Jazz Ballad Composition

Jonny May
Level 2
Level 3

Learn how to compose an original jazz ballad. Starting with a chord sheet, we’ll discuss 3 left hand jazz ballad accompaniment approaches, how to write a melody using major scales, step-wise motion, and skips, and composition techniques like motifs, sequencing, mirror image, & rhythmic displacement.

Next we’ll compose an original piece of music together, discussing how to to use consonant notes, story arch, form, ornaments, counter-melodies, and 4 right hand harmony techniques.

Course Objectives
  • Learn the Misty Chord Progression, used on hundreds of classic jazz songs.
  • Discover 3 essential left hand jazz ballad accompaniments.
  • Explore composition techniques like motifs, sequencing, mirror image, & rhythmic displacement.
  • Understand consonant note targets, how to build a "story arch", and how to structure your compositional form.
  • Learn how to dress up your melody with Ornaments & Counter-Melodies
  • Explore right hand harmony with 4 techniques, including 3rds/6ths, guide tones, extensions, and block chords
Learning Focus
  • Accompanying
  • Analysis
  • Chords
  • Composition
  • Improvisation

Course Lessons

Jazz Ballad Composition – Lesson 1

Chord Sheet & 3 Left-Hand Accompaniment Options

Jazz Ballad Composition – Lesson 2

Scale, Step-Wise Motion, & Skips

Jazz Ballad Composition – Lesson 3

Motifs, Sequencing, Mirror Image, & Rhythmic Displacement

Jazz Ballad Composition – Lesson 4

Targeting Consonant Notes

Jazz Ballad Composition – Lesson 6

Ornaments & Counter-Melodies

Jazz Ballad Composition – Lesson 7

4 Right Hand Harmony Techniques

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