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#1184071 - 04/20/09 12:42 PM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: A1A]  
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Hop Offline
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Hudson, FL
Well, I guess it is a sixth and/or a 13th. If you calculate from the root in the LH, sure it's a 13th. But when I play the 3rd, 6th, 9th in the RH, that's the way I think of the chord, and it's easier (at least for me).


HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130
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#1184779 - 04/21/09 05:09 PM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: Bhav]  
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A1A Offline
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Germany
I see you really like those rags. The Chopin Waltzes are my favorites. Very beautiful. I wish he wrote more of them. Have you ever tried any of his Mazurkas? Some are very beautiful.

#1184873 - 04/21/09 08:36 PM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: A1A]  
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Bhav Offline
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Originally Posted by A1A
I see you really like those rags. The Chopin Waltzes are my favorites. Very beautiful. I wish he wrote more of them. Have you ever tried any of his Mazurkas? Some are very beautiful.


I only have Chopin complete Preludes Nocturnes and Waltzes, Joplin complete piano rags, and a Mozart sonatas book, I want to learn K333 sometime as well. I listen to and pick my favorite pieces to learn.

Im reconsidering learning Paragon Rag as it doesnt sound as good anymore. After my current two pieces of maple leaf and magnetic are done, Im planning on going for Pineapple Rag, Grande Valse Brilliante, and the Charleston, all of which I can hopefully get learnt by the end of this year.

Then next year I want to try joining some performance groups, either jazz or classical, and going back into music Education in sept 2010. I'll be 26 then, so I will be older then most other students, but I want to be able to progress academically as well.

I live in Bradford so can go to Leeds college of music to study their Advanced Piano / Jazz courses, and try and pick up my Grade 8 Piano and Theory qualifications too, then try and convince somewhere to let me onto an MA in Music.

I just still need a lot of work in theory and sight reading, but it shouldnt take longer then a year or two.

Last edited by Bhav; 04/21/09 08:40 PM.

Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
#1185172 - 04/22/09 10:46 AM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: Bhav]  
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A1A Offline
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I understand you Hop. Simplicity in thinking ='s quicker processing time! A real common way to play a 13th voicing in one hand (assuming the LH is not too low for this) is to play 7 3 6. I think of it that way to. A quick way to get to this voicing is to think the major chord in root position & simply expand the chord "on the outsides" a whole step (ie. so in C the C "goes" down to Bb & the G goes up to A). Get it? That'll be $10 ;-)

Bhav, shucks, you're not old at all, don't do like I did (n't); get that education! Plus a perk that's nothing to sneeze at is you may find a several years younger-than-you girlfriend to boot.. Although piano/music - wise learning songs from the recording in order to play in good bands did me a WORLD of good. It's important to play with good musicians if you can, it rubs off as you tell yourself those "parts" you hear in your head "Hey this'll go nicely in the mix" & you try to "catch your head-imagination" & make it reality... it's WONDERFULLY satisfying. Ensemble playing really helps LOTS. 'Course I don't know if you're interested in ensemble playing.

Last edited by A1A; 04/22/09 10:50 AM.
#1185240 - 04/22/09 12:25 PM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: A1A]  
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Bhav Offline
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I CAN READ BASS CLEF!!!

I can read it, and the chords, I can spot all the notes, and I read through it faster then I can play!

Just from spending a few weeks practicing. I still need to speed up the reading though, but I read and played through a page again in no time, and needed to stop to practice the chords, fingering and hand movement.
I just kept on practicing reading notes in my head for a while everyday.


Last edited by Bhav; 04/22/09 12:26 PM.

Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
#1190365 - 04/30/09 06:57 AM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: Bhav]  
Joined: Feb 2009
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Exalted Wombat Offline
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London UK
Analyse the chords any way you want - you've had plenty of good suggestions. Just remember that merely by reading this message you're achieving something far more complex - looking at a group of symbols, recognising and translating them instantly into meaning without analysing them individually. How did you get there from when you were laboriously spelling out C-A-T? You'll get fluent with chords just the same way.

#1190371 - 04/30/09 07:04 AM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: Bhav]  
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kennychaffin Offline
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Aurora, CO
Originally Posted by Bhav
I CAN READ BASS CLEF!!!

I can read it, and the chords, I can spot all the notes, and I read through it faster then I can play!

Just from spending a few weeks practicing. I still need to speed up the reading though, but I read and played through a page again in no time, and needed to stop to practice the chords, fingering and hand movement.
I just kept on practicing reading notes in my head for a while everyday.



Good for you! I'm still struggling with it but I can tell I'm gaining on it a bit.



Kenny A. Chaffin
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"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama
#1191390 - 05/01/09 05:21 PM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: kennychaffin]  
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Denver, CO
"Ensemble playing really helps LOTS. 'Course I don't know if you're interested in ensemble playing."

I couldn't agree with this more. If you can, try to get involved with a big band where you are forced to read charts at tempo. It can definitely be a struggle at first and probably quite frustrating. However, putting yourself in this situation will require you to learn fast. Plus you'll be surrounded by other musicians who will hopefully influence you. I think of it as learning another language. If you wanted to learn spanish from simply reading books, you certainly could. However, if you went and lived with a family in Mexico City (after the swine flu blows over of course:)) you would learn much quicker. Surround yourself with what you are trying to learn and you'll create the best learning environment possible...

#1191540 - 05/01/09 11:51 PM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: JazzPianoEducator]  
Joined: May 2009
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loxley11 Offline
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I think a lot of the replies are missing the point. The OP is talking about sight reading jazz chord charts cold. Very few jazz pianists have to do this, as they already have a good idea of what they're going to see in front of them when playing a new tune. Even a pro will have to back off when sight reading cold at fast tempos. It certainly won't sound like it would once he (or she) has had a fair amount of time to learn the tune and changes. In other words, it's always nice to have extra skills, but this one I really don't consider critical to being a successful jazz musician as long as you learn your tunes and practice your ii V I's.

There are shortcuts to make things easier, but it mainly depends on the setting you're playing in. If you're having trouble sight reading fast tunes in public playing solo, just don't pick fast tunes! smile Seriously, work on the changes at home and figure out your chords there where you can take the time to think about it. If you're playing in a group, try this out:

LH plays only 3 and 7 or 1 and 7
RH plays two extension notes. Just limit yourself to notes that are some kind of 4th or 5th apart.

Example:
read..........C7............D7............Em7...........C7
LH............E,Bb..........F#,C..........G,D...........E,Bb
RH............D,A...........Eb,Bb.........F#,B..........D#,G#
sounds.....C9(13)......D7#5b9......Em9.........C7#5#9

Notice that the LH is always a tritone for dom 7ths and 4th/5ths for M7/m7 chords. Yes, it's limited, but it's a good way to start out if you're under the gun. And you can still get those hip altered extensions. Practice ii V I's using these formations in every key (you knew that was coming!) and you shouldn't get many big surprises when sight reading.

Unless you're a session musician, I wouldn't kill myself if you can't sight read the chords to Giant Steps at full tempo. Unless you play at a lot of jam sessions, tunes get presented in an environment where you can take your time to learn them and pick out some juicy chords. Sight reading skills will come later in your self-education.

I know this is contradicting what everyone just said, but I want the OP to know that, just like in classical or pop music, you really aren't put on the spot to sight read complicated stuff at full tempo very often. I'd focus more on learning the tunes so you're not suprised when you're asked to play tunes. And like I said, I wouldn't even try to use huge chords sight reading. just keep it simple and it will still sound good I guarantee!

Drew

#1192409 - 05/03/09 10:22 AM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: loxley11]  
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musiccr8r Offline
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Denver
Drew/Loxly, it was great to hear that perspective, it cheered me up immensely after I got to page 2/3 and found myself thinking, What on EARTH are they talking about? Tho' I did go, for fun, and play the chord that was laid out in complete detail somewhere on page 3, and I did like it!!! smile But the idea of trying to figure out and play the third and 7th in my LH....well, that will be enough of a project to last me for many moons. I do think you guys presented a key feature: playing with a group. I liked the language immersion comparison, and also it makes intuitive sense; after all, how many of us do any activity as purposefully when it is just for our own amusement? Add the accountability and the regular meeting times, however, and I can see how you'd grow quickly. I can still recall the utter humiliation of being in HS, with the "combo" for our "jazz" choir, never having played ANYTHING not written down, and having the teacher ask us to play the blues. The guitarist, who could not read music, launched into it and sounded fabulous as always. I sat there having not the slightest idea what to do, later just jokingly playing the first few notes of Mary had a little lamb and suffering the most withering, disgusted, appalled look from him. It still gives me shivers to think about. And it does make me happy that I can now play the blues!!!! But that's all I can play. frown

Last edited by musiccr8r; 05/03/09 10:23 AM.
#1192899 - 05/04/09 02:39 AM Re: tips for reading jazz chords [Re: musiccr8r]  
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Posts: 275
Bhav Offline
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Oh, Im reading full note chords on a normal scale.

Up to Grade 7 my books used to have those jazz chords, hence why I never developed bass reading.

I couldnt ever read chords written as C7, Dsus4 etc.

Today I noticed a problem. When I look at the treble clef, I see it like bass clef automatically now frown.

Its sooo confusing, but I still manage to spot the notes.

Still a far way away from being able to read and play without practice though.

Just need to keep on practicing.


Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
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