Berklee Jazz Keyboard Harmony – 2nd Edition

Using Upper-Structure Triads

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $24.99
  • Format: Book with Online Audio
  • Pages: 128
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 9780876391549
  • SKU: 00138874
  • Publication Date: August 01, 2011

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Enrich your keyboard playing with advanced jazz harmonies.

This workbook will help you play with a contemporary jazz sound, interpret lead sheets, and use upper-structure triads to expand your comping palette. By considering tensions in terms of upper-structure triads, you will develop an organized and intuitive means of using more advanced structures in your playing. These practical exercises and concise descriptions will help you develop your sight-comping and create full and colorful voicings for all chord types. The accompanying CD lets you hear and practice these techniques with a jazz quartet.

You will learn to:

  • Use the tension-substitutions common in contemporary jazz
  • Organize advanced harmonies by using upper-structure triads
  • Develop a modern jazz keyboard sound
  • Build facility in applying jazz harmonies in a way that best supports your expressive goals
  • Apply tension substitutions to all jazz chord types, as well as in the context of jazz progressions

“I’ll never forget the day I discovered my first upper-structure triad back in 1960. I sure wish this book was around then. Essential information, not only for the contemporary jazz pianist but for all melodic instruments.”

—Hal Crook, Jazz Trombonist, Pianist, Author, Educator

“Suzanna Sifter’s excellent new Jazz Keyboard Harmony textbook on the theoretical and musical vocabulary of upper-structure triads and their importance in enhancing the students jazz keyboard knowledge cogently opens the ‘beginning’ doors of musical perception and awareness to a vital understanding of the upper-structure harmonic world and its derivative melodic phenomena, such as symmetrical scales, altered and mixed modes, etc. Her personal approach enables the student to easily get their eyes and ears into the essence of these important categorizations and analytical deductions, which can only lead eventually to the supra upper-structure cosmos that lies above. With Suzanna’s book as an inspired basis and with continual study and development, the student will ultimately be able to absorb the entire range of the overtone spectrum into the highest levels of aural-harmonic knowledge and jazz keyboard technical process and improvisational creativity.”

—Tom McKinley, Prominent American Composer and Jazz Pianist

“This book beautifully breaks down the barriers to the complexity of being able to successfully apply upper structure triads and use them with a vital variety of corresponding scales. Tremendous value is to be had by those who put their hands on this magnificent collection of ideas. Suzanna Sifter provides a step-by-step process by which one can clearly learn upper structure triads in relation to the familiar lower structure triads. You therefore will be totally capable of including the resulting advanced harmonic concepts into your performances, compositions and arrangements with confidence, success and ease.”

—Joanne Brackeen, Legendary Pianist, Composer, Arranger, Visionary; Professor at Berklee College of Music


Suzanna Sifter

Pianist Suzanna Sifter is an active performing and recording artist, who gives master classes internationally in jazz piano harmony and…