so, what are the "rhythm changes"?

Berlin Chris

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1,170
question here:

where does the phrase "rhythm changes" come from?

I know basically what they are and what their function is and I also know that there are millions of variations of "rhythm changes". But why are they called like that?

Is it because..
a) of Gershwin´s "I got rhythm"? If so, why?
b) the rhythm section plays some (more) changes/ turnarounds to make the song/section more interesting?
c) your rhythm changes (a lot) when you are not able to hang in there with the cats?
d) none of the above

Someone enlighten me please....
:confused:
 

cameron

Member
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4,208
Originally posted by Berlin Chris
question here:

where does the phrase "rhythm changes" come from?

I know basically what they are and what their function is and I also know that there are millions of variations of "rhythm changes". But why are they called like that?

Is it because..
a) of Gershwin´s "I got rhythm"? If so, why?
b) the rhythm section plays some (more) changes/ turnarounds to make the song/section more interesting?
c) your rhythm changes (a lot) when you are not able to hang in there with the cats?
d) none of the above

Someone enlighten me please....
:confused:
You got it with (a). They're so called because Gershwin's song became an instant standard, and that chord progression is forever assiciated with it.

Note that "changes" in this sense doesn't mean "alterations" or "mutations" but refers merely to the chord progression. If I ask "Do you know the changes to 'All the Things You Are'?" I'm merely asking if you're familiar with the chord progression. Thus "rhythm changes" refers to the chord progression from "I Got Rhythm".
 

righthandman

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122
"rhythm changes" is a song form (like 12 bar blues) based on the chords to "I Got Rhythm" by George Gershwin but with different melodies. Like 12 bar blues there are lots of slight variations but they all function pretty much the same way. Some well known examples of "rhythm changes" are "Oleo" by Sonny Rollins, "Anthropology" by Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie, "Cottontail" by Duke Ellington. Aebersold has a great instructional book about "rhythm changes" that comes with a play-a-long cd. Check it out.
 

Tom Gross

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Originally posted by righthandman
Aebersold has a great instructional book about "rhythm changes" that comes with a play-a-long cd. Check it out.
Right on
 

Garygtr

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Originally posted by righthandman
"rhythm changes" is a song form (like 12 bar blues) based on the chords to "I Got Rhythm" by George Gershwin but with different melodies. Like 12 bar blues there are lots of slight variations but they all function pretty much the same way. Some well known examples of "rhythm changes" are "Oleo" by Sonny Rollins, "Anthropology" by Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie, "Cottontail" by Duke Ellington. Aebersold has a great instructional book about "rhythm changes" that comes with a play-a-long cd. Check it out.
What is the chord progression? Numbers are ok...
 

Dajbro

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2,110
In one of its more basic forms:

BbM7 G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 ||

BbM7 G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Bb7 | Bb7 ||

D7 | D7 | G7 | G7 |

C7 | C7 | F7 | F7 ||

Bb G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Bb7 | Bb7 ||
 

Garygtr

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Originally posted by Dajbro
In one of its more basic forms:

BbM7 G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 ||

BbM7 G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Bb7 | Bb7 ||

D7 | D7 | G7 | G7 |

C7 | C7 | F7 | F7 ||

Bb G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Bb7 | Bb7 ||
Wow, thank you! :D
 

cameron

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4,208
The "form" of a rhythm changes song is that of a 32-bar ballad, with overall structure AABA. That form is more general than the rhythm changes. The distinctive feature of the rhythm changes is the progession, which in its simplest form is characterized by the sequence: I VI7 ii V

That basic sequence tends to get elaborated quite a bit, with substitutions made and passing chords added, such as you see in the example posted above.
 

jzucker

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Originally posted by cameron
The "form" of a rhythm changes song is that of a 32-bar ballad
Ballad? The original version was a medium swing and the majority of variations (Oleo, Anthropology, Moose the Mooch, Kim, etc.) have been at breakneck tempos. (1/4 note=300)
 

cameron

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Originally posted by jzucker
Ballad? The original version was a medium swing and the majority of variations (Oleo, Anthropology, Moose the Mooch, Kim, etc.) have been at breakneck tempos. (1/4 note=300)
"Ballad" refers to a song with a 32 bar structure, of form AABA. it doesn't imply a tempo, any more than the term "blues" does.
 

jzucker

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Originally posted by cameron
"Ballad" refers to a song with a 32 bar structure, of form AABA. it doesn't imply a tempo, any more than the term "blues" does.
No, sorry. In jazz and popular music, a ballad is a slow song. If you were playing a wedding and someone came up and requested a ballad, it means they want to slow-dance.

They're not talking about Oleo at 1/4=300 !
 

Ed DeGenaro

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Originally posted by Dajbro
In one of its more basic forms:

BbM7 G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 ||

BbM7 G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Bb7 | Bb7 ||

D7 | D7 | G7 | G7 |

C7 | C7 | F7 | F7 ||

Bb G7b9| Cm7 F7 | Dm7 G7b9 | Cm7 F7 |

Bb7 | Eb7 Edim7 | Bb7 | Bb7 ||
Not to argue, the standard form is a bit simpler...
A || Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Fm7 Bb7 | Ebmaj7 Ab7 | Dm7 G7 | Cm7 F7 ||

A || Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Fm7 Bb7 | Ebmaj7 Ab7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 ||

B || Am7 | D7 | Dm7 | G7 |
| Gm7 | C7 | Cm7 | F7 ||

A || Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Fm7 Bb7 | Ebmaj7 Ab7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 ||
 

cameron

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4,208
Originally posted by jzucker
No, sorry. In jazz and popular music, a ballad is a slow song. If you were playing a wedding and someone came up and requested a ballad, it means they want to slow-dance.

They're not talking about Oleo at 1/4=300 !
I realize that. Just like if someone came up to you and asked for a blues, they would expect a slow to mid tempo number, not a rave-up. But a 12 bar blues is a 12 bar blues no matter what tempo it's played at, and "Satin Doll" is a ballad even if played at Slayer's tempo of choice.

We're splitting hairs here. I'm aware of what most people mean when they say ballad, but the term is also used in the technical sense I outlined above. Fewer people know/use the technical sense, but this is the sort of forum where that sense is not out of place.
 

jzucker

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Originally posted by cameron
I realize that. Just like if someone came up to you and asked for a blues, they would expect a slow to mid tempo number, not a rave-up. But a 12 bar blues is a 12 bar blues no matter what tempo it's played at, and "Satin Doll" is a ballad even if played at Slayer's tempo of choice.

We're splitting hairs here. I'm aware of what most people mean when they say ballad, but the term is also used in the technical sense I outlined above. Fewer people know/use the technical sense, but this is the sort of forum where that sense is not out of place.
I disagree cameron. Most people who ask for a blues are not asking for a slow blues. In fact, at most blues clubs they are asking for a jump blues.

Regarding the term ballad - I've been doing pop and jazz gigs for 30 years and I can say with a fair degree of certainty that every musician I play with knows what a ballad is - AND that is a slow tempo song. The dictionary definition is out of place in this case.

The accepted term for a slow-dance tune is a ballad. I'm sorry but you're wrong here.
 

cameron

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4,208
Originally posted by jzucker


The accepted term for a slow-dance tune is a ballad. I'm sorry but you're wrong here.
And have you never encountered anyone refer to the usual 32-bar structure of pop and jazz standards as the "ballad form"?

Would you call a slow dance tune a ballad even if it had a 12-bar blues structure?
 

jzucker

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20,962
Originally posted by cameron
And have you never encountered anyone refer to the usual 32-bar structure of pop and jazz standards as the "ballad form"?
Only in literature classes and Theory 101 class perhaps.
Would you call a slow dance tune a ballad even if it had a 12-bar blues structure?
Yep though blues is a bit of a different animal. If someone comes up and asks for a ballad they typically don't want to hear something like Red House or other blues things.
 

rh

Robo Sapien NoiseMaker
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Originally posted by jzucker
I disagree cameron. Most people who ask for a blues are not asking for a slow blues. In fact, at most blues clubs they are asking for a jump blues.


I think what they want to hear when they ask for a blues is "The Thrill is Gone." :)
 

Dajbro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,110
Originally posted by Ed DeGenaro
Not to argue, the standard form is a bit simpler...
A || Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Fm7 Bb7 | Ebmaj7 Ab7 | Dm7 G7 | Cm7 F7 ||

A || Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Fm7 Bb7 | Ebmaj7 Ab7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 ||

B || Am7 | D7 | Dm7 | G7 |
| Gm7 | C7 | Cm7 | F7 ||

A || Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Fm7 Bb7 | Ebmaj7 Ab7 | Cm7 F7 | Bbmaj7 ||

It's all cool Ed. There are many different Rhythm Changes to go around.

David
 




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