Today I’ve posted a more advanced tutorial on harmony and in particular the harmonic extensions and voicings used in Jazz.
The “pretty notes” as Charlie Parker called them, are the higher notes of the chords (9th,11th,13th) which are vital to contemporary Jazz but also familiar to classical musicians from the works of Debussy and Ravel.
download jazz harmony pdf
It’s important to be able to instantly recognize these larger intervals in every key as well as to utilize them properly by means of good “voicing”.
To Jazz and commercial musicians “voicing” is the way that one places the notes of the chord across the keyboard (or among the instruments if arranging) and really, is of more importance than the simple choice of notes in the chord.
Learning harmony can be daunting for many musicians but I believe that if you understand harmony well it simplifies most musical styles so that you can gain a greater understanding.
It’s also invaluable for Jazz or commercial musicians.
You can download the PDF introduction to Jazz hamony below. Understanding this single sheet is probably more important than any of the more advanced lessons that you may come accross. It’s easy to skim over this thinking that you know it, but beware, you must understand it!
download “Basic Harmony” PDF
This sheet deals with the naturally occuring diatonic (major scale) chords (3 note chords) as well as the 5 qualities of chords that we encounter in Jazz playing (based on 4 note chords).
Thinking in numerals (or Roman numerals as here) is important because you can change key easily with refernce to only a single chord sequence (II-V-1 as opposed to Dm7-G7-Cmaj7)