[Dixielandjazz] Guide Tones

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 18 12:34:52 PST 2005

"Dave Gravatt" <dave at creolejazz.com> wrote:
        about Bill Biffle's propellers (original message below.

begin --Original Message---From: "Bill Biffle" <bbiffle at brgcc.com>

"Guide tones" are the 3rd and 7th of a dominant 7th chord.  Since they give
the chord its harmonic character and serve, also, as "propellers" - they
want to resolve inward to the 1 and 3 of the next chord on the circle of
5ths - they are said to "guide" the harmony through the circle.
Some teachers have students play the "guide tones" on, say, a blues
progression to get the feel for playing the changes accurately and clearly.
end---Original Message-------
> It's always been easier for me, and made much more sense to my brain, to think
> of it as a "circle of fourths". The guide tones, to me, resolve UP to the next
> chord (a fourth up) rather than DOWN to the next chord (a fifth down). So, the
> circle of fifths is really backwards. To my brain.
> Dave www.creolejazz.com

Shucks, Dave, that's cause you're from Missouri and grew up with all those
wacky musical notions. :-) VBG

Me? I thought it was a misspelling of Guido Tones, used by street peddlers
on Mulberry Street on the Lower East Side of NYC a century ago. You know,
the fish sellers, knife sharpeners and Guido, with his Organ Grinder and a
Monkey with a Tin Cup. :-) VBG.

Guide Tones, Neighbor Tones, Bass lines as Guide ones, Guide Tones as
applied to Melodic Lines, Guide Tone Line Applications to Standard
Progressions, Other Voices as guide tones, Arpeggiated Guide Tones, etc.,
etc., etc., are all very confusing and usually misunderstood by most of us
Dixieland players.

I think one needs a few harmony and theory courses to fully appreciate the
variety of such tones. Or at least a thorough reading of JAZZ THEORY
RESOURCES:  Tonal, Harmonic, Melodic and Rhythmic Organization of Jazz.
Volume I and II. By Bert Ligon

Steve Barbone

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