Jazz Lesson Plans

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

posted Jan 28, 2014, 3:32 PM by hspanther bands

The Powerful Role Of Jazz Tunes

When you first start learning jazz there can seem like an overwhelming amount of information to absorb (chordslicksscalesreharmonization,soloingchord progressions etc etc).

It’s easy to become so focused on all the technical details of the music that you lose site of what the big picture is.

So, how do you make sense of it all?

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

What Is The Big Picture?

To put it simply, the big picture is made up of 2 simple things:

1. Mastering Jazz Tunes (Building A Repertoire).

2. Applying Any New Jazz Vocabulary You Learn To This Repertoire.

  • If you learn a new lick throw it in a tune.
  • If you learn a new chord voicing throw it in a tune.
  • If you learn a new reharmonization throw it in a tune.
  • New scale, new chord progession, new improv concept, etc…..throw it in a tune.

Tonal Centers

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:01 PM by hspanther bands   [ updated Sep 16, 2013, 8:13 AM ]

The ear naturally wants to find the home key in any harmonic progression.  We call this the tonal center (or key of the moment).

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




Listening for repetition and patterns

posted Aug 21, 2013, 8:54 AM by hspanther bands   [ updated Aug 27, 2013, 11:02 PM ]

Jazz musicians utilize scale patterns in improv.

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

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

Key Signatures & Scales

posted Aug 20, 2013, 8:25 AM by hspanther bands   [ updated Aug 20, 2013, 8:28 AM ]

As much as students dislike hearing this, to play jazz and improvise requires a knowledge of key signatures and scales.

The best way to learn key centers and scales is through the circle of 4ths or 5ths.  

Today you will learn how to draw and label the circle of 5ths.  

Minor Blues

posted Apr 11, 2011, 5:41 PM by hspanther bands   [ updated Jun 6, 2011, 7:15 PM ]

As is the case with all blues, there are variations of minor blues.  In this lesson we are going to look at a basic 12 bar minor blues progression based on the changes to BB King's           "The Thrill is Gone '71".            "The Thrill is Gone '01"



1 4 4 3, 1 4 4 3, 1 4 4 3--1 1, 

1 3 5 4, 1 3 5 4 1 4 4 3-- 1 1, 

5  7 -- 5  4--,  1 4 4 3 -- 1 1

Key of a minor (BB does this in b minor, but hey, let's make it easy on ourselves!)
c                          f           c           Ab  G7 c

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


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

                             c eb  f  g   bb c  

 1 b3  4  5  b7  8

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


Rhythm Changes Ballad

posted Feb 15, 2011, 6:31 PM by hspanther bands   [ updated Mar 16, 2011, 5:55 PM ]

When I Fall in Love by Victor Young is a ballad based on Rhythm Changes progression with some minor twists.  Piano voicing here

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

      I          ii  V7          iii             VI          ii           VI        ii            V7
34 5 1 1 1 3 2-  34  534  534  5--  45 6 2 2 2 4 3-  45  645 646 5--- (DC al Coda) 

                 I            IV          iii    VI   ii  bVII  I     VI   ii  V7   I
Coda   34 5 1 1 1 7 6- (6) 6 5- 6 4-- 2 (5) 1 4 3 1- 2- 1------

Marcus Miller A Bass Clarinet, Harmonica, Alto Sax, Mini Moog Synthesizer, and Bass solo!  This is how you build a solo!
Miles Davis Quintet a nice muted trumpet 
Ben Webster old school tenor sax playing
Manhattan Jazz Orchestra - interesting arrangement by Dave Matthews (Lew Soloff on trumpet)
Yes it was used in Sleepless in Seattle with Celine Dion singing.
And just for fun, and more fun.

Rhythm Changes

posted Dec 10, 2010, 10:25 PM by hspanther bands   [ updated Mar 8, 2011, 5:26 PM ]

There are hundreds of jazz tunes that are based on the chord changes to I Got Rhythm. Other than the blues, rhythm changes are the most common chord changes in jazz.

Great Web Site:  Learn Jazz Standards 
   
                         Bb Rhythm Changes   Bass Line #1    Bass Line #2  

AABA 32 Bar Song Form     
                                                I  VI ii V7        I VI ii V7        I     IV II7           I  VI ii  V7    Fine 
I Got Rhythm    ||:5 6 8 9-  9 8 6 5-  5 6 8 9 10 10 9 10 9 8:|| 
                                              16 bar chorus  
 V/VI or III                       VI7                V/V or II             V7
10 10 10 #11  10 10 10 6  9 9 9 10 9 9 9 5    (DC al Fine)    
                                                    8 bar Bridge
                                

George Gershwin performing (the video has two camera angles, one camera is recording at faster speed so pitch goes up)
The finale of Girl Crazy featuring Tommy Dorsey orchestra with Judy Garland (YouTube is constantly barring this due to copyright)
Sarah Vaughan  - swinging version with a great singer
Slow version done by torch singer Debbie Gravitte

Blues Nov. 2 - 5

posted Nov 3, 2010, 9:54 PM by hspanther bands   [ updated Sep 13, 2013, 7:02 AM ]

Learn Watermelon Man by numbers    

I7...........................   IV7          I7           V7        IV7
b7------ 1 1 5 6 1, 8 ----- 1 1 5 6 1, 55 9 10 b10 9 8 6 8 9 (6), 
                     b3 4                      b3 4                   5  4 b3 1 b3 4(2)
V7     IV7                 I7
5 5 9 10 8, 1 1 5 6 1


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

Blues Continued 10/25/10

posted Oct 27, 2010, 6:38 PM by hspanther bands   [ updated Nov 3, 2010, 9:55 PM ]

Monday, Oct. 25
Play through C Jam Blues with solos
Play St. Louis Blues in Bb with solos

Tuesday, Oct. 26
Explain numbering system of scales as it relates to chord tones  

Wednesday, Oct. 27
Rehearsal of Christmas Music

Thursday, Oct. 28
Play arpeggios to blues progression 1, 3, 5  quarter, quarter, half
Show how solo can be based on this:  Oliver Nelson on Stolen Moments



Blues Variations

posted Oct 17, 2010, 7:31 PM by hspanther bands   [ updated Oct 17, 2010, 7:53 PM ]

Monday, Oct. 18
Show 8 bar blues form, I I IV IV I V IV I, show Keb Mo It Hurt's Me Too
Add Concert C scale series 

Tuesday, Oct. 19
Show 16 bar blues form, I I I I, I I I I, IV IV I I, V IV I I show Hoochie Coochie Man
                  variation 2:I I I I, IV IV I I, V IV, V IV, V IV, I I, show Watermelon Man

Wednesday, Oct. 20
Minor Blues form, i i i i, iv iv i i, ii V i i 
Learn Mr. PC by John Coltrane

Thursday, Oct. 21
Play KC Blues by Charlie Parker

Friday, Oct. 22
Introduce major VI to scale progression 6, 7, #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Progression now fits majority of jazz standards I, VI, ii, V, iii, vi, ii, V, I
   


1-10 of 12