PLAYING JAZZ CHORD AND SINGING!

The jazz pianist uses a more extensive range of chords. Let’s break it down to make it simple! Jazz is a language all its own. Playing by ear is a great way to learn, but some musicians what to understand what is going on.

Jazz chord progression is different than classical which is mostly I, IV, V, I. The pop chord progression which is mostly I, V, vi, IV. The jazz chord progression is different starting with ii, V, I (or just V, I). The chords are three main types of seventh chords.

The jazz musician will use three main types of seventh chords with an extension. We will use C 7th chords to make it simple. The C major 7th, C minor 7th, and C dominant 7th. The C major 7ths will consist of the C major triad C,E,G with the 7th added B (C,E,G,B). The C Dominant 7th is the C major triad C,E,G with a minor 7th Bb (C,E,G,Bb). The third type of chord is the C minor 7th which is the C minor chord C,Eb,G with a minor 7th Bb (C,Eb,G,Bb).

The jazz pianist will add extensions to these 7th chords. The extensions are a 9th, 11th, and 13th addition to the chords. These extensions are found in the major scale. For instance, C major scale, the 9th would be D, the 11th would be F and the 13th would be A. You can also augment the extension, which means raise it a half step (F to F#) or you can diminish the extension lowering it a half step (F to Fb).

The chord progression (ii, V, I) in C which is (ii) D minor 7th  (D,F,A,C), the (V) G dominant 7th (G,B,D,F) and the C 7th chord (C,E,G,B). That is the description of the chord progressions ii, V, I. Now add the extension on to each chord! Cmaj7 #11 (C,E,G,B,F#)

A jazz singer must have great pitch, mastering that emotionally infused, unique syncopated rhythm with their voice. They must have perfect pitch to hit those challenging runs with lots of sharps and flats.

JOKE FOR THE DAY:

How do you put a sparkle in a singer’s eyes?

Shine a torch in her ear

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