Re: [Harp-L] Counting to 13

Hi Lizzie,

I guess I should apologize for responding with jazz jargon as well?  :)

One key may be to playing these larger chords in the piano, where you can
see them stacked up.


But, on the harmonica, my suggestion would be to do something like this:

Create a backing track with a chord progression from a tune.

Something like:

| D-   | G7  | CM7   |

Play, with the track, all of the root notes:

D, G, C

when that is easy, play the thirds:

F, B, E

when that is easy, play the fifths:

A, D, G

and finally, play the 7ths:

C, F, B

That's the first level.


If you're able to do this without a problem, you can move on to the next

The next level would be extensions and alterations, and here's where the
9th comes in.

Can you name (without playing) the 9th of each chord as the track is

If you need to think of the 2nd to get the note, that's ok, but then get
used to calling it the 9th, eventually.

E, A, D

Now play those notes with the track.


Alterations on the 9th.

Alterations are most commonly used over 7th chords that resolve to their I
tonic chord.

In this case, alterations would apply to the G7 chord, which resolves to C.

Therefore, we are going to alter the 9th degree of G7, by making it a b9.

Play the notes:

E Ab  D

Another alteration is the #9, which would give us:

E Bb  D

Play that with the track.


A key point is to decide what you're going to play before playing, and then
try to execute it by naming it, hearing it, and playing it.

Try this on a number of different progressions.  It's a good exercise for
the theory brain, but also as training to the ears so you start to
recognize the sounds.

Jason Rogers (AKA chespernevins)

...end jazz jargon...

On Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 11:19 AM, Tin Lizzie <TrackHarpL@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> (Apologies in advance for some jazz jargon that may not make sense to all.)
> This weekâs post at gives some very nice jazz advice
> about adding altered chord tones one at a time, in scale fragments, rather
> than trying to tackle a new kind of scale all at once, and I found that
> helpful.
> But hereâs my quandary.  Sometimes I want to use the flat 6th as an
> approach tone to the 5th.  BUT in the jazz world, the flat 6th is called
> the flat 13th.
> I think in  *12*  tones, and regarding any particular scale in any
> particular key, I think in terms of 7 tones plus sharps and flats.  I
> quickly lose my bearings when I try to enter 9th, 11th, and 13th
> territory.  And when you start slinging around b9, #9, #11 and b13, well,
> here be dragons.  Yes, I get it that weâre counting up by twos from the
> root, and that 9, 11, and 13 gather in the notes that are between 1, 3, 5,
> and 7, and that b6th and b13th are different names for the same note.  I
> also get it that you canât fight city hall, and that it would be
> unproductive to rant about the GROSS INJUSTICE of bringing in these extra
> numbers just when I was starting to feel cozy with 1-7.
> What I would like to know is how all you jazz cats actually think about
> those notes, and if you do think in terms of 9-11-13, how you taught
> yourself to do so with facility.  Iâm looking for a gradual way in rather
> than the bazooka gun approach.  It is my current âstuck pointâ.
> ObHarp:  I went to Harmonicollege in Huntingon, WV this past weekend and
> had an absolutely fantastic time.  The teaching, the inn, the food
> (provided by members of the Huntington Harmonica Club and friends), and the
> camaraderie among the attendees were all amazing.
> It would change the vibe if it were ever to become as popular an event as
> SPAH or Augusta -- the small size of the group was a big part of the charm
> -- but at the risk of undermining that aspect of it, I would recommend this
> event to anyone.  Kudos and thanks to Jim Rumbaugh for all his
> organizational effort.
> Tin Lizzie

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.