Lesson 20 of Play Jazz Piano Online is all about Rhythm Changes.
My Play Jazz Piano Online video course would not be complete without a tutorial about Rhythm changes. Next to a 12-bar blues, this is the most important chord sequence in jazz, and is one that every jazz musician needs to be familiar with. Rhythm Changes is based on the chord sequence of the song I Got Rhythm by George Gershwin. Jazz composers have substituted Gershwin’s tune with their own, but have kept the chord sequence. Actually, there are a few variations of this sequence you need to know, and I take you through the options in this 30-minute video lesson.
In 1930, George Gershwin wrote a tune called I Got Rhythm. Subsequently, jazz composers took to retaining the chord changes but replacing Gershwin’s tune with their own. This may have had something to do with avoiding copyright charges. More importantly, players were drawn to the chord changes, finding them to be an ideal vehicle for improvisation.
Many composers have turned their hand to Rhythm Changes. I suggest that you listen to some of the following:
Lester Leaps In – Lester Young
Anthropology – Charlie Parker
Cotton Tail – Duke Ellington
Rhythm-A-Ning – Thelonious Monk
Oleo – Sonny Rollins
The Theme – Miles Davis
Here’s a chord chart for the A section:
As always, the video comes with 4 backing tracks, sheet music and a quiz. If you want to play jazz piano online get started now!
I’ve finally completed lesson 19 of jazz improvisation, so you can now download it.
This new 30 minute video shows you how to reharmonise a lead sheet and employ substitute chords to make for a more creative solo. This will take your jazz improvisation to the next level.
Following on from lesson 18, I’ve taken All The Things You Are and substituted many of the chords. I also show you how to do the same with Take The A Train.
Once you see how it’s done, you can do this for yourself with any jazz standard. The most common way to reharmonise a chord is by substituting a dominant 7 with its tritone. This works well when the dominant 7 is about to resolve to its tonic. For example, instead of G7 resolving to Cmaj7 we substitute a Db7, which is three whole steps (or tones) from the original chord.
For a jazz pianist, chord voicing is an essential skill.
I’m now in the process of preparing lesson 15 of my video course Learn Jazz Piano Online. This 15th lesson of Learn Jazz Piano Online will be all about chord voicing, particularly how to voice left hand rootless chords. Playing these chords will achieve two things: the bass player will have more space and your own solos will sounds so much better.