Featured image for What is an "avoid note" in jazz?
What is an "avoid note" in jazz?

An avoid note is any note in the scale that is a half-step away from a note in the chord being played. As an example, playing an F on top of a C major chord sounds dissonant, since it's a half step above E, the third of the chord.

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Is Ragtime Hard to Play?

One of the most common questions I hear from beginning piano students is "can I learn to play Maple Leaf Rag?" Or, "Is The Entertainer approachable as a beginner?"

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Fundamental Jazz Chord Progressions

A chord progression is a set of chords played in sequence. These progressions set a songs harmonic structure, and when combined with a melody, they create lead sheets for jazz standards.

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Using Tonnetz Tone Mesh to Understand Jazz Harmony

The Tonnetz is a 2-dimensional mesh which maps the tonal landscape of western music. It serves as an analytical tools for understanding the theoretical structure of our music.

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Suspended 7th Chords

Suspended chords are consonant sounding chords that are not fully resolved. They often act as substitutes for minor-ii or dominant-V7 chords.

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How to Voice Minor 7th Chords

Minor chords can be voiced using a number of techniques, including shells, rootless voicings, extended voicings with the 11th, fourth voicings, and more.

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Featured image for How to Voice Major 7th Chords
How to Voice Major 7th Chords

Major chords can be voiced using a number of techniques, including shells, rootless voicings, 6/9 voicings, extended voicings with the sharp-11th, fourth voicings, and more.

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Featured image for How to Voice Dominant 7th Chords
How to Voice Dominant 7th Chords

Dominant 7th chords are the most exciting and colorful chords in jazz. The fundamental voicings are used in all jazz standards, and altered extensions provide endless varieties to get creative.

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Modes of the Major Scale

Musical modes are used to evoke emotional mood to your music. They follow the same notes of a base major key, but by changing the root note, they bring out their own tonal qualities. Here’s how they are constructed.

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Using the Overtone Series

The overtone series is the physics behind all western music, including jazz. It is the bedrock of everything we do as jazz musicians.

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