#1October 25th, 2006 · 07:47 AM
5 threads / 3 songs
17 posts
United Kingdom
Jazz theory
Hey everyone. Recently I've been getting into jazz music in a big way. I love how free and cool it sounds, and would love to play. Unfortunately I know little about the theory behind it and would appreciate it if someone could post some information or websites on it! Thanks!
#2October 26th, 2006 · 07:04 AM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,965 posts
United States of America
Jazz theory
This might help some. There's alot of web sites and books on Jazz and jaxx theory. Just google around some and then research and learn.
#3October 26th, 2006 · 01:34 PM
42 threads / 1 songs
556 posts
United States of America
What do you play? Either way, improvisation is hard, and takes practice. My advice is, know the theory (toasted goat's link should help a lot) and play whatever comes out of your instrument. Don't dwell on an idea for too long, or you wouln't be able to play anything else.  You don't have to know exactly what you're playing, just stay in the right key and it will sound good, no matter how simple.
#4March 30th, 2007 · 08:48 PM
13 threads / 12 songs
75 posts
United States of America
Jazz An Aural Tradition
Jazz is an aural tradition.
It has roots in blues but takes things many steps further in terms of harmonic and rhythmic development.
To play Jazz you must know what it is. Just like music, you listen to this and that sound and are told it is music or Jazz. And, unlike Blues, it is not confined to a specific form (12 bars using I, IV, and V chords).
Some of what Jazz is involves the use of the tritone (#4) and secondary dominant. If you can get the sound of the ii - V - I progression in your ear you can hear a good portion of the movement in the forms in Jazz. This may be an over-simplification of things but this is how my 8th grade math teacher, Johnny Walker (Played piano with Clifford Brown) explained it to me.
Get some "jazz standards" and take a look. You will see the ii-V-I progressions all over the place.
Some good starter tune might be Four - Miles Davis, All the Things You Are, Au Privave - Charlie Parker (This is actually a blues), Blue Bossa - Kenny Dorham, Doxy - Sonny Rollins, etc.
Here is one of my tunes that uses the ii-V progression often...

Another important thing is the use of tritone substitutions.
instead of a ii chord you can use a flat VI chord going to V (instead of d min7 - G7 you can use Ab7 - G7)
but more about that later.
Oh Yes!
Autumn Leaves (Johnny Mercer) is great to follow the ii-V progression as it moves through the scale in one key.
#5March 30th, 2007 · 08:50 PM
13 threads / 12 songs
75 posts
United States of America
the sheet music
by the way, you can right click the sheet music and save it as a picture.
#6March 31st, 2007 · 11:19 AM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,965 posts
United States of America
nice one for posting this song
hey I'm glad you posted that song, I'm back now working on my theory again and more.. studying the #4 in the dominant lydian mode with subdominant substitutions ...or just subdominants.  freakin get's confusing . the more I get some thing,s the more questions I have to try to figure out. ..ahh pulling my hair out .  I know musically it's all about the ear . but  I'm  at the point I want to understand how, or why ,things were done a certain way in a song, or why that chord works there, but not here,...resolving ect. ect.
#7April 1st, 2007 · 09:08 AM
13 threads / 12 songs
75 posts
United States of America
extending chords
much ofthis is based on the concept of extending the chord past 1 3 5 7
for instance, if the ii chord in C is extended from D F A C (dmin7) to D F A C E G and you have a flatted 5th or D F Ab C E G the top of the chard is an Ab Augmented chord. The Ab Aug chord can be used as a substitute to get to the G7 chord. This is similar to the concept of the Italian, German, and Neopolitan Sixth chord in more traditional harmony.
THat's why you often see Ab G7 C progressions in Jazz
#8April 2nd, 2007 · 11:02 AM
160 threads / 33 songs
1,965 posts
United States of America
great I understand this
very cool , I have worked with this  using the progression  Dmin7, G7, Cmaj7, A7 with the substitution of Ab for the G7 chord . Love to see more info .....
#9May 24th, 2007 · 06:09 PM
31 threads / 1 songs
434 posts
United States of America
The Jazz Theory Book
by Mark Levine


Read it, study it, use it, love it.
#10July 28th, 2007 · 02:33 PM
44 threads / 6 songs
305 posts
United States of America
Jazz theory is basically just classical theory on guitar. Just with improvisation.

And I can say the Jazz Theory Book suggested by entheon is extremely useful.
#11August 15th, 2007 · 10:48 AM
19 threads / 15 songs
84 posts
United States of America
Oldie but a goodie
Chord Chemistry and Modern Chord Progressions

Both are by Ted Greene. Whether or not an advantage, this one does not require advanced understanding of sheet music and is written with the electric guitar in mind. Worth the time.
#12August 15th, 2007 · 06:15 PM
17 threads / 3 songs
185 posts
United States of America
I agree the ted greene books should be in every guitar players library.. Some other good books are
Jerry Coker's Improvising Jazz ( Simon Shcuster,1964) Danial Ricigliano's  Popular and Jazz Harmony (Donato,1969)  These are some of the books we used in school... among others..
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