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Another Scales Question - Jazz Scales
#2902949 10/21/19 10:41 PM
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I am working my way through learning Jazz and one of the things I wanted to do was work on learning the 7 chords in each of the 12 major scales. (Even though the online tutorial I am using suggests learning the exercises in all keys, major and minor, I am taking the shortcut of leaving out the minor scales.) Right now I can play the white keys reasonably well and in a few seconds figure out the chord needed for a lead sheet. The black keys take longer but I can still figure it out. I just play the scale and then go from there.

My question is at what speed do I need to get this before I start working with lead sheets. I have started learning the concept of block chords and harmonization but when I go to a lead book and pick a piece like Autumn Leaves I find myself taking some time to figure out some the chords and then decide how to play them as a block chord. Once I get by that I can start to play the piece. OK, in Autumn leaves I have the first 8 bars down and working the the next several.

With the exception of the white keys It takes some time to work out what to play for each chord. Should I abandon trying to work with lead sheets and just focus on getting my speed up on the other scales? A side question on lead sheets, do people write down how they are arranging them or just practice to the point where following the lead sheet you can play the piece?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

FYI this is part of my stroke recovery therapy but on this the stroke isn't having an impact on this.


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Re: Another Scales Question - Jazz Scales
Peddler100 #2902982 10/22/19 06:15 AM
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I’m not an expert, but I think you should work with lead sheets as you learn the scales and chords. You could spend endless time getting all the scales, chords, inversions and progressions down. Why not play music as you learn? Additionally, as you play music, your transitions and chord vocabulary will increase.

Pick out a few easier jazz standards and play them. I would play them in a basic way at first ( melody in the R, block chords in the L), then add inversions that make sense, then learn to spread the chords to both hands. Arpeggiate the chords in varying patterns.


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Re: Another Scales Question - Jazz Scales
Peddler100 #2902983 10/22/19 06:17 AM
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Here is a list of beginner jazz standards to get you started.

https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/blog/20-standards-for-beginners/


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Re: Another Scales Question - Jazz Scales
Peddler100 #2903013 10/22/19 08:48 AM
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I would recommend you post your question on the non-classical piano forum as there are experienced jazz players and teachers there that will be glad to offer advice


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Re: Another Scales Question - Jazz Scales
Peddler100 #2903083 10/22/19 12:17 PM
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When I learned jazz (with a great teacher) I never practices scales. The key is to learn how to play progressions. You need to pick a voicing that works for the ii-V-I progression and learn that in all 12 major and minor keys. It doesn't make sense to spend time learning the chords separately as you will always play them in a progression, usually the ii-V-I or some variation. Spend some time on that, but then quickly move to playing songs from lead sheets. If you want to play songs from lead sheets, that's what you should work from.

As to your final question, nobody I play with writes down much of anything on a lead sheet. Maybe a chord substitution or something or an intro or outro. You've got to get to the point where the voicing of the common chord progressions are almost on auto pilot. It takes a lot of work, but it's worth it!

Re: Another Scales Question - Jazz Scales
Peddler100 #2903557 10/23/19 10:13 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I'll start mixing progressions in with learning the chords for the 12 major keys.


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Re: Another Scales Question - Jazz Scales
Peddler100 #2903623 10/23/19 12:18 PM
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Here's two exercises I do, ii V I in all keys, left hand the root and right hand 3rd and 7th. Second exercise, ii V I again, left hand alternate between root and 7th and root and 3rd, my right hand play a scale of the root. When I know this change well I will move to lead sheet.



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