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Jazz Theory

Having a grasp on some music theory concepts can be a great help when learning how to become a great jazz improviser. Below is a list of jazz theory lessons we’ve created.

If you’re looking for a place to start, definitely check out my Ultimate Guide to Jazz Theory. This is my most comprehensive jazz theory post that will get you started on the right foot!

The 16 Most Important Scales in Jazz [UPDATED]

Here is a list of the 16 most important scales for jazz improvisation and the harmonic contexts in which they can be used for improvisation. It doesn't matter whether you play guitar, piano, saxophone, trumpet,...

9 Important Jazz Chord Progressions You Need to Master [UPDATED]

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 but...

4 Blues Chord Progressions You Need to Know

One of the most important song forms in jazz is the blues. The blues was born out of the African slave trade in the United States. It came straight out of the oppression of the...
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5 Jazz Chord Substitutions You Need to Know

One of the prominent characteristics of jazz music is its rich harmonic language. Not only does jazz utilize the full spectrum of diatonic harmonic movement, it includes modal harmony, and also a slew of...
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How to Navigate Autumn Leaves

One of the most popular jazz standards of all time is "Autumn Leaves" by Joseph Kosma. It's often one of the first jazz standards that aspiring jazz musicians learn to play and for many...

How to Improvise Over “All of Me”

All of Me was written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simon in 1931 and has subsequently become one of the most recorded songs from that era. Popular versions of All of Me were immortalized...
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3 Types of Tritone Substitution with Lick Examples

An important technique that jazz musicians use to create harmonic movement is tritone substitution. This technique can add some great color to your jazz solos. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about tritone substitution, what...
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How to Improvise Over All The Things You Are

All The Things You Are is a popular jazz standard by Jerome Kern, and is one of those songs that every jazz musician needs to know. It's often called at jam sessions and gigs and has...

The “Secret” Scale to Unlock 2-5-1 Chord Progressions

Most of the time, II-V-I’s are taught as a set of discrete modes or as a collection of related modes derived from a single parent scale. We’re told the II-7 chord corresponds to a...

Understanding Coltrane Changes Part 1

Coltrane Changes. If you've been playing jazz for a while and have really gotten deep into it, you've probably had to confront them.  At some point you've attempted to play Giant Steps at a jam...

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