Modern Jazz – Minor 11 Parallel Quartals

Jonny May
Quick Tip
Level 2
Level 3

Learning Focus
  • Chords
  • Improvisation
  • Reharmonization
  • Scales
Music Style
  • Jazz Ballads
  • Jazz Swing
  • Latin Jazz

Want to improvise modern jazz?

Then you must know Parallel Quartal Voicings.

These are chords that you can use to harmonize standard jazz scales in far more interesting ways, and you can get a lot more color and dissonance from.

In this lesson, you’ll learn the most common scale that we use to improvise over a C Minor 7 chord – we call this C Dorian Scale.

Next, you’ll learn the formula for how to build one of the coolest Parallel Quartal Voicings, called the 1-4-7-3-5 configuration.

The 1-4-7-3-5 refers to the C minor scale degrees that you use to build your first chord.

Therefore, from the bottom up, our first chord uses C F Bb Eb and G.

Now, the trick is to use this same chord to harmonize each note of the C Dorian Scale.

How do to you do this?

Well, one of the easiest ways is to move it up a whole step or half step depending on how far away the next note of the scale is.

So the next configuration would be D G C F and A.

Once you have the whole scale in your hands using this technique, it’s time to create melodies!

Be sure to download the lesson sheet music associated with this course to practice with the 5 sample melodies.

Check out the smart sheet to play this lesson in any one of the 12 keys.

And download the backing track to play along.

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