Monday, June 6, 2011

Arpeggiating through a Minor ii-V-i

Hi, I have and love the chord-tone soloing book - so glad I started working through it. I am working on chapter 17, arpeggio connection. However when I try arpeggio connection over a progression, such as Autumn Leaves, with extended chords I run into a little problem over altered arpeggios, such as the B7(b9). I understand the spelling is 1, 3, 5, b7, b9, then into the next octave with 3, 5, b7, b9 but how do I perform the arpeggio connection exercise over this chord? Do I include the root, but only in the beginning in the low register? How do I determine where and which ‘1’ of the arpeggio is the root (to include) when I'm descending? Would I essentially just be arpeggiating a diminished chord (B# diminished) over the dominant seventh flat nine chord? There is probably no straight answer but thanks,


Hi Mike,

Good question, and you're right that there's no hard and fast answer. I just connected arpeggios over a minor ii-V-i a bunch of times to make sure, and all three of these possible ways sound good to me over the B7b9 in any register: root, b9, or both.

You can expect that you get some freedom on the V7 chord in a minor ii-V-i, and a lot of things will work. Jump over and check out the licks on page 106. They just happen to also be on B7-Em. They all have both B and C as high notes, with the B falling on either a strong or weak beat. On that particular chord situation---V7 resolving to im, almost any chord tone or altered extension sounds cool on the beat: 1-3-b5-#5-b7-b9-#9 (or the perfect 5th if it is present---most accompanists will alter the 5th or leave it out to give you freedom). I just avoid the root of the upcoming chord (E). I want to save that note for the resolution.

(By the way that's one goal of the altered scale. It includes notes on either side of the upcoming root.)

That "anything goes" idea is not true of all chord types, though. For example, I don't always like hitting the root of a major 7 chord right on the downbeat in the upper register when playing a line of eighth notes. I'll go for the 7th or 9th instead.

If I'm going to hit the root there, I try to make it a quarter note or longer so the listener has time to hear it as something out of the ordinary. The line stalls, but you get an interesting "suspended" kind of sound in its place. (Actually it sounds more like an appoggiatura, but don't say that word if you want to keep a job!)

For you out there in TV land, the book under discussion can be previewed here:
Chord Tone Soloing

Barrett Tagliarino

Barrett Tagliarino