Where to start for Jazz

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
msf sadib
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122 posts since 4 Apr, 2018

Post Sat May 30, 2020 1:51 pm

jancivil wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 3:13 am
Yeah, that one
Jane while starting writing jazz progression what should be the approach? Make a regular chord progression that do the tonicization of each chord according or is there any better approach ?

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BertKoor
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11954 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Sun May 31, 2020 1:57 am

If her name were Jane, then why does she call herself Jan? ;-)

You could also try to throw in lots of MajorSeven chords. Like MSG in Chinese food.

Iirc Jazz was all about being freed of conventions and expectations. There is a tendency to favour adherence to rules over artistical beauty. This fight, swinging from one to the other extreme, is a recurring theme in all arts. When making a Fugue, Sonnet or Haiku: form and following rules is of utter importance.

Jazz says feck all rules.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_(word)

It sounds though you keep asking about such rules...
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jancivil
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19987 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Sun May 31, 2020 6:21 am

It isn’t time to worry about ‘writing’, except to reharmonize songs for a while applying the principles. Listen. Learn to play.
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Functional
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801 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:01 am

msf sadib wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 1:51 pm
jancivil wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 3:13 am
Yeah, that one
Jane while starting writing jazz progression what should be the approach? Make a regular chord progression that do the tonicization of each chord according or is there any better approach ?
There's 2-5-1 framework and if you analyze common jazz standards (i.e. Autumn leaves) you will already understand quite a bit about this framework and how it works. Most of jazz follows the 2-5-1 framework one way or another. And then you got your secondary dominants and trisubs.

Understanding this aspect of jazz however isn't really the big point and it's probably so trivial that most jazz musicians don't even mention it when they describe what they feel is important for jazz. This is also one of the reasons why jazzists in particular do not like the notion of something being "jazzy" just because it has some sevenths in the chords or even uses the 2-5-1 framework

So I personally am somewhat confused as to what you want to do when you say you want to learn "jazz". For a lot of people, especially coming from electronic music background, "jazz" just means at best utilizing 2-5-1's on top of a lopsided beat on repeat and at worst adding in some extensions to chords. That isn't jazz - and that is fine too, but it will confuse people and likely give you answers that aren't as helpful as said people think.

Jazz theory in and of itself isn't really all that much different to your standard music theory with the exception that standard music theory places far less emphasis on chord extensions and tritone substitutions and of course creating prolonged tension in your phrases. I feel like the question "where to start for jazz" can only be answered the same way as "where to start with music"; learn the basics and start applying them in practice. Do this for ten years and then consider whenever you want to specialize into jazz repertoire for instance.

Functional
KVRian
801 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:10 am

BertKoor wrote:
Sun May 31, 2020 1:57 am
If her name were Jane, then why does she call herself Jan? ;-)

You could also try to throw in lots of MajorSeven chords. Like MSG in Chinese food.

Iirc Jazz was all about being freed of conventions and expectations. There is a tendency to favour adherence to rules over artistical beauty. This fight, swinging from one to the other extreme, is a recurring theme in all arts. When making a Fugue, Sonnet or Haiku: form and following rules is of utter importance.

Jazz says feck all rules.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_(word)

It sounds though you keep asking about such rules...

Jazz supposedly doesn't have rules unlike western art music; not true at all. While forms themselves are looser and jazz certainly has nothing akin to fugues (which haven't been all that popular after Baroque period), there are plenty of guidelines in jazz for what is, or isn't, acceptable. You don't have a b9 ringing against the root and you sure as hell wouldn't play a minor third on bass on a major chord. You don't relieve the tension you build up in harmonic rhythm before an actual cadence (so if you do a C7#9, you don't follow it up with a vanilla F7 chord if this happens in middle of a phrase). In the past as well you certainly wouldn't not swing something either. The whole aspect of voicings too.

This misconception that jazz is just free "screw the rules" kind of thing seems to stem from people not understanding the context of jazz. Jazz circles were extremely exclusive in the past and you wouldn't get into one unless you were among the top dogs yourself in terms of your capabilities.

They didn't need explicit rules because by that point they have internalized the cultural practices to the point where it's kind of like me telling you about what forums are in a forum. Lot of them grew up their whole lives around listening to that music and learning it through a mentor. Before they were considered anything at all, they already were at the point that you didn't really need to tell them anything about how to "do it". It's extremely different environment compared to contemporary musical cultures which are by far more open, to the point where a chump like me can just collaborate with jazzists who have 40 years behind them playing in bands, while I have not a single one.

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jancivil
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19987 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:53 am

ii-V function, and particularly secondary function to tonicized degrees all over is SO prevalent in jazz that it’s taken for granted. Except where it isn’t. The cool school, circa 1950, revolted against it (kinda sorta), albeit retaining stylistic features in chords (& introducing ‘new’ ones*); in favor of relative statis and modal contours. More linear focus.

So, So What has a ii-i from Dorian (*: m7add4s) which is reiterated a minor third up; no big-push V7s. When we get into Miles at the Sketches From Spain point, he writes in the liner notes that you can‘t do bebop over this music, you wind up being “a hip cornball”.

So, I for one cannot go into it from a standpoint of trying to write in a comment box to convey anything and it not be about its functional harmony (present or absent). Any convo I was ever likely to have with a primarily jazz musician will look like me and this cat Grover, who while I was in regular theory was in the Jazz Reharmonization course next door. He was excited about them TV chords. So (I already had flat five substitute and a lot of it independently) we would compare notes. A lot of this actually was pioneered in the late 19th century. A lot of influence from the teacher of so many TV Composers, Arnold Schoenberg, cross-discipline stuff.

You could say, “the swing is the most important aspect”, few will disagree, but quantifying that isn’t as facile as your harmonic analysis. Relatively recently there are tools available for microscopic, highly granular investigations into microrhythm a la Malcom Braff. Which ultimately means technical advancement...

It’s inaccurate to attribute “prolonged tension” to jazz like it’s absent in classical theory. It’s called second year, chromatic harmony.
EG: Tristan chord. A minor: take iv6, augment that sixth (F-D to F-D#), make it “French” via add#4 etc and iv is secondary dominant to V.

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The planed mixed fourths a McCoy Tyner was known for in the 1960s and forward is done blatantly by Erik Satie in 1892, le fils des etoiles Prelude to Act I.
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Functional
KVRian
801 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:18 am

jancivil wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:53 am
It’s inaccurate to attribute “prolonged tension” to jazz like it’s absent in classical theory. It’s called second year, chromatic harmony.
EG: Tristan chord. A minor: take iv6, augment that sixth (F-D to F-D#), make it “French” via add#4 etc and iv is secondary dominant to V.

Image

The planed mixed fourths a McCoy Tyner was known for in the 1960s and forward is done blatantly by Erik Satie in 1892, le fils des etoiles Prelude to Act I.
_______
IMG_1923.jpg
I suffered through Tristan und Isolde (suffered because I am not fan of operatic singer let alone the tenors, which Wagner really loved; I did love the music so much to offset that) so I know a bit about prolonged tension in late romantic era and I'm a big fan of the ger+6 myself in particular.

But, I think my assessment was fair if we would consider classical period overall and how much it preferred consonance and in terms of how rare prolonged tension was by comparison whereas in standard jazz it has far more emphasis. I do get your point and agree though - especially as a person who has two favorite composers and one of them being Wagner (despite yadda yadda, you know the story) whereas other one is Satie

As for swing, I wouldn't know much about how the microrhythms relate to it in the past. Hearing old jazz records, i.e. Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker etc, to me that stuff sounds swung as heck and if anyone asked me to explain what that is, all I could tell them is about swing, not microrhythms. Of course, that might be just me uninformed
Last edited by Functional on Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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jancivil
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19987 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:23 am

Miles’ swing on the Cannonball recording of Autumn Leaves (I posted it in-thread) is very pronounced, and granular, for lack of a word and there are techniques now to begin to explain how.
It’s like music theory always is, post facto, you can’t really know his thought.
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Functional
KVRian
801 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:31 am

jancivil wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:23 am
Miles’ swing on the Cannonball recording of Autumn Leaves (I posted it in-thread) is very pronounced, and granular, for lack of a word and there are techniques now to begin to explain how.
It’s like music theory always is, post facto, you can’t really know his thought.
A lot of people would probably consider me crazy for this but I actually like the Chet Bakers arrangement more because of the sweet tone of the flugelhorn and the keys. But I have to say, as far as expressions go, Cannonballs arrangement takes the cake. But my favorite thing in it is the bass; it's genius.

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BertKoor
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11954 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:51 pm

So.... where to start with jazz?

Definitely start with listening. Listen a lot.

Then try to play it. There used to be a controversial book in print with lead sheets of all the famous songs. The Real Book I think it was called. Though more fun and very legal is to figure out the songs on your own. It's a luxury everything's online these days.

If you can play big chunks of The Real Book. then maybe it will come to you all by itself. Jazzy compositions that is, naturally...

It might come, eventually.
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vurt
addled muppet weed
66842 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:55 pm

BertKoor wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:51 pm
So.... where to start with jazz?
day 1 : scatman john.

scoobadabbadeebadabbadoowopwopadoobadabbadeeeebopdebopdebopbah!

rp314
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2847 posts since 25 Mar, 2006 from The city by the bay

Re: Where to start for Jazz

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:59 pm

BertKoor wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:51 pm
So.... where to start with jazz?

Definitely start with listening. Listen a lot.

This is perhaps the main problem for folks who are in a hurry. I think it was Jorge Luis Borges who suggested that if one considers how much time he spent reading the works of others it would be incorrect to classify him as a writer. In my way of looking at things it's about understanding 'form' and listening to as much stuff as possible is a great way to try to get inside the music.

YMMV of course but that's what my experience suggests.
Order creates. Chaos gives life. - Robert Bresson

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