Jazz blues chords

What's Hot
kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
A quick (but probably quite expansive) question here on bluesy jazz progressions. I've noticed that many times in a jazz blues progression chart the stardard 12 bar blues chords will be stated however the player often plays more than one chord on each stated chord... So for example in a blues in Ab it will go:

| Ab - - - | Db - - - | Ab - - - | Ab - - - |

But then in bar 5 when it is meant to be Db for 4 beats it may use two different chords over the Db but it's not stated on the chart:

| Db - (X chord) - |

It sounds great when players do this but leaves me feeling bewildered as to what chord they're actually playing to keep the progression moving. Does anyone know whats going on here? Would they use an inversion? Substitution maybe? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 8
    D dim, except it’s actually bar 6, not the 2nd half of bar 5. 

    Also on that Ab in bar 4, you can do a 251 in the target chord for bar 5 (in other words in Db), so:

    bar 4: Ebm9, Ab (alt)
    bar 5: Db 
    bar 6: D dim
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    D dim, except it’s actually bar 6, not the 2nd half of bar 5. 

    Also on that Ab in bar 4, you can do a 251 in the target chord for bar 5 (in other words in Db), so:

    bar 4: Ebm9, Ab (alt)
    bar 5: Db 
    bar 6: D dim
    Thanks for the reply! Any specific reason why Ebm9 instead of say Ebm6? And why Ab alt instead of A7? Is there any hard and fast rules here or is it a matter of taste? Thanks for your help.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    All taste :)
    Thanks again for the help
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    I suppose my question relates to all kinds of jazz harmony. I love the way this fella plays:



    But theoretically, I have no idea what he's doing. Does anyone have any idea?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • DB1DB1 Frets: 1204
    An Ebm6 would work nicely in the fourth bar in the shape of a 'T-Bone' 9th, giving you a Ab9. I don't know if that's the Ebm6 shape that you meant. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    I suppose my question relates to all kinds of jazz harmony. I love the way this fella plays:



    But theoretically, I have no idea what he's doing. Does anyone have any idea?
    Can you identify the roots of each chord and you’re only wanting to analyse the voicing, or are the chord roots themselves tricky?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    I suppose my question relates to all kinds of jazz harmony. I love the way this fella plays:



    But theoretically, I have no idea what he's doing. Does anyone have any idea?
    Can you identify the roots of each chord and you’re only wanting to analyse the voicing, or are the chord roots themselves tricky?
    For the most part I can analyse the chords and identify the root, at a quick glance I can see the first 3 chords after he stops talking appear to be Gmaj6, Abmin6, Abmin7, correct? However theoretically I don't know why those chords would be chosen
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • GrangousierGrangousier Frets: 342
    See also Barry Harris Sixth Diminished scale - https://cochranemusic.com/barry-harris-6th-dim-scale-diminished

    (There's probably something better out there but I'm cooking dinner and my brain is work-rotten.)

    Actually used very widely (for example, the descending chord bit in Solo Flight by Charlie Christian) - alternating m7 (or rather M6) chords and diminished chords.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 8
    kswilson89 said:
    viz said:
    I suppose my question relates to all kinds of jazz harmony. I love the way this fella plays:



    But theoretically, I have no idea what he's doing. Does anyone have any idea?
    Can you identify the roots of each chord and you’re only wanting to analyse the voicing, or are the chord roots themselves tricky?
    For the most part I can analyse the chords and identify the root, at a quick glance I can see the first 3 chords after he stops talking appear to be Gmaj6, Abmin6, Abmin7, correct? However theoretically I don't know why those chords would be chosen
    Basically yes, well it’s Ab dim (actually G#dim if you want to be picky) - he’s just going I-ii, (G to A minor (not Abmin7 by the way) with a passing chord in between (the G#dim), then back to G (but it’s a 1st inversion, so G over B ), again with a passing chord between the A-note of the ii and the B-note of the I, which is an A#dim. 

    That’s the first 5 chords; I-ii-I, with passing chords in between. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    kswilson89 said:
    viz said:
    I suppose my question relates to all kinds of jazz harmony. I love the way this fella plays:



    But theoretically, I have no idea what he's doing. Does anyone have any idea?
    Can you identify the roots of each chord and you’re only wanting to analyse the voicing, or are the chord roots themselves tricky?
    For the most part I can analyse the chords and identify the root, at a quick glance I can see the first 3 chords after he stops talking appear to be Gmaj6, Abmin6, Abmin7, correct? However theoretically I don't know why those chords would be chosen
    Basically yes, well it’s Ab dim (actually G#dim if you want to be picky) - he’s just going I-ii, (G to A minor) with a passing chord in between (the G#dim), then back to G (but it’s a 1st inversion, so G over B ), again with a passing chord between the ii and the I, which is an A#dim. 

    That’s the first 5 chords; I-ii-I, with passing chords in between. 
    Thanks very much. I've never seen that progression before, the I going to the ii, is it common in jazz?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 8
    Yep, for example it often sets up a 251. You have to be on some sort of chord before a 251; that chord is often a 1. (Or a 4 or a 5 or many other chords, of course. But a I-ii is definitely not odd)

    Anyhoo this intro noodling he’s doing is just that. A nice gentle intro noodle. Try analysing the song from 0:28 and see what you come up with. Cheers
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    Yep, for example it often sets up a 251. You have to be on some sort of chord before a 251; that chord is often a 1. (Or a 4 or a 5 or many other chords, of course. But a I-ii is definitely not odd)

    Anyhoo this intro noodling he’s doing is just that. A nice gentle intro noodle. Try analysing the song from 0:28 and see what you come up with. Cheers
    Thanks a lot, you've been very helpful. I'll analyse it when I get home tonight and see how I get on. Will be back with my findings ASAP.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    Cool. Gave you a wiz so your fret count matches your user name. Cheers
    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    Cool. Gave you a wiz so your fret count matches your user name. Cheers
    Haha thanks, I like uniformity! (Probably why I find jazz a challenge!)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    edited January 8
    viz said:
    Cool. Gave you a wiz so your fret count matches your user name. Cheers
    So I've just got in from work and I've worked out the intro (before 0:28 - I'll start work on the rest tomorrow) as best I can:


    Gmaj6 - Abdim - Amin7 - Bbdim - G (1st inv.) - Cdim - Cmaj6 - F9 - G - D7 - A7 - G (1st inv.) - Cdim - A (1st inv.) - D7 - Gmaj6
        (I)                               (ii7)                                  (I)                                  (IV)  (bVII7)(I) (V7) (II7)  (I)                                       (II)                    (V7)       (I)


    Just wondering what the bVII7 is all about really? Any thoughts you have on this progression as a whole?
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 8
    viz said:
    Cool. Gave you a wiz so your fret count matches your user name. Cheers
    So I've just got in from work and I've worked out the intro (before 0:28 - I'll start work on the rest tomorrow) as best I can:


    Gmaj6 - Abdim - Amin7 - Bbdim - G (1st inv.) - Cdim - Cmaj6 - F9 - G - D7 - A7 - G (1st inv.) - Cdim - A (1st inv.) - D7 - Gmaj6
        (I)                               (ii7)                                  (I)                                  (IV)  (bVII7)(I) (V7) (II7)  (I)                                       (II)                    (V7)       (I)


    Just wondering what the bVII7 is all about really? Any thoughts you have on this progression as a whole?
    Well, I think it’s just a few jazzy chords really! I quite like the way he has that slow II-V-I  (which as you rightly point out is a major II, so a secondary dominant), climbing chromatically up to the 5, resembling the initial climb.

    That F(alt) or whatever is quite unexpected but that’s ok. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    viz said:
    Cool. Gave you a wiz so your fret count matches your user name. Cheers
    So I've just got in from work and I've worked out the intro (before 0:28 - I'll start work on the rest tomorrow) as best I can:


    Gmaj6 - Abdim - Amin7 - Bbdim - G (1st inv.) - Cdim - Cmaj6 - F9 - G - D7 - A7 - G (1st inv.) - Cdim - A (1st inv.) - D7 - Gmaj6
        (I)                               (ii7)                                  (I)                                  (IV)  (bVII7)(I) (V7) (II7)  (I)                                       (II)                    (V7)       (I)


    Just wondering what the bVII7 is all about really? Any thoughts you have on this progression as a whole?
    Well, I think it’s just a few jazzy chords really! I quite like the way he has that slow II-V-I  (which is as you rightly point out a major II (so a secondary dominant), climbing chromatically up to the 5, resembling the initial climb.

    That F(alt) or whatever is quite odd but that’s ok. 
    Thanks for your input again, I'll see what I can come up with for the main tune ASAP.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RolandRoland Frets: 2698
    Don’t be afraid to focus on the principle chords, and treat some of the other notes as incidentals,  rather than chords in their own right.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    Roland said:
    Don’t be afraid to focus on the principle chords, and treat some of the other notes as incidentals,  rather than chords in their own right.
    Very true. I dun a jazz blues here, with passing notes rather than full diminished chords. Shoddy I know!

    https://youtu.be/cklYR21TcNE
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    Roland said:
    Don’t be afraid to focus on the principle chords, and treat some of the other notes as incidentals,  rather than chords in their own right.
    Very true. I dun a jazz blues here, with passing notes rather than full diminished chords. Shoddy I know!

    https://youtu.be/cklYR21TcNE
    Great breakdown there, really demystified a lot of what I was stuck on, thanks a lot. I'm going to get to work on that other tune I posted on Friday morning.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    edited January 11
    viz said:
    Yep, for example it often sets up a 251. You have to be on some sort of chord before a 251; that chord is often a 1. (Or a 4 or a 5 or many other chords, of course. But a I-ii is definitely not odd)

    Anyhoo this intro noodling he’s doing is just that. A nice gentle intro noodle. Try analysing the song from 0:28 and see what you come up with. Cheers
    Hi again

    I've done my best to analyse the song and this is what I've come up with. I haven't included every triad inversion or diminished passing chord, just what I see as the main harmony. The main part goes:

    G6 - B7 - Cmaj6 - D7 - D#dim - Em7 - Am6 - D7 - G
    (I)   (III7)    (IV)        (V)                       (VI)         (ii)       (V)    (I)

    The second part at around 1:00, "I used to...":

    G7 - Cmaj7 - Cmaj6 - B7 - A7 - D7 - D7 (2nd inv.)
    (I7)    (IV)                         (III7) (II7)  (V7)

    Am I right in thinking there's a VI II V I at 2:19?

    and then the end goes:

    G - G7 - C - C#dim - G6/9 (1st inv.)
    (I)  (V7) (IV)                 (I)


    This seems to be it to me. Is there anything I have missed? Is there a reason why the III7 works so well? Normally when I see this its moving to the VI rather than the IV.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BarneyBarney Frets: 401
    Also worth remembering you can approach the chords from a fret below or fret above  before each change ...even just using 3 chords this can really jazz things up when mixed up and messed about with not a lot of new chords 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 11
    viz said:
    Yep, for example it often sets up a 251. You have to be on some sort of chord before a 251; that chord is often a 1. (Or a 4 or a 5 or many other chords, of course. But a I-ii is definitely not odd)

    Anyhoo this intro noodling he’s doing is just that. A nice gentle intro noodle. Try analysing the song from 0:28 and see what you come up with. Cheers
    Hi again

    I've done my best to analyse the song and this is what I've come up with. I haven't included every triad inversion or diminished passing chord, just what I see as the main harmony. The main part goes:

    G6 - B7 - Cmaj6 - D7 - D#dim - Em7 - Am6 - D7 - G
    (I)   (III7)    (IV)        (V)                       (VI)         (ii)       (V)    (I)

    The second part at around 1:00, "I used to...":

    G7 - Cmaj7 - Cmaj6 - B7 - A7 - D7 - D7 (2nd inv.)
    (I7)    (IV)                         (III7) (II7)  (V7)

    Am I right in thinking there's a VI II V I at 2:19?

    and then the end goes:

    G - G7 - C - C#dim - G6/9 (1st inv.)
    (I)  (V7) (IV)                 (I)


    This seems to be it to me. Is there anything I have missed? Is there a reason why the III7 works so well? Normally when I see this its moving to the VI rather than the IV.
    Nicely done!

    the III-IV is quite common (Dock of the Bay, Creep, etc) but you’re right it’s probably more common to use it as a secondary dominant in a III-VI or III-vi. 

    That 6251 is a bit weird because the 6 isn’t quite an E7 or E7b10. But yep it’s basically a 6251-ish turnaround.

    Couple of interesting things that occur to me:

    1) these dim chords like the D#dim on the first line - it works so nicely because it is VERY similar to a B7b9 without the root. D# dim is D# F# A C, which is basically an absent B (the missing root), D#, F#, A, C. So if you were to think of it as B7b9 1st inv (sans B ), that would make it a secondary dominant to the following chord, the Em. That’s why it works so well. It’s as good as dammit a V-i cadence. I’m not saying it should be written as B7b9/D#(no B ) - that’d be bizarre, but that’s the reason it’s so smooth a linking chord. 

    2) Your last V7 is strictly speaking supposed to be written V7/IV because it’s not the V chord, it’s still the I chord, but you want to emphasize its role as a secondary dominant (rather than spelling it I7 or Ib7 or something), so the “correct” spelling is V7/IV. 


    Barney said:
    Also worth remembering you can approach the chords from a fret below or fret above  before each change ...even just using 3 chords this can really jazz things up when mixed up and messed about with not a lot of new chords 
    Ya, that’s good. Barney show your awesome 251 noodle, that was fantastic. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115

    1) these dim chords like the D#dim on the first line - it works so nicely because it is VERY similar to a B7b9 without the root. D# dim is D# F# A C, which is basically an absent B (the missing root), D#, F#, A, C. So if you were to think of it as B7b9 1st inv (sans B ), that would make it a secondary dominant to the following chord, the Em. That’s why it works so well. It’s as good as dammit a V-i cadence. I’m not saying it should be written as B7b9/D#(no B ) - that’d be bizarre, but that’s the reason it’s so smooth a linking chord. 

    2) Your last V7 is strictly speaking supposed to be written V7/IV because it’s not the V chord, it’s still the I chord, but you want to emphasize its role as a secondary dominant (rather than spelling it I7 or Ib7 or something), so the “correct” spelling is V7/IV. 

    Thanks very much for getting back. So point number 1) you made there, is that tri-tone substitution? Or is that something else entirely? And thanks for the correction, it was obviously a I7 wasn't it, not V7, doh!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • vizviz Frets: 5516
    edited January 11
    It’s not a tritone sub, that’s where the major 3rd and flat 7th (which are a tritone apart) swap roles, meaning the chord also has to slip up or down a tritone. So In a 251, instead of Dm-G7-C (G7 has a B and F as its 3rd and 7th), you do Dm-Db7-C (where Db7 has F and B as its 3rd and 7th)! The chords could not be further apart from each other but they share two crucial notes. 

    Awesome stuff. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • kswilson89kswilson89 Frets: 115
    viz said:
    It’s not a tritone sub, that’s where the major 3rd and flat 7th (which are a tritone apart) swap roles, meaning the chord also has to slip up or down a tritone. So In a 251, instead of Dm-G7-C (G7 has a B and F as its 3rd and 7th), you do Dm-Db7-C (where Db7 has F and B as its 3rd and 7th)! The chords could not be further apart from each other but they share two crucial notes. 

    Awesome stuff. 
    Thanks, that makes a lot more sense, such a useful trick to know!
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.