The chord-scale system is a method of matching, from a list of possible chords, a list of possible scales.The system has been widely used since the 1970s and is "generally accepted in the jazz world today".
However, the majority of older players used the chord tone/chord arpeggio method. The system is an example of the difference between the treatment of dissonance in jazz and classical harmony: "Classical treats all notes that don't belong to the chord...as potential dissonances to be resolved...Non-classical harmony just tells you which note in the scale to [potentially] avoid..., meaning that all the others are okay".
The chord-scale system may be compared with other common methods of improvisation, first, the older traditional chord tone/chord arpeggio method, and where one scale on one root note is used throughout all chords in a progression (for example the blues scale on A for all chords of the blues progression: A7 E7 D7). In contrast, in the chord-scale system, a different scale is used for each chord in the progression (for example Mixolydian scales on A, E, and D for chords A7, E7, and D7, respectively).Improvisation approaches may be mixed, such as using "the blues approach" for a section of a progression and using the chord-scale system for the rest.
The scales commonly used today consist of the seven modes of the diatonic scale, the seven modes of the melodic minor scale, the diminished scales, the whole-tone scale, and pentatonic and bebop scales. ♯11 and C lydian dominant every note of the scale may be considered a chord tone while in the example above featuring A7 and A mixolydian the scale is thought of as a 'filling in' of the steps that are missing between members of the chord. Students now typically learn as many as twenty-one scales, which may be compared with the four scales commonly used in jazz in the 1940s (major, minor, mixolydian, and blues) and the two later added by bebop (diminished and whole-tone) to the tonal resources of jazz.In the example below featuring C7
Originating with George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (1959),the chord-scale system is now the "most widely used method for teaching jazz improvisation in college". This approach is found in instructional books including Jerry Bergonzi's Inside Improvisation series and characterized by the highly influential Play-A-Long series by Jamey Aebersold. There are differences of approach within the system. For example, Russell associated the C major chord with the lydian scale, while teachers including John Mehegan, David Baker, and Mark Levine teach the major scale as the best match for a C major chord.
Miles Davis's Lydian Chromatic Concept-influenced first modal jazz album Kind of Blue , is often given as an example of chord-scale relationships in practice.
The chord-scale system provides familiarity with typical chord progressions, technical facility from practicing scales and chord arpeggios, and generally succeeds in reducing "clams", or notes heard as mistakes (through providing note-choice possibilities for the chords of progressions), and building "chops", or virtuosity.Disadvantages include the exclusion of non-chord tones characteristic of bop and free styles, the "in-between" sounds featured in the blues, and consideration of directionality created between the interaction of a solo and a chord progression: "The disadvantages of this system may become clear when students begin to question why their own playing does not sound like such outstanding linear-oriented players as Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt or Johnny Griffin (or, for that matter, the freer jazz stylists)":
The chord-scale method's 'vertical' approach...is 'static,' offering little assistance in generating musical direction through the movement of chords. Hence the importance of knowing the older chord tone approach. But...Swing- and bop-era songforms operate teleologically with regard to harmony. Highly regarded soloists in those styles typically imply the movements of chords...either by creating lines that voice-lead smoothly from one chord to another or by confounding the harmony pull through anticipating or delaying harmonic resolution.
Essential considerations of a style such as Charlie Parker's, including "rhythm, phrase shape and length, dynamics, and tone color," as well as "passing tones, appoggiatura, and 'blue notes'" are unaddressed.This appears to have led educators to emphasize a specific repertoire of pieces most appropriate to the chord-scale system, such as John Coltrane's "Giant Steps", while excluding others, such as Coltrane's later styles of composition, and producing generations of "pattern" players among college-educated musicians.
The term jazz guitar may refer to either a type of electric guitar or to the variety of guitar playing styles used in the various genres which are commonly termed "jazz". The jazz-type guitar was born as a result of using electric amplification to increase the volume of conventional acoustic guitars.
In music performances, rhythm guitar is a technique and role that performs a combination of two functions: to provide all or part of the rhythmic pulse in conjunction with other instruments from the rhythm section ; and to provide all or part of the harmony, i.e. the chords from a song's chord progression, where a chord is a group of notes played together. Therefore, the basic technique of rhythm guitar is to hold down a series of chords with the fretting hand while strumming or fingerpicking rhythmically with the other hand. More developed rhythm techniques include arpeggios, damping, riffs, chord solos, and complex strums.
An altered chord is a chord in which one or more notes from the diatonic scale is replaced with a neighboring pitch from the chromatic scale. According to the broadest definition any chord with a nondiatonic chord tone is an altered chord, while the simplest use of altered chords is the use of borrowed chords, chords borrowed from the parallel key, and the most common is the use of secondary dominants. As Alfred Blatter explains,"An altered chord occurs when one of the standard, functional chords is given another quality by the modification of one or more components of the chord."
The term blues scale refers to several different scales with differing numbers of pitches and related characteristics.
In a musical composition, a chord progression or harmonic progression is a succession of chords. Chord progressions are the foundation of harmony in Western musical tradition from the common practice era of Classical music to the 21st century. Chord progressions are the foundation of Western popular music styles and traditional music. In these genres, chord progressions are the defining feature on which melody and rhythm are built.
A jazz scale is any musical scale used in jazz. Many "jazz scales" are common scales drawn from Western European classical music, including the diatonic, whole-tone, octatonic, and the modes of the ascending melodic minor. All of these scales were commonly used by late nineteenth and early twentieth-century composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky, often in ways that directly anticipate jazz practice. Some jazz scales, such as the bebop scales, add additional chromatic passing tones to the familiar diatonic scales.
A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of pitches/frequencies consisting of multiple notes that are heard as if sounding simultaneously. For many practical and theoretical purposes, arpeggios and broken chords, or sequences of chord tones, may also be considered as chords in the right musical context.
Lead guitar, also known as solo guitar, is a musical part for a guitar in which the guitarist plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, guitar solos, and occasionally, some riffs within a song structure. The lead is the featured guitar, which usually plays single-note-based lines or double-stops. In rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz, punk, fusion, some pop, and other music styles, lead guitar lines are usually supported by a second guitarist who plays rhythm guitar, which consists of accompaniment chords and riffs.
Mixolydian mode may refer to one of three things: the name applied to one of the ancient Greek harmoniai or tonoi, based on a particular octave species or scale; one of the medieval church modes; a modern musical mode or diatonic scale, related to the medieval mode.
In music theory, chord substitution is the technique of using a chord in place of another in a progression of chords, or a chord progression. Much of the European classical repertoire and the vast majority of blues, jazz and rock music songs are based on chord progressions. "A chord substitution occurs when a chord is replaced by another that is made to function like the original. Usually substituted chords possess two pitches in common with the triad that they are replacing."
The tritone substitution is a common chord substitution found in both jazz and classical music. Where jazz is concerned, it was the precursor to more complex substitution patterns like Coltrane changes. Tritone substitutions are sometimes used in improvisation—often to create tension during a solo. Though examples of the tritone substitution, known in the classical world as an augmented sixth chord, can be found extensively in classical music since the Renaissance period, they were not heard until much later in jazz by musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker in the 1940s, as well as Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and Benny Goodman.
A heptatonic scale is a musical scale that has seven pitches, or tones, per octave. Examples include the major scale or minor scale; e.g., in C major: C D E F G A B C—and in the relative minor, A minor, natural minor: A B C D E F G A; the melodic minor scale, A B C D E F♯G♯A ascending, A G F E D C B A descending; the harmonic minor scale, A B C D E F G♯A; and a scale variously known as the Byzantine, and Hungarian, scale, C D E♭ F♯ G A♭ B C. Indian classical theory postulates seventy-two seven-tone scale types, collectively called thaat, whereas others postulate twelve or ten seven-tone scale types.
In music, a guitar chord is a set of notes played on a guitar. A chord's notes are often played simultaneously, but they can be played sequentially in an arpeggio. The implementation of guitar chords depends on the guitar tuning. Most guitars used in popular music have six strings with the "standard" tuning of the Spanish classical guitar, namely E-A-D-G-B-E' ; in standard tuning, the intervals present among adjacent strings are perfect fourths except for the major third (G,B). Standard tuning requires four chord-shapes for the major triads.
A broken chord is a chord broken into a sequence of notes. A broken chord may repeat some of the notes from the chord and span one or more octaves.
Jazz harmony is the theory and practice of how chords are used in jazz music. Jazz bears certain similarities to other practices in the tradition of Western harmony, such as many chord progressions, and the incorporation of the major and minor scales as a basis for chordal construction. In jazz, chords are often arranged vertically in major or minor thirds, although stacked fourths are also quite common. Also, jazz music tends to favor certain harmonic progressions and includes the addition of tensions, intervals such as 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths to chords. Additionally, scales unique to style are used as the basis of many harmonic elements found in jazz. Jazz harmony is notable for the use of seventh chords as the basic harmonic unit more often than triads, as in classical music. In the words of Robert Rawlins and Nor Eddine Bahha, "7th chords provide the building blocks of jazz harmony."
Pitch axis theory refers to a way of thinking about chord progressions and modes, that was heavily used and popularized by the guitarist Joe Satriani.
In jazz harmony, a So What chord is a particular 5-note chord voicing. From the bottom note upwards, it consists of three perfect fourth intervals followed by a major third interval. It was employed by Bill Evans in the "'amen' response figure" to the head of the Miles Davis tune "So What".
Bebop scale is a term referring to common seven-note scales that have an added chromatic passing note. These are frequently used in jazz improvisation and are derived from the modes of the major scale, the melodic minor scale, and the harmonic minor scale. These scales are most often used by David Baker and Barry Harris as a tool to teach jazz improvisation. According to Corey Christiansen, "David Baker, one of the world's finest jazz educators, named these scales the 'bebop scales' because they were used so often by jazz artists from the Bebop Era. These artists include Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and Dizzy Gillespie, to name a few." Barry Harris builds these scales from two unrelated 4-note chords, which gives them their names in his system.
Jazz improvisation is the spontaneous invention of melodic solo lines or accompaniment parts in a performance of jazz music. It is one of the defining elements of jazz. Improvisation is composing on the spot, when a singer or instrumentalist invents melodies and lines over a chord progression played by rhythm section instruments and accompanied by drums. Although blues, rock, and other genres use improvisation, it is done over relatively simple chord progressions which often remain in one key.
In music, harmonization is the chordal accompaniment to a line or melody: "Using chords and melodies together, making harmony by stacking scale tones as triads".