LOTD 113 – Short Diminished Lines

Love this diminished pattern. Sounds fantastic and is pretty simple. Just approaching diminished chord tones from chord scale above using the whole half scale again. A little easier said than done! I get that. Enjoy

LOTD113

LOTD 112 – Short Diminished Lines

Here’s a fun diminished voicing movement you can do up and down or any direction you wish. These voicings are using all notes from the whole half scale. Love these!

LOTD112

LOTD 111 – Short Diminished Line Series

This is a simple pattern using the C whole half scale starting in the 7th. Depending upon where the Co7 resolves to is where you would end your line. Don’t be scared of diminished chords! They’re pretty too.

LOTD111

LOTD 110 – Short Diminished Series

Diminished chords seem to stump a lot of students. This week all be adding a lot of excellent sounding lines you can play over a diminished chord that are simple as well. Enjoy!

LOTD110

LOTD 109 – Short Minor Lines

109-short minor lines

LOTD 108 – Short Minor Line Series

Here is a classic approach you’ll hear on a lot of solos. Very nice to have in your bag and very easy to learn! Enjoy!

LOTD 108 - Short Minor Line Series

LOTD 107 – Short Minor Lines

Here is a more modern sounding line to use and integrate. This is a great one because you can take this pattern and use the same movements over other chords or starting areas. For example start the pattern on the note D or C.

Finally got my keyboard set up after moving. New office and everything! I’m pumped. Enjoy!

LOTD 106 – Short Minor 7th Line Series

Easy minor 7th line here starting on the 9 and moving up chord tones back until you reach the 9. From there you can go a number of different ways. Enjoy!

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LOTD 105 – Short Dominant Line Series

This dominant line includes the #11 in the line which makes for a nice color. It eventually resolved down to the fifth in some what of a delayed resolution. Experiment with adding the #11 in to your dominant lines in various ways.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #105 - Short Dominant Line Series

LOTD 104 – Oscar Peterson Meets Louis Armstrong

Oscar Peterson Meets Louis Armstrong, “You Go To My Head”

Well this one just gets me. Man oh man what a beautiful line for a ballad. Oscar starts off going down the Bb7 dominant bebop scale but uses a triton sub for the Bb7

turning it into an E7 which makes the G# the 3rd. He then proceeds up some chord tones, the 5th, 7th and 9th to a nice 3rds interval pattern at the top and finally resolves

to Eb. Stunning line.

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LOTD 103 – Short Dominant Lines

This small dominant line is used a great amount. The out lines the C7 chord tones up to the b9. Once you get to the b9 you can resolve down to any chord tone of your maj7th chord. The b9 is the important note as it creates a small amount of tension which is followed up by a release.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #103 - Short Dominant Lines

LOTD 102 – Short Dominant Lines

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #102 - Short Dominant Lines

LOTD 101 – Dominant 7th Short Lines

This is a great dominant 7th movement. We start on the 13th, and move to the #11 to approach the fifth which is a chord tone. From here we move up our mixolydian scale until we reach the 4th and resolve down to the 3rd of the chord. Really great movement to add into your repertoire.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #101 - Dominant 7th Short Lines

LOTD 100 – Short Minor Lines (G-7)

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LOTD 98 – Short Minor Lines (G-7)

Jazz Piano Lick #98 - Short Minor Lines (G-7)

LOTD 96 – Minor 7th Short Lines

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #96 - Minor 7th Short Lines

LOTD 95 – Short Lick Series Minor 7ths

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #95 - Short Lick Series Minor 7ths

LOTD 93 – Oscar Peterson – “It’s Only A Paper Moon” OP Plays The Harold Arlen Songbook

I know, I know, this is a long one but I had to end the phrase properly like he does. A lot of takeaways on this one. The small line he repeats is a great one to have in your tool belt. Also, how he gets out of it by going up to the b7 of the F7 sound amazing too.

Obviously the parts in the middle work very well but I particularly enjoy that last two measures of how he resolves his line with the dyads moving the bottom note down while the top F stays the same. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #93 - Oscar Peterson - "It's Only A Paper Moon" OP Plays The Harold Arlen Songbook

LOTD 92 – Oscar Peterson – “Cheek To Cheek” From the album, The Song Is You

Here is another very tasty Oscar Peterson lick. Again, very diatonic except for the b9 over the F7 chord. It’s his use of rhythm and swing with some nuances that makes all of his lines so great. He loves to use triplets as well. If you notice in the video there is a slight delay with the grace note too. Try and get the feeling of this delay to capture the essence of the line.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #92 - Oscar Peterson - "Cheek To Cheek" From the album, The Song Is You

LOTD 91 – Oscar Peterson – “C Jam Blues” From the album, Night Train

Oscar Peterson was my ultimate favorite pianist growing up. He had the most influence on my beginnings. To this day I can’t get over the clarity in his sound, articulation and touch when playing his lines. Everything is is so clean and elegant. Best of all, he just swings and swings and swings till the cows come home. It’s incredible.

I love Oscars lines because they aren’t too complicated yet they sound so great! He mainly uses diatonic approaches mixed in with some blues scale licks and extensions. It’s quite simple actually in theory, but playing them can be the opposite of simple.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #91 - Oscar Peterson - "C Jam Blues" From the album, Night Train

LOTD 90 – Benny Green – “Celia” From the album, That’s Right

This one is on the longer side but there are so many good lines in here I had to add it all. Benny Green is so great at organizing his playing so it sounds clean. He takes phrasing to a new level by using motifs and development to flavor his solo. Check out the different nuances in each measure of this long line.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #90 - Benny Green - "Celia" From the album, That's Right

LOTD 89 – Benny Green – “Just A Tadd” From the album, That’s Right

Benny Green is well known for his extremely fast double handed bebop lines. Here is one of them from Just A Tadd. It takes a long time to get your LH as strong as your RH, but Benny has obviously done it, and it sounds awesome! Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #89 - Benny Green - "Just A Tadd" From the album, That's Right

LOTD 88 – Benny Green – “Greens” From the album, Greens

Here is a very nice blues lick with a lot of varying rhythms. This line can be used in an actual blues of any bluish progression that is moving down in half steps.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #88 - Benny Green - "Greens" From the album, Greens

LOTD 87 – Benny Green – “Decidedly” From the album, Greens

Once again, another nice 2536251 progression that fits perfectly. Benny uses approaches very well. Especially approaches that are anticipating another harmony. For example in the first measure after he gets to the F# he jumps back up to an A over the Bb7 chord. If he were using the chord scale this note would be an Ab, but because he is setting up for the G-7 already he chooses to use the A natural to lead into the G-7 harmonies. He resolves to the fifth of the G-7 chord the note D and then approaches the third of the C7 chord a beat early as well by landing on the E on beat 2.

From here he outlines chord tones up to the b9 of the C7 chord and is using all diatonic harmonies from here out until he resolves to the fifth of the Eb chord. Great line!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #87 - Benny Green - "Decidely" From the album, Greens

LOTD 86 – Benny Green – “Wiggin” From the album, That’s Right!

As you might begin to see there are similarities that exist in Benny’s Lines. He loves to use the #11 over dominants to approach the 5. For example in measure one he jumps back to the F#, to approach the 5th of C. He also use the #11 in measure 3 to approach the 5th of Db, the note Ab.

The other thing he likes to do is use the bebop scale passing tone in between the 1 and the b7. He uses this in measure 4, going from the Db to the B natural to the Bb. This gives such a nice sound to lines and makes sure you chord tones continue to line up on down beats to reflect the harmonies.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #86 - Benny Green - "Wiggin" From the album, That's Right!

LOTD 85 – Benny Green – “Celia” From the album, That’s Right!

Here is another great line that strings together two 2-5’s back to back. Benny Green’s line seamlessly flow together with ease with his use of approaches, bebop scale passing tones, and motif ideas. There’s a reason he is one of the greats. Tomorrow I’ll post his two handed improv lines! Oh boy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #85 - Benny Green - "Celia" From the album, That's Right!

LOTD 84 – Benny Green – “Just A Tadd” From the album, That’s Right!

This one kicks off our Benny Green series. I absolutely love Benny’s playing. It is very phrase oriented and it always sounds perfect. His lines fit together like a puzzle. All the harmonies connect so well as if there are no holes.

This line here is a great line to finish up a 36251 to end a phrase. It is very catchy and simply outlines a dominant rootless voicing that moves from the 2 to the 5 chord. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #84 - Benny Green - "Just A Tadd" From the album, That's Right!

LOTD 83 – Mulgrew Miller, “Thinking Out Loud”, Hand In Hand

This is a great maj#5 line to use to spice up major 7th chords. You can use this line over all major 7th chords and especially to end 2-5-1’s. Mulgrew is just using a major scale but adding a #5 into the mix instead of a natural 5. He then comes down with some other altered extensions and resolves with a common pentatonic pattern.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #83 - Mulgrew Miller, "Thinking Out Loud", Hand In Hand

LOTD 82 – Mulgrew Miller, “On Green Dolphin Street”, Young At Heart

Here is a nice pattern type of line you can use for runs. In the first measure he starts his run off by outlining an F7sus chord over the Eb maj7 chord. From here he plays somewhat of an A pentatonic but is leaving out the root. This gives certain colors over the Dmaj7 chord. The 13 being the B, the C# being the 7, the E being the 9, and the F# being the third.

To finish off the run over the Db major 7 he comes down from the 3rd to the 7th, the the 13th, then finishes off with by landing on the #5 which is a nice touch at the end.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #82 - Mulgrew Miller, "On Green Dolphin Street", Young At Heart

LOTD 81 – Mulgrew Miller, “I Remember You” Wingspan

Mulgrew Miller starts this one of with the Eb7 Bebop scale but quickly defers to some extensions by going to the b13, the note B, jumping to the 3rd, then going #9, b9, Gb then E. In measure 2 he resolves to the fifth of the Abmaj7 chord and plays a diatonic pattern which he then starts on the b7 of the Ab-7 chord. Nice line here.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #81 - Mulgrew Miller, "I Remember You" Wingspan

LOTD 80 – Mulgrew Miller, “If I Should Lose You” Live At The Kennedy Center, Vol 1

Here is a nice solo break Mulgrew Miller uses over a dominant 7th chord. He starts on the #11 and runs down the altered scale until he gets to the second measure. At this point he has a nice skip pattern he uses to get back in to the altered scale at the C natural being the #9. He then finally resolves down to the A D A.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #80 - Mulgrew Miller, "If I Should Lose You" Live At The Kennedy Center, Vol 1

LOTD 79 – Mulgrew Miller, “If I Were A Bell” Live At Yoshi’s Volume 1

Mulgrew Miller made a huge impact on jazz history. He will be forever remembered. Here is a nice line over a 2-5-1.
He uses the same pattern over both the two chord and the five chord. He goes from the b9 to the #9 to the 3rd then back down to the natural 9, b13 and 3rd again. In the first measure he does start with the root though.

In the second measure I also like how he finishes with the #9 and b9 again and resolves down to the fifth of the Fmaj7.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #79 - Mulgrew Miller, "If I Were A Bell" Live At Yoshi's Volume 1

LOTD 78 – Chick Corea , “Tones For Joan’s Bones” Number Two Express

I love how this line starts. It is such a cool sound over a dominant chord. If you’re thinking in terms of F7, he starts on the natural 13, the note B then moves to the b7 ,#9, 5th then root. Its a nice fourth pattern that can be used in lots of different ways. From the root he goes up to the b9 then plays with some chord tones of F7 and resolves to the 3rd of Bbmaj7 in the third measure.

This 3rd measure is pretty standard filled with chord tones, a triplet triad of Bb maj and finally resolving up to the 3rd of Gbmaj.

Probably the part of this is how he contrasts his more “out”stuff with traditional bebop language in the end. Great touch.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #78 - Chick Corea , "Tones For Joan's Bones" Number Two Express

LOTD 77 – Chick Corea , “Autumn Leaves”, Rendezvous In New York

Here is a more a fingering pattern from Chick Corea used in Autumn Leaves. In this line Chick is repeating a 4321, 4321, fingering pattern and selecting certain notes to match up. I would say this line is more about a texture rather than focusing on specific notes. When you get to the level these pros are at its more about release and expression rather than thinking of notes. I’m sure in this moment Chick was expressing whatever he wanted by using any notes that happen to fall below his fingers. He his not purposefully thinking, “Okay I’m going to use the b13, then go to the 9 here.” In order to truly begin to improvise freely you must shut your mind off. Let your soul and heart do the talking!

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #77 - Chick Corea , "Autumn Leaves", Rendezvous In New York

LOTD 76 – Chick Corea , “Matrix”, Now He Sings Now He Sobs

I had to do one more from “Matrix” because you hear this pattern all the time and I’m sure you might have wondered what the heck that was that was being played. Well here it is!

This line is truly just a technical exercise pattern. With some practice you’ll have it down in no time.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #76 - Chick Corea , "Matrix", Now He Sings Now He Sobs

LOTD 75 – Chick Corea , “The Matrix”, Now He Sings Now He Sobs

We start our Chick Corea series today with a line from his famous album , Now He Sings Now He Sobs. Fantastic album everyone should check out.

This tune “The Matrix” is a fast blues that Chick Corea wrote. This line is pretty simple yet sounds amazing. Over the II dominant chord Chick plays a G triad but inserts the b9 before the note G. He then plays the tritone of the V7 chord (C7) by taking this line down a half step over the F#7 chord.

To resolve over the F he plays F major triad chord tones going down the resolves to the 1 with the notes G A and finally F.

Enjoy.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #75 - Chick Corea , "The Matrix", Now He Sings Now He Sobs

LOTD 74 – McCoy Tyner – “Satin Doll” – McCoy Plays Ellington

Here is a nice line from when McCoy was younger and recorded an all Ellington album. In this line McCoy is beginning to develop his sound using his pentatonics but it is definitely not as pronounced as when he is recording with Trane and by himself a some years later.

This is a great line to get you started with the pentatonic patterns. It takes a while for the fingers to get used to these patterns. Enjoy!

jazz piano school lick of the day 74

LOTD 73 – McCoy Tyner – “Pursuance” – A Love Supreme

Here is a nice lick from Coltrane’s famous, A Love Supreme. There is not much going on note wise but McCoy uses some nice re-harms here going to the F#7 then to A7 before finally resolving to the V7 of the minor blues the F7 chord. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #73 - McCoy Tyner - "Pursuance" - A Love Supreme

LOTD 72 – McCoy Tyner – “Blues On The Corner” – The Real McCoy

Everything in this solo is so great it all should be learned. It was so hard to take one selection but here it is. So again, everything going on here and in this album is a combination of hexatonic, meaning 6 note patterns, or pentatonic, meaning 5 note patters. McCoy will take these 5 and 6 note scale and create 4 note patterns from the pentatonic scale or hexatonic scale to derive different sounds.

In this first measure he is getting a minor type of sound over the Bb7 chord using a Db pentatonic. The third grouping of sixteenth notes comes from a B- or B-7 chord which then leads into the Bb7. Once McCoy resolves into the Bb7 chord with his line it appears as if he is using a combination of a Bb triad and a C- triad which gives a sus sound over the Bb7.

From here he uses the root to 5th, to b7 twice then resolves into the 3rd of the Eb7. Crazy line but once you get use to seeing the patterns it becomes a lot easier.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #72 - McCoy Tyner - "Blues On The Corner" - The Real McCoy

LOTD 71 – McCoy Tyner – “Passion Dance” – The Real McCoy

Here is the first line from the McCoy series. Pretty long I know, but it was so great and it finishes so nicely I had to put it all in. I would take it apart into two sections to practice.

All of McCoy’s sound comes from hexatonics. Hexatonics are a combination of two triads two form a certain sound. In this case over the F7sus he is combining an F triad with and Eb triad. You can play the notes in triad patterns or simply just combine them however you like. Everything in this line comes from these two triads except measure 4 in which he starts to play with Gb pentatonic scale. So he simply moves up a half step for a measure to improvise.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #71 - McCoy Tyner - "Passion Dance" - The Real McCoy

LOTD 70 – Herbie Hancock – “The Sorcerer” – Speak Like A Child

So here is one more Herbie line before we start looking at McCoy.

Herbie has so many in’s and out’ to his lines, meaning they are bobbing and weaving all around chord tones. In the first measure he uses a nice triplet phrase with chord tones then begins to target non chord tones which sounds great because it gives off a sus sound over the A7.

On second measure he starts with two roots then from the third makes his way down to approach the Ab-7 chord with a b13,5th and #11, and lands on the maj 7 over the Ab-7 which sounds great. From here he simply moves up the chord tones to an Ab-7 chord all the way up to the 9.

In the G-7 chord he uses a triplet for a trill like motion. These little triplet sets using side by side notes gives off a great texture. One you should isolate and practice. He is going down all chromatically over this G-7 chord and continues down chromatically until he reaches the 5th of the Ab7 sus then proceeds diatonically.

He resolves to the 5th of the D-7 and plays a nice triad movement of an E- triad over the D-7 chord to finish off the line.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #70 - Herbie Hancock - "The Sorcerer" - Speak Like A Child

LOTD 69 – Herbie Hancock – “Witch Hunt” – Speak No Evil

Here is an amazing line from Herbie, played in Witch Hunt. I’m going to do something different here and let anyone take a stab at analyzing this, because I’m sure it can take on a lot of different opinions. Please post your thoughts in the comments. I’m eager to hear what people have to say! 🙂 Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #69 - Herbie Hancock - "Witch Hunt" - Speak No Evil

LOTD 68 – Herbie Hancock – “One Finger Snap” – Empyrean Isles

This line from One Finger Snap is awesome in so many ways I don’t even know where to begin. Herbie is coming from a different phrase so this one starts 5 note approach to the Bb. He has a surrounding half step approach to the minor 3rd, (Db), jumps up to the 5th, then to the 9 and finally the Bb.

He then starts another approach from the 11 by coming down across the b3 to the 9 and coming back up to it then outlining the Bb- chord tones until he gets to the Ab which he holds on an upbeat! I love this sound because it acts as a split second delay in his line which sounds so cool. Listen carefully for this.

After the split second hold he then starts his line back on another up beat, which sounds great! The harmonies he is using here is more of a theory lesson because you might say, “E, G, B, D, F#….huh? That’s not in Bb-?” Well no it is most certainly not. What chord does that look like to you though? Looks a lot like an E-7 chord to me! And it is! It’s important to know where the next chord change is in the tune because now you can see where Herbie is planning on going. Instead of improvising over the Bb- still he is actually improvising over an E-7 harmonies which is a half step above approach to the next chord to come, an Eb-. This where you get those “hip” out sounding lines.

Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #68 - Herbie Hancock - "One Finger Snap" - Empyrean Isles

LOTD 67 – Herbie Hancock – “Seven Steps To Heaven” – Seven Steps To Heaven

Here is a famous Herbie line from Seven Steps To Heaven. To start this one off Herbie comes down a D- pentatonic, then what I love is he starts a the G7 harmonies a beat early by playing a b13 going to the 3rd of the G7 then landing on #9 on beat 1 of the G7 chord. He continues downward and uses the F# as a half step pivot to move back up and he leaves the #9 in the line instead of going to the third which is neat as well.

Over the G-7 he plays all diatonically then slides into the 7th of the C7 and plays with the surrounding chord tones. He continues his extended approach by landing on an F# over and Fmaj7 chord. This works because he is just extending his line over the bar line and resolving in the next measure by landing on the 5th, the note G.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #67 - Herbie Hancock - "Seven Steps To Heaven" - Seven Steps To Heaven

LOTD 66 – Herbie Hancock – “Dolphin Dance” – Maiden Voyage

To kick of Herbie week I started with simple line from Dolphin Dance. Simple yet extremely pretty and elegant sounding to play. Herbie is playing triplets that start on the 11 which resolves to a the E, a chord tone. From there he simply is moving up in thirds diatonically and repeats the same phrase until he lands on a D octave and resolves nicely on the Gmaj7 to the 9.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #66 - Herbie Hancock - "Dolphin Dance" - Maiden Voyage

LOTD 65 – Bill Evans – “Minority”, Everybody Digs Bill Evans

Here is a nice one over a 2-5-1. Bill starts his line on beat 3 in the first measure which I love. He was always so aware of the beats he started and ended his lines on. Definitely something to practice in our own playing.

In this line he goes up to the b5 then continues down chord tones landing on the 11 of the C7 which is part of a delayed resolution which eventually he resolves to the third on beat 3.

He then continues with a triplet to the approach the fifth of the F- and walks down to the third and back up using the maj7 sound of the minor which sounds great.

Finally he slides into the 6th with a half step approach from below which makes for a very nice texture.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #65 - Bill Evans - "Minority", Everybody Digs Bill Evans

LOTD 64 – Part 2 – Bill Evans – “Five”, New Jazz Conceptions

Here is part 2 of yesterday’s post continuing our line. Bill breaks back into a more bebop esque style with the second half of this line by really outlining chord tones and creating simple approaches.

In this measure he approaches the third of the G7 which lands on the up beat of beat 2 funny enough. He then moves to the 5 and approaches the 5th of C7 using the b9, 7 of G7, then moves up chromatically.

In the second measure he walks down tot he third of the C7 then jumps up to the b13 of F7 and plays with the #11 by going and back and forth between the C and B natural.

Overall just a great well constructed line put together.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #64 Part 2 - Bill Evans - "Five", New Jazz Conceptions

LOTD 63 – Part 1 – Bill Evans – “Five”, New Jazz Conceptions

Now here is a serious line. This is some great language to learn over sequential dominants. Meaning, dominants that are resolving down by 5ths.

Bill Evans starts out with a simple triplet line that goes up to the #11 then resolves to the 1 of the B7. From here it begins to get interesting. Bill Evans now continues with 1, b13, 3, Maj7. Now this maj7 is pretty out of place, so I’m not sure if was trying to hit a B natural and jumped to far because this is a challenging technically based line.

In the second measure he plays a nice 3 against four pattern starting with the #11 of E7, then to the 9 and 7. He takes this same contour and simply moves it down a half step and plays that over the A7, using the notes A, F natural, (b13) and C#, the third. Finally he finishes off this measure with a playful 13 going to a 2nd interval rub using the 4th and 5th.

In part 2 this will continue down D7 and G7 chords. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #63 Part 1 – Bill Evans – “Five”, New Jazz Conceptions

LOTD 62 – Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby, (Waltz For Debby)

Here is a famous track by Bill called Waltz For Debby. This line is the beginning line of the 4/4 swing that happens after the 3/4 melody.

This is a pretty simple line but Bill Evans has some nice approaches and movements in this that make it stand out at the beginning of his solo.

For one thing, he continues up the piano in this line and uses the high register which gives it a nice touch.

He is mainly using diatonic notes but it is the way he transitions into the new chord tones with one or two notes that makes everything flow so smoothly.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #62 - Bill Evans - Waltz For Debby, (Waltz For Debby)

LOTD 61 – Bill Evans – Beautiful Love, (Explorations)

We begin the Bill Evans series this week! Bill was such a huge influence on jazz pianists all over. His creativity and endless drive to push the boundaries have inspired so many. He was truly one of the greatest of all time.

I chose this great quarter note triplet line to start off with because it was such a contrast to all of Wynton Kelly’s lines, which we previously just studied.

The line starts off with a great jazz theory concept called a hexatonic patter, which simply means taking two triads to form a scale or a pattern. You can do both to improvise. In this case he starts with an Ab triad then switches to a D triad and lands on the b5 of the E-7b5 chord. The great thing about these triads rhythmically is he begins them on the second beat of the quarter note triplet so they are displaced! Bill was big into rhythmic displacement as you will soon begin to see.

At the end of the first measure, he finishes his line ending on the 9 of the E-7b5 chord which happens to land on the downbeat to the A7. He continues to a root and #9 over the A7, then to the b9, b13, and 3 before landing on the 9 of the D-7 chord. These combination of notes simply come from the altered scale.

The E, (the 9) and the C# are a simple approach to the root which he lands on but adds in two eighth notes and outlines chord tones for D minor in a descending fashion.

Great line to kick of the Bill Evans series! Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #61 - Bill Evans - Beautiful Love, (Explorations)

LOTD 60 – Wynton Kelly, “Kelly Blue” off of Kelly Blue

This is a great 2-5-1 lick over the last measures in a blues. A few great things Wynton Kelly does in this one are his 16th trill, grace, notes and approaches, as always.

In the first measure he chooses to use B natural over the C-7 chord. This note works because it is simply a half step below approach to the root of the chord, the note C.

The second measure has a nice 16th note ornamental trill that slides into a grace note. Very nice texture to work on.

The last measure is a really nice resolution to your phrases. I would practice this in all keys. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #60 - Wynton Kelly, "Kelly Blue" off of Kelly Blue

LOTD 59 – Wynton Kelly, “On Green Dolphin Street” Album – Kelly Blue

Here is the second half of the Wynton Kelly line from #58. After coming from an Eb, he resolves down into the fifth of the G7 and walks down to the third and starts a two beat triplet pattern. After doing the Wynton Kelly series, I’m sure you can see he loves using triplet patterns. You should use them as well! This triplet pattern moves up over the chord tones of G7 until he gets to the 9 and #9.

He chooses to land on a 9 over the C-7 chord, in which he then proceeds to move up the chord tones to C-7 until he gets to the 9. Very similar pattern but without the triplets. The nice change he makes here is he uses the B natural here over a C-7 which gives it a minor major sound in his solo. Very clever.

From that B natural again, he walks up to the 7th of the F7 and comes down three chord tones, Eb, C and A. Always playing lots of chord tones. Something I’m always saying if you listen to my podcasts. He resolves to the root of the F7 using the b9. This is a very nice way to approach the root over dominant 7th chords.

He then finishes up with a 7th and 1.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #59 - Wynton Kelly, "On Green Dolphin Street" Album - Kelly Blue

LOTD 58 – Wynton Kelly, “On Green Dolphin Street” Album – Kelly Blue

There are so many learning components in this line by Wynton Kelly, I had to make it two parts. In this first part, Wynton starts off the line on the up beat of 2 which is a great thing to do. Starting lines on upbeats really intensifies the swing feel. He goes down a half step and then outlines an Eb triad and then lands on the b9 over the C7 chord.

From here he uses the same half step below approach he did over the Eb chord, but on the C7 this time, and drops down to B natural then moves back up to C.

He then starts a four note approach that is intended to resolve to the F on the next measure. He is simply playing with the surrounding notes to F using chord scale above and half step below.

He lands on the F on beat 1 of the third measures and adds a nice little ornamental 16th note texture which really propels his line downward to the notes C and A. You should definitely work on including these on downward and upward lines.

Finally he moves chromatically down from the 9 of the F-7, the notes G and onto the 7th, Eb which will set us up for part 2 of this line. To be released tomorrow! Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #58 - Wynton Kelly, "On Green Dolphin Street" Album - Kelly Blue

LOTD 57 – Wynton Kelly, “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise” Album – Soul Station

Here is some nice easy blues language from Wynton Kelly. All of this is blues scale but notice how he uses some grace note slides to spice things up along with a triplet note phrase. Always look for these characteristics to add flavor to your solo’s.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #57 - Wynton Kelly, "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" Album - Soul Station

LOTD 56 – Wynton Kelly, “This I Dig Of You” Album – Soul Station

Here is a great break to have up your sleeve when you got the first solo. Wynton stays on Bb diatonic but it’s how he uses his approaches to certain chord tones that makes all the difference.

The first part of this line is targeted towards the F, the fifth of Bb at the end of the second measure after the double bar. He adds a half step approach back to the Bb after he gets to the C in the first measure.

Then begins to move up chromatically from the b3 all the way to the fifth. Once he gets to the fifth, he adds another half step approach to the 4th, the note Eb then jumps down to approach the 7th with two half steps, going from G to G# to A. I love this sound.

Then finally his the third and jumps to the fifth and walks up diatonically to the 9 and resolves back to the 1. Very elegantly and smooth.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #56 - Wynton Kelly, "This I Dig Of You" Album - Soul Station

LOTD 55 – Wynton Kelly, “Kelly Blue”

Another great one by Wynton Kelly. I just can’t get enough of him. Besides his melodic content, his swing and rhythmic feel is top notch. If there is any groove for you to mimic with your eighth notes, it is definitely Wynton Kelly’s.

This line is a two measure approach into the 2 chord of a blues. In this case the blues is in Bb, so we have the I chord going to VI chord going to the II chord.

Notice how he starts with an approach note on the downbeat of beat 1 and then outlines a Bb triad down to the fifth to resolve. He approaches the fifth of the G7 chord with a quick 16th note triplet which I love. Really spend some time with this ornamental approach as it will add a lot of flavor to your playing.

Over the G7 chord he walks down to the third, then skips to the b9 and begins his triplet run down into the fifth of the C-7 chord.

Another great blues line here by Wynton Kelly.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #55 - Wynton Kelly, "Kelly Blue"

LOTD 54 – Wynton Kelly, “Freddie Freeloader”

Very famous lick here by Wynton Kelly, coming off the track “Freddie Freeloader”, recorded on the album Kind Of Blue. The simplicity of this line is what really makes it great. He isn’t doing anything fancy here, just focusing on swingin’ his butt off!

In the first measure he starts on the fifth of the Bb7 chord, the note F, and plays a sixteenth note approach back to the F. Just a note here, most transcriptions will write a triplet, but if you listen closely I hear another note being played in there. What do you guys think? Can you hear the fourth note or am I imagining this? (Leave in the comments)

I love his second and third measures as well. He continues his F to Bb motif that he used in the end of the first measure but simplifies it slightly in the 2nd and third measure by adding little grace notes before each phrase and flipping the phrase in the third measure so it’s going up.

In the fourth measure he still resolves to the root again but this time he approaches a Bb triad starting from the fifth and simply goes down the triad.

His LH is great too! It really shows how simply your LH can be while improvising. All he is doing is playing shells, while adding in a little F-7 chord in the fourth measure to bring him to the Bb7 and resolve to the Eb7 which would be in the 5th measure.

Great stuff here all around!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #54 - Wynton Kelly, "Freddie Freeloader"

LOTD 53 – Blues Series, Last 4 measures

All blues scale in this one. The rhythms are the tricky part here. Lots of hand lifts into trills and fast approaches. Work on the line without the trills first. Then once you have got the hang of it, work on each trill individually.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #53 - Blues Series, Last 4 measures

LOTD 52 – Blues Series

This is a fun little two bar line that just uses the major6th blues scale and some grace note slides. Pay attention to how the slides effect the texture of the blues scale. They add tons of flavor to the regularly mundane blues scale that everyone gets sick of. This is how we begin to spice things up! Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #52 - Blues Series

LOTD 51 – Blues Series, 5-8

Technically this line is a little challenging due to the back and forth motion. It will really help you get used to movement back and forth if you work on it. I took a most of the same notes from the recent licks and applied it to this but changed to a Bo7 chord which you will here often. Most of the notes are simply outlining chord tones. We approach the third of the A-7 chord then sneak in the b9 of the D7 chord. Finally we end with a 16th note trill approach down to the third of the G-7 chord.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #51 - Blues Series, 5-8

LOTD 50 – Blues Series, 5-8

I really like this line a lot because of the bebop components in it. We start off with our bebop scale which adds a passing tone in between our 1 and b7 of our mixolydian scale. I’ve reharmonized the 6th measure to be a Bb-7 chord like in a Charlie Parker blues head or Blues For Alice. We land on the third of the Bb-7 and make our way up some chord tones and finally approach the root of the A-7 and the D7, then simple do the same thing down a half step but with a different rhythmic figure. Hope you enjoy this one!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #50 - Blues Series, 5-8

LOTD 49 – Blues Series, The IV Chord

Here is a nice arpeggiated run you can use over the four chord. Not much to it with the notes, but technically there are some cross over that are a little bit tough. The nice texture note we are targeting in this one is the 9, the note C, in the Bb7 chord. We throw this in the run and slide up to it at the very top using some grace notes. Its a very nice ornamental note to use. On the way down we have a 16th note trill then resolve into the third of our F7 chord. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #49 - Blues Series, The IV Chord

LOTD 48 – Blues Series

Alright so this lick is a little bit more complicated rhythmically but if you practice these triplets and one grouping of 5 you will start to have a lot more in your repertoire bank. Theres also a nice two note combination in the first measure that I love using. Melodically not too much going on here. The blues scale in the first three measures. In the fourth measure we approach the third of the C-7 chord then add the b13, #9 and b9 of the F7 chord to approach the fifth of the Bb7 chord. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #48 – Blues Series

LOTD 47 – Blues Series

Here is a nice blues lick over the first four bars. The stand out characteristic in this is the reharm of the second measure. Instead of just making it a dominant IV7 chord or keeping it a I chord. We make it Bb7 then go to a Bb- chord and reflect this change in our line. We could also make it a Bb-7 or Bb-6 if we wanted and reflect those harmonies in our line as well. Besides this reharm there are some nice approaches and resolution to the 7th of F7 on the very last note. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #47 - Blues Series

LOTD 46 – Blues Series

Everyone plays the blues. It is a great structure to learn improvisation over. In this lick I’m adding more rhythmic qualities as you might see. Rhythmic ideas and phrases can really improve your playing. The notes I’m using in this are simple blues scale notes. ( If you are unsure as to what the blues scale is please see my post on the Blues Scale). Over the C-7 to F7, I played one motif in two different places. Starting on the b3 of C-7 then on the fifth of F7. The rhythms are what make this lick nice though, not so much the notes. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #46 - Blues Series

LOTD 45 – Ballad Series

Here is more of a cliche line you here a lot over the D-7. The outline of the chord tones and chromatic resolution to the third of G7. I do really enjoy the augmented sound over the G7. Going up from the third and using the #5(b13) sound. We resolve to the fifth of Cmaj7 on the G.

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #45-Ballad Series

LOTD 44 – Ballad Series

I really like this one. We start off with a nice rhythm here with a 6 note phrase to one beat. We are arpeggiating chord tones, (again), and continuing up until we slide into the root of the G7 chord an drop down an octave. We resolve into the Cmaj7 chord by playing the b13 of the G7 chord, then the 3rd of Cmaj7, and landing on the 9 to finish the phrase off. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #44 – Ballad Series

LOTD 43 – Ballad Series

A nice outline of chord tones over the D-7 then making our way up to the #9 and b9 of the G7. There are our extensions again over our dominant chord. We resolve down to the third of our Cmaj7 chord and finish with a nice little chromatic line starting on the 5th of Cmaj7 and resolving to the 13. The rhythms are a little tricky and so is the fingering, but with a little practice you’ll get it! Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of the Day #43 - Ballad Series

LOTD 42 – Ballad Series

Don’t let the rhythms fool you in this one. The tempo is so slow the 32nd notes are simply ornamental trills. The main idea in this one like lick 41 i that we land on an extension over the G7 chord. This happens to be the b9 in this lick. Landing on extensions in ballads then resolving is a great texture to use. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #42

LOTD 41 – Ballad Series

This is a tasty little lick with a small grace note that makes all the difference. Feel free to phrase this however you want. You can pull or push on the time depending how you are feeling. Also the chromatic half steps going to the b13 of the G7 sound beautiful as it resolves to the 9 of Cmaj7. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #41 - Ballad Series

LOTD 40 – Imaj7 to IV-7 turnaround

This is a nice lick for this slightly on common turnaround. You won’t find in too many places. One of them being “The Song Is You”. Very diatonic but the addition of the sixteenth note approach back down on the F-7 chord adds just enough flavor to make this lick sound good. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #40 - Imaj7 to IV-7 turnaround

LOTD 39 – 1-4-3-6-2 Turnaround

What I love about this lick is the chord tone pattern in measure 2 that moves down a half step. The first measure starts with a nice chromatic triplet approach which moves us in to the F7 mixolydian scale then we come down and land on the 5th of our E-7. Here we start our chord tone outline with a triplet and move down a half step and repeat the same thing. The reason this works is because we are playing over the tritone of the A7 chord. The tritone would be Eb7. Finally we resolve to the 1 of D-7.

jazzpianoschool Lick Of The Day #39

LOTD 38 – Bluesy Oscar Peterson Lick

This lick is definitely more advanced technically than some of the others. Practice the consistent triplets very slowly at first until you get the hang of it. This lick was based of an Oscar Peterson intro I was working on with my student over “On A Slow Boat To China”. In this lick we are using a major blues scale which uses the b3 and natural three to create a sliding motion. The whole lick is pretty much this bluesy type of scale but it still fits very well over all the harmonies that are moving behind it.

jazzpianoschool Lick of the Day #38

LOTD 37 – Minor 1-6-2-5

Minor turnaround can sometimes throw people off. We take on the same principle I’ve taught before. Target the chord tones on downbeats. It’s tricky knowing how to connect the harmonies. We start on the third of our C- then make our way down to the third of the A7 chord. Notice the ornamental triplet we begin with. We add another triplet leaving the the A7 chord and simply go up chord tones to the b9 of A7 and finally land on the 7th of the D-7b5. We now come down our D-7b5 chord tones to the 3rd of the G7 and edn with a sixteenth note outline of the chord tones to resolve on the 1 of the C-maj7 chord.

Jazzpianoschool Lick Of The Day #37

LOTD 36

This lick is based on the turnaround from Lady Bird. All we are doing in this one is stringing together some pentatonic patterns over the maj7th chords. The consistency of the major 7th chords makes it nice for us to play pattern like material over the harmonies. Enjoy today’s jazz piano lick!

Jazzpianoschool Lick of the Day 36

LOTD 35 – I-VI-bVI-V Turnaround

This lick is pretty simple for the most part. The use of a tritone sub in place of the 2 chord is what spices things up in this progression. Instead of going 1-6-2-5 we go 1-6-b6-5. The first measure is simple diatonic movement with some rhythm. In the second measure we are now playing our Ab mixolydian scale to approach the 7th of G7 which we land on beat 3. The note F. From here I added one extension in, being the b13, (Eb), then continue down the G mixo scale and resolved to the third of Cmaj7. Goodluck! Happy Practicing!

azz Piano Lick Of The Day #35 - I-VI-bVI-V Turnaround

LOTD 34 – Diatonic Turnaround

This lick is great for beginner’s over diatonic turnarounds, meaning chords and notes all coming from the same key. On this lick we start on the 3rd of Cmaj7, the note E, then move down to the 3rd of A-7 the note C. From there we outline the chord tones of A-7 and approach the 7th of the D-7 chord, the note C. I threw a small triplet to add some rhythmic variety which moves down the chord tones to the D-7 chord. You’ll find that outlining chord tones is a great tool to throw into your improv. Finally we land on the 3rd of the G7 chord, the note B and continue down diatonically to end on the 3rd of C, the note E, right where we started in the beginning. If you have questions or requests please leave them in the comments section and I will accommodate. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano School Lick Of The Day #34

LOTD 33 – Turnaround Series

Turnarounds can be tough to play over. If you don’t nail them it can sound very strange coming back to the top of a tune. If you have questions or requests please leave them in the comments section and I will accommodate. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #33- Turnaround Series

LOTD 32 – Tritone Sub

This lick is a little more advanced than most that I’ve posted. It is very technically challenging and if you haven’t worked much with pentatonics before the coordination can get a little tricky. But! Practice very, very slowly and anyone is possible of playing this. If you have questions or requests please leave them in the comments section and I will accommodate. Enjoy!

Jazz Piano Lick Of The Day #32

LOTD 31

Enjoy this lick using the tritone of our V7 chord in the key of C. We are replacing the Db7 for the G7 and using our Db7 lydian scale, meaning #11, to solo over the tritone. This creates a very unique sound over a 2-5-1. I then added the lydian scale over the Cmaj7 as well with a over the bar line rhythmic pattern. If you have questions or requests please leave them in the comments section and I will accommodate. Enjoy!

Jazz piano lick of the day 31