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Minor 6 chords in songs
#3010928 08/06/20 05:58 PM
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This is not a chord I come across to often. Does anyone know of some well known examples of this chord?

These are the only two examples I know.

First chord in Sinatra's version of 'Girl from Ipanema'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NldPFVKYmiw

And the other version I know happens to be this trance song. It seems to contain a minor 6 chord played as follows. If someone could please tell me if I'm right that would be great.

Chords from 2:07 are as follows, and you can see where I've listed the minor 6 chord:

G#m - B6 - E - E
C#m - C#m6 - E - E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0QwyrVs7Jk

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Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3010931 08/06/20 06:11 PM
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Most tunes in the real book, if in a minor key, sound great having the min6 chord as the tonic chord I think. Most times the chart will say minor or minor 7th the the min6 actually is most more interesting. examples would be the Dmin chord in Yesterdays and Alone Together, for example.

Good voicings for the min6 chord would 1b356, 1b357, 1b369, 2b35, b3568, 69b35, 79b35 based on the major scale of the same key..

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Dfrankjazz #3010949 08/06/20 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
examples would be the Dmin chord in Yesterdays and Alone Together, for example.
Could you give me the name of the bands for both those songs???! Did you mean to say 'Yesterday' (and not 'Yesterdays') referring to the song by the Beatles? And what is this real book you refer to?
Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
Good voicings for the min6 chord would 1b356, 1b357, 1b369, 2b35, b3568, 69b35, 79b35 based on the major scale of the same key..
I don't follow!! Only the first one of those voicings that you gave is a min6 chord. An min6 chord does not contain a 9th(2nd), and you cannot omit the 6th and still call it a minor 6 chord.

For example, 1b357, is not a minor 6 chord. It is a minor major 7th chord.

Last edited by Visalia; 08/06/20 07:18 PM.
Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3010991 08/06/20 09:52 PM
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min6 allows the 1st mode of the ascending melodic minor scale for the melody to be used

Last edited by emenelton; 08/06/20 09:54 PM.
Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3010996 08/06/20 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Visalia
Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
examples would be the Dmin chord in Yesterdays and Alone Together, for example.
Could you give me the name of the bands for both those songs???! Did you mean to say 'Yesterday' (and not 'Yesterdays') referring to the song by the Beatles? And what is this real book you refer to?
Originally Posted by Dfrankjazz
Good voicings for the min6 chord would 1b356, 1b357, 1b369, 2b35, b3568, 69b35, 79b35 based on the major scale of the same key..
I don't follow!! Only the first one of those voicings that you gave is a min6 chord. An min6 chord does not contain a 9th(2nd), and you cannot omit the 6th and still call it a minor 6 chord.

For example, 1b357, is not a minor 6 chord. It is a minor major 7th chord.


First sit and play both min7 and min6 as much as necessary to get sound into your ears. Then get on your favorite music streaming site and listen to versions of those songs Alone Together and Yesterdays (not the Beatles song Yesterday. The Real Book is the Jazz fake book that has been around since the 1970's and today is now a legal commercial book that pretty much all Jazz students and player have.

A min6 is the basic chord and you add whatever other colors you want like a 9th. The typical scale used for min6 is (Jazz) Melodic Minor and that has a major7th so that voicing is coming from the scale.

DfrankJazz gave you a lot of good info, now you need to sit at the piano and experiment and listen and listen and listen.

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011001 08/06/20 11:08 PM
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Unlike classical harmony, chords symbols in jazz lends itself to interpretation in performance. This means that in each chord, some pitches can be omitted and others added , according to known rules (in fact, according to what sounds good). For example, in any chord you can remove the root and replace it with the ninth (second) degree. These pitches are called chord tensions .

Last edited by Nahum; 08/06/20 11:10 PM.
Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011098 08/07/20 09:06 AM
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Dfrank and Nahum are right on the money.

Dfrank is giving you voicings of the minor 6 chord (and this is the term Nahum defined in his post) which are harmonic structures that include a mix of scale degrees of the parent scale from which the chord is derived. They include chord tones (1, 3, 5 and 6) and tensions (9, 11, 13 [which are often erroneously referred to as 2, 4, 6]).

Tensions (aka upper structures) are above the chord tones (the lower structure) and therefore should be referred to as 9, 11 and 13.

One of the examples that Dfrank gave was, 2b35. This is a voicing that has a 9 (aka a 2) a flat 3 and a 5. In C this would translate to D, Eb, G.

You are correct that if there is no 6 in the voicing it is not technically a minor 6 chord and strictly speaking the above example would be a voicing for a minor triad.

For a more complete understanding of the minor 6 chord in addition to it's cousins the minor 7th chord and the minor major 7 chord, do a search for minor key harmony.

I have two lessons on my site that would help you: (requires paid subscription)

https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/courses/minor-ii-V-i-progression
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/courses/chordscales-of-minor-ii-V-i-progressions

Some listening examples would be:

https://youtu.be/GhauLduIpsI (Dfrank himself!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ST6mV1X-Vw

I am happy to discuss further just contact me.


Bill
bill@jazzpianoonline.com
www.JazzPianoOnline.com
Online Jazz Piano Lessons
Yamaha C7 Disklavier DC7ENSPRO
Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011111 08/07/20 09:51 AM
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Those m6 voicings are just a few of the many many voicings that Lennie Tristano gave me for the LH. We had an extensive list for each chord quality, the list for the dominant 7th had over 100 in each key, if you can believe that..we Lennieheads had to do them slowly in all keys..oy

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011146 08/07/20 12:08 PM
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Yes, you can find a large number of left hand voicings that match the symbol m6, but the principles of their construction are much less ,eg:
all voicings suggested by Dfrankjazz have a minor third, which represents the minor side of the chord. In addition, some variants include 6, but not all ; and in addition, non-chord steps appear. Conclusions:
1. To create the feeling of m6 in the left hand, two steps are enough - 3b and 6;
2. One of them may be absent if it sounds in melody or bass;
3. You can add other notes that sound good: 2 (9), 4 (11), 7;
4. You can change the order of the pitches and the intervals between them, if they do not exceed the seventh, with the exception of the interval above the root of the chord.

In principle, is possible even an cluster EbFGABD/С if its sound matches the character of the music.

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
emenelton #3011277 08/07/20 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by emenelton
min6 allows the 1st mode of the ascending melodic minor scale for the melody to be used
If you don't know of any examples of min 6 chords in popular music that's okay. There's no need to make up some ambiguous and unhelpful statement that doesn't even read right.

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011306 08/07/20 06:38 PM
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It's jazz, not pop music, but listen to the introduction to the Cannonball Adderley/Miles Davis version of Autumn Leaves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u37RF5xKNq8

Also check this out, which notes that minor 6th chords are frequent in jazz, but rare in pop music, which might explain why you're getting a lot of responses from jazz folks: https://blog.discmakers.com/2018/02/sixth-chords-add-subtle-complexity-to-your-songs/

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011341 08/07/20 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Visalia
Originally Posted by emenelton
min6 allows the 1st mode of the ascending melodic minor scale for the melody to be used
If you don't know of any examples of min 6 chords in popular music that's okay. There's no need to make up some ambiguous and unhelpful statement that doesn't even read right.

One of the things that happen to a person that doesn’t know something and goes to forums for answers is they don’t have the knowledge to recognize a good answer when they hear it.

You have a number of good people and even some heavy hitters trying to help you. You actually seem, especially with your ‘what’s the Real Book’ question like you’re trolling the forum.

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011764 08/08/20 11:53 PM
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Minor 6 chords have a real serious quality to them--not just dark and gloomy like a minor triad but more sinister than that, like they're coming to get you or something like that. (If you've never been really scared by a minor 6 chord then you haven't listened to enough Tristano.) It's a real 20th century sort of sound that you don't really hear in classical music, at least not on the Tonic. That's because the augmented 4th created between the 3rd and 6th degrees of the chord is considered dissonant in classical music, something to be resolved and not a stable home base. Our modern ears hear this dissonance in jazz Tonic chords as color, and we like hearing more clues as to the tonality simultaneously.

If you voice a simple Tonic minor 6 chord starting with the 6 on the bottom (A, C, Eb in the key of Cm) you'll see that it's a diminished triad. Historically in classical music this very unstable sound gradually became more accepted, starting with it's use on the IV chord in a minor key. To make a long story short, in classical the prohibition against parallel 5ths means that generally IV chords need to have a 6 instead of a 5, and this applies to both major and minor IV chords. (They call them inverted II chords but it's the same sound.) So that minor 6 on the IV chord sound (F, Ab, D in the key of Cm) really does go back at least to Bach.

A IV chord may not be "home base", but it sounds a lot homier than the other instances of diminished triads in classical music, and I think that collectively the Western ear just got more and more accustomed to hearing that minor 6 IV chord as a sort of home away from home, and that it was only a matter of time until it was accepted on the I chord.


Wes Lachot Design Group
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Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011780 08/09/20 01:57 AM
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Isn’t it simply the common tonic minor chord in minor key songs of The Great American Songbook (Cole Porter, Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Ellington, etc.) Reading this thread one might think it’s some sort of esoteric modern jazz chord.


Playing professionally since 1975. Style: Straight-ahead jazz. Gear: Kawai ES110 | Mojo 61 | 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano
Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
rintincop #3011781 08/09/20 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rintincop
Isn’t it simply the common tonic minor chord in minor key songs of The Great American Songbook (Cole Porter, Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Ellington, etc.) Reading this thread one might think it’s some sort of esoteric modern jazz chord.

The new is the well-forgotten old!

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3011930 08/09/20 01:56 PM
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1929 What Is This Thing Called Love? by Cole Porter.
Originally played over a C pedal point in the bass:
||: Bb-6 | C7 | F-6 | F-6 |
| F-6 | G7 | C6 | :||

Now days it's

||: G-7b5 | C7b9 | F-6 | F-6 |
| D-7b5 | G7b9 | C Maj7 | :||

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Wes Lachot #3012029 08/09/20 05:16 PM
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Hey Wes, did you just feel an earthquake?

Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3012122 08/10/20 12:02 AM
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Hey Dave,

The earthquake was 25 miles from my dad's retirement community, and he felt it in his building this morning. Biggest earthquake we've had in NC for 97 years.


Wes Lachot Design Group
www.weslachot.com
Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Visalia #3012126 08/10/20 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Visalia
Originally Posted by emenelton
min6 allows the 1st mode of the ascending melodic minor scale for the melody to be used
If you don't know of any examples of min 6 chords in popular music that's okay...
Hey dude, check out the John Lennon tune "Jealous Guy" from his album "Imagine". At 0:29 seconds, right after the line "And my heart was beating fast", where the band is sitting on the relative minor (VI) of the key, he adds a very prominent 6 to the minor chord, giving it just the sort of "angst" that the lyric called for. Only the most sophisticated songwriters tend to use colors like this as sparingly and artfully as those guys did. Also check out "Hey Bulldog" for the classic James Bond minor 6 sound.

I'm sure the folks on the forum here could come up with plenty of additional examples. I just mentioned The Beatles because that was the obvious place to start.


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Re: Minor 6 chords in songs
Wes Lachot #3012203 08/10/20 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Wes Lachot
Originally Posted by Visalia
Originally Posted by emenelton
min6 allows the 1st mode of the ascending melodic minor scale for the melody to be used
If you don't know of any examples of min 6 chords in popular music that's okay...
Hey dude, check out the John Lennon tune "Jealous Guy" from his album "Imagine". At 0:29 seconds, right after the line "And my heart was beating fast", where the band is sitting on the relative minor (VI) of the key, he adds a very prominent 6 to the minor chord, giving it just the sort of "angst" that the lyric called for. Only the most sophisticated songwriters tend to use colors like this as sparingly and artfully as those guys did. Also check out "Hey Bulldog" for the classic James Bond minor 6 sound.

I'm sure the folks on the forum here could come up with plenty of additional examples. I just mentioned The Beatles because that was the obvious place to start.

I always went to min-maj when a min-6 was noted, I didn’t know about it’s other common use.

Thanks

Last edited by emenelton; 08/10/20 08:19 AM.
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