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snufeldin
03-20-2005, 08:15 PM
What are bird changes? I heard somebody mention them and the example they gave was going up a minor second from the root of the I of a blues progression and doing a pattern and then going up a perfect 4th and repeating it... repeating this over and over... it sounded pretty awesome.

SeattleRuss
03-21-2005, 12:56 AM
I've never heard of "Bird changes". What you're describing sounds similar to what's going on in the first 8 bars of John coltrane's "Giant Steps", which starts on a major chord, then a dominant chord up a min 3rd, then the perfect 4th resolution, repeat cycle, down a tri-tone, insert a ii-V...etc....

BM7 D7 | GM7 Bb7 | EbM7 | Am7 D7

When you "plug-in" Giant Steps changes starting with a m7 chord, I've seen this, or variations of it, which sounds like the "minor 2nd - P4" cadence you mentioned:

Dm7 Eb7 AbM7 B7 EM7 G7 CM7

Above is the first 4 bars of "Giant Steps". Do a search of this forum and / or the net to find tons more info.

I'm sure that "Bird" is a reference to Charlie Parker, pioneer of the Be-Bop school of saxophone. A set of widely used changes that could be associated with him might be "rhythm changes", which you'll find described in detail on this forum as well if you do a search.

Koala
03-21-2005, 01:41 AM
Hmm which I could post a soundfile, but for the time being itīs impossible. If any of you guys can do it, some soundfiles would be nice.

Good thread you got going and great reply Russ!

Poparad
03-21-2005, 02:09 AM
"Bird" changes are when you take a normal tune and add a lot of ii V's in them through back cycling.

A good example of this is the tune "Blues for Alice" which takes a normal 12 bar jazz blues and inserts a long series of ii-V's into the progression.

Here are a couple examples of taking a normal progression and adding some cycles:

| Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 |

becomes:
| Ebm7 Ab7 | Dm7 G7 | Cmaj7 |

The above example works whenever you have a ii V over two bars.

Another example:

| F7 | Bb7 | F7 | F7 | Bb7 | (first 5 bars of a blues in F)

becomes:

| F7 | Em7 A7 | Dm7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bb7 |


The Bb7 in the above example is the target chord, and a cycle of fifths is simple added before it taking up however many bars desired. This is what is called "back cycling" because you're cycling back from a target chord trough the cycle of fifths.

snufeldin
03-21-2005, 02:09 AM
So how do you use this in regards to soloing?

Here's the example...
Over an F blues progression

---------------------------------1-4-------
------------------------1-4--2-4-----------
--------------1-4--2-4---------------------
-----1-4--2-4------------------------------
-2-4---------------------------------------

as you can see the 2 4 1 4 thing repeats up a perfect 4th. Doesn't sound excellent slow, but when you speed it up it works really well.

I'll try searching for it.

SeattleRuss
03-21-2005, 02:17 AM
Aaahhhh......I knew about this sort of back-cycling but I never heard it refered to as "Bird Changes".....Cool! :)

Poparad
03-21-2005, 02:21 AM
So how do you use this in regards to soloing?Just take those changes and play things over them like you would changes to anything else.

For the shorter substitutions, like the two bar 'ii V' sub, you can play over those changes whether or not the band is actually playing them. Good musicians will hear you do that and follow suite the next time that part of the song comes around.


For the more elaborate backcycling, it helps to work it out ahead of time, or specifically call a tune like "Blues for Alice" that uses those changes.



Here's the example...
Over an F blues progression

---------------------------------1-4-------
------------------------1-4--2-4-----------
--------------1-4--2-4---------------------
-----1-4--2-4------------------------------
-2-4---------------------------------------

as you can see the 2 4 1 4 thing repeats up a perfect 4th. Doesn't sound excellent slow, but when you speed it up it works really well.

I'll try searching for it.It looks to be a pentatonic scale fragment like Coltrane liked to use (1 2 3 and 5 of a major scale).

The example you gave only has 5 strings tabbed, but here's what I think it should be:


F#7 B7 E7 A7 D7 G7 C7 F7
-------------------------------------2-5---------------------5-8-
-----------------------------2-5-3-5-----------------5-8-6-8-----
---------------------1-4-2-4-----------------4-7-5-7-------------
-------------1-4-2-4---------------------5-7---------------------
-----1-4-2-4-----------------------------------------------------
-2-4-------------------------------------------------------------


That's taking the same back cycling example I gave, but extending it one bar more so it takes up all 4 bars of the first four bars of a blues in F. The target chord would be Bb7 in the next bar. (This is assuming it is to be played in eighth notes)

Also, rather than making the cycle with ii-V's, all the ii chords are V7's as well, so it's just a cycle of V chords, which is also commonly done. For example:

| F#m7 | B7 | Em7 | A7 |

would become:
| F#7 | B7 | E7 | A7 |

When dealing with cycles like this, you can freely use either ii-V's or V7s.

mjo
03-21-2005, 08:38 PM
| Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 |

becomes:
| Ebm7 Ab7 | Dm7 G7 | Cmaj7 |


Did you mean to type Em7 - A7 ? I don't see how to get the Eb - Ab.

Thanks,
Mike

Poparad
03-22-2005, 02:06 AM
No, I meant Ebm7 Ab7. If you wanted to do straight backcycling, then Em7 A7 would be what you'd want, but this works really well too. It steps up out of the key momentarily and is a very refreshing change when you're expecting to hear a normal ii V.

The Ebm7 Ab7 is sort of a tritone sub for the ii chord.

Take the original:

| Dm7 | G7 |

Then turn the m7 into a dom7:

| D7 | G7 |

Tritone sub the D7:

| Ab7 | G7 |

Then add ii chords before each of the V's:

| Ebm7 Ab7 | Dm7 G7 |

SeattleRuss
03-22-2005, 02:37 AM
poparad wrote:

No, I meant Ebm7 Ab7. If you wanted to do straight backcycling, then Em7 A7 would be what you'd want, but this works really well too. It steps up out of the key momentarily and is a very refreshing change when you're expecting to hear a normal ii V.

Very cool! :D
Kind of like a "chordal side-slip"! :D

Poparad
03-22-2005, 03:03 AM
Very cool! :D
Kind of like a "chordal side-slip"! :D
Exactly! And the great thing about it is that you can improvise over those changes anytime you want without letting the rhythm section know ahead of time, resulting in a really 'outside-inside' sound.

snufeldin
03-23-2005, 09:23 PM
Man, that's some pretty cool stuff. Poparad, you sound like you know your stuff... what's your background with jazz?

Mannet
03-28-2005, 06:03 PM
You've got to love anything to do with Parker...super fast and super impossible to play the melody too.
It's like...ahh, this looks simple...oh, wait, 320 bpm...

Poparad
03-28-2005, 06:16 PM
Man, that's some pretty cool stuff. Poparad, you sound like you know your stuff... what's your background with jazz?
I've been playing jazz for about four years and working on a BA in jazz. I've got a bout a year left to go before I graduate. As far as how I've learned what I know, I just listen a lot, practice a lot, and perform a lot. That's really the only way to get a solid grasp on jazz, or any style really.