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Sophisticated Sounds
Jenny Bray
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Session 3


Chord Sequences. Referring to Session 1, it is possible to play four of the modal scales (Ionian, Phrygian, Mixolydian, Locrian ) simultaneously in the following chord sequence. Click on the manuscript to listen to the sequence.


The Roman Numerals denote the 'degree' of the scale and therefore the type of chord used. Hence

I = Cmaj7 = CM7
II = Dmin7 = D-7
III = Emin7 = E-7
IV = Fmaj7 = FM7
V = G7
VI = Amin7 = A-7
VII = B min7(b5) = BÝ

This chord sequence is often used by pianists (or fragments of the sequence) with the following voicing.

This sequence should be practised in this voicing in all twelve keys. In the key of F a Bb must be included. In the key of Bb, a Bb and Eb must be included and so on. Click on the manuscript to listen to the sequence

This voicing is sometimes called 'The Axis of the third'. This is because the third of the scale is the top note of the chord. The 'Axis of the seventh' is also effective in Jazz.

Here are the scale-tone chords of F in axis-7 voicing


This can also be practised in all twelve keys.

Play through the chord sequence of Satin Doll, a) in axis-3 voicing and b) in axis-7 voicing. Play just two chords per bar.

Bar Nos. 1 & 2 Scale = C major Dorian for Dm7, Mixolidian for G7
Bars 3 & 4 Scale = D major Dorian for Em7, Mixolidian for A7
Bar 5 Scale = G major Mixolidian for D7
Bar 6 Scale = Gb major Mixolidian for Db7
Bar 7 Scale = C major C major
Bar 8 Scale = D major Mixolidian for A7
Bars 17 & 18 Scale = F major Dorian for Gm7, Mixolidian for C7
Bars 19 & 20 Scale = Fmajor -
Bars 21 & 22 Scale = G major Dorian for Am7, mixolidian for D7
Bars 23, 24, 25, 26 Scale = C major Dorian for Dm7, Mixolidian for G7
Bars 27 & 28 Scale = D major Dorian for Em7, Mixolidian for A7
Bars 29 - 32 As above -

A good keyboard accompaniment would use a combination of the two voicings to produce a sound which moves in smooth steps from one chord to the next.

It should be noted that when playing in a Jazz group, guitarists should not be playing rhythm chords at the same time as the pianist. Such duplication of effort is not necessary and often sounds untidy.

In thiis case the turnaround is played by the bass but throughout a performance the sequence may be used in various ways and with various soloists to create turnarounds.

The improvised line.

When playing a solo chorus try to leave the tune and concentrate your attention on the harmonic sequence. Use as your material for improvisation the related scales and arpeggios of the chord sequence.

The following diagram gives the related scales for Satin Doll.

Dm7 Dorian of C
G7 Mixolydian of C
Em7 Dorian of D major
A7 Mixolydian of D major
D7 Mixolydian of G major
Db7 Mixolydian of Gb major
C C major
Gm7 Dorian of F
C7 Mixolydian of F
Fmaj7 Fmajor
Am7 Dorian of G

Exercise. Click on the title 'Satin Doll' to listen to the midi file recording performed by RevRay and then rehearse Satin Doll with drums, bass, keyboard, guitar and any other soloist. Try the following sequence.

1 Play the tune on keyboard with bass accompaniment.
2 Play improvised line on keyboard with bass & drums.
3 Play improvised line on guitar with chords on keyboard + bass and drums.
3 Play improvised line on trumpet (or any other soloist) + chords on guitar + bass and drums.
4 Play improvised line on bass with drums (restrained) + chords on guitar (restrained).
5 Play tune on trumpet (or any other soloist) + chords on keyboard + bass & drums + embellishments on guitar.

Play the sequence

D7 Db7 C A7

three times at the end as a coda.

You have now entered the world of JAZZ!!

Lesson 4
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