The Jazz Piano Course: Secondary dominants are the best thing since sliced bread! (Lesson 5)
Today we'll talk about secondary dominants, probably the most useful theoretical concept in jazz harmony. Secondary dominants are basically the dominants in the scale of a target chord. For example, if you're going to play an Fmaj7 - regardless of the scale you're in - then its secondary dominant is C7. The way to see this is to construct the F major scale:F G A Bb C D E Fand note that the dominant degree in that scale is C. The chord built on the dominant degree is a dominant 7th chord: C7. Alternative notation: Suppose you're playing in the key of C major, where Fmaj7 is the 4th degree. Its secondary dominant will be C7. Sometimes you will encounter the notation V/IV, indicating you should play the secondary dominant of the chord built on the 4th degree (Fmaj7). You are expected to figure out on your own this means C7 (just construct the F major scale and pinpoint its dominant degree).I hope to create a full set of lessons (released approximately once a month) which will take you from a relatively beginning stage to a more advanced harmonic and melodic understanding of jazz piano. We're going to delve deep into theory over time, so come and join me for the ride!