eg. for the iiim7 which corresponds with the word "over" in harold arlen's over the rainbow...

playing 3,5,7,9 as you might with iim7 doesn't really work because the 9 of a iiim7 is not diatonic - eg. the iii chord of key of eb is gm7, the 9th of which is an a, which is not diatonic to the key of eb.  

i often end up playing either a straight minor seven or an inversion of it, or else a sus chord. sometimes i also play a im7 voicing - eg. for the gm7 chord this might be g, bb, c, f.

sometimes i wonder whether iiim7 really exists(!) or if it should conceptually be thought of as a variant of im7.

i wonder if anyone has any thoughts on voicing iiim7 chords in the left hand - it would be interesting to see how people think of this chord.
There are 9 comments, leave a comment.
yeah i have wondered about this very issue myself

also what scale to use over the iiim7 chord - the dorian sounds a bit strange
usually and i might stress ussually as in most of the time i would say this is a good example of over thinking the situation.  most of the time a minor7 chord is a minor 7 chord is a minor 7 chord is a minor 7 chord.
well said, dr. mike :)
allah akbar
thanks for the comments mike and i admit i am often guilty of overthinking!

on the other hand it does seem i'm not completely alone in considering this...
most of the time i think of the iiim7 chord as a substitute for the imaj7, and play the same voicings and scales as i would for that chord. however, if the chord is a part of a ii-v progression (like em7-a7 in the key of c) i think it´s ok to use the natural 9th.
if the iiim7 chord is part of a 3-6-2-5 progression i like to play the iiim7 vi7 part of it as a minor (or altered) cadence in the key of the iim7 chord (e-7b5|a7 alt.|d-7|g7| in the key of c). the natural 9 and the b9 both sound good over the iiim7b5, i think, and represent two quite different incarnations of its function.
so 3-6-2-5 becomes 2-5 (of iim) 2-5?  cool - i know  2-5.  still have to think about 3-6.
levine talks about using the phrigian mode over the iiim7 chord.
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