Welcome to episode 271 where today we are exploring the question of how to know what the correct chord changes are for a jazz standard. Because jazz musicians have often manipulated original chord changes, and often take liberties with chordal harmony, it can be difficult to know exactly what the chords are to standards. I give you some practical tips to help guide you through.
Listen to episode 271
One thing that would be very frustrating about learning jazz and playing jazz is that a lot of times jazz musicians will play a song just slightly differently.
Maybe it’s the way that they phrase the melody. Maybe it’s the way they play the chord changes — adding chord changes, subtracting chord changes, playing an entirely different key.
It can get very confusing and you wish you just knew what the exact original changes that everybody’s playing at the jam sessions is so that you’re not confused by all the options out there.
Well, in today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about that specifically. How do you know what changes you should be using and learning when you are learning a new jazz standard?
In this episode:
1. Don’t use the Real Book or iReal Pro as primary resources
2. Consult the original recording, but realize that Great American Songbook original changes may be different than what jazz musicians play
3. Realize that some tunes have more than one set of “correct” changes