How to Play Jazz: An Overview of Jazz Theory

John Watt

Active member
Any chance you know how to restore sound in a computer,
after the latest Windows10 update took it away?
Computer store owners say if you got the first, free Windows 10,
you lost your sound.

I can't imagine any video helping you play jazz.
Only jamming with other musicians as spontaneously as you can,
can improve any jazz to jazzy abilities.

If you don't mind me saying, you have a problem already.
Are you making a difference between tempered tuning instruments,
and those that tune scientifically, using an oscilloscope for perfect harmonics?
That's an incredible difference in tuning that wasn't an option for Beethoven or Mozart,
or anyone else, unless you're using a Fender Stratocaster,
the first musical instrument in human history to feature a single bridge for each string,
and each bridge had two way movements, for length and height.
That's why they work so well with electronics, propagating sounds, as much as notes.
That's why Jimi Hendrix was willing to play one upside-down, the only guitar at the time.
He was a USA Air Force radar technician, serious about phasing and flanging.

Many jazzers think that being acoustic is the heart of jazz,
but when I'm seeing any kind of band, on any kind of stage,
I have to include the build and acoustics of the music hall,
as much as the musicians onstage.
The as-yet-untitled Frederik Magle answered a question I asked here.
He explained that when he's playing a cathedral organ,
he is working to get sounds ready to be played, as much as playing,
and hearing sounds he made after he was making them.
That changed my mind about what I could do with my amp system.
I have three, half-rack, micro-digital Roland-Boss electronic effects,
almost proto-types, that a very, very wealthy music store owner received,
in Canada.
And yes, when I say very very wealthy, it's not about music stores.
His family goes back five generations and owned most of the country-side,
before they started selling real estate packages so others could make a city.

If I set up these three stereo units, all with their own echo, one just for echo effects,
two with phasing and flanging, one with stereo panning, really really nice nice,
I might be able to sound like the organ in "Like a Flame", trying to jam with that already.
And that's sitting here in front of the computer, when I had sound, with an acoustic guitar.
One day, I'll be putting up a video of me playing some organ parts with this system.
That way, if I ever get to visit Denmark, and see my friends in TINKICKER too,
I might get invited to get up onstage to play along.

I just met a musician who travelled through Denmark in the seventies,
the lead guitarist for a band named Owl, touring as an opening act.
As a good Scotsman, he said he'll always remember Denmark,
for having a very unique and expressive society,
even if he was happy just keeping all the feet dancing on the ground.

riff offa this, you jazzy explainer

Talking with McCoy Tyner between sets not only jazzed me up,
the waitress wouldn't let us pay for our drinks afterwards,
saying if you're friends with McCoy Tyner, your drinks are for free.
At first, I told him I saw him alone with his orange juice at the end of the bar,
and came over to shake his hand and say goodbye,
heavy drink prices with table requirements for ordering, every fifteen minutes.
I said my band took a week off so I could bring them and my girlfriend to see him,
ordering tickets as soon as I heard of them, driving over a hundred miles in the winter.
The Colonial Tavern, downtown Toronto, Canada, the second story venue.
McCoy Tyner, and I didn't say John Coltrane out loud, or Jimi Hendrix,
just describing my Stratocaster and Marshall with effects,
got off on me singing what I would sing to his piano playing.
We talked for over twenty minutes.
When you hear a voice with every authority, I'll never forget.
And when you carry someone in your heart, you feel their love.
The love of music, what it can do, riff offa that.
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Little White

New member
I liked the video- good summary on the core of the theories without ending up like a math lesson with 20 feet of chalkboard full of scribbles or just showing off how fast you can shred scales over chord shapes.
Good stuff


Chief assistant to the assistant chief
A lot of the original Jazz men couldn't even read music it was all by musical "feel" for want of a better word, basic jazz does not need the dots.

John Watt

Active member
I hafta admit, when I was getting into upscale blues,
I got into some music teary.

I think Little White is going to give us some shredding over Em,
unless he/she gets more white and uses some related G major.