About this Course
4.8
306 ratings
126 reviews
The blues is an American art form and the most important musical form in jazz. Although there are other formal paradigms of the blues, such as 8-bar or 16-bar, this course focuses on different incarnations of the 12-bar blues. There are considerable differences between Early Jazz blues, Swing blues, Bebop blues, Modal blues, and Post Bop blues. Each type has its unique harmonic syntax, melodic vocabulary and, associated with them, improvisational techniques. While other aspects of jazz performance practice have been constantly changing from one stylistic convention to another, the blues has never lost its identity and expressive power, and continues to exert a powerful influence on the harmonic and melodic syntax of jazz. This seven-week course explores important aspects of the blues, blues improvisation, basic keyboard textures, jazz harmonic and melodic syntax. Topics include: (1) Blues Progressions; (2) Blues and Other Scales; (3) Improvisational Tools, and others. This course will also cover valuable theoretical concepts enabling the student to master the art of jazz improvisation. Each topic will be introduced from a practical perspective with the clearly stated goal: to improve one’s improvisational skills. Jazz improvisation is rooted in spontaneity, creativity, self-expression and, at the same time, self-control and order. A unique pedagogical approach based on a one-to-one musical interaction conducted with different instrumentalists will help to reinforce many of the concepts introduced in this course and realize its stated objectives....
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Flexible deadlines

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Clock

Suggested: 7 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week

Approx. 15 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

Jazz ImprovisationChordJazzMusic
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 7 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week

Approx. 15 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Blues Progressions – Theory and Practice

Lesson 1 focuses on foundational aspects of the blues, examining its history, innovation, and evolving harmonic structure. At the end of this lecture, students should have a firm understanding of the harmonic structure of the basic, generic, and minor blues forms, as well as a familiarity with the A A’ B phrase-structure of the blues. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 50 min), 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Lesson 1 Introduction4m
Historical Overview (12:00)11m
Generic Blues (6:25)6m
Basic Blues Progression8m
Minor Blues (6:49)6m
AA’B Phrase Structures (5:54)5m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz - Lesson 124m

2

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Blues Scales

Lesson 2 dives into what makes the blues tick, beginning with an examination of the blues scale and the basics of jazz rhythms and blues riffs. Students will then explore call and response techniques and application of the blues scale in improvisation through demonstration with a live musician. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 57 min), 1 quiz
Video6 videos
The Blues Scale (8:08)8m
Jazz Notation and Jazz Rhythm (12:34)12m
Blues Riffs (11:40)11m
Call and Response (6:34)6m
One-Scale Improvisation and “East Main Blues” (13:22)13m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz - Lesson 222m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Keyboard Realization

Lesson 3 introduces the concept of guide tones and its association with invertible counterpoint. Four-part and five-part chords are discussed in detail by exploring their construction and function, as well as techniques to facilitate good voice-leading between chords using chordal inversions. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 65 min), 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Guide Tones (8:53)8m
Invertible Counterpoint (4:20)4m
Charleston Rhythm (10:04)10m
Four-Part Chords (9:35)9m
Five-Part Chords (9:43)9m
Comping Texture (18:58)18m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz - Lesson 326m

4

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

“Bird” Blues and Other Blues Progressions

In lesson 4 students analyze harmonic progressions from 3 jazz standards: “Now’s The Time,” “Billie’s Bounce,” and “Blues For Alice.” Practice techniques are discussed, including ear-training strategies, rhythmic displacement, and voice-leading exercises. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 52 min), 1 quiz
Video7 videos
“Now’s the Time” Progression - Analysis (5:45)5m
Ear Training Strategies (9:11)9m
“Billie’s Bounce” Progression - Analysis (4:49)4m
Rhythmic Displacement (10:34)10m
“Blues for Alice” Progression - Analysis (6:06)6m
Practical Tips (13:01)13m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz - Lesson 420m
4.8
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By DBOct 8th 2016

Such a great course! Even though I am a bass player this course has made me understand patterns and ways in which the Blues can be taken to. Thank you very much for such an amazing experience.

By DZMar 4th 2017

This is very practical and useful course. I really learned something from it! I love this courser and I strongly recommend this course to everyone who is fascinated in Blues.

Instructor

Dariusz Terefenko

Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media
Eastman School of Music

About University of Rochester

The University of Rochester is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University provides exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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