3 Dominant 7th chords all jazz musicians Encounter

3 Dominant 7th Chord Types All Jazz Musicians Encounter

Anyone who has played jazz or leafed through a jazz fakebook or “real book” probably has noticed that dominant seventh chords are some of the most common chords musicians encounter in jazz standards. But...
4 Important applications of the Melodic Minor Scale

4 Important Applications of the Melodic Minor Scale

The melodic minor scale seems to be a big mystery to many jazz musicians. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on this mysterious scale without going into too much technical...

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...

How to Simplify Your Lines With Major Pentatonic Scales

Though pentatonic scales have been mentioned on the LJS site before, I want to look specifically at major pentatonic scales more in depth in this post. I’ll briefly introduce the way I think about...
Understanding Coltrane 1

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...
Mastering Scales pt 2

Mastering Scales with Tetrachords, Part 2

Tetrachords are groups of four notes that make up half of a scale.  You can combine two tetrachords to form any of the common jazz scales (through you may need to add a doubled...
3 secrets of the Diminished Scale

Secrets of the Diminished Scale

There are 12 major scales. It would seem to follow there are 12 of any other type of scale,  one for each chromatic note. However, this is not the case.  Because of their symmetry,...

How to Use the Harmonic Minor Scale Over a Minor 2-5-1

In my recent post on the harmonic major scale, I talked about ways to construct II-V-I lines using one single scale. I have also mentioned the harmonic minor scale in passing when talking about...
Cool and Unusual Applications of the Minor Pentatonic Scalevideo

Cool and Unusual Applications of the Minor Pentatonic Scale

This is one my favorite jazz education videos on youtube... the perspective of is that of a brilliant guitarist, but any instrumentalist could use these concepts.  I've included a summary below of his main...
Hexatonic Pentatonic Jazz Improvisation Workout

Hexatonic/Pentatonic Jazz Improvisation Workout

We’ve talked about pentatonics on LJS in the past both on the blog and on the podcast. In this post, I want to build on the concepts surrounding pentatonic scales and...

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