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Old 02-04-2018, 02:35 AM   #1
PKVeazey
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Years ago when I was working in the first music store, the manager was a great jazz guitarist. I could play OK and was studying guitar with the local guitar guru(about 25 miles away). Anyway, one day, out of the blue, the manager said, "Make sure Jerry teaches you music theory because if you can't speak the language, other musicians won't talk to you." What he meant by other musicians was keyboard players and horn players. Since horn players can only play one note at a time, I thought that they didn't know anything about chord construction, modes and other such things. Boy, I'm glad I learned theory. Over the years I've had horn players, keyboard players, and Bass players lay some heavy theoretical stuff on me and if I hadn't learned theory, they might as well have been talking to a door knob. The first time that I ran into that situation was when a Tenor Sax player wanted me to play a Bb so he could tune up. I played a Bb basic triad and he said, "No. Don't play a triad, play me a Bb diminished chord because I can determine the Bb more precisely." I'm thinking, Say What????? I played the diminished chord and he was right. Ever since then when a horn player ask me for a chord to tune up to, I play a diminished chord that has the note they want as the top note.
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:24 AM   #2
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Wouldn't a single note work just as well (better)?
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:58 AM   #3
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I've always suspected that jazz musos don't hear things the same way as normal people. I think that confirms it.
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Old 02-04-2018, 05:12 AM   #4
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This is why you hear orchestras tuning up to a diminished chord- not.
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:06 AM   #5
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Somehow, playing the 4 note Diminshed chord with the note they want on top, it sounds a bit like a funnel and focuses in on the high note.
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle View Post
Wouldn't a single note work just as well (better)?
I thought the same thing until that happened.
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKVeazey View Post
Somehow, playing the 4 note Diminshed chord with the note they want on top, it sounds a bit like a funnel and focuses in on the high note.
I tried playing a Bbdim (xx5656) when I read your first post, and I can understand this "focussing" idea. It was better than Bb major, for example, but I would have to try tuning to with it to see how it compares to a single string.

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Old 02-04-2018, 04:00 PM   #8
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Could be that a dim chord is inherently dissonant in western music, and our ears are trained to hear the highest note. Very likely, this is what allows the "focus."
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silimtao View Post
Could be that a dim chord is inherently dissonant in western music, and our ears are trained to hear the highest note. Very likely, this is what allows the "focus."
It still doesn't explain why the "focus" is more effective than just a single note.
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Old 02-05-2018, 01:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle View Post
It still doesn't explain why the "focus" is more effective than just a single note.
I'm looking at it this way-

Say you have trouble recognizing the color pink in isolation. Then you put pink on a backdrop of black/purple/red. You recognize pink, not for what it is, but for what it isn't since that's how we identify everything- by comparison. The black/purple/red can help you "focus" on the color you might have trouble seeing.

I sometimes have trouble tuning to an individual note, but when I hear a chord, I often can identify the tone that's "off."

I can see how this might work in an auditory way.
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