hal galper states in his forward motion book that the release tones of a chord scale are the root - 3rd - 5th - 7th and that the weak tones are the chord extensions i.e. 9 b9 #11 11 b13 etc. he then goes on to state that the notes that fall on the release beats (1 and 3 and the "on" of every quarter beat)are the release tones as stated above but if you see say a c# over a c7 chord (b9 - which to me is a chord extension and a weak tone as suggested by hal) you may see the c# as the 3rd of a superimposed a triad and not as a weak b9 chord extension. so i guess my question is how should one know how to treat say a b9 for example when trying to practice forward motion. is it a weak tone which should be synchronized with the weak beats of the bar or is it a strong 3rd of a superimposed a triad which should be synchronized with the strong beats of the bar. i hope this is not a silly question, i may be taking this up wrong. any help would be greatly appreciated.... peace
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i think the question you are asking, is that if you think of a chord as having an upper structure, a chord on top of another chord, do the notes of the upper structure chord make as good of resolution tones as the notes of the bottom structure? i absolutely think so, and the question you're asking goes right to the heart of my beef with the whole forward motion thing.

i haven't actually read this book, so maybe i should temper my criticism, most of what i know about it is from what people have posted here. but to me, 1-3-5-7 are generally the least interesting parts of the chord. furthermore it is just plainly wrong to think that a melody is always going to sound resolved if it lands on one of those notes, to think of 1-3-5-7 as "strong" and the upper extensions as "weak".  

for an example, if you are playing a cmaj7 chord, and you are voicing the major seventh of the chord, playing the 1 above it is not going to sound resolved, or "strong." if you are playing the 1 in the octave immediately above the 7 (i.e. a half step above the 7) it will sound ok, but if you play it in any octave above that it will clash, minor 9ths don't sound good generally. almost every lead sheet in any fake book where the melody ends up on 1, the chord is written as maj6 instead of maj7, this is to avoid this clash. over a maj7 chord, the 9 will sound much more "strong" than the 1 will.

if you're playing a c-9 chord, the 3 will not sound as strong as the 9 or the 11, because the minor 3 clashes with the 9. on a maj7+11 chord, the 5 will clash with the +11. on dom13 chord the 7 will clash with the 13. rootless voicings for dom7 chords often include the 13th substituted for the 5th, so if you're using one of those voicings in your left hand, 7 is not where you want to end up in your right hand.

yes, it is good to outline the chords as the changes go by, and yes be-bop players do use a lot of chromaticism and leading tones. but if you're really following your ear, i don't think you're always going to end up on 1-3-5-7, i think there are many situations where you will avoid some of those notes.
hi jwv76 thanks for your post. i never throught about it like that before but what you just said seems to make perfect sense although it conflicts with what hal galper's theory it seems although i have not read the entire article yet. my question was really that hal seems to contradict himself somewhat by stating that c# as a b9 is a weak tone (upper structure) although if you decide to think of that same note as a 3rd of an a major triad then hey presto its a strong tone? i am just confused? your post is very interesting, i never thought about it like that before? peace
almost every standard ever written resolves the final note of its melody on the 1 (root).  



"if you're playing a c-9 chord, the 3 will not sound as strong as the 9 or the 11, because the minor 3 clashes with the 9."

by that same logic, the 9 will also clash with the -3

"on a maj7+11 chord, the 5 will clash with the +11."

by that same logic, the +11 will also clash with the 5.


major 7ths aren't a problem, and neither are minor 2nds. it's minor 9ths that sound train wreck-ish. i don't know why, but they do. so a d played in the right hand while an eb is played in the left hand as part of the chord is fine, but vice versa you've got a problem.
songs that end on 1 almost always end on a major 6 or maj6/9 instead of a major 7 chord.
usually you think of extensions as crossing over multiple chords such as in a ii-v-i, where tones like 9, 11, 13 are common tones. harmonically it works over the entire progression.  

but one must think differently when outlining of the chords is the intent.  

the whole idea of galper (and just general instruction about chord tones) is that bebop specifically, is a style where you outline the fast moving chords and thus you can hear the progression in your ear even without the melody or a rhythm section. take this away and you no longer have bebop. i think the whole style is based upon the fact that even with fast moving eight notes unconnected with the original melody, one can still hear the changes. leave this and you're entering free jazz territory. neither a good nor bad thing but understand where you are.

to focus on extensions is not some random decision in my mind. i use it specifically when looking at doing a slow line over a progression where the common tones will make the solo fit.

as an example, play a tune and just play only the the extensions (skip chord tones) and see how strong or weak the solo sounds. will your audience know what you're playing? you'll have to rely on the rhythm section to keep place.

putting b9 as a chord tone is in fact a chord substitution and you have to be conscious of this effect, particularly if the rhythm section is not aware of it.
touche !

good answers jwv76, i was basicly using reverse logic to provoke further explanation from you in order see how you would defend your positions. you answered well and i agree with you! but i also agree with galper to some degree in some situations, there is a certain something to resolving on the basic chord tones...there are no absolutes in this sort of thing for me.  

oh, another piunt to remeber is that the bebopers treated ii chords like v7 chords so their resolutions are often already on the chord tones of the v chord even though its a ii chord, if that makes any sense.

where's "7", he is good with tendancy resolution theory.
tension tones).
hi jazwee, you say that playing a b9 over a c dominant 7 could be construed as a chord substitution? so could this b9 then be seen as a perfect 5th of an f# dominant 7 tritone substitution chord. i think i see what you are getting at. thankyou for that and thanks to everyone else for all the informative posts. peace.....
elwapo, exactly.

my jazz teacher is big on chord tones. yet, when he plays he can sound like he's playing non-chord tones. the reason is that he's substituting chords on his left hand to always match his right hand. so if he wants to play a b9, he will in fact do a tritone sub on the left.

if wants to go exotic and use a 9, #11, 13 triad on the downbeats, then he will make sure to alter the left hand as well.

what i'm saying is that whatever tones you want on the right hand is supported by harmony on the left hand so you still end up with chord tones in the proper places. you have thus changed the harmony. thus, the way i'm taught is to always think of the full harmonic picture and support it rather than the right hand going off on its own.

thus, his approach on going outside is never really outside (since it is always within the confines of chord tones), but where he really plays with it is in the chords themselves. this is a little different kind of thinking than i've heard said here.  

by taking advantage of chord substitutions, you end up with a total sound that's certainly outside sounding in terms of harmony but without the conflicts of atonality resulting from minor 2nd intervals or 11's on major 7's, etc.

it's like the lh is the rhythm section and the rh the soloist and they're always in agreement on the chords.
i'm looking at the charlie parker's solo on "ornithology", one of his finest, in the omnibook transcriptions. and it appears to me that he is starting and ending his phrases on the chords tones (1,3,5,6,7) more than 90% of the time.
wouldn't that make perfect sense, though, statistically, given that only 2 out of 7 tones are non-chord-tones if you include the 6/13 as a chord tone?
he's not targeting the 13th.

in parker's solo on ornithology he targets:

dominant chords: 5th, 5th, 5th, root, 7th, 5th, 3rd, 7th, 7th, 3rd, 3rd, root, b9, 7th

tonic major chords: root, 3rd, 5th, maj 7th

tonic minor chords: 6th, 5th, 5th , 3rd

minor ii chords (he often treats these like as if was already the v chord, but not always): root, 3rd, 5th, 7th

he begins lines about the same
the last note of the solo targets the 6th of the tonic g chord.
nearly every phrase in the ornitholgy solo starts on "+"

however there are few exceptions, for example: one time he starts a phrase on beat 1, another time on beat 2 and another on beat 4.
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