The Harmonic Language of Jazz Standards

coverHave you ever met a player who can seemingly play any song in any key, coming up with different chord substitutions on every chorus? If you have been playing for a while but thought this skill was something magical and beyond you, then this book is for you.

What allows players to do these things is the ability to recognize and understand common chord progressions and to reproduce them by ear as easily as one can play melodies by ear. This is a skill that you too can learn! After mastering the concepts explained in this book, you will find you are able to play by ear, in any key, with appropriate chord changes, any standard you know well to hum. You will also be able to make a variety of different substitutions while playing, and you will also see improvements in your your improvisation and composition abilities. While this book can be used by any instrumentalists, you will get the most out of it if you have access to a piano or keyboard and some basic familiarity with playing chords on it.

Please realize this is not some gimmick I am promoting – I am talking about learning sound theoretical principles. The harmonic guidelines I describe are the same ones used in classical harmony, but I present them in a way that has more direct application to the songs of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and other composers of the standards used by jazz musicians. The manner in which I direct you in learning these principles will produce immediate and dramatic improvement in your ability to play by ear, to transpose on the fly, and to reharmonize.

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The Harmonic Language of Standards - In-Depth Summary

Here is a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book. There is enough detail here that if you are so inclined, you can actually learn quite a bit just from studying this.¬†You will have to do a lot more work on your own to figure out all the applications, of course. But...Read More »