Jazz Chord Progressions
for piano

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Learning Jazz Chord Progressions is by far the best way to learn and understand chord progressions in general..

This is because in the realm of the Jazz genre you will find a great variety of songs that have more complex, varied and interesting chord progressions.

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This lesson will give you a basic introduction to the most common jazz chord progressions and other musical elements both rhythmic and harmonic that give  a song that Jazz flavor.

Jazz for many people is an acquired taste. At least it was for me. So was Coffee and Beer but I learned to appreciate them and it was that way with Jazz.

Jazz comes in all sorts of flavors although its roots start at the beginning of the 20th century in the African-American communities in the southern U.S.

It could be described as the merging of European harmony and form and African elements such as blue notes, improvisation, complex rhythms, syncopation, swing notes, and extended chord tensions.

As the music has developed and spread around the world it has drawn on many different national, regional, and local musical cultures giving rise to many distinctive styles:

These include New Orleans jazz dating from the early 1910s; big band swing, Kansas City jazz, and Gypsy jazz from the 1930s and 1940s; bebop from the mid-1940s; and on down through West Coast jazz, cool jazz, avant-garde jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, Latin jazz in various forms, soul jazz, jazz fusion, and jazz rock, smooth jazz, jazz-funk, punk jazz, acid jazz, ethno jazz, jazz rap, cyber jazz, Indo jazz, M-Base, nu jazz, and other ways of playing the music.

With in all these styles of Jazz music there are some common elements and jazz chord progressions you will encounter no matter which style you are playing.

Jazz  progressions are also found in all types of popular music. So in that sense they are not unique. But in fact if you are studying chords and progressions you will learn much from playing and analyzing jazz progressions as they can be a often are more complex and varied.

For Jazz Progressions call 473-6251 

If you remember this phone number it will help you remember the most common of all jazz chord progressions

The most common jazz turn around? 2-5-1.

Most common 4 chord jazz progression? 6-2-5-1.

Whole songs are written with just these changes, Autumn Leaves is a good example, starting on the 6.

What do the numbers mean? They are applied to chord tones in the scale. So for a 2-5-1 (often noted using roman numerals ii-IV-I) turn around in C it would be Dmi - G7 - Cmaj.

The II-V-I Progression.

Perhaps the most often encountered chord progression in jazz is the 2-5-1 progression. (most often notated with roman numerals II-V-I.)

A great little exercise for getting the ii-V-I progression into your fingers in all the keys is found in the lesson on common chord progressions.

A great jazz standard that uses the 2-5-1 progression all over the place in several keys is the Duke Ellington classic Satin Doll.

Just about every measure in the song contains part of  a II-V-I progression.

Dm7 and G9 are the II-V in the key of C

Em7 and A9 are the II-V in the key of D

Gm7 and A9 are the II-V in the key of F

You can watch jazz piano legend Oscar Peterson perform Satin Doll and see the changes below.

In my video I try and demonstrate at a different angle and break things down a little more. PS I am no Oscar Peterson!

The Real Book.

If you are really interested in taking your knowledge and skills to another level I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of The Real Book. This is especially true if you ever want to work as a professional. It has been the standard for students and pros since the 1970's Back then they were not legal but now you can get a legal copy at Amazon (best price). There are a couple on volumes, all are good!!!

The Real Book - Volume 1 - Sixth Edition For All C Instruments

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