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Old 09-03-2017, 02:23 AM   #1
zanshin777
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Default What's the Point of Superimposing

Superimposing is that you play note/chord/scale over a note/chord/scale and you imply a different chord/scale.

I don't understand what's the point is.

For example

In C Major key

If You play Em over C then you superimpose C maj7. Because 1st, 2nd, 3rd in Em is 3rd, 5th and 7th in Cmaj7.

Cmaj7 : C-E-G-B
Em : E-G-B

So what's the point? Why would we think like that. Why wouldn't we play directly Cmaj7?
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:48 AM   #2
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I'm just guessing. Suppose you are playing a C major chord. I'm playing bass and I play a b note. The result is a Cmaj7 chord.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Hat View Post
I'm just guessing. Suppose you are playing a C major chord. I'm playing bass and I play a b note. The result is a Cmaj7 chord.
Why do you bother with "Em" chord just split the notes of Cmaj7 and give B to the bass player to play?
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:34 PM   #4
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Superimposing is just a way to get different sounds out of familiar shapes.

A good example of this is playing major and minor pentatonic with this common shape

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Put it at the 5th fret over an A chord and you get A minor pentatonic. Put it at the 2nd fret over an A chord and you get A major pentatonic. Put it at the 7th fret over an A chord and you get an A Dorian sound. Put it at the 4th fret over an A chord and you get an A Lydian sound etc...

Same goes for arpeggios, chords and other scales. It's just a different way of looking at and organizing the notes on the fingerboard.


You could also look at all the modes of the Major scale, Melodic Minor scale and Harmonic Minor scales as just superimposing the parent scale over different harmonies to get more sounds out of the same seven notes.


It doesn't really matter how you see this stuff. It only matters if you get to the right notes when you want them.

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Old 09-03-2017, 10:30 PM   #5
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I see it as a way of getting melody variety in the way suggested by FwL, but I also use it to imply minors when playing lap steel in an open major tuning. For example E5-to-GM can be used to imply Em, as in the opening bar of "Hotel California".
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:31 AM   #6
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It sounds a little bit like something Larry Carlton realized while walking to school one day. He said that the notion that layering a D triad chord on top of a C triad chord, it was a C13b5. Then he could run a line that used a C followed by a D and end up with a really fat jazz lick.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:34 PM   #7
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Ok the point is grouping and playing only the notes that sound in a certain way.

Thank you very much all.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:35 PM   #8
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Ok the point is grouping and playing only the notes that sound in a certain way.

Thank you very much all.
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Old 09-08-2017, 03:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin777 View Post
Superimposing is that you play note/chord/scale over a note/chord/scale and you imply a different chord/scale.

I don't understand what's the point is.

For example

In C Major key

If You play Em over C then you superimpose C maj7. Because 1st, 2nd, 3rd in Em is 3rd, 5th and 7th in Cmaj7.

Cmaj7 : C-E-G-B
Em : E-G-B

So what's the point? Why would we think like that. Why wouldn't we play directly Cmaj7?
The "point" is layering sounds. A CM7 is a major chord, but the Em triad gives you a different "flavor." I tend to hear the minor triad, in a Maj 7 chord. When you learn all these subtleties (which I haven't), it helps when I solo. For example, over a CM7 chord, I could play an E minor pentatonic, C major pent, or A minor pent, and not be horribly off. That's just one example out of tons of uses.

You can look at a C maj 7 chord as simply extending the C maj by thirds. Adding a B= CM7, add another 3rd, the D natural, you get a C maj 9. But, I would call this more chord extension, than superimposition. I think what PKV described is more accurately superimposing than the example you gave.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:12 PM   #10
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If you're superimposing for the sake of it, your interpretations of how resourceful it can be can go either way.

Personally, I've found them useful for when a bassist or pianist switches to a different octave and I'd like to fill in where they left off while also playing what I feel I should. They're also pretty useful for when I have the responsibility for the majority of what's actually being played.

The simplest example I can give is the scenario where you're playing a simple passage of individual notes and switch one of them to a 5 chord. You can swing the argument that it can be one note and it's fifth or the other and it's fourth. Which it is will be a matter of how you present it. Where you break into superimposition is if you added that perfect fifth where it should be diminished as identified by other intervals in the passage.

Keep in mind that actual superimposition and polytonality are taken MUCH farther than this, my example is just to get your thoughts going with the simplest example I could think of.

Another way to think of it is just an extension of building chords or modulating.

Moreover, superimposition is literally just adding something on top of something else. The numerous harmonies and polytonalities that arise can pretty much all carry lengthy discussions. I personally believe that the way you look at it will strongly influence the way your style develops.


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