Learn to improvise. 2004-2005. Lesson 06: style, advanced chords, jazz pianist.

To play in a certain style you have to have a good feeling for it, and even then it still takes painstaking research to find the essentials of it, usually hidden in subtle elements. (When I once hoped to get away with a boogie woogie when a youngster asked for rock and roll, I lost my face). Someone with a liking for funk couldn't use my lessons for that style. He will have to go to someone who plays in that style, and even then will have to do a lot of research himself.

A style may arise from removing or adding elements. E.g. a limited use of modulation and chords we find in the blues and its successors like the boogie woogie (moreover limited in rubato), the rock and roll, etc. Notes added to the chords we will find in advanced chords (an arranger said: "You can't let them all play the same note").

A trick to start using advanced chords is to add notes to the primairy chords in the following way. A major triad is replaced by a sext chord or major seventh chord, a minor triad by a minor seventh or a minor sext chord, a seventh chord by a none chord or the diminished seventh chord having 3 of the 4 notes in common.

Also a note may be left out from a chord. To find an interesting replacement for a chord one may look to existing song book chords (lesson 07 of 2003-2004) or one may try out which note best may be added or left out.

Next table may help to find advanced chords as a replacement for primary chords. One still has to listen what fits. The chords are given for C only and in the 1st position. E.g. the first line in the table indicates that the chord C may be replaced by C6. And so F by F6 etc.

advanced chord: e.g.: in notes: i.s.o. in notes:
(major)-sext C6 c+e+g+a C c+e+g
minor-sext Cm6 c+eb+g+a Cm or F7 c+eb+g of f+a+c+eb
major-seventh Cmaj7 c+e+g+b C or Em c+e+g of e+g+b
minor-seventh Cm7 c+eb+g+bb Cm c+eb+g
none C9 c+e+g+bb+d C7 c+e+g+bb
seventh with flatted 5th C7-5 c+e+gb+bb D7aug d+f#+a#+c
seventh with flatted 9th C7-9 c+e+g+bb+db A7 a+c#+e+g
minor-seventh with flatted 5th Cm7-5 c+eb+gb+bb Ab7 ab+c+eb+gb
diminished seventh Cdim7 c+eb+gb+a B7 (D7, F7, Ab7) b+c#+d#+a (etc)

We have learned to simplify a song to primary chords (major triad, minor triad, seventh, diminished and augmented). Now we learn to make things more complex by replacing them by advanced chords (if we like that style, of course). The reason is to memorize it easier: the head lines by the scheme in primary chords, the advanced effect by a standard procedure of adding notes.

E.g. Autumn Leaves may get the following chords (lesson 04 of 2003-2004 has the primary chords; only as we had not yet had D7, a makeshift chord was used where now D9 stands).

The falling [Dm7] leaves [G9] drift by the [Cmaj7] window
[Fmaj7] The autumn [Dm6] leaves [Fdim7] of red and [Am7] gold
I see your [Dm7] lips [G9] the summer [Cmaj7] kisses
[Fmaj7] The sunburned [Dm6] hands [Fdim7] I used to [Am7] hold
Since you [Fdim7] went away the days grow [Am7] long
And soon I'll [G9] hear old winter's [Cmaj7] song
But I [Dm7] miss you most of [Fdim7] all my [Am] darling
[C6] When [D9] autumn [E9] leaves start to [Am7] fall.
Click to hear these chords.
HOMEWORK: Give a song you know an advanced atmosphere by adding notes with the help of the table.
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