Altered Dominant, Diminished & More

Course Progression

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Live Sessions Begin: 

Tuesday, February 16th at 9:00pm EST

How to apply Diminished Whole-Tone, Altered Dominants, Diminished, Flat 9 and more within the jazz repertoire.

Type of Class:

  • Live Zoom meetings with comments and discussion.
  • All classes will be recorded and archived for those who could not participate live and for those wishing to review.

Target audience:

  • Open to all musicians. Any instrument. Any skill level (except absolute instrument beginner). Students should be able to read music and have basic command of the instrument.
  • Limited to 15 to 20 participants per level/class.


  • Intermediate to Advanced and Experienced musicians – Wednesday, 9:00PM EST
  • Students beginning to study jazz would also benefit from this course.

Course length and frequency:

  • Each class will meet weekly for 8 weeks
  • Session length will be between 70 and minutes depending on activity and discussion.
  • All classes will be live and those live sessions will be recorded:
    • Recordings will remain available for one month for those who cannot attend the live sessions and for review by all.

Course description:
Altered Dominant, Diminished and More course will help you understand how to construct, hear and apply alterations that occur on dominant chords. The course will help you to:

  • Construct chords and scales that incorporate altered dominant harmony.
  • Compare and contrast the subtle differences between various harmonic options.
  • Enhance your aural skills, helping you recognized altered harmony, for example: differences between 7+9 and 7b9 and other options.
  • All examples and exercises will be applied to material from the jazz idiom (tunes you know or should know), thus helping to expand your knowledge of tunes/repertoire.
  • Strengthen your knowledge of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic formula.
  • Improvise confidently and in a musical, jazz-like manner.
  • Experience different styles and approaches to improvisation.
  • Help you listen to others and yourself better, hearing the overall product while being able to focus on details.
  • Develop effective personal practice habits that work for you.
  • Be able to realistically assess your progress.


  • The class will focus on one selection for two weeks.
  • I will select six tunes and a blues that the class will focus on.
    • The class will universally work on a blues for two weeks.
    • Each student will select three tunes from list of six for their personal study.
    • I will review your selections to ensure the pieces are varied and are ones that will offer the individual opportunities to expand their skills as a jazz musician and improviser. I can also suggest pieces if you like but I prefer you select tunes from the list.
  • In class we will:
    • Discuss the various way to find, substitute and apply altered dominants and other harmonic considerations.
    • Discuss ways to approach practicing and performance.
    • We will find recordings by others to listen to and study.
    • You will record yourself playing the selection (audio or video) and send to me for comments. Typically the melody and two to four choruses, more if you feel the spirit.
    • I will record my observations and suggestions as I listen to you play and send you my remarks.
    • Students will be selected to perform either live or I can play the recording you sent (without my remarks) for the class where we can all reflect upon your playing. All will be done in a constructive, respectful manner.
    • You then have the following week to work on material that would enhance your playing, hopefully applying my suggestions and others from the class and make another recording for me to review and return.
  • Class is limited to 15 to 20 so that as many as possible can play for each other each session for comments – mine and from other students.
  • You will use play-alongs or backing tracts that are available on YouTube or ones you already have, like Jamey’s many excellent ones. I can help you find ones on YouTube if needed.
  • I will be providing PDFs with practice material and suggestions. I will also offer recorded examples that are available on YouTube.
  • I will be giving you ‘quizzes’ from time to time to challenge your skills. Trust me, the quizzes will not hurt but be quite helpful

Ideally you will attend class or view the recordings every week so that you can progress consistently. I understand that you might not be able to make each class or that you were not part of the 20 to sign up in time. That’s OK, I will record and each class will be available – and I encourage you to send your recorded material for comments.

No guarantee but it has been my experience that you will grow musically and as an improviser and jazz musician.

You can anticipate:

  • A more secure knowledge of jazz theory – scale/chord application, harmonic progressions and rhythmic variety.
  • How to successfully learn and apply more complex harmony in a tune.
  • How to improvise in a jazz-like manner appropriate to the tune and style.
  • How to memorize efficiently.
  • How to establish an effective practice routine.