Example 6 Mixing It All Together
This final example mixes all our concepts together, in the context of E minor. Notice how we are not sticking with the diatonic chords you would usually find in E minor, as in the first line alone we add chords you could see stemming from E Dorian (A13), E Locrian (C9), B altered scale, or Superlocrian (C melodic minor) - for the B7(#9) - and E altered scale for the Bb9(#11). Notice how the top line – on the upper string(s) moves around. Having a reasonably melodic top line can really help tie a progression together in a smooth way, especially if it contains lots of extended and altered chords. From bar 9, we suddenly skip to E major tonality with the Emaj7 chord, although we quickly move on to Mixolydian-based territory with the E11 and A/E. Bar 12 heads us back to E natural minor (Aeolian mode), before venturing on to the last row of chords. Apart from the tritone substitution (bar 13, Bb7#11 and bar 15, F13), the two obvious elements that tie the chords together for the final five bars are the top line and bass line movement. You’ll see that there’s a static high E for the first five chords (from bar 13) and how it evolves naturally to end on the jazzy and classic sounding 9th interval (F#) on the Em6/9. And similarly, see how the bass line could be played on its own with no chords at all, and yet it would still make good musical sense. I hope you’ve found this delve into the world of chords as rewarding as I have writing it for you!