Music Theory

Music theory

  • What Scale to Play Over 7b9 Chord

    Phrygian dominant scale guitar shapesDominant 7 flat ninth chords (7b9) are generally related to the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale known as Phrygian dominant scale, which makes it the most obvious choice for improvising over 7b9. However, we will see in this article that there are many other options.

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  • 12 Types of Major Scales - Guitar Lesson With Diagrams

    12 types of major scalesWhen we think about major scales, the first that comes to mind is the Ionian mode, best know as THE major scale. However, there are several other types of major scales (Ionian #5, Lydian augmented #2, Ionian b6) which deserve a little more attention. Here they are listed with guitar shapes and formulas. 

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  • II V7 Bebop Patterns - David Baker - Analysis and Scale Diagrams

    Bebop patterns for guitar david baker 10This blog article is related to the video tutorial published on JGL YouTube channel. It contains 10 II V7 jazz bebop guitar patterns with analysis and scale shapes. These lines come from the first chapter of David Baker's book "How To Play Bebop Vol.2 - Learning the bebop language". They correspond to the first ten exercises of the section named "The Use of The II V7 Progression in Bebop".

    You 'll find in this lesson a quick analysis of each pattern with scale diagrams (Dorian, Dorian bebop, Mixolydian, dominant bebop, Mixolydian b13, altered, mixo-blues and half-whole diminished).

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  • Solar - Miles Davis - Guitar Chord Melody Lesson and Analysis

    "Solar" is a jazz standard written by Miles Davis  in the key of C minor with four tonal centers that are  : C minor, F major, Eb major and Db major. Solar contains essential chord progressions as major and minor II V I. This lesson provides a short harmonic analysis and a chord melody arrangement for guitar with tab, standard notation, chord shapes and audio file.

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  • How to Use a Tritone Substitution - 6 Guitar Licks

    6 tritone substitution guitar licksWhat's a Tritone Substitution?

    The tritone substitution is one of the most common substitution found in jazz. The basic application of a tritone chord substitution is to take any 7th chord and play another 7th chord that has its root a tritone away from the original. This guitar lesson demonstrates how you can play scales and arpeggios starting from the b5 (a tritone away) of the V7 chord in a II V I chord progression. This way you will highlight altered tones as the b9 and the #11. 

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  • Extended Diatonic Arpeggios - Upper-Structure of Chords and Superimposition

    Extended diatonic arpeggiosWhen learning how to play jazz guitar, one of the most important device to master is to play each tone of a chord in order to outline a specific progression. This is what we call arpeggios. They are great melodic tools when you want to highlight the chords you are soloing over.

    This article is focused on diatonic seventh arpeggios and their extensions. In a first time, before applying these extensions, it is recommended to have a very strong knowledge of the triads, both the chords and the arpeggios.

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  • Three Kinds Of Minor Blues Scales

    Minor blues scalesThe minor blues scale is mostly referred to as the minor pentatonic scale with a b5 thus giving the interval pattern 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7. However, few musicians know that there are three types of minor blues scales depending on wether you incorporate the flat fifth (b5), the major third (3) or the major seventh (7) to the minor pentatonic scale. In this lesson you will learn how to build, play and recognize each of these three minor blues scales.

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  • How To Use Triad Chords - Comping Lesson

    How to use triads lessonTriads are one of the first harmonic tools to study. They are very useful for comping and chordal enrichment. Learning close and open triad voicings increase your harmonic knowledge and at the same time help you discover your fretboard. In this lesson you will see the main triad chord shapes including root positions and inversions. You will also find some ideas on how to use triads over a II V I sequence, in order to create interesting melodic movement in your comping.

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  • What are Dominant Seventh Chords ?

    What s a dominant 7 chord

    Dominant seventh chords are the most important features in music, you can find them in many styles of music, especially in blues and, of course, in jazz. In this lesson, you will see how to construct drop 2, drop 3 and drop 2 & 4 dominant seventh chords, what is their harmonic function and how to play them on guitar.

     

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  • Drop 2 & 4 Chords - Advanced Guitar Voicings

    Drop 2 and 4 voicingsWhat Are Drop 2-4 Chords?

    Drop 2 and 4 chords are created by dropping down an octave the second and fourth note of a seventh chord in close position. They can be very important tools for composition and arrangement. This lesson with diagrams provides useful explanations on how to build and play drop 2 & 4 chords on guitar.

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  • What's a Tetrad Chord - Music Theory

    What are tetrad chordsWhat's a Tetrad ?

    A basic chord is built with three notes this is what we call "triad chords" or "triads". Tetrad chords aka "four note-chords" are simply chords containing four notes, “tetra“ is a Greek root meaning four. This means that tetrads have an additional note, a major seventh or a minor seventh. In other words , a tetrad is a triad with a supplementary note. This article will enlighten you on how these tetrad chords are built and how they can be classified.

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  • List and Comparison of Music Scales - Formula Charts

    List of music scalesHere is a list of the main musical scales and modes.

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  • Drop 3 Chords - Guitar Diagrams And Music Theory

    Drop 3 chordsWhat Are Drop Voicings?

    Drop voicings are open chords which span more than an octave. They are very useful tools in music composition and arrangement and are greatly appreciated by guitarists for comping and soloing.

    The name drop 3 come from the fact that you dropped the third highest note of a close voicing. If the drop 2 and 3 drop voicings are the most used and surely the first players learn when exploring jazz guitar, you have to know that there are drop 2-3, drop 3-4, drop 2 and 4 voicings and drop 2-3-4 voicings.

    However, these are not commonly played on the guitar because of their complexity, that's why this lesson focuses on drop 3 voicings only. You will see how they are built and how to play them on guitar by using the chord shapes and tablatures provided on this page.

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  • 25 Altered Dominant Guitar Chords

    Altered dominant chords

    What's An Altered Dominant Chord?

    Altered dominant chords are used to bring tension and an outside flavor to jazz chord progressions. They generally resolved to an inside chord as the I or a substitute as iii or vi.

    Altered chords have one or more notes lowered or raised by a half-step, in other words they contain one or more alterations. These alterations can be b9,#9, b5 (#11) and b13 (#5). Jazz musicians, composers and arrangers used them as substitutions for diatonic chords for adding more dissonance and spice up the harmony.

    This guitar lesson provides 25 altered guitar chord shapes to understand how they are constructed and how to play them on guitar.

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  • What Is a Backdoor Progression And How To Play Over It

    The backdoor progression jazz lessonIn jazz, there are many types of turnarounds and progressions that eventually we all must encounter. A key part of how you practice should be in preparing yourself for these progressions and turnarounds. Whether that is by learning a shed-full of Parker’s II V I licks, by practicing exercises over progressions or even by learning a new standard. The end result is that you are better equipped to deal with what is in front of you in the moment on the bandstand.
    To this end, I’m going to talk to you today about a progression known as the backdoor progression.

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  • The 14 Most Important Jazz Chord Progressions

    Minor ii valt i chord progression 1 114 Essential Jazz Chord Progressions

    A chord progression is a succession of musical chords (with at least two notes) played one after another. Chord progression can be named harmonic progression and represent the foundation of western and traditional music. Many jazz standards use similar chord progressions, in different keys it is very important to recognize them by ear and visually. Working and practicing basic chord sequences will make you feel more comfortable when you will need to learn jazz standards,  it will more evident and easy to comp and solo.

    In this lesson you will learn to recognize the 14 most important jazz chord progressions as minor and major II-V-I, the turnarounds and their variations, how to use passing diminished chords. You will find charts with roman numerals to easily transpose these harmonic progressions in different keys and some examples of comping with audio files, tabs and standard notation.

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