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#1010530 - 01/19/08 02:29 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
KeyboardJungle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 52
Loc: Maryland
I found a great practice tool in my stack of music books. One of my jazz books has a CD with arpeggio excercises that cycle around the entire circle of fifths using the ii-V-1 progression at 108 bpm. I discovered that it makes a great backing track for practicing progressions in all the keys. It also helps me to get everything up to speed, including those chords that don't like me so much(namely Db and Gb), along with their nasty enharmonic twins.

I have found it to be much more productive than the metronome, and very rewarding to make it through the entire circle. (OK, I mean *almost* make it through the entire circle, but I'm getting there.)

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#1010531 - 01/19/08 02:34 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
I agree that's good practice KJ. It will pay off on a complex tune because these ii-V's could be 50% of most progressions in Jazz. I did that kind of exercise too.
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#1010532 - 01/19/08 03:20 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
An arpeggio exercise based on the cycle of 5ths, adapted for AL. Play RH only, LH chords. Play both hands together. Play swing 8ths (as indicated).
For those fingerly challenged and whom likes to practice; try to hold the 5 finger down, and move it only every 2nd bar (to keep the top note singing)
pdf
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#1010533 - 01/19/08 03:21 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
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#1010534 - 01/19/08 08:01 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
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Hi. Since attention was directed toward this thread this morning, I had to check it out. I'm totally a fish out of water. I'd like to lurk for a while and educate myself. I barely have clue about the chord symbols - what's the best way to get an idea about them. I have classical theory, note reading and my theory book has one optional page on "popular notation". I can't make heads or tails out of what I'm seeing. How do I go about it so I can even understand the explanations? Right now I'm looking at algebra. I'd like to begin by understanding the chord notation.

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#1010535 - 01/19/08 08:04 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
gmm1 Offline
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Registered: 06/03/06
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Loc: Spokane WA
_________________________
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#1010536 - 01/19/08 08:30 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Oh, those are good gmm1. And I'm relieved to see that there is a bit of a link to classical theory to orient me - I love the primer: hands-on learning.

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#1010537 - 01/19/08 08:59 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Loc: So. California
Hi Keystring, knowledge of chords is not assumed in this thread. In all cases, the notes that are part of each chord are clearly stated.

In the beginning lesson, you are only playing two notes in the LH for each chord. Go through it slowly. No need to rush. And by all means ask questions even if it is about Lesson 1.
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#1010538 - 01/19/08 11:14 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
LESSON 7[/b]
Advanced - Rootless Chord Voicings - Combo Setting - Part 1[/b]

If this is intimidating to you, please proceed immediately to PART 3 where the specific application to Autumn Leaves is discussed. You can return to the background and theory at a later time.

Background[/b]
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of jazz Left Hand Comping. When there is a Rhythm section (Bass Player, Drums), the piano has the advantage of having the root of the chord be covered by the Bass Player. As you saw in the Walking Bass lesson, the Bass player will tend to outline the chord root on the 1st beat.

This means that the Piano player, does not need to duplicate that root and frees up a LH finger. It also means that the chord voicing can be done at a higher register since the purpose of doing a 1/7 in a solo piano setting is to fill in the lower registers. Enter the 'Rootless Voicings'.

As a bit of history, I've been told that rootless voicings started from Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly and the original sparse 1/7 voicings was a stylistic characteristic of Bud Powell (who as apparently an influence on Evans). Rootless voicings are often also called 'Cluster chords' or 'Closed Voicings' because they tend to be compressed in a small area of the keyboard. One major characteristic of rootless voicings is that there's not a lot of hand motion in ii-V-I progressions and this comes from very well thought out 'voice leading'. Rootless chords can be 3 note voicings or 4 note voicings. Here I will teach 4 note voicings and these will be played on the LH. This frees up the RH to play the melody or perform a solo.

Rootless voicings can also be used in a solo piano setting. They sound full of harmony and sometimes tension, but because they have to be played in a higher register (above middle C), there needs to be an occasional bass tone to supply a contrasting sound. As a technique to vary a solo piano piece, it is stylistically popular to mix rooted voicings, such as the ones we've covered earlier, with rootless voicings punctuated by an occasional bass root tone. How often one kicks in a bass tone is a stylistic choice. The more you leave it out the more tense the music becomes.

The Stride style of playing chords is
| B C B C | B C B C | B C B C | B C B C |etc.
where the each measure has 4 beats and the 'B' signifies a bass tone and the 'C' means a Chord tone. This is an old fashioned playing style and not usually used in modern jazz.

However, this style, often referred to as Modern Stride is used:
| B C | B C | B C | B C |etc.
where the bass is played on beat 1 and the chord is played from beats 2-4. There are many stylistic variations of this, like

| C C B | C | C C B | ...
notice the bass note is skipped in some cases. In this example, the bass is played in beat 3. A good jazz musician would be good at varying this so there's a constant change of pattern. This makes the music sound interesting.

In all the above example of stride playing, the original stride was based on the 'Chord' being a triad above the root. In modern Jazz, what is played is the rootless voicings which we will introduce here.

Continued[/b]
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#1010539 - 01/19/08 11:48 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Advanced - Rootless Chord Voicings - Combo Setting - Part 2[/b]

Theory[/b]

A little theory to Rootless voicings. This will explain how we arrive at the construction of a chord voicing. In Part 3, I will actually list by notes what the actual voicing is of each of the Autumn Leaves chords.

In general Rootless voicings will start with either a 7th or 3rd as the lowest note. The lowest note will generally be above middle C. Some books refer to Rootless voicings with the 3rd on the bottom as A[/b] voicings and those that start with the 7th on the bottom as B[/b] voicings. I didn't learn with this nomenclature but I think it's pretty easy to remember 7th or 3rd. All chords will feature a 3rd. There will be no root and in all cases that we discuss (we will not discuss Diminished chords), there will be a 9th to the chord.

So here's how each chord would be voiced by quality. Each chord will be voiced in the LH and within the span of an octave.

Major Seventh Chords[/b]
7 + 9 + 3 + 6*
7 + 3 + 5 + 6
or
3 + 5 + 6 + 9*
3 + 6 + 7 + 9

The asterisked versions are the ones we will use. For example in C, it may also be notated as C6(9). So in jazz CMaj7 may be freely interchanged with C6(9). Notice that there's always an interval that's only a whole step apart and may sound dissonant to those new to jazz

Minor Seventh Chords[/b]
7 + 9 + 3 + 5
or
3 + 5 + 7 + 9
Notice the only chord extension is the 9th. Minor 7 chords are not usually altered much more than that

Dominant Seventh Chords[/b]
7 + 9 + 3 + 13
or
3 + 13 + 7 + 9
Dominant Seventh chords are heavily altered but this is a plain vanilla dominant 7 voicing. Alterations can also be achieved using chord substitution so this general form will apply

Half Diminished Chords (m7b5)[/b]
7 + Root + b3 + b5
or
3 + b5 + 7 + Root


Dominant 7b9 Chords[/b]
3 5 b7 b9

This really is the same as playing a diminished seventh chord a half step up from the root but organized in various inversions.
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#1010540 - 01/20/08 12:01 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Simplified - Rootless Chord Voicings - Combo Setting - Part 3[/b]

Here's the simplified method of doing Rootless chord voicings. I will just tell you what notes to play for Autumn Leaves for each chord. Is that simple enough \:D Play these above middle C. You'll have to move your melody up an octave.

Am7 (ii)
G B C E

D7 (V)
F# B C E

G Maj7 (I)
E A B D

C Maj7 (IV)
E G A D

F#m7b5 (iim7b5)
E F# A C

B7b9 (V7b9)
Eb F# A C

Em7 (i)
D F# G B

----- Turn Around Voicing | Em7 A7 | Dm7 G7|

Em7
G B D F#

A7
G B C# F#

Dm7
F A C E

G7
F A B E

----------------------------

Combo Version of AL with Rootless Voicings
http://www.box.net/shared/fvpplr64go


When playing rootless voicings in solo piano, as discussed earlier, you can strike a bass note every so often. In Autumn Leaves, I would try hitting a bass note once at the beginning of every other chord. In other words, A on Am7, G on GM7, F# on F#m7b5, E on Em7.

Notice the voice leading on each ii-V-I set. Between ii-V, only one note moves. And from V to I is a smooth move of mostly one whole step (except for the 7th which only moves a half step). Notice the efficiency of this.

If you watch Bill Evans play, you will see his LH hardly moves and that's because he's using these voicings.

But don't overdo this. Don't play solo piano with just rootless voicings as you need to create variety by mixing in lower register notes. You can mix this with our previous 1/7,3/5/9 voicings.
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#1010541 - 01/20/08 12:22 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
More on Rootless Voicings[/b]

To learn or the rootless voicings, start off with doing one chord, let's say a major chord, and than move up a half step at a time and memorizing the finger positions. There are 24 possibilities for each chord (12 each for an A of B voicing - depending on what the lowest note is).

There are books available from Hal Leonard that already lays out this voicing for each chord. But if you know the theory about how the chord is constructed, you don't have to buy a book.

It is best to practice this in a ii-V-I sequence in 12 keys. In real life use, you will find that most chords are predominantly played with either only an A voicing or a B voicing due to the register location on the keyboard. So practicing in a ii-V-I format will make this clear.

Although this looks intimidating, after using rootless for awhile (and practicing them), you will start to appreciate the shape and most of them will come naturally.
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#1010542 - 01/20/08 06:36 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
Thanks, Jazzwee. Where do I find the melody? Currently I only have the sheet music that btb posted in the thread that led me here.

Lesson one looks like this in part:
 Quote:
Am7 - A G (Root + b7)
D7 - D C (Root + b7)
GMaj7 - G F# (Root + 7)
algebra to my eyes: 3a(b + 2c) = 3ab + 6ac ;\)

I understand enough to be able to decipher a bit of the code, but I'd like to go through the tutorial that GMM1 provided because it acts as a bridge. I want to have a feel for chords see from that angle, wean myself from predetermined music and/or the printed page by working through that tutorial and then it will be easier to follow. I assumed it develops from p. 1 - 17 and one doesn't jump in at the middle?

I'll be mostly lurking while I do that. So far even that little bit is ... er, I was going to use the overused word "fun" ... refreshing.

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#1010543 - 01/20/08 07:02 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
gmm1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1674
Loc: Spokane WA
Hey Keystring - heres a copy of a previous post...

 Quote:
Originally posted by mahlzeit:
 Quote:
Originally posted by jazzwee:
Instead of a leadsheet (which we cannot officially post due to to copyrights) . . .[/b]
Heh, we cannot legally post our own recordings of Autumn Leaves either. ;\)

Here is a (legal!) leadsheet of Autumn Leaves, although I won't make any promises to its accuracy:
http://www.wikifonia.org/node/106

(If you select "Eb" under Layout, you'll see the score in Em, which is what we're talking about in this thread.)

Anyways, I just managed to record something bearable. Instead of 1-7 in the left hand, I alternated between 1-7 and 1-3 (and even a 1-5 at some point but that happened without thinking).

No (real) improvisations yet. I hope it swings. \:D

Here it is (MIDI file):
http://www.box.net/shared/bl81pqao0c [/b]
Or here:

http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0028996
_________________________
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#1010544 - 01/20/08 07:36 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
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Thanks, GMM. So everyone is working with that melody and it is in the key of E minor which would have a key signature of one sharp. Correct? And what you do in jazz is basically start with a simple melody and begin to build around it, or play with it, both in the melody and doing things with the chords. And that's what everyone is doing. (I am as novice as they come, but have a jazz acquaintance so started having a faint idea.)

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#1010545 - 01/20/08 08:36 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Keystring: if you check on an exercise I posted in this thread (find them here and this one too ). It's an excercise for playing the shell voicings as jazzwee has explained.

About whom did what and when about shell voicings, the story I've been told by some of the older jazz cats is that Bud Powell got the idea for playing shell voicings in bebop from his studying of Bach.

Studying Bach, Mozart, Chopin , Ravel, Bartok and Debussy will definitely aid to anyone's jazz piano playing. Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett - etc all extol the merits of playing classical piano pieces.

But there's only so many hours in a day . . . \:\)
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#1010546 - 01/20/08 08:57 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
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Thanks, Chris. I've bookmarked that too. Right now I want to become just generally familiar and bridge over from the classical world and become bilingual so to say. There is a common centre - after all, it's all music and harmony is harmony. Not much time but I'll grow into it and do more than lurk. I'm not that rigid because I was self-taught for decades, but alway with a classical orientation which is second nature, even when I played mainly by ear.

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#1010547 - 01/20/08 09:00 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
Oh, and once I find the time and get to that point I'll probably have questions while I reorient myself. That's be ok?

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#1010548 - 01/20/08 11:59 AM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Thanks, Jazzwee. Where do I find the melody? Currently I only have the sheet music that btb posted in the thread that led me here.

Lesson one looks like this in part:
 Quote:
Am7 - A G (Root + b7)
D7 - D C (Root + b7)
GMaj7 - G F# (Root + 7)
algebra to my eyes: 3a(b + 2c) = 3ab + 6ac ;\)

[/b]
Hi Keystring, so translated to non Algebra \:D , what I mean is this:

When you see 'Am7', play 'A' and 'G'
When you see 'D7', play 'D' and 'C'
When you see 'GMaj7', play 'G' and 'F#'


In other words, what we are teaching here is a simplified understanding of chord construction. It is like a 'Shell Harmony'. This is not done because we are stupid and can't figure anything complicated \:D , but because this is the basis of a Left hand structure that gets enhanced in later lessons.

Now the reference to root and FLAT 7 or 7 as shown below....
 Quote:
Am7 - A G (Root + b7)
D7 - D C (Root + b7)
GMaj7 - G F# (Root + 7)
...is a sort of an introduction to Chord theory. Look at the interval for a Root and b7, against an interval for Root and 7 and compare it against an Octave.

When you see a minor chord (Am7) or dominant chord (D7), you can always assume that the second note is two half steps below an Octave from the first note.

When you see a major 7 chord (GMaj7), it is one half step short of a full octave.

With this little information, and assuming that one knows what an octave (which is guaranteed because we are smart adults \:D ), then you have an arsenal in your hand to get an idea of how a tune sounds when given just chords.

Frequently in this thread I will do something like this:

| Am7 | D7 | GMaj7 | etc...

Each Bar signifies a measure in notation and thus count 4 beats inside each measure (since Autumn Leaves is 4/4). This is like a "leadsheet" shortcut notation. So in this example, each chord is held for 4 beats. You can compare this against the sheet music/lead sheet linked above.
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#1010549 - 01/20/08 12:57 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Here's Jazzwee's chords and voicings notated for those so inclined.
pdf
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#1010550 - 01/20/08 01:07 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
jazzwee Offline
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Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7100
Loc: So. California
Wow Chris. That's amazing. Now I don't remember. Did we ever make notation for the shell voicings with melody, or the 1/7,3/5/9 voicings? If we did I don't think I made a link at the Index section.

We should probably do that so Keystring and our many new participants can learn the 'Traditional' notation. You're a great help Chris! Thanks a bunch.
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#1010551 - 01/20/08 01:46 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
bluekeys Offline
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Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
Thanks again, Chris. Another welcome addition to my AL practice folder. \:\) (Edited in the spirit of camaraderie with our sister forum.)

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#1010552 - 01/20/08 01:54 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
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Well actually I'm trying to understand the language and relate it to what I already know.

 Quote:
Am7 - A G (Root + b7)
(explanation)
When you see 'Am7', play 'A' and 'G'
So Am7 - AG (Root + b7) is the chord plus the explanation?
Then Am7 is the actual chord and whatever follows is not something new but just explaining it?

I understand that Am7 is a minor 7th chord starting on A. If that is correct, then my notes are A C E G, because that is what it would be as a minor 7th chord. So for my understanding, I need to know that Am7 means minor 7th chord.

So "root + b7" explains that this is the root chord of the A minor scale and "b" must mean it is diminished by a 2nd, or flatted, perhaps (b is flat?) but I don't need to look at that part if I know what a minor 7th chord is. I just need the Am7 part. No need to change your explanations for me - I just have to understand the language. Thanks. \:\)

What I've done is look at the chord info from GMM1 and play with the first chapter, see what it means according to what I know. That's the one that says I IV V covers all the notes of the scale. I played around with the notes of a scale seeing which of the chords fit with which and so got the idea. I'm already doing that in harmony theory but not as freely. I'm just going to get familiar with the language and seeing music from this angle before doing anything in this thread for a while. I think the main thing will simply be what things are called that I know already in a different way. I'm going to figure out some things on my own and then ask questions as they come.

A first one would be, if you are writing down a I, IV, or V chord (triad) do you just call it I, or A, or what?

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#1010553 - 01/20/08 02:19 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Keystring: the first chord in Autumn Leaves is a IV-chord. The key of Autumn Leaves (in the version we are working on)is Em.

root + b7 is ( ex) root=C and b7=Bb
which you can play on any m7 or 7 chord.

root + 7 is (ex) root=C and 7=B
which you can play on any Maj7 chord

(keep them a seventh apart)
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#1010554 - 01/20/08 02:27 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell Offline
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Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Ok. At Jazzwee's request, here's the melody with 1-7 voicings. pdf

Here's the LH 1-7, RH 3-5-9 voicings: pdf

and to really bake your noodle's, here's a pro-version of LH voicings: pdf
these are voicings I would use for playing w a trio.
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

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#1010555 - 01/20/08 02:31 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
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Chris, does Am7 mean that it is a minor 7th chord, which means my notes are ACEG?

Do I need the additional information "root + b7", or is that only for those who need to learn what a minor 7th is?

I am not working on Autumn Leaves yet. I want to get familiar with the language first. I'm exploring the info gmm1 gave to get a feel for it.

What does "b" mean in b7. Is it the same thing as "flat" i.e. reducing a note by a semitone?

"root" as I understand it is the bottom note of a triad in root position. Are you using it to mean the triad as a whole, i.e. AC#E, where A is the root?

I think I'm getting bogged down by the explanation of a concept I already understand, and the explanation is throwing me. That's why I need the vocabulary. For example, if there is just a thing as AM7, and if that means a major 7 chord with a root triad of A major, then I know what that means and how to form it.

The first thing I'm doing is to explore theory presented in the other fasion so that I can catch the language. I should get most of it that way and then I'll come in with any questions.

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#1010556 - 01/20/08 02:32 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
double post

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#1010557 - 01/20/08 02:40 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
chrisbell Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 1370
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Yes. Am7 means= A minor seven = A C E G

root+b7 is shorthand for playing an interval of a minor seventh.

b means flat as in Bb, Eb, Db, etc
b7 means a minor seventh; b3 is a minor third, etc.

Yes a root is the bottom note in root position

Yes there is such a thing as a AM7. :-)
AM7 = A Major seven = A C# E G#
A major seven comes in many different spellings: AMaj7, AM7, Amaj7, A(pyramid)7. sorry i don't have any pyramid symbols :-D

Look through the pdf's I just posted, it should get you up and running (or down and playing).
_________________________

I never play anything the same way once.

https://soundcloud.com/chrisb/sets
https://www.youtube.com/user/djboing/videos

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#1010558 - 01/20/08 02:59 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11808
Loc: Canada
At first glance, of the three, the pro voicings make the most sense to me. In the first, a seventh is indicated, but there are only three notes. I don't want to just be able to play by reading the score, or I'm not doing much different from classical music. I want to understand what the chord names mean so that I can play with them. With what you have posted I can extrapolate what they mean so that I can understand any chord name. I'll play with all of that a bit until I get a picture and then I'll pop up again with questions. Thanks a lot!

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#1010559 - 01/20/08 05:06 PM Re: Jazz Study Group: Autumn Leaves, ATTYA, etc.
Kangamangusuk Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 18
Loc: East Yorkshire
Jazzwee, again thanks for your further lessons. I particularly like your clear simple explanations, giving the reasons behind them & which certainly are assisting me in understanding, what we are all trying to do. I have just one problem & that is putting it all into practice & sounding half decent. But I'm working on it!

Just a little further clarification on Part 3, the notes for AL. Are there a couple of typos or is my own theory incorrect?

Chord Am7 should it be G,B,C, E[/b] (7+9+b3+5)?

Should D7 be F#, B,C, E[/b] (3+13+b7+9)?

Finally in Em7 should the D#[/b] be F#? (9)?

Also a big thanks to ChrisBell for the pdfs.

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