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When and where to use Augmented, diminished, seventh, ninth, sixth chords ? (Read 19983 times)

Offline dora96

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Hi

I am classical pianist. I do play for church and other contemporary music. At the moment, I am trying to learn how to improvise music with different harmony and add extra in melodies in the song. I can do a lots with my left hand, e.g. broken chords, arpeggios, but I don't know how to do the fill in or make the melodies more interesting by adding certain chord. I use the Golden Encyclopedia by John Brimhall " Piano Master Pieces" for the best of popular music. It is not a bad book, with lots of interesting chords and melodies, but I don't really understand how to use Augmented, C7, C6 C9 etc... I know what this chord means individually, but to apply into the music. I am perplexed when and where to use this sort of chords. 

Can anyone play Jazz or pop music give me some advise? I do feel very boring keeping play the arpeggio in the left hand, I want to learn more different style and rhythm. I have been practicing a few jazz books, but come to put it into the extra song. I just don't know how or even make it more interesting.   

Offline eyeballnick

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Well 6th chords sound nice with runs in Jazz, maybe the opening chords, And 7ths are good when changing passages, say one melody to the next.
My advice would be play around with improvising with basic chords say - C F G Am Or somthing and the spice it up so say C6 - C7  - F9 - Am7 or C ..........best way it trial and error, play and see what sounds good, if u just slot it in anyold place you may find it sounds good, and if it doesnt, well u know for future referance. :)

Offline timothy42b

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dora,
you and I have the same problem I think, we are church pianists sometimes working above our ability level.
please go to this site http://www.greghowlett.com/freechristianpianomusic.aspx because I really think it will give you a basis for going forward.  It has helped me even though I don't have the skill to use it all.  Your technical abilities are beyond mine and I think you might be at the point where you could use what Greg teaches.

hope this helps.

Tim

PS I played two of the mass pieces on organ this morning, and the priest asked me to play the whole service from now on.  Guess that was an audition.  Come to think of it, every time you touch a key in public, it's an audition for the next gig. 
Tim

Offline dora96

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Hi Tim,

The website you gave me that it is fantastic. In fact, I have been searching the information like this for a while, but nothing is as good as this.

The hymn in the records are great, I can sort of listening and trying to get the style and improvise it into my piano playing. It is so true, I have to set aside my classical piano playing, it doesn't matter what level I am in? It is the learning from one and another and listening and watching other playing. Improvisations just don't come like that, it is years of accumulating the piano playing and experienced of improvisation experienced.

My frustration is all the Christian sheet music, the improvisation is brief and different from what they are playing in the recording. Fill in and run, changing the texture of the music. Is there  any book that actually print out the different fill in, ornament and run?

I have Richard Clayerman book, they are more like the style I am looking for, but even though, I try to learn it and play from Clayerman 's book, but just can't put it into practice and improvising with other music.

Offline oscarr111111

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A good way of using augmented chords is as a chromatic passing chord between a minor chord and its relevant major (IE. C#m, Caug, Emaj, as in the bridge of 'The Beatles' All My Lovin'), you can do the same thing in reverse of course.

An effective way of using Dim7 chords (IE. a dim triad with major sixth) is as a Dominant functioning chord a semitone higher than the diatonic dominant of that key (so for example F#dim7 instead of F7).  Used in this way they function as Dom7b9  with the root omitted (so in this case F7b9no1).  You can also use half diminished chords (minor seventh chords with a flat 5) to resolve to a major chord a semitone up quite effectively.

Sixths and ninths (with or without the seventh) are almost always just used as 'colour' notes, they don't really change the harmonic implication in any way, just add texture.  Careful when using a triad with a 6 however, as an inversion of a major 6 chord is the relevant minor of the same key, inverting a minor 6 chord (assuming a minor and not major sixth is used) will result in a maj7 chord built on the 6th degree.

Using sevenths effectively is just a case of knowing diatonic harmony well really, and getting used to the sounds of the different chords so as to know when they would sound good.  Generally the rule is that triads are stable and sevenths are unstable (though major sevenths can be considered resolved).  Also you can resolve any Dom7 chord to the chord a fourth above (or fifth below) at any time, and you can substitute any Dom7 chord for the Dom7 chord a tritone away too (makes a nice chromatic root motion in a ii V7 I progression), you can do this because the 2 'essential' chord tones in a Dom7 chord are the third and seventh and this notes remain, they just 'swap' roles within the chord, they still resolve normally.

And finally, you can insert 2-5-1 progressions (ii7,V7, I in major and iim7b5,V7,i in minor)  leading to just about any major or minor chord (this is essentially the entire idea behind Jazz), and you can swap the first chord for another Dom7 if you like too.

Offline general disarray

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oscar, great post.  This is why I admire jazzers.

I've gotten totally rusty on keyboard theory/harmony.  Could you recommend a good, down-to-earth refresher book or website that I could check out?

Thanks for any help.
" . . . cross the ocean in a silver plane . . . see the jungle when it's wet with rain . . . "

Offline dora96

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A good way of using augmented chords is as a chromatic passing chord between a minor chord and its relevant major (IE. C#m, Caug, Emaj, as in the bridge of 'The Beatles' All My Lovin'), you can do the same thing in reverse of course.

An effective way of using Dim7 chords (IE. a dim triad with major sixth) is as a Dominant functioning chord a semitone higher than the diatonic dominant of that key (so for example F#dim7 instead of F7).  Used in this way they function as Dom7b9  with the root omitted (so in this case F7b9no1).  You can also use half diminished chords (minor seventh chords with a flat 5) to resolve to a major chord a semitone up quite effectively.

Sixths and ninths (with or without the seventh) are almost always just used as 'colour' notes, they don't really change the harmonic implication in any way, just add texture.  Careful when using a triad with a 6 however, as an inversion of a major 6 chord is the relevant minor of the same key, inverting a minor 6 chord (assuming a minor and not major sixth is used) will result in a maj7 chord built on the 6th degree.

Using sevenths effectively is just a case of knowing diatonic harmony well really, and getting used to the sounds of the different chords so as to know when they would sound good.  Generally the rule is that triads are stable and sevenths are unstable (though major sevenths can be considered resolved).  Also you can resolve any Dom7 chord to the chord a fourth above (or fifth below) at any time, and you can substitute any Dom7 chord for the Dom7 chord a tritone away too (makes a nice chromatic root motion in a ii V7 I progression), you can do this because the 2 'essential' chord tones in a Dom7 chord are the third and seventh and this notes remain, they just 'swap' roles within the chord, they still resolve normally.

And finally, you can insert 2-5-1 progressions (ii7,V7, I in major and iim7b5,V7,i in minor)  leading to just about any major or minor chord (this is essentially the entire idea behind Jazz), and you can swap the first chord for another Dom7 if you like too.

It is amazing. Thank you for your post. You have inspired me. Do you know any website or Youtube to show the method you are talking about. I am still exploring the different style and rhythm. I love classical, but being able to play pop and Jazz that is even more intelligent. How do you learn it? Surely, you have to know this thing from somewhere.