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A question of Chords

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A question of Chords

Postby miker » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:06 am

I'm notating a piece that has a chord Dm(maj7).

Is that the same as Dm(#7)? Is there a better way to show it?

It's in a progression that goes Dm > Dm(maj7) > Dm/C

Enquiring minds want to know!
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Re: A question of Chords

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Re: A question of Chords

Postby Bill Stevens » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:29 am

I wonder if that implies a descending bass line so it would be Dm -- Dm/C# -- Dm/C.

Does what you are notating give a hint to that?

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Re: A question of Chords

Postby motet » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:36 am

My guess would be D-F-A-C#. I don't know from chord notation, though.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby Hector Pascal » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:59 am

My guess would be the same as Bill's (and motet's). Additionally, maybe the descending D C# C bass line could be interpreted as the top voice of the chords' progression.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby michelp » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:43 am

A typical chord progression. The moving note (8, Maj7, 7) can be seen in the voicing or as as bass line.
P.S.: I wouldn't use the Dm(#7) form.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby johnmouse » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:12 pm

I would notate the way you suggested Dm (maj7). I play from lead sheets often and this would make perfect sense to me.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby zuill » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:13 pm

I also use Dm(maj7). If you want the bass to walk down chromatically, you can do Dm Dm(maj7)/C# Dm/C

Doing Dm Dm/C# Dm/C accomplishes the same result.

So, choose the one that works best for the situation. I find that the simpler the notation, the better, so the second option is very often preferred, especially when I am writing for an ensemble with guitar and bass. Some guitar players want to do a fancy Dm(maj7) voicing and a simple Dm works better, so I choose that.

Knowing your ensemble is essential when it comes to chord symbol notation, in my opinion.

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Re: A question of Chords

Postby miker » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:45 pm

Thanks to everyone for the education and suggestions!
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby ebiggs1 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:42 pm

My guess would be D-F-A-C#.


Me too, doesn't a Dm(maj7) already have a C# ? Doing Dm/C# simply moves the C# to the bass ? I would prefer Dm Dm/C# Dm/C.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby zuill » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:05 pm

There are pros and cons to each of the 2 ways I mentioned: Dm(maj7)/C# or Dm/C#. Guitar players will see these one way if there is a bass player doing the split symbols. They would voice the Dm(maj7) differently if they were also handling the bass movement. Same with a piano player handling both parts of the split symbol.

So, the setting determines much about how these things are perceived and interpreted.

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Re: A question of Chords

Postby johnmouse » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:10 pm

I may have misunderstood. If the bass line is going from C# to C, then I would use Dm/C# Dm/C
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby ebiggs1 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:11 pm

Yes
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby zuill » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:27 pm

In the original post, Mike did not indicate that the Dm(maj7) has a C# in the bass. Somewhere along the way, some assumed that might be the case.

In any event, if the #7 is indicated with/C# to be played as a bass note, but the C# is also wanted in the chord as well (right hand for a piano player), then it is best to use Dm(maj7)/C#. If that is not the case, then Dm/C# is fine. The context determines the voicing.

Just last night I had a piece (in performance) that had G2/A. The written music had a chord with BDGA (the 2 on top). That was the specifically desired voicing. So, G2/A is the way to write the chord. If the right hand voicing was just BDG, then G/A is best.

Context is important. We deal with this every day, so it is something that needs to be understood. I teach this to my students, so they have the best voicing possible. The chord symbol must be understood in context.

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Re: A question of Chords

Postby miker » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:02 pm

This was just a lead sheet, so, no piano.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby zuill » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:08 pm

A lead sheet has chords for someone to play, however. Will this be for a pianist or guitarist?

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Re: A question of Chords

Postby ebiggs1 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:08 pm

I agree totally. A Dm(maj7) would have a D in the bass or the lowest note at least. A Dm(maj7)/#C would put a C# as the bass or bottom note.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby miker » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:30 pm

Zuill,
Both. Piano comping, with a bass. And maybe ukulele. This is for the Temple choir, so nothing is a surprise, anymore...
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby ebiggs1 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:45 pm

In combos the bassist’s primary job is to play the roots of the chords. The pianist’s primary job is to play chords but sometimes omits the root note.
I have never done Temple choir, or even any real choir work at all, nor ukulele music so I don't know if this is still true with them.
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Re: A question of Chords

Postby HaraldS » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:31 am

miker wrote:I'm notating a piece that has a chord Dm(maj7). Is that the same as Dm(#7)?


I agree with writing "maj7" . I would oppose strongly "#7" as it implies a raised 7th from the standard major scale, which would result in the chord's root note and thus being wrong. But obviously, the consensus here is "maj7" which is perfectly correct.

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