I should point out here that I do not consider myself a jazz musician. I believe that to be a "real" jazzer that you need to give it full time study and my interest lies more in song writing and I just don't have time to give jazz the attention it needs to be really good at it.
That said I think I can show you how, the techniques and theories that are used in Jazz and help you on your way to playing this most intellectual and rewarding style, and I play jazz "for fun" and I know that learning jazz harmony allows you the freedom to play over chord changes in any style. The study of jazz will make you a better musician, no matter what style you want to play.
Getting Into Jazz Lessons
These lessons are really basic and you will need to know all of this if you are going to start playing jazz. I'm kind of assuming that many of you will be coming from blues or rock (like I did!) so this stuff is not for beginner players. I'll also be assuming you have a basic understanding of music theory, if not please check out my ebook Practical Music Theory which will give you the necessary tools!
One of the most beautiful jazz ballads and a lovely one for exploring your chord extensions. Because it's slow beginners have a bit of time to think and try out more chord grips. Makes a wonderful chord melody this one too which I'll get to at some point!
JA-530 • Misty - Chords
JA-531 • Misty - Melody
JA-532 • Misty - Harmonic Analysis
Blue Bossa (Latin)
Lot of people been asking about a Bossa tune, so I've chosen this one because it's easy for beginners to get their heads around. Make sure you check out the Bossa Rhythm lesson (JA-009) before trying this one out, it will make it a lot easier!
JA-540 • Blue Bossa - Chords
JA-541 • Blue Bossa - Melody
JA-542 • Blue Bossa - Harmonic Analysis
Many more Standards coming soon - but due to the amount of work involved with each one, I'm not sure I can get them out every week - I'm aiming at a new one every 2/3 weeks.
Jazz Chords, Harmonic Concepts and Substitutions
This series will help you get beyond the basics and into improvising your chords and substitutions in a musical and fun way I hope! Take each lesson slow and explore it before moving on, much better to have a few 'tricks' that you can use really well than many you can never remember or use properly! All these need to be applied to Jazz Standards!
JA-020 • The Jazz Chords Concept
A look at basic chord substitutions and the three chord families.
JA-021 • Major Type Jazz Chord Extensions
A look at some chords that you can use as Major Chord substitutions
JA-022 • Minor Type Jazz Chord Extensions
Some cool minor type chords you can substitute for minor chords.
JA-023 • Dominant Type Jazz Chord Extensions
Various chords that you can use to replace a good old 7th chord.
JA-024 • Functioning and Static Dominant Chords
Understanding if a V chord is functioning or static is important, so you know what to "alter"
JA-025 • Altered Harmony - Why and How
This lesson explains altered harmony and why and how we alter 7th chords.
JA-026 • Altered Chord Grips
Now we look at some common and useful chord grips for altered dominant chords
JA-027 • II-V-I Chord Sequences
This is one of the most common chord progressions in jazz and it is essential that you work out some nice chord movements for this sequence, so I show you some in this lesson.
JA-028 • Tritone Substitution
This lesson looks at a basic chord substitution for a functioning dominant.
JA-029 • Diminished as a 7b9 Chord
Replaces a functioning dominant with a diminished chord. Very cool theory tricks in this lesson, really expand your view of harmony...
JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
Using the Tritone Substitution, altered chords, the 7b9 Sub and others to create interesting variations on the I VI II V progression, used in Rhythm Changes..
JA-031 • I-VI-II-V Chord Variation Exercise
A very cool little practice exercise to get you exploring your I-VI-II-V chord extensions, substitutions and alterations.
JA-032 • Secondary Dominants
It's important to understand Secondary Dominants because they occur a lot in jazz and should help you understand the harmonic function of chord sequences.
JA-033 • Chords built in 4ths
Chords are usually built in 3rds, but building chords in 4ths makes for some really cool and very usable sounds, most famously used by Bill Evans in the intro of So What by Miles Davis.
JA-034 • Re-harmonising notes in chord melody
This is a fun little exercise to get you thinking about ways to re-harmonise a melody - great for songwriting too!
Jazz Lead Guitar
I promise to get onto this too - but I have to really work on this myself before I start passing the info along y'know... otherwise I'd feel like a fake! But it'll come soon enough ;)
Exploring the II-V-I
The 2-5-1 Chord sequence is very common in jazz and you'll need to learn many ways to negotiate it. There are a number of arrpoaches to doing so but the most common are to learn set phrases (also called licks or lines) and also to explore concepts. In this part of the site I want to share with you some of these things that you might like to explore.