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Jazz Sax Lessons: Introduction to Chords: Diminished Triads & 7th Chords

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Okay now we're gonna look at
diminished triads and
diminished seventh chords.
One important thing to remember about
the scale that both the triads and
the seventh chords come from is
that the traditional version
of a diminished scale is the whole step,
half step.
It's a symmetrical scale, unlike your
traditional minor scales or major scales,
which are seven note scales, or eight
notes if you include the tonic on top.
But, again, it's symmetrical, and so the
traditional version would sound like this.
It's whole step, half step, whole step,
half step, all the way through.
Us jazzers, however,
decided to turn it around, and
it is a half step, whole step pattern.
So that is fits with all
the harmonic implications,
all the harmonic uses of this scale
will work with the different chords,
such as diminished chords obviously,
altered dominants and
things like that which we'll be getting
into in this curriculum for sure.
So the half step whole step
scale sound like this.
That was A on the alto sax here.
So we're gonna go ahead and
play as you can see on your
PDF's that hopefully you downloaded and
printed out on your end there.
I've got the diminished
triads written out, and
I've got diminished seventh
chords written out as well.
They both sound really cool.
And I'm gonna use my metronome here
which I not only encourage you to do,
but instruct you.
It's my rule.
You gotta use your metronome
whenever you practice.
Anything that's metronomic,
anything that's in time.
Super beneficial for a gazillion
different reasons but just make
sure you're keeping everything right
in time and right with that metronome.
So like the other triads and
seventh chords that we have
in the sections I set my metronome
at 90 beats per minute but
it's actually set so
that each beat is on an 8th note.
So literally the tempo is 45 beats
per minute, super duper slow.
But it's important to make sure
that again, as you're playing,
you lock in your time as just,
not only do you lock in your time but you
play it as in control as you possibly can.
Control, not speed.
Practice for control.
All right so,
I'm going to fire up the metronome,
put on my glasses here and
we're going to start with
the diminished triads.
And know that if you're playing alto or
baritone we are going to start from
the beginning, the C diminished triad and
if your playing tenor or soprano,
one of the B flat instruments.
So that we can play together, start on the
following bar, on the F diminished, and
that way we'll be playing in unison.
Of course when you're
practicing these on your own,
no matter what you're playing,
make sure you start at the beginning.
Okay, here we go.
[SOUND] Ready?
One, two, and three, and four.
okay hopefully
figured out that
if you're playing
a B-flat instrument,
That when you
get to the end I
still have one
more to go so
you loop back and
play the first
one again,
that's probably
rather obvious to you.
Cool, so like a lot of these exercises and
like I'm going to reiterate a whole bunch.
During a lot of these practice
lessons when you have things
like this where you are repeating them and
you're learning the scales or
in this case the triads and
you're using your metronome and
sort of putting it into a practice
context, you also want to be changing your
articulation as you go,
perhaps each time you play it.
That would be great actually.
Because that adds one more
layer to the practice benefit.
And again,
you're multi-tasking one more level.
In this case,
if you were to change up the articulation,
just now I was tonguing
each note kind of legato.
Which hopefully you were if you
were playing along with me.
But by changing up the pattern,
it adds another layer
of difficulty,
one more thing to think about.
And, again, if you're in a situation
where you're reading music and
you come across a line that
you're used to playing.
But there's a written articulation that is
something that you're not used to doing,
it's gonna throw you.
And so when we practice like this,
you wanna take advantage of
the opportunity to practice different
kinds of articulations, because over
the same phrase, or scale, or exercise,
so that when you come across those
situations you're not gonna be thrown,
you're gonna be all set and ready to go.
So, let's do this,
let's change up the articulation and
play three staccato and
one long, da, da, da, duh, da, da, duh.
So the last quarter note
of each bar will be long.
So short, short, short,
long, short, short, long.
[LAUGH] That's why I play saxophone and
not sing folks.
So yeah.
And the reason I didn't write down various
articulations on this PDF intentionally
was because I didn't want to lock you
into any one particular articulation.
I want you to change them up.
If you wanna print out five sheets And
write down different combinations.
One staccato, all the rest long.
All long, and the last one staccato.
Everything in between.
You can come up with a lot of different
patterns, and I encourage you to do that.
But if it's something that's tricky for
you to remember,
absolutely Print them out and
write them down.
So for now, let's do this one.
Let's do the one I mentioned,
which is three short, one long, and
then I guess it would be two short long,
so da, da, da, duh, da, da, duh.
Cool, okay, so
we're gonna do this one more time.
Okay, triads, ready to go.
Here we go.
[SOUND] One, and two, and three, and four.
Okay, so
if you were really paying attention
you noticed that I made one mistake.
On one of those long
notes I played it short.
So instead of changing that
I'm going to leave it.
I'm going to leave it on this lesson,
because I want you to remember
that when you make mistakes it's really
important to continue to move forward.
See, maybe I thought of subconsciously
I was thinking about doing that
But that's important because if you're
playing a piece of music in a band or
If you make a mistake,
it's not like the band's gonna stop.
I guess if you're recording your
record you might want to redo it.
But if you're If you're playing in
the band, it's not going to stop.
So if you're used to stopping every time
you clam, you make a mistake, you're gonna
do that when you're playing in a band,
and you're gonna add to the mistakes.
It's gonna become worse and worse.
So I encourage you when
you're playing an exercise or
a thing like this to continue on,
even if you make a mistake.
Like I just did.
Here we go.
Okay, so now we're gonna move forward and
play the diminished seventh chords.
So this is the same basic
idea as the triads except for
the fact that we're going to
play now the seventh which is,
if you look at it compared
to a major scale.
It's the root and
then the third is flat, the fifth is flat,
and the seventh is double flat.
Doubly flatted or it'd be the same as
the sixth, the major sixth actually.
So you have this symmetrical, this cool
just like the scale is symmetrical, so
is the arpeggio.
So, it's a very cool
sound that uses our endless.
But before you can use this arpeggio,
you have to learn it.
You gotta get it under your fingers.
Very cool thing is with
symmetrical scales like this,
side note,
is that because they are symmetrical, and
that the pattern repeats once
you've played the first three,
say for instance from C,
C is a unique scale, C sharp, and then D.
Once you get to E flat,
E flat is found in that initial,
that first scale, C, and so the scale,
it's like It's like starting on
the third degree of that scale,
so if you were going to play
You start on that E flat, that third note.
It's the same exact scale.
Same notes.
So, when you practice these things, the
arpeggios as well, but the scales [COUGH]
or the triads,know that your
learning a lot of finger memory.
There's a lot of things
that are pattern oriented.
And that's true also
with whole tone scales.
Because with the whole tone
scale it's all whole tones.
Once you've played the first two.
The third one is the same
as the first one.
Hopefully this isn't too
confusing the way I'm saying it.
If you were to play a C whole tone scale.
And then you played the C
sharp whole tone scale.
Then you get to D when you're
going up chromatically.
D is the same as C except you're
starting one step of the scale ahead.
It's the same pattern.
You have already developed
that muscle memory again.
There you go.
So let's play our D seventh chords.
Again as a reminder, for us E flat people,
we're gonna start at the beginning
on C diminished seventh, and for
us B flat people we're gonna start on
the F, so that we can play in unison.
This is if we're playing together, and
I encourage you to play along with me.
And yeah, I got my metronome set on 90,
as I did with the triads.
And, we're playing,
we've got it set for eighth notes.
So, it's actually 45 beats for
minute, if you're thinking about
setting them in quarter notes.
But anyway, this way,
you have a beat for every note.
So, here we go.
Diminished seventh chords.
And we're gonna play them all legato.
One, two, go.
How did you do?
Was that cool?
So that's a cool sounding chord, isn't it?
It's very suspenseful, you feel like
you're in an Alfred Hitchcock movie there.
Very cool, okay.
Well, I've sort of explained it.
I want to do it with you again.
Let's do what we did on the triads,
which is to change the articulation.
And if I were practicing this,
which I certainly have
and I'm sure will continue to do,
I would probably think about repeating
it four different times and coming up
with a different articulation each time.
You can do a lot of different things.
I guess it's good to keep it in your head
in terms of just trying to think about,
know concentrate on what the articulation
is rather than really write it down.
Actually on the other hand it wouldn't be
a bad idea to write them down in pencil so
that you can erase it actually,
not a bad idea, but
that way you're used to
seeing the articulation.
That wouldn't be bad either.
Both are good actually.
It's hard to, it's harder to
keep it in your head and just
sort of remember what articulation you're
working on, so there's a benefit there.
But there's a benefit to
being able to see it as well.
So let's do this.
I'm gonna play the first
note's gonna be staccato, and
the next three are going to be legato.
And then, since the last note is a quarter
note we'll make that long as well.
So it'll be
So one short, three long,
then one short, two long I guess.
It should be clear enough.
Okay, so here we go, have fun with this.
[SOUND] Remember one short,
three long, one short, two long.
One, two, three.
How was that?
Did you do well?
So when you're practicing them,
these are really important.
I really encourage you
to work on these things.
I really encourage you also to make sure
that you're working with a metronome.
And as I've said before,
I'm going to say it again plenty of times,
no tempo is too slow.
You want to practice for control.
Doesn't matter how fast you play it.
It's much easier to start
playing fast once you have
any exercise or scale or lick or
whatever under your fingers.
In control of what you're doing.
Anybody can wiggle their
fingers around quickly.
That's not the, not the goal.
The goal is to play it nice and,
nice and clean and in control.
So I know you can do it.
So, again, no tempo's too slow.
The metronome is your friend.
So yeah, have at it.
And if you've got any questions,
you could hit my blog.
And I'll get back to you about it and if
you want to play these, record them, and
send your video, I'll for sure be checking
it out and let you know what I think.
And I'm sure you'll be rocking it.
All right, good luck.