#1
Alright, let's be honest, no one ever goes in the Jazz forum, and this is more about theory than the actual style of music anyways, so I'll post it here.

What I was hoping for is somewhat of a progressive list of the basics for learning about/how to play/the theory of jazz (ie, first learn the notes on the fretboard, then chord theory, then the structure of 7th chords), and so on.

I have almost non-existant knowledge of theory, but I want to change that. The thing is, by googling "music theory", I end up with about a billion links all directing me to different sides of the theory spectrum, some telling me that intervals are the first thing I should learn, while others say that chord structure or the circle of fifths are the essential thing to understand.

What I want essentially is a starting point to learning jazz. I would appreciate links to pages with good, accurate information, and especially the advice of all these theory guys that I see around this forum.

Thanks in advance.
Get baked, study theory.

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#2
My opinions on what you should do: there are probably a few important blanks that I'll miss, but I'll try not to.

In (sort of) order:

-Learn the notes on the fretboard
-Learn to read music
-Learn intervals
-Learn the major scale and modes, and learn in all keys.
-Learn chords, both the construction and the actual playing, in as many voicings as you can:
-- Triads (major, minor, diminished, augmented)
-- 7ths (major7, dominant7, minor7, fully and half diminished 7ths as a start)
-- What chords can be built from each major scale
-Learn what scales and modes "fit" over each chord and why.


This is really very basic, and somewhat incomplete in terms of everything, but I'm just trying to provide some direction. *edit* more to come


Some resources:

The main thing I'm missing is a website with notes on the guitar fretboard. I have seen many, but I don't care for what I've seen, so hopefully someone knows of a good site. If not, a simple search can get you started.

http://www.musictheory.net/ This can be helpful in learning to read music. Check out the lessons, and also maybe check out the ear trainers to improve your ear.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=503032 MT FAQ. Should help with scales, modes, and uses.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/music_theory/identifying_intervals.html A lesson on intervals

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/absolute_beginners_guide_to_chord_progressions.html Some stuff on chord progressions
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Last edited by psychodelia at Sep 7, 2007,
#3
Thanks a ton, that's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Also, I remember reading on multiple occasions that there was a Jazz book that was considered to be the "bible" of jazz. I was wondering if anyone here might know what it was called/where I could find it.
Get baked, study theory.

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#4
That could be Mark Levine's jazz theory book, found here:
http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Theory-Book-Mark-Levine/dp/1883217040

Or the real book, the book of jazz standards:
http://www.amazon.com/Real-Book-Sixth-C-Instruments/dp/0634060384
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#6
Although, many people on this site love Mark Levine's book, I'm sure it's worthwhile.
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
#8
^ I found that earlier, but thanks a lot!
Get baked, study theory.

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Why are you bringing Cm into this?
#9
There's no such thing as specifically jazz theory. It's just music theory, used to make jazz. Mozart and Beethoven were using minor 7th chords and the cycle of fifths long before the jazzers.

But techniques common in jazz include using lots of extended chords in various voicings, so I'm going to suggest Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry. Search for Ted on YouTube; his improvising on Autumn Leaves is awesome.
#10
Quote by blue_strat
There's no such thing as specifically jazz theory. It's just music theory, used to make jazz. Mozart and Beethoven were using minor 7th chords and the cycle of fifths long before the jazzers.

But techniques common in jazz include using lots of extended chords in various voicings, so I'm going to suggest Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry. Search for Ted on YouTube; his improvising on Autumn Leaves is awesome.


I'm aware that there is no "jazz theory" what I meant to say was the study of the aspects of theory that are very common to jazz. Obviously 7th chords give jazz "it's sound" more than open chords, so I want to know about the 7ths, and diminished chords, and whatnot.
Get baked, study theory.

Quote by :-D
Why are you bringing Cm into this?
#11
mozart and the others did use sevenths but not to the extent of jazz, and classical musicians don't have altered chords or suspended chords, or half diminished(m7b5).

get mark levines jazz theory book, although you do need to know how to read music.
#12
They certainly used suspended chords (but mostly passing) and m7b5 (dominant sub).

As for alt chords, I haven't seen anything that would just be an alt, but I wouldn't rule anything out either just based on the few pieces I've studied.
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out