#1
Alright, so I'm looking to start composing some jazz tunes. Whats the most effective way of composing some progressions...like not just your simple I-IV-ii-V-whatever progressions, but like those "outside" progressions, the ones that hop around keys a little.

Thanks.
#3
thats a cadence, not an entire progression...

and if you read my post, im looking for some "out" stuff.

and furthermore, i know what a ii-V-I is...
Last edited by PinkFloyd73 at Jan 28, 2009,
#4
well if you understand ii-V-Is and V of V of V...etc progressions, you would realize that they jump through multiple keys.
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#5
One does not simply "start composing some jazz tunes", especially those ones that "hop around keys a little".

Can you read music? If not, learn how. Then pick yourself up a good fake book as well as a few good theory textbooks and study both of them. Start transcribing some famous jazz pieces and analyze them. On top of that, find a good teacher.
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#6
All of those i have done. I can read music. Ive been playing standards for about a year now. Ive been working on writing songs, and ive got a great teache

All im looking for some help, much like what aether just said. It was quite helpful, thank you.
#8
Quote by PinkFloyd73
thats a cadence, not an entire progression...

and if you read my post, im looking for some "out" stuff.

and furthermore, i know what a ii-V-I is...


No, it is definitely an entire progression, and by far the mainstay of jazz music.
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#10



No, it is definitely an entire progression, and by far the mainstay of jazz music.
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agreed, check autumn leaves, the whole song is ii V I in major then minor and back and forth.
#11
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
No, it is definitely an entire progression, and by far the mainstay of jazz music.


Pinkfloyd isn't entirely incorrect. Many people (and many textbooks) would describe ii-V-I as a cadence rather than a true progression. That said, many people use the term "progression" to describe any "chordal movement". When discussing tonal harmony, some theorists do use a more restricted definition of the term that doesn't include a simple and continual resolution to the tonic chord.
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#12
Why not start with ii V I progressions, but make them interest you? You asked for outside ideas, but make some yourself from what you know build on it because it's good stuff and the basis of a great deal of jazz. But embellish chords, substitute chords, modulate smoothly and then you'll find you have a pretty interesting progression which you fully understand. Building on what you already know is better for learning, and also you've set a challenge, to sound out there... so make it do that too.
#13
also for a standard 12-bar blues, if you have two measures hanging on one chord, why not make a ii V I out of it?
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#14
Study modern jazz tunes. Maybe take a look at some Wayne Shorter tunes.
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#15
Learn some predominants, chord subs and different cadences.
Maybe learn how to do some "modal progressions" (still not sure if I agree it's actually "modal" or not), like ii - V7 progressions and modulate in and out of them.
Learn how to modulate. This is especially helpfull if you use some subs or secondary dominants.
Learn how to harmonize a melody (write chords for a melody). Learn how to use chromatic parts, especially in the bass.
Definitely analyze some jazz progressions.

Sometimes a composer will just pick a chord because it has good voiceleading between two other chords.

And yes, ii-V-I is the "mainstay" of jazz, but generally it'll be repeated and modulated with other chords added in.

Hey, sometimes a composer will just keep mashing random chords until something sounds right.
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#16
"Jazzology" from Hal Leonard would be a good place to start. Great book, simplifies and demystifies those "outside" progressions.

If you really want something to sound "outside", just play unrelated chords, with your trusty ol' ii-V-I at hand just in case. And I'm serious.
#17
Thanks guys, im having some luck.
Demon: Ya ive done the melody first, but i always have a little trouble with doing that. THough i did that and had a pretty wicked progerssion. Couldnt repeat that though....
#18
V of V is cool. That is where you play the V chord of a key, and move round the circle of fifths anti-clockwise.

Also, if you do a ii - V - I and move round the cycle ant-clockwise. E.g. If you were in Eb major, you would play;

F min Bb dom Eb maj - then - Bb min Eb dom Ab maj


All these examples can work out great, and I got them from listening to the masters George Gershwin and John Coltrane.