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Thread: Jazz chord substitutions

  1. #11
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    Dec 2007
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    Well, then I'll give Levine's book another look, soon. I want to keep learning. Glen Rose's books and videos introduced me to ii-v-i patterns, major and minor in four different shapes per key. I learned some chord melody arrangements and how the melody notes affect the choices of voicings. I learned about substitutions for tonic and dominant chords. I learned to make my own chords. I learned some vamps and some intros. I learned about basic jazz and bossa nova rhythms. I learned to look for and memorize patterns.

    I don't really want to be a lead player other than to find nice melodic and Jazzy fills for interludes in singing and between sections.

    I've taught myself to read single line melody on uke. I'm sure I can do the same on piano. The sophisticated timing of some of Levine's standard notation looked daunting. Perhaps I'm wrong.

  2. #12
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    Jan 2013
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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.

  3. #13
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    Aug 2017
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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.

  4. #14
    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

  5. #15
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    Aug 2014
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    For figuring out chord substitutions, I didn't find the Lagrimas book very worthwhile. It may plug some holes in your musical knowledge, but it's only really 80 pages of content, with excessive spacing (reducing potential content further), the first part of which is wasted explaining music basics you should have picked up before even considering a book on jazz playing. The author does offer some practical guidance you don't get much of in jazz theory books, but it's pretty light as an introduction to jazz. But this makes it more useful to those mainly interested in playing pre-50s standards in a fairly straight-forward style—you don't get intimidatingly inundated with the sort of detail you'll probably never use. Sadly, you don't get half the detail you need, either.

    If you want jazz chord shapes, there's a two-page chart of pretty much any chord type you'll ever need in the appendices of Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps (Sokolow & Beloff). The shapes are shown in movable form—thus, no fixed names—, but with the roots indicated, so to use it, you need to know your fretboard (or play relatively, as I do), so you can match a candidate root position on the fretboard to a shape with a root on the same string. Grouping and learning shapes for commonly used chords in sets like this is the best way to go about it anyway, in my opinion—break the mental shackle between shapes and specific chord names: think of them instead by chord type and root position.

    For extended chords (9ths, 11ths, 13ths) there's usually more than one way to form them around a given root position, depending on which notes you leave out, in order to meet the restriction on only four notes. So even UFR's fairly extensive chart of shapes—the most usual, most easily fingered ones—is incomplete, but it will do until you learn to derive shapes yourself—far easier to do on uke than on guitar, though I've seldom seen the process described well. A help in this may be the (rather dense) chord family charts presented earlier in the book. As I see it, there are actually four families (one per root string), not just three, and the best template for derivations is the set of the four main movable dominant 7th shapes. Since figuring out how to derive almost any chord from these four shapes, I haven't had to refer to any chord charts.

    Glen Rose's books include in the back matter one of the best introductory summaries I've seen of chord substitutions, laid out according to the ii, V7 and I chords that form the backbone of most jazz progressions (either in the main key or in temporary modulations)—well, they form the backbone of the vast bulk of Western popular music, past or present. By categorizing the substitutions, he makes it easier to understand when to use them. You'll still encounter a lot of chords (like tritone substitutions and chromatic passing chords) that fall outside the ii V7 I framework, but that's to be expected, given Rose's focus on the bare fundamentals.

    If you like the old jazz standards, I recommend a pair of books that Doug Frink put me onto: Dick Hyman's Professional Chord Changes and Substitutions for 100 Tunes (...) and All the Right Changes (100 more standards also notated by Hyman). These aren't tutorial books, they're lead sheets (just melodies and chords) aimed at improvising piano players. But the arrangements use richer chords than most, with a fair number of passing chords included, so you get to see those chords in action—notated by someone who isn't just guessing (as happens too often in the lead sheets you find at guitar tab sites). Analyze the chord changes from the relative standpoint (that I IV V stuff) and you'll learn a lot more—but I won't mount that soap box here.
    Last edited by ubulele; 09-19-2017 at 11:53 AM.

  6. #16
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    Feb 2017
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    I wholeheartedly endorse the usefulness of this thread

  7. #17
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    May 2015
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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 05:25 PM.
    Martin 5K, Martin D-18

  8. #18
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    Aug 2014
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    What?? A dominant 7th isn't a jazz substitution chord: it's one of the most basic and commonly used chords, regardless of genre, and in fact, 7th chords are the ones most commonly replaced in chord substitutions.

    What you're talking about are voicings (different ways to play a particular chord name), not substitutions (replacing a chord of one name with one or more chords of other names, which may or may not share the same root). Using one A7 shape for another is just changing the voicing; replacing A7 by A7-9, A7+5, A9, D#7 or the pair Em7 A7 is a substitution.
    Last edited by ubulele; 09-19-2017 at 05:57 PM.

  9. #19
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    May 2015
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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).
    Martin 5K, Martin D-18

  10. #20
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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.

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