Playing Changes Articles

The Playing Changes series presents effective strategies for internalizing harmony and playing creative solos over jazz standards. If you are overwhelmed by jumbles of scales, chord symbols, licks, and patterns, these articles will help you cut through the noise. (See my article, “Where Jazz Theory Got it Wrong”).

If you are brand new to jazz, I recommend starting here to build a rhythmic and melodic foundation before diving into harmony.

This series presents and expands on concepts from my book, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony published by CMA Press.

The Living Jazz Tradition

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Part 1: Thinking in Numbers

Part 2: Intro to Tonal Harmony

Part 3: Inversions and Voice Leading

Part 4: Primary Chords

Part 5: More Diatonic Harmony

Part 6: Color Tones

Part 7: Learning Tunes Functionally

Part 8: Secondary Dominants