ABSTRACT

Chapter 6 discusses the embellishment technique of passing tones, defined as nonharmonic pitches wedged between two chord tones, approached by stepwise motion and subsequently departed by a step in the same direction. One colorful aspect of jazz is performers use some tones harmonically, such as 9ths or 13ths, even if those tones are not explicitly notated into the chord symbol or played by the rhythm section. Because musicians accept these color tones as inside (parts of) the chord, passing tones are often chromatic half steps between whole steps. The first musical exercises in the chapter include adding passing tones to major, minor, and diminished triads, with both diatonic and chromatic variants, in all 12 keys. The author discusses how several of the decisions regarding the choices of passing tones were made. Improvisation exercises later in the chapter include applying passing tones to the “Distilled Saints Melody” and “Mike’s Original Saints Melody” introduced in Chapter 2, as well as the reader’s own melody composed in Chapter 4. Finally, the chapter ends with a jazz etude called “Another You There Will Never Pass.”