Bird changes

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Bird Blues progression in B About this sound Play .

The Blues for Alice changes, Bird changes, Bird Blues, or New York Blues changes, is a chord progression, often named after Charlie Parker ("Bird"), which is a variation of the twelve-bar blues.

The progression uses a series of sequential ii–V or secondary ii–V progressions, and has been used in pieces such as Parker's "Blues for Alice". Toots Thielemans's "Bluesette"[1] and Parker's "Confirmation"[2] also have similar progressions.

Structure[edit]

A simple blues progression, in C, is as follows:

| C | C | C | C |
| F | F | C | C |
| G | F | C | C |

A typical blues progression in jazz, in C, is as follows:[3]

| C7 | F7 | C7 | C7 |
| F7 | F7 | C7 | Em7 A7 |
| Dm7 | G7 | C7 A7 | D7 G7 |

The Bird Blues progression, in C, is as follows:[4]

Popular music symbols

| CM7 | Bm75 E7 | Am7 D7 | Gm7 C7 |
| F7 | Fm7 B7 | Em7 A7 | Em7 A7 |
| Dm7 | G7 | CM7 A7 | Dm7 G7 |

Roman numerals

| I | viiø III7 | vi II7 | v |
| IV7 | iv VII7 | iii VI7 | iii VI7 |
| ii | V7 | I VI7 | ii V7 |

This can be viewed as a cycle of ii–V progressions leading to the IV chord (F7 in the key of C major), and the tritone substitution of the dominant chords leading by half-step to the V chord (G7 in C).[4]

C: Am: G(m): F:
| I | ii V | ii V | ii |
F: E: D: D(m):
| I7 | subii subV | subii subV | subii subV |
C:
| ii | V | I VI | ii V |
Different notations
Chord Function Numerical Roman
numeral
Tonic T 1 I
Subdominant S 4 IV
Dominant D 5 V

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Hatfield, Ken (2005). Jazz and the Classical Guitar Theory and Applications, p.182. ISBN 0-7866-7236-6.
  2. ^ Umble, Jay (2011). Mbgu Jazz Curriculum: Payin Your Dues with the Blues, p.62. ISBN 9781610653145.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Sid (2011). The Changes, p.12. ISBN 9781610651684.
  4. ^ a b Baerman, Noah (1998). Complete Jazz Keyboard Method: Intermediate Jazz Keyboard, p.63. ISBN 0-88284-911-5.