I often use the sharp 5 chord in a vamp (C – Eb – G) or (Eb – D – G) since I like the tension/release of it’s sound. What I don’t understand (at least I think I don’t) is why it works since it’s not in the harmonic scale. I suspect it’s just a passing chord and it’s all about the tension/release. Any thoughts?
There are a few reasons why Eb chords (b6th is the key of G) sound so good:
1. The Major Eb triad has the similar notes to Cm
Eb triad = Eb G Bb Cm7 triad = C Eb G Bb
Many progressions move from the I chord to IV to iv minor back to the I chord.
A vamp that moves from C to Eb to G is very similar to C to Cm to G
2. Many Hawaiian vamps us a II7 V7 I vamp: | A7 D7 | G |
Eb7 is called the “flat 5 substitute” for A7 because is shares two important intervals–the 3rd and flat 7th: A7 = A C# E G Eb7 = Eb G Bb Db(C#)
The important notes her are the G and C#(Db) Those are the intervals of the third and seventh of each of these chords and are called “guide tones” in Jazz theory. The third tells you if the chord is major or minor and the 7th determines if the chord is major or dominant 7th.
so . . . | Eb7 D7 | G | give the traditional vamp a bluesy/jazzy twist
I hope that helps!
Wow — great topic. I always wondered why the C Eb Gmaj13 resolution at the end of Hawaii Aloha works, but keep forgetting to ask. So if I’m understanding it right, another way of looking at it is like a IV iv I resolution used in a lot of Hawaiian songs but you replace the iv with its relative major?
I’ll have to think more about answer #2 above to wrap my head around that one…
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.