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Playing over chords

Jeremy Cotton (7938) · [archive]
Style: Jazz · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

There are several different ways to begin to improvise over chords. We will break the process down to improvising over 1 chord at a time-this will hopefully give the beginner a starting point.

We will focus our attention (arbitrarily) on dominant seventh chords.

A few things to know: For the purposes of this lesson, chord tones are simply the notes in that chord. For example the chord tones for 'C7' would be C, E, G and Bb.
Passing tones are notes which approach a chord tone- that is, the notes you play in before or in between chord tones. If you are playing over any given chord tones, certain notes will sound dissonant, and certain consonant. Depending on your experience and state of training, some may even be kind of neutral sounding. Regardless, over or 'C7' chord, if you played d then e, the d would be a passing tone.