Tim Price on the LCCOTO

Tim Price has been a Blogster lately. Here is what he had to say on his Blog about the Lydian Chromatic concept and slash chords (great stuff Tim!):

Speaking of George, here's some food for thought.In George Russell's "Lydian Chromatic" you get this same scale sound by playing the "Lydian Augmented" scale built on the THIRD of the
dominant 7th chord (in other words, play an E Lydian Augmented on your C7). It gives you the same pitches as the "Altered Scale" described above.The thinking is a bit more focused with the Russell- via modern stuff. I feel. BTW, I find the Lydian Chromatic way of looking at things extremely useful, particularly when looking at chord voicings. Most extended chords can be
boiled down to some kind of Ma7 chord over a bass note. Sometimes the chord is a Ma7b5, sometimes a Ma7#5, sometimes a oMa7, but it can almost always be seen as some kind of Ma7. Once you figure out what chord you're really dealing with, the Lydian Chromatic thing becomes really easy. It also gives you a way to pivot into a whole bunch of nice substitutions.

Without referencing the LCC it's a very good idea to look at the ways that the various chord types can be voiced as one of the maj7 family of chords.
1 3 5 7
1 b3 5 7
1 3 b5 7
1 3 #5 7
1 b3 b5 7
1 b3 #5 7
1 4 5 7
All of these intervallic structures share the characteristic of the maj 7th interval which becomes a min 2nd interval. Players like Bill Evans and writers like Oliver Nelson and Gil Evans owe their style in no small way to voicings that lots of tension in them often achieved by selecting chords that have min 2nds on the inside voices and or maj7 intervals
somewhere in the chord. Just imagine how any one of those maj7-type chords would function with a different note in the bass.

Cmaj7/Db: sort of Dbdim-ish but not a commonly used sound
Cmaj7/D: D13sus4
Cmaj7/Eb: sort of Eb7#5(b9,13)-ish
Cmaj7/E: just an inversion of Cmaj7
Cmaj7/F: Fmaj7(9,#11)(no3rd)
Cmaj7/F#: D7(11,13)
Cmaj7/G: just an inversion of Cmaj7
Cmaj7/Ab: Abmaj7#5#9
Cmaj7/A: Am9
Cmaj7/Bb: Bb9(b9,13)-ish
Cmaj7/B: just an inversion of Cmaj7 or B7sus4(b9,b13)
Cm(maj7)/D: D13sus4b9
Cm(maj7)/E: Cmaj7#9/E


Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,
Great blog! I'm really enjoying checking it out everyday. I was at
Berklee in '86-'87. playing alto. I think we talked a few times never
hung out too much . thanks for putting your thought out there. Sounds
like your doing great in Portland.
Take Care, Steve Neff

David Carlos Valdez said...

I never really felt like I had a grip on slash chords. Sometimes they make sense and other times I have no clue what to play over them (besides the chord tones). This article is very helpful.

Don't forget to check out Tim Price's web site. He has tons of great Jazz educational material for download. You can search my site for his links.

Anonymous said...

when applying melodic minor over a dominant chord as mr. price illustrated in the first bit of his description, i find it very intuitive to take the john stowell approach: play the melodic minor scale beginning a half step above, a whole step down below, a P4 above, and a P5 above the root of the dominant. in my mind, playing a melodic minor scale a half step above the root of the dominant rather than a lydian augmented scale a major third above is more logical. just a thought. also, this blog is really great. i check it at least once a day. i've gotten a lot of good practice tips and applied some of the improvisational concepts you've talked about/linked to. a tremendous thanks is in due order. by the way, i'm the ryan who was in your midi apps class at psu and who also came down to your set with art lillard at lv's a while back.

David Carlos Valdez said...

Thanks Ryan,
Really glad you're applying this material.

To clarify Stowell's approach (who happens to be a bad, bad, man) there are four different melodic minor scales that work over a dominant 7th chord, depending on the alterations:

Over a C7 chord-

C# Melodic- (up a half step)
This is the Altered Dominant Scale:
~this fits over C7(b9,#9{either/or}#11,b13)

F melodic- (up a fourth)
This a straight dominant with a b13:
~This is much less common because if there is a b13 then there usually is also a #11 implied. So C7(b13)- (still the natural is problematic)

Bb melodic- (down a whole step)
~this is usually played over a
Csus7(b9) or a C-phrygian

G melodic- (up a fifth)
This a Lydian Dominant scale.
~Over a C7(#11)
Use this freely over any dominant 7th chord!

The goal is to learn what chords to use these over. You wouldn't want to
use the Lydian dom or a C7(b9) for example because the Lydian dom has has a natural 9th. Each of these scales has it's place.

To clarify this check out my Thursday, June 16, 2005 post called
"Jazz Harmony for Improvisation- chord/scales".

Anonymous said...

you're exactly right - i always viewed each dominant mode of the melodic minor scale as having it's own theoretical chord/scale relationship (i.e. don't play altered over dom+11) when i took a lesson with stowell a few weeks ago, he often chooses a dominant mode depending on the degree of tension that he wants his melodic line to have over dominant. this means that C# mel min over a Cdom chord will exhibit the most tension, and F mel min or G mel min will exhibit the least. he also applies the four dominant modes of melodic minor over any chord quality by using the rule that any chord can be substituted by its dominant.

it might be useful to note (in light of your post on playing over diminished chords) that stowell will treat the 1 b3 b5 b7 of a fully diminished chord as the 3 5 7 b9 of a dominant chord and improvise over it as such with the two dominant modes of melodic minor including a lowered 9th. for instance, over a B diminished chord (B, D, F, Ab) the root of the related dominant could be G, Bb, Db, or E. accordingly, you could play melodic minor starting a half step above or a whole step down from any of those roots. john has some special rules about "avoid tones" when the chord resloves, but this is certainly an interesting way to approach improvising over diminished chords.

David Carlos Valdez said...

(note: if your dominant is moving down a fifth in root motion then you can play any of the 4 melodics listed)

I've always wondered what John was doing.

So you're saying that over a C diminished Stowell
will play a A,C,Eb,F# melodic minor scales, right?

Does this mean that he will play the same melodic minor scales over a B7b9?

Could you tell us about Stowell's rules for avoid tones?

Anonymous said...

i have some extensive notes about his use of melodic minor. let me sort through my notes and do a little theoretical analysis and i'll make a good-sized post on it in a couple of days.

David Carlos Valdez said...

A note about using a melodic minor down a whole step from the root of the Dominant.

This scale can be used on a min7 chord too.
In fact Walt Weiskopf calls this scale a Dorian b2 scale.