I've been working on A Night In Tunisia, which got me to thinking about dominant chords with the altered fifth. In tune (as played in D minor), it features A7b5 (altered V over the D minor) in the theme, and Eb7#11 in the Interlude. This got me to thinking about the dominant seventh chord with the flatted fifth?
First question -- for practical purposes, do you think of the b5 or #11 as the same chord?
I believe the theory goes that a dom 7 b5 means the chord should have all its fifths flatted, where the dom 7 #11 says the chord can have both a natural fifth as long as you have a flatted fifth as well.
That is all well and good for piano players that can hit up to ten notes in a chord, but for a guitarist, I think of them as the same chord.
Second -- what pattern, arp or scale come to mind when improvising?
Back to Night In Tunisia, since the A7b5 is a resolving dominant (and in theory allows the natural fifth), D minor works, especially with an added b9 (Eb) to emphasize the b5 of the A7.
The interlude's Eb7#11 is not acting as a "V" chord. So I am looking at the whole tone scale (over Eb in this case). But I prefer learning chord arps, and what seems to work best in this case is to take the four note dominant 7 arp a flatted fifth away (Eb7 ~ A) and flat the fifth of that (so E becomes Eb). It basically becomes a four note whole tone scale.
In a time constrained issue, if you were building up your skill over this altered chord type, what one scale, or arp pattern do you like?