Jazz Cadence


In jazz improvisation on the dominant chord tone/semitone scale can be used.

For example in the scale of C (major or minor): preparing on the second degree with D- 7/5b chord, G9 dominant and conclusion in C9

The execution of the tone-semitone scale can be difficult to memorize.

I suggest to adopts the same procedure used in memorizing telephone numbers. The number 123963, for example, is easily memorized dividing it into two parts: 123 + 963 and by referring to certain characteristics of the number itself, in this case the ascending order from 1 to 3 for the first three numbers and descending from 9 to 3 for the other ones.

In our case, the tone-semitone scale can be divided into two parts that makes reference to two chords. The first makes reference to the C- chord (first degree of the scale) with beginning from the B note (sensitive) and arrival to the Eb note:


The second part makes reference to the chord in higher F (fourth degree of the scale) from F to A with G# in between:


At this point the only change to remember is the G lowering of a semitone (from G to Gb). The second part so becomes:


The partition of the scale in two parts finds confirmation even at harmonic level where on the G pedal we can sound in sequence the chords C-9/7Maj and F9#/9b as a sort of plagal cadence.


There are two types of scales and to memorize the second one it is useful to repeat the same procedure using as references the F- and Bb chords.


First part reference to F- chord:


Second part reference to Bb chord:


Example of harmonization:


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