The Playing Changes series presents and expands on concepts from my book, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony published by CMA Press.
Countless folk, gospel, classical, blues, and country songs are based on primary chords: I, IV, and V.
“Amazing Grace” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” are two familiar songs harmonized with primary chords:
Here are simple piano voicings for the I, IV, and V7 chords:
“Auld Lang Sine” Traditional (melody begins on scale degree five)
“Hey Jude” (verse) by The Beatles, (melody begins on scale degree five)
“Oh! Susanna” by Stephen Foster (melody begins on scale degree one)
“On Top of Old Smokey” Traditional (melody begins on scale degree one)
“This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie (melody begins on scale degree one)
I Harmonizes scale degrees one, three, and five.
IV Harmonizes scale degrees one, four, and six.
V7 Harmonizes scale degrees two, four, five, and seven.
Next in the series is “Playing Changes Part 5: More Diatonic Harmony.”
Index of Playing Changes Articles
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