Lesson 20 of Play Jazz Piano Online now available!

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.

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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:

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The A section of Rhythm Changes

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!


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