Jazz scale choices

JL75

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603
Im thinkin this doesnt pertain to strictly jazz, probably more of a theory deal overall, but comin from blues, Im tryin to add more jazz to my palate and was curious in say a 2-5-1, what info do you use to determine what scale(s) can be used?

For example:

 

dgarrett89

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81
I just play the changes.

Dm7 = D Dorian
G7b13 = G half-whole diminished
Cmaj7 = C major or C Lydian
 

JL75

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603
Right now Im a bit stuck with the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales. Is there a particular mode or other scale that works well with jazz?
 

dgarrett89

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81
All of the modes/scales work in jazz. There really isn't just one scale for jazz. this means no short cut. So you're gonna have to learn all your modes, scales and arpeggios all over the neck in different positions. But most of all, assuming if you haven't done so yet, you need to learn all the notes on your fretboard backwards and forward.

EDIT : also I would suggest getting Mark Levine's Jazz Theory book. its the best book I've found by far.
http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Theory-B...F8&qid=1390792935&sr=1-1&keywords=jazz+theory
 

cubistguitar

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5,953
I don't think of half-whole diminished for G7b13 since the half-whole is more common with 13b9 chords.

Back to your regular programming.

its probably more use to see the relationship of the parts to the whole in these progressions.

The 3 "areas" available in all keys are the Tonic, Subdominant, and Dominant. Your example is major so lets take that first. The Tonic is all the I chord sounds and including iii minor and vi minor. Subdominant is the IV chord and the ii minor. The Dominant is the Vchord and the vii dim.

So the progression is Dminor, G7b13, Cmajor7

or ii minor (subdominant), V7 (dominant), I major (Tonic)

so structurally this is all in C major, but there are some variation here, by way of the G7b13. This chord is spelled G,B,D,F,Eb.

The Eb could be seen as borrowed from Cminor momentarily and the G7b13 could be derived from the C harmonic minor scale. (C,D,Eb,F,G,A,B,C). The extra tension of the b13 could be seen as a derivative of the Galtered scale (G,Ab,A#,B,C#,Eb,F) and borrow from that key momentarily. Usually if the G altered works then the Lydian dom at the Tritone work, so Db7b5 (Db,F,G,B) works too. The augmented triad Eb,G,B inside G7b13 could exploited and a whole note run from Eb (Eb,F,G,A,B,C#) could work.

all very common, the most tension and the most choices are open to the V7 or Dominant chords. The option to go further afield from the home key are more plentiful here as the object is the add tension before the release of the Tonic.

Barely scratches the surface, but you get the idea, it takes a lot of patience and more than scales over chords to sound like music.

You really can skip all the above and just play blues, but I think the study of harmony is essential to confident jazz playing.
 

dgarrett89

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81
I don't think of half-whole diminished for G7b13 since the half-whole is more common with 13b9 chords.
This is very true. Though in a jazz context I've grown accustom to playing half-whole diminished over dominant 7 chords. I guess I listen to Jimmy Herring too much.
 

JonR

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15,132
Right now Im a bit stuck with the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales. Is there a particular mode or other scale that works well with jazz?
No. They all do, at different times, depending on the tune and the chords.

The first thing you need is the chord tones - you need to know what notes are in the chords:
Dm7 = D F A C
G7b13 = G B D F Eb
Cmaj7 = C E G B
Next thing is to ask yourself what scale contains all (or most) of those notes. Answer: C major (except for the Eb).
So the scale you use is C major, except you flatten the E on the G7b13 chord.

All of this presupposes that you know how to find those notes anywhere you want on the neck.
It also helps to know all the shapes and/or arpeggios for those chords, so you can create phrases moving from chord tone to chord tone. You can, of course, use notes from the other chords as passing notes.

Beyond that, you need to know that some jazz chord symbols are a shorthand. G7b13 is one of these, and usually stands for G7alt, which means the 5th and 9th are altered - so there would no D in the chord. And rather than add A as a passing note, you'd use Ab and/or A#.
But to begin with, the chord tones are enough - for as long as that G7b13 lasts, you may not have time to use more than 5 notes anyway (the chord arpeggio), and 5 is usually more than enough. How the chords connect - "voice-leading" - is more important than anything that happens on each chord.

IOW, you work with what's given: in this case, the chords, which give you an entire scale anyway (and one extra chromatic). No need to guess what else might apply. No need for modes or even scales, really (unless the chords don't give that much info).
If you feel you want more than that - eg you want some extra dissonance, some more jazzy "spice" - you can add chromatics: half-steps below or above chord tones (they usually work best below, resolving upwards). But don't try that until you're completely in control of the chord tones.
 

abracadabra

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408
I agree. start with chord tones and make sure you know how to hit them on the strong beats of 1 and 3. this doesn't mean you always have to do that but that is the key to resolving whatever you just played before.

I remember Emily Remler saying that as long as you hit the big beats with a chord tone you can get away with playing pretty much anything in between.
 
Messages
15,379
Right now Im a bit stuck with the Major and Minor Pentatonic scales. Is there a particular mode or other scale that works well with jazz?
You said you're coming from the blues. I'm no blues expert but I've learned over time that blues is more than just playing those two pentatonic scales. Surely you got some blues phrasing from listening to good blues players.

Jazz isn't that much different. Start with the easier to handle stuff like the "Kind Of Blue" album.
 

GuyBoden

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60
As a simplistic gross generalization, for Swing type Jazz learn to play chord tones on the down beats with chromatic connections, for bebop approach the chord tones from above and below.
 

JonR

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15,132
As a simplistic gross generalization, for Swing type Jazz learn to play chord tones on the down beats with chromatic connections, for bebop approach the chord tones from above and below.
Nice generalisation :).

I kind of agree, except it does suggest that this 1938 tune is technically bebop (or proto-bebop at least):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxklnlm8BFE
(not to mention the similarity to "So What" of the one-chord form with half-step-up bridge...)
 

fenderlead

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4,471
As a simplistic gross generalization, for Swing type Jazz learn to play chord tones on the down beats with chromatic connections, for bebop approach the chord tones from above and below.
I've heard Charlie Parker playing in a swing Lester Young way with the steady swing accompaniment and then Charlie playing a few years later with the Bebop style drums and accompaniment.

Basically Charlie isn't playing notes that are much different in both styles (both are full of chord tones and passing tones), but the freeing up of the drums from a steady beat and the freeing up of the accompaniment gave Charlie the freedom from the steady beat, so he could do much more rhythmically.
 

guitarjazz

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22,377
I've heard Charlie Parker playing in a swing Lester Young way with the steady swing accompaniment and then Charlie playing a few years later with the Bebop style drums and accompaniment.

Basically Charlie isn't playing notes that are much different in both styles (both are full of chord tones and passing tones), but the freeing up of the drums from a steady beat and the freeing up of the accompaniment gave Charlie the freedom from the steady beat, so he could do much more rhythmically.
Yep. Ever read Swing To Bop by Ira Gitler?
 

Neer

Silver Supporting Member
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12,663
To the OP:

Listen to Robben Ford and Larry Carlton circa 1980-1990 and hear what they were doing along those lines.

They may prove to be the gateway that attracts you to learn even more about Jazz. George Benson was that for me.
 




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