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Linear J azz Imp rovi

sation S eries / Ed Byrn e



Functional Jazz Guitar


Functional Jazz Guitar

—Ed Byrne

Copyright © 2009 Dr. Ed Byrne All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For more information, contact the author at [email protected].





1. JAZZ THINKING Primary Activities of the Jazz Practitioner Jazz as Language Approaching Jazz Essential LJI Elements Easy Method for Deriving Scales from Key Developing a Style Identifying & Fixing Limitations Band in a Box and Play-Along CDs Praxis Practicing with the Playback Files

13 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

2. GUIDE-TONE LINES & CADENCES Chord Cadences voiced—Drop 2 in 2 Inversions Root progression Basic Swing Comp


3. PRACTICING CHORD FORMULAS Circle of Fifths Harmonic Formulas Drop Two Cadences Rhythmic Accompaniment Styles Basic Swing Comp Rhythms Cadences

43 44 45 47 48 49 51

4. BLUES Chords Root Progression Bass Line Comp Riff-Style Comp Minor Blues Equinox Minor Blues Funky Basic +9 Blues

73 78 84 90 97 103 107 137 143

5. BOSSA NOVA COMPING Cadences Bass Comping Voicings and Rhythms Montuno

149 150 154 162

6. LINEAR MELODIC SOLUTIONS Various Cadence Licks V7 Lick GTL Solo Root Progression solo Minor Blues solo Minor Blues Scale Solo

167 172 183 189 195 201

7. DIATONIC MODAL PLANING 1st Inversion Triads 3-Note Voicings in 4ths Dorian in all keys

207 208 210 212

8. ADVICE Ear Training, Transcription, & Vocabulary LJI Chords Internalizing Intervals Sight-Singing Transcription Internalizing Tunes Internalizing Chords 10-Tune Starter List Starting Jam Sessions Ideological Preconceptions Guitar and Piano Comping Reading Lead Sheets

219 219 220 221 222 223 224 227 228 229 230 231 232



APPENDIX 1 Harmony


APPENDIX 2 Harmonic Clichés





PREFACE Most of the guitar students I have taught had, when we met, been frustrated by contemporary jazz education, namely Chord Scale Theory, the reigning pedagogy through which students are taught jazz improvisation, since it doesn’t offer a clue as to what to say, supplying only the correct notes—seven at a time. The student who is left to figure out meaningful linguistic content on his or her own too often tends to flounder from having been sidetracked by practicing scales out of theoretical books in their back rooms, never even venturing out to play with others—the very point of learning guitar. It would therefore be irresponsible to begin their tutelage with the finer points of Linear Jazz Improvisation, in which one learns how to use the salient information contained in specific compositions in melodic improvisation when they haven’t yet gained basic small jazz ensemble skills and an intimacy with the jazz language itself. The latter begins with the blues forms and such functional skills as comping and soloing on cadences in various rhythmic styles. It is these essential skills that we shall attack head-on in this volume. We will do this artfully, and it is hoped that you will find these etudes to be as fun as they are educational. Ours is a unified approach to learning all aspects of the basic cadence and blues forms, skills which can be readily applied to all jazz repertouire, including standard tunes from the Great American Songbook. We will address all the essential ensemble roles, such as the fundamental bass role, the linear accompaniment role of the guide-tone line, and the voiced chord and rhythmic accompaniment (comping) styles of swing, bossa nova, and funk. Finally, we will learn extended solo lines on all of these basic elements. We shall not attempt here to be ground breaking—or to demonstrate all possibilities or new paths. Neither shall we offer fingering positions or special guitar techniques. But if you learn these exercises by rote with the sound files, you will be able to play real jazz with others.



Know your story and be able to deliver it in a powerful personal style.

INTRODUCTION We approach our practice regimens on two essential tiers. The first involves idiomatic formulas: the various kinds of blues scales and forms, ii7 V7 I∆ cadences, the twelve-bar blues, jazz rhythms, articulations, inflections, and vibratos—all of which must be learned in all twelve keys throughout the entire range of your instrument. You must also listen extensively, transcribe, and learn to speak the very language of jazz. This is the traditional way in which jazz practitioners have learned their craft, besides apprenticing with master practitioners. The challenge is to then personalize jazz idioms and link them to the essential compositional material of specific tunes, which constitutes the second tier: the Linear Jazz Improvisation method—developing a specific melody in particular. It is the former skills that we shall address in this volume: How to master the various basic skills and roles jazz music requires, and to use them in performance with others. This book will give you a firm foundation in the generic language, necessary understandings, and skills you will need in order to function well in playing jazz with a group. In an extemporaneous art form such as jazz, how one thinks has a direct and profound impact on performance. Jazz is a language; its practitioners are public speakers. When you learn to speak, you first learn by listening and picking up figures of speech; then you learn to use them in your own personal manner by combining them into sentences and paragraphs to tell your story. The process is the same when learning jazz. The public speaker must have stories to tell (a repertoire), know them (the compositions), and have the vocabulary necessary to tell them in a compelling manner. We therefore practice telling each story, work out the rough parts, and then learn how to vary it in a variety of ways: short versus long versions, various introductions and endings, substitute words, phrases, rhythms, moods, and pacing. As with public speakers, there are all kinds of jazz performers: insincere, slick, spontaneous, those who use easy-tounderstand vocabulary, those who use complex language, and those who deliver memorized statements.


Moreover, jazz demands a different approach than that demanded by precomposed music. Most jazz practitioners regularly practice things that the classical musician does not. These skills can best be learned in a focused and systematic manner. This book contains nine Finale files to practicing with. These are a succession of idiomatic paradigms on each basic role, based on given major and minor guide-tone lines and common cadences, 12-bar blues types, and sophisticated melodic formulas to the same, in addition to modal planing. In this effort, all etudes here are interrelated. The book closes with strong lines on everything covered previously. There are different rhythmic feels in sections, so the document has been broken into nine separate sections for ease in practicing. These are basic yet hip lines, paradigms of each function. Sing and play with the supplied play-back files in all keys, and you will learn everything you need to know to get started playing guitar in a jazz group. First read, then visualize, then just sing and play. Then play them without the files, with a metronome alone. It takes an active effort to effectively incorporate new vocabulary into your story (repertoire). After you learn the entire book, go back and mix and match. For example, play the off-beat pecks comp against the walking bass, or playing one of the (given) blues lines against the blues comp. Improvise freely on the given solos, by creating your own solo from its vocabulary. Start, for example, but merely playing an entire line, but leaving certain notes out. Try resting a few beats and before catching the line up by changing and doubling the rhythm. Be able to sing everything you play: Singing is the key to internalization. First listen to the entire document, both to understand how it develops, and then learn to sing along with it until it is internalized—and only then break it up into sections for practicing. After you have learned each section, improvise on all of its materials and vocabulary. Everything in this book is interrelated, so you can mix and match everything when practicing anything in this book. Ed Byrne



JAZZ GUITAR THINKING The aim of technique is to be able to play what you hear.

Primary Activities of the Jazz Guitarist 1. Improvise in all tempos and rhythmic styles on everything you practice. 2. Sing everything to internalize. 3. Practice formulas—in all keys, in the instrument’s entire range. 4. Learn new vocabulary. 5. Listen. Transcribe. 6. Learn functional keyboard harmony. 7. Analyze lead sheets and scores. 8. Build a repertoire. 9. Practice, play, rehearse, and perform.


The only difference between jazz and any other spoken language is that you can't order a cup of coffee with it.

Jazz as Language You have to have interesting stories to tell (a repertoire of tunes), which requires practice focused specifically on that goal. These skills can be learned in a focused manner. Since you can't count on more than one lifetime to master what you need in order to accomplish your goals, it’s a question of priorities. If you wish to nurture the spontaneous in performance, you have to have a lot of different ways to tell your story. It's up to the individual to decide to what degree he wants to be spontaneous, and then develop and master it. Everything must be internalized by the time you perform. There are many things to practice, and a lot of different ways of going about it. Don’t limit yourself to any ideology, or any one way. When you feel the need to expand in one direction or another, adopt new strategies for the woodshed. Seek out new vocabulary, and do trial runs to incorporate it into your story. Do not, however, confuse the process of practicing with that of performance. Leave the woodshed behind. View your practice activities as relatively exclusive of performance in the now. Trust that practicing will demonstrate a meaningful effect on your performance as it is organically ready to do so—as it evolves in your subconscious mind.


Jazz musicians practice what classical musicians do not.

Approaching Improvisation from a Classical Background Most jazz practitioners regularly practice things that the classical musician does not, such as playing formulas (figures of speech) in all keys, and across the entire range of the instrument. Jazz also has the blues: Practice, for example, improvising on the blues scale (C, Eb, F, F#, G, Bb in the key of C) with a metronome at a given tempo in all twelve keys; then practice the twelve-bar blues that way. If you are addressing jazz from a classical (Western art music) background, you need to adopt a different mindset in order to play jazz effectively. Composition is frozen improvisation; improvisation, melted composition. If you compose an improvisation, you cannot then expect to be able to perform it in the same way in a jazz context that you would perform a written classical piece. It’s not spontaneous—and it will come off as such. Moreover, it will not allow for the essential group interplay; it must be different each time you perform it to be in the now. Your ideas must also contain the language of jazz: its phrases, rhythms, articulations, inflections, vibratos, and clichés. If they do not, you need to listen to jazz recordings of masters, sing and transcribe them. If your written ideas already speak the jazz language, translate them into a more spontaneous idiom. Begin by creating several ways to paraphrase each phrase. You don't have to recompose it drastically at first. Just leave a note out here and there, change a rhythm slightly, begin the phrase a half or whole beat later and adjust the rest of the phrase to make it fit within the meter and number of measures in each phrase. Do this without writing it out, by repeatedly singing and playing it spontaneously. In this way your original ideas will evolve organically into altered—and then new—ideas. This is the nature of improvisation, which begins with paraphrase. If you want to do this systematically, try Linear Jazz Improvisation, with which you would, for example, reduce a composition down to whole and half notes placed on the beat (by removing pick-ups, repeated notes and nonharmonic tones) and then apply chromatic modifiers to embellish the essential melody notes. Combine the reduced melody with the reduced


rhythms that can be found in the piece, and develop and permute both. This results in an ability to identify your basic ideas. Develop them. Above all, find ways of delivering your message in a spontaneous manner. Start by finding six solutions for each phrase. Since jazz requires a form of oral composition, write less and practice more at improvising. You have to run a lot of choruses, keep listening to what's coming out, and make adjustments until you like what you hear. Develop many different solutions for each phrase.


The most direct path to meaningful improvisation is to address the essential elements of specific compositions.

Essential Elements By essential elements I mean the melody, which I reduce by eliminating repeated notes and non-harmonic tones; the guide tone lines, which are the essence of the harmonic progression, but in the form of melodic lines; the root progression, which is itself a line; and the rhythms of the composition— also reduced, by eliminating motor rhythms (eighth-notes that don't create rhythmic hits). Once I have identified and memorized these elements, I begin to systematically develop them. My method, Linear Improvisation, offers ten chromatic targeting groups with which to modify all of the essentials mentioned above. This was the stuff of development for traditional composers of all Western styles. Targeting of reduced melodies can be combined with rhythmic development. of their reduced rhythms, which in turn can then be paraphrased and permutated. For example, it can be offset by a half beat (started off of one instead of on one, and then begun on beat two, and so on). We then combine this process with chromatic targeting. The result is that you quickly learn the most pertinent aspects of a composition, so that when you improvise, it has meaning with regard to the piece you are playing, beyond improvising generic licks and patterns. This method works without Greek names and theoretical jargon that is nonessential to your mastering of improvisational skills. If you practice the manner in which is presented in this method, you will gradually and organically shed the merely technical; and the composition will begin to speak to you.


Easy Method for Deriving Scales While the Linear Jazz Improvisation method is not about scales and modes, there is a much easier means of deriving them than through the complicated chord scale theory.1 Begin by employing the scale of the key of the composition. When chords appear that contain notes which are chromatic (foreign) to that key, alter those pitches accordingly. For example, when a G7 appears in a progression in the key of F, use the F scale, only change the Bb to B (the third of the G7, which is chromatic to the key of F). While the results are often the same as with chord scale theory, they are sometimes profoundly different. For instance, the last chord of the A section of Desifinado in the key of F is a Gb∆. Berklee College would call for a Gb Lydian Mode, but with my approach you have: Gb, A, Bb, C, Db, E, and F. There are no Greek names, no theories necessary: simplicity itself. An added benefit of this approach is that, rather than thinking locally (from chord to chord), you are liberated to think more globally (through the key of the entire phrase). Incidentally, the scale cited above is actually called the Persian scale, but it just came up as a natural consequence of the progression. While chord scale theory is the prevailing pedagogy in jazz, it is not the most direct path to meaningful improvisation, which would be to address the essential elements of specific compositions. Moreover, seven-note scales often present too much meaningless information to the listener, especially when these scales are derived from chords rather than melodies. They also tend to be too conjunct. How often, for instance, do you hear a good melody or line that moves exclusively stepwise? Many artists agree: Joe Henderson, for example, used to say, I don't want to sound like the index of a book, meaning that the graduates of college jazz departments sounded to him like they were demonstrating their knowledge of scales out of a book, rather than improvising meaningful statements on the specific song. Good lines, moreover, are usually propelled forward by means of chromatic nonharmonic tones (as with Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Parker, Davis, et al), and chord scales don't address the blues, which can be played over virtually any harmony. 1

For a detailed discussion of chord scales and jazz modes, see Understanding Scales and Modes in the appendix below.


Honesty is the true path to creating a personal style.

Developing a Style Jazz books tend to suffer from an overabundance of hyperbole and misinformation: genius, influential, original, sheets of sound, avoid notes— statements which misdirect, either implicitly or explicitly encouraging students to be original, for example. Says who, and why should we care? The primary traditional quality a jazz artist can possess is to have his or her own personal style. Just be true to your self. Learn every word in the dictionary without prejudice. For ideological reasons in a misguided quest for originality, some artists rule out certain musical elements because they have been done before. Never make such pre-determined judgments with regard to chords and scales—or any other sound—because whenever you do, you lose: It's all vocabulary. Even the vanilla flavor of the Mixolydian mode is perfect in the right circumstance. Dissonance and color are dramatically more effective following plainness; it is effective to precede a rich voicing with a simple triad. In learning one’s craft it is never too soon to begin the process of developing a personal style. While imitation is a good way to begin, excessive imitation, at its worst a shortcut to impressing the uninitiated audience, ultimately causes musicians who overindulge in this practice to be redundant and irrelevant. Learn the basic skills and become educated as to the differences among the various masters’ styles. Conscious experimentation with musical elements in search of fresh results has always been essential. One need only look to jazz history for confirmation of this practice: Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Coltrane and most other great jazz artists consciously experimented in order to expand their artistic vocabularies. Once you are in performance, though, disregard details such as chords and scales. Concentrate instead on the global climatic flow of the solo and on the rhythm section—and especially the audience reaction. Tell your story, make your point, and get out. Regardless of your audience’s demographics, you still have to come at them with confidence and attitude—in all circumstances. You need also to pull it off in the end with a climax.


One achieves music mastery not by talent alone, but by dint of hard work and dogged determination.

Identifying and Fixing Limitations The most important factor in reaching music mastery isn't talent, it’s consistency and hard work. This is especially true for contemporary jazz musicians, since rehearsals are at an absolute minimum. People are now recording and performing a greater variety of styles than before, making it essential to be solid on fundamentals in order to be able to digest a great deal of sophisticated information in a hurry. Fixing your limitations relieves stress and gives you confidence as a player, but you have to put in the time, since being aware of your limitations and actually taking action to fix them are two very different things. Even with the knowledge of how to play something, you still must consistently sit down and do the kind of slow, painful, repetitive practice needed for improvement to occur. Go back, slow it down, and reconsider your options; then persevere until it feels comfortable. Fix weaknesses by slowly working through a tune to find out what you really want to be playing, instead of just what your hands are comfortable finding. This kind of practicing is mentally draining, but it is necessary, direct, and effective.


Don’t rely on play-alongs.

Band in a Box and Play-Along CDs While Band in a Box and play-along CDs are valuable tools to help one get started on the improvisation process—to hear the chord changes and the groove, perhaps—do not over-rely on them. Ultimately, we must wean ourselves off these tools before the become crutches. The only way to be truly independent in group interplay is to first be able to play by oneself and hear the rest. Then go out and play with others or the entire enterprise is meaningless. This book supplies no fewer than nine sound files to make the learning of these skills easier and more fun. However, they primarily serve the function of allowing you to practice comping rhythms, for example, against the different rhythms and functions of the bass and drums. These files, too, are intended only to serve to get you started. Ultimately, you should be able to play all of this material without them, with merely a metronome. Then you should improvise on all of it extensively.


PRAXIS Cadences & Blues: All keys Inter-Related Basic Roles Major & Minor Key Solutions Essential Rhythmic Feels Sing to Internalize Learn it Straight, then Develop a Personal Style of Articulations, Inflections, & Vibratos. Improvise on Everything You Learn



Finale Notepad Sound-File Playback This book is best learned with the supplied sound files, intended to be played back in Finale Reader, a free and easy download. These are not PlayAlongs, though, but rather, Practice-Alongs, so please don’t expect pseudomusic here. 1. Download Finale Reader (free & easy). 2. Open and save the practice files in Reader. 3. Playback tools are standard. 4. To stop and go back to any place in the document for more replays, press the stop icon, and then type in the measure numbers. 5. Play the entire book back in Finale Reader, singing it until memorized. Then gradually learn each exercise with each of the complete playback files, both vocally and on your instrument. When that is learned, play it from memory with a metronome alone. 6. Play and Sing each exercise as written (separately and simultaneously). 7. Play and Sing it without looking (by rote). 8. Set the document’s playback for specifically what tempo you’d like for each exercise by selecting the tempo menu and typing in your desired tempo numbers. 9. Play back one exercise type in Reader, while practicing. 10. Slow it down to practice difficult sections. 11.

Insert repeats into the Reader document to work sections out.

12. Improvise on it; experiment with vibratos, articulations, inflections, rhythmic styles, and tempos.



CHAPTER 2 The inspiration for performing jazz is in the audience's reaction and the group interplay. Maintain that image in the practice room.

GUIDE-TONE LINES & CADENCES Guide tone lines constitute the essence of the harmonic movement in a chord progression—in the form of a line—without requiring one to think chord symbols. Practitioners routinely use guide-tone line technique for creating both melodic background lines and improvisations which move through the center of the chord changes. When you ferret out the thirds and sevenths of the chords in the progression, you will find two lines. Although they both tend to descend in stepwise fashion or remain on the same pitch before descending, one usually moves a bit more than the other. These two lines can also be combined and embellished with diatonic scale notes or chromatic non-harmonic tones. One can combine guide tone lines in a variety of ways for more complex results, but to create a background line, make a simple counter line. While making it swing, still don't be afraid to leave some notes sustained and on the beat. For best results, sing while creating. Add rhythm. Paraphrase it, and it will gradually evolve organically into an improvisation. This embellishment process can also be practiced systematically by applying chromatic targeting. In the exercises below, we focus on specific examples of guide-tone lines, root progressions, and basic swing comps, based on the two most common chord cadences. As with everything else in this book, we shall learn these lines in all keys. Since we need to be able to play everything in all keys, we often move through the Circle of Fourths, which is the harmonic foundation upon which tonal music is based. We will be progressing though the keys in the following succession: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db/C#, Gb/F#, B, E, A, D, G. To get you started on your way to getting used to running all new materials through this process, everything is written out in all twelve keys; but you should get off the page as soon as possible. With regard to chord symbols, first memorize them, then visualize (ideate) them, and then forget them and go for the sound.




















PRACTICING CHORDS FORMULAS Equivalent to figures of speech, formulas are especially prominent in bebop, which is often performed at race-track tempos in which formulas help facilitate rapid release. Improvisation is usually largely comprised of things the improviser has said before, of what at a given moment in performance he chooses to say and what is left out—out of the thousands of things that he could have said. The question then becomes which version of the formula is the paradigm, since when a wind player needs to breathe, for example, the formula will have to be modified. In this and many other ways, one formula evolves into many—however related. In spite of our systematic practice of idioms in every key as a basic praxis, in the heat of performance they find a great many unique ways of coalescing, the end of one becoming the beginning of another, for instance. This is especially true of all the traditional rhythms from which all AfricanAmerican music is derived. Create your own licks from the learned formulas below.


Circle of Fifths


Harmonic Formulas ~ Some Preliminaries In playing chords on the guitar, it is important to understand voice leading, which involves minimizing movement between chords. The upper part of the chord is grouped together as a single unit with minimal movement between the chords, while the bass line moves independently, predominately employing leaps:

ii7 V7 I∆ Cadence Since the ii7 V7 I∆ cadence is the most ubiquitous harmonic cliché in tonal music, frequently even occurring in several keys in a single passage, jazz practitioners work this out in its various forms in all keys and rhythmic feels. Triads are rarely used in jazz, in favor of the richer 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th chords. A seventh chord can be placed in root position, first inversion with the third in the bass, second inversion with the fifth in the bass, or in third inversion with the seventh in the bass:


Seventh chords in close voicing require long stretches for the left hand, especially when inverted.

Due to this limitation most guitarists use semi-open, or drop two voicings. To create a drop two voicing from a 4-way close voicing, drop the second voice from the lead down an octave:

Inversions of seventh chords become far more user-friendly for the guitar when using drop two:

So expedient for the guitar is the drop two voicing that we will begin by focusing on specific examples of both first and second inversion drop two cadences.


Drop Two Major ii7 V7 I∆ It is not our intention here to supply an anthology of all possible guitar voicings and comping rhythms—or of all possible cadences.2 Rather, we shall take the most common, and learn how to use them in specific practical musical solutions. We shall introduce two inversions of drop two guitar voicings in both major and minor modes, as well as a few more modern voicings for the blues, bossa nova and funk. Finally, we include modal planing of first inversion triads and three-note diatonic quartal voicings. Most of the time we avoid sounding the chord roots in the lowest guitar voice, since to do so both interferes with the function of the bassist, but also tends to ground the chords, having the effect of impeding the forward motion of the rhythmic groove, especially in swing feel. On the other hand, in Latin, funk, and other even-eighth-note feels in which melodic ostinato bass lines are prevalent, octave doubling can sometimes actually enhance the bassist’s line. Altered to iiø, V7-9 i7(6/69), the ii7 V7 I∆ cadence works in the same way in minor keys. It is not uncommon to combine major and minor cadences, for example, the minor iiø, V7 resolving to major I∆, and major version of ii7 V7 resolving to the minor key i7.


See Appendix 2 for an extensive list of harmonic clichés, to which you can adapt and apply all of the same voicings found in this book.


Rhythmic Accompaniment Styles Accompaniment creation (comping) is a sophisticated art unto itself, in which steady metronomic time and idiomatic rhythmic vocabulary are essential to the jazz guitarist. An accompanist provides harmonic and rhythmic support for both the melody and the soloists. To create interesting accompaniments, the guitarist should think of the upper notes in the chords as a counter melody to the soloists’ lines. Most important, however, are the basic jazz rhythmic styles as they are used in comping, which shall be our focus. Transcription is the best way to extend your comping vocabulary. Take your three favorite guitarists and compare how each comps on similar tunes—a bossa, for example—at the same tempo. Pretend you recorded each track many years ago and you've forgotten what happened. Take note of what surprises you, what you wouldn't have done. Figure out why it works. Learn the entire comp—at least by just singing or tapping the rhythms out. Principles you will discover include: 1. Withhold your forces: Don't comp on the head in the same way as you would the solo sections. Play fewer attacks, and place more of them on the beat than off. Use the compositional elements in your accompaniment, as Herbie Hancock does best. 2. While the head is often about creating tension with hits, the developmental sections (solos) should level off and swing with fewer interruptions. It should also make you dance. Use rhythmic repetition in your accompaniments. It has to be felt physically in order to be effective. Since lines should not become redundant, sounding as filler to keep it all going, allow them to breathe. 3. Support the soloist in a variety of ways as he builds towards a climax.


Basic Swing Comp Rhythm The most basic swing comp in accompanying improvisations is comprised of short chord punctuations rather than long sustained chords, an approach that promotes swing by creating a yin and yang between the accompanist’s anticipations and the bassist’s quarter-note walking on every beat. This arrangement swings without crowding the soloist. Written



For variety, place an occasional chord on the beat instead of anticipating it—but not too often, or the hypnotic swing groove will be lost.3


For pedagogical reasons we do not vary the pattern in these pages: This basic comping skill begins by learning to control the consistent placement of these anticipations. Moreover, beginners almost always over-vary this pattern to the point that the effect is ruined, before having learned to control the placement of these pecks.


In the pages below we have the basic major and minor cadences for you to learn in all keys, applied to the rhythm above. In addition, we will learn paradigm versions of all their related root progressions, as we will do also in the chapter on blues forms which follows.
























BLUES The blues has been an essential element of jazz since its inception, sometime at the beginning of the 19th century. Blues tunes can take many different forms, the most common of which is the 12-bar blues (found both in major and minor keys). There are also 16, 24, and 32-bar blues—and blues ballads as well. Summertime, for example, is a minor 16-bar blues; Watermelon Man is a major 24-bar blues; Angel Eyes, You Don't Know What Love Is, and Willow Weep for Me are all minor key 32-bar blues ballads. I've got Rhythm and Confirmation are 32-bar blues, but with common tonal bridges. In the traditional 12-bar blues the lyrics follows an AAB form: a 4-bar statement (A) that is repeated (A), followed by a different, concluding, statement (B). The basic progression involves movement from I to IV, back to I; and then IV, V (or V, IV), back to I. The 24-bar blues is usually an augmentation of the 12-bar type, with each measure occupying two measures instead of one. In the case of Watermelon Man, the V7-IV7 progression in measures 9-10 is played three times instead of once. Sevenths were added as blue notes, rather than for their dominant functions. By using this basic formula as a template and substituting other chords that function in similar fashion, or by adding additional secondary cadences, you can easily find alternatives to this, but a blues progression will still most often at least suggest the basic I, IV, V form. Beyond these, there are no empirical rules. Many blues melodies contain blue notes (b3, b5, b7), such as Summertime (a minor 16-bar blues with b5 in the melody), but not necessarily. Overall, there is a mood of sadness or hardship—but not defeat or self pity; and if the melody doesn’t specifically contain blue notes, it usually nonetheless lends itself to their application in improvisation. There are often chords in the chord progression that contain or suggest blue notes, such as the added sevenths to the basic progression cited above, or the Ab7 appearing in the key of C or C minor, suggesting the b3 and b5 blue notes (as we will find later in the Equinox-type minor blues. In the post bop period (1950s), one procedure was to do a 12-bar blues as an AABA form, using a common blues progression for the A sections, while inserting a tonal bridge to add relief from the blues in the middle of each chorus.


Twelve-Bar Blues The twelve-bar blues is still perhaps the most common form in jazz today, and the kinds of things one plays on a blues are the same as what practitioners do on jazz standards. As stated above, the most basic blues uses only three European chords, those built on scale degrees I, IV, and V. While I functions as a tonic chord (T) at rest, IV active subdominant (SD), and most active is V dominant (D). The chords most commonly take the form of seventh chords, such as C7, F7, and G7, but the sevenths function as blue notes, rather than as part of the tritone, the characteristic augmented fourth (flatted fifth) interval between the seventh and third that defines the D function.

Below is the most basic traditional 12-bar blues. If you know it well, it is relatively easy to adapt to other forms.


Jazz Blues The jazz blues will most often employ more than the three basic chords, with substitutions either replacing or enhancing the original blues chords. These substitutions are usually related to the original chords. Common chord substitutes are secondary ii7 V7 I∆ cadences, passing diminished chords, and turnarounds such as I vi ii V, which is a cliché cadential device used to smoothly return to the first chord at the tune’s beginning. When you play a blues in a jam session today, the progression below will most likely be used—or something close to it. It is this major blues progression that we assume in this chapter:

In the example above, the C7 in m.1 is the I chord; but rather than remaining on I in m.2 as we did in the basic blues above, this example moves to F7, IV. M.3 returns to I, and in m.4 we find a secondary cadence, ii7/IV7 V/IV7, instead of remaining on I∆. The F7 in m.5 is IV7, while F#o7 (#IVo7) in m.6 serves as a passing chord, connecting F7 to C7/G. On the C7/G in m.7, the 5th of the chord (G) is in the bass instead of the root. Since the G bass is the 5th of the C7, this constitutes a second inversion. Another secondary cadence, ii7/II to V7/V7,


can be found in mm.8-9. Count up the scale from D to find the ii7 V7 I∆ progression. In mm.11-12 the I vi ii V progression acts as a turnaround to the I chord. We will also learn a few variant ways of voicing the chords of these same cadences. We will not, however, attempt to offer an anthology of voicing possibilities. Instead we shall focus on essential three and four-note voicings with no roots on bottom, often substituting 9 for 1, 13 for 5, or 11 for 3. In actual practice, added tensions and color notes in chord voicings need not be specified in their notation, since their interpretation is usually left to the individual player’s discretion.


The Minor Jazz Blues As with the major blues, there are many variants. In this chapter we shall learn the ubiquitous minor blues form below:

Notice that, like the major blues, the minor blues is still based on I, IV, and V. As with the essential cadences, both versions retain these basic chords, only in a different version. As we observed with minor cadences, to the ii7 is typically added a flatted fifth, while the V7 gains a flatted ninth. The tonic and subdominant become minor seventh chords (i7 and iv7), and the ii7-5 often replaces the iv7 chord in measure 5. We will also learn the now standard minor blues form of John Coltrane’s Equinox, which is a basic I, IV, V blues, only in minor. Instead of the typical minor cadence in measures 9-10, it employs (in C minor) Ab7 to G7, in which the Ab7 substitutes for Dm7-5. For the most common major and minor blues, we will also learn specific riff-style comps, in which the chords are played in swing rhythm with somewhat varied repetitious four-measure sustained rhythmic phrases.










































































BOSSA COMPING While the even eighth-note feel of the Brazilian samba, from which the North American Bossa Nova developed, is most often played in cut time (2/4 or 2/2 meter), the bossa nova is in common time (4/4 meter), and is usually performed at a moderate tempo. We shall now apply to the cadences covered earlier the two most basic Brazilian comping rhythms of this style, each with its most common variant in which each two-measure rhythmic pattern is displaced,.




















LINEAR MELODIC SOLUTIONS The special challenge of playing meaningful ideas on the guitar is to avoid mindless scales and patterns. Since it's easy for your fingers to run amuck, singing everything you practice, both with and without the guitar, will help you focus directly on melodicism.

Melodic Formulas To complete our process of thoroughly learning the basics of jazz performance in modern jazz common practice, we shall now learn paradigm solo improvisational lines on everything covered above: guide-tone lines, root progressions, and the various cadences and blues. We begin with the common cadences, and then cover some with colorful melodic tensions, before learning a few very hip blues lines that go with the blues styles we learned earlier. Since the final blues line is entirely based on the most common (minor) blues scale, it will work on both the major or minor blues tunes. After learning these lines as written, improvise on them. Use them as a basis for vocabulary, while re-forming them into your own style, beginning by merely leaving certain of the notes out or by slightly altering their rhythms. You have to invite new vocabulary into your existing story. To help in facilitating this, return to the playback and play one role against the play-back of another. Also, learn them in different rhythmic styles, and experiment with inflections.


Swing Swing rhythm is the traditional regional rhythmic style of continental United States. Swing rhythm is written in 4/4 meter but is played using a 12/8 or triplet subdivided feel. The slower the tempo, the more marked this subdivision is felt. A prerequisite to creating swing feel is that every attack be placed precisely within this 12/8 continuum. We can see below how a chromatic targeting group is normally notated vis-à-vis how it should be interpreted. Written


To practice playing swing feel, begin by running choruses in which you improvise swing eighth-note lines with a metronome. Imagine a 12/8 continuum. Start by accenting the first eighth-note of each triplet subdivision, and then shift your accents off of the beat to the third eighthnote in each triplet subdivision; then practice mixing accents. While this will take time and practice to perfect, it is nonetheless only a starting point towards achieving a good sense of swing feel, since there are many variants and styles. Each rhythmic style, moreover, has its own definitive generic rhythms, basic rhythmic patterns for each of the most common jazz rhythmic styles— what we have been learning.


Start with dead center time and go from there.

Practicing Time Placement Time-placement is learned by listening to (and playing with) master jazz artists, and they don't always play dead-center metronomic time. Instead, they often focus on locking into the drummer's ride cymbal, for example. Individual artists’ rhythmic stylistic approaches vary greatly. Some Harlem black bands’ horn players consistently play even eighth-note feel over a swing rhythm section style. On the other hand, Joe Henderson and Kenny Durham would often use a swing feel over an even eighth-note rhythm section feel. All other variant approaches in between are done as well—often within a given phrase by a single player. There are also a variety of styles in which you lay back a bit, or play slightly on top (ahead) of the time. However, in your practicing, start with dead center time and go from there. If you can do this consistently, you can then more easily learn to increase your placement control by placing lines ahead or behind the time at will. Placement consistency can be improved systematically in the woodshed in a relatively short time with a little metronome treatment in swing subdivision. Jazz rhythm shares a salient characteristic with African rhythm: duple against or within triple meters. There are always several such dualities co-existing in any master jazz performance. In improvising lines, we place notes dependent upon which of these dualities we wish to be in at a given moment, which can change on a dime. Feel 4/4 straight-ahead swing time on beats two and four—unless it's real fast, and then think in a normal half-time (on beats one and three). Notice that the very count-off by the band-leader involves finger-snapping on beats two and four. This is because in swing feel the strong beats are reversed from the normal Western 4/4 meter in which beats one and three are the strong beats. It only takes a little getting used to once you have this understanding. This turned-around effect is not present, however, in most other rhythmic styles, such as samba and funk, which tend to maintain the usual hierarchy of metric stress. If you must tap your foot, do it inside your shoe so it can't be seen or heard.


Articulations & Inflections Inflections and articulations are the most overlooked aspects of jazz education.

Jazz Inflections, Articulations, Gestures, and Vibratos Jazz articulations, inflections, and vibratos are, in addition to African rhythm, the salient characteristics which distinguish it from the rest of Western art music. They are best learned through an ongoing process of transcription. They then must be internalized to the point where they are incorporated into the very fabric of your personal style. There are as many ways of using any of them as there are individuals to play them. These characteristic effects can be combined at will. Below is a short list: Bend Scoop Fall-Off: lip, half-valve, chromatic evaporating Rip Portamento/Glissando Tremolo, Shake, Trill Doodle Tongue Growl Flutter Tongue Grace Note Vibrato(s)


The Blues Scale The Blues Scale is based on the Pentatonic Scale, which contains five of the Blues Scale’s six notes.

The blues effect is created through the superimposition of blue notes (minor third, flatted fifth, and minor seventh) over a diatonic (containing only notes in a given key) major or minor key. There are many types of blues scale frequently in use, both major and minor. Perhaps the most ubiquitous is the Minor Blues Scale, comprised of pitch classes 1, b3, 4, b5, 5, and b7: C, Eb, F, Gb, G, and Bb. You could think of this pitch collection as a C minor pentatonic scale with the b5 (Gb) added: Minor Blues Scale

Blue notes can be played over virtually any harmony. Try, for example, sounding the Cm Blues Scale over every C chord (C, Cm∆, Cm, C7, C ∆#5, and so on, one at a time). We have a 12-bar blues based on this scale for you to learn below. It will work over both the major and minor blues progressions in this book.






































DIATONIC MODAL PLANING Planing is a technique in which a vertical structure is moved up or down in step-wise fashion. Extremely useful in moments of harmonic stasis (absence of movement, such as vamps and modal playing) is Diatonic Planing, in which we plane in similar motion while retaining the notes of a given diatonic scale or mode. In long modal vamps or vamps involving sustained dominant or minor chords, one can create the sense of movement through planing even when the chords do not progress. Two of the most useful forms of diatonic planing in jazz involve either first inversion triads or three-note voicings in fourths. Here below we introduce all of the modes in this manner, before transposing the Dorian mode version of diatonic planing in all keys. To supply transpositions for all seven modes, however, would fill too much space—and it is the perfect assignment for you to begin to transpose something in all keys on your own.














ADVICE Ear Training and Transcription Listening is the essential skill of the musicianr.

Pay Attention Make yourself aware of the sounds around you by transcribing TV commercials, traffic jams, bird calls, and the cricket symphony in your back yard. Transcribe them in your head with solfeggio, which in a single syllable identifies the hierarchical relationship of each and every note in relation to the tonic (do) of a key, or the priority note of a mode. It is also the jazz practitioner's task to internalize the essential chordal vocabulary of the language, seen below. Sing all adjacent and non-adjacent intervals of each until no calculation is needed (by non-adjacent intervals, I mean those that are not immediate neighbors). For a major triad, for example, besides 1, 3, and 5, sing 1, 5; 3, 7; or 1, 7, etc. Improvise at length on each chord all over the range of your instrument. Sing the same. Do this in all keys, since they sound and feel different in different registers. When you move into a new house, you must plan how to get home. After you've gone home from every direction, you just go home without a thought, and you can recognize it immediately.


4 Triads Major (capital letter), e. g., C Minor (m) Augmented (+) Diminished (o) 12 Basic 7th chords ∆ ∆-5 m7 m∆ ø 7 7sus4 7-5 +7 +∆ o7 o∆ These chords are the basic harmonic vocabulary of jazz. Linear Jazz Improvisation Books II and III will help you internalize them by applying ten different chromatic targeting patterns to each one.


Internalizing Intervals Solfeggio is the best tool for internalizing intervals. The beauty of solfeggio is in its naming of the relationship of each and every note within the key—in a single syllable. For example, Te says minor seventh of the key. There are many different approaches to learning intervals, however, and most are worthwhile. One approach to reckoning two intervals is to sing up the major scale. For example, to hear the interval of C up to F, sing the four letter names up the major scale: C, D, E, and F to reach a perfect fourth, and then just sing the interval. If you have difficulty identifying augmented and diminished intervals, compare them to the perfect, major, or minor counterparts of the pitch class. Compare, for example, an augmented fourth to a perfect fourth or perfect fifth by repeatedly alternately singing and playing each interval. To reckon the seventh of a seventh chord in relation to its root, begin by dropping the seventh an octave and getting a grasp of it as a second, and then transpose the seventh up an octave. Sing both versions repeatedly and compare them until they are familiar. Another method is to concentrate on the sound quality of the interval, the way it rings and resonates—its timbre. Yet another way is to identify intervals by using famous tunes you know. Maria, for example, is good for remembering the augmented fourth interval, since its melody begins with that interval. Practice singing at the keyboard or with the guitar, and carry a pitch pipe with you. Play the intervals up and down throughout the entire range of your instrument. Sing it and it will gradually become internalized. Do this with every interval. After a while you won't have to calculate at all. Apply this process to each of the four triad and twelve seventh-chord types; repeatedly sing each chordal arpeggio. Memorize how each sounds in every key. Learn the harmonic clichés in the same manner. Sing solos with it: Start with small phrases, whatever you can handle, and go from there.


I will never be able to sing.

Get Over It Singing will act directly as an adjunct in the service of your instrument, as should also the keyboard. Many believe they are incapable of singing, because they haven't yet done it, or they had a bad choral experience in school—and it does take time to develop these skills. We all, however, must use our voices for tonal memory, learning vocabulary, and ultimately for communicating musical ideas to other musicians. Sight Singing 1. Practice sight-singing intervals and melodic passages from the Melodia Sight Singing book (with solfeggio syllables): Melodia Sight Singing is specifically designed for the development of sight-reading skills (don't allow yourself to stop, no matter what). 2. Practice rhythm sight-reading through Louie Bellson's rhythm book. 3. Practice sight reading standard tunes with solfeggio syllables: melody, guide tone lines, and root progression. 4. Put together a group of friends to do these activities.


Transcribe to learn the language of jazz.

Transcription If you copy one artist too much you could become a clone, but most of us learn a great deal from this process by drawing from a variety of players. To get started, memorize Miles Davis’s solos on So What and Someday My Prince Will Come, and Kenny Durham's solos on Recorda-Me and Blue Bossa—improvisations which are melodic and do not contain too many fast passages. Learn also to sing their inflections, articulations, and vibratos. You could write them out, but that is more difficult and less to the point with regard to learning vocabulary, since the latter focuses on developing notational skills as well. Many ideas that you transcribe would never occur to you otherwise. Each phrase learned in this manner can be paraphrased and recomposed and combined in ways that bear your own sonic fingerprint. Listen to jazz recordings with particular attention to what rhythms are used. In this way you will learn the rhythmic language and also the particular rhythms found in the tunes you're working on. Study also recordings of traditional African music, as well as its Brazilian and Cuban relatives.


It’s often easier for the musically illiterate to learn by rote than it is for the educated.

Internalizing Tunes Learning tunes is accomplished by degree. The more you run choruses, the more ideas present themselves—and your sonic fingerprint organically evolves, forming itself into the composition. The more you work on a tune in this fashion, and the more you perform it, the more it will grow. The composition will begin to speak to you. But some songs, such as Lush Life, take even a master a lifetime to internalize, so don't expect to gain intimacy upon one listening or practice session. Here's how to internalize a tune: 1. Reduce the melody down to whole or half notes (depending on the melodic rhythm of the particular tune) by placing every note on the beat and removing all repeated notes, pickups, and non-harmonic tones. You are left with the song's essentials. 2. Play the reduced melody on the piano. 3. Sing the entire song repeatedly. 4. Sing the first four measures repeatedly until it sinks in. 5. Sing the second four measures repeatedly until it sinks in. 6. Put the two phrases together. 7. Go through the entire tune in this manner: simply, so that it will stick in your memory.


Do all of the above with a metronome. Since you want to program your subconscious mind to remember the exact melodic rhythm for further development, take care never to add or drop a beat. There are usually only two primary ideas in a given song. It helps to study recorded performances of the tune. After you finish with this preliminary process, you can then concentrate on developing your own personal phrasing style and improvisations on the piece without fear of forgetting its essentials or getting lost. Use the same process to internalize the chords. Guitarists and pianists in particular must remember the chords in some fashion, since they will need to accompany as well as solo. Develop the ability to remember both the melody and the chords, but first learn the melody, then the chords, and then put them together in the manner cited above. As you get more practice at it, the process will become easier, and you will eventually be able to do both at once. Transcribe and analyze many songs of different types. The more different tunes you examine, the easier it will be for you to recognize their various types. Gradually you will be able to adapt to new tunes rapidly, whether reading or hearing. Once you are capable of recognizing the various song styles, you will only need to remember those things that are different from its type. Try to get past the intellectual and analytical. After the tune is learned, forget all calculations and work by ear. Eventually, you’ll be able to skip the intellectual process altogether. The talented and illiterate often develop the essential memory skills much faster than the literate, since the former have gotten into a habit of relying on their ears out of necessity. Intellectual skills, although helpful in many ways, are not essential to an extemporaneous art form such as jazz. Many masters have been musically illiterate. Moreover, no matter how intellectual and literate one becomes, one still needs to ultimately lose such thinking in order to tap into the most direct and spontaneous forms of improvisation. Therefore, internalize progressions by singing them in the form of arpeggios through the entire form, and sing the guide tone lines and root progressions. First you need to be able to sing arpeggios of each and every chord separately: the four triad types, the twelve seventh chords, and the various


ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth chords. The more you develop and rely upon your tonal memory, the less you will need to intellectualize and analyze: You just know. This process begins with the blues and standard tunes, which are still the types of tunes most often used in jazz. Tunes containing late nineteenthcentury extended harmony and twentieth-century non-functional chord successions are more advanced and therefore more difficult at first to learn, yet they too can be memorized in this same manner. It just takes dogged determination, hard work, and time to develop. In transcribing chord changes, transcribe the lead line first, then the bass, and then ascertain the chord quality (sing the thirds and sevenths). After enough such transcriptions, you will get to where you hear entire progressions as clichés.


Look the music over—then put it away.

Internalizing Chords Solfegge the reduced melody, guide tone lines, and root progression of standard tunes. Memorize everything, unless time restrictions make it impossible. Minimize the symbols and reading as a step towards internalizing a song. Know all the basic song types. Be able to recognize and sing chord phrases (harmonic clichés such as I, vi, ii, V—see Chord Appendix 2 below). When sight-reading, first look over a lead sheet, and then put it away. In developing your musical memory, begin by playing a single recorded phrase back, and then stop and remember it; and then sing it back or write it out. If a slow-down tool helps at first, use it; but ultimately you need to be able to hear it all as you would transcribe a sentence in English. Get yourself to the level at which you need to rely on nothing but your ears, memory, and a pencil. Internalization follows an organic and gradual transformation from reading, to visualizing (ideating), to minimalization (visualizing only a few landmarks), to the point where once the tune begins you calculate nothing of that sort. It's easier to transcribe chord changes when you first know the basic formulas. Start with the lead voice, then the bass, then the second from the top on down. You should be able to deduct some of it after you recognize its inner patterns. Try also writing down a tune you already can sing.


Ten-Tune Starter Repertoire The list below is an arbitrary suggested beginning repertoire. It includes the basic song-form and rhythmic types, and is comprised of tunes which everyone knows. It would also make a good performance set. Add tunes that you are particularly into. To be practical, these tunes should be those that most practitioners know, and they shouldn't be too difficult—and they should be good tunes. Feel free to substitute similar tunes in the various categories. 1. Swing Standard: There Will Never Be Another You. 2. Bossa: Blue Bossa 3. Waltz: All Blues 4. Ballad: In a Sentimental Mood 5. Blues: Blue Monk 6. Changing Feels: Green Dolphin Street 7. Funky Blues: Watermelon Man 8. Classic: Summertime 9. Bop Blues: Au Privave 10. Swing Minor Standard: Autumn Leaves


Music is meaningless without others.

Starting Jam Sessions Musical activity must not be confined to one’s solitude. Jazz must be played with and especially for others. It's not that the scene is worse than it used to be with regard to jamming, it's just that it's different: Outside of schools, jam sessions have largely moved from public to private. You just have to get started at creating your own. 1. Go to the local clubs on open mike night. Meet the players, and then find out who seems to be like-minded and might want to jam. Setting this up in advance to meet once a week is best, since it sends the message that the activity will continue regardless of any individual’s absence. It also minimizes the necessity for phone calls, which are convenient opportunities for participants to cancel under pressure from family. Most important, though, is that with a regular schedule it becomes part of the participants’ schedules. 2. Try posting an ad in the local papers' classifieds, something like: Beginning (intermediate?) jazz (fill in the instrument) looking to jam with others. Do this and it will change your musical life. With determination, it succeeds even in the most remote geographical areas. 3. Invite everyone who can play—especially those better than you. Find out who is reliable and cool. Invite them back. Schedule it for every week at the same time and place regardless of who comes. Make music, learn, and have fun. The word will get out that there is playing going on.


Ideological Preconceptions Ideology is the kiss of death to the artist, along with preconceived notion and over-stylization. Some jazz artists limit their music for various ideological reasons, such as the black artist clinging excessively to quartal voicings and avoiding the rest of the harmonic vocabulary presumably because it's white, or the white artist avoiding cliché jazz rhythms and blue notes because that's black and he wants to be original. With regard to over-stylization, as much as you strive for fresh vocabulary, it’s still essential that you understand why, what, and to whom you are communicating. If you wish to be understood, you must be grounded in a language. Many scholars unrealistically believe that the best audience is one comprised of musicians following the score, but the real game is in how honestly and effectively the artist balances the fresh with the understandable— and then puts it across. It’s your responsibility to tell your story in a concise and clear manner, and to lead the listener from one point to the next, culminating in a clear and decisive climax. Since there is no urtext (definitive blueprint) in jazz comparable to a Beethoven score, one must have a clear understanding of intention and content—and then be able to communicate it effectively in the moment. Jazz is about gaining your own voice within the language and tradition, while continuing to assimilate the harmonic advancements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Tell your own story honestly. Prepare to deliver it effectively in your own personal voice.


Find another dimension in which to create background interest.

Guitar and Piano Comping Together When playing in a group that includes both guitar and piano, some basic accommodations are needed. Since jazz pianists usually take over the comping role, leaving the guitarist to find another dimension in which to create background interest, guitarists should bear the following suggestions in mind: 1. Work out ahead of time which of you will comp for which soloists. One can comp while the other rests. 2. Let the pianist comp while the guitarist plays guide tone lines. The guitarist can, in this way, supply the essential harmonic movement in a melodic and rhythmic fashion, while the pianist does the bulk of the chording. 3. Play bits of the reduced melody (reduced to whole or half notes placed on the beat). 4. Play a soft, repetitive rhythm guitar part behind the pianist. 5. Have the guitarist supply effects that do not interfere with the piano comp—rhythmic, motivic, and electronic. 6. Listen to experienced musicians such as Jim Hall, John Abercrombie, Mick Goodrick, John Scofield, and Kirt Rosenwinkel. Accompanists should avoid chasing the soloist down, repeating every phrase or constantly employing big chords containing with prime dissonance without variety, especially with constant motor rhythms, such as running eighth-note chords which become merely a pulse that saturates the sonic spectrum without supplying specific rhythmic support or interplay.


Reading Lead Sheets Reading lead sheets involves more—and different—strategies than those needed for merely reading lines. It involves recognition through rapid analysis and a quick understanding of the composition’s construction, its song type, and its harmonic clichés. Ultimately, when reading a lead sheet for the first time, you will think, that's like such and such, except for this four-measure extension or that chord substitution. Therefore, reading lead sheets requires song analysis skills. Basic Process of Song Analysis 1. Determine the primary and secondary keys. 2. Determine the recurring form of the tune—its phrase and key progression. 3. Analyze the syntax of every chord in the progression (or succession). 4. Analyze the syntax to each and every melody note with regard to the key it's in, as well as the chord over which it resides. 5. Do this to many different types of tunes by a variety of different composers. Start with your own repertoire, then the various blues forms, and then all the standard song types. In practicing, it is better to think globally (in the overall phrase and key) than locally (chord to chord, or chord-scale to chord-scale); the results will be more musical and logical. Once you have internalized a tune, begin running choruses while keeping the themes in mind. Learn to recognize the licks that you continually attempt to play, and when they are rough, stop and work them out; then continue the process, putting them back into context. As you internalize a tune, you will not have to think about any of these things in performance.



Congratulations! You have just completed a rather hefty course in jazz guitar, which covered basic cadences, blues scales and licks, the 12-bar blues progressions of various types, accompaniment rhythms, and some basic strategic thinking. You are now ready for Linear Jazz Improvisation, Book I, where we explore melody reduction and rhythmic development in depth, based on the salient elements of specific compositions.



APPENDIX 1 HARMONY Secondary Key Areas (Cadences) Early in the tonal period, it became obvious that the seven diatonic chords were predictable, and that secondary key areas (cadences borrowed from keys other than the primary key) were needed for variety, movement, and interest. By employing a dominant of a diatonic chord, you increase the need for resolution and further propel the progression forward towards the primary cadence. Since secondary cadences do not last long enough (usually fewer than four measures) to establish true modulations, they merely suggest temporary chromatic key relationships that enhance the primary key; but the tritones (augmented fourth intervals) of the secondary dominants dramatically increase the need for resolution into momentary secondary keys. This form of harmonic enhancement is commonly applied to any chord in a progression. Chord Progression & Chord Succession Chord progression, the cornerstone of tonal music, is movement essentially through the cycle of fourths, culminating in a cadence (SD, D, T). A chord succession, a late nineteenth-early twentieth-century development, avoids tonal functionality. It is a series of chords that merely supplies melodic movement and color. Modal Interchange From the earliest days of tonal music, composers have observed a close relationship between the relative major and minor modes in key interchanges within a given progression or overall composition, since they share the same key signature. There is a similar close relationship between the parallel major and minor modes, since they share the same tonic (but with different key signatures). These are used as color additions to the composer’s palette. By extension, any of the diatonic major and minor mode chords in a given key can be interchanged, and are often found juxtaposed in successive passages.


Harmony evolved as a result of coinciding lines.

Chord Substitution Chord substitution involves the replacing of one chord with another. The simplest form of this would be to replace a diatonic chord (having only notes within the key) with another of the same or similar function. For example, in the key of C you could use any of the following tonic chords (at rest) relatively interchangeably: Tonic: I∆; iii7, vi7 Subdominant: ii7, IV∆, bVII7∆ Dominant: V7 and vii7ø The next most common type is the Tritone Substitute Dominant (SubV7), a dominant chord whose root is an augmented fourth away from V7, resolves down a minor second instead of up a perfect fourth. The (bII7-5) is used interchangeably with V7. As with secondary dominants, there are also secondary substitute dominants. The reason these two chords are similar is that they share the same tritone, the characteristic interval which defines the dominant function, since the tritone wants to resolve to tonic. For example, in the key of C the F leans towards E, while B, the leading tone, leads to the tonic, C. These notes retain the same tendencies regardless if they appear in G7 or Db7. Both G7-5 and Db7-5 share the same four notes: They differ in that D moves up a perfect fourth (or down a perfect fifth) to the root of the tonic chord, while SubV7 descends chromatically. While the ubiquitous ii7 V I cadence offers the strongest possible root progression (through the cycle of fourths), ii7 bII7 I is the second strongest root progression, descending in minor seconds.



HARMONIC CLICHES Chords gradually evolved by being constructed up in thirds. Western tonal music is based on progressions that travel through the circle of fourths, culminating in a cadence based upon a subdominant (active) chord to a dominant chord (most active), and resolving to a tonic chord (at rest). Subdominant is characterized by scale two and four, dominant by the tritone (augmented fourth) interval between the leading tone and the fourth scale degree, and tonic by scale degrees one and three. Dominant is called such because it has the strongest need to resolve. The V7 is the dominant chord in all major and minor tonal progressions. The SubV7 (bII77) chord, however, shares the same tritone. In addition, just as there are secondary Ds, there are also secondary SubV7s. ii7 (iiø), V7, I∆ (m7, m6, m69, m∆) ii7 (iiø), Sub V7 (bII7), I∆(m7, m6, m69, m∆) bvi7, bII7, I∆ (m7, m6, m69, m∆) bvi7, V7, I∆ (m7, m6, m69, m∆) Any component of a major or minor cadence can be employed in any combination, for example, ii7 V7 i7 and iiø V7-9 I∆. On the SubV7 chords, b5 (#11) is an option. Learn these in all keys: Note: For convenience of reading, all examples are in C. All major or minor chords can take the form of a triad, 6, 69, 7, or ∆.


Cliché Cadences ii7 V7 I∆ Dm7 G7 C∆ iiø V7-9 i Dø G7-9 Cm ii7 V7 i Dm7 G7 Cm iiø V7-9 I Dø G7-9 C ii7 bII7 (subV7) I Dm7 Db7 C ii7 bII7 i Dm7 Db7 Cm iiø bII7 I Dø Db7 C iiø bII7 i Dø Db7 Cm bvi7 bII7 I Abm7 Db7 C bvi7 bII7 i Abm7 Db7 Cm bviø bII7 I Abø Db7 C bviø bII7 i Abø Db7 Cm


bvi7 V7 I Abm7 G7 C bvi7 V7 i Abm7 G7 Cm bviø V7 I Abø G7 C bviø V7 i Abø G7 Cm IV V I FGC IV V i F G Cm iv V i Fm, G, Cm iv V I Fm G C ii7/iii7 V7/iii7 I F#m7 B7 C ii7/iii7 V7/iii7 i F#m7 B7 Cm ii7ø/iii7 V7/iii7 I F#ø B7 C iiø/iii7 V7/iii7 i F#ø B7 Cm


Cliché Progressions I vi7 ii7 V7 I IV C Am7 Dm7 G7 F I VI7 (V7/ii7) II7 (V7/V7) V7 I IV C A7 D7 G7 C F I #i°7 ii7 V7 C C#o7 Dm7 G7 I biii°7 ii7 V7 C Ebo7 Dm7 G7 iv iv7 iiø V7-9 Fm Fm/Eb Dø G7b9 IV iv7 iii7 biiio7 ii7 V7 I F Fm7 Em7 Ebo7 Dm7 G7 C I bIII bVI bII7 C Eb Ab Db I IV bVII7 II7 I VI ii7 V7 C F Bb7 E7 A7 Dm7 G7 bvø iv7 iii7 biiio7 ii7 V7 I Gbø Fm7 Em7 Ebo7 Dm7 G7 i bII7 Cm Db7 I bII7 C Db7 I #io7 ii7 #iio7 I/3, III7 IV∆ #ivo7 C C#o7 D-7 D#o7 C/E E7 F∆ F#o7


I iiø/iii7 V7/iiiø iiø/ii7 V7/iiø iiø V7 I∆ C F#ø B7 Eø A7 Dø G7 C∆ I iiø/iii7 V7/iii7 ii7/bIII V7/bIII ii7/ii7 V7/ii7 ii7/bII V7/bII ii7, V7 I∆ C F#ø B7 Fm7 Bb7 Em7 A7 Ebm7 Ab7 Dm7 G7 C∆ Cycle 5: C7 F7 Bb7 Eb7, etc Dm7 G7 C; Gm7 C7 F; Cm7 F7 Bb∆, etc. Down in Major seconds: Dm7 G7 C; Cm7 F7 Bb∆; Bbm7 Eb7 Ab, etc. Dø G7-9 Cm; Cø F7-9 Bbm; Bbø Eb7-9 Abm; etc. Down in SubV7s (1/2 steps): C7 B7 Bb7 A7, etc.


Line Cliché Line cliché, a harmonic commonplace, is used to achieving melodic movement over harmonic stasis, as with In a Sentimental Mood, which has various versions of Dm: (Dm) Dm, Dm∆, Dm7, and Dm6. Contrapuntal Elaboration of Static Harmony (CESH) is the pedantic term for this. Some Line Clichés: i, I∆, i7, i6, bVI Cm, Cm∆, Cm7, Cm6, Ab∆ i, bVI/3rd, i6, bVI/3rd Cm, Ab/C, Cm6, Ab/C In the Bass Voice: (VI7 over b2 bass) V7/II7, (II7 over 1 bass) V7/V7, (V7 over leading-tone bass) V7, (I7/b7 bass) V7/IV, etc. A7/C#, D7/C, G7/B, C7/Bb, etc.



MILES & MODES To learn what Miles Davis thought of his music from his so-called modal period (circa 1958-63), the best source is his own account in Miles: The Autobiography, in which he states that he was prompted toward improvising on fewer chords by Gil Evans' arrangements of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, for which Evans in places wrote Davis only a single pentatonic scale on which to improvise. He also writes that George Russell recommended pianist Bill Evans (no relation to Gil) to Davis in 1958 for Davis’s small group LP, Kind of Blue, on the strength of Evans' knowledge of the music of French Impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Davis subsequently became infatuated with Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand, and spent roughly the next thirteen years incorporating his musical devices from that particular piece into a distinctive Davis style of what some historians (Winthrop Sargeant, for example) aptly termed Impressionist Jazz, in which Davis used unresolved melodic tensions, quartal harmony, non-functional chord successions, extended pedal points, bi-tonality, and other salient characteristics of early twentieth-century Western art music. Jazz is not modal, however—including Davis’s music of the period in question. Jazz scholar Barry Kernfeld calls this music Davis’s Vamp Style, explaining that it doesn’t fulfill the musical characteristics which scholars attribute to modal music. In brief, modality is a medieval style based on melody—not chords, unlike Mozart's music, whose melodies are guided by—and even usually outline—chord progressions which move forward through the circle of fifths towards tonal cadences. True modal music is a melodic, rather than a harmonic, concept. Even when harmony is introduced to modality, it does not guide its behavior; and the mere absence of chord progressions—or the presence of pedal points—does not constitute modality. Since Davis’s music was beautiful by any standard, his misunderstanding of the term modal is irrelevant, but his belief that his music was modal does not make it so. This misunderstanding of modality has had a profound effect on jazz improvisation pedagogy. The prevailing approach in modern times is to


arbitrarily assign modes (chord scales) to each chord in a tonal progression that was designed to accompany a tonal melody. The problem with this procedure is that it fails to address the primary stuff of the tonal composition: melody, guide tone line, and root progression. Moreover, to assign three different Greek mode names to a tonal ii7 V7 I∆ (D Dorian, G Mixolydian, and C Ionian) cadence, for example, is tedious and misleading, since it is in the key of C major; if you combine the three modes, you come up with the obvious: a C major scale. In the latter context, it is also less restricting to think globally through the key, rather than locally from chord to chord. To summarize: From 1958 on, Davis was searching for a way to play more motivically and to be less constricted to running chord changes while improvising. In the process, he became captivated by Ravel's various devices. While he thought that this constituted modality, he was in reality incorporating early twentieth-century Impressionist devices into jazz.


PRACTICING MODES Don’t overuse scales: You can only take them so far before it becomes absurd.

Major and Minor Modes As tonal music evolved, it needed more devices in order to supply elements of surprise and color. From its origins in tonal music, there has been a two-fold relationship between the major and minor modes: relative and parallel. They are often used interchangeably, such as in Wave, Alone Together, Lament, and many other tunes. The frequent mixture of major and minor modes within cadences reflects that. The traditional origin of chords in minor is from the harmonic minor scale, hence the name. The iiø and V7-9 are diatonic to the harmonic minor mode. This can progress to any version of a tonic chord: Cm, Cm7, Cm6, Cm69, Cm∆ (the traditional version is melodic minor for tonic minor). The version of the tonic that is employed usually depends on its context. The i6 (tonic minor chord with an added major sixth) usually comes at the end of an eight-measure phrase in Duke's music, for example. Today, however, everything and anything goes. For surprise, expectations are often thwarted: ii7 V7 i7 or ii7ø V7-9 I∆, for example. SubV7s are treated in similar manner. The easiest way to think scales is as follows: harmonic minor for the first two chords, Dorian (for i7), melodic minor (for m∆), and the pentachord itself for m69 (Cm69 = C, D, Eb, G, A). There are, however, many other solutions, and a great many other alterations can also be employed— mostly for their color qualities. It should be kept in mind, however, that the more pitch classes one includes in the harmony, the more restricted the soloist becomes. In addition, approach those alt fake book symbols with skepticism, since they are often there unnecessarily. Practice scales through all keys, the entire range of the instrument, with a metronome. After learning scales, improvise on them one at a time until they


are internalized. Below is a short list of the most common scales. Regardless of the mode, or the number of notes in that scale, they should all be practiced in all inversions (modes). Blues (6 notes; 6 modes; 12 keys) Major (7 notes; 7 modes; 12 keys) Harmonic Minor (7 notes; 7 modes; 12 keys) Melodic Minor (7 notes; 7 modes; 12 keys) Anhemitonic Pentatonic (5 notes; 5 modes; 12 keys) Diminished (Octatonic) (8 notes; 2 modes; 3 transpositions) Whole-Tone (6 notes; 0 modes; 2 transpositions) Six-Note Symmetric (C, D#, E, G, G#, B: 6 notes; 2 modes; 4 transpositions) If we use the C scale as our example, C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C would be Ionian, D to D (D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D) would be D Dorian; E-E, E Phrygian; F-F, F Lydian; G-G, G Mixolydian; A-A, A Aeolian, B-B, B Locrian (B, C, D, E, F, G, A, B). Dorian mode is spelled starting from the second degree of a major (M) scale. D Dorian would be a C scale, only beginning and ending on D (D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D). C Dorian would be spelled like a Bb scale beginning on C: C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb, C (still one octave). These, of course, can be spelled and played in more than one octave. Work this out in all twelve keys. There is always a hierarchy of notes in both tonal and modal music, centered on do. To establish one of these pitch collections as a mode, as the priority note (for example, D in D Dorian), you need to establish its ascendancy by: (1) quantitative emphasis, playing it more often than the other pitch classes (notes), and/or (2) by qualitative emphasis, putting it in prominent places (phrase beginnings and endings). It helps to be able to identify the priority note in a mode, and to be familiar with the characteristic harmonic signature (color note) present in each mode:


Ionian—scale 4 Dorian—scale 6 Phrygian— scale b2 Lydian— scale +4th Mixolydian— scale b7 Aeolian— scale b6 Locrian— scale b2 and b5 As a practical matter, fingerings for any or all of the modes based on the C scale, for example, will be the same, regardless of which mode it is, since they are all inversions of the same seven-note gamut. In practicing these scales, keep track of all the keys and inversions you do, to ensure you cover it all. Try to get all to a similar level at first, and then return repeatedly to all of it again at later times at increasingly faster tempos. You could stay on each key for longer periods of time, or you could try to get through a given scale in all keys (or transpositions) in a given day. Both ways are beneficial, yet have somewhat different results. Therefore, do them both ways. After learning each mode, add non-harmonic tones to each, starting with leading tones; then improvise frequently, both vocally and instrumentally, on each mode—especially to get used to hearing one note at a time as the priority note. Modes of Major I∆ C∆ ~ Ionian ii7 Dm7 ~ Dorian iii7 Em7 ~ Phrygian IV∆ F∆ ~ Lydian V7 G7 ~ Mixolydian vi7 Am7 ~ Aeolian viiø Bø ~ Locrian


Modes of Melodic Minor Im∆ Cm∆ ~ Real Melodic Minor ii7 Dm7(-9) ~ Dorian-9 bIII∆ Eb+∆ ~ Lydian Augmented IV7+11 F7+11 ~ Lydian b7 (Overtone Scale, Lydian Dominant) V7-13 G7-13 ~ Mixolydian b6 viø9 Aø9 ~ Aeolian b5 VII+7-9, +9, -5, +5, B+7 ~ Altered Dominant (Superlocrian) Modes of the Harmonic Minor Im∆ Cm∆ ~ Harmonic Minor iiø Dø(-9) bIII+∆ Eb+∆ ivø (iv7) Fø (Fm7) V7-9-13 G7-9-13 (most common) bVI∆-5 Ab∆(+9) VII7-5, -9, +9, -5, +5 All of the modes of the major and melodic minor are frequently used. The harmonic minor, however, is usually preserved for its fifth inversion (V7-9 in minor key areas). Other symbols could be added, and they are numerous. In most cases, however, it's best to ascertain which scale is involved without all the extensions, since they are not usually all needed in the voicing itself. Each example involves the same scale, regardless of the chord or inversion in terms of fingering and dexterity. However, if you want the root to sound as a priority note, then the inversion will cause a different hierarchy of notes; the notes will want to behave differently, due to the re-arranging of the scalar intervals. Learn to sing and play improvisations on each and every mode while maintaining each mode’s priority note as do. Do this in different registers, since they sound and feel different when transposed more than a third. Learn each of them in all twelve transpositions. Learn them throughout entire tunes, changing modes from chord to chord. Sing each of them


repeatedly until they are internalized. Sing all adjacent and non-adjacent intervals of each. In addition, all their chords and all chordal voicings can be memorized in the same fashion as with scales. Do the same with virtually everything you are learning—then lose the visual and mental intellectual thinking. Chords of Modes of Major I∆—C, C∆, C∆9, C6, C69, C∆13(no11), Am11/C ~ Ionian ii7—Dm, Dm7, Dm9, Dm11, Dm13, C∆/D ~ Dorian iii7—Em, Em7, Em11(no9), F∆/E, F∆-5/E, E7sus4-9, Bø/E ~ Phrygian IV∆—F, F∆, F∆9, F∆+11, F∆-5, F∆13, G/F∆ ~ Lydian V7—G, G7, G7sus4, G9sus4, G13sus4, F∆/G, G9, G13, F∆-5/G ~ Mixolydian vi7—Am, Am7, Am9, Am11 ~ Aeolian viiø—Bø, Bø11(no9) ~ Locrian While we have added six and six/nine to the list for major, they usually take pentatonic forms. Tension 11 works well in the bass of any m7 or ø chord. Since there are three different m7 chords and two ∆ chords, in order to know which mode to apply, you need to understand how each chord is functioning within the progression (since, for example, ii7 takes Dorian, while iii7 takes Phrygian, and vi7 takes Aeolian). This can sometimes be important in certain secondary cadences, keys of the moment, for example, in the key of C: || F#ø B7-9 | Em7 || is ii7/iii7 V7-9/iii7 | iii7 (F# Locrian, E harmonic minor over B, Em7 Phrygian—usually not Dorian). There are always exceptions, however. Analyze many tunes of different types at the piano.


Chords of Modes of Melodic Minor Im∆: Cm∆, Cm, Cm6, Cm69, Cm∆9, Cm∆, 9, 11, 13 ~ Melodic Minor ii7: Dm7, Dm, Dm6, Dm11(no9) ~ Dorian-9 bIII+∆: Eb+∆ ~ Lydian Augmented IV7+11: F7+11, F9+11, F13, F7-5, F9-5 ~ Lydian b7, Overtone Scale, Lydian Dominant V7-13: G7-13, G9, G7sus4, G9sus4, G7-13, G9-13 ~ Mixolydian-13 viø9: Aø9, Aø, Aø11 ~ Aeolian-5 VII+7-9, +9, -5, +5: B7-5, -9, B+7, B7-9, +9, +11, -13 ~ B+7 ~ Altered (Superlocrian) Due to the resultant minor ninth interval, avoid -9 in any minor chord voicing, even when it is in the scale. Avoid 5 and -5 (or 5 and #11) in the same voicing on dominant chords. In the melodic minor mode, some use 7sus4-9 as a form of ii7 chord. This is misleading and illogical, though, because that symbol would indicate a dominant type chord, implying a major third (F#) in the collection (if there were one). The A7sus4-9 chord is in reality a V7-9, only with its fourth degree sustained and not resolved to chord tone major three. The pitch collection would implicitly be D, Eb, (F#), G, A, C, with the B pitch class unspecified. A better solution, perhaps, would be to call it instead a Cm69/D. Chords of Modes of the Harmonic Minor Im∆: Cm∆, Cm, Cm∆9, Cm11 ~ Harmonic Minor iiø: Dø, Dø11 (no9) bIII+∆ Eb+∆ ivø Fø, Fm7, 9 V7-9-13 G7-9-13 (most common), G7sus4-9, -13 bVI∆-5: Ab∆(+9), Ab∆-5 (+9) VII7-5(-9, +9, -5, +5)


Chords of the Melodic Minor The traditional source of chords in the minor mode is the harmonic minor, hence the name. As tonal music developed over time, however, various other combinations have evolved, such as those below. Since chords have traditionally been constructed in thirds, the diatonic chords of the ascending melodic minor would be as follows: i (∆), ii7 (-9 in scale), bIII+∆, IV7-5 (+11), V+7 (9-13), viø (9), VII+7 (with any of the following, in any combination: -9, +9, -5 (+11), +5 (-13). Triads are also employed. The ii7 rarely has a -9 in the chord itself, since it would sound like a bIII+∆ (no 3 or 5) in third inversion; and it creates a minor ninth interval between the chordal root and the flat nine, which is usually reserved for a dominant chord. 1, -3, 5, 7, 9 can be found in several other scales as well, most notably the harmonic minor. In a minor cadence such as ii7ø, V7, i7, use Locrian on the iiø. The melodic minor mode suggests a major ninth, which is a good option at times, creating a momentary major third of the key in a minor key. The V7 usually takes the harmonic minor (-9 only). The i chord could imply any minor scale, depending on context. Don't use the alt symbol, because it isn't a chord symbol, but rather, a prescription for a scale. Be specific: VII+7 (with any of the following, in any combination: -9, +9, -5 (+11), +5 (-13)—and only use the tensions which you specifically want to be sounded. The remaining notes should be left to the players’ discretion.

Linear Jazz Improvisation Ed Byrne Linear Jazz Improvisation Books 1-3 Linear Jazz Improvisation Songbook Series: • • • • • • •

Blue Funk Blue Pasa You Are All Things Selma by Searchlight I'm Near a Rhapsody Riffraff (F Blues) Blue Rendezvous

Functional Jazz Guitar Linear Jazz Improvisation Book 4: Bichordal Triad Pitch Collection Etudes Linear Jazz Improvisation Book 5: Polytonal Triad Etudes Speaking of Jazz: Essays and Attitudes Hot Licks ~ Jazz Standards Information about these great jazz books can be found at: www.byrnejazz.com Plus, learn about online lessons, live and in real time. About Ed Byrne: Ed Byrne is a trombonist, composer/arranger, educator, and author who has performed and recorded with most of the jazz world’s leading musicians during a career that has spanned four decades, including Chet Baker, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Eddie Palmeri, and countless other international artists. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music, and is the recipient of numerous honors. Ed has sat on the faculties of Berklee College, Baruch College, University of the Arts, Greenfield Community College, and the University of Rhode Island, and has written many texts on jazz improvisation. He is an active and innovative educator and clinician, with many of his students going on to high-profile careers, including Kenny Werner, Abe Laboriel, Chip Jackson, Freddie Bryant, Mark Elf, Papo Vasquez, and Gary Dial.

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