Measured steps, finger exercises, and more

I explored lots of stuff today. (I’m talking about yestertoday, March 21. I subscribe to the notion that it doesn’t truly become the next day until you go to sleep and wake up.) I wrote another tune, messed with some finger exercises, played around with that expanded ii V I pattern, and played a previous tune again.

I was listening to John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, and I found it interesting the way he modulated between keys. I think that if I want to be a good jazz musician, I should be able to modulate smoothly, freely, and efficiently between keys. I was exploring that train of thought, along with the ii V I idea with its various compressions and expansions, when I wrote this tune. You might notice a similarity to Only in Spirit in the beginning of the melodic and harmonic lines.

The chords are these:

CM7 CMm7 | FM7 FMm7 | BbM7 Bbm7 | Gb Ab DbM7 | A B EM7 | C D GM7 (GMm7)

As I said in the previous post, the modulating “common chord sequence” of M7s into Mm7s into M7s can be expanded into a similar sequence for the ii V I progression. Starting in C, this would be done like so:

CM7 | Cm7 FMm7/C BbM7 | Bbm7 EbMm7/Bb AbM7 | etc.

Thus this progresses down the whole tone scale (starting with C, to Bb, to Ab) in M7 to m7 chords, and simultaneously progresses down the other whole tone scale (starting with F, to Eb, to Db) with Mm7 chords. I decided to play this pattern all the way down the octave, in all four inversions of the seventh chords. It was interestingly confusing to try to do all the inversions, because the fingerings for the root inversion include the fingerings for the second inversion but with different chord qualities, and vice versa—and the same for first and third inversions. (Note that there would be an entirely different set of chords [no overlaps with the first set, in fact] if one began on C# or B, for example, since the two whole tone scales that correspond to M7/m7 chords and Mm7 chords would be swapped. [By this I mean that one would have C, Bb, Ab, etc. always take a Mm7 chord, and F, Eb, Db, etc. would always take the M7/m7 chords.])

I was also messing around with a way to apply my expanded ii V I to loop around one key, instead of modulating forever down the whole tone scale. I came up with two versions that resolved in the same key they start. The first has these chords:

CM7 Cm7 Cdim7 FMm7/C BbM7 Bdim7 Csus C

The second—I was working with the idea of two descending half steps for each chord change—has these chords.

CM7 Cm7 Cdim7 ???* BbM7 Bdim7 Csus G (C)

* This is a chord that I don’t know the name for. The notes are B, D#, F, and A. It fits with the whole tone scale starting on B. I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of augmented chord, since it’s built from two major third intervals.

I also did another take of Daisies in Paris, without the 5-minute meander at the start.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s