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Playing Changes Part 9: Dominant Seventh Cycles

POSTED ON July 14, 2016   |   Post A Comment

The Playing Changes series presents and expands on concepts from my book, The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony (which is on sale until Friday, June 15th on Amazon).

Index of Playing Changes articles

Dominant Seventh Cycles

The bridge of George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” is a chain of dominant chords that moves around the circle of fifths:

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Playing Changes Part 8: Secondary Dominants

POSTED ON June 02, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

Index of Playing Changes articles

Secondary Dominants

Hearing, internalizing, and improvising over secondary dominant harmony is essential for playing jazz repertoire from the 1920s through the 1950s.

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Playing Changes Part 7: Learning Tunes Functionally

POSTED ON May 12, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

Index of Playing Changes articles

The first article in the Playing Changes series helped you visualize and hear melodies by thinking in scale degrees. This concept also applies to hearing tonal harmony.

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Playing Changes Part 6: Color Tones

POSTED ON April 30, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

Index of Playing Changes articles

Color tones are pitches added to a chord that change the sonority, but not the function.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Pacheco Photography (more…)

Playing Changes Part 5: More Diatonic Harmony

POSTED ON April 18, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

Index of Playing Changes articles

ii – V7 – I Progression

Diatonic harmony is the foundation of jazz standards through the bebop era. One of the most common chord progressions is jazz is ii–V–I.

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Playing Changes Part 4: Primary Chords

POSTED ON March 17, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

Index of Playing Changes articles

Primary Chords

Countless folk, gospel, classical, blues, and country songs are based on primary chords: I, IV, and V.

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Playing Changes Part 3: Inversions and Voice Leading

POSTED ON February 12, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

Index of Playing Changes articles

Voice leading is how individual parts move as the harmony changes. Having a mastery of voice leading is the key to playing smooth melodies through chord changes.

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Playing Changes Part 2: Intro to Tonal Harmony

POSTED ON February 06, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

Index of Playing Changes articles

Tonal Harmony

Jazz standards from the New Orleans, swing, and bebop eras are based on a system of chords and scales known as tonal harmony. This system originated in European classical music from the common practice period—roughly 1600 to 1900. Tonal harmony serves as a foundation for many styles of music, including pop, rock, folk, blues, country, and gospel.

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Playing Changes Part 1: Thinking in Numbers

POSTED ON January 23, 2016   |   Post A Comment

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.

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Where Jazz Theory Got It Wrong

POSTED ON October 23, 2015   |   26 Comments

The status quo of jazz education has transformed songbook standards into bizarre jumbles of church modes for decades. I want to give you an overview of the theory problem and how you can have greater success playing standard jazz repertoire.

Chord Scale Mess (more…)

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