I'm pretty new to the genre of jazz and would love to arrange some popular songs as jazz covers.

One that I really like is this one:

Sadly you can't see so easy what she's playing in the video, so I would like to ask musicians that are familiar with this style, how it sounds to you?

Is it just some chord extensions with a harmonized right hand below the melody? Is there anything special about it? What should I start to learn to be able to arrange songs like this? Is it just chord extensions and jazz harmony or is there more to it...?

  • 2
    Possible duplicate of How to turn any (pop) song into a jazz song? There is a very long and detailed anwere. Check it out. – Olli May 23 '19 at 12:05
  • @Andy Please change the question, or ask a new one. Ask something like, "which transformations are performed on a song to make it sound jazzy?" And then maybe as a separate question, ask about learning how to do each of the operations. – piiperi Reinstate Monica May 23 '19 at 13:55

Quick answer before this good question gets closed due to technicalities.

"Jazzing up" a song means realizing the same or similar or at least compatible-with-the-melody harmonic functions with more ambiguous, detailed, complex or just different and surprising chords. In order to be able to do that, you first have to be familiar with basic elemental harmonic functions. And to learn that, you (1) learn to play and accompany melodic (some might say, old-fashioned) pop songs by ear, as melody and chords, and then you learn (2) ways to support the same melodies with more or less different harmony i.e. chords.

For example: a simple I - IV chord turn. In C major, you have a chord progression C - F. Example steps to jazz this up more and more:

  • 1 : C - F

  • 2 : C7 - F

  • 3 : C - Cmaj7 - C11 - F

  • 4 : Cmaj7 - Gm7 - C11 - F

  • 5 : Cmaj9 - Gm9 - Db9 - C9 - A/C - Gb13 - F13

Instead of simply turning left, you do somersaults, moonwalk and flirt with the ladies in the front row. But essentially it's still just a turn left. If you don't understand the basic stuff, you can't jazz it up in a sensible way.

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