This page was last modified June 29, 2015

Understanding and Implementing Harmony on the Piano

This series of books consists of 6 volumes. You may purchase the print edition from Amazon or Lulu.

You may purchase PDFs directly from me at half the cost of the print edition. The PDFS and the printed volumes are identical in content and format. Send Paypal payment to: mwtzzz@gmail.com

Books

Volume 1 Print edition: Volume 1 - Diatonic

Volume 2 Print edition: Volume 2 - Building Improvised Lines

Volume 3 Print edition: Reharmonization I

Volume 4 Print edition: Reharmonization II

Volume 5 Print edition: Voicing Chords

Volume 6 Print edition: Building Jazz Improvised Lines

Learn jazz improvisation

Let me explain why jazz improvisation is intimately linked with reharmonization. When you learn how to reharmonize, you begin to recognize similarities between the key signatures. You start to see patterns that "overlap" or share much commonality. As a result, you start to realize that you can "mix and match" techniques, indeed this does not even require conscious effort - your subconscious automatically starts to put it to use. There are many ways to slice an orange, and as you learn them, you realize you can fit slice A with slice B even though you previously may not have seen them as compatible.

This mixing and matching is where the jazz sound comes from. Let me give an example. In your left hand on the piano stack g, Db, and f on top of eachother. You have created a chord that could be, among other things, one of the following:

(a) G7b5 or Gm7b5

(b) Eb7 in the key of Ab

(a) is sometimes used to resolve to Fmajor, and (b) is sometimes used to resolve to Abmajor, (c) may be used in other contexts. In your improvisation you therefore may find yourself using either key to arrive at your target. For example, improvise on a V-I in the key of Eb using F major7 chord tones in your right hand. If you did not know reharmonization, it would seem bizzare to play Fmajor7 (Db augmented) on a tune in Ab major, right? But these things become apparent once you learn the techniques of harmony.