How to teach myself jazz harmony

9005 how to teach myself jazz harmony

Jazz harmony is a complex and sophisticated musical language that requires dedicated study and practice to master. Here are several steps you can take to teach yourself jazz harmony:

  1. Study Music Theory: To understand jazz harmony, it is essential to have a solid foundation in music theory. Study the basic elements of music theory, such as scales, intervals, chord progressions, and chord structures. Familiarize yourself with the Circle of Fifths, which is a visual representation of the relationships between the key signatures.

  2. Study Jazz Standards: The best way to learn jazz harmony is by studying jazz standards. Familiarize yourself with the chord progressions and melodies of well-known jazz standards, such as “Take the A Train,” “All of Me,” and “Misty.” Analyze the chord changes and the relationships between chords in each progression.

  3. Listen to Jazz Recordings: Listening to jazz recordings is a crucial aspect of learning jazz harmony. Listen to recordings of famous jazz musicians, such as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Louis Armstrong. Pay close attention to the harmony and chord progressions used in each piece.

  4. Practice Improvisation: Improvisation is an important aspect of jazz harmony. Practice improvising over jazz standards, using the chord progressions as a guide. Start by playing simple melodies, and then gradually incorporate more complex harmonies and chord substitutions.

  5. Study Jazz Theory and Harmony Books: There are many books available on jazz theory and harmony. Study these books to gain a deeper understanding of jazz harmony. Some recommended books include “The Jazz Theory Book” by Mark Levine and “Jazz Harmony” by Bert Ligon.

  6. Take Lessons from a Jazz Musician or Instructor: Taking lessons from a jazz musician or instructor can be extremely helpful in learning jazz harmony. A knowledgeable teacher can provide guidance and feedback, and answer any questions you may have.

  7. Practice, Practice, Practice: As with any musical skill, the key to learning jazz harmony is practice. Spend time every day practicing your theory, playing jazz standards, and improvising. With dedication and effort, you can teach yourself jazz harmony and become a proficient jazz musician.

In conclusion, learning jazz harmony requires dedication and a systematic approach to study and practice. By following the steps outlined above, you can develop a solid understanding of jazz harmony and become a proficient jazz musician.