We all want to learn more about jazz chords don’t we?
We love the way (fill in your favorite jazz musician here) plays but for some reason we can’t seem to figure out what they’re doing.
Great jazz musicians tend to play so much more than what’s on a plain old chord chart. So, how can we learn some of the extra chords that our favorite musicians play?
Learning Jazz Chords Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
In order to help you guys better understand this I created a very in depth jazz chord lesson using the standard “Here’s That Rainy Day”.
I’m going to show you all some very fundamental reharmonization moves. People like Bill Evans, Barry Harris, Diana Krall, Oscar Peterson, and others use these concepts all the time! (video lesson, notation, and tips below).
Here’s That Rainy Day has a lot of very common chord progressions that you’d also see in hundreds of other jazz standards. So, by learning some of the reharmonizations I do here you’ll be able to throw them in tons of other jazz standards.
Video lesson, chord charts, and practice tips below. Here’s That Rainy Day Original Chords
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Here’s That Rainy Day Reharmonized Chords
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A Few Quick Tips To Learn These Reharmonized Chord Concepts
1. Grab your favorite idea that I play in learn it in all your keys. As one example, if you like the way I decorate the Ebmaj7 chord in bar 3 you should take in all your keys.
Whatever you like make sure you can apply it elsewhere! It could be any measure of this song. Need ideas of jazz standards to play? Read this must know jazz standards article.
2. If you like the sound of these reharmonized jazz standards I also recommend you check out this lesson on reharmonized Misty Chords.
3. Alot of the basic chord shapes I have in my hand are based off of two concepts: shell voicings and spread voicings. If you’re unfamiliar with these chords then this shell voicings lesson would be a great place to start. This spread voicings article also will be very helpful.
4. Please always keep in mind that melodies always must be respected and heard. Every chord I chose was carefully picked to make sure the melody was still clear.
I never pick chords that don’t work with the melody of a tune regardless of how cool the chords sound by themselves. Melody always rules!
5. The basic concept of any reharmonization is using substitute chords that have at least 1-3 of the same notes. For example, in bar 16 instead of playing D7 for beat 3 I played an Ab7.
This works because the 3rd and 7th of D7 are the notes F# and C. The 3rd and 7th of the chord Ab7 is C and F#. They are the same notes just in a different order. So, since a couple of the notes are the same and it works with the melody than this reharmonization works.
This particular type of reharmonization Ab7 for D7 is called a tritone substitution. This is one of the most fundamental and stylistic chord changes in jazz. We will talk about this concept quite a bit more in future lessons. Until then happy practicing!
So, what was your favorite chord or move in the lesson above? Please leave a comment below and let us know!
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