Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Culture Forum

Culture Forum

  1. Standard member ivan2908
    SelfProclaimedTitler
    28 Feb '08 16:36 / 2 edits
    Ok, I made this post once in general forum and I will do it again. How do I learn jazz harmony and patterns ? Is there any book or software.. I do not know all subvariations of jazz I want to learn its harmony well so I can make my own variations of popular songs or even to be able to put some fancy jazz passage in the middle of Bach preludium or Nirvana song or in Piazzolla music, EVERYWHERE.

    I am pretty good at classic harmony (I IV V VI IV V I etc. ), I have almost auditive variation of photographic memory ( do not know the name really), and perfect pitch. The only problem is that I do not know where to start and how. I got many helpful replies in the last thread but most of them were about getting some instructor. I do not have anyone to refer in my real life about jazz learning.

    So I want to become familiar with scales, with harmony, connecting the harmonies in the right why etc.

    I do not know difference between jazz or blues scales too. I know only C Eb F F sharp G Bb blues scale and that is all

    How do I improve ? My jazz rating is like 0 now, I want to be at least 2000 rated jazz player

    So I want to learn some theory and then put it in practice.

    HELP

    Sorry for the smilies, way too much of them
  2. Standard member neonpeon41
    The Conductor
    28 Feb '08 19:41
    www.jazzbooks.com

    Easy to advanced play-a-long CD's and instructions. You get a professional rhythm section playing with you, great standards to play along with, and simple instructions that work.

    Jamey Aebersold is one of the world's leading authorities on jazz improvisation education. I highly recommend his camps in the summer.
  3. Standard member ivan2908
    SelfProclaimedTitler
    28 Feb '08 20:03 / 3 edits
    Well, thank you very much for that link ! I find it extremely helpful.


    EDIT : what books should I purchase from there, there is a ton of books on this site..? I am especially interested in improvisational patterns and harmony theory.. I didn't find that CD you were talking about..

    BLUES improvisation patterns by David Baker looks very interesting. But I am pretty new to the subject so I might be wrong. Any reccomendations ?

    Thanks in advance.
  4. Standard member neonpeon41
    The Conductor
    28 Feb '08 20:57
    Look under "Aebersold Play-a-Longs" on the left. I recommend starting with "Maiden Voyage" (Vol. 54). Vol. 70 "Killer Joe" is also a good one to start with. There's a ii-V-vii book that's nothing but patterns and a Dominant 7 workbook that's pretty good. Those last two aren't full of tunes to play, though.

    The most important thing on this site is free. Click on "Free Jazz" at the top and click on "Jazz Handbook". I grabbed as many of these at his camp as I could for my students and am glad to see you can download them as a PDF. Invaluable instruction on how to practice improvisation.

    Each book comes with a CD to play along with. I actually heard a street performer in Chicago playing out of the "Maiden Voyage" book one summer with a CD player on one side and his case on the other.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

    np
  5. Standard member neonpeon41
    The Conductor
    28 Feb '08 21:03
    This website is also a great place to get jazz CD's at great prices. I find listening helps learn the style for starting improvisors.

    I forgot to mention, it doesn't matter what instrument you play, each book has parts for instruments in every key (except F, ) There are books on just about every jazz legend, so pick one of your favorites and play along.

    np
  6. Standard member ivan2908
    SelfProclaimedTitler
    28 Feb '08 21:27
    Originally posted by neonpeon41
    Look under "Aebersold Play-a-Longs" on the left. I recommend starting with "Maiden Voyage" (Vol. 54). Vol. 70 "Killer Joe" is also a good one to start with. There's a ii-V-vii book that's nothing but patterns and a Dominant 7 workbook that's pretty good. Those last two aren't full of tunes to play, though.

    The most important thing on this site is f ...[text shortened]... yer on one side and his case on the other.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

    np
    Wow. That is what exactly what I was hoping to find for months. Everything became clear now. Thank you very much for your links and advices and taking your time to help !
  7. 28 Feb '08 23:22
    Originally posted by ivan2908
    Ok, I made this post once in general forum and I will do it again. How do I learn jazz harmony and patterns ? Is there any book or software.. I do not know all subvariations of jazz I want to learn its harmony well so I can make my own variations of popular songs or even to be able to put some fancy jazz passage in the middle of Bach preludium or Nirvana so ...[text shortened]... me theory and then put it in practice.

    HELP

    Sorry for the smilies, way too much of them
    Join a city volunteer jazz band, if you have them.

    Also, listen to jazz. Very important: can't play jazz if you don't know what you're playing.
  8. 28 Feb '08 23:50
    Originally posted by neonpeon41
    This website is also a great place to get jazz CD's at great prices. I find listening helps learn the style for starting improvisors.

    I forgot to mention, it doesn't matter what instrument you play, each book has parts for instruments in every key (except F, ) There are books on just about every jazz legend, so pick one of your favorites and play along.

    np
    I know this is off-topic but are there many great jazz French Horn players besides Tom Varner currently playing? I really like Varner and would be interested in hearing others.
  9. Standard member neonpeon41
    The Conductor
    29 Feb '08 00:22
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    I know this is off-topic but are there many great jazz French Horn players besides Tom Varner currently playing? I really like Varner and would be interested in hearing others.
    I am unaware of any. Never heard of Tom Varner, although I'd be open to hearing some. All horn players I know are classical guys.

    np
  10. Standard member Hindstein
    Finish Him!!!
    29 Feb '08 00:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by ivan2908
    Ok, I made this post once in general forum and I will do it again. How do I learn jazz harmony and patterns ? Is there any book or software.. I do not know all subvariations of jazz I want to learn its harmony well so I can make my own variations of popular songs or even to be able to put some fancy jazz passage in the middle of Bach preludium or Nirvana so ...[text shortened]... me theory and then put it in practice.

    HELP

    Sorry for the smilies, way too much of them
    The scale that you quoted is pretty much the standard scale that a lot of traditional improvisation is built up from (a.k.a the Blues scale), but many people believe that trying to learn about Jazz, improvisation and harmony from this viewpoint is a little restrictive.

    I would certainly echo the advice above and sing the praises of Jamey Aebersold and his excellent CDs - volume 24 (major and minor scales) is an absolute must for bridging the gap between classical and jazz scalic patterns.

    If you are interested in learning about how to play Jazz music and the styles and genres that go with it, I can recommend a couple of books that I have used and are brilliant - Reading Key Jazz Rhythms by Fred Lipsius, and Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero. These are published by Advance Music, and are perfect examples of modern jazz designed for solo instrumentalists to learn from.

    However, if you are really interested in taking the first steps in improvisation, you should consider learning about rhythm improvisation first James Rae has some good books here - albeit in a mainly child friendly manner, Jazz Zone is excellent, this leads nicely onto importance of the pentatonic scale (especially the minor pentatonic) which if you consider C minor pentatonic - C Eb F G Bb - it is only one note short of that blues scale you quoted and so is it easy to see the similarities and so the evolution of the scale too.

    The next step it to then learn about the modal scales - think of C major scale but start from a different note. Each starting note has a different name and a particular sound - quite unlike those of the major and minor scale. Start on D (DEFGABCD) and this is the Dorian mode, Start on F (FGABCDEF) is the Lydian mode, G is the Mixolydian mode and so on. These 3 modes are the most used in Jazz, especially the Mixolydian mode - GABCDEFG - note the similarites to G amjor, but with a flattened 7th note, F natural - again like in the blues scale.

    Getting used to using these modes will add a certain difference to the melodies that make them sound more like Jazz - and infact, a lot of musicians will even go further to mix up the modes by starting with One scale, and finishing with another (eg C D Eb F G A Bb C is a C scale, but starting with the Dorian mode and finishing with the Mixolydian mode) - confused yet? It can be quite baffling, but with diligent practice and focus on one area at a time, you will see results and will get a more rounded improvisation compared to sticking to the blues scale alone.

    As for harmony, I would recommend studying chord types as a suitable addition first - if you can learn what makes up a C13 chord, or Gmaj7b5 then this will improve your knowledge of which melodic notes fit with the harmony and why other ones don't (even if they fit the scales you know!)

    Finally, and I think it was mentioned earlier, the best way to learn is to listen. Study the masters and try to learn what they are playing and why it works - the more you listen to Jazz and study the lines they use, you can hear how things work and it can influence your style.

    Good luck!


    (What a long post)
  11. 29 Feb '08 01:19 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by neonpeon41
    I am unaware of any. Never heard of Tom Varner, although I'd be open to hearing some. All horn players I know are classical guys.

    np
    I poked around a bit, but couldn't find any good free MP3s available. He generally works somewhere between modern jazz and the avant-garde. I can recommend his "Second Communion" on Omnitone. He gives himself quite a bit of room to stretch out there. If you decide to check it out, let us know what you think.

    Here's his website:
    http://www.tomvarnermusic.com/
    Be sure to check out the 'Q&A' section where he answers questions from a couple of horn players. By the way, he recommends the Aebersold series there as well.
  12. Subscriber gregsflat
    William Penn's gaze
    29 Feb '08 06:36 / 1 edit
    The next step it to then learn about the modal scales - think of C major scale but start from a different note. Each starting note has a different name and a particular sound - quite unlike those of the major and minor scale. Start on D (DEFGABCD) and this is the Dorian mode, Start on F (FGABCDEF) is the Lydian mode, G is the Mixolydian mode and so on. These 3 modes are the most used in Jazz, es ...[text shortened]... he similarites to G amjor, but with a flattened 7th note, F natural - again like in the blues scale.
    If your a jazz player, why do you insist on calling a dominant scale "Mixolydian". Do you call D7, A7, B7 chords Bmixolydian7, Amixolydian7,? no Because the word 'dominant" is implied.
    Why don't you leave Mixolydian back with Aristotle and the Greeks who first used it.
    Do you call "major" Ionian? no Do you call "natural minor" Aolian? no
    So please, stop using mixolydian instead of "dominant"and maybe you'll take some of the mystery out of the music.

    As far as Lydian is concerned, If you want to hear it, just flat the 5th on any Major 7 chord.
    Or just play all your tunes a P4th progression higher than written, keep the melody in the original key and you'll sound like George Russell.
    I think of lydian as a redundant fingering of phrygian, which starts of the first finger instead of the 2nd finger on the guitar, but that's a guitar thing. Phrygian is more useful anyway, along with dorian and natural minor, all three have the pentatonic minor blues.
  13. Standard member Hindstein
    Finish Him!!!
    29 Feb '08 20:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by gregsflat
    If your a jazz player, why do you insist on calling a dominant scale "Mixolydian". Do you call D7, A7, B7 chords Bmixolydian7, Amixolydian7,? no Because the word 'dominant" is implied.
    Why don't you leave Mixolydian back with Aristotle and the Greeks who first used it.
    Do you call "major" Ionian? no Do you call "natural minor" Aolian? no
    So please, s ...[text shortened]... ian instead of "dominant"and maybe you'll take some of the mystery out of the music.
    Terminology is a funny thing. The dominant 7th and the mixolydian scale are the same thing. Providing the person involved (in this case ivan2908) understands what is meant, what difference does it make which of the 2 terms is used?

    However, as both a teacher and a jazz musician, I decided to write my response to Ivan in a way that causes the least confusion. Ivan talks in his post from a mainly classical music background, and in classical music the term "dominant" has more weight when referring to Chordal structure, especially when modulating into dominant keys (such as Sonata form and the like - C major [tonic] modulating into G major [dominant] for example). As such, classical musicians may not necessarily relate the term "dominant" to having a flattened 7th note - where as the term mixolydian mode has no such confusion.

    As Ivan stated his strengths of classical harmony (I II V etc) I figured that using the modal terms was more appropriate. Any good teacher will tell you that to instruct or guide anyone then you need to use language that the listener understands best.

    Perhaps you would like to consider the original poster's needs before making a quick judgement based on your own point of view.
  14. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    29 Feb '08 21:35
    Originally posted by ivan2908
    Ok, I made this post once in general forum and I will do it again. How do I learn jazz harmony and patterns ? Is there any book or software.. I do not know all subvariations of jazz I want to learn its harmony well so I can make my own variations of popular songs or even to be able to put some fancy jazz passage in the middle of Bach preludium or Nirvana so ...[text shortened]... me theory and then put it in practice.

    HELP

    Sorry for the smilies, way too much of them
    Good suggestions given above. I would add that you should get a copy of "The Real Book", a fakebook with basic (and sometimes wrong ) melodies and chords for about 300+ standards. Play the heck out of it. If you have a photographic memory and perfect pitch, learn a few famous solos note-for-note. Copy them. Then change them. You'll be a muthaf$!#@ in no time.

    The Charlie Parker Omnibook is another classic resource, about 60 Charlie Parker solos transcribed note-for-note. Parker was one of the originators of the bop style, and his melodicism and mastery of harmony are staggering.
  15. Subscriber gregsflat
    William Penn's gaze
    01 Mar '08 04:37 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Hindstein
    Terminology is a funny thing. The dominant 7th and the mixolydian scale are the same thing. Providing the person involved (in this case ivan2908) understands what is meant, what difference does it make which of the 2 terms is used?

    and real book guy, half the changes are wrong in that book.

    However, as both a teacher and a jazz musician, I decide ...[text shortened]... t c he original poster's needs before making a quick judgement based on your own point of view.
    Dominant has had the b7 since figured bass. Anything that Modulates (Changes Key) from C to G, you can't consider the G as dominant anymore. Once it's resolved its the new I chord or tonic. Dominant is a very important concept in jazz, no matter what the key of the song, you have to be able to flow with the "changes", no matter where the V7 exists. The point that mixolydian and dominant are the same is exactly what I'm talking about, why use the ancient term?
    The student used the roman numerals incorrectly. It's not I II III IV, it's I ii iii IV
    So how can you expect them to get I biii7 bIV7 ii7 V7