hi to all...

i would like to know what rootless voicing can i use over a m7b5 chord.

actually i like the sound of:
rootless: 7b, 9, 3b, 5b  (example cm7b5 = bb, d, eb, gb)... or inversions.

with root: 1, 5b, 7b (example cm7b5= c, gb, bb)

thanks in advance for your comments.

sniper
There are 13 comments, leave a comment.
personally  i like the m7b5 chord voiced with the root.  i rarely add a ninth to it.  to my ear tensions change the function of a m7b5 chord so much that if i am going to do that i just sub a different chord in its place... usually a dominant chord of some sort.   so i am not liking d-7b5  i usually try d7  or  i might try any of the other dom 7 chords related to d7.  but i never play "rootless" m7b5 chords..... although that combination of notes.... ex:  f ab c e    i play as d min maj chord.
ps..  so it is not that i do not like the sound of that voicing in an isolated sence.  but i do not like it functioning as a m7b5 chord.
i like this sound, but it's not rootless :
cm7b5 = c f gb bb  
(it's an ab7 voicing too)
just play a minor triad based on the 3rd of the original m7b5 chord, but it sounds rather barren as a jazz voicing.

try this:

let's say you're playing a minor ii-v7, e.g. dm7b5-g7alt.  i'll show you a two handed approach which can be easily adapted to the left hand.

for dm7b5, play a root-7th shell with your left hand (d and c), or root-5th-7th shell (d-ab-c).  with your right hand, play a voicing that goes d-g-ab-c (root, 11th, b5th, 7th).  while playing this chord, you can move the g down to f for an interesting internal voice movement before going on to the next chord.

when you're ready to play the next chord (g7alt), move the right hand's structure up a minor third, keeping the exact same interval structure among it's tones.  the result would be f-a#-b-d# (7th-#9th-3rd-#5th).  your left hand would then play any fully diminished 7th chord that relates to g7 (such as fdim7).  in the right hand's part, try moving the a# down to ab for another useful internal voice movement before resolving to the i or i chord.

these voicings invert easily to accomodate different keys, or for use in the piano left hand.  for example, try this:

over a d bass note (provided by the bassist), play ab-c-d-g with your left hand, starting on the ab below middle c.  this becomes your left hand voicing for dm7b5.

now, over a g bass note, move the voicing up a minor 3rd, resulting in b-d#-f-a#.

the same internal voice movements that worked for the two handed versions can be applied in both of these.  also, remember to experiment with inversions of these voicings to keep them in the register you want them in.  they are pretty flexible.

hope that did the trick for you!

ben blau
looks like groyann added his post while i was typing that last one.  his voicing is just like the one i'm describing here.

ben blau
ok, i'll bite -- why no b3rd in the m7b5?  lh i use 7, 1, b3, b5 or b3, b5, 7, 1.  moves nicely through the dom alt as 3, b13, 7, b9 or 7, b9, 3, b13.  two handed i use a tritone sub: lh 1, 7; rh b3, b5, 1 moves through the dom by moving the lh down a 1/2 step and raising the right pinky a 1/2 step.  hope i have those right -- still don't think away from a keyboard as well as i'd like.  in any case, these are for ii-v-i in minor of course.

am i missing something?


in my mind the 11th is functioning as the third, much the same way as if you played c-f-gb-bb in the right hand and played an ab in the bass it would be an ab7 chord with the 13th functioning in the place of the 5th. in minor chords the 11th can take the place of the third without altering the quality of the chord.
i like those sounds...

i was asking because i was not sure about the voicing i was playing. i`m goona practice those voicings.

thanks a lot people.!

sniper
there is also a rootless voicing for half dim chords that starts on the 11th, for c it would be f-gb-bb-eb, in this voicing you have both the 11th and the third. you can also just play a minor triad built from the third in your left while soloing with the right hand, i usually play 2nd inversion, so for c you could play just bb-eb-gb. if you are playing with a bass player it will sound like a half dim chord, not minor.
also you can look at any mb5 as the 6th of the melodic minor scale. since all the notes of a melodic minor scale are not found within any other scale you can basically play any melodic minor derived chord for any other melodic minor derived chord. a nice one is (for cmb5): c e bb  
eb ab db gb from the bottom up. this contains all of the notes in the eb melodic minor scale from which cmb5 is derived and so therefore can also be used for dalt fsusb9 etc.
oops. change that chord to d gb c f bb eb ab. my mistake.
d-7 b5 = f-6 in the old days
yup.....they used to notate it f-6/d
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