Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

'Smooth Jazz' Progressions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Superdave, Sep 29, 2004.


  1. Superdave

    Superdave

    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Anyone have any idea what progressions 'smooth' jazz songs(not 'real' jazz) usually are written of? - Or have some common smooth jazz progressions?

    Thanks
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Most smooth jazz isn't based on progressions, just single chords.
     
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Bunches and bunches of smooth jazz tunes have been written off ii-v7 vamps....
     
  4. I think of (good) smooth jazz as R&B without the vocals. Of course a lot of what smooth jazz radio stations play is smooth jazz with vocals. So maybe smooth jazz is R&B-style chord progressions with ii -V7s where you can throw them in, jazz chord voicings from the keyboard player and a DEEP pocket. Check out Anita Baker's "Compositions" album with Nathan East, Greg Phillinganes, Ricky Lawson, and Steve Ferrone for examples. The rhythm section on this recording is mostly live for what it's worth.
     
  5. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    From "A Love Supreme" to "Kenny G" in less than 40 years - we obviously can't look to jazz for evidence of evolution therory.

    Seriously though - lottsa smooth jazz seems to employ more advanaced harmonic movement than simple 2-5's and modal grooves - but then again - there is TONS of that stuff so it probably IS the majority of SJ harmony.

    I'm always dismayed by how much musicianship you can hear in smooth jazz underneath the layers and layers of babyface style production and 4 on the floor drumming.

    As for learngin the stuff - I think if you put on your local smooth jazz radio station - and play along for a few hours on a sat afternoon you'll be able to figure out the basics of "smooth jazz" harmony and notice some patterns - aside from the same 30 songs being repeated over and over - he he! Guidlines for smotoh jazz bass - slap a lot and lock with the kick - and any other "rock/R&B" type stuff that some have said dumbed down jazz.

    But not me - I would never say that. ;)
     
  6. Superdave

    Superdave

    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Thanks for the input, I though they did sound like ii-V progressions most of the time, jsut wanted some outside input. Thanks again.