Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You've Got Rhythm
Freddie Green

Here are the first 8 bars of what Jazz musicians refer to as 'rhythm changes', because they are based, loosely, upon the chord changes of George Gershwin's "I've Got Rhythm".

Jazz musicians by the score penned their own unique melodies over these same chord changes in order to keep the publishing for themselves. The melody is often referred to as 'the head' and is used as a basis for improvisations for those melodically inclined. Jazz musicians spend quite a bit of time mastering these changes, often in 'horn keys' like Bb and Eb.

I've written a 'Rhythm Changes' head about Pie, in the key of C. Check out the grips. Theory notes to come. Click the pic to enlarge:

Lesson 1 in This Series
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Anonymous said...

You've mentioned Aug6 chords before. Can you explain why the DbAug6 is not an FAug6? It's got Db, B and F, and the Db and B resolve to C, which is the fifth of F.

pluto said...

I'm not sure I understand your question.
It's not an Augmented chord.
It's a major triad with an augmented 6th.
It looks much like a Db7 chord. In fact, they are enharmonically equivalent. But that doesn't make them the same.

I have some plans to discuss Augmented 6th chords in general.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should wait for the post, but I thought an augmented sixth chord has the root, #4 and b6 with the "augmented sixth" referring to the interval between the b6 and the #4.

F(root), B(#4) and Db(b6) is FAug6, which is enharmonically equivalent to Db7 but not to DbAug6.

pluto said...

I think you are confusing the ROOT of the chord with the TONIC of the key.

It does refer to the distance between the b6 and the #4 IN THE KEY.

The Ab Augmented 6th chord in Bar 6 of this example is an example of the theory explained here:


It's a bVI chord 'borrowed from minor', meaning a triad constructed from the bVI scale degree of the parallel minor key. In this example, measure 6, the bVI is Ab. The designation 'augmented 6th' comes from the interval between the ROOT of this Ab chord and the F# which is an augmented 6th above the root.

However, it should be noted that in this example the Ab aug6 chord in measure 6 is also NOT in root position. It's an inversion. The F#, the augmented 6th is actually in the bass.

I will be writing more about Augmented 6th chords, and WHY I prefer that designation in the appropriate circumstance.

Thank you for your questions.

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