In this lesson we’ll look at 5 different harmonic contexts for a common 4 note cell. This 4 note cell is often thought of as one of the simplest Major 7 #11 voicings (1,Maj 3, #11, Maj 7).
In C this is C, E, F#, B or one simple voicing for C Major 7 #11.
By changing the root under this group of 4 notes we change the harmonic context. This 4 note cell works well over Major, Minor, Dominant 7th, Dominant 7th Altered and minor 7th b5 chords.
Each cell can be used for improvising as well constructing simple 4 note voicings (which are in several cases rootless).
We’ll look at each of the 5 contexts in the key of concert C (over a C drone).
These are the 5 contexts we will look at:
1: C Major 7 #11 (C, E, F#, B)
2: C Minor 6/9 (Eb, G, A, D) = Eb Major 7 #11 voicing over C
3. C7 13 9 (Bb, D, E, A) = Bb Major 7 #11 voicing over C
4. C7#5#9 or C7Alt (E, G#, A#, D#) = E Major 7 #11 voicing over C
5. C -7 b5 or C half dim (Gb, Bb, C, F) = Gb Major 7 #11 voicing over C
Practice each cell in every key, in all 5 contexts until it’s easy to hear and improvise from. You can find other interesting harmonic contexts for this group of notes by trying them over all 12 chromatic roots.
4 Note Cell, Harmonic Contexts: