Treatment of the Dominant Chord Throughout "Have You Met Miss Jones?"

By extending the V7 chord over the preceding predominant (ii-7), I give myself more time to create tension and explore more harmonic choices. One choice would be to use the altered scale associated with V7 chord over the ii-7. More recently I have been thinking of (and playing on) the V7 or major seven chord built off the flat five of the V7 chord. In example 3, the flat five of the V7 (D7) chord is Ab. If I play Ab7 or Ab major pentatonic over D7 I play the altered notes found in D7 altered scale. With the Ab major pentatonic scale I get the #11, b13, b7, b9, and #9 of D7. For me I play differently when I think Ab than if I think D altered scale. If I extend the V7 chord over the ii-7 (A-7) chord and think Ab I end up side stepping a half step down from the A-7 chord and create tension that is brought more into context when the underlying chord changes to D7 (V7).

Chords changes located on the top and furthest from the staff indicate what chords the guitar player is voicing. Chords closest to the staff are what I am thinking when improvising. When there is only one chord present both saxophone and guitar are playing/thinking the same chord.

Example 3 Extending V7 Harmony Over ii-7 Harmony


I continue thinking Ab over the D7 chord hitting mostly altered tones before resolving to the third scale degree of G major 7. For now, I usually resolve tension in a fairly predictable way so as to make the tension I have created seem more valid to my ear and the ear of the listener. I always try to get back inside the harmony in a convincing way after playing outside the chord changes. Often I will think and play Ab7 pentatonic (1, 2, 3, 5, b7) over D7 altered. Gb, the flat seven in Ab7, is the enharmonic third (F#) in D7 or the D altered scale. Playing the third of the V7 chord can help resolve some of the tension created by the altered notes. Or maybe you don't want to resolve them just yet! Pentatonic scales and shapes help me to get away from stepwise or arpeggio shapes. These scales usually strongly convey harmony. Because of their strong harmonic foundation, they make great tools for stepping outside of the key. In example 4 I not only use pentatonic scales but also a sequence.

Copyright 2018 Jeff Pifher All Rights Reserved