Finding that perfect note to end a phrase

anthon_74anthon_74 Marin county, CA✭✭✭✭ Alta Mira M 01
in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 561
Hey Friends,

I've long noticed that the best players out there seem have a knack for ending a phrase on notes I would never have thought to use. Obviously notes you end a phrase with are particularly dangerous as they can sound either a) totally safe, but perhaps sometimes a bit boring,
b) Totally wrong notes making you sound like you're lost in the changes, or
c) that perfect combo of not too in, but not too out, making you sound like an evil genius ala Bireli.

For me, In order to not play a "wrong" note, I tend to go the safe route and end phrases by holding a triad chord tone, and MAYBE if I'm feeling brave, I'll end a phrase on the major 7th if stopping on a major chord.
The greats end phrases on notes that sound just enough "out" of the triad tonality, but not "bad" as in "oops I didn't mean to do that".

ARE there rules around this ? Are there notes that generally sound better to end phrases on ? 6th's, 9th's, 13th's etc. ?

What do you think ?

Anyone ?


  • edited August 2015 Posts: 3,707
    Depends on the chord being played, and the song. A major seven above tonic sounds outside if ending on a 6/9 chord. If ending on a triadic major sounds more inside and on a maj7 chord is completely inside. If last chord is a dominant 7 then playing a the leading tone next to the b7 will be very crunchy indeed.

    The last few notes leading to the end has as much to do with how successful the ending note comes across whether inside or even more importantly very outside.

    The minor 2 and then the minor 9 are the two most dissonant intervals to most ears still. Tritons can be very effectively used and are fairly outside.

    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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