Jazz chords in pop songs

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by EDS, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. EDS

    EDS Supporting Member

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    I'm a guitar teacher and I like to my students to learn some more advanced chords, but I prefer to start them off with something more familiar rather than throwing a Songbook/jazz tune at them, etc.

    So what are some good pop songs with:
    -Maj/Dom/Min 9ths and 13ths
    -altered dominants like 7b9, 7b5 (not #9)
    -Maj7#11

    I know John Mayer has some song with these, but I'm looking for more examples. Please don't tell that band X has some "jazzy" stuff - I'm looking for specific examples - thanks!
     
  2. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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  3. Stratand335

    Stratand335 Member

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    Murder By Numbers by The Police.
     
  4. marmalade cream

    marmalade cream Member

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    Sondre Lerche has some great jazz chords in his music. his songwriting style has changed a lot over the years but my favorite is his second album Two Way Monologues. The eponymous track from that album is recognizable and a good one to start with. Off the top of my head I don't know if it has any of the chords you listed, but Lerche uses a lot of maj7 progressions with some diminished chords thrown in that's poppy but outside the of standard pop chord vocabulary.

    Also give his first album Faces Down a listen for material. I love his music!
     
  5. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Midnight at the Oasis - Maria Muldaur
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  6. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    The Beatles - Till There Was You
    Sting - It's Probably Me / Moon Over Bourbon Street / Sister Moon
    Doobie Brothers - It Keeps You Runnin' / Livin' On The Fault Line
    Nora Jones - Don't Know Why
    Lots of Tower of Power
    Lots of Steely Dan

    Ditto on Stevie Wonder. Practically NOBODY plays the turnaround of Superstition correctly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  7. ari

    ari Member

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    Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song. Not sure if it counts as "jazzy" but that verse progression is certainly sophisticated.



    Trippin on a Hole in a Paper Heart also has some cool chords.

    Enjoy.

    ari
     
  8. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    That's that band that instantly came to mind for me.

    Donald and Walter and brilliant writers.
     
  9. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I would have said Steely Dan too, but I was bearing in mind the OP's request: "Please don't tell that band X has some "jazzy" stuff - I'm looking for specific examples". ;)

    Mind you, you could pick almost anything from Steely Dan - or even better (jazzier chords), Donald Fagen's post-Dan stuff, like the Nightfly album. New Frontier, Walk Between Raindrops, Goodbye Look.
     
  10. blueworm

    blueworm Member

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    Prefab Sprout, especially the early things, though it does not sound jazz.
    Clever and kind of naive (in a good way) use of sophisticated chords. Also often use of the IVmaj7 chord as a sub for the tonic.
     
  11. Ethn Hayabusa

    Ethn Hayabusa Member

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    Golden Lady, by Stevie Wonder. Major sevenths, dominant, minor major seven. Little bit of everything.
     
  12. deeohgee

    deeohgee Member

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    And then there's Burt Bacharach....
     
  13. StevenA

    StevenA Member

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  14. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    The TGP concept of jazzy is like no other I've ever seen.
     
  15. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

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  16. dingusmingus

    dingusmingus Member

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    Also a unique concept of what songs would get teenagers excited!
     
  17. eflatminor

    eflatminor Member

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    Lots of tunes by the band America use big fat jazz chords. Check out Sandman for example.
     
  18. thecornman

    thecornman Member

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    Kid Charlemange - Steely Dan. It also has a fantastic solo by Larry Carlton in it!
     
  19. EDS

    EDS Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone - I'm familiar with many of these suggestions, but there are some new ones I wasn't aware of too, so its helpful.

    And in case anyone's wondering, I haven't had any teenagers interested in Steely Dan yet (though I confess I'm not too interested in them either)
     
  20. JonR

    JonR Member

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    To be fair, the OP was asking for "more advanced chords" - which (as he seemed reluctantly to admit) is often considered synonymous with "jazzy".
    One can have complicated chords without being at all "jazzy", as you or I might like to define it. (Jazz can employ very simple chords sometimes.)
    Then again, "advanced" depends on what level one is starting from. If one starts from power chords, then triads are pretty advanced... ;)
     

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