Jazz Comping (Rhythm Changes)

by Ramiro Delforte

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  • Hi GMC'ers! This lesson is about the rhythm changes. This harmonic progression and form is traditional and standard in jazz, it's like a blues, where you know the chords and the amount of measures.

    The generic harmonic progression is:

    I- I# dim | II - V
    I 1st inv- IIIb dim | II- V
    Vm- I |VI- VI# dim-
    V- I 1st inv | II- V

    I- I# dim | II - V
    I 1st inv- IIIb dim | II- V
    Vm- I | IV- IV# dim-
    I- V | I- I

    III7 | % | VI7 | % | II7 | % | V7 | % |

    I- I# dim | II - V
    I 1st inv- IIIb dim | II- V
    Vm- I |VI- VI# dim-
    V- I | V - I

    So we have 32 measures divided into 8+8+8+8. The third part is the bridge and the other part just changes the last two measures every time depending on the part of the song we are. The story behind this kind of standard form comes from the song "I got rhythm", so I recommend you to listen to that song and find out the little difference between the original song and this standard form.

    As in the Jazz Blues lesson comping this lesson uses the three note chords that help you to create a smooth conduction of the voicings.

    Here I've borrowed a list of Rhythm Changes for you to listen.

    Allen's Alley (AKA Wee) by Denzil Best; Almost by David Baker; Anthropology (AKA Thrivin' From a Riff) by Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie; Apple Honey by Woody Herman; Bop Kick by Nat Cole; Boppin' a Riff by Sonny Stitt; Brown Gold by Art Pepper; Bud's Bubble by Bud Powell; Call the Police by Nat Cole; Calling Dr. Jazz by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis; Celerity by Charlie Parker; Chant of the Groove by Coleman Hawkins; Chasin' the Bird by Charlie Parker; Cheers by Charlie Parker; Constellation by Charlie Parker; Coolie Rini by Howard McGhee; Coppin' the Bop by J.J. Johnson; Cottontail by Duke Ellington; Delerium by Tadd Dameron; Dexter's Deck by Dexter Gordon; Dexterity by Charlie Parker; Don't Be That Way by Edgar Sampson; Dorothy by Howard McGhee; The Duel by Dexter Gordon; Eb Pob by Fats Navarro/Leo Parker; Fat Girl by Fats Navarro; Father Steps In by Dixon/Randall/Hines/Fox; Fifty Second Street Theme by Thelonius Monk; The Flintstones by Hoyt Curtain; Fox Hunt by J.J. Johnson; Goin' To Minton's by Fats Navarro; Good Queen Bess by Duke Ellington; The Goof and I by Al Cohn; Hamp's Paws by Hampton Hawes; Harlem Swing by Nat Cole; Hollerin' and Screamin' by Eddie Davis; I'm an Errand Boy for Rhythm by Nat Cole; In Walked Horace by J.J. Johnson; Jay Jay by J.J. Johnson
    Jaybird by J.J. Johnson; The Jeep is Jumpin' by Duke Ellington; Jug Handle by Gene Ammons; Juggernaut by Gene Ammons; Juggin' Around by Frank Foster; Jumpin' at the Woodside by Count Basie; Lemon Drop by George Wallington; Lester Leaps In by Lester Young; Lila Mae by Nat Cole
    The Little Man on the White Keys by Nat Cole; Miss Thing by Count Basie; Moody Speaks (original version) by James Moody /Dave Burns; Moody's Got Rhythm by James Moody; Moose the Mooche by Charlie Parker; Mop, Mop by Gaillard/Stewert/Tatum; Newk's Fadeway by Sonny Rollins; No Moe by Sonny Rollins; Northwest Passage by Herman/Jackson/Burns; O Go Mo by Sonny Rollins; Oleo by Sonny Rollins; On the Scene by Gillespie/Fuller/Roberts; One Bass Hit by Dizzy Gillespie; Opp-Bop-Sha-Bam by Dizzy Gillespie; An Oscar for Treadwell by Dizzy Gillespie; Ow by Charlie Greenlea; Passport by Charlie Parker; Raid the Joint by Erskine Hawkins; Red Cross by Charlie Parker; Rhythm in a Riff by Billy Eckstine; Rhythm Sam by Nat Cole; Rhythm-a-ning by Thelonius Monk; Salt Peanuts by Dizzy Gillespie; Seven Come Eleven by Charlie Christian; Shag by Sidney Bechet; Shaw Nuff by Dizzy Gillespie; Shoo Shoo Baby by Phil Moore; Solid Potato Salad by DePaul/Prince/Raye; Sonnyside by Sonny Stitt; Squatty Roo by Johnny Hodges; Stay On It by Tadd Dameron; Steeplechase by Charlie Parker; Straighten Up and Fly Right by Nat Cole; The Street Beat by C. Thompson / Robert Mellin; Strictly Confidential by Bud Powell; Swedish Schnapps by Charlie Shavers; Swing Spring by J.J. Johnson; Swingin' With Diane by Art Pepper; Syntax by J.J. Johnson; Ta-de-ah by Nat Cole; The Theme by Miles Davis; Tiptoe by Thad Jones; Turnpike by J.J. Johnson; Wail by Bud Powell; Webb City by Bud Powell; Wee (AKA Allen's Alley) by Dizzy Gillespie; Who's Who by Art Farmer; Wire Brush Stomp by Gene Krupa; XYZ by Budd Johnson; Yeah Man by J. Russel Robinson.

    I hope you enjoy the lesson! :)

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