Try This Bebop Line Over the Chord Changes of “Donna Lee” – TTT #17

“Donna Lee” is a contrafact melody by Charlie Parker based on the chords of “Back Home in Indiana.” It has become a standard tune called at jazz jam sessions, and can often be challenging to improvise on due to the blazing fast tempo. Try this line over the chord changes for the first 4 bars […]

Shed These Drop-2 Diminished Voicings in all 12 Keys – TTT #16

Diminished chords can be tricky to navigate sometimes when comping. These voicings are sure to help you find the sound you need, they come from a 4-part diminished 7th chord with the second note from the top placed an octave below, known as “Drop 2.” Transpose them into 3 keys and you’ll have all 12! […]

Use This Chromatic Pattern for Virtuosic Lines – TTT #15

This chromatic pattern is used by jazz piano greats such as Bill Charlap, Herbie Hancock, and more. It is a tradic phrase with a chromatic half step at the beginning of each group of 3 notes. Try it over your favorite solo sections! CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION If you have questions or suggestions […]

Spice Up Your Blues playing By Using Added Notes – TTT #14

We can learn from the blues keyboard masters such as Gene Harris, Jimmy Smith, and Oscar Peterson by incorporating added notes into our blues playing. Add notes on top of your melodies by doubling intervals of thirds, fourths, and sixths. Check out this lick and try playing it over a blues in a key of […]

Find Freedom With this Fourths-Based Lick – TTT #13

This lick is based on melodic ideas from Eddie Harris in his tune “Freedom Jazz Dance.” There are many possible permutations and combinations of fourths and third intervals to create interesting melodies. Use this lick as a starting point, and see where you can go from there! CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION If you […]

Create Modern Chords with this Cluster Shape – TTT #12

This cluster shape is made up of a minor second stacked with a major third. Great pianists such as Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, and Brad Mehldau all have implemented this shape into their playing. See what you can do with it to create a modern chordal sound in your music! CLICK HERE FOR THE […]

You Can Sound Like Bill Evans with this Simple Ornament Trick! – TTT #11

Bill Evans was known for his impeccable technique, largely due to his classical background. He would often implement ornaments in his improvising. Here is one you can start using which sounds much harded to play than it looks! CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION If you have questions or suggestions for a Lick Of The […]

Have You Ever Heard of “The Sweet Scale?” – TTT #10

The “sweet scale” is also known as the “Kansas City Blues Scale” because many players from that region used this sound in their improvisation dating all the way back to the days of Charlie Parker. You can think of this scale by playing a traditional blues scale and starting on the 3rd scale degree. Try […]

Try This 3-6-2-5 Lick With Chromatic Passing Tones – TTT #9

The 3-6-2-5 progression appears very often, especially over common forms such as rhythm changes. Try playing this lick over the chord changes and transpose into all 12 keys! CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION If you have questions or suggestions for a Lick Of The Week you would like us to do, please leave them […]

Testify With these 3 Sets of Gospel Voicings – TTT #8

These voicings are authentic to the gospel style of piano. You’ll hear hard bop pianists like Bobby Timmons using these voicings all of the time. Try out these sets of I chord, 4 chord, and 5 chords in the key of F major to achieve a true gospel sound. CLICK HERE FOR THE NOTATION […]

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