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Why is the Nolan book so full of 13b9 chords?

t-birdt-bird Portland, Oregon Castelluccia Nuages, Dupont Nomade
I'm referring to the sub for a Dominant 7 in most of the tunes I've played from his charts. I understand it can add some good tension as well as bring chromatic bass lines into play, but sometimes it just seems messy.

When using the Nolan books at jams do you always play 13b9 chords or is it okay to just play the Dom7?
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Comments

  • fourowlsfourowls Brisbane, Queensland, AustraliaNew Petrarca Grande Bouche
    Posts: 72
    Hey good question and curious to see what others have to say too!
  • ConorFConorF Cheshire JWC Catania Swing
    Posts: 68
    Ask Robin, via Gypsy Jazz Secrets, I'm sure he'd respond with a video :-)
    Buco
  • If you are referring to Robin's gig book, I find that his voicings usually make perfect sense harmonically, There are one or two odd ones or possibly errors in the print process that didn't get edited out. Happens.

    You get to choose whatever chords you want to play. If you want to sub a straight up dominant 7th chord (as opposed to a maj or min 7th) go for it.

    Best to understand why you are making that choice though.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • spudspud paris, france✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 101
    Yes good question! I learnt most of my voicings from his books too. And later i had to think about what was actually happening. I think he is using voicing without the tonic as well . Especially when its a 2-5-1 where the 1 chord tonic is on the A string. When the 1 chord tonic is on the E string, he uses the root note. Would be good to ask him!
  • Wim GlennWim Glenn oƃɐɔᴉɥƆModerator 503
    Posts: 1,079
    Yeah, I remember being annoyed by those chord charts too. They are not great charts. We usually only want to see the basic chords in these charts (just the minor, major and dominant chords). Colourations should be left up to the player.
    t-birdMichaelHorowitz
  • ivyguitarivyguitar New
    Posts: 8
    I worked through those books and it seems like the voicings are for simplicity/minimal lifting of fingers.

    The 13b9 chord highlights that a sub for a Dominant 7 can be made by just raising the root one semi-tone.

    He uses that cliché in a lot of songs in the book for 2-5 movement.

    This is the tough question -->
    "When using the Nolan books at jams do you always play 13b9 chords or is it okay to just play the Dom7?"
  • richter4208richter4208 ✭✭✭
    Posts: 378
    I believe Ivyguitar has it right above
  • Using All of Me as an example. The Dm7 G13b9 C6/9 sequence. Play it as written in the book then sub a straight G7. Listen carefully to the voice leading in the book version. From Dm7 to G13b9 the F pedals and the other 3 notes all drop a semi tone. The top line want to settle into the C 6/9 the base line is sonically tending to the G but surprise surprise, jumps up to the C.

    Creates a nice subtle tension and release into the settled C 6/9 Playing it with a standard G7 sounds contrived and very unhip to my ears in the context of the melody. Once into the improv part then depending on what the bass and soloist are doing one could play the Dm7 G7/B and then C6 with the root on the 6 string or play it with G in the root or a rootless G7.

    Chord comping with minimal movement of the voicings often sounds better and gets less in the way of the soloist than bouncing all over the neck. But there are times when a big move is just the right thing to do.

    The joy in this is finding all the different ways of playing this and then using the one that works best in the context of what is going on.

    My $0.02 FWIW
    pickitjohn
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Posts: 2,675
    I always saw those just as a way to walk the bass down when doing 2 5 1. So say Em7 with B in bass going to A7 so here you would flatten the 9 (or 2) of A7 so you would play A7 with Bb in bass but you keep the 13 shape because it's very similar to Em shape, and go to Dmaj7 with A in bass. So you get this little walking bass line going.
    It's especially nice in tunes that have 3 6 2 5 like Coquette.
    That's what I think when I see 13b9, I could be way off.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • spudspud paris, france✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2016 Posts: 101
    Buco wrote: »
    I always saw those just as a way to walk the bass down when doing 2 5 1. So say Em7 with B in bass going to A7 so here you would flatten the 9 (or 2) of A7 so you would play A7 with Bb in bass but you keep the 13 shape because it's very similar to Em shape, and go to Dmaj7 with A in bass. So you get this little walking bass line going.
    It's especially nice in tunes that have 3 6 2 5 like Coquette.
    That's what I think when I see 13b9, I could be way off.
    Yes but the thing is he uses it systematically when the tonic chord has its root in the a string. No Matter What the melody. If the song is in g for example with the tonic on the low e string he uses Am6-D9 . He only uses the vb9 for the songs Where the tonic is on the a string
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