Glossary of jazz terms

2 5 1

A very common chord sequence in jazz songs for example D-7 G7 C Major 7.

Call a tune

Select the song that the band will play next.


The chord progression for a song.


When improvising, one run through the structure of a song.


A new melody played over existing chord changes from an previous song. For instance Anthropology and I Got Rhythm.


The structure of the song - frequently described with letters e.g. AABA, but also common chord progressions “Blues in b flat” or “Rhythm Changes”.


The melody statement of a song - played at the start and the end.


Something played by the band before the melody at the start of a song.

Solo break

When the soloist plays alone without accompaniment for some number of bars. Commonly heard at the end of the first head. e.g. A Night In Tunisia.


A song played so often that you can expect many players to know it.


Usually to end a song, repeating a phrase from the melody 2-3 times.


A sequence of chords at the end of the form used to help the harmony move from the end of the form, back to the start when repeating it.