from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
When playing the piano, you can play 4,5,6- well, a lot of notes at a time. On a saxophone or trumpet, you can only play one. How can you come to hear chord progressions when you can’t play chords?
- Learn basic jazz theory, namely chord tones, and what notes any said chord is comprised of.
- Play through different chords, such as C Maj 7th, Min 7th and Dom 7th arpeggios on your instrument. Learn the sounds, and how they differentiate between the respective chords. Learn the differences between the sounds- major sounds happy, minor sounds sad, and dominant sounds largely unfinished, and unresolved.
- Record and test yourself on what the chords sound like. When you achieve a 80+% success rate, then you can probably move on.
- Learn what a resolution (chord 5 to chord 1) sounds like. Playing chord 5 as a dominant, and chord 1 as a major or minor. From here, you should be able to hear 2,5,1′s, 6,2,5,1′s, and any other extended turnarounds similar to thus.
- Learn the most common, and basic, chord changes eg rhythm changes, 12 bar blues etc.
- Listen to jazz songs, trying to hear 2,5,1′s, rhythm changes or 12 bar blues wherever they are.
- Continue to adopt this method for any song you play. This is unless you either start to play piano (recommended for anyone that wants to play jazz to a higher level, as it helps get a firmer grasp on jazz melodic and chordal theory etc) or can consistently hear chord changes for any given piece. The latter could take a lot of time, but if you do not wish to learn the piano at all, it is worth it.
- Playing this (or even just jamming) with a band or with a play-along CD helps a lot, as you instinctively start to hear what the chords sound like when played together. This also improves your improvisation.
- Practise this every day where possible, but you don’t have to treat it like a chore.play over different inversions of the arpeggio, or play the notes in a different order etc.
- Playing the piano makes this whole process much easier, and it also gives you a firmer grip on harmonic and melodic theory.
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Hear Jazz Chord Progressions on Non Chordal Instruments. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.