Jazz Piano School, Ep 5: Wynton Marsalis Ballad Phrasing

Brenden Lowe2 Comments

Ballads can be tricky to play over because they are going so slllowwwlllyyy. What do you do to spice things up? Listen to the way Wynton Marsalis phrases his lines in this ballad recording I took when I was in college at the New School University. It’s an amazing texture to have available to use. Instead of holding out long lines with his horn, he actually plays very simply short lines and ends them with a short articulation. It’s as if he is talking through his trumpet and putting periods at the end of all of his lines. I hope you enjoy this. If you have questions please feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer. Enjoy!

Wynton Ballad Phrasing

  • Short articulated lines
  • Play faster lines over the time.
  • Don’t get stuck in the quarter note.
  • Play around with rhythmic phrases over top of the slow and steady pace.
  • Release to some longer held notes to resolve

I separated the phrases because he is playing out of time slightly.
ballad-phrasing

Here are the changes to the song!
Marsalis-Tune-Changes

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2 Comments on “Jazz Piano School, Ep 5: Wynton Marsalis Ballad Phrasing”

  1. Dunja Wildt

    Beautiful piece indeed!

    I just started listening to your podcasts and think with the written down transcript it is very interesting and helpful. I am trying to match the recording and the transcription. How do I find the right place to start playing the Eb-7, Ab7…. Do they play through the transcript only once?

    ( I am still working on beginner lessons between lesson 4 and 9)

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