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Learning Jazz - from http://www.freejazzlessons.com

posted Jan 28, 2014, 5:32 PM by hspanther bands

The Powerful Role Of Jazz Tunes

When you first start learning jazz there can seem like an overwhelming amount of information to absorb (chords, licks, scales, reharmonization,soloing, chord progressions etc etc).It’s easy to become so focused on all the technical details of the music that you lose site of what the big picture is.So, how do you make sense of it all?

Well, the first step is finding a simple way to apply all the new concepts you’re learning.

Tonal Centers

posted Sep 7, 2013, 3:01 PM by hspanther bands [ updated Sep 16, 2013, 10:13 AM ]
The ear naturally wants to find the home key in any harmonic progression. We call this the tonal center (or key of the moment).

Every major key center actually has 7 different "pathways" or modes that are included in them. But they all act in some fashion to bring us back to the home key center. That is why when we practice our scale progression exercise it sounds final when we land on the blues scale based on the major scale we start with.



Listening for repetition and patterns

posted Aug 21, 2013, 10:54 AM by hspanther bands [ updated Aug 28, 2013, 1:02 AM ]
Jazz musicians utilize scale patterns in improv.

This recording of Chuck Mangione's Land of Make Believe features a soprano saxophone solo that demonstrates this. Chuck Mangione Quartet

Check out Bari Sax player Dennis DiBlassio's approach to simplified improv using one scale


Key Signatures & Scales

posted Aug 20, 2013, 10:25 AM by hspanther bands [ updated Aug 20, 2013, 10:28 AM ]
As much as students dislike hearing this, to play jazz and improvise requires a knowledge of key signatures and scales.The best way to learn key centers and scales is through the circle of 4ths or 5ths.
Today you will learn how to draw and label the circle of 5ths.

Minor Blues

posted Apr 11, 2011, 7:41 PM by hspanther bands [ updated Jun 6, 2011, 9:15 PM ]
As is the case with all blues, there are variations of minor blues. In this lesson we are going to look at a basic 12 bar minor blues progression based on the changes to BB King's "The Thrill is Gone '71". "The Thrill is Gone '01"

1 4 4 3, 1 4 4 3, 1 4 4 3--1 1,

1 3 5 4, 1 3 5 4 1 4 4 3-- 1 1,


5 7 -- 5 4--, 1 4 4 3 -- 1 1

Key of a minor (BB does this in b minor, but hey, let's make it easy on ourselves!)

c f c Ab G7 c


i i i i | iv iv i i | VI V7 i i


Piano & bass

A good scale to use over minor blues is the minor pentatonic.


c eb f g bb c


1 b3 4 5 b7 8


You can still throw in #4 for a blues scale, and add 9 to sound cool on an arpeggio C Eb G Bb D

Minor Pentatonic scale guitar tab

Blues Guitar youtube lesson 1

Blues Guitar youtube lesson 2

Rhythm Changes Ballad

posted Feb 15, 2011, 8:31 PM by hspanther bands [ updated Mar 16, 2011, 6:55 PM ]
When I Fall in Love by Victor Young is a ballad based on Rhythm Changes progression with some minor twists. Piano voicing here

I VI ii V7 I VI ii V7 I bVII VI ii (to Coda)(5) 1 4 3 1 - - - (5) 1 4 3 1 2 -- (5) 1 6 5 4 -- 3--- 2-------
I ii V7 iii VI ii VI ii V7

34 5 1 1 1 3 2- 34 534 534 5-- 45 6 2 2 2 4 3- 45 645 646 5--- (DC al Coda)


I IV iii VI ii bVII I VI ii V7 I

Coda 34 5 1 1 1 7 6- (6) 6 5- 6 4-- 2 (5) 1 4 3 1- 2- 1------

Nat King Cole

Marcus Miller A Bass Clarinet, Harmonica, Alto Sax, Mini Moog Synthesizer, and Bass solo! This is how you build a solo!

Miles Davis Quintet a nice muted trumpet

Ben Webster old school tenor sax playing

Manhattan Jazz Orchestra - interesting arrangement by Dave Matthews (Lew Soloff on trumpet)

Yes it was used in Sleepless in Seattle with Celine Dion singing.

And just for fun, and more fun.


Rhythm Changes

posted Dec 11, 2010, 12:25 AM by hspanther bands [ updated Mar 8, 2011, 7:26 PM ]
There are hundreds of jazz tunes that are based on the chord changes to I Got Rhythm. Other than the blues, rhythm changes are the most common chord changes in jazz.Great Web Site: Learn Jazz Standards
Bb Rhythm Changes Bass Line #1 Bass Line #2

AABA 32 Bar Song Form I VI ii V7 I VI ii V7 I IV II7 I VI ii V7FineI Got Rhythm ||:5 6 8 9- 9 8 6 5- 5 6 8 9 10 10 9 10 9 8:||

16 bar chorus

V/VI or III VI7 V/V or II V7

10 10 10 #11 10 10 10 6 9 9 9 10 9 9 9 5 (DC al Fine)

8 bar Bridge

Red Nichols Orchestra 1930

George Gershwin performing (the video has two camera angles, one camera is recording at faster speed so pitch goes up)

The finale of Girl Crazy featuring Tommy Dorsey orchestra with Judy Garland (YouTube is constantly barring this due to copyright)

Sarah Vaughan - swinging version with a great singer

Slow version done by torch singer Debbie Gravitte

Blues Nov. 2 - 5

posted Nov 3, 2010, 10:54 PM by hspanther bands [ updated Sep 13, 2013, 9:02 AM ]
Learn Watermelon Man by numbers
I7........................... IV7 I7 V7 IV7b7------ 1 1 5 6 1, 8 ----- 1 1 5 6 1, 55 9 10 b10 9 8 6 8 9 (6), b3 4 b3 4 5 4 b3 1 b3 4(2)

V7 IV7 I7

5 5 9 10 8, 1 1 5 6 1

Show Hubbard's solo transcription to Stolen Moments

Show Sonny Rollins solo to St. Thomas

Show Dave Holland solo to Mr. PC

Show Dexter Gordonssolo 1, page 2 to Watermelon Man Freddie Hubbards solo

Show Coltrane's Giant Steps
Show Little Kids Rock full lesson page blues progression on guitar, four note solo and 3 fret funk (3r & 7th)