13b5b9 or 13b9b5

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by loachman, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. loachman

    loachman TDPRI Member

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    I was wondering what is the correct way to say that chord: it is 13b5b9 or 13b9b5 I have seen it mentioned both way across the internet so perhaps both are a "correct way".
     
  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    They mean the same thing. Being picky, I arrange alterations low to high: F13b5b9
     
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  3. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Out here on the coast we say "b9b5" in that order but I don't think it really matters.
     
  4. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    Arrange the alterations low to high. The reason is that the lower alterations are usually more important. The b5 contributes more to the sound of the chord than the b9 which in a lot of cases nobody is going to miss depending on how the chords progress. A lot of times I will only play 4 note chords which will translate to a bV7 anyway.
     
  5. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Would the fact that in order to be a 13th one has to have the ninth and therefore the ninth would be named prior to the fifth?? JUst curious if that is a consideration?
     
  6. telemandave

    telemandave Tele-Meister

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    What??????????
     
  7. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    At first, I thought this meant 1, 3, b5, b9. In which case ascending makes sense, as if an arpeggio. But now I wonder if we're talking about a 13th chord with a b9 and b5. If so, I have usually seen the numbers descending: 13b9b5. With C as a root, we have C E Gb Bb Db A. I'm not sure how I'd voice it, other than keeping the C on the bottom or not used at all. The important notes are E and Bb, which give the chord its dominant 7 quality. The Db is important, because it tells me that it is prominently used in the horns, if I'm in a large ensemble. That doesn't mean that I have to play it, but it is good to know that it is the sound that the arranger wants. Even though I may not actually play the Db, knowing that someone else is tells me that I'd better not play a 9th in any event. If I'm the only one playing chords, I would give strong consideration to playing the Gb Db A, since the arranger specified those notes. Even so, these color notes derive their meaning from the context of the chord, which in part is conveyed by the 3rd and b7. But, I could just be blowing smoke, if the OP is talking about 1, 3, b5, b9 as an arpeggio.

    I haven't played this kind of rhythm part in decades, but I don't think that a C13b9b5 is something I encountered a lot, unless the arranger was conveying to me what the horns were playing. But, I wonder if this kind of chord has become associated with a certain song/style since my heyday in the 60s-70s.

    I remember how empowering it was when I first figured out how bomb formula chords were constructed. I have an old memory of talking about 13th chord voicings with my 9th grade math teacher after class. Even then, I was aware that the 9th and 11th were usually omitted from voicings. But, again, if the b9 is specified in the chord name, I'd want to know whether it is played in the other parts of the ensemble or not.
     
  8. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    ... if you really want to know what is going on look at the piano music. A lot times the chords that are indicated are wrong. Then there is the issue of changes as published vs the changes that are commonly played.
     
  9. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    Using flats to keep it simple.

    D7b5b9 (b13 == +5 ) so D Gb Ab C Eb (Bb) so if you omit the root (D) and rearrange you get

    Ab C Eb Gb (Bb 9th to Ab which you really don't need unless you like it). Kind of the classic ALT anything goes.

    If you really need the alt 5 sound, ( which you usually don't) substitute D for Eb. ( Ab C D Gb )

    This is why I usually write lower alterations first. There are a lot of different ways to look at it and a lot of it is situational. I wouldn't stress over it. You have a chord with 6 notes on a guitar with 6 strings and you have 4 fingers on your hand. Do the math. Chord notation for the guitar should be practical stressing the most important voices in the chord.

    Then again if you ignore the fact that I complicated it with a b13 and go with the unaltered 13 and omitting the root (d) you end up with Ab7+9
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    When I see 13b5b9 I take that as an invitation to play a diminished scale over the chord (because of the natural 13).

    For example, E13b5b9 is (omitting the 11th)

    E G# Bb D F C#

    Arrange that as a scale:

    E F G# Bb C# D

    Add missing notes:

    E F G G# Bb Bnat C# D

    Diminished scale!
     
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  11. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I've rarely ever seen a 13b9b5 notated in store bought sheet music or in on-line song sheets etc. I do see it all the time in professional charts, i.e., big band music, Broadway scores and anything professionally arranged and written out.*I use the chord all the time as a dominant going to IV (in a jazz blues) or any modern V7 to I (major, I don't like it going to i minor).

    As a practical matter, I'll voice it like this a lot ...
    C13b9b5: XX8675 (Bb Db Gb A) b7 b9 b5 13 no root, no 3rd.
    This is also an A13b9 (w/o a b7).

    As BigDaddy mentioned, there's a lot of diminished action in an altered chord like this so as you may have noticed in my above chords, the magic minor 3rd motion applies here.

    As Larry mentions, when you see a chord like this, it's telling you what the harmony and maybe even the melody is in the rest of the band. If a (professional) arranger writes a b9 (or whatever alteration) in a chord, it's because they don't want you play a regular 9th and clash with something (possibly even the melody).

    Do you have to play all or any of the alterations or extensions? No. But you can't play a straight dominant 7th chord because the natural 5th of the dom. chord will most likely clash with the b5 in the band. In fact, the root of the chord, anywhere other than low (in the bass) 'may' rub with the b9, especially if you put the root on top of your voicing.

    Back to practicality ...
    Ultimately - use your ears. Maybe, in the guitar part, just a 3rd and a b7 are necessary. Or, maybe you want to play only the alterations and extensions (see my voicing in paragraph 1).

    * 13b9 in the wild:
    Bb13(b9) is the pick up chord to 'Misty' ... Bb13(b9) "Look at" to Ebmaj7 "me".
    6X9786 > X6533X
    Or,
    (1 beat each) XX9786 > XX6453 > X6533X ... the second voicing is a 13b9b5.

    Altered chords. Hours of fun!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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  12. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    In chord melodies, where you can get away with big chords, or you arpeggiate them, I also like this voicing:

    C13b9b5: x989.10.9 (Gb Bb E A Db) b5 b7 3 13 b9

    It's easier to grab that voicing on the lower strings:

    C13b9b5: 21222x

    I also like the voicing of just the top four notes of that.

    (I think of the chord as a tritone substitute -- it is F#7#9)
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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  13. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, Mickey Baker uses it all the time and will voice it like this ...
    D13b9b5: 46X577 (barre the two high strings w/pinky) which is also an Ab7#9 chord - tritone sub for D (13b9b5).

    *I even did a lesson video a while back to demonstrate Mickeys specific voicing and application
     
  14. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Hah! That's the "Mickey Baker Money Shot".
     
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  15. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Indeed.
     
  16. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    The fact is that you need to understand the harmonic line of the tune to know what will work.
    It is not as bad as it was years ago when you would go to a session and the music that they hand you was basically physically impossible to play on a guitar ... the arrangers had no clue.
    In the end, when you have to drop notes from a chord you need to be aware enough to know what will work ... there are many chords contained within chords. It took some time for me to figure it out ... the real masters of this are Freddie Green Tal Farlow, Lenny Breau and Wes .... and maybe Grant Green. I recommend those Micky Baker books as a first pass at these concepts ... the theory comes up just a bit short but they are good ear training if you take the time to really work through them.
     
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  17. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    It doesnt really matter which order - except that if you analyse the actual progression the chord comes from I like to see some attempt at making the extensions that voice lead, line up in some way e.g Dm9, G7b13/b9, Cmaj9.

    Knowing how 3rds and 7ths - and importantly 5ths/13ths and 9ths voice lead around cyclic harmony helps.

    That's one of the vagaries of chord nomenclature - because each extension relates only to the root of the chord (and not the function within the actual key centre) it takes awhile before one starts recognising those tropes. The best remedy for that IMO is spending plenty of time arranging chord melodies. If Im arranging something with those extensions in the melody - the melody note will go first in the line up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  18. telemandave

    telemandave Tele-Meister

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    You can play a dominant 7th and it will most always work. :)
     
  19. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    No, not really.
    In the case of a heavily altered dominant 7th, such as we're discussing (13b9b5), a straight dom7 chord can be a bad choice.
    The b5 will clash with the regular 5th and even the root can be problematic if it's up high in the guitar or piano voicing due the b9 which is somewhere w/in the band and even possibly in the melody.

    To be simple and safe: just the 3rd and the b7th - no 5th, no root.
     
  20. telemandave

    telemandave Tele-Meister

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    Cool, thanks.
     
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