Passing Chords

(Thanks to jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein for submitting this quote.)
Billy Taylor to Bucky Pizzarelli: "In the early days when you were
playing with the you started 'In A Mellow Tone', which we
played, in a rather special way. You said, 'Check out Freddie Green'.
Now what were you doing when you did that?"

Bucky Pizzarelli: "Well, I was playing rhythm the way Freddie
did... trying to play like Freddie Green and nobody could, you know. A
guy that played with you, Barry Galbraith, could. Remember Barry?"

Billy Taylor: "Oh, very well."
Bucky Pizzarelli: "Instead of playing a full chord like when you learn
the guitar... [Bucky plays a six note Bb7 chord at the 6th fret.] You've
got three Bb's in there. See, that's no good. You have to cut it down
to maybe a few notes. Actually I only play one or two notes. You're
holding the other ones down [i.e., muting the other strings]."

Billy Taylor: "You get the essence of the chord."
Bucky Pizzarelli: "Yeah, right."
Billy Taylor: "And that way you really get the rhythm going."
Bucky Pizzarelli: "Oh definitely. You don't have many notes to hit.
The minute you start hitting six strings at one time, the band stops!"
(Both laugh.)

I have learned so much from a friend, Hammondman. When it comes to passing chords, he has shared some very cool info.

" Passing chords help you get from one chord to another smoothly. Certain passing chords do just that. Some will lead you to the 4th scale degree and some will bring you to the 5th scale degree. three or more chords to do the same thing is called a progression.

The simplest passing chord is the 7th with the 3rd scale degree in the l.h., which will bring you to the 4.

C/C  or CG/C
E/C7 or EBb/C7
F/F    or FC/F

There's another chord, the 13th(b9) which is a jazzier passing chord:

CBb/A (13 b9)



These are going to the 4th scale degree, if you were in the key of C. You can also use these as a five going to the one if you were in the key of F. These passing chords and progressions are all in relation to the scale degree that they're in at the time, like above... the examples were in C for going to the 4 but it's the same thing if that example was the 5 going to the 1 in F because C is the 5th of the key of F."

Hope the info is helpful.

-- LadyD
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