Okay I think what I want to do here is start out with a refresher for everyone. If this is all old hat to you let me know and I will move forward. We will probably end up having two or three different threads going on this subjest:
Jazz 101. Jazz Intermediate and Jazz Advanced. This way we do not waste a lot of time going over stuff that some of you already know and I can still help out those that are just starting out. The only way to determine where YOU are is to be honest with yourself. Push yourself to take in as much as you can. I will tell you that I will use standard notation here if I can. (I am working on a flash program now, Maybe I can get the mods to let me post documents?) Anyway that is the plan.
The first part is about language. We will be using standard jazz lingo here so I wanted to make sure than we all know what that is:
Jazz uses the Roman Numeral system much like Gospel. Let's lay out an Eb major scale:
Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Now, let's take that scale and place roman numerals under it:
Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
I II III IV V VI VII I
What does this all do for us? It gives us a beacon for future reference and allows us to call the scale degree a proper name when talking about it in theory / improv.
I = Tonic. The Key Note of the song (Prime)
II = Supertonic
III - Mediant. (Halfway point from tonic to dominant)
IV - Subdominant
V - Dominant. (This is the dominant element of the key)
VI - Submediant. (Halfway point from tonic to subdominant)
VII - Leading tone. (with melody tending toward the tonic)
It does not matter what key you are in or what alteration you use this numbering system will stay the same
C Harmonic Minor
C D Eb F G Ab B C
I II bIII IV V bVI VII I
C Melodic Minor
C D Eb F G Ab B C Bb Ab G F Eb D C
I II bIII IV V bVI VII I bVII bVI V IV bIII II I
As you can see we can alter the roman numeral in these cases by adding an accidental in front of it (b or #) otherwise they stay the same, no matter what key. This is called a moveable Do in solfage. The tonic moves to the note that the key of the song centers on.
Ok, tell me when that settles and we will go on....