Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Token of Frank's Extreme

And why I started all this:

In about 2 minutes in, Ruth says Zappa meant the two chord (D2, G2, etc) as dropping the third and replacing it with the 2nd. In the case of D, you have D E A, as opposed to the standard D F# A. (And you may want to pause soon after, because they switch from music theory and "Rollo" nearly directly to "Dinah Moe Hum".)

When I see a D2, I instead think of a Steely Dan mu chord, and I think about putting the on a higher note. That is, when I don't think "Hey, I'll just play the D. Nobody will notice." But that's the lazy in me.

Come to think of it, the Zappa form is what I would normally see as a Dsus2, which I discussed earlier, especially how in most cases, the suspended chords are more quick ornamentation on what's fundamentally a major or minor triad. Here, we're talking about something else. You suspend the second and you're totally dropping the third, which means that the chord won't tell you major or minor. (Which is one of the reasons you'd want to do such a thing.)

Ultimately, The question is how to play the thing. Since it's a D, you'd still want to keep a D in the root — we've talking the Zappa one, but if we were talking the mu chord, we'd maybe want the (dropped) major third in the root — so x57755, but I keep wanting to put the fifth on bottom and play it like an Asus4, 577755, which it kinda is.


Pribek said...

hmmm...I see another angle which is quartal harmony-note groups built in 4ths. A is the perfect 4th to E...D is the perfect 4th to A.

FZ was in to a lot of modernist type classical stuff where these groups of notes were commonly used and a guys like Bill Evans based jazz improv with this kind of thing.

Here's a fun thing to try...play your open A against the top three strings of a Dsus...the notes are A (g string) D (b string) and G (e string)and barre the top 2 strings with your index finger. It's the Jim Hall chord. Anyway, keep your A string droning and squoosh that same shape around to different frets and you have the 2 chord/quartal harmony idea moving over a pedal tone.

Dave Jacoby said...

That's hep, Jack. Thanks. I will have to try that.

Pribek said...

uhh...now that I look at what I wrote, the barre would be with the second finger and your g string note with the index finger but...hopefully still hep