Pragmatic Jazz Theory (how we use Tonal Jazz theory to actually make music in reality.)

Discussion in 'Education' started by MMJ2017, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Introninja

    Introninja Audiosexual

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    Thread Cleaned and to keep it that way certain members who were trolling the thread have been removed from this thread.

    Thanks @MMJ2017 for all your contributions :bow:
     
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  2. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    Great writing @MMJ2017 with a ton of playful stuff and yet more to explore, refresh & remember, learn and practice. Something for everyone, experienced and newcomers alike. For those who are bored to read, there is always Super Mario Bros for them, no worries lol.
    Since i 've been put down for the last 3 and a half months with a combined right hand tendonitis+epicondylitis case, your jazz threads have become part of my frequent select reading. Everything i write in the forum all this time, is by using my left hand (i'm a righty), since the doctor and my physiotherapist have forbidden me of using my right hand, apart from my daily therapeutic exercises. Luckily, i 've escaped surgery with just continuous therapy and i'm looking forward to a full recovery in about 2 week's time.
    I silently enjoy the gathered, distilled info treasure. Too many of my early "manhood" (20-30 yo) heroes' videos posted too in these threads to my delight. My wife (baroque/classical violinist) has already bookmarked and started reading your threads since she's slowly venturing into jazz and wants to create her own style without my interference lol.
    After you finish with the "essentials" (i gather you still have an atonal thread to pursue :wink:), if possible, i would love to see a thread dedicated to how "ethnic" music has influenced and transformed jazz over time to what it is today. Spanish, Cuban, Brazilian, Indian, Greek and Arabic, Gypsy music to name but a few, have all contributed to the modern fusion we call jazz (or is it the modern jazz we call fusion? :dunno: ).
    All the best :like:
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  3. zorgbop

    zorgbop Noisemaker

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    My advice got erased so i repost :
    I was writing that it is a good thing to illustrate theory with musical examples if one wants to be pragmatic about this subject .
    The example i took was the song All the things you are by Jerome kern .
    1:
    -The First 16 bars of the song song is made with a root movement goig through the cycle of 5ths .
    2:
    -The melody of the song is made of thirds for the first 16 bars (the first 8 bars are repeated a fifth higher) .I was pointing out
    The incredible power of those thirds played with only the roots of the bass line , and how effective this is .
    One can not be more pragmatic than this .
    3:last but not least , the roots of the chords in this tune contains all the notes of the chromatic scale . Check it out .
    But maybe you guys prefer some "copy paste" theory without any example of real life situation ?
    This will not make any one advance .
    The key point is to make the connection between theory and real music , then the theory can be fully absorbed and internalized
    in the ear mind and soul .
    No matter what you write , without examples it is useless .

    @MMJ2017 i was making the remark about modal interchange , another key concept , no answer ...
     
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  4. sir jack spratsky

    sir jack spratsky Producer

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    hi zorgbop
    im glad u reposted since i skimmed your post b4 and wanted to come back and re read it......could you elaborate on that harmonic territory please? im trying to understand more of this as i go along perhaps you could explain modal interchange as well....
    cheers and thanks for great contribution
     
  5. zorgbop

    zorgbop Noisemaker

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    OK , let's face it buddies :
    If it is only ONE skill to develop , it is what is called "EARS" .
    "Hearing" is the key .
    Not only "hearing" in the way that one can identify intervals , chords , rythms .Those skills are off course needed !
    BUT one can have those skills and still not being able to improvise !
    I remember years ago with a friend of mine that is a very good classical piano player , with perfect pitch !
    I was playing all kinds of "rich" chords , and my friend just named the notes effortlessly ...(notes ,not symbols unfortunately)
    But she was frustrated because not able to improvise a simple melody on a I IV V cadence , regardless of style !

    The kind of hearing i am talking about , and that all jazz musicians talk about , is the kind of inner hearing of
    harmonic moves in the tune that is it !
    That is it because it is this kind of hearing that gives you confidence , makes you "hear ahead" so you can "forget the changes" !
    Off course one do not "forget the changes" , but has "internalized the changes" .
    What happens then is that the improvisor can "think ahead" , being free because still "playing on the changes" but on
    a much deeper level !!!
    Now what counts is the music , the vocabulary of the improvisor , the interaction between you and the rythm section ,
    and in the best case players can enter what is described as "the zone" , and then we know that "it's happening" !!!
    But man ... Those magic moments are rare !

    So whatever one can have studied , or know about music , it is useless until the connection with something "organic"
    is made ... Reality can learn us a lot about this ! Take Django Reinhardt for example , one of the greatest improvisor
    that has been such a huge influence .Once someone told him :
    -But you don't know music ! He answered :
    -But music knows me !...

    What i was trying to point out is that it is nothing contradictory about theory , music and so .
    Theory can be a help if it helps your ears , AND the opposite is true .Your ears can help your theorical mind too .

    That is what a great teacher is :
    Someone who helps to make this magic connection between the soul , ears , fingers , theory ...

    The more you know , the more you study , the more you know how huge the musical universe is , and the
    more you appreciate the works of the masters and geniuses of music through the past centuries to present .
    Real knowledge always opens your mind and makes you feel good !
    When we discover a "sound" , a "path" , or whatever in a deep level , it makes us feel good !!!
    That is it !
    Music has to be alive because it is such a huge expression of life itself , and all those notes , chords ,
    melodies , harmonies and progressions produce an effect on us .
    When someone have skills and inspiration than "the sky is the limit"

    @MMJ2017
    Cool that you opened this topic so people can exchange on this great subject : pragmaticjazz theory wow man this is BIG !

    BTW , we have some serious and very generous people on the web , some people on you tube give top class level
    information for free , very well explained , with sound examples and so .
    If some are interested i can post links but they are easy to find on you tube .
    Someone posted one :Aime Nolte is one of them .

    CU later ...
     
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  6. 23322332

    23322332 Platinum Record

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    Most of my favourite jazz pieces have nothing to do with MMJ's theory. If you want to learn bebop, it's OK. If you want to learn early jazz and swing (Ellington/ Gershwin etc), or more modern jazz, it's not useful.

    I suggest studying sheet music or real modern harmony books instead of this. I know that he has good intentions, but he is wasting his time, imo. There are much better resources out there for free and even pirating scanned books is an option, if someone has no intention of buying.
     
  7. zorgbop

    zorgbop Noisemaker

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    OK bro , thx :)
    I do not know what to elaborate , maybe if you are more precise , sorry .
    About modal interchange , one thing is to find examples in songs .Our ears are used to this sound .
    The theorical aspect and explanation you can find on the web , no pb .
    The idea of modal interchange is very simple , effective , and often beautiful "ear candy stuff" !
    The simplest form and example :
    Chords that are borrowed from the parallel minor , containing the characteristic b6 note (Ab in C) .
    OK , to be clear : the degrees of the major scale

    Imaj7 IImin7 IIImin7 iVMaj7 V7 VImin7 VIImin7b5 then underneath put chords of the parallel minor scale (nat min in this case)
    Imin7 IImin7b5 bIIIMaj7 VImin7 Vmin7 bVImaj7 bVII7

    The chords in italic contains the degree b6 (Ab in C)
    So , If you are in C Major , The chords Dmin7b5 , Fmin7 , AbMaj7,Bb7 all contains the Note Ab, the flat 6degree .

    If you on your instrument you switch from one of these chords back to the Tonic major sound Cmaj7 you will
    hear its effect , and notice this in hundreds of songs regardless of style .This stuff is rooted in our Western culture ,it
    is already in our ears , this stuff just needs to be noticed with some attention and then you recognize it , it's
    part of you because it always has been there !
    With the theory we say :
    Haha , then it is named this way ? OK !

    One more thing that helps us "hearing ahead" , i was writing about that previously .
    Now to be clear , i am writing about this beacause i am deeply passionate about the subject , in no way pretending to invent
    or saying anything new or hip or whatever , just stuff i have experienced in (wow) 40 years since my first gig (guys time goes by quick
    enjoy !) and shared with great musicians that i had (and still have) the chance to play with .

    Every experienced musician that is honest knows that there is no magic , no "one way to do" , that the process
    involves one's whole being ans so ...
    The greatest masters are very simple and humble because they know that "the sky is the limit" .

    So if the modal interchange stuff gives you anything now , on your instrument and in your ears and heart , cool .
    Otherwise don't worry and listen to the Masters that is maybe the best thing to do for us all .
     
  8. zorgbop

    zorgbop Noisemaker

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    Hehe ! That is true ... (except for people who are writing books !)
    And talking about Gershwin and Ellington we have some "serious stuff" there !
    And Ellington Billy Strayhorn stuff WOW !
    If any one here dont know "lush life" go and listen to it !

    Want to hear 13th's to b13ths , 9th's and b9th's in the cycle of 5ths , resolving to a tonic diminished than major sound ?
    Well, Ellington "Prelude to a kiss" melody and chords will be a perfect "demonstration" of what poor students or beginners
    can receive as nasty abstract technical terms ...
     
  9. MMJ2017

    MMJ2017 Audiosexual

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    hello fine sir, i am working on it!
    one of the things is important to me writing this pragmatic jazz theory is not only the theory in general bit how it all unfolds in order from the key of C maj, the reason is if one can see the natural order of how everything unfolds from C major (to all 12 keys every substitution with C major at the center, one can follow that understanding from ANY key to all 12 keys with all substitutions IN ORDER as well) this took me long time to figure out there is no class or books on that only fragments of information out there so i been having to build that understanding from scratch,)
    next when i write these threads it is all in stream of consciousness with no notes or anything of the such.
    i began another thread yesterday "what is real or ot part 2 the human thought process and how it applies to music" please check that out as well.
    so the material that is coming next to pragmatic jazz theory directly ties to the modal interchange you been asking about how beginning at the c major key, how all other keys come into play with substitutions in other and yes the note at the heart of that is g#, Aflat
    thank you fine sir for your comments and interest and speaking with you i will keep updating !
     
  10. MMJ2017

    MMJ2017 Audiosexual

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    what do you mean by if you want to learn early jazz like Ellington it is not there? ( in my thread?
    I am still writing the thread bro! lol
    its not all done yet,
    the way i am presenting pragmatic jazz theory is starting from C major how to get to all 12 keys in order ( the natural order that all substitutions come in with C major at tonal center) that way one can start from any key and reach all 12 keys and all substitutions in order as well.
    this is important aspect for one to have as an understanding so please stayed tuned.
    the thread will contain all the rest of the information you have been mentioning thank you for your time fine sir.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  11. zorgbop

    zorgbop Noisemaker

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    Ok bro , thx for feedback .
    I will check out your other thread (if i find it i am not used to read or post on audiosex but this subject is something that
    i am so much interested in that i felt to jump in .Link maybe ?)
    Your work shows that you got involved deeply in the subject and off courses deserves respect , no one do this kind of post and research
    without a true love for music .
    I am just pointing out a deep need for examples , specially for those who are not familiar with the subject .
    Later ...
     
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  12. sir jack spratsky

    sir jack spratsky Producer

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    whew
    nice to have a decent exchange at last folks....... thank you zorgbop and MMJ specifically for your generous sharing...... i am a drummer who comes late to pitch.....a very poor guitar player but a lover of melody...i am very unsophisticated musically and spent most of my life in dance bands, but i am simply spending the end days of life exploring this world i missed.....thanks for the sharing
     
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  13. MMJ2017

    MMJ2017 Audiosexual

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    so regarding examples
    think of this pragmatic theory as your foundation, NOT the song you will write, for example

    there are millions of ways to USE Cmaj7 CEGB
    if you extend the full chord Cmaj13 CEGBDFA

    you can play lines(notes after each other)
    you can play all the different chords ( notes at same time

    Cmaj CEG Cmaj7 CEGB Cmaj9 CEGBD Cmaj11 CEGBDF Cmaj13 CEGBDFA

    you can have bass play C note have piano play EGB and have singer sing upper D note the whole part (what ALL the instruments make up)would be CMAJ9

    right there that turns into thousands of examples and variations.

    now from Cmaj7
    the next level of detail comes

    G7(GBDF, to Cmaj7(CEGB

    tension to release

    away from home to home

    resolution.

    and once you are at this second level of detail dominant to tonic all the same exam,ples apply as i mentioned before you are just expanding the Cmaj7 or Cmaj13 CEGBDFA to include G7(GBDF, to Cmaj7(CEGB

    a simple melody example is the notes after another

    B up to D down to C

    a 3 note melody that equals the foundation G7, to Cmaj7

    I hope that helps you example-wise to see all the millions of options available!

    real quick lets say the 3rd level of detail

    C maj turns into 2nd level

    G7(GBDF to Cmaj7(CEG

    Cmaj tunrs into 3rd level of detail

    ii V I

    Dmin7(DFAC, G7(GBDF, Cmaj7(CEGB

    this iim7 DMin7 is subdominant
    meaning

    little tension, full tension, resolving to home

    so here is a simple melody that uses this 3rd level of detail structure

    D, F ,A C, down to B A G F E

    DFAC ( iim7
    BAGF G7 add 9
    E Cmaj7 CEG

    hope that helps!
    thank you fine sir!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  14. dragonhill

    dragonhill Guest

    100% agree.
    I believe all of us ' hear ' ideas but without the knowledge and repetition, our brains can't quite convert them into reality. A diminished chord for instance, to me, doesn't make much sense by itself but as a passing chord it is magical.
    As a rock guitarist trying to learn this stuff, it took me years to finally ' hear ' it in one of my own progressions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2018
  15. zorgbop

    zorgbop Noisemaker

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    Oops !
    Houston , we have a problem !...
    OK bro , watch out !
    If we talk about jazz music in context of what is commonly called "functional harmony" (where chords have a function and the ear expects to
    go somewhere) , we must remenber certain facts , otherwise the whole thing falls down .
    So you can not talk about a C major 11 with a natural 11th in this context .
    But that is no problem as long as you talk about it , the problem arises when you play it .
    If you play it and don't notice that it's a problem (in the context of mainstream jazz including from new orleans to Coltrane Giant steps period)
    then it is still OK (kind of!) .
    No bro , the problem arises when you play with others !!!
    They will make you understand that you don't do this man , because no one does !

    The concept of tension resolution is related to the function of chords (harmonicly speaking)
    The F note is the least stable in the C scale , it is the "subdominant" sound (IV,II) and also the dominant sound that has the tritone(V7 and VIIm7b5)
    You destroy the whole concept of tonality and harmonic rythm by playing the subdominant note on any chord that
    has a tonic function (I,III,VI) . It is called an "avoid note" . Sounds great on melody when you handle it , that means resolve it .
    Otherwise this puts you immediatly in the beginner category beacause it sounds awful, it is rude but it is this way .

    I am not saying that you can not make a natural 11th sound good on a major 7th chord (provided it is properly voiced, just saying that in the context of playing on a tune with changes , whatever it is "confirmation" "body and soul" "moment's notice" , blues or "rythm changes" ,
    you don't play 11th on major chords .
    Otherwise i think that best examples are short and precise and one clever thing to do when someone has a doubt is to check it with as much
    different sources you can find , easy with the web .
    OK Guys , later , i have to practice
     
  16. zorgbop

    zorgbop Noisemaker

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    Sure , and it never stops !
    I remember that when i began to play , i did not like to play b9's chords i found them too harsh .Then heard that when they resolved a fourth
    higher the effect was an "effective sense of release" ...
     
  17. MMJ2017

    MMJ2017 Audiosexual

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. MMJ2017

    MMJ2017 Audiosexual

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    "
    Houston , we have a problem !...
    OK bro , watch out !"


    where?


    "So you can not talk about a C major 11 with a natural 11th in this context ."

    sure you can Cmaj11 CEGBDF

    "
    But that is no problem as long as you talk about it , the problem arises when you play it .
    "

    no , there is no problem when you play it (under the right conditions BUT under the right conditions applies to EVERYTHING)




    "
    No bro , the problem arises when you play with others !!!
    They will make you understand that you don't do this man , because no one does !"


    this is false, OR at best misleading because of lack of information
    due to modal influence people with resolve to lydian F# but that context is ALL of jazz theory including tonal, modal, poly-tonal, atonal
    each their own language that work a specific way)
    this thread starts off with tonal language


    "
    They will make you understand that you don't do this man , because no one does !"

    wrong, nobody does under specific conditions and in others they DO use it.



    "The concept of tension resolution is related to the function of chords (harmonicly speaking)"


    YES the entire language of tonal jazz is about that ( this thread is related to tonal jazz,at least the parts so far i have written becuase modal jazz and polytonal jazz and atonal jazz all come in specific order the placeholder we are at in pragmatic jazz theory is still early into tonal jazz before we come close to modal or the rest.


    "The F note is the least stable in the C scale , it is the "subdominant" sound (IV,II) and also the dominant sound that has the tritone(V7 and VIIm7b5) "

    correct



    "
    You destroy the whole concept of tonality and harmonic rythm by playing the subdominant note on any chord that
    has a tonic function (I,III,VI) . It is called an "avoid note" . Sounds great on melody when you handle it , that means resolve it .
    Otherwise this puts you immediatly in the beginner category beacause it sounds awful, it is rude but it is this way ."



    this is completely wrong.

    "avoid notes" are about a specific context. that context is you cannot resolve to a MORE tense chord than your dominant is this is what you are trying to talk about in round about way (which is okay by me)

    so what the correct way to say is Cmaj11(CEGBDF

    is absolutely used, accepted and common, WHEN your preceding dominant chord is extremely tense!

    for example

    G7#5#9#11 (GBD#A#C#) resolving to Cmaj11 (CEGBDF

    try this for yourself


    so the proper think to say is that you never have your tonic more tense than your dominant function.
    (this covers the 11th BUT also EVERY possible situation with any interval from any chord


    now what you dont want to do is this

    Dmin7, G7, Cmaj11
    it makes no sense your tonic is more tense then the subdom and dom

    "avoid" notes really means (pay attention notes)
    you have to use them the right way



    "
    just saying that in the context of playing on a tune with changes , whatever it is "confirmation" "body and soul" "moment's notice" , blues or "rythm changes" ,
    you don't play 11th on major chords .":

    this is wrong,

    you can swap ANY dominant to
    V7#5#9#11 resolving to Imaj11 (natural 11th unless indicated ex Cmaj#11 means c Lydian scale

    in ANY song!!

    please dont take my comments as attacks i dont feel that way about you, just want to make things clear because people might get confused by your comment ill strip it down super simple

    the idea is under all circumstances with tonal jazz

    you resolve to a less tense chord than your dominant (hence the word resolve)

    you CAN make any dominant chord tense enough o resolve to any I with natural 11
    ( unless, other band members are play melodies with #11 )
    what i am saying is referring to the structure meaning what all instruments add up to be
    NOT
    what any one single person is doing

    if all instruments ADD UP to be


    V7#5#9#11 resolving to Imaj11


    that can work any point in ANY song that has a V7 to I





    set up 4 bars in your daw with piano and set this up and loop it

    V7#5#9#11 resolving to Imaj11 , then V7 to Imaj7

    loop the whole thing and let your ears makes sense of it a bit.

    next when you resolve USING the #11 what your really doing is starting off with

    ii V,I

    converting it to
    KEYC Dmin7,G7 resolving to KEYG Amin7,D7,Gmaj7
    BUT we are first shaving the last part off...........

    so we have this
    KEYC Dmin7,G7 resolving to KEYG Amin7

    next because ii=IV we swap Gmaj KEY ii for IV
    KEYC Dmin7,G7 resolving to KEYG Cmaj#11
    ( the F# is because you resolving to a subdominant of G KEY

    you can further substitute the ii of Cmajor KEY with ITS IV also

    KEYC Fmaj7#11,G7 resolving to KEYG Cmaj#11
    (this is where that comes from!)the idea you originally spoke of Cmaj having #11

    remember ANYTIME you see

    chords described like this whether dmin7 G7 cmaj7 its NEVER about a single instrument

    those symbols describe ALL instruments

    V7#5#9#11 resolving to Imaj11 , then V7 to Imaj7

    or any other music theory symbols represent ALL instruments,
    because what is being describe dis the underling structure and scaffolding of the music itself

    nice to speak with you fine sir!

    thank you for bringing up that topic is very helpful stuff!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  19. MMJ2017

    MMJ2017 Audiosexual

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    this is the biggest lesson i have learned over the years.

    I found many ways to help develop your hearing your ears.
    one is listen to lot of jazz!
    actually anything with lot of 3d rich harmony jazz just has that commonly but many other styles are just as good!
    next do your best get really good monitors and room
    also in ear monitors in the 800 dollar price range roughly can get you a sound as good as spending thousands on a room ( what i mean is sometimes you are on the go, have a good pair of in ear headphones!)
    next study theory, because when yo can put a name to what you are hearing it helps you put things together

    these are a few great ways to develop amazing ears !

    please add more suggestions! (developing our ears is the biggest lesson!)
     
  20. jack sprat

    jack sprat Newbie

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