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Thread: Jazz chord substitutions

  1. #11
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    New Jersey, USA
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    I join with others who recommend Glen Rose's material. I have his Jazzy Ukulele Workbooks 1 & 2, the video for book 1, and a couple of one-off chord melody arrangements he's posted. His material is very approachable; he strenuously avoids theory by identifying chord shapes that comprise common progressions without naming the chord until much later. His chord voicings are movable, and he identifies the progressions as numbered patterns. He stresses the fact that with four strings, many chords have multiple names and uses, and therefore fewer voicings are needed to play jazz standards. He doesn't explicitly address substitutions, but you're playing them as you go, especially the chord forms with multiple names. It is not a study of scales, technique, or theory. You're playing jazz standards immediately.

    I only just became aware of Abe Lagrimas's "Jazz Ukulele," and I'm checking it out. It looks like the next step to serious jazz studies. I need to find out more of what's in it. My jazz guitar study library is embarrassingly large and underutilized. I don't want to duplicate any of that stuff unless the Lagrima book has lots of unique ukulele content. I'm eager to check it out.

  2. #12
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    Aug 2017
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    Pennsylvania, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    It is dangerous to read this UU forum.
    A few weeks ago I saw someone post about a uke, and ordered one right away.
    Now I ordered myself a book. Looks interesting.
    UkingViking, UU is not so dangerous... it's your inner thirst for music! Ukes are fairly inexpensive items--at least, that is the only reason I ended up with a uke! Of course, for me the uke came first and UU followed.

    As for Glen Rose, I watched a couple of his videos on YouTube(links below) and he gave easy to follow examples of how to play both major and minor 2-5-1 jazz patterns on the ukulele. Top notch instruction. I will be playing around with these for sure!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE6dmFSTDSc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA-RrSHI-yY

    Here is something else though... I have so much trouble fingering Glen's chords on my tiny soprano I am thinking about getting a larger instrument! Oh well, at least I know it will be lots cheaper(and more portable) than that piano I've been dreaming about.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Denmark
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    The Abe Lagrima book was out of stock where I ordered it :-(

    While I was making an order and paying for delivery anyway, I ordered a Hal Leonard "ultimate chord chart" that cost very little in comparison. Almost same price as the delivery. I figured that an "ultimate" chart would have all the odd chords and different inversions too. Why else make a book, when all the common chords can be in one page?
    Just to add insult to missing the jazz book, they send me the chord book and charged me almost as much for delivery as the book cost. And worse, it was complete garbage. Their "ultimate" book was a "basic book for those with reduced sight". They had really just speed the same chords that fit on a one page cheat sheet over an entire book, printing them in XXL. And it was less easy to find your chord than on a single sheet of paper. It will go in the trash soon.
    I do hope that they will be able to get the jazz book again.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  4. #14
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    Feb 2017
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    I wholeheartedly endorse the usefulness of this thread

  5. #15
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    May 2015
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    Sweet Home Osaka Japan
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    We have many chord substitutions for jazz on guitar. I use often some jazz substitutions of 7th chords in even rock or blues (See the figure below). They bring us nice jazz sound and rhythm.



    We have many chord substitutions on our ukulele. But I think we don't have such Jazz substitutions. We rather use same shapes with many different names.
    Last edited by zztush; 09-19-2017 at 06:25 PM.
    Kamaka HF-1 100

  6. #16
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    May 2015
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    Sweet Home Osaka Japan
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    I think tritone substitution is bit hard to identify. But it is easy on our ukulele same as guitar.

    In tritone substitution G7 goes to Db7. F7 G7 C7 goes to F7 Db7 C7.



    We just see this relationship on our the 3rd and the 4th strings (see the figure above).
    If the root is on the 3rd string, we just need to see the 4th string, F (on the 3rd string) goes B (on the 4th).
    Kamaka HF-1 100

  7. #17
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    Feb 2017
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    I obtained a copy of Jerry Coker's Improvising Jazz which was recommended on this thread. I am very happy with it. I have very specific needs. I don't play with people and I never will (except for my drunk neighbor who accosts me with requests for 'Stairway to Heaven' or 'Hotel California'). I basically want to play something like an improvised stop-time blues (chords interspersed with fingered notes). Coker's book provides some hints on how to do this and how to make it tastier. Patently, the book does a lot more than that, and eventually I will study all the book, especially the chapter on functional harmony. However I just wanted to drop a quick testimonial verifying that it has a little bit of everything for every level of player.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Ripock,

    Thanks for giving us the term stop-time blues for a style of playing I too seek and for mentioning the Coker book.

    With regard to your drunken accosting neighbor, I suggest that you regale him with a fifteen minute improvised Ukulele version of In A Gadda Devita including a five minute drum solo on the back of the uke. Sing it as loud as you can. Hopefully that will satisfy his musical needs.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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    Major seventh (Ma7) or sixth (6) chords can be substituted for Major chords. A C (5433) chord can often be replaced by a CMa7 (5432) or (4433) or by a C6 (2433). Likewise, a D (2225) chord can often be replaced by a DMa7 (2224) or a D6 (2222*). This will not always sound great, but try it and see where it works.
    A dominant seventh, as ubulele said above, has the greatest number of options for chord substitution. A G7 (4535) can be replaced by a G9 (4555*)[This is not a complete G9 chord, since it does not contain a root, but having only 4 strings, we must sometimes make compromises] or a G7b5 (4534) . . .
    *The G9 can also serve as a Dm6 and the D6 can also serve as a Bm7.
    Since these are all closed chords, they can be moved up and down the board with the appropriate name changes.
    Another handy chord for swing/jazz sounds is the diminished or diminished seventh chord which can be named after any note in the chord (2323) goes by the name A, D#, F# or C dim.

    Some handy turn-arounds (or intros) are 2 beat each of C, A7, Dm7, G7 or C, C#dim, Dm7, G7 or C, Em7/Ebm7, Dm7, G7 (one beat each for Em7 and Ebm7). Notice that they all begin on C, the tonic (or CMa7 or C6) and end on G7, the dominant (or a suitable substitution for the dominant).
    Last edited by Jim Yates; 09-30-2017 at 11:19 AM.

  10. #20
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    Oct 2015
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    Denmark
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    My copy of the Abe Lagrimas book arrived, fortunately the vendor managed to get it back in stock :-)
    I haven't gone through it all yet.
    The first few chapters has some pretty basic ukulele knowledge, followed by some music theory. Most of it pretty basic, I am not sure exactly how that theory was selected. But I didn't have the patience to linger at repeating chord transitions etc.
    Then the hands on parts begins. In the "comping" chapter a lot of examples of jazzy strumming patterns, with audio samples. Gotta practice some of those. And later some solo and blues chapters, that I will get around to eventually.
    It is looking pretty decent this far. At least for my perspective :-)
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

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