Master Index of Theory-Related Pages Online
Jazz harmony is defined as the theory behind jazz chords and the practice of how jazz chords are put to use in the context of jazz music. Since American jazz music resembles, in analysis, other practices of Western harmony (i.e. classical music), jazz harmony and theory relies heavily on similar concepts (such as scales) as the foundation of chord construction.
The way it’s going to be presented on this website, jazz theory is like popping up the hood and looking at a car’s engine. You’ll understand why you’re allowed to speed up, slow down, make wide or sudden turns, and so on. In brief, music theory is how we organize the sounds we have on our instruments into a logical system (that’s the “engine”)…
Welcome to the jazz theory section of JazzGuitarLessons.net … here you’ll be able to satisfy your intellectual cravings for understanding how music works theoretically. You’ll find out about how scales and chords are constructed (and why!) plus many articles addressing a wide range of theory topics such as progressions, modes, chords with alterations, key signatures, cadences, etc.
Before you start reading the pages and articles below and learn jazz theory, I believe it’s important for you to understand this: jazz theory, as much as you can learn from it on a written page, really lies in YOUR EARS.
The systems we use to explain what we’re doing have to be identifiable by sound. That being said, always make sure that what you’re studying, in theory, is understood well and that you can HEAR IT (and I mean away from your instrument).
Now go on, knock yourself out, and read the articles below in order.
That’s a biggie! So here’s your quick guide to sorting it all out:
We build chords from the scales covered in the previous section. So make sure you’re familiar with scales before attempting to build chords from them:
After understanding blues stuff, it’s important to get accustomed to “how chords move to on another”, here’s the guide:
If you already know some stuff about chords, then the “No-Nonsense Guides” are a great way to get into free jazz guitar theory without being overwhelmed with too many notes, scales, modes, etc. In fact, it’s some sort of simplification of some of the theory’s intermediate concepts. (Not completely for beginners, yet not too advanced).
Last but not least, how to play on dom7 chords … from the most basic mixolydian all the way to very complex altered sounds: