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  1. #1

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    I’m looking for a book for Relative Chords. I’m not looking for discussions about 4 Part Harmony or Chord Construction. It doesn’t have to be a book. It can be an online course or PDF file to purchase. I’m not really looking for a book about chord progressions, but I don’t mind if it gets to chord progressions.

    I’m basically looking for something that goes beyond diatonic harmony and it gets to secondary dominants, borrowed chords, passing chords, slash chords, etc. Building a strong foundation with relative chords.

    I want to explore this topic comprehensively of relative chords so that I can understand how chord progressions work and implement it to my practice.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I’m basically looking for something that goes beyond diatonic harmony and it gets to secondary dominants, borrowed chords, passing chords, slash chords, etc. Building a strong foundation with relative chords.
    You generally named almost everything...

    It could any more or less comprehensive classical Practical Harmony Method. Knowledge of claasical harmony makes it all more solid in concern of funcitonal tonality for sure.

    As for Jazz... I think Bert Ligon's books are most systematic in the sense that you talk about.

    Other jazz methods usually cover some parts in strict practical application... and actually I think it is good too. Maybe even better than comprehensive books that make illusion there is some solid and elaborated foundation.

    In concern of Relative chords... this topic is not defenitive actually. What is realtive chords for trad jazz harmony is not realtive for calssical, what may sound realtive for later jazz styles does not sound realtive in swing context.... after all jazz is still open languagr and what sounds realtive for me is not necessarily relative for you...


    there is not big deal about it... in classical it is triadic, so once you have two tones in common it is considered to be relative.
    In jazz it 7th or 6th chors (4 tones chords) and then you may have more exapnsion of idea as there are more chords in common...

    If your take modal realtionships you can get quite far in it... D7 may become realtive to Cmaj7 and so on...

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    You generally named almost everything...

    It could any more or less comprehensive classical Practical Harmony Method. Knowledge of claasical harmony makes it all more solid in concern of funcitonal tonality for sure.

    As for Jazz... I think Bert Ligon's books are most systematic in the sense that you talk about.

    Other jazz methods usually cover some parts in strict practical application... and actually I think it is good too. Maybe even better than comprehensive books that make illusion there is some solid and elaborated foundation.

    In concern of Relative chords... this topic is not defenitive actually. What is realtive chords for trad jazz harmony is not realtive for calssical, what may sound realtive for later jazz styles does not sound realtive in swing context.... after all jazz is still open languagr and what sounds realtive for me is not necessarily relative for you...


    there is not big deal about it... in classical it is triadic, so once you have two tones in common it is considered to be relative.
    In jazz it 7th or 6th chors (4 tones chords) and then you may have more exapnsion of idea as there are more chords in common...

    If your take modal realtionships you can get quite far in it... D7 may become realtive to Cmaj7 and so on...
    I saw a Bert Ligon book at Amazon called 'Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony' - Is this any good?

  5. #4

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    If relative chords are chords that share multiple common pitches, why do you need more information?

    Grab your guitar and play a chord, for example an Ab 13 chord like this - [4 x 4 5 6 x]. Then decide which pitches will be common to the relative chords, for example use the 456 part (Gb C F) on the 2, 3, and 4 strings as the common pitches. Then play chords that result in fingerings that includes these three pitches. Like these:

    Ab 13
    Am6#5
    Am6#5/Gb
    Csus4b5
    C6sus4b5/F#
    C6sus4b5/A
    Cmaj7#11sus4/B
    Dbmaj7b11sus4
    D7#9
    D7b13#9
    Ebm6add9
    Ebminmaj7b5
    F#mM7b5/A
    F#maj7sus4b5/B
    Gbmaj7sus2b5
    Gbmaj7sus4b5
    Gmaj7#13sus4/F#
    Last edited by pauln; 04-29-2021 at 02:15 PM.

  6. #5

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    There's a more empirical look at jazz chord progressions in the books "Harmony with Lego Bricks" and "Insights in Jazz" both by John Elliot.

    His description:

    These challenges can all be tackled using the method outlined in Harmony With LEGO Bricks, which exploits the astonishing way the human brain naturally remembers things through a hierarchical process of understanding. Common ‘bricks’ of chords are identified along with ‘joins’ that allow you to move from one to the next within a song. A small repertoire of twenty-four songs is analysed in prose.


    Insights In Jazz moves to the next level, taking the baseline method established and applying it to over 230 songs. The baseline method is extended and updated according to the needs of those songs so that you can see how to apply the method to your favourite songs. MP3 audio tracks of 55 bricks used are provided to allow you to hear how they sound.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco
    I saw a Bert Ligon book at Amazon called 'Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony' - Is this any good?
    I don't know this particular book. Ligon's approahc in general is very solid (from posint of view of system and theoretic frame).. you can find excerts of his books online.

    And there a few discussions about it on this forum.

    As I said there is no comprehensive method I know. (Barry Harris is great but it is too special probbaly).

    I think it is better to get more understanding of traditional functional harmony as it is discribed in classical music and then expand further into jazz area...

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco
    I saw a Bert Ligon book at Amazon called 'Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony' - Is this any good?
    Yes, highly recommended. It's about jazz improv solo lines though.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Sioco
    I saw a Bert Ligon book at Amazon called 'Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony' - Is this any good?

    Yes it is, highly recommended.

    Ligon concentrates on 3 outlines you can use to cover a II V I sequence. These are the far most used outlines in Jazz as well in other music styles he claims, and I think he's right.

    He then digs into what devices you have for variation and then - the main part of the book - he goes through 250 + transcribed examples from the masters, mostly Jazz but also some classical music stuff and explains for each one what is happening here. That goes from J.S. Bach to Parker, Miles, Corea, Evans, Clifford, and so on... they're all there.

    The book ends with some 30 + pages of exercises how to apply the outlines to real world music. One for example is called "Outline By Starlight", I think you get the idea....

  10. #9

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    Have you tried the app "mapping tonal harmony pro"? It's a fun way of making harmonic functions very visual. It does not cover every possible chord function, but it's a great way of getting a good overview. I have used it with some of my more advanced music students to explain harmony.

    The creator of the app also have a very informative youtube page.


  11. #10

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    As for books my favourite for understanding harmony is David Berkmans book "The jazz harmony book".

    It is a book on re-harmonizing, but it does a great job of taking harmony from simple I iv V functions to secondary dominants, tritone subs and passing chords.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    There's a more empirical look at jazz chord progressions in the books "Harmony with Lego Bricks" and "Insights in Jazz" both by John Elliott
    When I google "Harmony with LEGO Bricks" I get a book by Conrad Cork (from 1996) which is out of print.

    O my, further googling reveals John Elliott knew and worked with Cork (though they never met in person or talked over the phone---all email. Elliott wrote chapter summaries for a later edition of Cork's book.

    John Elliott's Blog – Thoughts about jazz

    Also, Cork recently died (like two weeks ago), so I'll start an RIP thread---perhaps others know more about this material and will chime in there.

  13. #12

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    When you're interested in "Harmony with LEGO Bricks" check out the (free) software Impro-Visor.

    It includes a feature called "road map" that is based on said book written by Conrad Cork.

    Maybe also interesting for OP

    That's the link:

    "Impro Visor - Write the solo that you'd love to be able to improvise."


    Edit: Just checked it myself again and saw that Conrad Cork as well as John Elliott where involved in creating that software.
    Here is a direct link to the "Road Map" Tutorial:

    https://www.cs.hmc.edu/~keller/jazz/...Roadmap507.htm
    Last edited by DonEsteban; 05-04-2021 at 01:06 PM.

  14. #13

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    hey Jason.... a better approach might be to understand methods of creating relative chords.

  15. #14

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    Hey Jason, do you understand Diatonic concepts, if yes. How about Function.

    So Functional typically implies how Chords Function, (behave in diatonic harmonic progressions) The rest of the of the chords are Variants... other chords are variants of one of these functional relationships. ( tonic, dominant or subdominant)

    Typically Relative Subs are Relative relationships, Relative Min. VI- chord is Functional Relative Minor Sub of Imaj.

    The next level of relative Functional relationships are from Upper Relative relationships, the chords up a Diatonic 3rd.
    III- is Upper Diatonic Relative functional Sub for Ima. or VII for V. etc...

    The next step is to add more musical organizations to the same Diatonic Relative Functional Relationships.... Your expanding the basic Functional Relationship.... to create more Relative Subs. Moving out of basic Vanilla into more flavors.

    Or expand or extend the relative... ex. Ima7 up to upper relative sub... III- then up another diatonic 3rd to V7

    Gma7..... B-7 up to D7. ( you usually make the D7, D7sus to camouflage the tritone, because of the training of our ears to hear everything in the Ionian Mode.)

    You can expand or change the organization of one of the terms, usually Diatonic... expand to use Modal Concepts.

    Function is just a organized set of terms that defines how much chords of notes want to Move or Rest.

    If this is the Direction your looking... I understand and use these concepts and have for decades. If not there are other expanded musical organizations that will create Relative Subs.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    There's a more empirical look at jazz chord progressions in the books "Harmony with Lego Bricks" and "Insights in Jazz" both by John Elliot.

    His description:
    JE has a great podcast too!