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the same chord shape-different musical contexts

Hi guys

When people teach about chords in gypsy jazz they say that the same chord shape can work as Em7 flat 5 or as C7/9 or as Gm6. Why it works like that ? What is the rule employed in this concept ?
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Comments

  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Altamira M30, Gitane DG-370
    They all contain the same notes.
  • Elí SaúlElí Saúl Toluca, Mexico.New Dell'Arte DG-H2
    They are inversions of each other.
    Look:
    Em7b5
    E-G-Bb-D
    Gm6
    G-Bb-D-E
    C7/9
    C-D-E-G-Bb

    Due to the nature of the guitar, we're always abreviating chords, specially when the chord goes on extension above 9th.
    If you think of the Gm6 classic shape, with this order: G-E-Bb-D
    You could name it Gm6, C9/G (noroot) or Em7b5/G
  • rafapakrafapak ✭✭
    edited August 19
    thanks for reply, can I say that Gm6 is the first inversion of Em7b5 - with the minor third in bass ?
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Note that one does need a bass player to define what chord it is if the guitar doesn't put the root in the bass. Sorry if that is obvious but it is pretty important.
  • rafapak wrote: »
    thanks for reply, can I say that Gm6 is the first inversion of Em7b5 - with the minor third in bass ?
    I wouldn't look at it that way. Don't over complicate things.
    Look these chords simply share a lot of the same notes. Sometimes they can substitute each other well. But sometimes guys will insist to use those substitutions where it doesn't work. Probably the most common is using the Em7b5 shape to play a Gm7. Sometimes it works beautifully and sometimes it's just wrong.
    You have to let the song tell you whether it's ok or not, listen and do not insist on it because "look it's almost the same exact notes turned around".

    Dark Eyes can show you how it can work beautifully. And maybe by looking at Dark Eyes you can get some answers.
    In it's traditional form it's A7, Dm, A7, Bb.
    But most commonly it's played as A7, Bm7b5, C#dim, Bb.
    But the two chords, Bm7b5 and C#dim are that only on the surface. They have a function of Dm and A7 only the first one is Dm with a 6th in the root and the second is A7 with the 3rd in the root and also has a b9 in there.

    As silly as it sounds, when I started coming to this music from rock, one of my big "aha's" was when I started to realize that the root of the chord doesn't have to have a tonic note in the bass. Or the lowest note of the chord doesn't need to be the the tonic. It actually took some time to retrain my mind to accept that flexibility.

    You say what is the rule, after you learn the basic why's as others have explained, it's the music that rules.
    altonShemiMichael S Harrington
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • rafapak wrote: »
    thanks for reply, can I say that Gm6 is the first inversion of Em7b5 - with the minor third in bass ?

    Yes
  • Elí SaúlElí Saúl Toluca, Mexico.New Dell'Arte DG-H2
    rafapak wrote: »
    thanks for reply, can I say that Gm6 is the first inversion of Em7b5 - with the minor third in bass ?

    It really depends of the context you are playing, but yes.

    What Buco said about people trying some inversions justifying themselves only on notes it's important as as well, you need to give the inversions context by doing voice leading, essentially is thinking of a bass line while doing your chords, it's kind of like guide tones that lead the way your chords will layout, in theory what works well is going from voicing to another by keeping one or more notes from chord to chord, this becomes a matter of taste and musicality.
    I for one I like leading voices with a chromatic feel, with no much big jumps to keep an steady rhythm and groovy feel, an example I could give you:
    | Am | D7 |
    I would probably play this:
    | Am Am(maj7) | Am7 D9 |
    My guide tones are a chromatic passage from A to F#, which to my ears is pretty pleasant, going as it prepares D9 pretty smoothly going from it's V to iii and it also leaves the window open if I want to do iim7 - iib7 - I of C keeping a chromatic feel
  • By doubling one of the chord tones one can more clearly emphasize which chord one is playing or intending it to function as or vice versa if the out of the box ambiguity is what is desired.

    That is a big part of The joy of cooking
    Buco
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Also true.
    All of the above.

    Hey Jay @Jazzaferri what do you mean by:
    Jazzaferri wrote: »
    By doubling one of the chord tones
    play one of the chord tones as an octave in the voicing?
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ShemiShemi Cardiff✭✭✭
    @stuart that's how I approached it when I was learning about chord types/extensions and how I now teach it to students. When I introduce 7th chords to someone, for instance, I get them to first be able to identify the intervals within the shape, then startng with the maj7th get them to drop the 7th for the dominant, then drop the 3rd for m7, then drop the 5th m7b5, etc. Then get them to do it with other voicings and then adding other extensions.

    It's so much more productive than just throwing a bunch of chord shapes at someone and getting them to learn them cold. Plus if they come across a chord they don't know they can use their brain instead of searching for a chord diagram!
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