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When I first started to get comfortable playing jazz on the piano, I was eager to learn how to play with an ensemble. I knew my way through lots of tunes, and how to voice each chord. But, I didn't understand what my role was supposed to be in the rhythm section, or what I was supposed to do in order to support the other players.
We usually think about jazz as a formal study at a university such as Berkelee or Oberlin. Or perhaps, as more of an understudy or apprenticeship, where an upcoming student learns directly from a master. And don’t get me wrong, having a great teacher will really help in your study, but it’s not strictly required for you to become an accomplished player. In this article I’ll break down an approach to learning jazz on your own, at home, without a teacher.
In this article you'll find every chord symbol you are likely to encounter while playing from lead sheets or The Real Book. Everything from chord symbols with triangles, circles or chord extension are explained here in detail.
The melodic minor scale provides all kinds of different options for soloing over altered dominant chords. In this article we explore each of the 7 modes of the melodic scale, and how they work over different chords.
A sharp-11 chord can be little intimidating of a concept, especially if you are new to playing jazz, but it's actually one of the most common ways to color major and dominant chords. In this article, we’ll explore various ways to use this chord in your playing.
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.
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.