Questions tagged [jazz]

An original American music style that originated in the early 20th century by improvisation and syncopation.

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62
votes
9answers
48k views

How can a classical pianist learn jazz piano?

I'm a classically trained pianist. Took lessons all through my childhood. I've continued to play and read classical literature all my life. But I never learned anything about jazz piano. I also know a ...
16
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3answers
7k views

What is tritone substitution?

What is tritone substitution? How can this device be applied to improvisation and composition?
26
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5answers
35k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
14
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6answers
2k views

Proper symbol for this chord (1 5 7 9 11)?

I'm a songwriter in the jazz-pop idiom, and when playing through a chart with a guitarist, he told me that, in his opinion, I had labeled a chord inaccurately / incorrectly. Here's the chord as I ...
13
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3answers
7k views

In Jazz, what is an avoid note?

Why are some scale degrees avoided? What is the reasoning behind the avoid notes? Are there avoid notes in all modes? If so, which are the avoid notes of the different modes? Is this pattern widely ...
6
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2answers
287 views

How do I go about naming/understanding the second chord in corcovado

I'm in the habit of writing lead sheets down for songs I learn, and the second chord of this stumped me. The notes are, starting at the bottom, G#, F, B E. The context is | Am6 | % | ...
35
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5answers
44k views

How to turn any (pop) song into a jazz song?

Quite often there are pop songs wich get covered in a jazz style. These covers are seen from youtube to tv. Now I tried doing something like this, with for example Bad Day by Daniel Powter. It's ...
53
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8answers
10k views

Which notes are optional in jazz chords?

I have a question on jazz chords, and what notes can be removed from the chord. My understanding is fairly superficial - mostly from what I've read in books. This is what I understand: In some chords,...
23
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4answers
1k views

Where can I get started with my improvisation?

I have been playing the alto saxophone for a while now. I have also improvised from time to time and have some theoretical and practical background on the instrument, harmony, scales, etc. I have ...
21
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4answers
9k views

Most common jazz theory method book

What is the most common text book for learning jazz music theory? I have a strong background in classical music theory and would like to supplement it. I particularly am looking for something for ...
10
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7answers
6k views

Best Way to “Learn” Jazz Piano

Let me preface the question with a bit of background because I'm not even sure if I classify as "beginner" or "intermediate" or anything like that. I took your run of the mill piano lessons for 8 ...
21
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8answers
3k views

Problems With Learning a Second Instrument

I’m trying learn jazz piano. For about ten years I played the violin; solo and in orchestras and quartets. I’ve also absolutely no trouble enjoying for instance Keith Jarrett’s more complex solo ...
10
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4answers
19k views

How to use diminished scale over I IV V changes in blues

I want to spice up my solos over a Blues progression. I already can play a variety of scales but the Diminished scale is something I would like to add because of the particular sounds it creates. In ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the Coltrane Changes?

Also known as Coltrane Matrix, Coltrane Cycle, chromatic third relations, and multi-tonic changes. What are the Coltrane Changes? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in improvisation, ...
10
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5answers
968 views

What's the value of modes?

Let's say we have a progression where all of the chords fit within traditional diatonic harmony. Maybe something like this: | E♭Maj♯11 | Cmin7 | F7 | B♭Maj | All of these chords fit ...
7
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5answers
1k views

How does modal jazz use chord progressions?

I read that jazz uses the chord progression "ii V I" alot. But another thing I heard is that modal jazz doesn't think in chord functions instead it uses modes. Which made me confused. Does that mean ...
1
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4answers
490 views

Piano practice routine [closed]

I wonder what practice routine would be the best, if I want to be a good pianist. One that plays in a band for example. How much time each day is expected? Which books should be played?! Or what is ...
16
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11answers
24k views

Why does a minor sixth chord contain a major 6th interval?

This is something that has always puzzled me. Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way but when I build chords I always build them based on the scale that corresponds to the quality of the chord. ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Swing feel - are triplets and 8th note notations rhythmically the same?

I'm going through some exercises in a blues piano book[*]. I've noticed that some rhythms are written with triplets (with an 8th note (quaver) rest in the middle), and others are written using 8th ...
4
votes
3answers
735 views

Is there a standard set of diatonic ninth chords in jazz?

In the key of C major, making a circle of fifths, I get these chord symbols... CΔ9 - FΔ9 - Bm7♭5 - Em7♭9 - Am9 - Dm9 - G9 - CΔ9 I left the vii chord as just a half-diminished seventh. I especially ...
20
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3answers
4k views

Am I allowed to add a b9 to a maj7 chord in Jazz?

On Jazzology chapter 2, exercise 6, example 2, I have to identify this chord (if it exists): I thought that it was Cmaj7(b9). My train of thought was (from the lowest to the highest note): C -> 1st ...
6
votes
4answers
495 views

Is there a specific name for the use of IV chord over the V in the bass, e.g. F/G in the key of C

You see this chord a fair amount, usually leading to the tonic as a sort of souped-up plagal cadence (plagal in the treble, perfect in the bass). Is there a specific name for this, other than "4 over ...
3
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1answer
87 views

How does Pat Martino's Minor Concept relate to his Diminished Concept?

How does Pat Martino's Minor Concept relate to his Diminished Concept? Are they completely unrelated or are melodic minor scales and diminished chords related in some way?
2
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5answers
186 views

Modes of scales other than C major

I was learning modes. But I'm confused now. My problem is that I don't know how to apply the modes in other scale. For example I know in c major, mixolydian is form g to g and all keys are flat. But ...
1
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5answers
428 views

How do you build a blues scale?

Hi I am doing grade 8 theory (Trinity). I need a quick and easy way to remember/ know of how to build blues scales. TIA
26
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4answers
7k views

How do I become better at “playing outside”?

One can spend an enormous amount of time playing melodies "in" the tonic. For example if your are in A major, you might favor A major or A lydian. However, there is a term called "playing outside" in ...
18
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6answers
4k views

To get to jazz do I just add a seventh?

I've been up until now just practicing triads on all major/minor keys. If I wanted to play jazz do I just add sevenths (ie dominant7, major7, minor7) to chords in my chord progressions or is it alot ...
19
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8answers
32k views

How to improvise a walking bass line

When improvising or writing a walking bass line the bass note (usually the root of the chord) is played on the chord change, but how do you choose the other notes for a walking bass line? Is there a ...
15
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4answers
14k views

In jazz, what is a guide tone?

I've heard that guide tones are very useful while improvising, and seems to be an important concept for jazz theory. What is a guide tone? How can it help improvisation?
12
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10answers
3k views

What is the secret of jazz phrases?

I'm diving into Jazz, both with guitar and trumpet, and I'm looking for that typical jazzy sound when traveling from lows to highs (and opposite). How were Miles and friends achieving it? What ...
11
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2answers
5k views

In jazz, what is an upper structure triad?

What is upper structure? How are upper structure triads constructed? How are they used?
9
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8answers
1k views

Can anyone precisely describe what it means (or feels like) to play exactly what your “inner ear” is hearing?

I've been improvising jazz and other styles on piano for decades, and yet there is still a very significant amount of my improvisation which is based on physical patterns developed over the years, ...
8
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3answers
741 views

Diatonic substitution and upper-structure triads for minor chords

I'm going through Garrison Fewell's "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar - A Harmonic Approach". The start of Chapter 1 reads: Triad substitution is the use of triads derived from the chord tones and ...
2
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4answers
3k views

Why is the basis of Jazz harmony tetrads (7th chords)?

Triads are the basic building blocks of classic harmony, but in Jazz the basic building blocks of harmony are tetrads (7th chords). Why does Jazz use 7th chords as the basis of their harmony instead ...
5
votes
1answer
958 views

What is the approach taken by Bill Frisell to improvisation in jazz music?

How do Bill Frisell and his mentor Jim Hall approach improvisation? In The Guitar Artistry of Bill Frisell, Frisell is very emphatic that he improvises from the melody, not from the chord changes, as ...
4
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4answers
3k views

Why Locrian #2?

A scale built off the 6th degree of the jazz melodic minor (C-D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C) is spelled like this: A-B-C-D-Eb-F-G Paraphrasing Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book, Chapter 3 - Modes of the Melodic ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Latin jazz: anticipated chord change on last beat

I'm in the process of using a midi sequencer to provide me with simple background (drums, bass line, bare minimum piano harmony) to practice improvising on Spain (Chick Corea). From listening to a ...
4
votes
2answers
965 views

How does improvisation in Indian ragas differ significantly from jazz melodic improvisation?

I have heard that Ravi Shankar once said that ragas are not jazz. However, Ravi Shankar had a significant influence on some jazz performers. How does improvisation in Indian ragas differ ...
4
votes
2answers
439 views

Learning piano the autodidact approach

I'm really motivated to learn to play the piano, though I can't afford any teaching and I don't know someone who could teach me. So I guess I have to do it "the autodidact way"—but maybe not really ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Walking bass line/chord help

I've been playing bass for about a year, so pardon my question, what is the relation between chords, arpeggios and scales? I always learn and played scales, but in order to learn this new jazz ...
2
votes
1answer
366 views

What are the avoid notes for exotic scales in jazz music?

I know there are avoid notes for the diatonic scale and the melodic minor scale. I am not familiar with exotic scale avoid notes (if they really exist in jazz music), for example, there is the ...
8
votes
2answers
561 views

What are the 3 note Freddie Green jazz chords?

Freddie Green, the guitar player in the Count Basie Orchestra, had amazing chordal technique. I use his chords all the time but I think I'm missing some of the voicings. Where can I find a complete ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Where to find practice tracks for jazz piano (specifically for the realbook)

When I was in high school I played piano in the jazz band. I was going through my stuff and found my realbook and it occurred to me that it would be awesome if I could play from it again. However, ...
6
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4answers
1k views

How common is it to omit the I in II V I cadences in Jazz?

I was studying the song 'Satin Doll' by Duke Ellington: And basically, there many II V in different tonalities. The same happens in Charles Mingus's 'Nostalgia in Times Square' (bars 9-11): In both ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I improve my fingering on the saxophone in the high notes and overtones?

I have a couple of months working on my improvisation and I'm having some issues with fast passages on the saxophone's higher notes and overtones (starting from D with the left hand palm). I'm ...
4
votes
5answers
195 views

How to turn each chord in a progression into separate scales?

I was jamming with some jazz guys yet I'm not so good in jazz so I made a bunch of mistakes. One of the things they told me is is how inside of a chord progression, you then spread each chord to its ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the difference between a tonal center and a guide tone?

A "guide tone" search generates a slew of hits. A "tonal center" search generates a slew of hits. A "guide tone tonal center" search generates one hit. In that thread the term guide tone appears ...
4
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5answers
2k views

Locked Hands Passing Chords

For the "locked hands" block chord style, I've noticed that diminished chords can be used as passing chords to get from one chord to another or one melody note to the next if staying on the same chord....
2
votes
3answers
142 views

Whole-step technique for figuring out jazz scales?

I was watching a tutorial on how this guy finds scales to play on top of jazz chords. And I was wondering if this a good method to use, and if not how do I know which scales to improvise on chords. Do ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Jazz piano: accompanying oneself

My goal is to be able to by ear play a jazz standard, with improv sections. When keeping an accompaniment in my left hand (say, a walking base or similar) while soloing with my right, then I stall. ...