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

As my solo builds, I use more borrowed harmonic material from different tonal centers and chord types such as harmonic minor and diminished. I have been trying to see how many sounds I can “spin” around on a given chord while in time and seamlessly connect to the proceeding chord. In example 5 I play four different sounds while outlining a V7 chord. I first extend the V7 harmony over the ii-7 (D-7) predominant to allow me more time to build tension. D-7 (ii-7) now becomes G7. I begin building tension using the fifth mode of the C harmonic minor scale. This mode, also known as mixolydian b2 b6 gives me Ab (b9) and Eb (b13) in addition to the notes found in the G7 mixolydian scale. While I do not play Eb until later in the line as part of the altered scale, I am thinking harmonic minor (fifth mode mixolydian b2 b6) during the first portion of the ascending phrase.

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.

Ex. 5 Using Different Sounds Consecutively Over V7

5.png

I create a hemiola by emphasizing upbeats and displacing strong downbeats. Next I use notes from G diminished dominant scale starting with a half step and then whole step. Half whole diminished scales are used over dominant chords and contain the same notes as diminished scales that begin with a whole step and then half step. With the hemiola in full effect, a pattern becomes too predictable so I quickly switch to the altered scale as well as change the direction of the line. Gb on the “and” of beat one in measure two acts as an upper neighbor of a double neighbor (Eb is the lower neighbor) to get to the target note F on the downbeat of two. I finish measure two with an Eb augmented triad built off the b13 of G7 followed by its pair F major triad beginning on beat one of measure three. Incorporating all of these sounds and using them consecutively helps to keep my lines more unpredictable while still steeped in solid harmonic foundations.

Copyright 2018 Jeff Pifher All Rights Reserved