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Discussion Starter #1
There may be several ways to do that. Learning the changes of a tune i try to memorize the chords of that tune. I look at the chord symbols and try to visualize the intervals and repeat silently the names of the involved tones. So for instance for Amaj7 i say a - c - e - ais to myself and for C-7 c - eb - g - bb and so on. It will take some time to memorize a chord by that way. And it will take much longer to improvise over the tune with that knowledge. And even worse there comes the moment when i forget to look at the symbols at all and play by heart. And here comes the problem. When i start to work on another tune and there is again a Amaj7 in in another chord sequence i notice that this chord is not in my fingers but only in my brain and i have to practice and parctice until i come to the point where i got the chord sequence somehow into my fingers. And then comes the third tune ... and the fourth... and this chord learning starts over again...

Is there a better way to let the fingers learn chords?
 

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When you know that there are seven chords in a scale, you can give changes to it by putting the chords in fourth behind eachother then you will hear a lot of things happening in tunes.

So: I- IV- VII- III - VI -II -V- I. If you play it after eachother you will hear the wheel turning. What you also hear is T SD D T T SD D T so now you see that T is I and III and VI degree .

SD is IV and II degree and D is V and VII degree. You see its all connected when you do this in a few keys like C and F and G yoiu will see even more connections.
 

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Nice to do it minor harmonic.

In major a few examples: II V I IV III VI II V perdido (a lot of tunes are the same as perdido

I IV I Blues

II V I IV VII autumn leaves

VI II V I iV fly me to the moon and all the things you are
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So: I- IV- VII- III - VI -II -V- I. If you play it after eachother you will hear the wheel turning. What you also hear is T SD D T T SD D T so now you see that T is I and III and VI degree .
Thanks bakkiemetkoekie.
I will hear it that I III VI are all T and VII is D? Could you please explain that a little bit?
 

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Yes. The III chord is an extension of the I chord (If bass play C and you play Em7 you hear CMaj7/9) so its the same. When you see the I chord as I6 than C E G A is the chord and this is an inversion of the VI chord, so its the same.
With the IV chord the same thing if you see IV6 as the chord you have F A C D which is an inversion of Dmin7.
With The V: G in bass and you play B D F A you get G9
 

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Bluesax:
Memorizing chords is much easier if you can convert it to Roman Numeral notation, as this gives you some indication as to function. Once you understand the function you only have to memorize a couple or three things. The chords will function as a tonic or dominant and a possible/optional third category - pre-dominant. Are you at a point where you can remember two things? Three things? Then you can memorize all you need to know about a tune.

If you attempt to memorize chords of a tune irrespective of how the chords function in the key it will be 24x more difficult for you (24 keys). So, start early in understanding the function through analyzing the Roman numeral notation.

Here is a quote I heard that you will come to appreciate as you start memorizing tunes: Once you've memorized a couple hundred tunes you realize there are only 10 tunes. You know your own 10 digit phone number, right? How many others? Trust me, you can learn and memorize hundreds of jazz tunes.
 

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You can memorize chords from a paper but who says the paper is right? Most of them you see in the book (aebersold) are no good . You have to hear how things go and i give a good first step in that direction.
 

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... who says the paper is right? Most of them you see in the book (aebersold) are no good...
BakkieMK, I think you are perpetuating generalizations as absolutes. Jamey and his collaborators undoubtedly makes his decisions on chords from a well much deeper than you or I could imagine. Many jazz recording artists actually do some minor reharmonizations of standard tunes in the studio. You could pick a tune as simple as "Blue Bossa" and people will play different things on it to include different chords. Just cause Joe or Dex played it a certain way doesn't mean it is the most widely accepted way.

Which brings me back to my point: If you know HOW the chord functions then you can insert any other chord in its place that functions the same way. You really only need to pick from two or three buckets to play passable improvisations.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you apply your concepts to let say "Out of Nowhere". For Tenor it is a tune in A. the first 8 bars are /Amaj7/-/C-7/F7/ Amaj7/-/C#-7/F#7b9/ How will you then know what to play? By the way for me it is I/I to A and II/V to Bb and again I/I to A and II/V to B. So in only 8 bars i have 3 tonal Centers.
 

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Yes but C# -7 is not in B but in Bminor. with the G# in the melody makes it Bminormelodic so you have a b9 in the scale and not a D#.

The C-7 F7 is a long thing to explain but at the end you can play in the key of Bb.
 

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B minor is 3nd degree from G so the modulation is towards a degree in the key. Sometimes it modulates to Dmajor but to get there we always play like if we go to minor. (If i were a bell, I'm old fashioned)
 

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2-5-1
turnaround (3-6-2-5)
1-4-5
dominants in 4ths (ex. bridge to rhythm changes)
A-section to Rhythm changes (almost identical to a 3-6-2-5)

While not all inclusive, these 5 common progressions will help you learn the harmony to 90% of the standards you'll commonly encounter. After, thats why ther're called standards. and BTW, my 90% is in no way scientific, just a SWAG.

Ed Byrne, made a list of "harmonic cliche's" a while back on the "Jazz Bulletin Board." Matter of fact, here it is, or an early version of it:
http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/archive/index.php/t-20893.html
 

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Makes me wish that I understood some of this. Since I'm a novice, my instructor is focusing on much more basic fundamentals (like scales). Still, I see the cord markings on my sheet music and wonder what they are all about. Is there a Cords for Dummies book that anybody can recommend?

Mark
 

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If you apply your concepts to let say "Out of Nowhere". For Tenor it is a tune in A. the first 8 bars are /Amaj7/-/C-7/F7/ Amaj7/-/C#-7/F#7b9/ How will you then know what to play? By the way for me it is I/I to A and II/V to Bb and again I/I to A and II/V to B. So in only 8 bars i have 3 tonal Centers.
A∆ = TONIC sound in A Major
C-7 F7 = DOMINANT sound in Bb Major
A∆ = TONIC sound in A Major
C#-7 F#7b9 = DOMINANT sound in B minor

"Out of Nowhere" is not an easy tune. But the same fundamentals apply. You just have to be able to apply them in different keys. A, Bb, B... see a pattern? Patterns make things easy to remember. Make it easy on yourself and give yourself fewer things to think about and you will be successful much sooner, have more fun, and the task will be less frustrating. You have the rest of your life to poke holes in theories.

Here's another idea:

A∆ = A Major
C-7 F7 = A Locrian
A∆ = A Major
C#-7 F#7b9 = A hw diminished

Just remember (think) Major, Locrian, Diminished. If you're up on your A modes and scales this might be easier for you. What you think has a great influence on what you play and sound like. Try both, try other ideas. See what you like best and then hone in on it.
 

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If you apply your concepts to let say "Out of Nowhere"..
Bluesax, if you're still trying to memorize chords, why would you start with a tune like that!? No wonder you're having problems. Go to the source and start with some basic blues: I-IV-V (and you can add in a ii-V when you get comfortable with that, then a iii-VI-ii-V), all in the blues form. Once you have that down you're well on your way!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks hgiles and bob3dsf and all the others. A lot of stuff to think about.

Unfortunately my knowledge about harmony theory is very limited.

This cliche thing is interesting. How will you proceed on this?

What is a iim7-5 compared to a iim7?

I thought g#m7b5 is Locrian to A. How can you say C-7 F7 is A Locrian? The same problem of understanding i have with C#-7 F#7b9 = A hw diminished.

Does all the theoretic knowledge of harmony will help me feeling the harmony and harmony movement?
 
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