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Thread: m7b5, aug, dim7, min6

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  1. #1
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    Sep 2006

    m7b5, aug, dim7, min6

    I would like to know more about how to use m7b5, aug, dim7, min6 in songs

    because I'm very tied in maj min 7 chord

    thanks lots^^

  2. #2
    Did I say that out loud ? joeyd929's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Chord subs and minor II V progressions

    Quote Originally Posted by yuen
    I would like to know more about how to use m7b5, aug, dim7, min6 in songs

    because I'm very tied in maj min 7 chord

    thanks lots^^
    The m7b5 chord is kind of cool because it can be subbed for a 9th and/or a minor 6. I don't know what your background in music theory is but I'll run through this anyway. I used C for this..

    C m7b5 is C Eb Gb Bb

    If you put an Ab in the bass, this becomes an Ab (dominant) 9th chord..

    Ab C Eb Gb Bb

    That same Cm7b5 chord can also be used as Eb minor 6.

    Eb Gb Bb C

    It has to be in context but as you can see, all 3 chords are the same notes.

    Anyway, a good place to use the m7b5 chord is after a normal II - V - I progression. So, play a normal II - V like Dm7 | G 13 | C Maj 7

    Then repeat but play Dm7b5, G7+, Cminor7

    Aug and Dim7 chords can be used in place of dominant 7 chords but your ear has to get used to them.

  3. #3
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Akron, OH
    Quote Originally Posted by yuen
    I would like to know more about how to use m7b5, aug, dim7, min6 in songs

    because I'm very tied in maj min 7 chord

    thanks lots^^

    m7b5 chords naturally occur as the ii chord in a minor key. In jazz, they are frequently used as part of a ii-V-i progression in a minor key.

    Augmented, and also dom7#5, work well as V chords in any situation.

    Dim7 naturally occurs as the vii chord in a minor key (using the harmonic minor scale). Essentially it works like a V chord (actually, it is a V7 chord missing a note, but that's a different topic). For example, a progression of vii° to i is very common. You can extend this to any other chord in a key by preceeding it by a dim7 chord. For example: Cmaj7 C#dim7 Dm7 D#dim7 Em7 is a common cliche chord progression using dim7 chords.

    Min6 is simply an alternative color you can use on minor chords instead of min7. The ii chord in a major key, and the iv chord in a minor key (same chord) naturally is a min6 chord. In the key of Cmajor or A minor, that's a Dm6 chord. You can also force a i chord in a minor key to be a min6 chord, which is slightly stepping out of the key, but it works because you're not greatly changing the chord (it still has 1 b3 and 5), but rather just coloring it differently (a 6 instead of a b7)

  4. #4
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    Jackson MS
    You can substitute Dim7 for Dom7(b9) where any tone of the Dim7 is 1/2 step higher than the root of the Dom7(b). The Dim7 is the upper four tones of a Dom7b9 3,5,b7,b9 (no root) and since the Dim7 is completely symmetrical (all m3 intervals between notes) any tone can be its root, you can see that each inversion of Dim7 is identical in interval structure. This works best in a Harmonic Minor setting. m6 can replace m7 for a iim7, however, Since (ii) m6 is the same as (vii) m7b5 a minor third below it is equivalent to substituting vii m7b5 for ii. If you are playing ii-V and sub vii for ii and III7 for V you are essentially modulating to the relative minor (harmonic or jazz) and playing a ii-V in the minor key a minor third down from the original ii-V. If you change ii to m6 and use the relationship of V9 (Ebm6-Ab9) you need only add the Ab to complete the ii-V. This doesn't usuall sound as well defined as a m7-V7 or m7-V9, you will find it in jazz standards. Like the dim7 the aug chord is symmetrical (all M3 intervals) and as such it can be used as a 'passing' chord like a passing tone to get from one chord to the next. Raising any tone of an augmented chord becomes the root of a minor chord, lowering any tone becomes the 5th of a major chord.
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  5. #5
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Twickenham, UK
    In addition to the above, min6 chords are often used as tonic chords in minor keys. In that context, they indicate melodic minor scale, not dorian mode.
    Those min6 chords are not interchangeable with m7b5s.

    But just to explain the min6=m7b5 idea a bit more...

    In rock, you often find this minor key sequence: Dm-E7-Am (iv-V-i);
    In jazz, they would prefer Bm7b5-E7-Am (ii-V-i).
    Bm7b5 is simply Dm with a B bass - IOW, the 6th of the chord in the bass.
    The sequences sound very similar, but Bm7b5 is a subtle and important difference.
    In older jazz, Dm6 would be more common than Bm7b5. It was bebop players that got hold of min6s and inverted them - which changes their function.

    E.g., a min6 chord might often be used as a minor IV chord, following a major IV and resolving to I. Eg:
    Cmaj7-C7-Fmaj7-Fm6-Cmaj7... etc
    If you invert the Fm6 (F-Ab-C-D) and make it Dm7b5 (D-F-Ab-C), that would normally require a G7 chord after it, to make a ii-V-I:
    Cmaj7-C7-Fmaj7-Dm7b5-G7-Cmaj7... etc
    Moreover, Dm7b5 suggests the C minor key, not C major (although it does work quite nicely in the C major key).
    The improvisation scales suggested are also different. The Fm6 suggests F melodic minor (because the E natural in that scale keeps it as close as possible to the overall C major scale). Dm7b5, however, suggests C natural minor (D locrian) - which is only one note different: F melodic minor = F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D-E. D locrian = D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C.
    Even so, jazz musicians may still use F melodic minor on a Dm7b5, because the E natural tends to sound better against the chord than Eb.

    It's also worth comparing the role of Fm6 in that sequence with 2 other chords:
    (1) Fdim7. Fdim7 (F-Ab-B-D) only has one note difference, but that allows it to act as a sub for G7(b9). So you could try these two variants and see how they sound:
    (2) Bb9 = Bb-D-F-Ab-C = Fm6/Bb, or Dm7b5/Bb. This sequence is quite common in jazz:
    Cmaj7-C7-Fmaj7-Bb9-Cmaj7... or
    The Bb7 or Bb9 in these sequences would take F melodic minor, same as the above Fm6. With a Bb bass, this is known as Bb lydian dominant.

    It's worth trying out all these sequences and listening for the subtle differences.

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