Is the b7 really there?

In the audio track for Playing Activity #5, on this page:

is the b7 of the 5D chord (tonal note 4) actually present and sounding?

I’m interested if others hear it or not ( I don’t ), and would also be interested in IFRs confirmation (as the originator) yea or nay.

I ask because my perception when I play that note on my instrument is that it is not matching a tone that is already there in the audio’s harmony, but rather is adding a completely new and clashing sound. It seems important to me to determine if my perception is correct or erroneous here.


Maybe a good idea to tag @ImproviseForReal on this?

Hi @sj1, note 4 is present in the audio track for playing activity #5, but it doesn’t appear in every measure. If you just listen to the strumming guitar and the bass outlining the reggae rhythm, I’m not sure that note 4 ever appears in these two parts. So in some measures, note 4 is absent and so you could imagine these chords as 2- and 1, since we’re only hearing the triads of the chords. But at the end of each line, you’ll hear a low melody line made up of the notes 2, 3, 4, 3, and in this moment the harmony is unequivocally defined as chords 6- and 5D.

If you like, we can dig more deeply into the mystery and try to figure out exactly what you’re playing that doesn’t sound right to your ear. Could you make a short recording of yourself playing the scale over this track so you can show me exactly which note doesn’t sound right to your ear? Our ability to resolve these mysteries through text comments alone is quite limited. But if you make an audio recording so that I can hear the sounds you’re referring to, then we’ll be able to instantly figure out what’s going on. So if that would be valuable to you, please feel free to post again with a short audio recording and I’ll be happy to listen to it.

Thanks Steve!

Thanks for your answer, and your offer to listen to audio!

While I get the time and tech together for that, I’ll just add that the track’s groove is really sounding like Fm to Cm ( 6- to 3- ) to me. Which is to say that when I play those chords on the guitar it sounds spot-on to me. So, if that is a mis-perception, that is where I need to correct and advance.

OK, I’ve recorded the backing track with some guitar and comments overlaid. I think this will illustrate what I’m getting at.

P.S. Please excuse my tongue-trip when I said “constant” instead of “consonant” just before the 2 minute mark !