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Cello Lessons: Introduction to Reading Jazz Charts

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Even though jazz is a largely improvised
art form, we're still going
to be referring to charts,
to written out melodies and chords a lot.
And jazz charts are not written in
the same way that classical sheet music is
In a jazz chart,
all you're going to have is a melody, and
then chord symbols as well as
a basic meter, like four four.
So the melody is usually going
to be written in treble clef,
which is just your sort of
default way to notate music.
And a lot melodic instruments
like saxophone, trumpet, or
violin are used to reading it.
For cello, you may not be
used to reading treble clef,
because classical music isn't
always notated for us in that clef.
However, you're gonna need to learn.
And it's gonna be very helpful
to learn to read treble clef so
that you can access the vast amount
of resources out there for jazz,
which are pretty much gonna
be all in treble clef.
In addition to the melody,
which will be through compose, you'll be
able to just play the notes as written.
Slurs and accents and
ornaments are not going to be notated.
So you can pretty much improvise slurs and
have fun exploring your own accents and
every melodic you know, presentation
by a jazz musician will be different.
So you're going to have to
superimpose some of that expressive
stuff on to the melody.
Apart from that,
those chord symbols you see may include
some indications you don't understand.
We're going to cover
what each chord symbol
means as we go through
the chord scales series.
But just know that when
you see a chord symbol it
can kind of mean different things for
different roles.
So, a bass player,
when they see these chords symbols,
they're gonna be connecting mostly roots.
But the guitarist and
any harmonic instrument is gonna try and
be playing those full
harmonies in various ways.
[SOUND] So we're gonna really dive
into all of this harmonic knowledge,
through these subsequent lessons.
But the last thing I'll say, is sometimes
people with classical background,
don't understand that there's no
key signature in a jazz chart.
The reason for this, is because every
chord often may require a different scale.
And jazz tunes often go
through many different keys.
So in a classical piece,
the composer would indicate a new key
signature every time we modulate.
In jazz, you don't do that.
You have to sort of, as a player,
understand the harmonies, and
understand the chords and arpeggios and
scales that are being used, and
that's how you'll get all
of the sounds necessary.
But don't be looking for the key
signature to tell you which notes to
play, because there isn't one.
Okay, let's dive in.