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53

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 ...


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 ...


27

Let me preface by saying I am not a jazz pianist but I do have a few decades of playing jazz under my belt as a bass player and have spent many hours at the piano writing and arranging music so I think I’m somewhat qualified to answer this. As you’ve seen in the comments, what the pianist is doing is called comping. Comping is an improvisational ...


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 ...


23

"For each one of these chords, you need to choose a scale/mode/arpeggio, think of a melodic idea, and express it within the "shape" that corresponds to this scale." I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this has never been true of any type of improvisation. I think you have a common misconception that Jazz is an analytical pursuit. One in which you use ...


23

A relevant story I was in a lesson once with Arturo O'Farrill, a brilliant jazz pianist. He asked me to play a ballad, and when I was finished, he said something like "for that song, you can take it further by doing this sort of thing." He proceeded to play the same song using ridiculously cool chord substitutions. My mind was blown, and I assumed ...


23

There are several "chord maps" on the net which indicate chord successions; these may be a good starting point. The chord maps do not give any relative weights or probabilities to chords. A simple Markov Chain also makes a good model (but very limited.) The idea is to randomly (with indicated probabilities) generate the probability of a chord ...


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/...


19

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 ...


19

A quick note at the beginning--it's important to remember that the solos a bebop musician plays are not exclusively the result of practiced notes. They are a result of ideas one hears, intuitions one has developed, and technique one has established. Influence of Swing Many bebop players were heavily influenced by swing. Charlie Parker memorized Lester Young ...


18

Formal Grammars I have done some research on formal grammars for composition. A formal grammar G = (V, S, P) consists of a vocabulary V, a starting symbol S in V, and replacement rules P. A rule consists of a left-hand side (LHS) that describes what it can replace, and a right-hand side (RHS) that describes the replacement. If you want to model harmonic ...


17

A vamp is a repeating musical figure, like a guitar riff. In jazz, Latin jazz, and musical theater it’s often given for the accompaniment so that they can repeat as necessary during intros or solos, in which case it may be noted as “vamp until ready” or “vamp until cue.” Depending on the style and band, players may improvise on the vamp. The “open vamp” ...


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 ...


17

Jazz cello is absolutely possible. Here are resources to get you started in your project. Note that most if not all of these come with contact information. You should not be shy about contacting musicians or organizations to ask questions or even to request interviews. History of cello in jazz http://prjazz.org/history-of-cello-in-jazz.html An introduction ...


16

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 ...


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.


16

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 ...


16

If you want to learn standards I would start by getting your hands on various versions of them being performed by great musicians. This is the best way to learn music, and style of music. Listen. If you can listen to the original versions. This should be an easy task with YouTube. 20-30 years ago I'd make a mixed tape, or burn a CD with 12 or more ...


15

Wheat gave a very good explanation of voice leading and I thought I'd just add a bit about counterpoint. Up until relatively recently (1600s/1700s) the concept of a chord wasn't around - composers may have thrown a C-E-G out there but they didn't refer to it as a 'C Major' chord. However there were certain rules prescribed that told what was legal or ...


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

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


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 ...


15

Never. C° is always C diminished. C major seventh can be signed with a triangle after the C. Bear in mind that half-diminished is signified by a circle with a diagonal line through it. Cmaj7 is C E G B. C°7 is C E♭ G♭ B♭♭. C half dim. is C E♭ G♭ B♭. Note: they all contain C E G B something.


15

First of all, it's important to realize that you've set yourself a very difficult goal. But from what I read in your question, I think you could improve on the way how to approach that goal. As you know, bebop is usually played at fast tempos, and the melodies and improvisations have a tendency to be complex. So bebop standards are usually not a good ...


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 ...


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