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View Full Version : what does "alt" in chord symbols mean?


Deva
08-13-2003, 11:28 PM
What does "alt" mean when you see it in chord symbols, like "A7alt?"


Is it just referring to something like, A7-9 or A7+5??

talldeke
08-14-2003, 12:15 AM
I haven't seen this one before. If you are sure it not aug, then my only thought is that it is short for alternative. As in, someone is playing a song that uses two diffrent chords that have the exact same name but are diffrent voicings. For example, an open postion A7 verses a seventh postion A7. This might be someone's way of telling them apart.

Really this is just a guess though.

wild_axeman
08-22-2003, 07:37 PM
Alt. means it's an "altered" dominant chord meaning the 5th and or 9th will be altered in some capacity.

examples: 7b5,7#5,7b9,7#9,7#5b9 etc.

The 3rd and b7 give dominant chords their character and this character is retained/maintained in "alt" dominant chords.

"Alt" simply means the improviser is free to use some form of altered dominant at their discretion when they see "alt" in the lead sheet.

Those jazz guys are really skilled musicians and leave alot of things open to the interpretation of the improviser.They like surprises and the whole band plays off eachother in a kind of open dialogue or communication.It's all somewhat spontaneous.

keyplyr
08-30-2003, 03:42 AM
Those jazz guys are really skilled musicians and leave alot of things open to the interpretation of the improviser.They like surprises and the whole band plays off eachother in a kind of open dialogue or communication.It's all somewhat spontaneous.
Well put!

wild_axeman
08-30-2003, 06:10 PM
Thanks keyplyr !

:D I'm learnin'