How to Substitute a Diminished 7 for a Dominant 7

As a jazz musician, I love learning new jazz theory tricks to apply to my playing. While learning jazz language by ear should be the primary way we learn to play, conceptualizing different ideas through...

3 Important Jazz Chord Progressions You Need to Master

For some, learning jazz can be a daunting task. It's harmonically complex, and because of this, there is a demand for a certain level of virtuosity. I often find that those who love jazz...

How to Harmonize Minor Scales With 7th Chords

This lesson is continuing off of the How to Harmonize a Major Scale with 7th Chords post. If you don't know how to harmonize a major scale or haven't checked out that lesson yet,...

How to Harmonize a Major Scale with 7th Chords

Something important for all musicians (especially in jazz) to understand is that you can take any scale and harmonize it with chords. This is done by identifying the notes of a scale and then building chords off...

How to Use Enclosure In Your Jazz Solos

To learn jazz language, you must be listening to the music and learning solos and lines from your favorite jazz musicians. Jazz is first and foremost an aurally learned music and it must be...

9 Ways To Use The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The minor pentatonic scale is a fairly well known scale, and I imagine many of you have used it before. However, I find that many musicians think about using this scale with a limited perspective....
Understanding Chord Extensions & Alterations

Understanding Chord Extensions and Alterations

Many styles of music use 3-note chords; mostly major and minor chords, with the occasional diminished and/or augmented chord, and maybe a few 7th chords thrown in. Jazz is a little different.  Jazz starts with...

Where Do Double Sharps and Double Flats Come From?

I write lots of jazz theory articles for the LJS blog, but I haven't really written a straight-up music theory article that doesn't talk about jazz at all.  Until now.  This article is essentially a...

Understanding 7th Chords

Understanding 7th chords is vital knowledge for a jazz musician.  It's not an advanced theoretical concept by any means, and yet being able to play through your 7th chords in all keys can seem...
17 Important Jazz Scales

17 Important Jazz Scales in Tetrachords

It's important for jazz musicians to learn their scales.  While the major scales are important, they are only the beginning. Tetrachords are a wonderful way to learn your scales.  Once you understand the basic tetrachords, you...
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