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article list

definition list

Kick back in the den, and find a topic of music theory interest to open new vistas in your jazz playing and thinking. Here are some starters.

American Music OVERVIEWS

Select short pages of definitions and examples. Perfect for the beginning to intermediate student of American Music, the OVERVIEWS section helps clarify the theory behind the music. [This section is incomplete, but still very useful.]

Jazz Theory (BeBop Drills)
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The links below are to original articles concerning various instrumental drills, designed to increase your BeBop skills. They are presented in a somewhat logical order. Enjoy!

I originally learned these concepts from Charlie Banacos, private instructor. They assume a complete grasp of fundamental music theory and experience with American Music.

Article list     [ top ]

Links within the articles move to other articles which are pertinent to the subject of the link.

Jazz Theory (BeBop Drills) / Articles on jazz improvisation and instrumental applicationThe Language of BeBop - chord tone drill
The Use of Tensions 1 - scale 3rds drill          
The Use of Tensions 2 - Imaj7 drill
The Use of Tensions 3 - some ideas for use
The Jazz Sub-Dominant Chord - II-7 drill
The Jazz Dominant Chord - V7 drill
The II - V Progression - II - V series
The Key of the Moment - pt / sc approaches
"Watch out for those chromatics!" - ch / ewssa approaches
Ear Training - relative pitch drill

Reharmonization     [ top ]
Click here for Tritonic Reharmonizations (Giant Steps reharms)


Reharmonization is the name given to the practice of changing the chord structure under an existing melody. Jazz musicians have done this since they have been playing popular music, and the practice continues today. There are many ways of accomplishing this, including Area Substitution, Functional Substitution, and Melody/Harmony Relationship. I have used one of my favorites, Tritonics, to reharmonize a series of standards, and have included the changes, with any melodic adjustments explained.

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Tritonic (Giant Step) Reharmonizations of jazz standards


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theory terms and concepts

Chord Tones [ within article ] 

Extensions [ within article ] 

Tensions [ separate page ] 

Passing Tones [ within article ] 

Scale Approach from above [ within article ] 

Chromatic Approach from below [ within article ] 

Embellished Whole Step Scale Approach from above [ within article ] 

Tritonic Reharmonization
(Giant Steps Reharms) [separate page]

Hexatonics [separate page]

Hexatonics [within article]

Tetratonics [within article]

Pentatonics [within article]

Overlay [within article]

Chord Scales [within article]

Reggae chaka [within article]

Reggae dub [within article]

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