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  1. #1

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    I ran across this video by Jim Campilongo this morning looking at "On the Sunny Side of the Street." He takes a fake book chart and distills it down to the fundamental (no pun intended) chord progression. I don't usually look at Real Book charts, etc., in quite this way so I found it interesting. Understanding the bones of the tune, of course, is essential to being able to play the thing. I found a lot of parallels in his approach to how Joe Pass talks about analyzing songs- basically breaking it down to tonic and dominant chords.


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I saw that about a week ago, and it really opened my eyes on how to arrange something for oneself. In my defense, I'm not a jazzer, so alot of this video is probably rudimentary stuff for alot of people here, but after watching it, I feel more confidant about attacking alot of standards I want to learn, but when I see the sheet music, it looks daunting. Now it doesn't seem as daunting to me.

    Jim is one of my absolute favorites. His Patreon page is a good one, along with Duke Levine's. (that's more the style I play, not so much straight jazz, but more like them... whatever you would call it. )
    Last edited by ruger9; 04-11-2021 at 12:53 PM.

  4. #3

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    Everything is one and five.

    I still think-- not that im an expert-- but I think it's good to be able to nail everything change in your line. That's what practice is for.

    Then, you try your best to not do that all the time. But you still CAN, if you WANT.

  5. #4

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    Frank Vignola teaches the same approach in his Jazz Studio at Truefire: learn the chord progression using basic chords and chord shapes and take it from there - makes tunes much more accessible.

  6. #5

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    Distrilling tunes down to tonic, subdominant and dominant chords not only shows you the deep structure of the tune, but unfolding the actual changes back teaches you about different approaches to reharmonization and passing chords. You learn how to turn a simple harmonization into something more colorful and original. Very useful skill for comping and making your own chord melody arrangements.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 04-17-2021 at 07:42 AM.

  7. #6

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    Ralph Patt Vanilla Book; if you are unsure where it start with this look at this and compare to Real Book chart.

    TBH after a decade or so of thinking about and teaching this stuff I think the Riemann functions are kind of useless. Why? Well, not everything maps to three chords (although a surprising amount of it does) and if it doesn’t why bother with the name? Just write down a reduced chart and that’s a perfectly valid analysis.

    Use Nashville numerals if you want to have a transposing chart (although you can get into the woods with how to do this with a modulating tune...)

    For instance Peter Bernstein thinks in two functions - dominant and tonic, which you could call moving and static. But the melody has to be your guide, whether written or improvised.

    The more I learn about different approaches the more this is a common trait among experienced and high level straight ahead players. Needless to say Barry Harris has his own version of this.

    But against a very simple framework is balanced a very detailed appreciation of foreground details. You need both.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    Distrilling tunes down to tonic, subdominant and dominant chords not only shows you the deep structure of the tune, but unwinding back to the actual changes teaches you about different approaches to reharmonization and passing chords. You learn how to turn a simple harmonization into something more colorful and original. Very useful skill for comping and making your own chord melody arrangements.
    I didn't think of that, but of course it makes perfect sense. Learning how to DE-construct something also shows you how it's built.

  9. #8

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    You can also treat diatonic harmony explicitly as just embellished I and V chords:

    Cmaj7 - G7sus/D - Cmaj9/E - G13sus/F - G7 - Cmaj6/A - G9/B

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    You can also treat diatonic harmony explicitly as just embellished I and V chords:

    Cmaj7 - G7sus/D - Cmaj9/E - G13sus/F - G7 - Cmaj6/A - G9/B
    The guy from the Jazz Duets channel on youtube has a tutorial on that - harmonising the major scale with only I and V chords.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    The guy from the Jazz Duets channel on youtube has a tutorial on that - harmonising the major scale with only I and V chords.
    I'm not familiar with that channel but the way I see it is just as an extension of seeing substitutions as the extended version of the substituted chords. For example, Emin7 can be seen as a tonic substitution for Cmaj7 or it can be seen as Cmaj 9. When this is applied to subdominants as dominant substitutions, you get the major scale harmonized as I and V chords.

  12. #11

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    Barry Harris nailed it, IMO.

  13. #12

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    Why would I exclude or simplify what I hear in the music?
    Why would I train my ear not to hear what is in the music?
    Why would I play something other than what I hear in the music?

    Simplifying the progression
    Reducing chords to basic form
    Calling everything tonic or dominant
    I don't believe in these things.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    You can also treat diatonic harmony explicitly as just embellished I and V chords:

    Cmaj7 - G7sus/D - Cmaj9/E - G13sus/F - G7 - Cmaj6/A - G9/B
    I like that..a lot.

    I'd add that you could see the ii-7 as a subdominant IV ie F6, so for me the scale would run tonic, subdominant, tonic, subdominant, dominant, tonic, dominant.

    Just my take.

  15. #14

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    Bill Thrasher was the same, he'd say, "think simple, play fancy"

  16. #15

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    Bill Thrasher would sometimes make an extended lesson out of a standard, here are two of the pages on Satin Doll (there were 12 pages in this lesson). This is the "Think Simple Play Fancy" thing:
    Attached Images Attached Images Finding the core progression (Jim Campilongo)-sd-1_0001-jpg Finding the core progression (Jim Campilongo)-sd-2_0001-jpg 
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #16

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    And, until you HAVE THE CHOPS to "play fancy", you can still play the songs by doing what JC does in the OP: simplify it back to it's base form. Both are valid (not saying that you are saying they are not). But until you have processed technically to "fancy"... playing "simple"... especially at "dinner gigs" where you are little more than mellow background noise... makes it easier, and you can embellish if you feel confidant enough. But this is elementary: it's how everyone learns stuff.

    In a JC interview how he talked about using a certain residency gig AS practice- I think it was an afternoon gig, at a winery or something... he and his band went through new material, practicing arrangements etc, ON the gig. Because no one cared.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Why would I exclude or simplify what I hear in the music?
    Why would I train my ear not to hear what is in the music?
    Why would I play something other than what I hear in the music?

    Simplifying the progression
    Reducing chords to basic form
    Calling everything tonic or dominant
    I don't believe in these things.
    I'm sympathetic to the gist of your post, however I look at a song's harmony as an ebb and flow. Keep it simple at first and then apply the substitutions, extensions, alterations and inversions as you work through each chorus, in accordance with your interpretation. From simplicity to complexity to sparsity then density, it's all about texture and harmonic tempo.

    Since there are numerous choruses in a song, there is plenty of opportunity to play each chorus as a variation through reharmonisation. When arranging a cover, reduction can clear the clutter so that you can rebuild the changes from a true and sound foundation.

    Starting from tonic-dominant resolutions lends visibility for the gradual application of embellishments. It also provides the aural space to feature a certain harmony, a setting if you will, to show off a certain sound. Repeated richness can blur the ear and too much harmonisation may cause more harm than sensation.

    None of that disagrees with your post, but I'd adding that it's all about balance. Otherwise, the listeners' appreciation wanes. The haunting beauty of a Miles Davis work is in the quiet reflection sourced from those quiet moments.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator
    I'm sympathetic to the gist of your post, however I look at a song's harmony as an ebb and flow. Keep it simple at first and then apply the substitutions, extensions, alterations and inversions as you work through each chorus, in accordance with your interpretation. From simplicity to complexity to sparsity then density, it's all about texture and harmonic tempo.

    Since there are numerous choruses in a song, there is plenty of opportunity to play each chorus as a variation through reharmonisation. When arranging a cover, reduction can clear the clutter so that you can rebuild the changes from a true and sound foundation.

    Starting from tonic-dominant resolutions lends visibility for the gradual application of embellishments. It also provides the aural space to feature a certain harmony, a setting if you will, to show off a certain sound. Repeated richness can blur the ear and too much harmonisation may cause more harm than sensation.

    None of that disagrees with your post, but I'd adding that it's all about balance. Otherwise, the listeners' appreciation wanes. The haunting beauty of a Miles Davis work is in the quiet reflection sourced from those quiet moments.
    Of course you are right, what you execute in performance is all about musical judgement.

    My comments were more oriented toward the conceptual aspect, the source of ideas, good ear, and vocabulary. Maybe I should have provided some explanation on how these are critical to performance.

    Why would I exclude or simplify what I hear in the music?
    Changing the innate complex harmonies of a tune to less complex harmonies reduces how the song is conceived and self imposes limiting of one's grasp of the tune; and so limiting one's contending ideas from which one's musical judgement chooses. Then people that do this wonder why they haven't developed a source of ideas.

    Why would I train my ear not to hear what is in the music?
    Regularly reducing the harmonies of tunes leads to teaching oneself to not be able to avoid doing so. Then people that do this wonder why they haven't developed a good ear.

    Why would I play something other than what I hear in the music?
    What happens when someone adopts a reducing strategy of harmony is that the reduced "same changes" across different tunes, which are not really the same, are interpreted in the same way; so they promote the same ideas. Then people that do this wonder why they haven't developed a good vocabulary.

  20. #19

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    my 2c

    playing simple over simple changes....cool
    play complex over simple changes .... cool
    play simple over complex .... yeah ok !

    playing complex sh1t over complex changes
    .... not so good

    what you yall think ?

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    my 2c

    playing simple over simple changes....cool
    play complex over simple changes .... cool
    play simple over complex .... yeah ok !

    playing complex sh1t over complex changes
    .... not so good

    what you yall think ?
    yes I think many players including top pros would agree..three notes can sound very cool..Albert King comes to mind..so does Larry Carlton and Miles

    the complex over complex..if you know HOW and when to get into it and most important HOW to get OUT of it

  22. #21

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    My issue isn't with the complexity with harmony, it's with people totally ignoring that they are dealing with harmony.

    I'm not talking about modal tunes. I love a finger poppin' 60s modal tune.

    I am talking with the "still in fashion" approach of ignoring harmony for what it is--movement through tension and release. As long as you can hear how the harmony moves, how the harmony weaves in and out of some tonal context, make it as simple or complex as you want.

    There's so much to learn from hearing how root movement sounds, thirds and sevenths. Stop treating harmony like a string of disconnected islands. Even substitution harmony has an inherent melody. You can see that in bebop and hardbop heads a like. Even modern tunes from the likes of Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson. A player can be melodic and still describe the vertical harmony expressed in the tune. But to throw the cohesion of melody totally out the window and study improvisation as chords in isolation, as snap shots... I don't hear that in the most "out" of the greats that we study--from Eric Dolphy to Ornette to Webern to Schoenberg.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Why would I exclude or simplify what I hear in the music?
    Changing the innate complex harmonies of a tune to less complex harmonies reduces how the song is conceived ...

    Why would I play something other than what I hear in the music?
    What happens when someone adopts a reducing strategy of harmony is that the reduced "same changes" across different tunes, which are not really the same, are interpreted in the same way; so they promote the same ideas. Then people that do this wonder why they haven't developed a good vocabulary.
    Indeed. Reduction, simply for the sake of dumbing down a song is never a good thing. Sounds like a trap. Personally, I'd use it measuredly, only to vary the texture between choruses of the same song. For the sake of variation. Then let loose with some Hollywood chords. Who could resist all those $25 chords, anyway?

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars
    My issue isn't with the complexity with harmony, it's with people totally ignoring that they are dealing with harmony...the approach of ignoring harmony for what it is--movement through tension and release...There's so much to learn from hearing how root movement sounds, thirds and sevenths. Stop treating harmony like a string of disconnected islands...A player can be melodic and still describe the vertical harmony expressed in the tune. But to throw the cohesion of melody totally out the window and study improvisation as chords in isolation, as snap shots...
    Indeed. Rigid chord charts and abbreviated chord grids above the staff may have done more harm than good. They are merely indicators of the average harmony for that measure. One must read the stacks and their connecting notes in the notation as the only way to honestly interpret the song as it was intended.

    Grids are great for getting up to speed when learning a tune, but a performance requires more effort. Just running the chord grids may sound more like typing than music.

    As you've indicated, a musician must play the stuff between the chords. One must constantly dislodge a chord grid to its rightful place in time while playing. Simply strumming or playing single-notes in response to a chord grid ignores the underlying harmony.

    Some notes in the chord grid must be omitted or emphasized at that moment. Chord charts and grids are a compromise at best. Reading music is essential to every musician, however most of us find that out later than sooner.
    ...

  25. #24

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    Yes, the path is littered with traps disguised as methods, procedures, and tricks to mimic a level of result without the level of effort required to musically reach it. These may not be revealed as traps until subsequent performance, where you realize:

    - a forfeiture of quality control
    (where you're playing without grasping the harmony, or just hearing more slowly than you're playing)

    - an impairment of musical judgement
    (where you're not aesthetically distinguishing what sounds good).

    Checking for traps is the same as the most general self test for jazz performance:

    - do you grasp the harmony?
    - do you hear what you play?
    - does your jazz sound good?