Rhythm Changes: Why it’s required study for jazz
In the 1930’s George and Ira Gershwin penned the show tune, I Got Rhythm for their musical, «Girl Crazy». By the time bebop was born during the 1940’s, jazz musicians had already adopted this chord progression as their choice harmonic vehicle for the exploration of new improvisational ideas.
In addition to its swinging tempo the progression reunites within one piece, the essential cadences and chord types one has to master in order to improvise over most major key standards of that period. In this lesson I explain why «rhythm changes» became established among jazz musicians as the seminal chord progression any serious student of improvisation must spend quality time with in order to develop his/her bebop chops.
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