If you are a new jazz player, you may be curious about the jazz standards you should start with. To help you, we have created a short list of the best rules to launch it into the world of jazz. But first, let’s take a moment to analyze what the standards are like and why you need to learn how to play them.
What are the Jazz standards?
The standards are songs that have been in the jazz world for so long that they are now considered “essential” for jazz musicians. They are musical compositions that are critical to the repertoire of any serious musician and are equally familiar to jazz listeners.
Let’s go for it. These are the best standards that every beginner should know.
This is one of the most popular jazz standards within the genre, and it is expected that most jazz musicians know it by heart. Therefore, it is a great place for beginners to begin their journey. If your jazz theory is unstable at best, this is an excellent song to practice. You will find it most commonly played in C major.
“Autumn Leaves” was written in 1945 in France, and was written in French letters. In 1947, Johnny Mercer wrote lyrics in English for the song, and it became an instant classic in the world of jazz. While it is difficult to put it in a category, “Autumn Leaves” offers the common ii-V-Is, typical harmony, a singable melody and funny lyrics. This song is also played in G minor or E minor.
Beginners will learn a lot about the structure of the song, as well as the keys with which it can be played. Once you learn a key, you should go back and learn the other to complete your knowledge of this jazz standard. A solid jazz standard pdf should provide you with the two keys to read.
Bye Bye Blackbird
“Bye Bye Blackbird” was written by Ray Henderson in one of the most complex times the world has ever seen. Mort Dixon lent his artistic talent to the 1926 song by writing the lyrics. This song is extremely popular among jazz musicians, however, it has made its way into countless movies and television shows and has been recorded even more times by many artists.
Due to its popularity, this song is one of the most important songs that jazz musicians should know. Depending on the standard jazz reference you are using, you will find that each chord change creates a hybrid of the first. As a general rule, the song remains linked to the tonal center (F) and does not deviate from the I chord.
Due to its simple melody and beautiful chord changes, “Alone Together” is a favorite of the jazz musician. The flexibility of the melody gives it a perfect structure for improvisation as well. While it is not the best example of jazz theory, it makes up for it regarding learning the ropes of improvisation. Ideally, you play with the key of D minor.
How high is the moon
Originally presented at the Broadway show of 1940 “Two For The Show,” since then there have been innumerable interpretations of this classic jazz song. Obviously, it is one of the primary standards that all jazz artists should know. Most artists also play it in the key of the Sun, so it’s a good idea to learn it in this key.
Where to find references of jazz standards
Now that you know what rules you should play, the next step is to find the musical notes to do it. Nowadays, finding a jazz standard in pdf is easier than ever thanks to the Internet.
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