I've been working on jazz chords and inversions with my teacher recently to prepare for some college auditions so I started writing this today, I don't fully understand how to get that 'jazz' sound as far as the leads go so constructive criticism and advice is welcome. Basically just a few II V I's and a couple (poor) attempts at modulating. Enjoy
Really smooth, and I liked it. Sorry, I can't give a more thorough crit, but good work with it and keep it up. If you want to get better at writing jazz, just keep writing. One of the better ways to improve with composition is through the sheer volume of what you're writing.
Thanks glad you enjoyed it, and yeah I know what you mean about writing as much as possible. I used to try to write a lot of music every day, but lately I try to just sit down and write something I'm completely happy with. If I don't like something I'll go over each note and check each harmony to find what sounds wrong to me, but with jazz I'm finding it difficult to rely on my ears haha
This is really good man. I enjoyed it. If you want that "jazz lead sound," throw in some chromatic and passing notes. Try some bends too. Don't just go from point A to Point B, go from Point A to Point C to Point A.5 to Point B. Just don't be linear about it. That's all I can help.
Quote by Milsaps
... to find what sounds wrong to me, but with jazz I'm finding it difficult to rely on my ears haha

This. This is what's wrong with 90% of jazz. Music should be all about relying on your ears, at least in my opinions. I see no harm in knowing theory, problem is most people get narrowminded because of, and they stop listening.

Just go with the flow, be openminded, improvise, keep writing. Best way (and the only way, imo).

On topic; very good piece this far. I'd love to see you finish it. Keep writing!
How much Jazz do you listen to? I remember being in your position years ago when I was graduating high school. I felt like I was a pretty good rock guitar player, and I knew a lot of jazz chords, but I didn't really listen to a lot of Jazz. I tried to audition for a few schools and didn't really make the cut, and in retrospect I'm not surprised. I never really LISTENED to a lot of Jazz before I started going to school for it.

That was my biggest problem. How can you expect to learn the vocabulary and melodic/harmonic tendencies in a style of music that you don't constantly listen to? YOU CAN'T.

I enjoyed your composition, but I can hear a lot of things you could tackle before your auditions that would help you immensely. Let me know how you feel about it...I'd love to give you some literature/video to help you out if you feel you could use the help.

Good luck man.
Last edited by chronowarp at Feb 19, 2012,
Quote by Christopher S
I see no harm in knowing theory, problem is most people get narrowminded because of, and they stop listening.

This is absolutely false. People don't magically turn into textbooks when they learn music theory; if you're good at writing music before you learn it, you'll be even better after you learn it. Personally I don't even use it for writing itself, per se, I just use it for figuring out what chords and keys would make the most sense to bridge parts with, or as just a shortcut to know how to notate stuff more quickly. You don't lose all sense of individuality just because you learn how to do voice leading.

If you've got a knack for cooking and you go to cooking school, you're only going to get better.
I wish it was false. Thing is, I've had loooads of musical discussions with different musicians (with a theory-based approach), where their main argument usually is something like "it's not the correct note, it has to be the fifth or the third, theory clearly states so!". Of course, most of those people are obviously spineless morons (at least in my book), but unfortunately I've also seen excellent musicians turn into walking textbooks.

What my point is, is that you shouldn't need to know x number of scales, intervals, figures or methods to play whatever genre you want. You shouldn't need theory to tell what to play next - just play, and if it sounds right in your ears, it IS right (unless, of course, you're completely tonedeaf).

As for your approach on theory, I agree. I apply the same way my self, though very rarly - usually only when I'm completely stuck or if I want to do something out of the ordinary and aren't sure how to do it.

As for your example about cooking - 100% correct, problem is - it doesn't apply in practice as in theory.
Theory is an explanatory tool it's not really a musically predictive tool...with that said...if you don't have a highly developed framework to build on top of you're not going to get far. You learn it all, you drill that shit into your muscle memory, you learn and understand the sounds, then you just stop thinking about it and play music.
Thanks for the comments everybody, I decided to send in a different song that my teacher recommended I should use instead. As far as theory goes I really don't see any downside to learning more about what I enjoy. Can YOU modulate to a different key using a neapolitan sixth chord with your ears alone? I can't, but does it sound cool? Hell yeah it does. That doesn't mean I never use my ears to write music though, everything in moderation and all that jazz. (a pun hurhur)