#1
I want to put a Jazz solo in a song of mine, but i don't know what scales to use to make it sound like Jazz. Its just a simple Fmaj9 to Amin9, in A minor, obviously. What scales should I use for it? I don't want to just use an A minor scale.
#2
Use an A minor scale with accidentals then. The most common to get a "jazzy" sound would be a #6. You can play any note you want
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Quote by exos308
I want to put a Jazz solo in a song of mine, but i don't know what scales to use to make it sound like Jazz. Its just a simple Fmaj9 to Amin9, in A minor, obviously. What scales should I use for it? I don't want to just use an A minor scale.


scales won't get you the sound. melodic treatment will. study jazz phrasing.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#4
One should point out, that even if you use a straight A minor scale over the whole progression, you'll still be using the #4 against the Fmaj9, which is an "altered note"

Most jazz playing (phrasing aside) gets the jazz sound from not just using 1, 3 and 5 of the chord, but also some extensions and alterations as well.

So for instance when playing over the Fmaj9, the normal 1, 3 and 5 chord tones would be F A C, but you could also focus on other chord tones such as E (the 7th) G (the 9th) and B (the #11th)

I really great way to give a jazzy sound to a simple chord progression is to use upper structures, by that I mean chords, usually triads, built from some of the upper partials of the chords (5th, 7th, 9th) so over the Fmaj9 you could experiment superimposing a C major triad, giving you 5th, 7th, and 9th, an E minor triad, giving you 7th, 9th, and #11th, or a G major triad, giving you 9th, #11th and 13th.

So, over Fmaj9, we can sort our scale notes into four main categories. F and C are your root and fifth, these are very consonant chord tones not necessary for the chords function and don't really add extra colour to your harmony. A and E, 3rd and 7th are your guide tones, these notes are the main notes that imply the harmony. G, B and D are your extensions, 9th, #11th and 13th of the scale. These notes will imply a more colourful harmony. Another optional altered note over a major chord is a #5, which can be put in as part of a major triad or augmented triad. Over Fmaj9 you can play Amajor triad (A C# E) giving you 3rd, #5th and 7th. Or you can play C# F A, giving you A/F/C# augmented triad. When putting outside notes over the chords, in my opinion, its better to connect them to a piece of standard harmony that the avarage listeners ear will recognize as having some sort of melodic construction (aka thirds) rather than just putting them in at random. A really common trick over a major chord, is to play major triads built from the second and third degrees, giving you an altered sound. So, over Fmaj9, playing G major triad, and A major triad. G major triad will give you the 9th, #11th and 13th, A major triad will give you the 3rd, #5th and 7th. In fact you could sequence G major and A major shapes using inversions like so

G B D A C# E D G B E A C# B D G C# E A, etc

Another avenue to explore would obviously be chromaticism. Using non-diatonic notes to get between to chord tones for a simple example.

Over Fmaj9, I would just pick two chord tones and fill in the chromatic blanks. For example

C (5th) to A (3rd) = chromatic line, C B Bb A

E (7th) to C (5th) = chromatic line, E D C# C (I left out the b7th because unlike the #5th the b7th is not commonly used over major chords, but you can put it in if as a passing note if it appeals to you)

F (1st) to A (3rd) = chromatic line F G G# A (This one will give a bluesy sound, as to the #9 (G#). Once again, I left out the b2, but you can put it in if you like it)

Over the Amin9, you have some more options. Some may suggest using A dorian, and although an F# against the Amin9 can be tastefully used, I would object against using it exclusivley (again, let your ears be your guide). The same rules about extensions apply for the A minor. A and E are your tonic and fifth, which are not necessary for the chord to function, and will not add extra colour to your harmony. C and G, 3rd and 7th, are your guide tones, which are the main notes which imply the harmony, but will not add extra colour to your harmony. B, D and F are your 9th, 11th, and b13th.

Now, over minor chords there are a number of certain colours. You could play bluesy over it, A C D Eb E G is your A blues scale, which will work well over your A minor9. Other colours you can infer is a harmonic minor scale, which will imply a (I hate to liken it to this, but an arabic sound is commonly used to discribe it), A B C D E F G#, and melodic minor, which is A B C D E F# G#. Obviously you can use your A aeolian scale A B C D E F G. If we examine all these scales together, we get:

A B C D E F F# G G#.

The main part I want to draw your attention to is the chromatic line from the E, E F F# G G#. Any of these tones can be implied over the A minor (general rule with all these alterations/extensions is to play them against the chord and listen to their sound) A very common chromatic line over minor chords is from the tonic to 5th, over a minor, A G# G F# F E (usually split up to either A - G# - G, or G - F# - F - E). Also, you can use these alterations, extensions in a context, as discussed earlier. So, say you like the sound of the G# over Amin9, you can fit the G# into the context of a triad. Try playing an E major triad over the Amin9. This will give you 5th, Major 7th, and 9th. If you like the b7th on the other hand, you can use a G major triad over the A minor to imply that, G B D (b7th, 9th, 11th). If you like the b5, you can imply an augmented triad. The b5/#4, Eb/D#, can become part of B D# and G. Which is a B/D#/G augmented triad, try that out.

So, for an exercise, lay out the notes we looked at earlier, an amalgamation of the aeolian, harmonic minor, melodic minor, and blues scale

A B C D Eb E F F# G G#

And pick out triads you can imply over an A minor chord

A minor triad
B diminished
B minor
B major
B augmented
C diminished
C minor
C major
C augmented
D minor
D major
Eb augmented
E minor
E major
E augmented
F minor
F major
F# diminished
G major
G augmented
G# major
G# minor
G# diminished
G# augmented

Helluva lot of options! Some of those will sound better than others, try em' out! Listen!

So, you can think in melodic constructions (triads, sevenths, chords) you can think in scales (aeolian, blues, harmonic minor, melodic minor).

I'll also put down some more chromatic options over a minor chord.

G F# F E (b7th to 5th)
E Eb D (5th to 4th)
D C# C B (11th to 9th)
G G# A (tonic to b7th)
A Bb B (C) (tonic to 9th (or 3rd))

These can be used of backward and forward.

One quite outside option, that's at least interesting to explore over Amin9 is the A whole half diminished scale (as the name suggests, is a scale built off A with alternating whole and half steps)

So, from A, A B C D Eb F F# G#, giving us a tonic, 9th, b3rd, 11th, b5th, b13th, 13th, and major 7th

Hope that helps
Last edited by jesse music at Jul 26, 2011,
#5
Quote by exos308
I want to put a Jazz solo in a song of mine, but i don't know what scales to use to make it sound like Jazz. Its just a simple Fmaj9 to Amin9, in A minor, obviously. What scales should I use for it? I don't want to just use an A minor scale.

Jazz is is hard. It's all about training these "points to ears".

1. Focus on guide tones. (3rds and 7ths)
2. Play with rhythmic limitation to train your ear as to what the guide tones sound like over each chord.
3. Start with whole notes, then half notes and so on.
4. Use encirclement to approach these tones (semitone above or below)

Eventually you'll come up with a small phrase that focusses on the guide tones and it'll sound sophisticated.
Last edited by mdc at Jul 28, 2011,
#7
Quote by Sean0913
It's not going to happen. Jazz isn't paint by number. Either work something out by ear, or study Jazz. Sorry.

Best,

Sean


Well I do study Jazz, I just wanted to hear someone elses opinion haha.
#8
I would use F major, all modes in this key would work great,
on top of that I would also use arpeggios, thats the most important part of jazz, know your triads, and further extensions, know where the pentatonic scales fit in and then add your blues scales all the way up, this will create a wonderful foundation for your playing.
after this i would work on tri-tone substitutions, after you know where all your minor and major chords fit in with your major scale/modes.
then you can work which notes you can add furthermore as passing tones.
playing by ear as well will aid this further.

if you need any more help, i could create an article on the important basic aspects of true jazz improvisation in all jazz styles?
#9
Leigh01, an article would be great, people should know that stuff.

And thanks everyone, I've got a nice solo planned out for it now. I actually used mostly E minor and E phrygian, with some cool chromatic stuff thrown in.
#10
Quote by exos308
Leigh01, an article would be great, people should know that stuff.

And thanks everyone, I've got a nice solo planned out for it now. I actually used mostly E minor and E phrygian, with some cool chromatic stuff thrown in.


I shall do that one day soon then

give a try of D Harmonic minor as well..
thatll add another new realm to the madness.

(E is tech coming off of the diminished scale, you know that right?)
Last edited by Leigh01 at Jul 27, 2011,
#11
Quote by exos308
Leigh01, an article would be great, people should know that stuff.

And thanks everyone, I've got a nice solo planned out for it now. I actually used mostly E minor and E phrygian, with some cool chromatic stuff thrown in.

its not in E therefore your solo couldn't have resolved to E without sounding weird therefore you were not in Eminor or Ephrygian, you were probably in Aminor using F# as an accidental.
#12
Quote by TMVATDI
its not in E therefore your solo couldn't have resolved to E without sounding weird therefore you were not in Eminor or Ephrygian, you were probably in Aminor using F# as an accidental.



+1
I was thinking the same.

somthing that might help "exos308"
is this formula. the major scale:
--T--T---S--T---T--T---S
C--D--E--F---G--A---B---C
M--m--m-M---M-m--Di
1---2--3--4---5--6---7
^------^------^

each note has a triad built upon it.
this rule doesnt change!

a Tone = open E to 2nd fret of E
a Semitone = Open E to 1st fret.
Last edited by Leigh01 at Jul 28, 2011,
#13
Quote by Leigh01
+1
I was thinking the same.

somthing that might help "exos308"
is this formula. the major scale:
T T S T T T S
C D E F G A B C
M m m M M m Di
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
^ ^ ^

each note has a triad built upon it.
this rule doesnt change!

a Tone = open E to 2nd fret of E
a Semitone = Open E to 1st fret.

i know it looks good in this big white box im typing in, but when u posted it the formula got all off-centered, so the numbers are at the wrong notes and whatnot...
#14
Quote by TMVATDI
i know it looks good in this big white box im typing in, but when u posted it the formula got all off-centered, so the numbers are at the wrong notes and whatnot...


shit, lol
#16
Quote by TMVATDI
:P


I tried editing it, but its rly not getting any prettier! lol!!
#17
What everyone else has said. The most important aspect when learning jazz is listening to lots of the stuff. Listen to how different players phrase. For isntance I was listening to Thelonious Monk's album Brilliant Corners yesterday and it seems everytime I listen to Monk I notice something else about his time feel. He has this ability to play a pretty simple melody with a different time feel on every repeat. I could spend weeks just studying one minute of the guys playing!
Andy
#18
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
What everyone else has said. The most important aspect when learning jazz is listening to lots of the stuff. Listen to how different players phrase. For isntance I was listening to Thelonious Monk's album Brilliant Corners yesterday and it seems everytime I listen to Monk I notice something else about his time feel. He has this ability to play a pretty simple melody with a different time feel on every repeat. I could spend weeks just studying one minute of the guys playing!
Andy

Wayne Krantz is also an absolute monster when it comes to timing.

"I thought my timing was pretty good....until I started working with them (Steely Dan)".
#19
I wanted it to sound really diminished, and yeah, I guess e phrygian is just a minor but its more F lydian since I used it over the Fmaj9