Tag Archives: music theory

Jazz Blues Analysis – The Variations you need to know

The 12 bar Blues is probably the most common song structure or chord progression in music! In this video I am going to analyze some of the common variations of the Jazz Blues and cover what you need to know to make have a strong chord progression adn chord substitution vocabulary for playing over a jazz blues.

I am going to talk about how the jazz blues can contain IVm progressions, #IV dim chords and also some other parallel II V options.

Hope you like it!

0:00 Intro – Jazz Blues – the most common progression in Western Music

0:34 Example: The Basic Jazz Blues form

0:57 The Main Structure and parts of the form

1:35 Analysis of the harmony

2:20 A bit of history of the Blues Harmony since Charlie Parker

3:50 The options for altered dominants and Tritone II V’s in various places

4:07 Examples of possible cadence to IV

5:25 It’s all about the subdominant!

5:40 #IV dim chord

5:50 Example: Blues with a #IV dim chord in bar 6

6:18 Scale choices for the #IV in the blues

7:07 Blues themes with #IV in the progression

7:20 #IV bonus: The Blue note!

9:02 The IVm chord

9:34 Scale options for IVm or bVII 10:24 IV in Blues themes

11:21 Cadence to II chord

11:56 the chromatic II V chain

12:22 example with the Chromatic II V’s

12:45 How to deal with the parallel motion in a solo

14:21 Tritone sub for the II chord

15:00 Do you know any great Blues Progression harmonizations?

17:00 Like the video? Then check out my Patreon page!

5 Types of Chord Progressions You Need To Recognize and Be Able To Play – Harmonic Analysis

Analyzing Chord progressions is something we all do as Jazz Guitar players. We need to understand Jazz Harmony in order to play good solos and to improve our Jazz Comping.

Here’s what most people seem to get wrong: Understanding the chords in the context of the song and not just looking at what type of chord it is.

The way we apply Music Theory to our harmonic analysis of a song decides how well we understand the chord progression and helps us play better solos.

In this video I will go over 5 types of progressions that if you can use to better understand the functional harmony that you find in a jazz standard.

 

0:02 What we use Music Theory for in jazz

0:23 The II V I problem

1:21 What I want from Music Theory

2:08 Examples of why you want to think beyond “it’s a II V I”

2:13 The III VI7 II V I

2:34 Cmaj7 and Em7 both Tonic

3:26 Why Modes fail in Jazz: Phrygian

3:46 IV IVm I and IV bVII I

4:25 Why group in functions?

4:53 V I and II V I progressions

5:36 “Turnaround” the II V I

6:19 Secondary Dom7th and Cadences

8:15 IVm progressions

9:01 Common IVm chords

9:28 The two uses of IVm chords

10:56 The #IV Progressions – The basics

11:31 How #IV progressions are treated in Jazz

11:58 The #IV resolving to a Tonic

13:29 The #IV resolving to IV or IVm

14:47 No Modulations?

15:09 Modulations!

16:03 Examples of songs that modulate

17:10 The point of this way of thinking

How to Come up with New solo ideas – Rethink the stuff you already know

It can be difficult to come up with new ideas for your solos, but this video talks about how you can use all of the diatonic triads, arpeggios, pentatonic scales etc and find the right ones to the chord you are playing over. Not only playing just with the arpeggio, but also how to mix it with the other material.

The video has a lot of examples and explanations and also a lot of philosphy on playing over changes, superimposing arpeggios and other things like developing a personal sound and taste.

 

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0:49 The Maj7 and the F Major Scale

1:10 What I will check out

1:48 The Fmaj7 chord and diatonic arpeggios

2.55 Solo using Fmaj7 arpeggio

3:12 How you solo with an arpeggio when learning new ideas

3:53 Arpeggio from the 3rd

4:18 Solo using Am7 Arpeggio 

4:43 Why we don’t really want the Bb in there and C7 doesn’t work

5:46 A 3rd below: Dm7

5:56 Solo using Dm7 Arpeggio

6:31 Arpeggios against another root note and the having an overview of the scale

8:20 Solo using F major triad 9:29 Am triad solo

9:51 Thoughts on making melodies with Am triad vs Fmaj7

11:01 Solo using C major triad 11:23 C major triad and not having the 3rd in the arpeggio.

12:14 Solo using D minor triad

12:32 Finding associations with the different arpeggios and the sound they make

13:48 Quartal Harmony

15:19 Solo using Quartal Arp from G

15:34 DIfferent fingerings and mixing it with other things

16:27 Solo using Quartal Arp from A

16:53 Connecting to the chord, using chord tones

17:28 Solo using Quartal Arp from D

17:46 Emphasizing the intervals in the arpeggio

18:32 Solo using Quartal Arp from E

18:53 Different patterns of the Arpeggio

19:37Other options like spread voicing, drop2 and inversions..

20:14 Pentatonics

20:27 Solo using Dm Pentatonic

20:47 Choosing pentatonic scales for a chord

21:48 Solo using Am Pentatonic

22:13 The “other”Pentatonic scales lesson series

22:48 Shell Voicings – Finding Useable

24:10 Solo using Fmaj7 Shell Voicing

24:51 Solo using Am7 Shell Voicing

25:05 Ways to practice shell voicings in postition and along the neck

26:26 Solo using Dm7 Shell Voicing

27:38 Solo using Em7b5 Shell Voicing

27:55 Compensating for the lack of chord tones in the arpeggio

28:44 What am I trying to do when practicing with these arpeggios

29:26 Sus4 triads and Mark Turner

30:03 Finding useable Sus4 triads

30:38 Difference between Sus4 and Quartal Harmony?

32:02 Solo using Gsus4 triads

32:33 Solo using Asus4 triads 32.49 The sound of the sus4 triad

33:35 Solo using Csus4 triads

33:51 Using the resolution of the sus chord in the melody as well.

34:42 Solo using Dsus4 triads

35:05 Sus4 triads as voicings.

35:33 Using this approach to develop and understand your own taste

37:38 Outro

 

25 Reharmonizations of a Turnaround – Discover New Modern Jazz Chord Progressions

A great way to write better chord progressions is to check out reharmonization techniques and chord substitution. You can build your jazz theory or jazz harmony vocabulary like your solo vocabulary.

In this video I am going to take a I VI II V and go over 30 different ways of playing this progression. Some of the very common ones and also a lot that are more advanced or modern. Hopefully you can use the chord progressions to get some new ideas and techniques for reharmonization or for your own compositions!

0:00 Writing better chord progressions
1:24 The basic turnaround and some variations
4:22 The I I7 IV V
5:34 The Radiohead turnaround
6:09 #IVdim in the standard turnaround
7:12 The Ladybird Turnaround
8:43 Getting less functional and more substitutions
9:55 Reinterpreting other chords in the progression
11:04 The “Inner Urge” idea
11:49 Major 3rd tonalities
12:23 #IV instead of the V
14:42 Same interval in the root movement
16:31 More Poppy sound without dom7th chords
16:45 Same melody note
17:42 IVm type chords instead of V
19:09 Upper-structure resolving passing chords
19:54 How to use the vamps and the exercises

Reharmonization – Making Songs Fresh & Personal by Reharmonizing

Reharmonization is a great tool to add some interesting sounds or surprises to you Jazz Standards or Covers. This video will take the jazz standard Body and Soul, analyze the harmony of the A part and go over some of the more subtle but effective things you can do with reharmonizing the chords.

The video covers different reharmonization techniques and offers some options for an arrangement of this jazz ballad.

 

 

3 Awesome Ways from Music Theory to Music

In this video I will go over 3 Music Theory Ideas that I use all the time in my own playing!

Why learn Music Theory?

Learning music theory is of course a part of learning guitar. Jazz Guitar especially is often considered theory heavy, but in fact you can really easily start using some of your theory to make music. If you apply the things you learn you will remember them better and get more out of them so that is certainly something you should consider in your Jazz Guitar Practice.

In this video I will go over 3 theoretical ideas and then show you how you can directly turn them into music and hopefully it will give you some more ideas that you can add to your jazz guitar improvisation or compositions.

The Key and the Chords

All the examples I will use in this lesson are in the key of C major and I will demonstrate each idea on both a Dm7 and a Cmaj7 to give you some material to work with,

1. The Arpeggio from the 3rd of the Chord

So the first thing we can look at is how to come up with some more arpeggios to use over any chord that we have to solo over. In most cases the arpeggio from the 3rd will work as a great sound on top of the chord.

The Dm7 chord and it’s 3rd

In Example 1 I’ve written out a Dm7 and an Fmaj7 arpeggio. As you may know F is the 3rd of a Dm chord.

If you compare the Dm7 and the Fmaj7 arpeggio you get this:

Dm7 D F A C  
Fmaj7   F A C E

And as you can see the two arpeggios have the same notes except we are playing an E (which is the 9th ) instead of the root.

A lick using the Fmaj7 arpeggio over a Dm7 chord might be something like this:

The Cmaj7 and the Em7 arpeggio 

In a similar way we have an Em7 on the 3rd of Cmaj7

Again we can look at how these compare:

Cmaj7 C E G B  
Em7   E G B D

An example of a guitar lick with this idea is shown below in example 4.

Notice how I use both Cmaj7 and Em7 arpeggios in the line. It is important to combine new ideas with the vocabulary you already have!

 2. If m7 Then Minor Pentatonic

The second idea is that whenever we have a m7 chord then we can use a minor pentatonic scale to solo over it.

The Dm and the Dm pentatonic

The m7 arepggio is almost the same as a minor pentatonic scale as you can see in the table here below:

Dm7 D F   A C
Dm Pentatonic D F G A C

This is probably also easy to see from this comparison:

Since the difference is only the G, which is the 11th of D and sounds great over the Dm chord then we can use this idea to make pretty modern jazz licks like example 6:

The Cmaj7 and which pentatonic?

Cmaj7 is of course not a m7 chord, but we do have a m7 on the 3rd of the chord: Em7.

This gives us the pentatonic scale shown below:

 The E minor pentatonic scale is 3 5 6 7 9 if you relate the E G A B D to a C root. All great sounds over a Cmaj7.

A guitar lick using this idea could be something like example 8:

3. Adding Chromatic Leading notes

The third idea is to add chromatic leading notes to the arpeggio. Since the chromatic notes are resolved to a chord tone immediately this is something that we can easily apply to a melody.

The Dm7 and some leading notes

In example 9 I have written out a Dm7 arpeggio in one octave and then in the next bar the same arpeggio but now with a chromatic leading note before each note.

I would not recommend that you use all of the leading notes all the time. It is easier to use one or two to get a more smooth lick.

A guitar lick with this concept is shown in example 10. Notice how I don’t add that many leading notes, and one of them is also diatonic so you almost miss it!

The Cmaj7 can be lead on as well

If we try to do the same with the Cmaj7 then we get the arpeggio followed by the arpeggio with leading notes as shown in example 11:

Applying this to a line is shown in example 12:

In the example above you can see how I am combining all of the three ideas: Leading notes, Arpeggio from the 3rd and Pentatonic scales. As I mentioned above it is important to combine as many things in your playing as possible, and especially to combine new ideas with the things you already know so that you can use it in your jazz improvisations.

Turn Your Theory in to Practice!

As you can tell there are great ways to directly turn theory knowledge into lines and by understanding the basics of chords and scales you can already do so! I hope this lesson gives you some ideas to dig a bit further in exploring the possibilities from the theory you know!

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter: 

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

3 ways to turn music theory into guitar licks

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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Vlog: 30+ Chords in C major?

How many chords are there in the key of C major?

If you are writing a chord progression or making reharmonization then you want to check out what options you have available in jazz harmony. This video is going through 60 chords and talk about how they are related to C major key and show jazz chord progressions that contain them.

I am also referencing chord progressions of jazz standards very often.

The chords that we find in a chord progression in almost any genre will more often than not contain chords that are not diatonic to the scale of the key. So the amount of chords in a key is bigger than the diatonic chords found in the scale, but how big?

Turns out that is a very tricky question!

Vlog: Advanced reharmonization in a Jazz Guitar Solo – Outside ideas on Solar

Reharmonization is an important part of modern jazz guitar. In this video I will go over the chord substitutions and chord progressions I use in the guitar solo on Solar that I published Saturday.

The harmonic choices range from super imposing pentatonic scales via parallel moving melodic minor sounds to using augmented scale sounds. Ranging from the very tonal to the quite atonal.

Contents with shortcut links:

1:00 1st Chorus – Shifting Melodic Minor trick from Mick Goodrick
8:05 2nd Chorus – Super imposing Pentatonic Scales
11:31 3rd Chorus – Lydian Augmented and Diminished triad movement
16:12 4th Chorus – The Augmented Scale, Holdsworth and Michael Brecker
22:55 5th Chorus Winding down
25:52 Ending – Pentatonic for Lydian , Multi octave extended arpeggio

Analyzing a Standard: All Of Me

I am trying my hand at vlogging again, this is somewhere in between a lesson and a vlog.

I have had quite a few comments and conversations with people talking about analyzing standards, so I though I’d give it a try in a video.

I choose “All of Me” because it is fairly simple, in C major but still has a lot of typical twist and turns for a standard progression.

This video is meant as an opening for a discussion so please comment on the video if you have questions or suggestions.

Also if you have ideas for tunes I should try to analyze in another installment!

 

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions

Taking chord voicings that you already know and invert them is a very great way to look for new chords. You can work on this from a more guitar oriented approach and not only music theory. That is the approach I will cover in this lesson.

Besides learning new voicings this  is also a good exercise in knowing what notes are in the chords and once you start making inversions you will train you fretboard knowledge and ability to solve riddles with making the inversions playable.

 

Inversions on a string set

The approach that I suggest you use in the beginning when making inversions is maybe a bit more guitar oriented and not too theoretical. Often the process of making inversions from a theoretical point of view stops us from actually playing the chords.

This mostly applies to voicings that we have learned that are not already in a system like Drop2 or Drop3, since you start working on those in all inversions from the first go anyway.

The idea is really quite simple. In Ex 1 I have written out a Cmaj7(9) chord. If we look at the notes separately as in bar 2 we can order them so that they are in one octave by shifting down the high D one octave. In bar 3 we have converted the notes of the voicing to a “scale” where in order of pitch. In this case that would be the notes C D E B

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions - ex 1

If you stay on the same string set then then you can lean the figure out the scale on each string which will eventually be a map of the inversions.

To go over this in detail for the Cmaj7(9) chord: In example 2 the first chord is the basic voicing we already know. The next inversion will be the one where for each note in the chord we move it up one step in the “scale”.

From Bar 1 to Bar 2 in example 2: Low to high:  C becomes D, E becomes B, B becomes C and D becomes E.

This continues from Bar2 to 3: D becomes E, B becomes C, C becomes D and E becomes B.

So in this way we are making the inversion on the same string set directly on the guitar.

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions - ex 2

Now that we have this system let’s try it out on a few more chords:

D/G is  a good voicing for Gmaj7, A7sus4, and Em7 type chords. Since it is a triad over a bass note it is not a construction that we would qucikly think to make inversions of.

In example 3 you have 4 inversions of the chord. As you can see bar 3 and 4 are very difficult to play, but 4 is doable if you add an artificial harmonic to raise the F# an octave. A trick I picked up from Lenny Breau.

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions - ex 3

Another voicing that we can invert is a 4 note stack of 4ths as shown in Example 4. What this shows is that the voicing is realted to an E7sus4 drop 2 voicing (especially visible in bar3).

What is also useful about this is that we use the first chord as a voicing for Gmaj7, E7sus4, D6/9 or Cmaj7, and they are then related to E7sus4 which could give you a new perspective on where to look for voicings for the other types of chords.

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions - ex 4

A few progressions with the new inversions

Just to demonstrate how you can take some of these voicings and use them in a context I made 3 examples of II V I cadences with the voicings. I am also using some other chord voicings that I came up with from inversions so it will also be an example of some of the other things you can create with this technique.

In example 5 I am using the Cmaj7(9) voicing found in bar 3 of example 2. You can see that the voicings preceding it are a Drop2,4 Dm7(11) voicing and a Drop2 G7alt voicing.

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions - ex 5

Example 6 is starting with an Am7(9) Drop2 voicing and continuing with a D7alt voicing that you could also hear or think of as an D7 chord from the whole tone scale since it does not contain a 9 but does contain both b5 and b13. The last chord is the 2nd bar of example 3, but then with a fingering that is a bit more playable.

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions - ex 6

The final example is a II V I in C, and here we are using the drop2 E7sus4 voicing from bar 3 of example 4. The first Dm7 voicing is a n in inversion of a Dm7(9) voicing that you probably already know. The G7 alt voicing is an incomplete chord since it does contain the 3rd but not the 7th. The overal sound of the altered dominant comes across in context because it for the rest contains b9,b5 and b13. The G7alt voicing resolves very smoothly to the Cmaj7 voicing in bar 3.

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions - ex 7

 

I hope that you can use the material that I went over here to get some new ideas and learn some new chords and maybe expand your view on how different voicing types are related to each other.

If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:

Find New Jazz Chords with inversions

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make thme fit what you want to hear.

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