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Turning a hymn into a jazz tune

 
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drjordan



Joined: 22 May 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Covington, GA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:06 am    Post subject: Turning a hymn into a jazz tune Reply with quote

I work a second-shift job, so 98% of the time that I have to play with other musicians is at church. Not that I'm complaining. We have several very good musicians at church. We have an excellent drummer (although his drums are at a studio…going to have to change that!), an excellent bassist, a talented, classically-trained pianist, and a fiddle/violin player who's also great and I think could catch on to pretty much anything. So on to my question…

I would like to take some old hymns (perhaps "What a Friend We Have in Jesus", "The Old Rugged Cross", etc.) and rewrite the music to use a lot of different chords, change the tempo a bit, and basically make them into jazz tunes. But it's the "use a lot of different chords" that I'm having a problem with. I don't know how to take a song that's a standard 1-4-5 type chord progression and put a lot of jazz chords like 7th, maj. 7th, min.7b5, etc. into the song. Is that just something you learn with experience or is there a method that can be taught?

Thanks.
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riovine



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to play in a big band out of a local church. We had a book that consisted of big band arrangements of many well known church hymns, including the ones you mentioned. The arrangements were pretty good, I don't play with them anymore so I no longer have the book and can't remember who the arrangers were, but I bet you could find them with just a few google searches. They could give you some ideas about re-harmonizations of standard hyms.
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jokron



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Location: Skelleftea, Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you can always take a look here:

http://guitar-masters.com/Subst/
http://www.maximummusician.com/articlechordprimer.htm

/Jan Olof
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mr. beaumont



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 909
Location: chicago

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, adding a lot of chords isn't really necessary...if you have a small group you can arrange the songs chord melody style. do a search for that here to get some ideas (and if you still come up short, PM me.)

but if you ask me, i think the best thing you can do is go out and buy a copy of grant green's "feelin' the spirit." it's an album of old spirituals, (just a closer walk with three, etc.)all of which are very simple in structure, 3-4 chords. but it swings hard, grant is really feeling it, and herbie hancock's piano is excellent. it's a joyous expression of music, the kind that if they played in my church i might actually go. (i'm a recovering catholic, but that's for another board)

good luck Very Happy
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Ian



Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 54
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a few possible ideas...

Make the I and IV chord a maj7, maj6 or maj9
make the ii, iii and vi a min7
make the V a dom7, dom9 or dom13
If you have a V chord, make it a ii-V
If you have a I chord for a while, make it a I-vi-ii-V, or a I-ii-iii-ii
If you have a IV followed by the I chord, make it a IV-#ivdim
If you have a I-IV-V, make it a I-ii-V, or a I-#i dim-ii-V
At the end of a phrase, instead of going back to I, have a iii-VI-ii-V
You can also use tritone substitutions in place of these examples - eg. instead of ii-V-I, have a ii-bII7-I

These are all basic concepts, but hopefully they might help. Also if you just play the original chords but swing them you might be suprised how jazzy it sounds.

Here is an arrangement of "Joy to The World" I drag out every Christmas:

|CM7 |Em7 Eb7|Dm7 G7 |CM7 |
|FM7 |G7 |CM7 | |
|F9 |CM7 |F9 |CM7 |
|Em7 |Eb7 |Dm7 |Db7 |
|CM7 Dm7|Em7 Eb7|Dm7 G7 |CM7 |


I'm not even sure if that's the right number of bars (Xmas was along time ago!) but hopefully you get the idea - I think the original only had 3 chords.
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krakadoros



Joined: 13 Dec 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Turning a hymn into a jazz tune Reply with quote

[quote="drjordan"]I work a second-shift job, so 98% of the time that I have to play with other musicians is at church. Not that I'm complaining. We have several very good musicians at church. We have an excellent drummer (although his drums are at a studio…going to have to change that!), an excellent bassist, a talented, classically-trained pianist, and a fiddle/violin player who's also great and I think could catch on to pretty much anything. So on to my question…

I would like to take some old hymns (perhaps "What a Friend We Have in Jesus", "The Old Rugged Cross", etc.) and rewrite the music to use a lot of different chords, change the tempo a bit, and basically make them into jazz tunes. But it's the "use a lot of different chords" that I'm having a problem with. I don't know how to take a song that's a standard 1-4-5 type chord progression and put a lot of jazz chords like 7th, maj. 7th, min.7b5, etc. into the song. Is that just something you learn with experience or is there a method that can be taught?

Thanks.[/quote]

i found a site that can help www.arrangemymelody.com
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