Hot answers tagged

52

Jazz is an unbelievably expansive genre with over 100 years of musical tradition; a big part of this tradition is an ever-increasing list of sub-genres that fall under the larger umbrella term of "jazz." Your "(I'm guessing it is)" is encouraging; it suggests you realize it's maybe a little silly to think you can mimic such a broad tradition by "just ...


42

In classical theory, the necessity or lack thereof of a particular chord member is generally determined by the note's tendency to lead to another note. That tendency comes most often from the interval of an augmented fourth or diminished fifth. Enharmonically, those intervals are the same, but in context, they are not, and they resolve differently. In a "...


27

Collective improvisation doesn't mean "everyone plays at the same time". Playing jazz is as much about listening as it is being able to play your instrument. In that kind of situation, a player isn't thinking about "what should I play next", but rather "what is the music, at this moment in time, missing that I can provide?" Cacophony is more likely to ...


26

Before you replace chords with 3 or 4 notes with those with 5 or 6 notes (or even more), re-harmonize a melody by applying these 2 complementary strategies recursively (i.e. each is applicable to the result of applying them, so you can do it in many passes) to chord changes: 1) replace one chord with two (duration of 2 chords in new version = duration of 1 ...


24

This is a very common problem for anyone learning a second instrument after achieving a high level of proficiency at their first. It's humbling to have to go back to basics, and the music you have to play can be boring. People self-teaching a second instrument often have unrealistic expectations of their progress and get frustrated, so they try to jump ahead ...


20

It's essentially just a matter of perspective. The circle is only organized differently for different purposes. The circle of fourths and circle of fifths are, in fact, the same thing, but written in different directions. This is because P4 and P5 are inversions of each other. For example, a G going to C could either go up a fourth or down a fifth. Both ...


20

It would be a G9sus4. It could technically also be F6/9/G but that would look very confusing on a lead sheet. When naming a chord you have to look at what you have and what you are missing. You have the notes G F A C D. While there is an F major triad, having a G as the bass doesn't make it feel like a chord based off F major because it is rare to put a 2nd/...


18

Ninths are good too! Even thirteenths. Yes, there's more to jazz than extended chords, though you'll certainly need more than triads to play it, so start learning m7, maj7, 9, b9 etc. chords so they're ready for when you work out what jazz IS. And that's a big question. Start with a New Orleans Blues, travel to Miles Davis and beyond... But whatever ...


17

The admonition I run into again and again, attributed to such lights as Thelonius Monk and Louis Armstrong is "play the melody." Of course you will syncopate it, put a little ornamentation here and there, but simple is fine That covers soloing pretty well, but what about comping? Guitarists with jazz chops rarely hang on the same voicing for more than a ...


16

A few more suggestions - Play Blues - not Delta guitar-style blues, but jazz blues, with turn arounds. There are hundreds of sets of jazz blues changes available ( http://www.jajazz.com ). Instead of jumping into the complexity of the full blown jazz repertoire, blues is a great way to get your chord voicings and soloing going. You can take blues a looooong ...


16

What I am going to write below is just simple jazz harmony fundamentals, and should naturally be considered as school stuff ! You have to understand the role of each voice in a chord, to define what should be played, and what can be omitted. Mandatory voices The root note defines the root of the chord, and must be played globally. I mean, if you have a ...


16

The pentatonic scale is a great vehicle for moving outside. It has a very clear structure and sound which the listener is familiar with. Due to its simplicity and familiarity, you can get away with playing it, even if it does not fit the harmony in a traditional sense. The first thing I experimented with when I got into playing outside was "side-stepping", ...


16

The "N.V" just means No Vibrato.


15

Unless you have a seven string guitar, this chord is impossible to play on guitar if you want all chord degrees represented. Since it is a G-minor chord over an Fm7, you can really think of the total composite chord as an Fm13, which is a pretty standard jazz chord for guitarists. . . or any jazz player for that matter. What notes you leave out in part ...


15

Diatonic substitution is changing a diatonic chord into another diatonic chord with a similar function. For example, in a C major tonality, you can often reharmonize a melody harmonized with F[maj7] with Dm[7] (or vice versa). These chords share some important notes which makes them functionally similar (both have subdominant character). Chromatic ...


15

It's actually a suspension, which is to say that the actual chord is F Minor (F, A-flat, C, in first inversion) but the G and B-flat are held over from the previous chord before moving to F and A-flat. Dissonant suspensions resolving to consonant chords are very common in Baroque music. In jazz, 9th chords are treated as normal chords, so a G#maj9 might ...


14

Guide tones in a lot of ways are what "define" the feel of a jazz chord, and get you from one chord to the next. This should make it pretty obvious why they are useful in improvisation, since anyone who's ever tried and failed to improvise over an unfamiliar set of changes before didn't know what they were supposed to sound like and couldn't figure out where ...


14

Adding a b9 to a major 7th chord creates a very dissonant sound because the chord then has two different notes that are a half step away from the root. The resolution would be tricky because the b9 would want to go down a half step and so would the 7th and the root needs to go somewhere. That being said however, I found a few voicing that sound good for it ...


14

Yes, you did. But you shouldn't feel bad about it — the term "horns" is commonly used to mean a variety of overlapping things. For example: Horns, meaning wind instruments, as opposed to the rhythm section in a jazz combo. Horns, meaning brass instruments, as opposed to the reeds (i.e. woodwind) instruments. (Somewhat less common — more typical to say brass/...


14

My understanding is before 1970, no Jazz players thought about modes. This is incorrect, see this question: How does modal jazz use chord progressions? A: Modes became of interest over time as a way to organize what pitches to use over certain chords and sounds. This is a naturally arising phenomenon when there are many sounds to consider and memorize what ...


13

Be careful with the Maj 7 on I chords (ie DMaj7), which will quite often conflict with the root (D) played in the melody : you tend to get a b9 interval between the 7th (left hand) and the root (right hand) with sounds very bad. In that case, substitute DM7 with D6 which will sound smoother. The IVM chord (GM in our case) can often be replaced with a IIm7 (...


13

While is very tempting to approach improvisation focusing on phrases and licks, your solo may sound very awkward if you play unrelated chunk of melodies/ideas without thinking about beginning/development/ending. One aspect I love - and judge to be very important - about jazz improvisation are 'motifs', and you can't really apply that to a single phrase. ...


13

In my experience, here's what jazz performance auditions usually consist of: play a standard 12 bar blues (usually in F, and it would help if you know this form--shown here in the key of C) play another song (sometimes of your choosing, sometimes of their choosing) For jazz bass, "playing" these songs could include any of the following: playing the melody ...


12

An avoid note is a chord tension which creates an interval of a minor ninth (or less) above a chord voice. Chord voices are the 1, 3, 5, and 7. Chord tensions are the 9, 11, and 13. As I recall, the Imaj11 sounds terrible. On the other hand, the iimin11 is fine (because of the b3). Ditto the vimin11. And the IVmaj#11 sounds fine as well. The avoid notes ...


12

My personal rule is to have one or two pieces that I’m working on polishing, and everything else that I’m just getting to ‘Good enough’ before moving on. I’m generally working on the polishing piece for at least a month or two, for tunes that last about 1 minute per repeat. I find benefits from both polishing and moving on quickly. And when I’m done ...


12

This is an Ab major 7 flat 5 (Abmaj7(b5)) chord (if you hear Ab as its root). Many people would call it an Abmaj7(#11), because the b5 and the #11 are enharmonically the same note, and if you have a #11 you almost never have the perfect fifth in the chord anyway. I often use this voicing (from low to high): Ab G C D In the key of Bb major, this chord can ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible