Jazz School: Dorian Tonality: Dorian “Super-Chord” in Stacked Thirds


A musically-useful conception in Dorian Tonality is to stretch out the Dorian Scale into a colorful seven-note “super-chord” in stacked thirds…

This is yet another example of how scales and chords are complementary views of the same musical stuff… and of how knowing your scales helps you know your chords and vice versa!

Hint: Think of this a basic Cm7 chord with color tones built from a D Minor Triad stacked on top.

Improvisation Idea: With the root C in the bass, you can play any of the notes above in any combination (single notes, thirds, triads, and seventh chords) to playfully express yourself in a Dorian Tonality in a wide variety of ways. For example…

Study-Practice: Using your knowledge of scales and chord structure (and your ears of course), transpose these voicings to other keys. In doing so, you will build an immense chord vocabulary that integrates aural, theoretical, visio-spatial, and kinesthetic awareness!

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