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To get to jazz, do I just add a seventh?

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 "...
Richard's user avatar
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29 votes
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What happened to Jazz in 1980?

It's a reasonable thought that Metheny was referring to Wynton Marsalis. Marsalis was highly controversial — "polarizing" might be a better word — in the early 1980s. In particular, Marsalis ...
Aaron's user avatar
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27 votes
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What are jazz pianists playing in the background?

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 ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
24 votes

Problems With Learning a Second Instrument

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 ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
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24 votes
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How much of a jazz tune should I pre-arrange?

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 ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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23 votes

Randomly and Programmatically generate a "good" next chord?

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 ...
ttw's user avatar
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20 votes

What did bebop masters practice?

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 ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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19 votes

To get to jazz, do I just add a seventh?

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'...
Laurence's user avatar
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19 votes
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Is it possible to play jazz on a cello?

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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
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19 votes

Randomly and Programmatically generate a "good" next chord?

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 ...
Lucius's user avatar
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16 votes
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N.V. Meaning in Jazz

The "N.V" just means No Vibrato.
Laurence's user avatar
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16 votes

Jazz greats knew nothing of modes. Why are they used to improvise on standards?

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 ...
LSM07's user avatar
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15 votes

A♭ major 9th chord in Bach is unexpectedly dissonant/jazzy

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....
Mark Lutton's user avatar
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15 votes
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How should I approach getting used to a wonky syncopation?

The general problem: This is a specific case of the more general problem: you're having trouble playing a rhythm which you haven't encountered before. The solution is not surprising: Learn the rhythm ...
Edward's user avatar
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14 votes
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Is "horns" a common term to describe saxophones?

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 ...
NReilingh's user avatar
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14 votes

Why is a 2-5-1 progression so often associated with jazz?

To understand the prevalence of the ii-V-I in jazz, there are three good places to look: ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, and blues. Ragtime Ragtime was characterized by something called the "Ragtime ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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14 votes
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What do these chord annotations mean?

To me it looks like the chords above in parentheses are an alternative progression you can play instead of the ones below them. It's either: | Bbmaj7 | Ebmaj7 | or | Bm7 E7 | Bbm7 Eb7 |
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
14 votes

Does C° also indicate a major seventh chord?

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 ...
Tim's user avatar
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14 votes
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What's the difference in sound between the shell voicing of a minor 7th chord vs a half diminished 7th chord?

You cannot omit an altered fifth. In other words, you cannot omit the b5 from either a half-diminished chord or a diminished chord, or the #5 from an augmented chord. The omission of the 5th only ...
Kirk A's user avatar
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14 votes
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Is this an example of a coda in jazz? Can you find more examples?

What is happening starting at 8:32 is what jazz players often refer to as an ending vamp. In this case it is a loop of 4 bars, one chord per bar that they are improvising over. This is basically the ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
14 votes

How bluesy is Ravel's Blues actually?

How bluesy is Ravel's Blues actually? I would say enough to justify putting "blues" in the title of a violin sonata. A little history background. WC Handy published the "first blues&...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
14 votes

Why is this a G7b9?

With a Tritone for the left hand and a major triad for the right… an experienced jazz pianist would immediately recognize this as a rootless upper structure voicing. So without any context, the ...
Kris Van Bael's user avatar
13 votes
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Is Mikrokosmos technical enough?

Probably no one source is "enough" for playing jazz. Microkosmos, IMO, will do you no harm, but there's plenty more out there that might be more apropos. For example, I have found a lot to learn in ...
Jon Kiparsky's user avatar
13 votes

What to expect in a jazz audition

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 ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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13 votes

Are my hands too small for chord embellishments?

Your hands don't seem extremely small. It's your hand-position that makes things impossible for you. I can't see your thumb but it seems to be stretched completely to the left, and your wrist is ...
Matt L.'s user avatar
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13 votes

Should I use uppercase or lowercase roman numerals in Jazz harmonic analysis?

Having looked at many analyzed scores, I find the lower case for minor and diminished and upper case for major and augmented much easier to read. The most common places I found hard to read were in ...
ttw's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why is this a G7b9?

What jazz pianists mainly do is not write chord symbols for given notes. It's the other way around: what they do is, look at already written chord symbols (or even better, know the changes without ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar

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