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Thread: Question about C7+9 chord

  1. #1
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    Question about C7+9 chord

    Hello to everyone. As a relative beginner with bebop, I have a question about the C7+9 chord. Seems like a straightforward augmented 9th, however Jamey Aebersold says that this also implies an augmented 5th. Is this correct? J.A. advises what he calls the diminished whole-tone scale, i.e.,
    C, Db, Eb, E, Gb, Ab, Bb, C. Obviously this differs from the whole-step/half-step (aka diminished) scale. What would be the best piano voicing for this either way, with or without the augmented 5th (I am not a pianist). Any advice on this would be appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Scott

  2. #2
    Composer/Drummer Jay Norem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bixntram View Post
    Hello to everyone. As a relative beginner with bebop, I have a question about the C7+9 chord. Seems like a straightforward augmented 9th, however Jamey Aebersold says that this also implies an augmented 5th. Is this correct? J.A. advises what he calls the diminished whole-tone scale, i.e.,
    C, Db, Eb, E, Gb, Ab, Bb, C. Obviously this differs from the whole-step/half-step (aka diminished) scale. What would be the best piano voicing for this either way, with or without the augmented 5th (I am not a pianist). Any advice on this would be appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Scott
    The 7#9 chord has both a major and minor third. Standard simplistic voicing would be C E Bb Eb. I don't see why there would be an augmented 5th implied.

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    Not sure i get that, either.
    I wouldn't choose Ab in that unless it was a V chord in the key of F...what we used to call "C7 and friends", which basically includes all the black keys in a C7 (but has nothing to do with voicings).

    I'm sure you'll get a better answer than this, though.

  4. #4
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    Hi bixntram,

    I think depending on what context the C7#9 appears, it can be applied different scales.
    Following strictly the chord symbol, it contains the notes c, e, bb, and d#.

    C7#9 played in a Blues context could take the blues-scale.
    C7#9 as a regular dominant or secondary dominant chord could take either the altered scale (=MM7) or the Halftone-Whole tone scale.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bixntram View Post
    Hello to everyone. As a relative beginner with bebop, I have a question about the C7+9 chord. Seems like a straightforward augmented 9th, however Jamey Aebersold says that this also implies an augmented 5th. Is this correct? J.A. advises what he calls the diminished whole-tone scale, i.e.,
    C, Db, Eb, E, Gb, Ab, Bb, C. Obviously this differs from the whole-step/half-step (aka diminished) scale. What would be the best piano voicing for this either way, with or without the augmented 5th (I am not a pianist). Any advice on this would be appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Scott
    In jazz, 7#9 (or 7+9) is often used as shorthand for an altered dom7 - which means either a #5 or b5, along with #9 and/or b9 (as in the scale you quoted, more often known as the "altered" scale).

    I'm not a pianist either, but the simplest (rootless) voicing for C7alt would be E-Bb-D#
    Here's some more options (from Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book);
    C-Bb in left hand, E-G#-D# in right hand
    C-E in left hand, D#-G#-Bb in right hand
    C-E in left hand, Bb-D#-G# in right hand

    Altered dom7s - often written simply as "7alt" - are common V chords in minor keys. So C7#9 would most often be found (in jazz at least) going to Fm.
    This is quite different from their usage in rock and blues as the "Hendrix" chord, where they are a blues tonic (I chord), and imply a perfect 5th.

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    C Db Eb E F# Ab Bb would be an altered scale (also known as 'superlocrian'). The diminished scale has a major 6th and a perfect 5th instead of the sharp 5, so it goes C Db Eb E F# G A Bb. If the chord has a sharp 5 or flat 5 you'd probably play the first scale (between those two). If it's a perfect 5th, you're more likely to play the second. If there's no piano player or guitarist comping behind, you can choose I guess.

    Typical left hand voicing for C7#9 would be E Bb D#. There's no fifth there - you can add an Ab or an A between the E and Bb, depending on whether the fifth is 'altered'. I think the voicing sounds great without a fifth as well though.

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    C7+9

    Thanks to everyone who responded; every comment was very helpful

  8. #8
    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    dont forget ..the blues scale works well over a dominant sharp nine pitch set.
    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )
    RIP

  9. #9
    Bob Budny Bob Budny's Avatar
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    May be because the #5 would give the support of a P5 to the b9 in a voicing and eliminate one of the tritones rendering the chord more stable sounding.

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