out of scale. 

I'm starting to think that mi6 chords aren't used as substitutes for the VI chord...
barbarafranklin

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Posts: 940
Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Michael,  I almost forgot what the original question was.  If you are in the key of F - you would use the Bb - not the B natural.  (In my opinion)

But.....  any chord can substitute for another depending on each individual situation.  It does get complicated.   Definitely consider proper voice leading with each choice you make, in any case. 

Also - experiment.   And listen very carefully.  

I'm sorry for all the confusion. 
Barbara


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Barbara Franklin
MichaelKeller

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks Barbara- i agree with you, using Bb makes more sense if you're in F.

theodoregeisel

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #11 
Hello Michael,
Yes you are correct.
When the real book says D6 a major triad with a Major sixth is implied, likewise if the book says dm6, a minor triad with a major 6 is implied.
Paul V.'s post eloquently covers the raised 5th.
Yes you are correct in your other points also. This minor triad with minor 6th is not a sub, embellishment or extension.
That terminology is never used because there are always better and easier ways to to illustrate the function of that pitch collection.
Regarding 6 and minor 6 chords though, they have an illustrious history of usage in jazz, voiced as drop-2 voicings. This may interest you if your goal is to learn about reharmonizations. If I'm not mistaken you may soon hear more about this from Lawyercharles.
and like Barbara...sorry for any confusion and welcome.
Barry

MichaelKeller

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #12 
Thank you Barry!
MichaelKeller

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Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Charles,

Thanks for your thoughtful and informative post. You've given me a LOT to think about!

In answer to your question, here is a voicing for the min 6 with flat 6th:

x
6
3
7
5
x

The notes, low to high-  D-A-Bb-F.

What am i hearing? A big beautiful "open" sounding chord that wants to ring out and sustain.
An alternate voicing:

x
x
14
12
13
13

Notes-  F-Bb-D-A
This is one of my maj7 "shapes" as well (in this case, a Bb maj7)

In answer to your other question, i hadn't actually used this chord yet in a progression, i was just 'thinking ahead" so to speak.

But after you asked, i came up with this, using my first voicing for the VI chord, in the key of F:

x---x---x---x---x
5---6---3--10---8
2---3---3---9---9
3---7---7---8--10
3---5---x---x---8
x---x---3---8---x

Thinking of it as- Fmaj7- Dmi6 with a flat 6th- Gmi9- C13- Fmaj9

However, since our Dmi6 with a flat 6th is the same spelling as a Bbmaj7, we could just think of the first two chords as a I-IV, but since i have D in the bass, it "sounds" more like the VI chord (minor) to me.

Hope i didn't add too much to the confusion 





klasaine

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Posts: 151
Reply with quote  #14 
Pianists Barry Harris and Thelonius Monk were both big proponents of the m6 chord.
Barry Harris has a fantastic harmony method ... http://www.barryharris.com/
Worth noting is that inverted, a m6 can be seen as a dom.9th or a m7b5.

Ex: (F Ab C D) can be ...
Fm6
Bb9
Dm7b5


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ken lasaine
PaulV

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Posts: 1,711
Reply with quote  #15 

This question about a minor chord with a flat 6 got me thinking.  Good question. 

Ted has provided lots of diagrams for 6th chords, so a little investigation was in order. 

In the past I avoided collecting too many major 6 chords because to me most of them looked & sounded just like inversions of minor 7th chords – same voicings, but just different ways of thinking of them (though many are clearly not inversions). 

I decided to write up some chord-scales using 6th chords (see attached file).  I like the idea of a harmonized 6th scale, but in analysis it kind-of falls apart.  Here is what I came up with:

Example:  Harmonized F major scale with 6th chords:

F6 – Gm6 – Fmaj7/A – Bb6 – C6 – Bbmaj7/D – C7/E – F6

I6 – iim6 – inversion of Imaj7 – IV6 – V6 – inversion of IVmaj7 – inversion of V7 – I6

I don’t think we can really call the third degree of the scale a minor b6, even if the chord is voiced to imply a strong minor sound.  It still tends to want to sound like an inversion of the I chord.  Same thing applies for the sixth degree of the scale:  it just sounds like an inversion of the IV chord.

The seventh degree of the scale is an oddball – a minor (b5, b6)!  Again, this chord really just wants to be an inversion of the V7 chord.

You can similarly harmonize a scale with 9ths and you’ll find some chords that don’t fall into the norm:  minor 7(b9) and minor 7(b5, b9). 

One thing that we can do with these kinds of chord-scales is to use them with the attached colors, but when the “weird chords” arrive, just play  them without the odd tone.  For example, in the F harmonized scale above, play a regular Am7, Dm7, and Em7(b5) instead of the inversion chords. 

It’s good to be aware of these things, especially when playing single-note solos, but I don’t think I want to try to “force” these minor (b6) chords into my vocabulary.  Hmmm….maybe I’m limiting myself?  Try this same idea with harmonizing a harmonic minor or melodic minor scale with 6ths.

Some good (all natural, organically grown) food for thought…

Attached Images
jpeg Harmonized_Scale_with_6th_Chords.JPG (626.09 KB, 62 views)


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