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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!

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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...
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9 Ways To Use The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The video above is based on the lesson below. 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...

Melodic Minor Soloing Over Minor ii-V-i

Soloing over a minor iim7b5-V7-i progression is often played with either melodic minor harmony or harmonic minor harmony. Some musicians prefer the melodic minor sound, while others prefer using the harmonic minor sound. I...
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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 Use Guide-Tones to Navigate Chord Changes

One of the most useful concepts which has emerged in jazz theory is the notion of guide-tones. Guide-tones are melodic lines constructed from one or two pitches strategically extracted from each chord of a...

The Right Way to Use the Diminished Scale

The diminished scale is one of the most useful and versatile tools for jazz improvisers. It has been covered on LJS before, but I want to try to offer an additional perspective on how...

How to Improvise Over “Stella By Starlight”

Stella By Starlight is arguably one of the most popular jazz standards of all time. As one of the most commonly called “workhorse” songs on gigs and jam sessions, this is a must-know tune...

How to Use Bebop Scales Like a Pro

Perhaps you’ve read or heard about bebop scales before – they’ve been mentioned in passing on LJS in the past. But where do bebop scales come from, and how can they be used in...

How to Build Chord Extensions and Alterations

It’s important that you understand that all 7th chords can be extended and altered. This is not only important to comprehend if you play a chordal instrument, like a piano or guitar, but it’s...

2 Rhythmic Exercises Every Jazz Musician Should Practice

Every time I listen to an aspiring jazz musician, I find that for many of them their rhythmic game is not at the same level as the harmonic one. This is because most of...

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