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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!

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...

How to Improvise Over Rhythm Changes Like a Pro

Like the Blues, “rhythm changes” is one of the most common song forms in jazz music. This 32-bar AABA form and its accompanying chord progression is derived from George Gershwin’s iconic composition “I Got...

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...

Help! How Do I Improvise Over a Half-Diminished Chord?

I was recently asked if I could I do a post on the mysterious Half-Diminished chord (check out our Half-Diminished chord workouts) so here is a basic guide to improvising over this widely misunderstood chord symbol, including...

A Beginner’s Guide To Implied Metric Modulations

Implied metric modulation is a device used to create rhythmic tension, by giving the impression of shifting to a new tempo or playing what seems to be an unrelated tempo on top of the...

Unlocking Diminished vs. Altered Scales

When you are soloing over a dominant chord, you can choose notes from several different scales in your improvised melodies.  The mixolydian and the mixolydian bebop scales work well, but sometimes you want something...

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...

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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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...

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...

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