I know that I can play a b2 Dorian scale over a DomSus chord with a lowered ninth, but what about over a major7 b2?

3 Answers 3


You probably won't encounter this chord very often, but you could derive a synthetic scale for it. A synthetic scale is made by altering a traditional scale to fit your purposes.

In this case, you could play a major b2 scale. For Cmaj7b2:

C Db E F G A B C



There is a perfect fit for this chord: CM7b9 with interval set 0,1,4,7,11

There is one inversion without clashing note functions GM6b5add11 with interval set 0,4,5,6,9


b9 is not an appropriate chord for a maj7 because the b9 note confuses the root of the chord. In any case, the general rule of thumb is simple: when you alter a tone, you simply keep the original underlying scale, while making the adjustment for that single tone.

  • 1
    I wouldn't say that it's never appropriate, but it's definitely not conventional. Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 21:33
  • @charlieparker Good clarification Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 22:01
  • 2
    I think this is too broad as written. The blanket statement that b9 is not an appropriate fails to apply to all forms of music, and the notion about confusing the root also doesn't apply to all forms of music. I'll remove my downvote if you can add some context (i.e., name a musical tradition) within which the first sentence would generally be accepted and balance it with some caveats about the circumstances when it might be appropriate.
    – jdjazz
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 21:19
  • @jdjazz Nobody ever writes a maj7 chord with a b9. Nobody ever talks about it or plays it. I doubt you can find a single example of this chord anywhere. Commented May 7, 2019 at 19:51
  • 1
    @MichaelMartinez, the major b9 chord is diatonic to the double harmonic scale. Check out this post by one of our awesome mods! Here's one way the chord can be voiced--you can click the speaker icon to hear. At ~0:21 of A Little Bit More Time, the harmony is best described as B♭Maj♭9. See m. 14.
    – jdjazz
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 21:49

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