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Don Mock >> Jazz Connection >>

Don Mock:
Welcome to this lesson on dominant 7th chords. A whole lesson on a single chord may sound a bit boring but stay tuned. I hope to expand your knowledge of not only the dominant 7th but many other chords. By exploring this one chord, it's extensions, substitutes and scales, you'll quickly learn that all chords are basically the same. And the good news is you'll find that you don't have to learn the same kinds of things over and over for other types of chords.

Don Mock: Tonight, we'll start with some common dom7th voicings and get straight the fact that extensions such as 9ths 11ths and 13th only add color to chords without changing their primary function. Next up we'll discuss it's key center and mode followed by some useful scale patterns. Arpeggios can add a lot of lift to solos and there are several that are great over dominant chords.

Don Mock: I'm also going to show you some favorite melodic lines for dominant 7th chords including a few challenging intervallic shapes. Then comes the fun part as we superimpose everything we just learned over other types of chords which can virtually double your entire chordal and improvisational repertoire. Here's a sample of our lesson tonight C7 jam

Don Mock: Hi Hank, I've been a HUGH fan of yours for 30 years!!! I've learned every solo off several albums......  I still remember "All The Things You Are" solo

Hank_Garland: Hi Don, It is nice to have you tonight

Don Mock: in the next few weeks don't be surprised if you recognize a few lines in the lessons

viper53: Don , Are you still at GIT

Don Mock: I'm not at GIT anymore, this lesson the C dom7 chords, I hope to expand your knowledge of not only the Dom 7th..... I'm also going to show you some favorite melodic lines for dominant 7th chords including a few challenging intervallic shapes. Then comes the fun part as we superimpose everything we just learned over other types of chords which can virtually double your entire chordal and improvisational repertoire.

Don Mock: I'm going to jump into this topic with the assumption that you may or may not have a handle on music theory. If you don't, try to pick up on as much as you can in this lesson, take notes and ask questions. If you need help with your theory, go take a class, lesson or read one of several books available. There is simply no way to become an accomplished guitar player these days without a good understanding of music theory. You don't have to go out and learn everything about classical theory. Just a good working knowledge of practical theory should get you on the right path. Understanding diatonic harmony and basic chord construction can go a long way to improve your playing.

Don Mock: And speaking of diatonic harmony, the dominant 7th is the V chord in all major keys. For example; A7 is the V of D major. G7 is the V of C major, Eb7 is the V in Ab major etc. What is the V chord in the key of F? or Db? What key is B7 in? or F#7? This is where life begins when it come to understanding and applying dom7th's. You are playing an instrument that is like a slide rule. All keys and their relationships are the same. On guitar it's only a matter of sliding chords and patterns up or down to find new keys. You don't have to memorize the chords in every key, just the diatonic formula; I-maj7, II-min7, III-min7, IV-maj7, V-dom7, VI-min7 and VII-min7b5. Use the fingerboard and interval shapes to help you find answers. I'll send you some guitar chords next

Don Mock: Enough talk, let's get down to it and learn a few chords. We're going to concentrate on a single position (C7 around the 8th fret). I want to give you a tour of the possibilities of this one popular position. You may find that you only need a few others. I used to preach learning everything in 5 or more positions, but have found it's not necessary. You can cover the entire fingerboard with only a few positions. Here are some good voicings for C7. The first one is a very useful one, only three notes... Extensions are other notes from the key (we're in the key of F for C7) that are added to chords giving additional color but DOES NOT CHANGE THE CHORD'S FUNCTION. 9th chords are simply hip sounding 7th chords, and here are some voicings in the same position. 11th chords are also dominants with a suspended sound. And finally, dominant 13th's are used all the time in jazz and blues in place of basic 7th chords.

Don Mock: All of these "C" dominant chords can be thought of as in the same family and are, in most instances, interchangeable. Musical style usually dictates which is the best choice. Some players prefer to think of this family of dominants as "mixolydian" chords. (An F major scale starting on C is a C mixolydian mode.) Dominant 7th's are used two ways in music. "Static" dominants are found in popular music where the chord stays constant for a period of time. Funk vamps and many of the dom7th's found in blues and rock are "static." "Functioning" dom7th's are the traditional tension chords that resolve to other chords. This is where altered dominants do their work. I'm going to send you more chords now

SEAN: that 1st c dom chord is trouble

Don Mock: Let's stick to "static" dominants for this lesson. If we were jamming over a C7 vamp, our "home" scale or key is F major. Here's a few F major patterns around our 8th fret area to use over C7. If you prefer to think of them as C7 or C mixolydian scales, fine.

SEAN: are the open strings muted or played?

Don Mock: muting strings is a big deal. Most of the best guitar voicings only have 3 or 4 notes so you have to become a wizard at muting strings with your left hand, here comes the 13th voicings

Don Mock: all these chord voicings are the classics that everyone plays in this general position. Think of all of them as just different versions of C Dom 7 chords

SEAN: you need alien fingers to do some of these chords

Don Mock: I didn't show you specific fingerings, so you can work out ones best for you

Hank_Garland: Don, how did you become interested in jazz?

Chris: just wondering the best way to practice learning these chords..they are all pretty new to me.. sometimes I get frustrated with the fingerings

Don Mock: I became interested in jazz from being a rock/blues player when a friend gave me a Barney Kessell and Johnny Smith album, Chris you need to apply them to a real situation, the only way you will remember this stuff is to apply it as SOON AS POSSIBLE

Chris: thanks Don...any Idea where I can pick up backing tracks to practice the chords over..

Don Mock: Hank, I've played with guys you would appreciate like Ray Brown, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Gary Peacock...  and tons more of them who tolerated my youthful playing 8-)

Tom: demonstrate some walking bass lines for us ?

Don Mock: Tom later in the blues lesson, now I'll send you some scales to practice and licks. Learning and using scales is a huge topic. They're the obvious starting place for learning to improvise but the goal isn't to just play scales real fast up and down the fingerboard. Scales are a foundation showing you where the right notes are. But to play melodically, arpeggios and finally melodies need to be learned.

Don Mock: the II, V, I thing we will do in 2 weeks

Don Mock: some of the best jazz melodies live in this very scale... don't think that there are some other magic scales needed to play great jazz melodies, I'll send you some licks next

darntootin: don...whats the difference between the scale you gave and Dmin

Don Mock: Hank this next lick is inspired by George Benson, who told me about you! and what a big inspiration you were to him!!!

darntootin: don...Cdom7=Dmin???

Don Mock: C dom 7 = G min,7both chords are in the key of F,  this is the most important thing for you guys to get out of this lesson, let me ask you guys some questions, what is the V chord the key of G?

viper53: D

jfsteele: D7

Don Mock: D is correct, what key is Bb7 in?

jfsteele: Eb

viper53: F

Don Mock: Eb is right, what key is A13 in?

jfsteele: D

Don Mock: D is right, what key is F min7 and Bb7 in? key of Eb, if you've been able to answer these questions, you're well on your way! If not,...

viper53: Don , Bb is in the key of F too

Don Mock: you need to learn more basic music theory, theory is MUCH easier than you might think, it's just simple math

gtrwun: rock players are very lazy when it comes to theory

Don Mock: not the good ones, any last questions before I go

gtrwun: can these scales be superimposed over simpler chords?

Don Mock: gtr the answer is yes, everything we learned here tonight can be super imposed over G min7... and Bb maj 7

darntootin: but don...was the original scale correct

Don Mock: yes the previous scale was correct, it's an F major scale, starting on Bb, don't worry about where scales start and end

Tom: start it on the C = C mixolydian?

Don Mock: yes Tom, some guys would consider the scale and the chords to be C Mixolydian, thanks everybody, I'll see you next week!

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