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Re: Jazz Chord Progressions


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Posted by El Pájaro on June 12, 2001 at 07:27:10:

In Reply to: Jazz Chord Progressions posted by Clifton on June 11, 2001 at 17:48:10:

: Hi,
: I have not been playing the Bass very long but, I learn very quickly. I have a question that I hope that someone will be able to answer. I have been playing/studying this Jazz Chord Progression of I-III7-vi-II7, (C-E7-Am7-D7)in the key of 'C.' The notes of this Progression are: (C) "C,G" (E7) "G#,E" (Am7) "A,E" (D7) "F#,D". Now, I know that the I-IV-V are Major, in a Major scale & the ii-iii-vi are minor in a Major scale with the vii chord being diminished. And the III-VI-VII are Major in a minor scale and the i-iv-v are minor in a minor scale with the ii chord being diminished.
: My question is: "Where does the "III7 & II7" come from?"
: In the Major scale the "iii & ii" are minor and in the minor scale the "ii" is diminished and the "III" is Major but, it is Eb!!
: Are there some rules that allow this to occur?
: Am I missing something? :^)
: Stay LOW, Live LOW & Play LOW,
: Clifton


Hey Clif,
Good questions! You see, harmony is a tricky thing sometimes. As you probably are aware now, jazz harmony is not always diatonic, that is, chords in a jazz tune or in a given progression are not always derived from the same major or minor scale. The blues in its most basic form, for example, is made of a series of dominant 7 chords that (if you analize them from a diatonic perspective) are derived from different major scales.
If you want to improvise over the progression you mentioned, then one possible approach would be not to think diatonically but to apply the "chord of the moment" concept and use the relative scale over every individual chord.
If you like to study and want to get deeper into this and other concepts, I'd recommend to read the "Jazz theory book" by Mark Levine.
Hope this helped. Buena suerte and keep your bass up front in the mix,

El Pájaro


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