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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!

How to Improvise Over “Inner Urge”

Joe Henderson’s “Inner Urge” from his iconic 1965 record also entitled Inner Urge is one of the most frequently called tunes at jam sessions when jazz musicians want to play a fast and challenging...

How to Improvise Using “Constant Structures”

A “constant structure” is a fixed set of relationships between pitches. It is related to the ideas of a “pitch cell” that can be transposed and/or sequenced. Constant structures are great for creating motivic units...

Practicing Using Upper Structures on “Solar”

As jazz musicians, we’re always trying to find ways to hear and come up with different types of melodic lines while improvising. One strategy that can help break up a hyper scale-focused approach to building...

Spice Up Your Jazz Solos with Asymmetrical Melodies

Once we’ve mastered some of the basic types of jazz vocabulary, we’re always striving to find new and interesting ways of breaking up and varying our improvised melodies. One of the most effective ways to...

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...

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