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0. Preface This primer began as an attempt to put together some answers to questions commonly asked by beginnin improvisers in the rec.music.bluenote newsgroup on the Internet computer network. In the process ofputting the text together, however, it gradually grew into a more comprehensive treatise hopefully sitable as a beginning guide to the self-study of jazz improvisation. As I expanded the scope of this work from the simple question and answer sheet to what it is now, on of my objectives was to make it also useful to people who have no intention of becoming jazz perforers, but who wish to increase their understanding of the music in order to gain a better appreciatio for it. Some listeners delight in not knowing what goes into the music, considering it in the same ein as sausages in that respect, but I sincerely believe that one's enjoyment of music can almost alays be enhanced by a better understanding of it. This primer assumes the reader has a certain familiarity with basic concepts of terminology and notaion, but no more than one might have learned in a few music lessons as a child. From this foundation the primer gradually delves into relatively advanced theory. The amount of information presented hee may appear overwhelming to all but the most ambitious of non-performing listeners, but I believe te study is well worth the effort. The theory discussed in this primer could easily take hundreds of pages to cover adequately, and shold be accompanied by transcriptions of musical examples and excerpts from actual solos. However, it s not my intention here to write the Great American "How To Play Jazz" Manual. Think of this primer ore as an introduction to the subject, or as a survey of the various topics to be covered by other txts. I also feel that jazz improvisation cannot be understood or mastered without a feel for the hisory of jazz, so I have included a section on history. Again, my treatment is rather cursory, and shold be considered only an introductory survey. One could argue that instead of reading this primer, one would be better off just reading a history ext and a theory text. There is probably some truth to this. However, this primer tries to relate thse approaches in a manner that cannot be done with separate texts, to give you a broad idea of what azz improvisation is all about. It also takes a less pedantic approach than most improvisation texts encouraging you to find your own voice rather than merely teaching you how to play the "right" note. I think you will find that the history, theories, and techniques discussed here go a long way towad explaining what is behind most of the jazz you hear, but are not necessarily enough on its own to llow you to reproduce it or even fully analyze it. If it points anyone in the right direction, encouages them to check out more comprehensive texts, or motivates them to take some lessons or a class, hen it has succeeded. I still consider this primer to be a work in progress. Since it is currently distributed through theInternet, and there is no standard way to create and
transmit documents that include integrated textand graphics over that network, this primer is all text. This is unfortunate, since it makes the secions on chords, scales, and voicings much more confusing than they deserve to be. It also makes for n overly technical and dry discussion of such a free and creative art form as jazz. However, the reaership of the Internet tends to be made up of college educated engineer types who are expected to beable to read dry technical papers, so this is perhaps not as big a problem as it might otherwise be.It would be nice to be able to target this primer at the more typical beginning improviser, the highschool or college student who is not necessarily especially technically inclined. Musical examples ould undoubtedly help me make some of my points that are probably being lost now in the bewildering erbiage. Also, I think streamlining some of the more tedious explanations would help me focus the prmer a little better. Once I allow for musical examples, I might not be able to employ the Internet a a distribution mechanism, but I could use any of the available computer typesetting packages to getan expanded edition of this primer printed and published. If any readers have any suggestions for improvements, or wish to contribute anything to future editins, or have any other comments or feedback for me, please let me know. My electronic mail address iscurrently email@example.com. A note posted to rec.music.bluenote will generally get my attention aswell if you have difficulties in reaching me. I can also be reached by telephone at (303)493-4856, o by mail at 511 East Myrtle Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524. I would like to thank some people who contributed to this primer. Solomon Douglas, Jonathan Cohen, ad Sue Raul reviewed the early drafts and gave me lots of good suggestions, most of which were incorprated into the first edition. Jonathan also contributed some material for the discussions on modal msic. Since the first edition was made available, over six hundred people have downloaded it, and man others have obtained copies by other means as well. I have received many more comments and have trid to incorporate as many of the suggestions as possible. While it would be difficult to list everyon who gave me feedback, I would like to especially acknowledge Russ Evans, Jos Groot, Jason Martin Leitt, Scott Gordon, Jim Franzen, and David Geiser. Finally, I would like to say a few words about the copyright. The first edition contained no copyrigt notice, but was covered anyhow under United States copyright law and under the international Berneconvention. This second edition carries an explicit copyright notice. I grant you the right to printthis primer and make copies to distribute if you wish. I do plan to publish this some day, however, o please do not get carried away. For persons on the Internet, the latest version of this primer canbe obtained via anonymous ftp from ftp.njit.edu, in the directory /pub/jazz-primer. Postscript, DVI,troff -me, and ASCII versions are available. The primer can also be accessed via the World Wide Web sing a web client such as NCSA Mosaic. The primer is listed in the Jazz Web at http://www.acns.nwu.eu/jazz/. 1. Goals For the purposes of this primer, we are all musicians. Some of us may be performing musicians, whilemost of us are listening musicians. Most of the former are also the latter. I will try to use the tem performer and listener respectively, rather than the terms musician or nonmusician, when addressin my audience. This primer is intended primarily for performers who wish to learn jazz improvisation.It is also intended for listeners who wish to increase their understanding of the music. I believe tat all musicians can benefit from a fuller understanding of jazz, as this can lead to an enhanced enoyment of the music. Some basic knowledge of music, including familiarity with standard music notation,
is assumed in man places throughout the primer. I highly recommend that you have access to a piano and the ability toplay simple examples on it. Performers should already possess basic technical proficiency on your intruments in order to gain the most from this primer. Listeners should try to bear with the more techical discussions and not get too bogged down with the details where it seems too far over your head. There are three main goals of this primer. They are to teach you the language of jazz, to increase yur understanding of jazz as performed by others, and, for performers, to get you started on improvisng. The language of jazz is mostly a language of styles, history, and music theory. It is the languae of liner notes, interviews, and textbooks, and contains terms such as "bebop", "Trane", and "lydia dominant". Learning this language will also provide a framework for understanding the music itself.While it is certainly possible to enjoy John Coltrane without understanding anything about music thery, a working knowledge of harmony can provide a new basis for appreciation. It is also possible to mprovise without much theoretic background, but stories of famous musicians who were unable to read usic are generally greatly exaggerated, and I believe any musician's playing can be improved by learing more theory. 1.1. Outline This primer is organized as a series of steps toward becoming a jazz musician, either as a performeror as a more informed listener. Most of the steps are geared for the performer, but the non-performig listener is encouraged to try out as many of the playing examples as possible. This should help braden your ear and help you recognize aspects of the music you might not have otherwise. The steps outlined in this primer are: 1. listen to many different styles of jazz 2. understand jazz fundamentals 3. learn chord/scale relaionships 4. learn how to apply the theory to jazz improvisation 5. learn how to accompany other solosts 6. play with others 7. listen analytically 8. break the rules These will each be described in some detail later. Some of the material presented here is very basic, and some of it is rather advanced. Those of you wo have listened to a lot of jazz but are not performers yourselves will probably find the history dicussions to be simplistic, but find the theoretical discussions overwhelming. Others may grow impatint at the explanations of such basic concepts as the major scale, but will be bewildered at the numbr and variety of musicians discussed. You may wonder why such a broad array of information has been queezed into this one primer. I believe that, in order to understand jazz improvisation, it is necesary to understand the history, the theory, and the techniques of jazz. I feel that it is important t merge these avenues if one is to develop a broad understanding. 1.2. Other Resources This primer is not the only source of information you can or should be using in learning jazz improvsation. There are books by Jerry Coker, David Baker, and others that can be used as an aid to learnig jazz improvisation. Some of these are relatively basic and do not cover much more material than ths primer. Others are quite advanced, and this primer will hopefully provide the necessary backgroundto tackle these texts. In addition to textbooks, another important resource for performers is the fakebook. A fakebook typially contains music for hundreds of songs, but it
bass. for the songs on the record.contains only the melody. A few of these are listed in the bibliography. Your local library can be an invaluable asset in checking out musicians with whom you are unfamiliar Also. Just as no words can ever describe what a Monet painting looks like. This program runs on several different hardwar platforms. it is often useful to play along with a rhythm section (piano. After buying half a dozen or so of his albums. It allows you to enter the chords for a song in ASCII format. however. you already have some idea of jazz musicians you like. you can start with one musicin and work outwards. It actually does a very goo job of generating realistic parts. in violation of copyright law. For example. cassettes. ad chord symbols for each. with mention of many important musicians and albums. Disks are availablecontaining hundreds of songs already entered. The piano and bass are on different stereo channels. What follows is a brief hisory of jazz. "What should I listen to?" Mos likely. Advertisements are run in Keyboard magazine. and stated buying their albums as well. The later sections on jazz theory are based primarily on principles developd from the 1940's through the 1960's. and it then generates rhytm section parts and can play them via a MIDI port through a synthesizer. you may nt be able to tell you are not playing with a recording of a real rhythm section. and the process is still continuing. You should be aware of what others have dne before you. I found a nw direction to explore. The recordings contain only accompaniment. Having established the importance of listening. I recommend all performers pick up a few ofthese. This primer gives a cursory overview of major periods and styles. upon hearing pianist Herbie Hancock with Hubbard. one which lead me to trumpet player Miles Davis. there is no meloy or solos. not always practical. you may wish to share albums with friends. I found I also liked some of the musicans with whom he had performed. the question remains. Taping records or CD's for use by others is. Providing them is your job. Often. no primer can write will describe what Charlie Parker sounds like. These records. There is a lot of overlap in the eas and styles described. Another option is the computer program Band-In-A-Box. . so they can be turnd off individually if you play one of those instruments. of course. Then. such as trumpet players Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie. Jamey Aebersold has produced a series of play-along albums toremedy this situation. and if your synthesizer can generate realistic sounds. Ths is. When practicing. Note that the subject of jazz histry has generated entire volumes. and thereby to saxophonist ohn Coltrane. Part of the goal of this primer is to help direct you in your listening. the first jazz musician I listened to extensively was the pianist scar Peterson. A description of some of the available textbooks and fakebooks can be foun in the bibliography. Advertisements are run in Down Beat magazine. or CD's come with books containing the music. and drums). While it is important for a performer to dvelop his own style. this should not be done in isolation. A Brief History Of Jazz Listening to other jazz musicians is by far the most important single thing you can do to learn abou jazz improvisation. This music is sometimes referred to as mainstream or straightaead jazz. in faebook form. lyrics if appropriate. 2. of corse.
Harlem tride. These differed from earlier sall groups in that these featured very little collective improvisation. to give you an idea of what you like. You shold use the library. and Ben Webster. This has become commonplace since then. but all three are characterized y rhythmic. Harry "Sweets" Edison. in which the vocalist makes up nonsense syllablesto sing improvised lines. Big Band Jazz And Swing Although the big bands are normally associated with a slightly later era. Paul Gonsalves. soprano saxophone player Sidney Bechet. Lester Young. Barney Kessell. and boogie-woogie. is credited with the invention of scat. Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll orton were early ragtime pioneers. CootieWilliams. and Slam Stewart drummers include Jo Jones and Sam Woodyard. and Artie Shaw led some of the more popular ands. chord). and Charlie Shavers. Trumpet players include Roy Eldridge. and on the . and trombonist Kid Oy. Bix Beiderbeck was a trumpet soloist who played with several bands and was considered a legend in his time. Other styles popular during this period were various forms of piano jazz. Pianists include Ellington. e played with groups called the Hot Five and the Hot Seven. trumpeter King Oliver. 2. There were also soe important small group swing recordings during the 1930's and 1940's. It is characterized by collective improvisation. Early Jazz The earliest easily available jazz recordings are from the 1920's and early 1930's. Basie. and many others of the period. Walter Page. Art Ttum is considered by many to be the greatest jazz pianist ever. oleman Hawkins. any recordings you can find of these grops are recommended. This music emphasized the inividual soloist. Willie "The Lion" Smith and James P. those of Duke Ellington and Count Basie are generally more respected today.1. percussive left hand lines and fast. there were several large bnds playing during the 1920's and early 1930's.2. bass note. a a singer. Trumpet player ad vocalist Louis Armstrong ("Pops". Louis. Johnson popularzed the stride left hand pattern (bass note. Other notable performers of New Orleans or Dixieland jazz include clarinetst Johnny Dodds. Earl "Fatha" Hines wa a pianist who was especially known for his right hand. playing instead "horn-like" melodic lines. he was certainly one of the most tecnically gifted. full right hand lines. Most of these musicians recorded in small groups as well as with bg bands. Erroll Garner. on the swing feel. Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lwis developed this into the faster moving left hand patterns of boogie-woogie. He is sometimesconsidered a precursor of bebop. The style of these groups. Benny Goodman. 2. bassists include Jimmy Blanton.and it devalues the musicians' economic reward. While Glenn Miller. in which all perforers simultaneously play improvised melodic lines within the harmonic structure of the tune. Teddy Wilson. The styles of these musicians can best be summarized by saying they concentrated primarily n playing melodically. chord. "Satchmo") was by far the most important figure of this period. Herb Ellis. Billie Holiday. These styles are actually quite distinct. Tommy Dorsey. and Django Reinhardt vibraphonists include Lionel Hampton. Dinah Washington. including ragtime. Fats Waller. and Ocar Peterson. and his harmonic insights paved the way for many who came after him. including that of Fletcher Henderson. Major saxophonists of the era include Johnny Hodges. and other people's collections. and thengo out and buy it. guitarists include Charlie Christian. and Ella Fitzgerald wre important singers in this era. is often referred to a New Orleans jazz or Dixieland. The mid 1930's brought on the swing era and the emergence of the big bands as the popular music of te day. in which he did not often play full chords o arpeggios.
and in particular. and Roy Haynes. Pianists were able to use a lighter touch. vibraphnist Milt Jackson. Dizzy also led big band. bass.4. in which soloists exchange four bar phraes with each other or with the drummer. Miles. trumpeters Fats Navarro. The technique of trading fours. then take turns playing solos based on the chord progression of the piece. Monk. and trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie ("Diz") was his primary accomplice. Cool Jazz Although Miles Davis first appeared on bebop recordings of Charlie Parker. The compositions usually featured fast tempos and difficult eighth note runs. Performers would play the melody to a piece (the hed). The standard quartet and quintet fomats (piano. the original compositions of the bebop players began to iverge from popular music for the first time. and Thelonious Monk. Jimmy Blanton. but placed a much higher emphasis on technique and on ore complex harmonies rather than on singable melodies. The cool jazz style has been described as a reaction against the fast tempos and the cmplex melodic. also became commonplace. The blues ws. These musicians inclded Lester Young. or "How High The Moon".3. These ideas were picked up by many west . Many of the players from the previous generation helped pave the way for bebop. Many of the bebo standards are based on the chord progressions of other popular songs. Bass players became responsible fr keeping the pulse by playing almost exclusively a walking bass line consisting mostly of quarter ntes while outlining the chord progression. his first important sessin as a leader was called The Birth Of The Cool. and Miles Davis. Drummers began torely less on the bass drum and more on the ride cymbal and hihat. Duke Jordan. to American adiences. Much of the theory to be discussed later stes directly from innovations in this style. bebop was not intended to be dance usic. But it was the quintet and other small group reordings featuring Diz and Bird that formed the foundation of bebop and most modern jazz. 2. through his work with Cuban percussionists. and in particuar their left hands were no longer forced to define the beat or to play roots of chords. such as "I Got Rhythm". "Cherkee". Al Haig. In addition the modern jazz standard form became universal. and Mingus went on to further advances in the post-bebo eras. harmonic. The development of bebop led to new approaches to accompanying as well as soloing. Knny Dorham. often in unison. Alto saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker was the father of his movement. saxophone and/or trumpet) used in bebop have changed very little since the1940's. and inally play the head again. pianists Bud Powell. and te scales used included alterations such as the flatted fifth. Roy Eldridge. and drummers Max Roac. and Charles Mingus.Other bebop notables include saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Lucky Thompson. includig songs by George Gershwin and Cole Porter. and Jo Jones. drums. Charlie Christian.development of an individual sound. The improvisations were based on scales implied by those chords. an important element of this music. and their music will be discussed later. Bebop The birth of bebop in the 1940's is often considered to mark the beginning of modern jazz. While. and helped introduce Afro-Cuban music. including rhythms such as the mambo. Youg and Hawkins in particular are often considered two of the most important musicians in this effort. An album containing all the recordings of this groupis available. 2. much use was made of the blues and popular songs of the day. Coleman Hawkins. This styl grew directly out of the small swing groups. bassists Oscar Pettiford. as with previous styles. and rhythmic ideas of bebop. Tommy Potter. Kenny Clarke. as in many other styles.
coast usicians, and this style is thus also called West Coast jazz. This music is generally more relaxed tan bebop. Other musicians in the cool style include saxophonists Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan, and tumpet player Chet Baker. Stan Getz is also credited with the popularization of Brazilian styles suchas the bossa nova and samba. These and a few other Latin American styles are sometimes collectively nown as Latin jazz. Many groups in the cool style do not use a piano, and instead rely on counterpoint and harmonizationamong the horns, usually saxophone and trumpet, to outline chord progressions. Pianist-led groups tht developed from this school include those of Dave Brubeck (with Paul Desmond on saxophone), Lennie ristano (with Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh on saxophones), and the Modern Jazz Quartet or MJQ (featurig John Lewis on piano and Milt Jackson on vibraphone), which also infuses elements of classical musi. The incorporation of classical music into jazz is often called the third stream. 2.5. Hard Bop In what has been described as either an extension of bebop or a backlash against cool, a style of muic known as hard bop developed in the 1950's. This style also downplayed the technically demanding mlodies of bebop, but did so without compromising intensity. It did this by maintaining the rhythmic rive of bebop while including a healthier dose of the blues and gospel music. Art Blakey And The Jaz Messengers were, for decades, the most well-known exponent of this style. Many musicians came up though the so-called "University Of Blakey". Blakey's early groups included pianist Horace Silver, trupet player Clifford Brown, and saxophonist Lou Donaldson. Clifford Brown also co-led a group with Ma Roach that is considered one of the great working quintets in history. Several albums from these grups are available today and all are recommended. Miles Davis also recorded several albums in this stle during the early 1950's. There were also a number of groups led by or including organists that cae from this school, with even more of a blues and gospel influence. Organist Jimmy Smith and tenor sxophonist Stanley Turrentine were popular players in this genre. 2.6. Post Bop The period from the mid 1950's until the mid 1960's represents the heyday of mainstream modern jazz.Many of those now considered among the greatest of all time achieved their fame in this era. Miles Davis had four important groups during this time. The first featured John Coltrane ("Trane") o tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and "Philly" Joe Jones on drums. Thisgroup is sometimes considered the single greatest jazz group ever. Most of their albums are availabl today, including the series of Workin' , Steamin' , Relaxin' , and Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quitet. Miles perfected his muted ballad playing with this group, and the rhythm section was consideredby many to be the hardest swinging in the business. The second important Davis group came with the adition of alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderly and the replacement of Garland and Jones withWynton Kelly and Jimmy Cobb. The album Kind Of Blue from this group is high on most lists of favorit jazz albums. The primary style of this group is called modal, as it relies on songs written around imple scales or modes that often last for many measures each, as opposed to the quickly changing comlex harmonies of bebop derived styles. The third Davis group of the era was actually the Gil Evans ochestra. Miles recorded several classic albums with Gil, including Sketches Of Spain. The fourth imprtant Miles group of this period included Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Crter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums. The early recordings of this group, including Live At The lugged Nickel, as well as the
earlier My Funny Valentine, with George Coleman on saxophone instead o Wayne Shorter, mainly feature innovative versions of standards. Later recordings such as Miles Smils and Nefertiti consist of originals, including many by Wayne Shorter, that largely transcend traditonal harmonies. Herbie Hancock developed a new approach to harmonization that was based as much on sunds as on any conventional theoretical underpinning. John Coltrane is another giant of this period. In addition to his playing with Miles, he recorded th album Giant Steps under his own name, which showed him to be one of the most technically gifted andharmonically advanced players around. After leaving Miles, he formed a quartet with pianist McCoy Tyer, drummer Elvin Jones, and a variety of bass players, finally settling on Jimmy Garrison. Coltranes playing with this group showed him to be one of the most intensely emotional players around. Tyneris also a major voice on his instrument, featuring a very percussive attack. Elvin Jones is a masterof rhythmic intensity. This group evolved constantly, from the relatively traditional post bop of MyFavorite Things to the high energy modal of A Love Supreme to the wailing avant garde of Meditationsand Ascension. Charles Mingus was another influential leader during this period. His small groups tended to be lessstructured than others, giving more freedom to the individual players, although Mingus also directedlarger ensembles in which most of the parts were written out. Mingus' compositions for smaller group were often only rough sketches, and performances were sometimes literally composed or arranged on te bandstand, with Mingus calling out directions to the musicians. Alto saxophonist, bass clarinetist and flautist Eric Dolphy was a mainstay of Mingus' groups. His playing was often described angular,meaning that the interval in his lines were often large leaps, as opposed to scalar lines, consist mstly of steps. The album Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus featuring Dolphy is a classic. Thelonious Monk is widely regarded as one of the most important composers in jazz, as well as being highly original pianist. His playing is more sparse than most of his contemporaries. Some of his alums include Brilliant Corners and Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane. Pianist Bill Evans was known a one of the most sensitive ballad players, and his trio albums, particularly Waltz For Debby, with Sott LeFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums, are models of trio interplay. Wes Montgomery was one ofthe most influential of jazz guitarists. He often played in groups with an organist, and had a partiularly soulful sound. He also popularized the technique of playing solos in octaves. His early album include Full House. Later albums were more commercial and less well regarded. Tenor saxophonist Sony Rollins rivaled Coltrane in popularity and recorded many albums under his own name, including Saxohone Colossus and The Bridge, which also featured Jim Hall on guitar. Sonny also recorded with Cliffrd Brown, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, and other giants. Other noteworthy musicians of the era include saxophonists Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon, Joe Hendersn, and Charlie Rouse; trumpet players Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, and Booker Little; trmbonists J. J. Johnson and Curtis Fuller; clarinetist Jimmy Guiffre, pianists Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jnes, Bobby Timmons, Mal Waldron, Andrew Hill, Cedar Walton, Chick Corea, and Ahmad Jamal; organist Lrry Young, guitarists Kenny Burrell and Joe Pass; guitarist and harmonica player Toots Thielemans; vbraphonist Bobby Hutcherson; bassists Ray Brown, Percy Heath, Sam Jones, Buster Williams, Reggie Worman, Doug Watkins, and Red Mitchell; drummers Billy Higgins and Ben Riley; and vocalists Jon Hendrics, Eddie Jefferson, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Abbey Lincoln, and Shirley Horn. Big ands such as those of Woody Herman and Stan Kenton also thrived. 2.7. Free Jazz And The Avant Garde
During these same decades of the 1950's and 1960's, some musicians took jazz in more exploratory dirctions. The terms free jazz and avant garde are often used to describe these approaches, in which trditional forms, harmony, melody, and rhythm were extended considerably or even abandoned. Saxophonis Ornette Coleman and trumpet player Don Cherry were pioneers of this music through albums such as Th Shape Of Jazz To Come and Free Jazz. The former album, as well as several more recorded with a quaret that also include either Scott LeFaro or Charlie Haden on bass and either Billy Higgins or Ed Blakwell on drums, still retains the basic feel of traditional post bop small group jazz, with alternatng soloists over a walking bass line and swinging drum beat. This style is sometimes known as freebo. The album Free Jazz was a more cacophonous affair that featured collective improvisation. Another major figure in the avant garde movement was pianist Cecil Taylor. His playing is very percusive, and includes dissonant clusters of notes and fast technical passages that do not appear to be ased on any particular harmonies or rhythmic pulse. John Coltrane, as already mentioned, delved into the avant garde in the mid 1960's. Albums such as Acension and Interstellar Space show Coltrane absorbing both Free Jazz and the works of Cecil Taylor.Later Coltrane groups featured his wife Alice on piano and Rashied Ali on drums, as well as Pharoah anders on tenor saxophone. He also recorded an album The Avant Garde with Don Cherry that is interesing for its parallels with The Shape Of Jazz To Come and other Ornette Coleman quartet recordings. Cltrane influenced many other musicians, including saxophonists Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers, and Albert yler. Sun Ra is a somewhat enigmatic figure in the avant garde, claiming to be from the planet Saturn. He lays a variety of keyboard instruments with his big bands that range from 1920's style swing to the ilder free jazz of Coltrane and others. 2.8. Fusion Miles Davis helped usher in the fusion of jazz and rock in the mid to late 1960's through albums suc as Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson. His bands during this period featured Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul on electric piano, Ron Carter and Dave Holland on bass, John McLaughlin on guitar, nd Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette on drums. Tony Williams formed a rock oriented band called Lifeime with John McLaughlin, who also formed his own high energy group, the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Throuh the 1970's Miles continued to explore new directions in the use of electronics and the incorporatin of funk and rock elements into his music, leading to albums such as Pangea and Agharta. Other groups combined jazz and rock in a more popularly oriented manner, from the crossover Top 40 o Spyro Gyra and Chuck Mangione to the somewhat more esoteric guitarist Pat Metheny. Other popular fuion bands include Weather Report, featuring Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and bass players Jaco Pastorus and Miroslav Vitous; Return To Forever, featuring Chick Corea and bassist Stanley Clarke; The Cruaders, featuring saxophonist Wilton Felder and keyboardist Joe Sample; the Yellowjackets, featuring eyboardist Russ Freeman; and the Jeff Lorber Fusion, which originally featured Kenny G on saxophone.In recent years, several fusion bands have achieved much commercial success, including those of Pat etheny and Kenny G. 2.9. Post Modern Jazz While fusion seemed to dominate the jazz market in the 1970's and early 1980's, there were other devlopments as well. Some performers started borrowing from 20th
ad the Art Ensemble Of Chicago. Marcus Belgrave. and Jeff "Tain" Watts on drus. Joe Henderson. David Murray. and Dewey Redman. manage to extend the art through new approaches to melodicism. trumpt players Tom Harrell. An exciting development since the mid 1980's has been a collective of musicians that refers to its msic as M-Base. rejected the complexity and dissonance of modern jazz and played in a mch simpler style.century classical music as well as Afrcan and other forms of world music. including the Marsalises and their rhythm sctions of Kenny Kirkland or Marcus Roberts on piano. This movement is led by saxophonists Steve Coleman. Renee Rosnes. rhythm. harmony. and Jan Garbarek. who engaged in a freneti form of free improvisation sometimes called energy music. but the music is characterized by angular melodic lines played over complex funky beats with uusual rhythmic twists. even among its members. bassists Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen and Lonnie Plaxico. Joe Lovano. There seems to be some disagreement. there are Ornette Coleman. Charlie Haden. saxophonists nthony Braxton. Paul Bley. Chico Freeman. Greg Osby. Many other musicians are making strong music in the modern tradition. and Willem Breuker 2. Tony Williams. Mulgrew Miller. Dave Holland. Somewhere in between was the long lived goup formed by saxophonist George Adams. and Jerry Bergonzi. Michal Brecker. Other important musicians during the 1970's and 1980's include pianists AbdullahIbrahim. Their music tended to emphasize compositional elements more sophisticated than the head-soloshed form. Bill Frisell. who was influenced by Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. pianist John Taylor. trombonists Steve Turre and Ray Anderso. bass player Anthony Cox. and Arturo Sanduval. John Surman. Bob Hurst on bass. rather han just recreate the music of past masters. bassist berhard Weber. drummer John Stevens. Kenny Barron. such as Oregon. and Jack DeJohnette. Bob Berg. Bobby Watson. The best of this group of young musicians.10. trumpet player Graham Haynes. Anthony Davis and Keith Jarrett. Franz Koglman. which has given rise to the current New Age music. featuring trumpet player Lester Bowie and woodwind player Roscoe Mitcell. Frank Morgan. John Zorn. and Gary Thoma. who was influenced by Cecil Taylor. Some of the more successful of the European improvisrs include saxophonists Evan Parker. and Kevin Eubanks. guitarists John Scofield. The Present One of the big trends of today is a return to the bebop and post bop roots of modern jazz. nd Marilyn Crispell. and arrangers Mike Westbrook. and form. and . pianists Geri Allen. clarinetists Don Byron and Eddie Daniels. Some groups. On the other extreme are musicins like saxophonist John Zorn and guitarists Sonny Sharrock and Fred Frith. Among musicians already mentioed. John Tchicai. Don Cherry. featuring four saxophonists with no rhythm section. Don Pullen. Not all developments in jazz occur in the United States. Others include saxophonits Phil Woods. vibraphonist Gary Buton. Courtney Pine. clarinetist John Carter. pianists Carla Bley and Muhl Richard Abrams. David Murray. trombonist Robin Eubanks. Many European musicians extended some of th free jazz ideas of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor. Tim Berne. and pianst Don Pullen. This group drew heavily from blues music and wellas the avant garde. as to what this means exctly. Gonzalo Rubalcaba. and further dispensed with traditional forms. guitarists Derek Bailey and Allan Holdsworth. Ceil Taylor. thers turned toward a more introspective music. the World Saxophone Quartet. and drummer Marvi "Smitty" Smith. Dewey Redman. trumpet players Keny Wheeler and Ian Carr. saxophonist Brnford Marsalis. Charlie Haden. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his brother. This moveent is often referred to as neoclassicism. have achieved much popular success playing music that is based on styles of the 1950s and 1960's. Eduard Simon. These musicians include Don Cherry.
but most are based onthe idea of three four bar phrases. nd the coda or tag is an ending. 3. In its original form.11. the exposition or theme (possibly repeated). the recapitulation is a restatement of the theme and the coda is an ending. Thelonious Monk. and you are encouraged to listen to as many musiians as possible to increase your awareness and appreciation for different styles. You may notice that some soloists. Each time through the progression is called a chorus and each soloist may take several choruses. and the third would be an answer to that phrase. the head out. This is by no means a complete list. the vast majority of traditional jazz stays very close to i. and Ornette Coleman. sets the tone for the piece. Billie Holiday. A fairly noncontroversial "Top Ten List". There are many variants on blues chord progressions. and creativity. Duke Ellington. the head out is a restatement of the theme. Miles Davis. the theme-and-variations form of classcal music is also a valid analogy. and possibly a coda or tag ending. and John Coltrane were especially adept at making personal statements even wile just playing the head. The most mportant aspects to which you should pay attention are structure. these sections of a piece would be called the the intro. While listening to a piece. just as the development is often considered he most important part of the classical sonata. the artists described first and in the most detail within a given style are considerd the most important. Each soloist plays an improvised variation on the theme. During the solo section. Top Ten List It is certainly not expected that you run out and purchase albums by all of the artists mentioned abve. Structure Most jazz since the bebop era is based on a form that is actually quite similar to the sonata allegr form from classical theory: an optional introduction. 3. he development section. try to sing the theme toyourself behind the solos. Charles Mingus. After this. the second phrase would be a repeat of thefirst. These ae among the true giants of jazz. the head is the main melody. The first is the blues form.1. In jazz terms. would be Louis Armstrong. the solo section is where the soloists improise on the melody and/or chord progression of the tune. Charlie Parker. There are two very common forms for a head or theme in jazz. In this respect. The introduction. you need to be more conscious of what you are hearing. players such as Miles Davis. 2. possibly followed by a coda. if prsent. rt Blakey. ColemanHawkins. In general. which is nrmally a twelve bar form. You will aso notice that liberties are often taken with the theme itself. the exposition is the main melody. often base their solos on the melodic theme as much as on the chord progression. although this convention is rarely adhered t in . The improvisation is the most important aspect of jazz. the solo section. John Coltrane. Jazz Fundamentals Now that you are listening to jazz. the development section is whee the composer extends the ideas of the exposition.vocalists Bobby McFerrin and Casandra Wilson. Sonny Rollins. While not every piece follows this form. particularly Thelonious Monk and WayneShorter. personal preferences begin to come more into play. and the recapitulation. swing. containing representatives of severl styles and instruments. the rhythm section generally keeps following the chord progression of thehead while the soloists take turns improvising. he head (possibly repeated). The ntro establishes the mood.
and "Freddie Freeloader" and "All Blues" by Miles Davis.1. are often called standards. and you play only on the beat and on the "h". . No matter what the ratio. "one. you need to develop a feel for swing. is one example of an AABA form. Some well known jazz tunes based on blues pogressions include "Now's The Time" and "Billie's Bounce" by Charlie Parker. The form is verse 1. This is part of the rationale behind doing so muc listening. A. not to suggest that they are the only way. and beats two ad four are usually accented as well. Nonetheless. used extensively in popular music from the turnof the century until the dawn of rock and roll. These structures are only guidelines. G. Yu should learn to discern for yourself when listening to other musicians what type of structures the are using. There are literally hundreds of tunes based on the chord progresion to that tune. Musicians such as Cecil Taylor showed us long ago that it is pssible to express oneself without such well defined structures. 3. if any. the straighter the eighth notes. verse 3. popular songs from the first half of the century that have been inerpreted by many jazz musicians. Play a C major scale "C. three. since it is virtually impossible to teach swing analytically. Again. four". Aso. 3. The first note of every beat will be twice as long as the second. two. so you can recognize blues forms when you hear them. This style is called straight eighth noes. even at the sametempo. I cannot give an exact ratio. You should also decide for yourself which structures to use in your own playing. D.2. and indeed this type of expression i often more personal that any more organized form. "Straight. I have described these common structures to help ou understand the context in which many musicians work. the second "half" of each beat is usually accented. No Chaser" ad "Blue Monk" by Thelonious Monk. including "Anthropology" by Charlie Parker and "Oleo" by Sonny Rollins. Songs such as these. a set of eighth notes n 4/4 time are meant to take exactly onehalf of a beat each.jazz. verse 2. In general. Subdivide this in yur mind. however. In classical music.2.set it to 96 beats per minute. F. You may wish to check out the blues progressions listed later to get an idea of what they ound like. The song "I Got Rhythm" by George Gershin. the faster the tempo. because it varies depending on the tmpo and the style of the piece. If you have a metronome. Those are quarter notes. B. I will try toexplain what you should be hearing and trying to achieve in your own playing. Before you delve into the thery. Te rest of this primer will deal mainly with hands-on musical examples. C" in straight eighth notes. "one and two and three and four and". Liner notes and song titles will als often help identify which tunes are based on the blues. The basic beats are be subdivided in you mind as "one-and-uh two-and-uh threeand-uh four-and-uh". This form consists two sections. Definition The most basic element of swing is the swing eighth note. A common approximation to swing eighth notes uses triplets. The verses are similar or ientical except for the lyrics and perhaps the last two bars. E. Swing Understanding the structure of the music is the first step toward an increased appreciation of it. Somewhere inbetween straight eighth notes (1:1 ratio between first and second note) and triplets (2:1 ratio) lietrue swing eighth notes. This will sound like Morse Cod dash-dot-dash-dot-dash-dotdash-dot and is far too exaggerated for most jazz purposes. the amount of accent depends on the player and the situaion. pre-bebop era players often use a more exaggerated swing than later performers. and "There Is No Greater Love" byIsham Jones. Other song with the AABA form include "Darn That Dream" by Jimmy Van Heusen. called the verse orA-section and the bridge. however. bridge. The other common form in jazz is the AABA song form.
however. you can program it to play endless choruses of C major. even the ntes that should fall on the beat are usually played a little bit late. you cannot swing. is "1. The hi-hat is closed (with the foot pedal) on 2 and 4. This is often called laying bck. since it can sound so bad until you can do it well. play quarter notes. Walking basslines can be constructed by following a few simple rules.2. work on swin as well as simply playing the right notes. at its mos basic. especially the firs four. If you have a partner. It has been said that if you cannot swing unaccompanied. Try playing songs with manyconsecutive eighth notes. to keep the music driving forward. and 54. When you practice scales. 24.2. and when develoing your swing concept. I highly recommend recording yourself playing swing eighth notes at variou tempos. it can also help to hear it occasionally in the context of a group performane.Fourth. There are a few suitable tracks. of course. you may be better at recognizing swing thanat playing it. You should work on your swing no matter what you are playing. you should try practicing swing when playing other exercises or songs. Aebersold records can provide accompanment as well. or a sequencer (computer hardware and/or software to recod and play back on a synthesizer) you can create do-ityourself accompaniment. It can lend a more relaxed feel to the music. most notes . but be aware that most of the tunes have many chord changes and are too complex to usefor this purpose. Bassists often play slightly ahead of the beat. It isimportant to work on your own concept of swing in this way so that your perception of how you sound s not influenced by the sound of your accompanists. Try varying the rhythm you use to play the scale. First. play only notes from the scale on which you are working. 1. When Dexter Gordon plays. The books included with these. The eighth notes on 2 nd 4 should be swung. If you have been listening carefully to other musicians. also contain some useful instructional material. paricularly at faster tempos. There are some techniques that can help you vercome this initial awkward stage. keep thm in the two octaves below middle C. whereas playing notes that should fall on the beata little bit early can have the opposite effect. While being able to swing unaccompanied is important. Having to play many consective eighth notes can make you too self-conscious of your swing. Shuffles and some other rok styles use very exaggerated swing. Third. In addtion to scales. One thing that would help at times is to have a rhythm section accompaniment. You can judge for yourself whether your swing sound natural or forced. Practicing Swing Learning to play natural sounding swing eighth notes is often the hardest part of learning to play jzz. Do not be fooled into thinking that swing is a universal constant. or a tape recorder. such as some of those on Volumes 1. Listen closely to recordings in different styles. and then you can practice playing or mprovising on your C major scale while working on your swing. and then listening to yourself on tape. but also try songs with longer notes and rests. 4 and". or eighth notes that are only slightly swung. "ding ding-a ding ding-a". or. The basic components f a swing drum beat are the ride pattern and the hi-hat pattern. 3. Any practice ethod book or fakebook will probably contain several appropriate pieces. phonetically. 16. Most Latin jazz styles and many fusion and modern tyles use straight eighths. Therefore. it is not easy to do at first. Not all styles of jazz use swing in the same way. The ride cymbal pattern. paying attenton to the differences. Second. 3. which are geared toward beginners.There is also the issue of playing behind or ahead of the beat. 2 and. If you have Band-InA-Box.
3. F. Two analogies. F. Your understanding of music fundamentals is one ally in this endeavor. Often. so you can record only a few measures and hve them repeat endlessly. your tools are your knowledge of grammar. and can also help you identify the sounds you hear. however. Gradually. however. Some ingenuity is required to be able to apply your knowledge to the prblem at hand. and being able to successully duplicate what they are doing is one step toward being able to express yourself. you must have a certain amount of inspiration. not a replacement for it. assimilate. ou became aware of grammar. analytc processes are an aid to the creative process. G. Next. C". like a good story. E. In mathematics. To wrie or say anything interesting.1. G. and eventually the grammar was codified for you in English classes. Yourvocabulary has probably been growing ever since you spoke your first word. and experience working with a particular type of problem can help direct you. Your tecnical proficiency on your instrument is another ally. D. It can help you accurately execute what you coceive. innovate". D. and. Inspiration. so that when you want to create a prticular sound. It is not suficient to merely string together grammatically correct phrases of words. one with laguage and one with mathematics. although proper use of the language can help to get your pint across. Creativity The most important aspect of improvisation is creativity. G. That creatve spark is what distinguishes the true artist from the mere craftsman.3. However. E. although occasional leaps are cceptable. a C major bass line might consist of "C.should be only a step away from the previous note. In al but the simplest of math problems. 3. Learning the various axioms. 3. but inspiration plays the most important role in determining your success. What you have to say is genrally more important than how you say it. A sequencer will allow you to set up loops. you will know how to achieve it. is what enables you to hear interesting ideas to begin with. formulas. B. Jazz improvisation i often likened to "telling a story". creativity can often be crucial as well. and appropriate subject matter. Listeing to other musicians can give you ideas you may wish to develop further. I can try to shed a little light on creativity as it pertains to improvisation. In both writing and convesation. knowledge of theory and fundamentals are the tools of composition ad improvisation. The goal is to hear something interesting in your head and be able to play it imediately. While no primer can show youhow to be creative. A. integrate a certain funcion. or prove a new theorem. in music. The theory presented in the following sections can elp you structure your thoughts. you learned at first by listening to others and imitating them. F E.since you will want to record many measures so you do not have to keep rewinding the tape when improising later. Similarly. This is the most vital concept for an imprviser to understand. You will need a lot of patience to create your own accompaniment with a tape recorder. The Creative Process Trumpet player Clark Terry summarizes the creative process as "imitate. should help make this clear. When you began to speak. A. B. It can help you inerpret the sounds you hear in your head by relating them to sounds you know and understand. vocabulary. you must also play interesting music. should be well structured and also convy something interesting to the listener. you mustunderstand why the things you are playing sound the way they do. and quations normally does not tell you how to solve a particular word problem. For instance. knowing how similar problems have been solved in the past can give you an idea f where to start. some . however. It is no enough to merely play the "right" notes.
Invent little melodies that use mainly notes from the selected cale. You will find that in manycases. Band-In-A-Box. some sort of rhythm section records. or short phrases that you have practiced eforehand and know will fit the chord changes at a particular point. You should continually striv to expand that context by listening to many different musicians. you will need to be creative. Miles Davis used this style of phrasing all the time. followed by 8 bars of Eb minor. neiher is an improvisation that consists of nothing but scales and patterns based on those scales. In general. You should alone and unaccompanied at first.2. and then 8 bars of D minor again.original thinking is required. or do-i-yourself For your first attempts at improvisation.Miles' lines are easy enough to transcribe note for note. and your knowledge of heory can help direct you.Just as long columns of numbers are not particularly interesting. but pattern practicing can be a good way to develop yor technique as well as your ear. concentrate on hearing a short phrse in your head. A technique used often in the bebop era and since is quoting. and practcing as much as possible. The chord structure s simple: sixteen bars of D minor. When you finlly run out of ideas in one key. but in order to be a successful improviser. Aebersold accompaniment will be invaluable. analyzing what you hear. Do not try to fill all available space with notes. while in other cases. Another way to get ideas for soloing is by using patterns. You can eamine the structure of the solo. 3. One of the best solos for a eginner to study is Miles Davis' solo on "So What" from the album Kind Of Blue. pick a key with which you are comfortable and then start t play whatever comes into your head. be start the same way ou began to practice swing: with a tape recorder if possible. or harsh. if you have not already. I believe this should be just as natural as improvising within a ey. in jazz your familiarity with the works of other musicians can help you get started. even if they add up correctly. you may wish to switch to another. but transcribing his solo will help you see what h was doing within that framework. Still. Playing You should by now. Again. but your ear is the ultimate judge. that give some useful patterns. the inspiration. you will have to find on you own. Ther are several books. including Jerry Coker's Patterns For Jazz. The theory sections below will help you unerstand the framework in which Miles was working. see how they use the various chord/scale relationships discussed laer in this primer. and try to apply what you learn to your own playing. improvising is muchmore than simply stringing together patterns. Your listening experience. and hen with accompaniment. or using a . the final ingredient. Playing otes that are not in the current key is sometimes called playing outside. You may also wish to try improviing without any key center at all. it sounds very natural. particularly if you practice your patterns in all twelve keys.3. starting to improvise. Transcribing solos played by other musicians is one way to get some ideas of what to play. your knowledge of music theory. Similarly. Do not worry if this means there are breaks of seeral seconds or more between phrases. it sounds dissonant. and then try to play that phrase. try playing notes that are not in that key. and experimentation on your instrument wil define the musical context in which you are able to express yourself. At some point while improvising in a given key. Instead. The later sectios on theory may help you understand why this is so.
t first. however. and this cycle continues. 4. the remaining intrvals are the minor third. If your aim is to become a jazz performer. After the B comes the C an octave higher than the first C. you may feel nervous when you first perform in pubic. A. if the speling of the notes in the interval appears to describe a fifth.1. which is . E. but ou should still practice improvising over each chord/scale relationship in order to better recognizetheir sounds. Thre is usually some humor value in quoting. Chord/Scale Relationships Most improvisation in mainstream jazz is based on chord progressions. D. I can only suggest you play as much as possible at ech stage. This is alo sometimes called interpolation. because the interval from C to F is a perfect fourth. when playing over a D minor chord. F#/Gb. the octave. Intervals There are twelve different notes in traditional music: C. keys. Expanding by half steps. I have no miracle cures for these problems. perfect fifth. Even more important than the actual chords. define a minor second. The most important obstacles for a beginning improviser to overcome are his or her own inhibitions. Each step in this scale is called a half step or semitone The interval between two notes is defined by the number of half steps between them. particularly if the interpolated work is something silly ike "Pop Goes The Weasel". major sxth. Finally. you should practice improvising lines based on all the scles presented here.A#/Bb. 4. major seventh. and chords from classical theory. Conversely. then the tritone is sometimes called diminished fifth. Otherwise. when practicing improvisation by yourself. C#/Db. will normally play lines built from noes in the D dorian scale. F. minor sixth. minor seventh. and continually push yourself to take chances. you may feel you have no idea what to play. the tritone interval from C to F# is caled an augmented fourth. You may have noticed this taking place in solos you have heard. the tritone interval from C to Gb.recognizable phrase from anther composition or well-known recorded improvisation as part of one's own improvisation. tritone. sometimes two. and B. 4. you may feel selfconscious about playing in front of your peers. scales.1. For example. This section documents the various chords and associated scales used in jaz. The chord progression is the squence of chords that harmonizes the melody. are the scales implied by those chords. Two notes a hal step apart.1. you may stick to just one key per scale. whose symbol is Dm. Basic Theory This section reviews the concepts of intervals. Most of these intervals have other names as well. perfect fourth. like C and D define a major second. a tritone is sometimes called an augmented fourth if the spelling of the note in the interval appears to describe a fourth. major third. and in all twelve keys. hen you can play with other musicians in private. A fakebook will give the symbol representing a particular chord above the correspondng point in the melody. G#/Ab. Notes that are two half steps apart. Familiarity with note names and locations is assumed. like C and C#. Usually each chord lasts a measure. and finally. Onceyou have reached the point where you feel comfortable in the practice room and decide it is time to lay with other musicians. Thos readers with basic classical theory training should be able to skip this section if they wish. For example. An imprviser. G. This is also called a whole step. Tis sequence is called the chromatic scale. For example. someimes only half. D#/Eb.
F#". and F# is either in G major or E minor. D. 4. the resultant interval is called diminishd. This is called the relative minor of C major. These intervals efine a major triad. For instance. or 8. A piece that is based on a particular scale is said to be in the key of that scale. A. and D. E. if any major. Major And Minor Scales All scales are simply subsets of the chromatic scale. F. which contains many scales already wrtten out for you. t he relative minor of G major is E minor. In general. The simplest scale.1. The interval from C to E is a major third. a iece based on the notes C. The collection of flat and sharp notes in a scale defines the key signatue of the associated key. which will be used as an example for the discussion of chord. B. B.3. The interval from A to C is a minor third. a G majo scale is "G. G. E. 4. just oe key will suffice. The chord progression of the piece may distinguish between the two. do not become so boggd down in the various scales that you become frustrated and never advance to the next sections on aplying the theory. C. because the interval from C to G is a perfect ffth. the key signature of G major is F#. 6. and B is said to be in the key of either C major or A mino. and from E to G a minor third. Thus. with a half step leading to the G that would start the next octave The scale consisting of the same notes as the C major scale. "major" is assumed. that form a particular harmonic relationhip with each other. D. G) is the A minor scale. C. E. The notes A. minor. the notes C. A. Performers should practice each scale in all twelve keys over the entire range o their instruments until they have complete mastery over all of them. is composed ofthree notes. as the name implies. but starting on A ("A. or perfect interval is expanded by a half step by changing an ccidental (the flat or sharp indication on the note) the resultant interval is called augmented. B. and locrian modes discussed below. where "W" indicates a whole step and "H" a half. A. A major scale is defined by the intervals beween these notes: "W W H W W W (H)". E. A triad. is the C major scale. Thus. C. Listeners should try enough of each scale to become familiar with the sound. and from C to E a major third. and G played together omprise a C major triad. usually played at the same time. mixlydian. It is so called because the three notes come from the beginning of the C maor scale. B. E. since it is a minor scale buil from the same notes. If the word "major" or "minor" is oitted. other major triads are constructed imilarly. Chords A chord is a set of notes. G. a piece based on th notes G.1. A G major triad is composed of G.actually the same as theinterval from C to F#.or buy a book like Dan Haerle's Scales For Jazz Improvisation. D. The more complex scales described below should be written out and practiced as wel. Most scales have 7 different notes. and E comprise an A minor triad. However.2. lydian. Similarly. D. andif it is reduced by a half step by changing an accidental. Thes intervals define a minor triad. The relative minor of any major scale is formed by playing the same notes staring on the sixth note of the major scale. F. separated by intervals of a third. D. A. The most basic chord is the triad. An E minor . E. For instance. which is "C. You should try playing various major and minor scales. F. B". so called because the notes come from the beginningof the A minor scale. although sme have 5. Thus. You should start on the applications once you have some command of the dorian. In many cases. You may wish to write out the notes for each. C. is called a diminished fifth.
minor chords. For example. the seventh is a B# instead of C. but as will be seen. Technically. so called because the notes come from the A minor scale. Note that a diminished triad can be formed fro three notes of the major scale. or. but the minor third on top is increased to a major triad. B. While there is an almost infinite variety of possibl chords. The sequence Dm7G7Cmaj7 in the key of C canthus be represented as ii-VI. however. Thus. the chord built on the second step of the scale is a minor seventh chord. also called the tonic. most chords commonly used in jazz can be classified as either major chords. and F from C major. The two other types of triads are the diminished triad and the augmented triad. dminant chords. but in jazz. Similarly. there are no naturaly occurring augmented triads in the major or minor scales. but the major third on top is reduced to a minor third. also called the ominant. a C augmented triad would b formed by changing the G in a C major triad to a G#. they . the third added can either be a minor third. like B# and C or F# and Gb. and are discussed in sections below. G. you have a minorseventh chord (Am7 or A-7). Fully diminished chords and augmented chords are used as wll. For instance. and the seventh chord built on te root of the scale. although this is a very rarely used cord that does not have a standard name in classical theory. or Adim) or a major third. for example. is the dominant seventh. This is a very common chord progression in jazz. are the trademarks of jaz harmony. te C major seventh chord (C E G B) can be extended into a C major ninth by adding D. and alterations formed by raising or lowering them by a half step. the chod built on the fifth step of the scale is a dominant seventh chord. For instance. In the case of a diminished trid.triad is composed of E. C. which creates a half diminished seventh (for example. downward by perfect fifth. C E G# C. the fifth note is G. Roman numerals are often used o indicate scale degrees. and is discussed in mch detail later. and add B. In any major ky. A diminished triad i like a minor triad. An augmented triad is like a majr triad. since added note is a duplicate an octave higher of theroot (lowest note) of the chord. equivalenly. A minor third can be added to an augmented triad. which is obtained by ading a minor seventh to the major triad built on the fifth note of the major scale. if you take the C major triad (" E G"). and add G. The motion of roots in this progression is upwards by perfect fourth. if you take an A minor triad ("A C E"). Two notes that have different names but th same pitch. B D F . the most convenient spelling is oftn used. you have a major seventh chord (Cmaj7 or CM7). Adding a major third to an augmented trid would create a seventh chord in name only. is a major seventh chord. so called because the notes come fom the C major scale. are called enharmonic. for example. More extensions to all types of seventh chords can be created by adding more thirds. The most commontype of seventh chord in classical harmony. These three types of seventh chords have a very important relationship to each other. so a G major triad (G B D) with aseventh added (F) is a dominant seventh chord (G7). in the key of C major. For instance. Classical theory is usually very picy about the correct enharmonic spelling of a chord. and lowercase letters indicating minor triads and their sevenths. A C Eb Gb. other minor triads areconstructed similarly. with capital letters indicating major triads and their sevenths. or half diminished chords. Thus. and B. but in modern tuning systems these are the same note. This is one of the strongest resolutions in classical harmony as well Sevenths can also be added to diminished triads or augmented triads. D. These further exensions. an A diminished tiad would be formed by changing the E in an A minor triad to an Eb. A triad can be extended by adding more thirds on top. However. or Bm7b5). which creates a fully diminished seventh (for exampl.
4. and so forth. and Ab). A#/Bb. and the names of these three chords can be read off the ircle of fifths. Note that each not of the chromatic scale is included exactly once in the circle. whic is discussed later. This can be useful in performing tritone substitutions. should be quite familiar by now. a scale can be formed using the sequence of notes from a major scale startin on any step of the scale. then D# (in E). For xample. Put the letter C at th top of the circle. One can also find the note a tritone away from a given note by simply looking diamerically across the circle. In fact. the key signtures add flats. and these notes outline the C major scale. E. For example. as well as the others discussed below. or ionian mode. For example.1. Major Scale Harmony A large part of jazz harmony is based on the major scale.4. The major scale itself is caled the ionian mode. notated Cmaj7 (or C with a little riangle next to it. G major has one sharp (F#). The Circle Of Fifths The interval of a perfect fifth is significant in many ways in music theory. The names of thee modes. G#/Ab. It is associated with major sevent chords. If the labels on the circle of fifths are considered as chord names. Conversely. D major has two (F# and C#). a tritone away from G is Db. is "C E G B". C#. For eample. or sometimes CM7). D. C#/Db. A. and G#). 4. The flats added at each step also trace the circle of fifths. and so forth. Many people use a devic called the circle of fifths to illustrate this significance. These scales are called modes of the scale. Any set of five consecutive notes can be arranged to form a pentatonic scale. F major has one flat (Bb). and so forth. for example. While the Greek modes are mainly only of historicl interest in classical theory. Also note that the sharps added at each step thmselves trace the circle of fifths. and then label the other points clockwise G. Eb. Bb major has two (Bb and Eb). The sixth mode. As discussed earlier. they are fundamental to jazz. F#/Gb. sarting with Bb (added in F major). the C major seventh chord. each new key signature adds one sharp. a ii-V-I progression in F is Gm7C7F. Eb major has hree (Bb. especially in the context of a ii-VI chord progression.E major has four (F#.1. if you trace the circle counterclockwise. 4. C#. every major scale ha a relative minor that is formed by playing the same sequence of notes but starting on the sixth ste of the scale. Picture a circle in which the circumfeence has been divided into twelve equal parts. The key of C major has no harps or flats. and F. come from ancient Greece. Major Scale The major scale. This root movement has already been observed to be oneof the strongest resolutions there is. As you move clockwise around the circle. is called the aeolian mode. discussed later. then G# (inA). and D#). G#. they show root movement downwar by perfect fifth when read counterclockwise. and these are directly across fom each other. the relative minor. Any set of seven consecutive notes can be arranged to frm a major scale. D#Eb. One application of the circle of fifths is in determining key signatures. although the names are rumred to have been mixed up in translation long ago. then Eb (in Bb).are often used as substitutes for one of these four basic types of chods. then C# (in D). A major has three (F#.2. The circle of fifths can also define scales. In the key of C. then Ab (in Eb). The interval between any two adjacent notes is a perfect fifth. B.2. starting with F# (added in G major). much like the face of a clock. and so forth. If ameasure in a piece of music is .
except that the second step in the phrygian mode is lowered by a half step. D". Like the major seventh chord. This chord is seldom sed.2. including "La Fiesta". Adding another third on top would yield "C. neither this cord. is also similar o the minor scale. becaus of the lowered second. below) and a lowered ninth. nor the Cmaj13 chord obtained by adding an additional third (A). 4. which is somewhat dissonant in this context. although ften the chord is written as m7b9 as a hint to the improviser that the phrygian scale is to be used. and consists of "E. That s. B. A. te D dorian scale is built from the notes of the C major scale. then the C major scale is one approprite scale to use when improvising. you will probably find that he dorian mode sounds better. and consists of "D. and much of the music from Mies Davis' Sketches Of Spain feature this sound extensively. starting on D.There are certain other situations in which the phrygian scale sounds good. You may wish to convince yourself of this by going to a piano and laying Cmaj7 in your left hand while playing various notes from the C major scale in your right. are used very much.F. using the same notes. The dorian mode is a lot like minor scale.That is. it is natural to play this scale over a minor seventh chord. The chord obtained by adding another third on top ("C E G B D") would be called a Cmaj9. In the key of C. F. This rule coms from the fact that chords are traditionally built by stacking thirds. A. If you try playing the phrygian scle over a minor seventh chord. and this chord would e called a Cmaj11. Dm11 and Dm13. particularly if you add a G# to the scale. and play notes from the D dorian and D minor scales in your right. it is used more oten than the minor scale itself. This scale. C. and is one of the few exceptions to the rle that most chords are written in terms of odd numbered extensions above the seventh. but when it is called for. B. If youuse the dorian mode over a minor seventh chord. like the dorian mode. the result is a somewht Spanish sound. G. When the phrygian mode is played over this type of chord. The notation Dm6 is sometime as a synonym for Dm13 when the B natural is explicitly meant. In fact.harmonized with a Cmaj7 chord. you will probably find it more dissonant than the minor scale. If you use the natural minor scale.3. F. E. 4.2. F". G. D. but the sixth step is raised a half step. Several Chick Corea tunes. Because it is so similar to theminor scale. These chords still imply the same dorian mode. but you should be conscious of the dissonanteffect it produces. Thefourth of the major is often called an avoid note over a major seventh chord. Because of the dissonant nature of the F in this context. the thrteen chord contains the note Bb. E. yielding what is sometimes called the Spnish phrygian scale.2. an E minor scale would have an F# while the phrygian has an F. you can add more thirds to the minor seventh chord to obtain Dm9. The only note in this scale that sounds bad when played against a maj7 chord is the fourth note. because the B is less dissonant against the Dm7 than the Bb is.Another is over a particular chord that I will simply call a phrygian chord. For example. If you go to a piano and play a Dm7 chord ("D F A C") in your left and. Dorian Mode The dorian mode is built on the second step of the major scale. it is often notated Dm7b6. One is over a dominant sventh chord with a suspended fourth (see mixolydian mode. B. however. the D minor scale would have a Bb while the dorian has a B. Phrygian Mode The third mode of the major scale is called the phrygian mode. notated susb9. A phrygian chord in E wuld be "E F A B D". a phrygian scale is uilt on E. there are no notes to avoid. The phrygian mode is used occasionally over a minor seventh chord. C". . This does not mean youare not allowed to ever play F over a Cmaj7. of course. and it imples the same scale. G.
However. This scale is like the major scale except that the seenth step is lowered a half step. The notation F/G indicates an F major triad over the single nte G in the bass. fifth. Often. Since the seventh chord built on the fifth degree of the major scale is a dominant sevnth. Lydian Mode The fourth mode of the major scale is the lydian mode. this scale gives th improviser an alternative. 4. A. Bm7b5. C. and consists of "B. In the key of C. While the raised fourth might sound a little unusual at first. the fourth step of the scale (C in the case of Gmixolydian) is somewhat of an avoid note over a dominant seventh chord. F". the fourth often is never resolved. you shoul find that it is in general preferable to the natural fourth of the major scale. or G11 over which there are n avoid notes in the G mixolydian mode. although the dorian or phrygian modes are used more often. a locrian scale s built on B. A. you have a choice between the major and lydian scales. is also called the natural minor or pure minor. B. The seventh chord built on this scale ("B D F A) is a half diminished seventh chord. C. Melodic Minor Harmony In classical theory. It is most often played over a m7b6chord. however.2. has already been discussed. but the second step is somewhat dissonant and is sometimes considered a avoid note. It can be played over a minor seventh hord. there are three types of minor scale. D. As with the major scale over a major seventh chord.2. an F major scale would contain a Bb while the lydian contains a B.7. The minor scale we have already discussed the aeolian mode. E". 4. a G major scale would contain an F# while the mixolydian ontains an F. The two other minor scales were drived from it to provide more interesting harmonic and melodic possibilities. G7sus. notated Gsus. G. or minor scale.6. B. For insance. The term "suspension" comes from classical harmony and refers to the temporary delying of the third in a dominant chord by first playing the fourth before resolving it to the third. E. there is a chord caled a suspended chord. Minor Scale The aeolian mode.4. fourt. The classical symbol for this chord isa circle with a "/" through it. The locrian scale can be used over a half diminished (also called a inor seven flat five) chord. That is.2. C. The suspended chord consists of the root. a mixolydian scale is buit on G. That is. Recall that Cmaj11 contains an F as the elventh. and usually the seventh as well. D. except that the fifth is lowered by a half step. 4.5. If you construct a ii--I progression in a . Gsus4. Locrian Mode The seventh and final mode of the major scale is the locrian mode. n jazz. E. a lydian scale is built on F and consists of "F.4. D. F/G. G7sus4. Sinc the fourth step of the major scale is an avoid note over a major seventh chord. and consists of "G. Herbie Hancock's tune "Maiden Voyage" consists solely of uresolved suspended chords. the G mixolydian scale might be used over a G7 chord.2. Cmaj7#11 denotes that this note should be raised by a half step. A". This symbol comes from the fact that this chord is simiar to a Bm7. 4. Mixolydian Mode The fifth mode of the major scale is the mixolydian mode. it is natural to play lines based on the mixolydian mode over a dominant seventh chord.3. F. Dm7/G. if the lydian mode is speciically intended. This scale is like the major scale except that it contains araised fourth step. In the key of C. When the symbol Cma7 appears. the symbol Cmaj7#11 will appear instead. G. In the key of C.
C. is a whole step below the tonic and does not lead nearly as well into it. for example Am-maj7 ("A C E G#") in Aminor. 4. as is Cmaj7-aug or Cmaj7+. E. When this chord is called for. B. there ae no scale tones between the two notes. B. 4. The chord built on the fifth step of this scale is a mino chord. This interval is called an augmented second. but Cmaj7#5is used occasionally. In order to rectify this situation. The melodic minor scale "A. C. Jaz harmony does not normally distinguish these cases. since it is only a half stp below the tonic and leads very well into it melodically. often notated Am-maj7. A. is called the harmonic minor. these prolems are solved. 4. G#. as was noted earlier. Also the Am7 does not sound like a tonic. The maj7#5 chord is mostly used as a substitute for an ordinary majo seventh. Either of the harmonic or melodic minor scales can be used on this chord. By raising the eventh degree of the minor scale by a half step (that is. "A. the sixth can be raised a half step as well (from F to F#)to yield the melodic minor. however. This interval was considered to be dissonant in classical hamony. the lydian augmentedscale is an appropriate choice. and the seventh chord built on the second step is a half diminished seventh chord. Several of the modes of the melodic minor scale yield particularly interesting harmonis and are commonly played in jazz. In classical theory. G#. When desceding. although. D. It is most often used as a substitute for the phrygian mode. Th resultant scale. F#. this symbol can also imply th dorian mode. so teir names are less standardized than the modes of the major scale. There is no standard symbol for this chord.1. F. although that name is not by any means stanard. raising the G of A minor to G#). The seventh degree of the natural minor sale. This scale containsan augmented major seventh chord "C E G# B".minor key. B". Although it sounds just like a minor third. The second mode of A melodicminor is "B. Both the harmonic and melodic minors outline a m-maj7 i chord. Alhough the harmonic minor scale contains a leading tone. G#" is used both when ascending and descending. The seventh degree of a major scale is sometimes called the leading tone.3. The melodic minor i also used on chords marked simply m6. For exmple. E.3.3. G#". Lydian Augmented The third mode of the melodic minor scale is known as the lydian augmented scale. These scales are not commonly described in classical theory. and the seventh chord built on the root is n A minor triad with a major seventh. you may note that th interval between the sixth and seventh steps (the F and G# in A harmonic minor) is awkward melodicaly. Lydian Dominant The fourth mode of the melodic minor scale is often called the lydian dominant or . since it is perceived to yied more interesting harmonies than the natural minor. D. The chord built on the fifth is now E7. D. F#. if you play that scale. For this reason it can be called phrygian #6.2. This scale is similar to the phrygian mode except that it has a rased sixth. on the other hand. you will find that the seventh chord built on the root is a minor sevnth chord. The resolution of Em7 to Am7 is not as strong as E7 to Am7. since the G# is not used to lead into the tonic A. E. this scale is often used ascending only. the natural minor is often used instead. Phrygian #6 There is no common term for the second mode of the melodic minor scale. Am7 and Bm7b5 in the key of A minor. In A melodic minor a lydian augmented scale is built on C and consists of "C. A". for example Em7 in A minor. D. E F#. it sounds like it should resolve to a D chord.3. This creates a much stronger ii-V-i. C.
3. and a seventh (F). The lydian dominant scaledoes not contain this avoid note. This sound was also the genesis of the Thelonious Monk composition "Raise Four". 4. This particular sound. the F# locrian mode is based on G major and consists of "F# G. G#. E. we have an eleventh chord G11. . D. A change to ny of these destroys the dominant feel of the chord. Chords are consructed by stacking thirds.5. but the F# locrian #2 scale is based on A melodic minor and consists of "F#. the lowered or flat ninth (Ab). ad seventh are not normally altered.The other interesting alterations are to the fifth and the ninth. E". The mixolydian mode was described as a possible scale choice t use over a dominant seventh chord. C. The root. and earned the early bebop musicians a lot of criticism for their use of such non-traditional ounds. This chord can be altered by raising or lowering individual notes by a half step. E. the lydian dominant may sound unusual at first. Another name for this cale is the altered scale. G7 is the dominant seventh chord. F#. Since the second step of the locrian mode is an avoid note over a m7b5 chord. C".A.6. E".3. and the lowered seventh haracteristic of the mixolydian mode. If we then add another third. Bebop musicians often called this a flatted fifth. becauseit combines elements of the diminished and whole tone scales discussed later. and s normally an avoid note. D. the raised fourth over a dominant seventh chord. F#. B. C. It contains a root (G). C#" bu with two alterations: the raised fourth characteristic of the lydian mode. The C is the fourth of the scale. which prominntly features the raised fourth in the melody. we have a thirteenth chord G13. The use of this scale is often explicitly indicated b the symbol D7#11. If we add another third. you should see why. A.the lydian b7. but the fourth step was an avoid note. Triads consisting of three notes were discussed. but it is generally more interesting than th mixolydian when played over a dominant seventh. This scale is also sometimes called the half diminished scale. G#.3. the lorian #2 scale is often used instead. and is normally used only over the V cord in a minor key ii-V-i progression. For example. a fifth (D). Locrian #2 The sixth mode of the melodic minor is often called locrian #2. a lydian dominant scale is built on D and cnsists of "D. s in a suspended chord. we have a ninth chord 9. 4. A. If we add another third on top. B. the raised or sharp fifth (D#). Altered Scale The seventh mode of the melodic minor scale is often called the diminished whole tone scale. recall the introductory discussion on chords. In the key of C. and the raisd or sharp ninth (A#).4. The C is nomally omitted from this chord. this means the lowred or flat fifth (Db). In A melodic minor. 4. since they are in large part what define the chord. This symbol is normally used only when the fourth is explicitly required. G. B. B. This usage will be discussed later. As with the lydian scale and the raised fourth over a major sevent chord. Another third would bring us back to G. A. C. since it is actually the locrian mod with a raised second step. To see why. This scale resembles the D major scale "D. which is discussed later. writing the chord symbol as D75. The raised eleventh has already been discussed. as were seventh chords cnsisting of four notes. Fifth Mode The fifth mode of the melodic minor scale has no common name. E. For a G7 chord. was widely used in the bebo era. athird (B). If ou construct it. A. although this normally implies the diminished scale. third.
Yu may wish to spend more time on this scale to get used to it. and all sx of its modes (including itself) form whole tone scales. despite being present in the scale. The chord Caug. and seventh of the G7 chord. The b9 and b5 ymbols are not normally used in this context. the scale is said to be ymmetric. the root.4. perhaps as "D. because they implythe diminished scale which is discussed later. D. 4. For instance. the original scale itelf). then there are only 12/N different scales of that type. a possibe pattern in C major would be "C. Since the first. but you should be conscious of the effect produced. the raised ninth. third. Bb". the chomatic scale is symmetric. Eb/D#. B". Eb. Try going to a piano and playing the oot. A" or "E. For some reason. third. D. and seventh in your left hand while playing the altered scale. A C whole tone scale consists of "C. Bb in a C7). Symmetric Scales When a mode of given scale produces the same type of scale as the original. G. E. in that every single mode of it is another chromatic scale. B". B. E. scale form an augmented triad. all the possible alterations in a ninth chord are included in this scale. The rest of the notes. and consists of "G. because other members of the group may be playing ixolydian or lydian dominant sounds. This pattern could be repeated several times starting atdifferent positions. note that would be the seventh in a domiant chord implied by this scale is written either as C7aug. One thing to watch out for in the scales discussed in this section is that they seem to lend themseles to playing patterns. F". a common technique is to play a short figure inthe associated scale and repeat it transposed to several different positions. This scale also contains the (that is. Bb/A#. bt you should do so cautiously in a group setting. It has only six notes. all others are just modes of it.So now let us return to the so-called altered scale. are rspectively. In this case. and it is easy to end up with with a few cliches you use evey time you are confronted with these scales. Cb/B. Bb. inyour right. and sometimes it is difficult to avoid sounding cliched when using these scaes. F. A. A G altered scale can be built from Ab melodic inor. The chord implied by his scale is often notated simply G7alt. G". Several of the important scales used by jazz musicians are symmetric. and the raised fifth. There are thus only 12/6 or 2 different whle tone scales. F. You should not feel that ascale is dictating to you what you can or should play. and Eb. G#. First note that this scale contains G. C+. third. In other wrds. and your altered scale will sound dissonant against them.4. and fifth degrees of this this scale can be b played over augmented chords. Db. You may use this scale even when the chord appears to be an ordinary dominant seventh. the flatted fifth. G. Always be conscious of this. although G7#9#5 is used as well. or C7#5. In general. and it is one of the most important sounds in post bop jazz. The other one is "Db. so called because all the steps in the scale are hole steps. F. nd F. and lines based on it. Db. For instance. if N mdes of a given scale produce the same type of scale (including the first mode. Ab. This s not necessarily wrong.there is really only one unique chromatic scale. . as is G7#9. the flatted ninth. When you have several measures of a given chord. E. many of the scales lited below invite this type of approach. Whole Tone Scale A particularly easy scale is the whole tone scale. 4. The sound of the altered scale and the chord it implies is much more complex than any other dominantseventh chord/scale so far presented. C+. F#.1. Ab.
Many fakebooks are inconsistent in using the symbols at. note that the WH diminished scale is just the second mode of the W diminished scale. C7b9b5 is "C E Gb Bb Db" and these notes. E. A lydian dominant. and eventh in your left. Note tha. G#. #9. John Coltrane used this sound a lot. F#. B". 4. you will have to depend on your ears and common snse to guide you in the use of these two scales. Note that thi scale is the same as the D#. Bb". and seventh modes of either a WH or HW scale in addition to the first mode) form another WH or HW scale. Pentatonic Scales There are a group of five note scales known collectively as pentatonic scales. the A7b9b chord can be substituted for the C#dim chord. The C#dim chord here implies the C# HW dimnished scale. andAdim7 are all inversions of the same chord. D#. These scalesare associated with their respective b9b5 dominant chords. The C. The C altered scale contains the first five notes of the C HW diminished scale and he last four (overlapping the E and F#) of the C whole tone scale. Intervals in a traditonal pentatonic scale are normally limited to whole steps and minor thirds. is sometimes used as well. Many performers use thes relatively simple scales to good effect. because it is constructed from alternating half and whole seps. or A blues. A. the third. This scale is also called the whole step half step cale. such as A mixolydian. F. as well as the sixth. In this case. a hlf step whole step (abbreviated HW) scale consists of "C. A. More importantly. F#. For exampl. and A WH diminished scales. The WH diminished scale outlines a fully diminished seventh chord and is thus used over diminished cords. Db. The WH nd HW versions of this scale are used in different situations. they are sometimes used interchangeably over dominant seventh hords. F#. Any of the scales associated with A dminant chords. there are only three distinct diminished scales in all. They sound very similar. Also. F#. G. Not only do A7b9b5 and C#dim share the same scale. which is the same as the C. The HW scale is thus a good choice to use over doinant seventh b9b5 chords. F. The HW diminished scale outlines a dominant seventh chord with a lowered ninth and fifth. and A WH diminished scale. b9. F. G#. D.4. For instance. #9#5. this scale is also the same the D. fifth. A altered. The lesson here is. which you may recall is also called the diminished hole tone scale. F#. . F#. and B HW diminished scales. third. G#. They may be used interchangeably. the C WH diminished scale "C. F#dim7. the natural fifth and the raised nnth. a small circle. bu the A dominant chord also resolves well to the D minor chord. Eb. or the half step whole step scale. D#. Try going to a piano and practicing both scales in your right hand over the root. and in fact Cdim7. Eb. and b9b5. however. you can substitute one of the related dominant chords. In most laces where you see a diminished chord. B" can be played over Cdim orCdim7. A whole step half step (abbreviated WH) scale on C consists of "C. A. and A diminished chords ar thus often used as chord substitutions for the associated dominant chords. The Diminished Scales Another symmetric scale is the diminished scale. and vice versa. are all present in the C HW diminished scale.4.2. D. b5. Eb. Since both scales contain loweredfifths and lowered and raised ninths. so that in fact. can thus be played ovr the C#dim chord in this context. D#dim7.5. This scale is very similar to the altered scale. in addition to the original scale. These scales each contain eight notes. One prticularly common chord progression is Cmaj7| C#dim| Dm7. so there are only 12/4 or 3 different diinished scales of each type. The classical symbol for diminished.
B. and suspended pentatonic scales can be used over major. Em7b6. allowing you to play either the same orvery closely related scales over two or more different chords. D. or Am7. and the fifth mode. the resultant scaleis the minor pentatonic scale.or seventh can be used as well. Also. E. since almost everything you can do sounds good. A. The C suspended pentatonic chord can be usd over a C7sus chord. it is often sungsomewhere between an Eb and an E. "F. This scale can be called the suspended pentatonic scale. D7sus. Derived Scales The scales in this section are mostly derived from chord progressions rather than specific chords. F. after the major scale. D" is thetraditional Japanese "in sen scale". For instance. G. G. is called a blue note. D. A C major pentatonic scaleis "C. Gm7. the C major pentatonic scale can be used over Cma7. which can be used over a Fmaj7#11 chord. F. The minor pentatonic scale can thus be used as a substitute for the bues scale. the fourh mode. There . 4. minor. you get instant positive feedback. Fmaj. Eb. In instrumental music. Since there are relatively few notes in a pentatonic scale. a C blues scale over a C7 cord. which can be used over a Bm7b5 chord. Useful variations of tis scale include the second mode. fifth. Fr the most part. The Blues Scale The blues scale is often the first scale. F. B. If you try playing lines based on this usage. The C blues scale consists of "C. A". taught to beginning improvisers. Bb". and to run out of interesting ideas quickly. G. It can be used as a substitute for the E phrygian mode (note itin fact defines the E phrygian chord) to impart an Asian flavor to the music. This is sometimes called harmonic genralization. although this usage is by no means stndard. G. G7sus. This unfortuately leads many players to overuse the scale. 4. the major. and vice versa. for instance. Other modes of the pentatonic scles are used as well. F.1. such as stretching the string while playing an Eb on a stringed instrument. various techniques are employed to achieve he same effect. lipping own an E on a wind instrument. hich can be used over a Dm6 chord. This scale supposedly has its roots in Africn American music dating back to the days of slavery. and suspended chords respectively. which is the second mode of the Bb major pentatonic cale. A. note that if the flatted fifth is omitted. they can be used as bridges between chords.6. Note that the C minor pentatonc scale is actually the fifth mode of an Eb major pentatonic scale. mino. Sometimes this chord is written C6 to imply more strongly that the major pentatonic scale is to b used. F. The beauty of the blues scale is that it can be played over an entire blues progression with no realavoid notes. In vocal music. and are not always sung or playd exactly on the notated pitch. such as "C. The C minor pentatonic scale can be used over Cm7. wich is the flatted third of the minor scale. F. B". Dm7. Bb". but the exact origins of its modern incarnationare unknown. For instance. Bb". or striking both the Eb and E simultaneously on a keyboard instrument The flatted seventh and fifth are also sometimes called blue notes. F#. As their names imply. and a C minor pentatonic scale "C. A. the scale "E. "D. one pntatonic scale can often be used over several different chords with no real avoid notes. The second degree of this scale. E". Other five note scales are used occasionally as well. E. D. the C major pentatonic scale "C. E. A" could be used over Cmaj7. D. "B.6.including McCoy Tyner and Woody Shaw. The two basic pentatnic scales are the major pentatonic scale and the minor pentatonic scale. Eb. D. G. C7. an is in some cases the only other scale they ever learn. A". For instanc. Variations on the blues scale that include the natural third. E.
This advice transcends the blues scale. It is not always necessary to vary the harmonic content of your playing if you are sufficiently creaive with other aspects. of course. B".3. then the harmonic minor may sound more diatonic. It is hard to say interesting things with a limited vocabulary. E. G. The language metaphor is a good one.6. or the haronic minor if you are trying to avoid sounding diatonic. Another wa of looking at this is to say that we are playing the C major bebop scale itself over . Note however that the second mode o the A melodic minor is not an ideal choice over the Bm7b5 chord.and saying few words because you have nothing to say or because your vocabulary is too limited to exress your thoughts.2. that is. An A harmonic minor scale can be played ove all three of these chords. 4. This is the only difference between the harmonic and melodic minor scales. andthey are rarely used by jazz musicians except as bridges over a ii-V-i chord progression. F. you may wish to use its fifth mode over the V chord in a minor ke ii-V-i progression. Conversely. If F# is in the key signature. because this scale has F# instead f F. The disadvantage is that the root of the sale is an avoid note in this context. if F# is not in the key signatue. 4. the same scale can be played over the entire progression. This scale can be used over major seventh or major seventh augmnted chords. Its modes have no common names.ar only so many phrases (licks) that can be played over a six note scale. This is not to say you should never use the blues scale. Your choice of whethr to use the fifth mode of the harmonic or melodic minor scales over a dominant seventh chord may patially depend on the key of the tune. consider the chord progression Bm7b5| E7alt| Am-maj7|. growling for brass players. and A melodic minor scaes. You may choose that scale if this is the sound you are trying to achieve. D. on he contrary.6. But do not become so enamored of the easy gratificatio it can yield that you practice blues licks over and over rather than expand your harmonic vocabular. it is vitally important to jazz. and that thefifth mode can be used over an altered dominant chord. Another way of saying this is that the second mode can be played over a m7b5 chord. G#. This can include honking and screaming for saxohonists. but there is a difference between saying few words because you are choosing them carefully. Minor Scales The harmonic minor scale is sometimes played over m-maj7 chords. The C major bebo scale is "C. The advantage of using this scale in this example is that it differs from the Blocrian and A melodic minor scales by only one note each. A. Depending on the sound yu are trying to achieve. Even when you are not using the harmonic mino scale over an entire progression. For exampl. instead of the traditional B locrian. then the melodic minor may soun more diatonic.Often players like Count Basie are offered as examples of musicians who manage to make a lot out of little. you may wish to choose the scale that has either more or fewer notes in comon with the surrounding scales. The melodic minor can be used in this same way. or using clusters on the piano. The C major bebop scale can also be used as a bridge between chords in a progression lie Cmaj7| Bm7b5E7| Am|. and most of them have alread been played thousands of times by now. E altered. its fifth mode can be used over the V chord in a ii--i progression to keep some commonality between the scales used. One way to introduce added interest when using the blues scale is to use anyspecial effects at your disposal to vary your sound. Another issue to consider is which of these scals is closer to the scale you are using on the preceding or following chord. Bebop Scales The major bebop scale is a major scale with an added raised fifth or lowered sixth.
This is called paying changes. The C dominant bebop scale is thus "C. Pianists. major. G. In general. E. to the point of eliminating these structures entirely. G. C6. However. F. and playin its seventh mode over the Am chord. Chord/Scale Chart The accompanying chart lists the most commonly occurring chords in jazz harmony along with the scale normally associated with each. any nmber of synthetic scales can be constructed using just intervals of minor.7. In general. You may wish to try experimenting with developing your own scales and looking for opportunities o use them. At the most basic levels. A. Other bebop scales include the dominant bebop scale. G major C major. 5. any scale from any chord in any one of these categoriescan be used for any other chord in that category. Bb". or by making the chords progressions more ambiguous in tonalit.the Cmaj7 chor. either by reducing the number of chord changes. these are the most importnt ones in traditional jazz harmony. These approaches are discussed separately blow. There is also the minor bebop scale.4. D. and augmented secods. altered and mior scales respectively. This scae can be used over dominant seventh chords. There are many more possible scales and chords. the notes you choose fo your improvisation are partially dictated by the scale associated with each chord. There is an additional category for miscellaneous hords at the end. C major bebop Cmaj7. It also serves as the raised fourth in the Fmaj7 chord tht is likely to follow the C7 chord. locrian. B". A. which is similar to the mixolydian mode but wit an additional major seventh. which is a dorian scale wit an added raised third. playing its third mode over the E7 chord. and is often used in minor key blues progressions to give more of adominant seventh feel to the chords. This scale can b used over minor seventh chords.6. Applying The Theory To Improvisation The basis of traditional forms of improvisation is to create spontaneously and play melodies that ar built on the basic chord progression of the song. guitarists. Cmaj9. because they do not fit in well wih classical theory and appear to have been invented to fit a particular situation. The chords are grouped into the four basic categories of major. More advanced forms of improvisation give the performer more melodic and harmonic fredom. In a pinch. playing its eighth mode over the Bm7b5 chord. 4. D. and half diminished. Chord Scale C major pentatonic. C . or other instrumentalists who accompany themselves while improvising should red the section on accompanying along with this section and try to apply both sets of concepts at oncewhen improvising. F. Bb. The major seventh is not really an avoid note if you useit as a passing tone between the C and Bb. mino. 4. Note that we are using the C major bebop scale over a ii-V-i progression in minor. E. Eb. The C minor bebop scale is thus "C. Synthetic Scales The blues and bebop scales are sometimes called synthetic scales. C lydian. dominant. These modes closely resembly the major. we can use the major bebop scale in any given key over a ii-V-i progression in te relative minor to that key.
C minor C dorian. C7 C mixolydian Bb/C. C minor bebop. 5. C9. C C mixolydian. while George Russell's The Lydian Chromatic Concept Of Tonal Organizaion For Improvisation and David Liebman's A Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody contain adanced and very technical discussions on harmonic development. C melodic minor. C7#5 Cm7b5 Cdim7 C HW diminished. C major pentatonic C7sus. F major C7alt. Cm Bb major pentatoni. Eb major bebop C minor. but there should be some sense of continuity to your lines. C minor pentatonic. Cm F major pentatonic. C7b9 C7aug. Gm7/C C lydian dominant C altered. Anyone can learn chord/scale relatinships. F harmonic minor. Melodic Development One of your prime concerns should be playing melodically. C7#9#5. and they should be interesting in hemselves. C locrian C WH diminished C in sen C phrygian.1. You should also be conscious of the rhythmic and harmonic development of your improvisatins. Cm9. D in sen Cm-maj7 Cm7b6 Cm7b9 F major pentatonic. Csus. and is probaby the aspect of improvisation that requires the most creativity. C13. Pacing . C harmonic minor.1. F harmonic minor. especially on rhythmic variation. C major bebop C phrygian #6. Cm6. B in sen C dorian. Hal Crook's book How ToImprovise has a lot of information on melodic development. C phrygian 5. Ab major pentatonic C phrygian. Eb major bebop. This does not necessarily mean playing pretily. F melodic minor C suspended pentatonic. This is hard to teach. I include these concepts in the term "melodic development". C lydian dominant. C7#9 C7b9b5. Cm11. C phrygian #6 C blues. C7. C melodic minor. C11 pentatonic C7#11.1. it is what you do with this knowledge that determines how you sound. C blues. C Spanish phrygian Cphryg Cmaj7#5 C7susb9 C lydian augmented. C7+. C minor bebop. C dominant bebop. C minor pentatonic Cm7.pentatonic Cmaj7#11 C lydian. Bb major pentatoic Eb major bebop. geared oward the intermediate player. C phrygian #6. F melodic minor C whole tone C locrian #2.
or to alter key notes within it to conform to a new chord/scale. You shoul strive to be in control of the emotional response you generate in your listeners. However. either by playingit faster or slower. and slower usually reduces intensity. No matter how untrained your voice may be. You may wish to keep the entire solo at low intensity level to convey a lazy feel. "did you go to the store today?". I went to the store today". A common way to structure a solo is based on the moel of telling a story. although pianists may have to us trills or rollings octaves to achieve this type of sustain. Rather tan repeat the original phrase. or you may ish to finish right at the climax and forego the denoument. instrumentalists should practice improvisation by singing. they generally are able to translate an idea more directly into their voice. You start simply. Note that very few jazz singer use scales extensively. you may wish to vary fro this format occasionally. One of the most important i repetition. it is more natural to you than yourinstrument.2. or a variation of it. In addition to being concerned over your choice ofnotes. you try to vary the rhythmic content of your ideas. You can decide to start more strongly to introduce your solo. you can increase intensity by playing louder. as well as lines that combine these approaches. You have to use your judgement in deciding how uch is enough. Phrase Construction The relationships between chords and scales should not be seen as limiting or determining your choic of notes. An example of this is the use of quarternote triplets when playing in 4/4 time. just make sure it is not your only source.1. however. or a variation of it. in addition to practicng their instruments. A hemiola is a particular type ofrhythmic device where one meter is superimposed on another. angular lines that are based mostly on leap. Related to the idea of repetition is the concept of call and response. Your ideas should not be dictated by the scales. Often the phase. a way to help you relate ideas you may have to fingerings on yourinstrument. Thevariation might consist simply of starting the phrase at a different point in the measure. 5. There are some common devices that can be used in structuring your solo. For this reason. Beginning improvisers often unwittingly pay almost all their phrases with just a few underlying rhythms. nd then responding "yes. and follow it up wth an answer or response. higher. One long held note can also generate intensity on most instruments. he often repeats it. The variation mght be to transpose the phrase. lower. you may want to alter your strategies as you assess the mood of the audience. where most accents fall off the beat. A single note or short lick repeated ovr and over can generate a similar sort of intensity. The phrase itself may be altered rhythmically. such as o beat three instead of on beat two. and faster. This works well in most situations. so you may find you are able to develop ideas better by singing them than by attempting o play them. Try playing lines that are based mosly . Try playing scalar lines that are based mostly on steps. After a soloist plays a phrase. On most instruments. They are merely an aid. Playing simple rhythms such as quarter notes and eighh notes where the accents fall on the beats is usually less intense than playing more complex rhythm such as syncopated rhythms.You should be aware of the contour of your solo. although you probably don't want to bore the listeners. and thn come to a concluding phrase. build through a series of smaller peaks to a climax. ither. You may wish to keep the intensity level at a controlled simmer. Much like a standup comic woking a room. you can consider the phrase as a question or call. playing softe. This is the musical analogue to asking. is played three times before moving on to something else. because they do not have well-practiced fingerings to fall back on. Singers also are usually limited in their ability to sing complex harmonic ideas. howevr. Scale theory can indeed be a ource of ideas.
In performance situations. However. you should not think one chord at a time. as wel as lines that combine the two approaches. in which a target note is preceded by notes a half step above and below. Any albumsfrom that time period featuring one or more of these musicians are recommended for learning about plying changes. Herb Ellis. 5. you should siply explore many different ideas on each progression in each key so you will be comfortable truly imrovising on them. There are many devices that can be used when playing over ii-V progressions. Conversely. while you play improvised lines based on te associated scales. 5. and Ray Brown. You should be trying to construct linesthat lead from one chord to the next. it can add a harmonic richness tothe sounds. if you emphasize the other scale tones. Cannonball Adderly Art Pepper.2. Other non-scale tones can be ued as you see fit. the rhythm ection will be outlining the chord progressions in tempo. except in the enclosure. the chromaticism is used to emphasze or delay a particular note rather than to connect two other notes. nd a major seventh chord. This s related to the idea of a passing tone. In addition to reading about these concepts you should try to listen specifically for these techniqus being applied by other musicians. the ii-V-I progression consists of a minor seventh chord. Bars thre through five form a ii-V-I in the key of D minor. Major Keys In a major key. and how to develop a meodic line. You ay wish to try out some specific patterns on these progressions. 5.Bar two forms a ii-V in the key of C. Red Garland. If you emhasize these notes in your improvisation. and bars five through seven form a ii-V-I in C aain. ii-V The most important chord progression in jazz is the ii-V. which may or may not resolve to I. Paul Chambers.1. For example. Hank Jones. and you must keep changing scales t keep up. but more importantly. you can start improvising over chord progressions. a dominant seventh chord. John Coltrane. considerthe chord progression Cmaj7| Dm7G7| Em7| A7| Dm7| G7| Cmaj7. If you become familiar with these basics. The third and seventh of each chord are the notes that most define the sound of the chord. Youshould experiment with different approaches and learn how to tailor your note choices for a given chrd type in a given situation for the sound you are trying to achieve. Some of these are escribed below. it will help guarantee that your lines will accurately impy the changes.1.1. although there is no actual C (I) chord in bar three. Playing Changes Once you have some idea of the association between chord symbols and scales. There are three ii-V progressions here. you will be wel on your way to being able to play over any set of changes that might come your way. Performers shold practice the chord progressions described below in all twelve keys to gain the most fluency.2. Often the chords will change every measure. The first scale choices you . rather than just playing the licks with which you are comfortable in that key.on half notes and quarter notes. These include Miles Davis. Clifford Brown. While there are many possible chord progressions. Sonny Rollins. The most popular jazz musicians of the 1950's make a good startig point. there are a few basic building blocks that accountfor many of the chord changes you will see. You are also free to use notes not in the scale at all. lines that are based mostly on eighth notes and triplets. Bebop players often use a devicecalled the enclosure.2. Most tues will have ii-V progressions in several different keys sprinkled throughout. Joe Pass.
and can be usedinterchangeably. Thus. In the key of C. These are other reasons the tritone substitution works so well. Without any . C lydian. this would mean relacing the G7 with a Db7. G lydian dominant. This type of progression. whch are respectively the b5. b9. where the scales associatd with each of the chords are all modes of each other. but there are some very good reasons hy it works.1. In the key of C. Furthermore. because the Db lydian ominant and G altered scales are both modes of the same Ab melodic minor scale.2. Another possible alteration to the dominant is called the tritone substitution. you can play the major scale of the I chordfor the whole progression. a G7alt. we see he that the F natural in the key of A harmonic minor generates an E7b9 chord. 7. a ii-V progressio in A minor might consist of Bm7b5E7| Am-maj7. Db7 is very similar to a G7b9b5 chord in soud and function. the progression then becomes D dorian. F. or transcend the individual chords. The third and seventh of a chord are the two most important notes in defining the soundand function of the chord. but even when it is not. Furthermore. you can then play any scale associated with the Db7 chord for instance yielding a progression of D dorian. Db altered and G lydian dominant are both modes of the same D melodic minor scale. If you look at a Db7 chord. In the key of C. Using a scale other than mxolydian will yield some surprising things. Sincethe harmonic minor is normally used to generate chord progressions in a minor key. as are the respectivewhole tone scales. C major. or a G7+ chord. such as D minor. G dominant bebop. This means replacingthe dominant chord with a dominant seventh chord a tritone away. 5. mixolydia. If we try to build a ninth chord from the E7. While diatoic progressions are easy to play over. you will see it contains Db. and 3 of a G7 chord. functionig almost as a passing tone. Conversel. these are all modes of the same C major scle. This makes it somewhat easier to construct lines that lead from one chordto the next. This may seem a strange thing to do. allof which still fulfill the dominant function in C but imply different scales. a G7b9b5. The most common way to add interest to a ii-V progression is to alter the dominant (V) chord.2. Often he alteration will already be specified for you. which implies a Db7#11 cord for the substitute dominant. Minor Keys ii-V progressions in a minor key generally do not suffer the problem of sounding too diatonic. G mixolydian. you might replace the G7 chord with a G7#11. the melodic resolution of Db to C in the bass is very strong. and C major. Db mixolydian. but this is not always practical when improvising unless your accompanist has icredible ears and can hear the alterations you are making. Ab. Does this look or sound familiar? It should. and the associated scales would thus be D drian. you are playing lines that are also compatible with G altered. It helps if the soloist and the accompanists are playing he same alterations. Once you have made the chord substitution. You can add a little variety by using one of the other cales associated with each chord. For instance. When you play lines ased on Db lydian dominant. if you coose G7#11. since you are playing the sam seven notes for an extended period of time. the Db and G HW diminished scales are identical. Try a Db lydian dominant scale. Thus when you see a ii-V progression in a major key. you generally have the fredom to add alterations to dominant chords. C major. As you may have noticed.learned for these chords are dorian. and in any case it is not actually all tht important. and major. The third and seventh of the G7 chord (B andF) become the seventh and third of the Db7 chord. they can quickly become boring. the chords are Dm7G7Cmaj7. and B. is called a diatonic progression.
which. and Eb. or even E7sus. or the major bebop scale from its relative majr. However. where the F# comes from the key of A melodic rather than A harmonic minor. or replacing the Bm7b5 with an ordinary Bm chord. G minor ii-V-i in bars 8-9. depending on the insrument. This same substitution can be made for the second haf of bar 2. or G. only three chords are used: the I chord. in the key of F. The basi blues progression is "I | I | I | I | IV | IV | I | I | V | IV | I | I |". especially a B7alt chord. 5. describing a general style of music and a more specific catgory of chord progressions. replacing it with a siple Am7 chord. this progression could imply B locrian. The idea of adding ii-V's to the blues progression yields more variations. Guitars tend to dominate rock music. We can use a different variation of the E7 chord such as E7alt or E7. whereas ock musicians often prefer E. Also note the diminished chord in bar . and the V chord. the IV chord. D. which is actually Bb or Eb. since both Bdim and Bb79 share the same Bb HW (B WH) diminished scale. which implies aB phrygian scale. and a G minor V-i in bars 11-12.2. If we were to mak a ninth chord. musicians began to make aditions to this simple formula. Blues The term "blues" is somewhat overloaded.2. and using any of the various possible scales associated with that chord such as A minr. This has a lot to do with the way instruments are tuned.special alerations. we can make a tritone substitution to yield Bb7. is F7| Bb7| F7| F7| Bb7| Bb7| F7| D7alt| Gm7| C7| F7| C7|. Note the substitution of a Bb ii-V-I in bars 4-5. his progression offers a wider range of scale possibilities than does the basic three chord blues. over the entire progression. One common adaptation of the blues progression. A minor pentatonic. While the blues progression ca be played in any key. for example using the locrian #2 scale. The fingeringsfor the instruments favors playing in the key of C. Fr example. The chords are usually all played as dominant seventh hords. We can use he melodic or harmonic minor scales from the i chord. Bb. A phrygian. We can also substitute or the ii chords. and bars 9-11 form a ii-V-I in F. which is still consiered the standard for jazz jam sessions. the C natural in the key of A melodic minor generates a Bm7b9 chord. as in the phrase"I've got the blues". Playing the blues scale over the basic three chord blues progression in a jazz setting gets old veryquickly. This particular progressin is especially common in bebop and later styles. We can even replace the ii Bm chord with a II B7 chord. most of the same techniques from major keys can be used in a minor key as well. and so on. These scalesare sufficiently rich that further alterations are not necessary. In its original form. consider F7|Bb7| F7| Cm7F7| Bb7| Bdim| F7| Am7b5D7alt| Gm7| C7alt| F7D7alt| Gm7C7alt|. and so on. A. The blues as a style has a rich history that is beyond the scope of this prime. This diminished chord is serving as a substitute for the dominant seventh. hich contains the D natural from the Bm chord. The F blues scale can be played over this entire progression. We can also alter the i chord. although they are not actually functioning as dominant chords in that they do not resolve to tonic. The basic twelve bar blues form was mentioned earlier. meaning that the notated ``C'' played on these instruments actually sounds likea Bb or Eb respectively. the most popular keys among jazz musicians seem to be F. and A melodic minor. E HW diminished. Starting around the swing era. For example. ields F| F| F| F| Bb| Bb| F| F| C| Bb| F| F|. as well as its colloquial meaning of a particular mood. still played often inrock and R&B music. . Music written for these instruments is therefore transposed. bars 8 and 9 form a V-i in G minor. Ppular jazz instruments such as the trumpet and the various members of the saxophone family are usualy tuned in Bb or Eb. and most notably in the bebop era. and guitars are tuned to favor the keys containing shars.
2. and because the A7alt form part of a G minor II-V-i progression with the D7alt and Gm7 that follow. through original compositions such as "Giant Steps" and "Countdown" on the album Gian Steps. You may wish to play with this progession for a while. or to replace the fifthchord Bbmaj7 with Dm7. Coltrane Changes John Coltrane. becae known for using a particularly complex progression that is often called the Coltrane changes. and arrangements of standards such as "But Not For Me" on the album My Favorite Things. and the basic tonality movements by fifths in the bridge. F. and to work on your up tempo playing. These songs have a 32 bar AABA form based on the chord progression: Bbmaj7G| Cm7F7| Bbmaj7G7| Cm7F7| Fm7Bb7| Ebmaj7Ab7| Dm7G7| Cm7F7|| Bbmaj7G7| Cm7F7| Bbmaj7G7| Cm7F7| Fm7Bb7 Ebmaj7Ab7| Cm7F7| Bbmaj7|| Am7| D7| Dm7| G7| Gm7| C7| Cm7| F7|| Bbmaj7G7| Cm7F7| Bbmaj7G7| Cm7F7| F7Bb7| Ebmaj7Ab7| Cm7F7| Bbmaj7||. The chord prgression in that tune is Fmaj7| Em7b5A7b9| Dm7G7| Cm7F7| Bb7| Bbm7Eb7| Am7D7| Abm7Db7| Gm7| C7| FmajD7alt| Gm7C7|. including the tonic. If you intend to become an improvising musician. there are many possible variations on rhythm changes. This form is often called simply rhythm chanes. This is also a good opportunity to tryout what you have learned about ii-V's. for instance replcing that Ab7 with an Abm7. Ab7 can be played instead of 7alt in the second half of bar 8. leading bak to the original tonic in the last A section. Some of the commonalterations are to replace the second chord G7 with a diminished chord Bdim. Rhythm Changes The George Gershwin song "I Got Rhythm" is the source for one of the most popular chord progressionsof the bebop era. This progression contains many ii-V progressions. Most tunes ased on rhythm changes are played in the key of Bb. then Eb and it continues . which has three of four notes in common. and become familiar ith the particular variations associated with specific tunes. For example. This uses most of the techniques described above. As with the blues progression.Other variations can be made using tritone substitutions. Another common substitution is A7alt for the F7 in bar 11. particularly in the key of Bb. This substituion works because the chords share several notes. The primary characteristic of Coltrane changes is tonality movement by major thirds. althugh he was not the first or only musician to make use of it. often well oer 200 beats per minute. then G. Furthermore.4. especially in the last four measures of the A sections. The important characteristics of rhythm changes are the repeated I-VIii-V (or substitutes) in the fist four bars of the A sections. 5. and are played at very fast tempos. the Dm7 and following G7 form a ii-V in C minor so this is an especially strong substitution harmonically. Charlie Parker carried these types of substitutions to an extreme in "Blues For Alice". 5. The first key center here is B. Many tunes contain slight alterations o this basic progression. you hould become fluent in the basic rhythm changes. The former substitution has already been described under the diminished scale The latter replaces a I chord with a iii chord. You can also change the qualities of the chords. Any of the standard alterations described under iiV progressions above can be used when playing rhythm changes.3. The progressionto "Giant Steps" is Bmaj7D7| Gmaj7Bb7| Ebmaj7| Am7D7| Gmaj7Bb7| Ebmaj7F#7| Bmaj7| Fm7Bb7| Ebmaj7| AmD7| Gmaj7| C#m7F#7| Bmaj7| Fm7Bb7| Ebmaj7| C#m7F#7|. second only to the blues progression.2. and the repective scales differ by only one note.
and more on melodic development. and the chords themselves are relatively complex chords such as Bbma7#11 or A7alt. and it is also easy to fall into the trap of playing nothing but arpeggios outlining th chords. Yet the sols on this track do not exploit the harmony. and releases. The progression to "Countdown" is loosely based on that to the Miles Daviscomposition "Tune-up". but that is the challenge. which is a vanilla ii-V-I progression in D major. 24 counting the last 8 of the previous chorus. The tunes are usually played atfast tempos. nor can you rely on clever scal use and chord substitution to cover up basic problems thinking melodically. Some music is often considered modal even though it follows traditional chord progressions such as te blues. just for the effect that one note had. The latter tune begins with the four measure progression Em7| A7| Dmaj7| Dmaj. however. since the apparent key center changes so often. You must try to be especially conscious of playing melodically when soloing over a progresson as complex as the Coltrane changes. whereas modal players are more likely to use rhythmic space as amelodic structuring element. where the A section consists of the D dorian mode.3. but it is important to understand the differnces between them. the next four bars are the same in the key of Bb. As with ii-V . modal playing is much easier than playing changes. he used it as a substitute for an rdinary ii-V progression. The first four bars of "Countdown" are Em7F7| Bbaj7Db7|Gbmaj7A7| Dmaj7. When sloing over modal music. however. Coltrane was able to develop this idea in many ways. instead they focus on melodicism of individual phrases. since it does not require your brain todo as much fast computation to constantly change scales. which are a major third apart. The next four bars of the tune are identical harmonically except they are based on a ii-V in the key of C. he launches into the cycle of major thirds. You are not completely restricted to the notes of the scale. Coltrane starts with the same ii chord. since you cannot merely string together rehearsed ii-V licks. there is less emphasis on harmonic choices. The concept of modality has as much to do with what is done with the harmony as with its rae of change. Soloing over Coltrane changes can be challenging. Yo cannot simply play a single diatonic scale across several measures. whereas modal improvisers tendto emphasize basic chord notes. bebop players often enjoyed endng phrases on the raised fourth over a dominant chord. including dissonances. For example. ou cannot rely on the consciously hip sound of an F# over a C7 chord. going fromthe key of Bb to Gb and finally back to D. In ne sense. Both approaches are valid. and then modulates to the dominant sventh chord one half step higher. it is more challnging. From there. In another sense. In bebop derived styles.to cycle through these three keys. and each may last 8 or even 16 measures.The ballad "Blue In Green" from Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue has as much harmonic motion as many other unes. tensions. The Miles Davis tune "So What" on the album Kind Of Blue is the classic example of a modal tune. This yields 16 consecutive bars of D dorian at the beginning of each horus. It ollows a basic AABA structure. You may find yourself running out of ideas quikly if you limit yourself to just the seven notes in the D dorian scale. you must play melodically withthe notes you are given. and the B section onsists of the Eb dorian mode. 5. Bebop players are often more inclined to fill up all spaces with nots to completely define the harmony. Modal Improvisation A typical modal tune may have only two or three chords. ebop improvisers may emphasize the chordal extensions in their solos. For example. a soloist may sustain interest by his choice of notes over theharmony.
say an Ab against a Cmaj7 chord. For instance. however. These notes may sound wrong when played in the context of an otherwise inside melody. where the G# is a passing tone. It is particularly effective in modal tunes with few chord changes. you should try to stick to the modal philosophy when playing modal tunes and concentrate on being as melodic as possible with the basic chord and scale tones. although these typesof lines can be used in other situations as well. instead of D dorian. you know that a Db lydian scale is not normally an appropriate choice to play over a Cmaj7 cord. You can also use chromatic passing tones. For xample. non-scale tones used melodically can often sound consonant (te opposite of dissonant). This dissonance creates a tension. These same wrong notes. whereas modal playing was characterized as emphasizing the basic chord tones. A". A7b9b5. So you can use lines from any of the scales associated with A7. G#. If you treat that as a chord. 7alt. since they narrow your choices to only fie notes instead of seven. Another approachis to maintain the sense of chord progressions but play lines that lie largely outside the associate scales. These lines are sometimes called chromatic. create a sound that is not all that dissonant and has a harmonic richness that is very modrn . for a few measures. over a D dorian scale. try playing lines based on Db or Eb scles for a measure or two. The aforementioned musicians often play very angular melodic lines. This will create a kind o tension that you can resolve by returning to the original D dorian scale. One of the most popular of suh devices is called sideslipping. Eric Dolphy used this approach when playing with Chales Mingus and on some of his own albums such as Live At The Five Spot and Last Date. if used melodically over he chord. and playing mostly within that scale. the chord associated with D dorian is Dm7. similar sound is achieved by playing lines built from the interval of a fourth. For example. thee are some devices that you can use in a modal setting to add tension. That is to say. Woody Shaw andSteve Coleman are also chromatic players. at points in your improvisation.4. You can also use alternate a tonic chord with the dominant sevenh chord in that key. when playing a melody that lies mostly outside the scale. You can also vary the scale used. you establish a particular sound. For the most part. and one wrong note will sound outof place. Interestingly. or other A dominant seventh chords. and further force you to think about using space and playing melodically. possibly by accdent. the V7 chord is A7.progressions. Over a D dorian background. This is sometimes called chromaticism. For instance. however. meaning they consist of large orunusual intervals and change direction often rather than being primarily stepwise and scalelike. 5. You can continue to use your knowledge of chord/scale relationships when playing chromatically. By playig a melody derived from a scale. the same notes may fit n much more logically. Chromaticism Bebop styles were characterized above as exploiting the harmonies by choosing scales with a lot of clor tones. and you probably have some idea why. Pentatonic scles are an especially appropriate choice in modal playing. try a D natural minor. or a D mnor pentatonic. the oposite approach works as well: lines that contain a lot of half steps often sound right even though hey consist of many wrong notes. This is called quaral harmony. which you can release by returning to te original scale. youmight try playing "G. However. Thi often seems to establish a sound in which wrong notes sound perfectly natural. Both of thee approaches still use chord/scale relationships in the traditional manner of choosing a scale that mplies the sound of the chord to some degree. You have by now probably played some outside notes.
You can practice these ideas with Aebersold albums. and not because of ho it functions in a progression. Many of the chords are relatively complex. or implicitly by their scales choices. the only wrong notes are notes you didn't intend to play. or over which standard chord/scale rlationships do not always apply. or your fellow musicians. This certainly explains why passing tones and enclosures sound consonant. and each chord is chosen for its individual sound.5. but feel it still places too high a value on playing the notes suggested by the standard chord/scale reationships. Many of the standard chord/scale relationships were estalished with traditional resolutions in mind. You may find scale choices associated with tese chords to be more appropriate substitutions than ones . resolving to Cmaj7. not because the previous chord resolves to itnaturally or because it resolves to the next chord. a chord is often specifically called for because of its unique sound. Any chord from any key is likely to be sed if it has the right sound. nor do they contain many traditional ii-V's tht would indicate temporary key centers. or one that may be voiced similarly. however. Your phrases may seem random and disconnected if you blndly change scales according to the chord progression in non-tonal music. to describe music that has no specific key center. so I will use most general of these "nontonal". Changing this chord to G7#11 may change the sound of the chord more rdically than substituting an otherwise unrelated chord that has the same G/Ab dissonance. even simple melodic ideas like arpeggios and scales can sound complex in this ontext.sounding. or Band-In-A-Box.S. and atonal all describe the blurring or elimination of traditional tnality. the individual chords are often chosn for their overall sound rather than for their resolutions. so tonal improvisers will often make this sor or alteration freely. For example. It has been said that there are no wrong notes. alterations to a chord are often considered merely color tones that do not affect th basic function of a chord. analyzing chords in terms of their relationship to the key) is not always the best way to pproach this sort of music. You should be prepared to reat the chord/scale relationships more loosely than you would when simply playing changes. The trick is in forming a coherent whole. Nefertiti. In tonal music. Any noteyou play is right if it is in a meaningful context and it does not sound like an accident. for example Abmaj#5. A traditional functional analysis of the harmony(that is. oly wrong resolutions. and improvisers are free to make their own alterations to the basic chor. althugh you should be prepared for some strange looks. In non-tonal music. Although non-tonal music may appear to have chord progressions. such as E7#9. or because that happened to be the most convenient way to spell th chord voicing the composer intended (a voicing is simply a way of specifying the particular notes t be played for a given chord). a G7b9 chord is likely to be a dominant chord. such as Abaj7. There is ven value in making mistakes.. either explicitly. You may wish to treat this music modally. Any other chord tht serves this function. For example. and Sorcerer have no specific key centers. Non-tonal Improvisation The terms pan-tonal. such as G7#11. can be used instead ithout radically changing how the phrase is perceived. non-tonal. and let the chords themselves dictate the scale choices.P. Yu should be careful in doing this. I would restate this. Mies Smiles. In fact. 5. The same G7b9 chord may have been chosen because of the particular dssonance of the G against the Ab. many of the tunes on Miles' albums E. or even a tritone substitution like Db7. The distinction between these terms is not always clear.however.
Chord scale relationships may still help define which notes ten to be more or less dissonant against a given chord. but alsoof melody. For instance. if that is the effect you desire. sound that I associate with wide intervals and the use of rhythmic space. featuring a double quartet including Eric Dolphy and Freddie Hubbard. in albums such as "Ascension". Coltrane alsoexperimented with rhythm. hen you should hear the sound of that chord. there are no rules. chord/scale relationships can be considered as tools. Here Ornette is not only putting aside traditional concepts of harmony.6. Instead oftechnical details. often having several improvisers playing at once. However. and the imprvisations are less melodic than on the quartet albums. There re many different approaches to free playing. The double quartet also experiments with formon this album. also experimented with timbre. you an deliberately play lines that contradict the sound of the chord. timbre. however. The head consists of a melody only. as well as musicians influenced by them such as Archie Sheppand Albert Ayler. Even in tonal music. As with chromaticism in tonal music. There is no definable head to the one performance that comprises this album. or form. Furthermoe. Both Coleman and Coltrane. not as a specific pattern of chord resolutions. and feel free to play any lines that imply that sound. and the soos are variations on the melody or on the feel of the piece in general. The lines you play need not be analyze in terms of their relationships to the notated chords. that particular chord has an open questioning. Many of Ornette Coleman's compositions have no chords at all. and use the chord/scale relationships only as tools to help you achieve the desiredsounds. of course.The important thing is that you perceive a non-tonal chord progression as a recipe of sounds over whch you improvise. If the chord in a given measure is a maj7#5 chord. but you should try organize your thinking alonglines of sounds. John Coltrane made similar advances late in his career. the sound of that chord may also be affected by its context in the piece itself. This idea is as old as jazz itself. Depending on how far ou are willing to go. not on any chord progression For the most part. rhythm. and the results are more cacophonous. examples of other musicians will be used for the most part. regardless of the actual notes involved. A walking bass line and 4/4 swing drum beat are constant throughout. and the forms are the tandard head-solos-head forms. The real intent of non-tonal music. and on could claim the goal is always to represent sounds. a hord played for two measure in a ballad may sound entirely differently from the same chord used as a accent in a driving up-tempo piece.but was largely forgotten with the advent of the swing era. especially in albums like "Interstellar Space" that do not feature any defnable pulse. 5. For me. Ornette's album Free Jazz. but by its very nature. his is as much an emotional implication as a rational one. but may instead be thought of in terms of ho they fit the sound of the phrase at that point. The free players' idea of collective impovisation is much less structured that the dixieland players'. you can also dispense with traditional melody. Non-tonal music was created to provide a more varied alette of sounds.based on the traditional dominant functionof G7b9. you may find tunes with many ii-V's inthem tend to "sound" the same in this respect. I would probbly tend to play lines that reflect this feeling. finding new ways to get sounds out of their . is ecidedly different. Most of his freebop quartet recordingswith Don Cherry for Atlantic fall into this category. is to free you from the specifics of chord/scale relatinships and allow you to concentrate on the sounds themselves. to encourage thinking along these lines. these recordings still show a very melodic approach and are accessible to many lsteners. Free Improvisation The next of level of freedom in improvisation is to eliminate chords entirely.
you have complete freedom to change the directions of the music at any time.1. However. organ. and the various mallet instruments. or rhythmic structuring elements. as Ornette dd with the trumpet and the violin. and other groups such as he Art Ensemble Of Chicago are known for this type of freedom.1. Usually. because there is no automatic frame of reference tokeep everyone together. His performances generally do not contain any traditional hrmonic. even to the extent of playing instruments on which they had little or no training. polychord voicings. The music must reac us on an emotional level in order to be successful.1. 6.1. quartal voicings. I have looselycategorized the voicings described here as 3/7 voicings. are voicing chords. you can varythe intensity of your performance as you see fit. There have been entire books written on the subject of cord voicings. When playing music with no set form in a group seting. is a vital skill for rhythm section players. you can play without tempo. He creates his own structures. Cecil Taylor does play in a group setting as well. closeposition and drop voicings. there are audiences tht do appreciate this music. even if it is simply aninversion of the basic root position chord. 3/7 Voicings . because it can foster better musical communication between the soloistand the accompanists. as well as n your own listening. Cecil Taylor plays the piano in a completely free manner. 6. It is hard to analyze these styles of music in terms we are accustomed to using. and other scale based voicings. 6. communication becomes especially important. which allows especially tight interaction. You should not be discouraged from playing as freely as you desire. It often seems to be that the more free the music. when the music calls for a Cmaj7 chord. The discussion here only scratches at the surface of the possibilities. the more intensely personal the statement You will need to decide for yourself how far you are willing to go in your own playing. When playing free usic in a solo setting. An understanding of accompanying is also usefl for other instrumentalists. 6. Chord Voicings In jazz. or instruments that can easily play more than one noteat time. melodic. and each person's emotions may be affected diffrently. This a gentle way of saying tat your experimentation may alienate some of your original audience.1. guitar. Pianists are in the unique position of providing much of their own accompanimet. Chordal Instruments The main concerns for polyphonic instruments. or comping as pianists often call it. such as piano. Some of the musical devices used by accompanists can aso be adapted to be used more directly in solos by any instrumentalist. The challenge of the communication and the excitement of the free excange of ideas are things that some listeners are unable to appreciate. becuse they usually spend more time comping than soloing. You can change tempo.and are accountable only to yourself.instrumnts. Accompanying Accompanying. the pianist will choose some other way of playing the chord. reharonizing. and playing rhythms. utilizing it as much as a percussion instrment as a melodic or chordal instrument. this almost never implies a pianist should play "C G B".1. You should also be aware that this type of music is often more fun to play tha to listen to for many people.
when played on the piano. Often. When playing these four note voicings on guitar. The simplst form of the 3/7 voicing on this progression would be to play the Dm7 as "F C". An analogous set of voicings is obtained by starting with the seventh at the bottom: "C F. in many situations. The basis of these voicings is that they contain both the third and seventh of the chord. and Cmaj7. Note that in the first chord. note the voicings dscribed thus far all tend to slide down the keyboard as the roots resolve downward by fifth. theserules almost always produce good sounding results. the C major ii-V-I could be played as "F C E". and then one of these voicings on the second or third eats. the same notes can be preserved from one voicing to the next. the third is at the bottom. or simply left hand voicings. "B F". I have seen these type of voicings called Category A and Category B vicings. sixth. usually wih at least one or two other notes as well. G7. The noral range for these voicings is in the two octaves from the C below middle C on the piano to the C abve middle C.the seventh is at the bottom. these voicings can automatically produce god voice leading. in the third chord. "E B D. "B E". Becuse the third and the seventh are the most important notes that define the quality of a chord. you might want to play these . you may wish to omit either the thid or the seventh. the earanticipates the chord progression and provides the proper context for the voicing even without the rot. The added notes are all sixths or ninths. Actually. Also. The chords are Dm7. the C major ii-V-I might be played with four note voicings on guitar as "F C E A". which is usually possible to play only with difficult hand contortions. These basic voicings can be modified in several ways. voiings with the fifth or some other note at the bottom can be interspersed with true 3/7 voicings. the third is at the bottom. Bill Evans voicings. Also note that. and ninth. "E A B D". "F B E".a note may have to move by step. Often. This is an mportant characteristic of 3/7 voicings: when they are used in a ii-V-I progression. "F A B E".Thus. they will start to sound muddy. except for a fift in the first chord of the second example. For one thing. For instance. As the voicings settle downward. and need o resolve to G7 and then Cmaj7. you can often get away with not playing the root at all. ad the Cmaj7 as "E B". at which time you migh want to jump up. E B D A". there is very little movemet between voicings. a minor of major chord that is serving as a tonic will be voiced with the tird. or any progresson in which root movement is by fourth or fifth. Also. in the second chord. or as "F A C E". if you have ended up on a Dm7 as "C F A B" below middle C. Note that none of these voicings contain the roots of their respective chords. "F B E A". Often. I call them 3/7 voicings. Thi might done for any of several reasons. the G7 as "F B". and these voicings might be interspersed with regular 3/7 voicings.It is somewhat of a shame that the most common type of voicing used by most pianists since the 1950' has no well established name. pianists will often play he root in their left hand on the first beat. the added notes are the sixth (r thirteenth) and ninth. It is not forbidden to play the roots in these voicings. only one note changes. For instance. It is assumed that th bass player will play the root at some time. or at most. when mving from one voicing to the next. but it is neither required nor necessarly better to do so. consider a ii-V-I progression in C major. you alternate between the third and the seventh at he bottom. In the absence of a bassist. any adde notes will usually be added above the third and the seventh. you would use more than just the third and seventh. Because they are based on the third and sventh of the associated chord. or else your voicing may end up contaiing several small intervals. and either the third or the seventh is at the bottom. the other notes stay constant. Sometimes. For example. Normally. meaning that when they are used in a chord progression.
works well here. the notes in the voicing should come from the scale implied by the chord. it probably sounds more like a G7. The 3/7 voicings are perhaps the most important family of voicings. you might play "C G" on the first beat. one way to do this is to move the voicing aroud the scale in parallel motion. Fo instance.1. you might play "D G D" or "G D G" in the righ hand. ordominant chords where a suspended or pentatonic sound is being used. in that a given three note quartal voicing can sound like a oicing for any number of different chords. a give voicing can sometimes be ambiguous. simply take any note in th scale associated with the chord. for instance. if the G7 chord is altered to a G7b9 chord. then play some quartal voicings inparallel motion . and many variations are possible You should try to practice many permutations of each in many different keys. roots do not alwaysmove by fifths.and "Bb Eb A". For example. They can also be played with two hands. in a progression such a Cmaj7 to A7. "F Bb Eb". or the root and fifth. In the context of a ii-V progression. To construct a quartal voicing. and add the note a fourth above. then it might be voiced as "F Ab B E". if you wish toreinforce the particular chord/scale you are playing. However. Use perfct fourths or augmented fourths depending on which note is in the scale. One thing to note about these voicings in the context of a diatonic iiV-I is that. For instance. In the context of a modal tune like "So What". This type of voicing seems to work especially well for minor chords (dorian mode). "D G C". too. If there are eight beats of a given chord. In general. and a fourth above that. For instance. it is a good idea to avoid doubling notes in voicings. Also. On a longCm 7 chord. 6. because the chord imply modes of the same scale (D dorian is the same as G mixolydian is the same as C major). You can use this amiguity to your advantage by making one voicing stretch over several chords.two chords as "D F G B" and "E A B D" rspectively to move the voicing upward while preserving good voice leading. "G C F". quartal voicigs for Cm7 are "C F Bb". "A D G".2. Quartal Voicings A style of voicing made popular by McCoy Tyner is based on the interval of the fourth. by adding more notes. for Dm7 with "F A C E" in the left hand. or with all strings on a guitar. One way to add more notes is to choosea note from the scale not already in the basic voicing and play it in octaves above the basic voicin. his provides a fuller sound when accompanying other soloists.1. you might want to voice this as "G B C E" to "GB C# F#" to preserve good voice leading. The note a fourth or fifth above the bottom of the octave can often be added a well. but the right hand octave soundsgood in this context. you might play "D D" or "G G" in he right. since the fullest soundis usually achieved by playing as many different notes as possible. This type of oicing is used most often in modal music. "F A B E" might be either a Dm7 with the seventh oitted. For example. In genral. you may play one of thesevoicings for the first few beats. Another thing you can do with 3/7 voicings is alter them with raised or lowered fifths or ninths. it clearly defines the Dm7 or D doria sound. These voicings are even more ambiguous. This technique is especilly useful when applied to the more general scale based voicings discussed later. on piano. These voicings are well suited on the piano for playing in the left hand while the right hand is soling. with the same left hand as before. then move it up a step for a few more beats. The technique of altenating the voicing with the root in the bass. or a G7. "Eb A D" (note the augmented fourth). There is nothing wrong with this.
Bb/Cm produces a C dorian scale. these voicings are convenient left hand voicings on the piano or three or our string voicings on the guitar They can also be made into two handed or five or six string voicins by stacking more fourths. D/Cm prduces an interesting.3. You may resolve it to a normal Cmaj7 voicng if you wish. One way to construct polychords that avoid douled notes is to replace the triad at the bottom with either the third and seventh. which produes a C mixolydian scale.1.1. In addition. When your ear becomes accustomed to the particular nuance and dissonances of each. and a D major triad in the right. or the root and third of a dominant chord. F/Cm produces a C dorian scale. it is not always clear when a polychord is intended. There are no rules for when hese polychords may be played as voicings. and Bbm/Cm produces a C phrygian scale. and especially at the end of a song. I mentioned before the desire to avoid doubled notes. you will see that this describe either the C lydian or C lydian dominant scales. Polychords are seldom explicitly called forin written music. fifths or octaves on top. for instance. Dm/C. This notationis overloaded in that it is usually interpreted as meaning a D triad over the single note C in the bss. You must normally find your own opportnities to play polychords. Among the polychords hat do not involve doubled notes are Gb/C. 6. These polychords may be used as voicings for any chords that fit the correspondin scales. For example. the Cm7 chord can be voiced as " G C" in the left hand and "F Bb Eb" in the right. or five or six stringvoicings on the guitar. Fm/Cm produces a C minor scale. sounds good when used as a substitute for Cmaj7. B/C. You may have noticed that Db/C. this voicing can be used over any chordfor which those scales are appropriate. the root and seveth. You can construct similar polychords with a minor triad at the bottom. although they do not obviously describe any standard scales. On a Dm7 chord.The tune "So What" from the album Kind Of Blue used voicings consisting of three fourths and a majorthird. which produces a C major or C mixolydian scale. and B/C also involve no doubled notes and sound very iteresting. which produce a C lydian scale.for the duration of the chord. the last plychord listed. Therefore. They produce a very rich. However. These are always two handed voicings on a piano. Polychord And Upper Structure Voicings The basis of a polychord voicing is to play two different chords at the same time. This will be notated D/C. Bbm/C. or "Eb A D" in the left and "G C G" in the right. bluesy sounding scale. the voicings used were "E A D G B" and "D G C F A". many of thee combinations involve doubled notes. such as one in th left hand and one in the right on a piano. yo will find several combinations that sound good and describe well known scales. Bb/C. which produces a C HW diminished scale. For instance. If you experiment with other triads over a C major triad. complex sound compared to the voicings presented s far. which can be avoided as described below. so there is no standard way to notate them. which producesa C HW diminished scale. The simplest style of polychord voicing is to play two triads. F#m/C. The relationship between the two chords determines the qality of the resultant chord. Ebm/C. As with the 3/7 voicings. which also produces a C HW diminished scale. A/Cm produces a C HW diminishedscale. you may find situations in which you can use them. and Bm/C. Voicings constructed in this fashion are also called pper . Db/Cm produces a C phrygian sale. Abm/C. If you take all the notes in this D/C voicing and lay them in a row. particularly in the context ofa ii-V-I progression. a C major triad i the left hand on a piano.
G. 6.1. The richness and variety introduced by these voicings can add a lot to your harmoic vocabulary. he chord might also be voiced in close position as "E G Bb C". An Eb triad over "C E" yields a C7#9 chord. the voicing is called a drop 3 voicing.4.If the second note from the top is dropped. The particular pattern described above yields "F G ". and Wes Montgomery all regularly played block chord solos. Since the F major scale contains an avoid note (Bb)in this context. the voicing is called a drop 2 voicing.1. so that none of the enerated voicings would contain any avoid notes. a second with a third stacked on top is a somewhat dissonant but not too cluttered soundthat many pianists use extensively. Fr instance. A D triad over "E Bb" yields a C7#11 chord. A phrase in which evey note is accompanied by close position or drop voicings is said to be harmonized with block chords. with the melody note on tp. a C7 chord might be voiced in clos position as "C E G Bb". however. and "E F A" over the F lydian scale. Yu may wish to choose a few tunes and plan ahead of time where you will use these voicings. there are several possible C7 upper structures. The second note from the top. Pianists and guitarists often use this type of approach in their own solos. since the root. For example. the dropped not must normally be played in the left hand. This is referred to as root position.1. Dave Brubeck. is at the bottom. On the piano. in the sense that they do not readily identify the chord. Drop 2 and drop 3 voicigs can be constructed from any of the inversions of the chord as well. Close Position And Drop Voicings The simplest voicing for a four note chord is the close position voicing. An Ab triad ver "E Bb" yields a C7#9#5 chord. "C D F". You will find it takesa lot of practice to become familiar enough with these voicings to be able to play them on demand. Most of these vicings are very ambiguous. It is wel worth the effort. The second inversion is "G Bb C E" and the tird "Bb C E G".1. An A triad over "C Bb" yields a C7b9 chord. The interals in these voicings make them perfectly suited for guitar. "G A C". particularly in a soo setting. which is also called the first inverson. "B C E". They always imply some sort of dominant chord. For example. Close position and drop voicings are effective when used to harmonize a melody.structures. you will find that the presence of a bass player. As with the 3/7and quartal voicings. since the bottom note has been inverted to the top. has been ropped down an octave. By using a scale approach. The corresponding drop 3 voicing would be "E C G Bb". Other Scale Based Voicings There are other logical ways of constructing voicings. A drop voicing is created from a close position voicing by dropping one of the notes down an octave. you can devise your own patterns for voicings. Each melody note may be harmonized by a different drop voicing.5. too many to describe individually here. For a C7 chord in root position. A Dbm triad over "C Bb" yields a C7b9b5chord. . in which all the notes in he chord are arranged as close together as possible. An F#triad over "C E" yields a C7b9b5 chord. one would normally opt for the lydian scale and the B natural.Red Garland. For a chord such as Fmaj7. 6. "D E G". will allow almost any combination of notes from a given scaleto make an acceptable voicing for the associated chord. so these are almost always two handed voicings. Most pproaches are similar in that they they associate a scale with each chord and construct the voicing rom notes in that scale. the corresponding drop 2 voicing is "G C E Bb". if the third not from the top is dropped. or just the contextof the chord progression being played. you can apply this format at any posiion in the associated F lydian or F major scale. " E G Bb". C. An F#m triad over "E Bb" yields a C7b9b5 chord. "A B D".
There are some simple reharmonizations that can be used without disturbing the soloit too much. That is. 6. the accompanist may alternate between it and th chord a half step above or below. Another common reharmonization is to replace a dominant chord with a iiV progression. Another type of reharmonization involves the use of alternation. yu might alternate between G7 and Ab7. Most of the scale choices the soloist may have been using over the F7 chordwill also work over the Cm7 chord. This involves replacing some of the written or expected chords with other unepected chords. so this reharmonization doesn't usually create too much tension.3. introduce contrst.1. Substitutions such as the tritone substitution are one type of reharmonization. Reharmonizing An accompanist may occasionally reharmonize a chord progression to sustain interest. or between G7 and F#7. the soloist should beable to pick up on it and control the amount of tension produced by playing along with the reharmoniation or by playing against it.You may wish to experiment with different patterns and different scales to see if you can find any vicings you particularly like.2. first replace the F7 with B7. and so forth. For instance. If the alternation is peformed regularly. Rather than play several measures of a given chord. The tritone substitution is one example. at any time a dominant seventh chord is called or. the goal is not to find a voicing that completely describes a gven chord. 6. and then eplace that with a ii-V. Comping Rhythms Once you have decided what notes you want to play. but rather to find a voicing that conveys a particular sound without seriously corruptingthe chord. You may find that at a given point in the music. play a D7alt in place of a Dm. leading to the tonic at the tart of the next phrase. or the characteristic dissonance of a minor ninth or of a cluster of seeral notes a second apart. but without the characteristic wrong note sound of a completely random seection of notes.1. For example. This is especially common at the end of a phrase. on a G7 chord. You do not wan to simply play whole notes or half notes. since the soloist will be playing from a differentset of changes. or a dominant chord a fifth below. many of the reharmonizations they may comeup with are not suitable for use in accompanying. Some musicians spend a lot of time trying different reharmonizations when working on a tune. you may wish to hear the characteristic uthority of a perfect fifth. one of the progressions replaced the F7 chord n bar 4 with a Cm7F7. his technique can be combined with the tritone substitution to create a more complex reharmonization Rather than replace the V with a ii-V. or even the whole tune. However unless they tell the soloist what they doing beforehand. or create tension. you must decide when to play them. or increase tension by keeping to the original scale. Thinking of the associated scale and putting your sound into that context gives youa logical and reliable way to get the sound you want without compromising the harmony. or between G7 and D7. your accompanying . This creates exactly te same type of tension that is created when the soloist performs the substitution. the soloist can lessen the tension by changing scales as yo change chords. first replace the V with its tritone substitution. This was alreay demonstrated when discussing the blues progression. where the alternation is performed in rhythm. Often. Another simple rearmonization is to change the chord quality. and the replace that with F#m7B7. This is especiall common in rock based styles. such as throughout an entire chorus. in bar 4 of the F blues. the accompanist may substitute the dominant seventh chord a tritone away. That is.
Just as space can be an effectie tool while soloing. it is especially importan to listen to guitarists in several different types of settings. to see hw melodic accompaniment can be. For instance. There ae several forms this communication can take. Chet Baker. so the soloist and other accompanists generally left little room for a piano or gutar. particularly the Afro-Cuban forms sometimes collectively referred to as salsa. and McCoy Tyner. Many rock based styles also depend on rhythmic pattens. andof-four. Pianists should als listen to guitarists and mallet players. Practicing accompanying in this type of situation can help you avoid over-playing. and-f-three. it can be even more so when accompanying. you can concentrate on the rhythmic and even melodic content of your coming. such as any of seveal Gerry Mulligan. and-of-four". like many beginning soloists. Try to play along with these. For instance. Most beginnig accompanists. When you are omfortable with a particular chord progression. These two measures may be reersed if the underlying drum pattern (see below) is reversed as well. tend to play too much. and Thelonius Monk often laid out for entire solos. . Horace Silver. While the Brazilian derived styles such as the bossa novaand samba. Often. and-of-three. do not have well-defined comping patterns. The most important aspect of accompanying in most styles is to communicate with the soloist. which consists of alternating a bass note on oneand three with a chord voicing on two and four. the first piece of advice I can give is to listen to other accompanists. For instance. Others will lay out (stop playing) entirely. and their style when there is a pianist inthe group may differ from how they play when they are the only chordal accompanists.This will often be difficult. since the music was recorded with the knowledge that there was no choral accompaniment. Bill Evans. such as those of Count Basie. one. or longer. Pianists to listen to include Bud Powell. andof-two. A good discussion ca be found in Mark Levine's The Jazz Piano Book. Listen to the horn backings in some big band recordings. as played by most jazz musicians. sme guitarists play only short chords on every beat if there is a pianist providing most of the rhythic interest. A typical rhythmic pattern is "and-of-one. but also to guitarists such as Herb Ellis. Toooften we tend to ignore everyone but the soloist anyhow. Wynton Kelly. and-of-two. and no longer are having to concentrate fully just o playing the "right" notes. other Latin azz styles. A full description of the roleof the piano in Latin jazz and other styles is beyond the scope of this primer. Joe Pass. Theloniou Monk. Herbie Hancock. McCoy Tyner. Guitarists should listen to pianists. and Wes Mntgomery. For this reason. many forms of music befre the bebop era used the stride left hand pattern. Herbie Hancock. guitarists work in tandem with pianists. Because there is very littletheory to fall back on. or even Ornette Coleman quartet albums. Sometimes it helps to imagine yourself as a background part in a big band arrangement. two. Be sure to choose albums that have solo insrumentalists other than the accompanist on them. Laying out and leaving the soloist ith no chordal accompaniment is sometimes called strolling. although not distracting to the soloist or listener.generally should be rhythmically intereting. every so often. Certain styles of music call for particular rhythmic patterns. often the constraints of those instruments can lead to ides you might not have thought of otherwise. There are few guidelines that can be given for playing comping rhythms. Let the soloist work with only the bssist and drummer for a few measures. You should also listen to recordings that do not have any chordal accompaniment. often specific to the individual song. use a twomeasure repeating motif called a montuno.
since they ar in the associated mixolydian scale. and your note choices are more limited as ell. These first two guidelines take care of two beats for each chord. and fifths rather than any extensions or alterations. D. depending on the chord. as much as a drummer. If the chord was C7. it can be thought of as a passing tone t reach the first beat (the downbeat) of the next measure. First. Eb. You will have to workout with each soloist how far you may take him. which has alreadybeen described as a good substitution. implying the lydian dominant scale. one way to fill the remaining beats s to simply choose notes from any associated scale in mostly stepwise motion. or Gb on the last beat of the previous masure. You would normally play E. Another popular patern would be "C.You do not have to worry much about what rhythms to play. The previous beat should be a nte a step away. with pauses between them. but the bass usuallyemphasizes the roots. That is why bass players so often play walking bass lines that consist almost exclusivelyof quarter notes or rhythms that strongly emphasize the beat. In this respect. x. if your hord progression is C7 to F7. such as any song baed on the rhythm changes. For instance. hese are only guidelines to get you started. implying he altered scale. and you have already decided to play "C.2. which might encourage the soloist to eho you. Like a pianist. in which you ssentially try to echo back or answer what the soloist has played. E". For instance. you can often anticipate the echo and actually play right along ith the soloist. Sometimes you can also lead the soloist in directions he might not have tried otherise.1. In some tunes. Either of these choices might also imply the whole tone scale. If the soloist is wrking on a repeated rhythmic motif. a bassist must normally outline the chord changes. or Bb and Ab. Or. x. G. This is particularly effective ifthe soloist seems to be playing short. When you listen to great bass players like Ray Brown or Paul Chambers. The note does not necssarily have to be justifiable in the context of the chord. if the chord F7 appears on beat "one" of a measure. so your bass line can be almost compltely determined by the chord progression. Some soloists like this type of aggressive comping. where the Eb is used as passing . In traditional jzz forms. 6. then you might play either E or G. you generaly should play the root of the chord on the first beat of that chord. you will probably want to vary your lines. that is all you get for most chords.2. The Gb is also the root of the dominant chord a tritone away. you might think HW diminished or altered scale for the C7 ad play the Eb or Gb. so pinists should learn how to construct good bass lines as well. Gb" for the C7 chord. the bass player also has a very important role as a timekeeper. If you have more than two beats to fill for a particular chord. Remember. Of course. and others do not. then you would norally play F on that beat. Bass The function of the bass in a traditional rhythm section is somewhat different than that of a chorda instrument. so Gb makes a particularly good choice. simple phrases. thirds. if nt more so. For instance. you might start a repeated rhythmic motif.there is call and response. When a pianist plays in a solo setting. Eb. he must often provide his own bass line accompaniment. nor are you required to approach it by step. Walking Bass Lines There are some simple guidelines you can use to produce good sounding bass lines. ten you can fill in the x's with D and E. learning to play bass lines is often easier than learning to solo or play voicings. You re not required to play the root on the one. you will see that a larg part of their playing is quarter notes and scale based lines. 6.
you can play G under the progression Dm7| G7| Cmaj7. Bob Hurst has a different approach to counterpoint. Whe you see a song explicitly call for pedal point. Thistype of rhythmic counterpoint is difficult to sustain for any length of time.3. or are producing enough rhythmic tension on their own. like those given for voicings. and may confuse inexpeienced musicians. When accompanying. and moving parts where the melody is staying still. Under the Dm7 chord. as in Dm7| G7| Dm7| G7| Dm7| G7| Dm7| G7. then this may not be a good tecnique to use. You can also find your own opportunities to use pedal point. and Paul Motian on the album Sunday At The Village Vnguard. If they are being thrown off by the resultat complexity. For example.2. or two quarter note trplets per measure. or jut under the first two bars. often shortened to simply pedal. In a ii-VI progression. such as John Coltrane's "Naima".2. either with the notation "Eb pedal" over the first four measres. Rather than playing lines that sustain their ownmelodic or rhythmic interest. One technique he uses often is playing six notes against four beats. As a bass player. The resolution to the G7 chord then mimics the traditional classical use of suspensions. Other Bass Patterns . Pedal Point The term pedal point. that is usually an indication to stop walking and istead play only whole notes. refers to a bass line that stays on one note ver a changing harmony. Playing patterns is generally frowne upon when soloing. Scott plays ong notes while the melody is moving. His bass lines had almost as much rhythmic and melodic interest as the melody or solo h was accompanying. the fifth can oten be used as a pedal note.2. One of the most famous examples of Scott LeFaro's counterpoint is on the version f "Solar" recorded by Bill Evans. This is also commonly done in progressions that alternate between he ii and the V. you are expected to play virtually every beat of every measure for the entire pice. You will have to use your own judgement to decide when the music will benefit from theuse of counterpoint. with whole notes at the end of each phrase.2. from the album "Giant Steps" are written with explicit pedal point. 6. whch always resolve in this manner. 6. The melody is mostly quarter notes. where you are expected to be as creative as possible.tone between the D and the E.4. 6. It is usually more important to be solid and dependable than to be as inventive as possible. the G in the bass makes the chord function as a G7ss chord. This can be distracting to some soloists. When experimenting with counterpoint. It sounds like he is playing in three while the rest of the band is in four. he plays lines that create rhythmic tension in their interaction with he beat. Scott LeFaro. can be an effective way to outline the harmony consistentl. Yor goal is to support the musicians you are accompanying. Certain songs. and to some audiences. remember your role is usually still that of an accompanist. One opportunity to use counterpoint is in ballads or medium tempo swing tunes where the melody has lng notes or rests. Counterpoint Scott LeFaro started a small revolution in jazz bass playing in the early 1960's through his use of ounterpoint. or through the notation of the chords as Dbma7/Eb| Ebm7| Amaj7#11/EbGmaj7#11/Eb| Abmaj7/Eb. however patterns. but many find th effect exciting. You will pobably discover other patterns that you will tend to use a lot.
one of the roles of the drummer in traditional forms of jazz is to play a stead beat in the style of the song. one such book is Essential StylesFor The Drummer And Bassist. all I can do is repeat Clark Terry's advice. three". the samba. The samba. and-of-two. 6. two. A full description of all the different styles is beyond the scope of this primer. The mambo and other Cuban derived styles use the rhythm "and-of-two. two. Thisis what most simple drum machines will play when the "swing" setting is selected. addig the snare on the "and-of-two" or on the "and-of-one" and on "three". Some particular styles impose heir own particular requirements on the bassist. "imitate. A two-beat or half-time feel means playingonly on beats one and three in 4/4 time. The basic shuffle beat consists of eighth notes on the ride cymbal and possibly snare. with a sixteenth note pickup befoe each beat. but I can describe some basic patterns and styles. ne such book is Essential Styles For The Drummer And Bassist. and consists of "one. meaning it sounds as if the basic beat is twice as fast as it really is. innovate". 4 and" or "ding ding-a ding ding-a" pattern played on theride cymbal with swung eighth notes. This pattern is apropriate for many jazz songs. uses the root on "one" and the fifth on "three". Listen to as many different styles as you can and learn from what you hear. A two-beat feel is often used on the head for standards. There is also an frican clave or Rumba clave in which the third note is played on the "and-of-four" rather than on th beat. For now. 3. Many of the Latin Jazz styles use a simple pattern usually based on alternating roots and fifths The bossa nova. The basic 4/4 swing beat consists of two components: the ride pattern and the hihat pattern. which is a type of rhythmic pattern. Slower songs lke ballads often call for the use of brushes on the snare drum rather than sticks on the cymbals as he main pattern. but is played with a double-tie feel. with aneighth note pickup on the "and-of-two" and either another pickup on the "and-of-four" or a quarter nte on "four". These clave patterns can also . The latter eat is tied over to the "one" of the following measure. The bossa nova uses a variation of the basic clave in which the last note falls on the "and-o-three" rather than on the beat. and do not mean to imply tht you should not be creative and vary your patterns. a Brazilian derived style. There are a few boks that can help you in constructing patterns for various styles. The basic jazz waltz or 3/4 swing patter consists of "one. By steady. Whn playing in 3/4 time. 2 and. however. Drums As with the bassist. There are a few books that can help you in constructing patterns for other styles. with the hi-haton "two". especially medium or up-tempo standards or bebop tunes. you may either play walking lines or just play on the first beat of each measre. another Brazilian derived style. four. three" or "ding ding-a ding" on the ride cymbal. The hi-hat is normally closed sharply on "two" and "four".The techniques described above are applicable to most styles of jazz. The second an fourth beats are usually more strongly emphasized as well. The essence of most forms of Latin jazz is the clave. The fudamental ride pattern is the "1. Three forms of Latin jazz you should be able to play include the bossa nova.3. and-of-two. assimilte. The most important of the styles you my be expected to play are described below. four". I mean with regards to tempo. and give you some hints on other asects of the role of the drummer. or on all three beats. Other variations include using the hihat on "two" and "three". is similar. I cannot shed much light on the specifics of drm techniques. and the mamb. The basc clave is two measures long. The root is played n "one" and "three" while the fifth is played on "two" and "four".
or occasionallyvarying the rhythm to "ding-a ding ding-a ding". one. four. Other patterns may be playe on a cymbal or on a cowbell. Marking the orm of a tune is another important role of the drummer. the drummer may decide to fill those spaces with some sort of answering phrase or counterrythm. r codas are. such as the toms. you could play the hi-hat on every beat. have nique drum patterns that are indelibly associated with the particular song. and-of-ne. This will help the soloist keep his place. four". meaning the two measuresare swapped. Drummers may also create tension through the use of polyrhythm. Or. Typical mambo patterns include "one. an instrumentalist may leave deliberate breaks in his phrases. in which case an auxiliary pecussionist may play it. The hi-hat is closed on "two" and "four". three against four. two. Bossa novas may use a pattern consisting o straight eighth notes on the ride cymbal. Certain compositions. and-of-three. Tony Wiliams is a master at varying his patterns in this way. three. For one thing you may vary the pattern. As with the pianist an bassist. andof-three. the soloist is usually structuringhis own phrases along the lines of the original form. for instance. or work with the bassist or another accompanist. by allowing himto recognize when you have reached the bridge. A good drummer will not simply play the same pattern over and over for an entire song. for instance when there is a change in soloist. The bass drum may play on "one" and "tree" with eighth note pickups. Another tactic is to change the basic beat from phrase to phrase. Also. You should be able to sing to the melody to yourself during solos if necessary. which is two or more differentrhythms superimposed on each other. A drummer can either try to ply two different rhythms himself. Art Blakey is a master of playing the form and supprting soloists in this way. and-of-four" or "one. three. The cymbal pattern is usully straight eighth notes. so thatyou can outline the form for the soloist. tocreate a polyrhythm between them. a drummer will play a simple two-beat during the head. such as Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder" or Tony Williams' "Sister Cheryl". and-ofthree. two. and-offour" is playe on the snare rim and the mounted tom instead of a clave. It helps . two. and is often played on a closed hi-hat. The clave would usually be played as hits on the rim of the snare on a traditional drumset. Since everyone depends on the drummer to keep acc t decide what to play. since fakebooks generally do not provide many hints for the drummer. At the end of each phrase. The snare drum may be simply hit n "four" instead of playing the clave. special introductions. As a drummer. Sambas have a double-time feel. and switch to straight four for the soos. and know where any breaks. The clave is supplemented with other patterns on other drums. Listening to recordings f a song to be performed before trying to play it is probably more helpful for drummers than for anyother musicians.be inverted. the drummer often plays a more complex pattern or fill to lead into te next phrase. although it is often not played explicitly by the drummer at all. perhaps by playing only quarter notes on the ride cymbal. You ma also want to use the other drums. and-of-two. you need t balance the desire for rhythmic variation with the realization that clutter or chaos can result if ou go too far. one. you sould always be conscious of the form of the song. andof-two. As with the use of counterpoint in bass lines. however. as part of your basic beat for a song. By adhering to that form yourself. A simple pattern consisting of "two. Often. for example. and-of-three. One of the easiest ways to change the feel of a piece is to simply switch cymbals for the ride pttern. and-of-fur. or to mark the bridge of a song. During a solo. or the soloist. you will usally be supporting the development of his ideas. Most typical song forms have 4 or 8 bar phraes.
In some tunes. Clifford Brown's twelve bar blues "Sandu" ends on the first beat of the eleventh easure. hen there are many soloists. Charlie Parker ormally took only one or two in recordings. since t is available in transposed versions for most wind instruments. it is often played twice. you may decide to have evryone play it in unison. or solo break. It is not essential that this person be the best musician in the group. it does help if there is someone to hoose songs. to keep everyone lse from getting bored. when you are approaching the end of your solo.1. or take the head out. you need to keep in mind the things we have observed about fom. particularly in live performances. count the song off. such as John Coltrane's"Moment's Notice". Normally.In performance situations. climax. John Coltrane often took dozens of choruses. someone usually indicates this by holding out fourfingers where everyone can see them. you are largely on your own. and leading them with your own playing This is your chance to apply the techniques you have learned so far. In any case. 7. you wuld often find that it starts at a low level and slowly builds to a climax. so everyone has the chance to familarize themselves with the changes. or at most as a lead in to each solo. but usually it is done onlyas a lead in to the first solo. you probably should try to keep it on the short side. The melodies of many songs end on the second to last measure of the orm. Usually the rhythm section stops playing for the last two bars of the form to allow the firs soloist an unaccompanied two measure lead in. but it shuld be someone with some leadership or organizational skills. after which it tapers of quickly to lead into the next soloist or whatever else comes next. For songs with 32 bar forms.1. Beginnings Once you have selected a song to play.if everyone in thegroup has access to the same fakebooks. it is also usually more interesting for the listener to hear a melody intrpreted by one individual. Middles Once you are into your solo. Beginners often have difficulty eciding how many choruses to play. and release. This is something that varies for each performer. and contains a good variety of tune. rather than stated in unison. That way.2. The New Real Book by Chuck Sher is recommended. pick a tempo. you should somehw convey this fact to the other musicians so they can decide who goes next. Take chance. to allow everyone to work on making a personal statement even while simply playing the melody. This means it should have a clear expositon. If you were to chart the intensity level of a good solo. the group would play the melody first. If you intend to trade fours after the last solo. this break is traditionally observed on every chorus. For instance. Think melodically. 7. when a person calls out a tune. although this was partially because of the limitations o the 78 RPM format. Although it is not necessary to designate a leader for a group. decide on the order of soloists. or whether they want to rade fours. and generally keep tings moving along. Have fun! I have said several times that a solo should tell a story. but you should eventually give each performer a chance to play a head by hiself. This is particularly true for ballads. Usually. For blues tunes or other shorter orms. although you should listen to what everyon else is doing around you. While learning a song. You may wish to agree in advance on the tunes to be worked on. Fastbop tunes are normally played in unison. however. development. the head is usually played only once. feeding off what they are playing. you will go .1. you can be reasonaly sure everyone will have it in their books.
because it is associated with rrangements of tunes like "Take The A Train" that were written by Duke or performed by his band. yu would play the form through the end of measure 30. is to simply cut the tune off short after the last not. you can use the I chord F instead of the A7at chord. But when playing a song for the first time with a particular group. Thi ending assumes the song ends on the first beat of the second to last measure of the form. If the song ends with a ii-V-I cadence in the last fur bars. and end on the last note of the melody. however. Simply slow down ove the last two or three measures. a popular ending is to play the last several bars three tmes before the last note. and the soloists should try to develop and build upon each other's ieas. In a 32 bar form in which the last note is the first beat of measure 31. As a ariation. usually precededby frantic hand waving to ensure that everyone ends together. This is done especially on 32 bar forms in which the meody ends on the first beat of measure 31. The bass player is often skipped. and other bop forms such as "Donna Lee". then you can replace the final I chord with the four bar progression III-VI-ii-V. which may be held out as log as desired. You may continue this chord progression as long as you like. or the last note can simply be played short. Once you are familiar wih the basic endings. or on any note ner the end that falls on the penultimate chord. and then one more. The song is finally ended with a I chord. Another approach is the III-VI-ii-V turnaround. then you cn replace this with Gm7| C7| A7alt| D7alt| Gm7| C7| A7alt| D7alt| Gm7| C7| You can also use tritone ubstitution on any of the dominant chords. chaos almost always results atthe end. Often. Or. Endings The endings of songs are. Another popular ending is sometimes called the Duke Ellington ending. and have one soloist play an unaccompanied cadenza. sgnaling the rest of the band to rejoin him for the last note.through the soloists in the same order in hich they originally played. but then repeated and held on the irst beat of measure 32. the most difficult to keep together. if the song ends Gm7| C7| F| F. This is called a vamp. which maybe repeated several times. without question. giving them four measures each. Another ending commonly used on ballads and slow swing songs is the ritardando. . the drummer will take four measures in between each of the other oloists. soloing or collectively improvsing on top of it. A variation on this technique is to stop on the second to last note.1. in the key of F. used in fast bebop tunes. you may have planned and rehearsed ending. This cycle may be repeatedly as long as is desired. This note is cut short. Assuming the piece in in Cmajor. you may cut the last note short. sometmes the pianist is as well. then all it takes is one person to act as leader to get everyone to follow alon. When you have playe a given song several times with the same group of people. you may wish to hold the last note out. and that the last note is the root of that chord. This can be combined with the ritardando or the cadenza aproaches. before finally playing measure 31. When playing medium tempo or faster tunes. 7. that the ast chord is a I chord. or as an anticipation on the fourth beat or on the "and" of the fourth beatof measure 31. but then repet it and hold it out after a few beats rest. someone will usually tap their head to indiate when to return to the head. The easiest ending. then play measures 29 and 30 again. This works for rhythm changes tunes such as "Oleo". More so than during the original solos. For instance. the intensity of the four bar phrases will usually e at a consistently high level. There are a few standard tricks you can use to end songs.3. In addition.
If you lose your place in the form. Do not let your nalysis of the theoretical aspects of music interfere with your reaction on an emotional level. you canlisten to the great ones and learn from them. 9. it should not detract from your enjoyment of any music. stop playing for a litle while to see if you can hear where everyone else is. G. it is difficult to get everyone in the group to ajust at the same time and in the same way should the group collectively get ahead or fall behind. and can listen for melodic. they can attempt to move over to match the out of place peformer. some tend t drag. You can liste to Thelonious Monk and analyze the way he used dissonance and syncopation. You can listen to the early Bill Evans trios and see eamples of interplay within a rhythm section. Noetheless. you may wish to try to conduct a few measures to right the tempo. and rhythmic sophistication. If you have become lost. because ideally. 7. Another thing that can go wrong is an unintended tempo change. Listening Analytically Now that you have some idea of what it takes to play jazz. it is often difficult to hear a metrnome when several people are playing. You can listen to the emotional outbursts of John Coltrane or Cecil Taylor and epand your concept of how directly you can express yourself. Some people tend to rush. 8. hamonic. On the other hand.You will be less likely to be impressed with mere technical facility. F. If you try to play this line. or instance. Sometimes the interaction between two musicians with good time may cause the tempo to shift. If you are convinced the tempo is movng. or shout out "BRIDGE!" or "TOP!" at the ppropriate times. it is better to try to correct the person who is ut of step than to have everyone be out of step together. if a pianist and bassist both play behind the beat. As a performer.2. A metronome can help keep you onest.you simply replace the last two measures with "C. This should not be too difficult if you arefamiliar with the song and the other musicians are reasonably secure about their own places. Breaking The Rules . F#. then turn it back up a minute or so later to see if we had drifted. E. For another. One partcularly sadistic band director I know used to start us off with a metronome. so I will not try to notate it. Someonewho is sure of where they are may wish to call out changes. if the music still reaches you emotionally. you should have a much more critical ear. C". now that you have some idea of the things a jazz musician is expected to do. but this is difficult to coordinate. this may make the tempo appear to dag. not a third above. The heoretical knowledge should be a tool to help you understand music you might not have otherwise apprciated. B. and everone else is sure of where that person is. Dealing With Problems You should be prepared for any number of things to go wrong. If one person is clearly in the wrong place. Also. A. For one thing. to get things back on track. you want the form to contnue uninterrupted. and see if you can achiee the same effects. or ense that someone else has lost theirs. and the drummer may slow down to not appear ahead of them. practicing with a metronome can be a useful way to solidify your concept of time. where the second not is a sixth below the first. d not worry that it does not seem particularly adventurous when scrutinized closely. and try to develop ears as big as theirs. but playing with a metronome will usually be hopelessly frustrating. turn the volume down afer a few measures. because it is virtually mpossible to keep a group synchronized with one. I think you will recogize the intended rhythm. do not panic.
Try hitting the piano keys with your fist. it does not contain s much straightahead jazz as most of the other books listed here. Sher Music. and therefore. There are also arrangements of comlex modern compositions by Michael Brecker and others. sice there is no overlap. Experimenting with the rules of hrmony is just the beginning of individuality. swing ride cymbal patterns. and see if ou can learn from them and apply those lessons to whatever you play.How you break the rules will similarly help define your own style.Charles Ives was a composer who wrote music that was considered avant garde in its day. accuracy. walking bass lines. however. The rules of harmony presented here form a framework. The New Real Book. 10. This is especially true in music like jazz. expand your listening to include other types of music such as classical or reggae. His father i rumored to have taught him. Try removing te first valve slide on your trumpet. Sher Music. and like all of Chuck Sher's books. Chuck Sher. Here is a listing of some of the books with which I am somewhat familiar. It contains standards like "Darn That Dream". There are many rules and conventions that have been presented here. Most of the instructional books and legal fakebooks are available at any well-stcked music store. It is available in B and Eb editions for transposing instruments. or which have bee recommended to me. It is severely limiting to thin that all jazz music should consist of 32 bar songs. however. It also contains soe pop songs like Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly". and readability. This is probably the most popular legal jazz fakebook arond today. it contains lyricswhere appropriate. and perhaps the best in terms of broadness of selection. Many o the most commonly played tunes from other popular fakebooks are included here. This is a good companion to the first volume. "you must learn the rules first so that you will know how to break them. Fakebooks Chuck Sher. Sher Music. The ordering information can be found i his ads in Down Beat magazine. There are no criminal penalties ssociated with breaking any of them. while this book is till highly recommended. and this book adds a good helping of classic jazz from the 1950's and 1960's including several tunes each by John Coltrane and Horace Silver.1. The New Real Book Volume 2. Chuck Sher. jazz classics like Sonny Rollins' "leo". Because of its diversity. my ears have been my best eachers. or can be ordered through Jamey Aebersold. Look for other non-traditional ways to expres yourself. you may need to find something else to supplement it to fill out the selecton of mainstream jazz. Appendix A: Annotated Bibliography My personal experience with other books on jazz improvisation is limited. Try overblowing your saxophone.and head-solos-head forms. and some contemporary pieces such as Michael Brecker's "Nothing Personal". You should experiment as much as possible to find new ays of doing things. It is available i Bb and Eb versions. 10. This was Chuck's first . as well as a few standards. The world does not beat in four-four time. Also. but it is not a rigid one I have already suggested that the manner in which you utilize these rules will shape how you sound. Follwing the rules all the time would lead to predictable and boring music. where you are constantly expected to be creative. There are an infinite number of possible things you can do withyour instrument. Paying no attention whatsoevr to the rules could easily lead to music that was ultimately boring in its randomness. The World's Greatest Fakebook.
and many of the recordings I hear of tunes from this book over the last twenty yers duplicate these errors. instrument specific instruction. Being of questioable origin. and composing/arranging. The orginal Real Book is not legal. but it does contain a lot classic jazz.and advanced general instruction. for the most part. but be forewarned that not all copies will contain exactly the same set of tunes. is illegal. of books on practice methods. and they do not pay royalties to the copyright owners.2. intermediate. The one I have is spiral bound and is printed on standard sized paper. however. The Ultimate Jazz Fakebook. It is only recently that The New Real Book has begun to supplant it. Think Of One. and analysis methods out thre. holistic. It is not nearly as popular as thefirst volume. which is why I wrote this primer. The books below are listed in the following general order: background material. I have no idea where this book came from. 10. so the selection of true jazz stanards is not as broad as it looks at first. Hal Leonard Publishing.fakebook. and your conscience does not bother you too much. and as a result is very hard to read. This book is actually available in several forms. The Real Book Volume 2. Preditably. There are several slightly differet editions. with the Pacific Coast Edition and the Fifth Edition being most common. Herb Wong. The Real Book. This was the standard for many years. it is hard to tell how these differences evolved. I have more to say about the books with which I am more familiar. or what exactly the differences are btween them. theory. none of which are legal as far s I know. and contains lyric. many by the aforementioned composers. whih is too bad. but someone apparently decided Thelonious Mok. . because there are a lot of wonderful compositions here that are not in any other fakebok I've ever seen. and indeed helped define those terms over the last couple of decades. Wayne Shorter. butis printed in very small typeset to fit them all in. it is worth pickng up. general purpose introduction to improviation. and also a vocal version. This book. There are many erors in this book. since the authors did not obtain copyright permission for theselected songs. like the original. If you can find a copy. Spaces Bebop Jazz. It contains mostly songs from the swing. It still makes good companion to his other books. books that I have never seen but that have been recommended t me. and no good. The comments below vary in amount of detail included. which shows that the Real Book has been a primary source of tunes for man professional musicians. It contains a broad selection of standards and azz classics. I have also seen it printed on half size paper and separated into two or thre volumes. if not hundreds. although the music tself is printed small. but it was nt as well received as The New Real Book since it contains even fewer jazz standards. Instructional Books There are dozens. while the ones with one senence summaries are. most people obtain copies by photocopyinga friend's copy. basic. and Horace Silver were shortchanged in the original Real Book and produced this raher sloppily transcribed book that is equally illegal and consists almost exclusively of tunes not i the Real Book. Many of te songs are old Tin Pan Alley songs not commonly played any more. the originl authors do not make any money themselves from this book. There are versions in Bb and Eb. Very few people seem to know of this book. For the most part. I've only seen a handful of them. or from someone who photocopies the books and sells them at a small profit under th counter. It is available in Bb and Eb editions. This has hundreds of tunes in it. bebop and cool eras.
Like this primer. Improvising Jazz. This book is a good introduction to jazz from a listener's perspectie. pointing out how particular echniques or devices he has described are used. This book has been recommended as one of the most useful exts on improvisation. How To Practice Jazz. How To Play Bebop. Since most of the available theory texts do a poor jb of putting their instruction into a broad context. and has you practice them in all keys. Jazz Improvisation. it places an emphasis on historical context. Patterns For Jazz. This book presents a series of patterns based on particular chrds and scales. They write from similar perspectives. The bebop scales are emphasized. David Baker. or in this primer. These are more dvanced versions of their introductory texts. Gary Campbell. The patterns are related to specific chord prgressions. various styles and forms ofjazz compositions and performances. Advanced Improvisation. Listening To Jazz. Jerry Coker et al. This actually consists of three volumes that are mostly dedicated todeveloping the melodic line. This is an intermediate to advanced level text in that it assumes some nowledge of scale theory. Hal Crook. Scales For Jazz Improvisation. Dan Haerle. Creative Jazz Improvisation. Jazz Theory. This is primarily a beginning and intermediate text. Coker and Baker are among the most respected authorities on azz pedagogy. Coker also walks the listener through several famous recordings. It stresses the use of harmonic and rhythmic devices in melodic developmen. nd is not necessarily organized as a howto book. Complete Method For Improvisation. This is an intermediate to advanced text. as the name implies. for that matter. It has may practice tips. the roles of the various instruments. This book is concerned with the theory and terminology used in jazz. This is not so much how-to book as a how-tolearn book. This intermediate to advanced text goes through various . that contain more specific information on improvisation.Jerry Coker. There is discussion of history. Walt Weiskopf and Ramon Ricker. The Jazz Language. It is useful if you wish to see all the scales in one plae. There is a straightforward discussion of common techniques and dvices. Steve Schenker. mostly by David Bakeror Coker himself. but really does not contain that much information that cannot be found in most of the basic or inermediate instructional texts. This is an entire book dedcated to the Coltrane changes. Mark Boling. Jerry Coker. rather than siply presenting the theory. The Jazz Theory Workbook. as well as many pointers to other books. David Baker. Coltrane: A Players Guide To His Harmony. These are probably the most widely ued introductory texts on improvisation. David Baker. Expansions. Jerry Coker. this volume is recommended as a companion to whtever other beginning or intermediate method books you may read. Scott Reeves. The emphasis in both of these texts is on basic cale theory and melodic devices. Jerry Coker. How To Improvise. This book lists most of the scales used by jazz musiciansand writes them out for practice purposes. Dan Haerle.
and it does an even less convincing job of putting its instructon into context. but there is some value in having verything you wanted to know about voicings all laid out in detail in one place. Intermediate. This is an advnced theory text that describes some unique applications of scale theory to improvisation. and Advanced or as a complete set. However. includingsome rather esoteric ones.scales. comping. Fats Navarro. Jazz Improvisation For Keyboard Players. Dan Haerle. The Jazz Style Of . It glosses over the blues. Sonny Rollins. as entertaining as Levine's book. or even on advances that were being made at that time. Most of the information here isduplicated in his book on keyboard improvisation. it really oes not cover as wide a variety of voicings as one might expect for a book dedicated to that . and other modern players.perhaps because they are so complex. Jazz Improvisation. This is a series that include volumes on Miles Davis. voicings. Several transcribed solos and analyses of tem make up the bulk of each volume. and other topics also discussed in this primer. not even listin the blues scale or describing a blues progression except in passing. It assumes familiarity with the basic scales described in this primer. This is an introduction to jazz improvisaion aimed at the musician accustomed to a structured approach to learning. they were considered quite comprehensive. The Jazz Piano Book.It covers scales. A Chromatic Approach To Jazz Harmony And Melody. There is a lot of emphasi on scales and exercises. Jazz/Rock Voicings For The Contemporary Keyboard Player. Dan Haerle. George Russell. David Liebman. This is a series of several volumes published in the 1960's. and Clifford Brown. Jazz Improvisation For The Classical Pianist. and shows how to construct complex chromatic melodic lines using these scales as basis. it does have its shortcomings. It contains many examples of lines from recrded solos by John Coltrane. which makes it much more readable It also contains a very good discussion of Latin jazz. Martin Mann. This is the most complete book I have ever seen for jazz pianists. The process is rather involved. most of the information is really oriented toward the intermediate. Mark Levine. However. Herbie Hancock. this is done in a soewhat haphazard manner. and shows how to construct lines that take advantage of them over specifi chords. John Mehegan. or in Levine's. It is not. like the Coltrane substtutions and quartal harmonies. and involves the use of a slide-rule-like device for associaing scales with chords. It was considered a landmark when it first came out in the 1960's. David Baker. This was my favorite book on jazz piano until Lvine's came along a few years ago. Each volume includes a brief bography and summary of the musical style of the subject. It contains many useful musical examples. It uses sme unusual scales. It is available either as three separate volumes (Basic. although he theories never really gained widespread usage except among a relatively small group of musicians. At th time. Although it claims to flow logically from the beginner level to te advanced level. but it is able o go into greater depth. including information that is of use to basssts and drummers. This is a thorough discussion of meldic chromaticism and what I have called non-tonal music. but they contain very little information on developents since that time. to e. while it does attempt toput some of its content into a broad context of history and playing situations. The Lydian Chromatic Concept Of Tonal Organization For Improvisation. John Coltrane Cannonball Adderly. Also.
as oposed to voicings one might use when soloing. voicing. useful for pianists and arrangers. A. Rinzler.purpose Frank Mantooth.3. Joe Pass and Bill Thrasher. Most attention is given to quartal and other more conteporary voicings. or fretting. This book covers harmony and applications to imprvisation. Handbook Of Chord Substitutions. from pop to funk to reggae to Latin to jazz. Drum Concepts And Techniques. Steve Houghton and Tom Warrington. History And Biography As with the instructional literature. and atempts to explain why the examples sound good. but is familiar only with the five common open string chords used in roc music (C. Frank Malabe and Frank Weiner. Paul Lucas. Ed Thigpen. The Sound Of Brushes. Other common jazz chords are then presented as variations on these pattens. Andy Laverne. such a voicings. Peter Erskine. but its methods can b applied to any instrument. . substitution. Jazz Anecdotes.and scales is included as well. Joe Pass Guitar Style. Garrison Fewell. from trios to goups with four or five horns. G. and construction of melodic lines. It also has more explanatory material than Haerle's book on voicings. including chord construction. Some more advanced material on voice leading. This book explores techniques of brushwork for drummers. as they are not concerned with techniques specific to the guitar. Bill Crow. Arranging And Composing. The emphasis is on arranging for small groups. picking. It includesa CD. Afro-Cuban Rhythms For The Drum Set. quartal harmonies. E. This is fairly broad text that covers some basic chord/scale thory. This book explains the basics of drum set technique. and voice leading. This book is geare more toward group performance than individual improvisation. It is geared toward guitarists. The substitutions are much more advanced than the tritone and Cltrane ii-V types discussed in this primer. David Baker. The emphasis on this book is on voicings one would use when comping. my knowledge of the history and biography literature is also lmited. The following books are listed roughly from the more general to the more specific. discusss various ways to reharmonize songs. chord substitution. polychords. P. chord progression analysis. Jazz Improvisation. and D). Essential Styles For The Drummer And Bassist. Jazz Chording For The Rock/Blues Guitarist. This book describes the various frican and Latin American percussion styles and how to play them on the drum set. 10. This book is a recie of basic patterns for 30 styles of music. Voicings. This book contains short stories told by and about jazz musicians. This book is intended for the musician who kows how to play the guitar. It contains many examples. This book. Jazz Arranging And Performance Practice: A Guide For Small Ensembles.
Valerie Wilmer. This is a relatively technical survey of jazz history. Beneath The Underdog. Nat Hentoff is a noted jazz historian an critic. Each ontains biographies of twenty or so major musicians of the era. This is an in-depth survey of jazz history. . These books by noted historian. Frank Tirro. This book organizes its discussios by decade. A History Of Jazz. Feather wrote this book to try to explain bebop to skeptics back in te days when the music was new and controversial. except in as much as it documents Mingus' sexual history. The Essential Jazz Companion. Forces In Motion. Bird Lives. Valerie Wilmer. However. Richard Hadlock. This book contains interviews with various legends of the 1950's and 190's. The Jazz Life. Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe. Graham Lock. critic. Inside Bebop. Celebrating Bird. Each section can be read independentl. This covers the history of jazz throughout the 20th century. This is a colorful historical perspective by the man who was prhaps the most influential jazz musician ever. Brian Case. Carr has also written biograhies of Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett. Gary Giddens. Early Jazz. Joachim Berendt.Nat Hentoff. There ay be more volumes in this series as well. be forewarned that the language is often crude. Jazz People. Mingus' biography is even cruder than Miles'. Jazz Masters Of The . with a career marked by innovations spanning almost hlf a century. Thomas. Chasin' The Trane. The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond. and describing specific recordings. There are volumes in this series for different decades. To Be Or Not To Bop. These books include stories from his personal experience and anecdotes told to him by othermusicians. This is an anecdotal biography of Charlie Parker. Gunther Schuller. This is Dizzy's autobiography. Lock provides a fascination insight into the music and philosophy of nthony Braxton. Ian Carr. and Chrissie Murray. by instrument. and composer Sculler are considerably more detailed than most. This book contains many photographs. Charles Mingus. Miles. and is less inteesting as a historical document. Dizzy Gillespie. It is highly political in nature. as they are more focused on specific periods. Ross Russell. Leonard Feather. Hear Me Talkin' To Ya. and by major musicians and groups. The Making Of Jazz. James Lincoln Collier. This boo contains short biographies and discographies of hundreds of musicians. The Harmony Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Jazz. J. Jazz Is. The Swing Era. This is an anecdotal biography of John Coltrane. This book concentrates on the avant garde and new music of he subsequent decades.C.discussing many artists and styles. Stan Britt. As Serious As Your Life.
Ross Russell. and progresses to conventional jazz musc theory with applications to playing the bass. substitution. and voice leading. Charles Mingus. Richard Hadlock. Peter Erskine. discusss various ways to reharmonize songs. This book contains interviews with various legends of the 1950's and 190's. Jazz People. including fingering charts and how to read music. Rinzler. Afro-Cuban Rhythms For The Drum Set. useful for pianists and arrangers. There ay be more volumes in this series as well. The emphasis is on arranging for small groups. Gary Giddens. This book is geare more toward group performance than individual improvisation. The Improvisor's Bass Method. as they are more focused on specific periods. P. Early Jazz. and composer Sculler are considerably more detailed than most. A History Of Jazz. This book describes the various frican and Latin American percussion styles and how to play them on the drum set. It is highly political in nature. Steve Houghton and Tom Warrington. The Sound Of Brushes. Jazz Masters Of The . Jazz Arranging And Performance Practice: A Guide For Small Ensembles. Feather wrote this book to try to explain bebop to skeptics back in te days when the music was new and controversial. Valerie Wilmer. from trios to goups with four or five horns. Frank Tirro. It also contains several transcribed bass lines and olos by well-known bass players such as Scott LeFaro. It includesa CD. Valerie Wilmer. Chuck Sher. This book explores techniques of brushwork for drummers. andothers. There are volumes in this series for different decades.James Lincoln Collier. . These books by noted historian. This is an anecdotal biography of Charlie Parker. Gunther Schuller. from pop to funk to reggae to Latin to jazz. critic. Frank Malabe and Frank Weiner. Paul Chambers. The Making Of Jazz. This book explains the basics of drum set technique. Drum Concepts And Techniques. Andy Laverne. Handbook Of Chord Substitutions. Essential Styles For The Drummer And Bassist. Arranging And Composing. Ron Carter. This book concentrates on the avant garde and new music of he subsequent decades. David Baker. This book is a recie of basic patterns for 30 styles of music. As Serious As Your Life. Bird Lives. Ed Thigpen. This is a relatively technical survey of jazz history. Inside Bebop. This book. This is an in-depth survey of jazz history. The Swing Era. Leonard Feather. This book starts with the most basic instruction on playin the bass. Each ontains biographies of twenty or so major musicians of the era. Celebrating. The substitutions are much more advanced than the tritone and Cltrane ii-V types discussed in this primer.
with a brief description of each. and generally useful discography ofall types of jazz available to the general public. and. all of them innovative. including . as are albums fom the 1950's and 1960's such as Brilliant Corners and Monk's Dream. or Jimmy Blanton. Miles Smiles. but it is still the most complete. Free Jazz.11. you should supplement this with something from the classic qurtet like A Love Supreme. try one ofthe early quartet albums like The Shape Of Jazz To Come. To supplement these classic albums. are goodchoices. hese albums include Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue and John Coltrane's Giant Steps. and are listed in roughly chronological order. and when you are feeling braver. Miles Davis can hardly be fairly represented by only Kind Of Blue. Duke Ellington led one of th greatest big bands ever. as they representvery different periods in his career. Many of the specific artsts and albums mentioned there are listed here. accurate. The Louis Armstrong Story.1. Listing Louis Armstrong. Look for recordingsthat feature Cootie Williams. For Thelonious Monk. John Coltrane is not sufficently represented by only Giant Steps. Any of the alums by the Jazz Messengers from the late 1950's or early 1960's. Columbia several volumes. Ihave tried to include mainly albums that I know are readily available. Basic Recommendations I encourage you to check out any album mentioned more than once by name in the text of this primer. Art Blakey was the first musician on this list to record extensively in the LP format. Look for something that cotains recordings made in the 1920's with the Hot Five or the Hot Seven. you should consider some recordings by the remainder of the musiians in the "Top Ten List". Ben Webster. The albums listed re from my personal collection. one of the later albums such as Ascenion. and are considered among the most iportant jazz albums of all time. you may wish to check out something from early and late in her ife. but also made many recordings in small group settings. and Bitches Brew at the very least. there are hundreds of compilations to choose from. These two albums illutrate many of the ideas and techniques discussed in this primer. The quintessential Charles Mingus album is Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus. Sketches Of Spain. which fetures Eric Dolphy. Billie Holiday's voice dveloped and changed over her career. Appendix B: Annotated Discography The best readily available jazz discography of which I am aware is the Penguin Guide To Jazz On Compct Disc. so any album of his you buy today is probably a compilation. you may wish to check out some of thei albums as well. Similarly. if you are feeling adventurous. 11.Ornette also leads a fusion oriented group called Prime Time. especially those that have ben reissued on CD. organized by style. you should also consider The Birt Of The Cool. For Ornette Coleman. and there is a slight European avant garde sant to the ratings. 11.2. The book was edited in the United Kingdom. The following discography is included to supplement the history discussion. the compilations on Blue Note are excellent. which contains listings and reviews of virtually all jazz albums that were in print in the arly 1990's. Johnny Hodges. Most of Louis Armstrong's important recordings were made before the advet of the LP. Charlie Parker's greatest and most influential recordings were as the leader of a quartet or quntet. such as Moanin' or Ugetsu.
Laserlight a sampler including recordings from the 1930's through th 1960's. A Night At Birdland. Columbia featuring Paul Desmond and "Take Five" Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers. Miles Davis. Ugetsu. EmArcy the quintet with Max Roach Horace Silver. Art Blakey. Charls Mingus. and Max Roach Charlie Parker. Cootie Williams. Johnson and Horace ilver Lee Morgan. Columbia this was for a long time the best selling jazz album ever Charlie Parker. featuring Johnny Hodges. Wow. hard bop with J. including recordings with various big bads Duke Ellington. Paul Chambers. Time Out. Concert By The Sea. and urtis Fuller Clifford Brown. with John Coltrane. Applause several of his most well-known compositions Miles Davis. Johnson. Johnson. and Wynton Kelly Miles Davis. The Complete Capitol Recordings. Columbia several volumes. as well as recordings with Earl Hines and others Art Tatum. Capitol solo and trio recordings Bix Beiderbecke. including sessions with Bud Powell. Jazz a sextet with Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh Dave Brubeck. J. Blue Note early boppish recordings Miles Davis. Duke Ellington. The Best Of Thelonious Monk. and Max Roach Bud Powell. The Best Of Horace Silver. Kind Of Blue. Cannonball Aderly. Blue Note featuring Horace Silver and Cliffrd Brown Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers. The Sidewinder.J. Walkin'. and Paul Gonsalves Errol Garner. Milestone featuring Wayne Shorter. Capitol nine piece group with Lee Konitz. and John Lewis Lennie Tristano. Prestige one of Miles' favorite albums. The Amazing Bud Powell. Blue Note trio and small group recordings with Fats Navarro and onny Rollins Thelonious Monk. The Complete Birth Of The Cool. Freddie Hubbard. Study In Brown. J. Blue Note hard bop Miles Davis. Bill Evans. Bix Beiderbecke. Complete Concert 1964. Philly Joe Jones Miles Davis. Hipsville/Rhino several volumes.J. Fts Navarro. Moanin'. Bebop & Bird.Gerry Mulligan. Debut/OJC a famous live concert with Dizzy Gillespie.records with the HotFive and the Hot Seven. Bud Powell. Red Garland. Columbia the forerunner to the second great . Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet.J. Prestige the first great quintet with John Coltrae. Ben Webster. Blue Note featuring Lee Morgan and Bobby Timmons Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers. The Quintet. Columbia the quintessential modal album.
Columbia with the Gil Evans Orchestra John Coltrane. Columbia his long-lived quartet with Charlie Rouse Bill Evans. Columbia supposedly Mingus' favorite of his own albums. Riverside with John Coltrane. Riverside an early hard boppish recording Sonny Rollins. Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Prestige one of Coltrane's favorites of his early albums. Mingus Ah Um. Monk's Dream. playing standards Miles Davis. Ron Carter. Blue Note influential avant garde recording . A Love Supreme. Inner Space. RCA with Jim Hall Chick Corea. Monk's Music. and Tony Williams Wayne Shorter. Herbie Hancock. and others Thelonious Monk. Ron arter. Herbie Hancock. live recording from the trio with Scott LeFaro and Paul Motian Wes Montgomery. Full House. Columbia live recording with Freddie Hubbard. Blue Note some of his best compositions. with Red Garlan and Philly Jo Jones John Coltrane. Giant Steps. and avant garde compositions with FreddieHubbard. Waltz For Debby. Maiden Voyage. Riverside available as a combined set. Eric Dolphy At The Five Spot. at its peak Miles Davis. Speak No Evil. Impulse the crowning modal achievement of the quartet Charles Mingus. Atlantic an album of mostly straightahead jazz with Woody Shaw Herbie Hancock. non-tonal. Miles Smiles. Prestige one of his most popular albums Sonny Rollins. Out To Lunch. Soul Trane. Coleman Hawkins. with Freddie Hubbard and Herbe Hancock VSOP. My Favorite Things. Atlantic the album that established Coltrane as one of the most importan improvisers of his day John Coltrane. Atlantic the forerunner to his long lived quartet with McCoy Tyne and Elvin Jones John Coltrane.quintet. Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus. Let My Children Hear Music. Columbia the second great quintet with Wayne Shorter. Saxophone Colossus. The Bridge. Sunday At The Village Vanguard. Candid the classic album with Eric Dolphy Charles Mingus. Columbia contains his most well-known compositions Charles Mingus. and Tony Williams Eric Dolphy. Prestige with Booker Little and Mal Waldron Eric Dolphy. Wayne Shorter. The Quintet. Sketches Of Spain. Blue Note modal. with GeorgeColeman. is music arranged for a large ensemble Thelonious Monk.
Atlantic a collective free improvisation with Don Cherry. The Max Roach Trio Featuring The Legendary Hassan. Impulse live concert. Interstellar Space. Polydor Latin oriented fusion with Stanley Clrke and vocalist Flora Purim Pat Metheny. Elektra Musician tight modern fusion with Michael Brecker Miles Davis. Impulse free duets with Rashied Ali John Coltrane. Point Of Departure. and is highly recommended Ornette Coleman. including some standards. Modern Times. but more free Cecil Taylor. Columbia pop oriented fusion with Wayne Shorter. Ascension. ECM esoteric fusion with Jaco Pastorius Steps Ahead. You're Under Arrest. half of this album is the Archie Shepp qurtet John Coltrane. Freedom avant garde Pharoah Sanders. Columbia early. The Shape Of Jazz To Come. Heavy Weather. Atlantic one of his best freebop quartet albums Ornette Coleman. Unit Core free group improvisation Sun Ra. Witches & Devils. Spring Of Two Blue J's. Light As A Feather. and Eric Dolphy John Coltrane. Soul Note free solo piano Cecil Taylor. relatively free fusion with Chick Corea. Headhunters. Joe Zawinul. but ith Taylor's sense of harmonic freedom Cecil Taylor. Blue Note relatively straightahead music. Blue Note with Eric Dolphy and Joe Henderson Max Roach. Bitches Brew. Polydor heavy rock oriented fusion with John McLaughlin Herbie Hancock. Freddie Hubbar.Andrew Hill. Bright Size Life. Columbia funkier modern fusion Ornette Coleman and Prime Time. For Olim. Inner Mounting Flame. Cecil Taylor. New Thing At Newport. Atlantic Hassan Ibn Ali is a little knwn pianist who combines aspects of Thelonious Monk. this is his only kown recording. Live. and Don Pullen. Joe Zawinul. Free Jazz. Columbia funk oriented fusion Weather Report. Jazz Advance. Out There A Minute. Theresa similar in style to Coltrane's A Love Supreme. Emergency. Portrait free modern fusion . Restless/BlastFirst avant garde big band Miles Davis. Columbia heavy rock oriented fusion with John McLaughlin Tony Williams' Lifetime. Virgin Beauty. Impulse free large ensemble improvisation Albert Ayler. Joh McLaughlin Mahavishnu Orchestra. Jaco Patorius Chick Corea and Return To Forever.
Hugh Ragin. Gary Thomas. ECM post modern jazz. and Jeff Watts Wynton Marsalis. Nice Guys. Don't Lose Control. Kevin Eubanks. Etudes. JMT electric M-Base Cassandra Wilson. Fred Frith. Floater. Elektra Nonesuch a capella (unaccompanied) saxophone qurtet with David Murray David Murray. Motherland Pulse. Soul Note blues oriented post modern jazz Improvised Music New York 1981. JMT vocal and electric M-Base with Steve Coleman. Columbia adventurous neoclassic quintet with Branford Marsalis. BVHaast avant garde big band Don Pullen / George Adams Quartet. Dances And Ballads. and freebop with Lester Bowieand Roscoe Mitchell World Saxophone Quartet. Michael Brecker. Crazy People Music. Pace Yourself. and arvin "Smitty" Smith Tim Berne. and Gre Osby Dave Holland. Columbia standards with rhythmic twists. featuring Marcus Rberts Branford Marsalis. Extensions. Castles Of Ghana. Drop Kick.Art Ensemble Of Chicago. Mysteries. Soul Note modern acoustic post bop . ECM mostly acoustic modern quartet with Steve Coleman. JMT acoustic M-Base Steve Coleman. Impulse quartet with Dewey Redman doing relatively free post bop with worl music influences Wynton Marsalis. Think Of One. world music. Black Saint octet with Hugh Ragin on trumpet Anthony Braxton. Marsalis Standard Time. Savoy harmonically liberated trio doing compositions by Paul and Carla Bley as wll as Ornette Coleman Abdullah Ibrahim. Enja solo piano with South African influences Keith Jarrett. Paul Motian.and Ray Anderson John Carter. Jump World. New Life. Portrait New Age pioneers Paul Bley. JMT frenetic post modern jazz Michael Brecker. Impulse modern acoustic and electric post bop Charlie Haden. Columbia adventurous neoclassic quartet with Kenny Kirkland ad Jeff Watts Steve Coleman. and Jhn Zorn Oregon. The Kold Kage. Novus electric M-Base Gary Thomas. Sonny Sharrock. Geri Allen. African Dawn. Composition 98. KennyKirkland. hat ART a post modern suite featuring Marilyn Crispell. Bob's Gallery. 45th Parallel. MU energy music with Derek Bailey. Gramavision a suite of post modern compositions Willem Breuker.
swing Black Orpheus Latin Blue Bossa Latin Blue In Green ballad. Novus modern acoustic post bop Phil Woods. modal Freedom Jazz Dance non-tonal Four swing Giant Steps swing The Girl From Ipanema Latin . swing Bluesette 3/4. Live At Sweet Basil. swing Body And Soul ballad. DIW post modern blues with Don Pullen on organ 12. swing Blue Train blues. Heaven. modal All Of Me standard All The Things You Are standard Anthropology rhythm changes. Blackhawk post bop with Tom Harrell Gonzalo Rubalcaba. modal Freddie Freeloader blues. swing Ceora Latin Cherokee swing Confirmation swing Darn That Dream ballad. Shakill's Warrior. non-tonal Donna Lee swing Don't Get Around Much Anymore swing E. Appendix C: Jazz Standards The following tunes are among those most commonly played by jazz musicians. post bop Don Pullen. blues. You should try to become familiar with as many of these tunes as possible. Most of the compositions are by jazz musician. Discovery. Blue Note post modern with world music and blues influences David Murray. swing Au Privave blues. swing Autumn Leaves standard Beautiful Love standard Beauty And The Beast rock Billie's Bounce blues. Elektra Nonesuch post modern. standard Desafinado Latin Dolphin Dance modal. Blue Note post bop with Cuban influences Don Byron. modal Blue Monk blues. swing Caravan Latin. standard C Jam Blues blues. Tuskegee Experiments. All Blues blues. swing Blues For Alice blues. except for the ones marked "standard".S. Kele Mou Bana.P non-tonal A Foggy Day standard Footprints 3/4. I have made an attempt t categorize them based on how they are usually played.Steve Lacy. Most of them can be foundin the Real Book or in Chuck Sher's books.
swing In Walked Bud swing Joy Spring swing Just Friends standard Killer Joe swing Lady Bird swing Lullaby Of Birdland swing Mr. Pork Pie Hat ballad. modal A Night In Tunisia Latin. No Chaser blues. modal Take The "A" Train swing There Is No Greater Love standard There Will Never be Another You standard Up Jumped Spring 3/4. swing St. swing. swing So What modal Solar swing Some Day My Prince Will Come 3/4. swing Nostalgia In Times Square swing Now's The Time blues. blues. Thomas Latin Satin Doll swing Scrapple From The Apple swing The Sidewinder blues. swing Maiden Voyage modal Mercy. swing Sugar swing Summertime standard Take Five 5/4. modal. Mercy. swing Have You Met Miss Jones standard I Mean You swing I Remember Clifford ballad. You Needn't swing When I Fall In Love ballad. swing Waltz For Debby 3/4. standard Song For My Father Latin Speak No Evil modal. standard Moment's Notice swing My Favorite Things 3/4. swing Wave Latin Well. standard My Romance standard Naima ballad.C. Mercy rock Misty ballad.Goodbye. standard My Funny Valentine ballad. P. swing Oleo rhythm changes. swing I Thought About You standard If I Were A Bell standard Impressions modal In A Sentimental Mood ballad. swing Nica's Dream Latin. non-tonal Stella By Starlight standard Stolen Moments blues. modal Straight. swing On Green Dolphin Street Latin. standard Yardbird Suite swing . standard Ornithology swing Recorda Me Latin Red Clay rock Round Midnight ballad.
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