Ballads can be extremely difficult. More so than fast tunes because they are SO slow! You are much more vulnerable to stand out with your mistakes and insecure playing. Luckily, this podcast will help you gain confidence to play ballads with a group, comp for singers or other instruments playing the melody, and improvise like a pro yourself. Enjoy!
This is a great topic that someone requested on the podcast page the other day. Learning to improvise is one thing. Learning to comp with your LH while your RH improvises is a completely different story. So in this podcast I go over 5 key points that will help you practice your LH comping with your RH improvisation. I know you’ll love it! Enjoy!
When you’re first learning jazz it’s hard to get that jazz sound that gives tensions and sounds like we’re not playing like a baby. It might sound to you like you’re playing is sooo beginnerish still. Well here’s how to change it. By learning the altered scale we will immediately give our playing lots of tension and color by using the extensions in this scale. Enjoy!
As I’ve said before jazz is like speaking a language. We know that person in our life that won’t stop talking. They just talk and talk and talk. It’s never fun to listen to them. The people who take their time and say something meaningful are the ones to listen to. We want to be those people on the piano. It’s extremely easy for us as pianists to play and play and play because we have a percussive instrument. We can just bang away on the piano and not reazlie we’re not leaving space. In this podcast I’ll teach you how to focus your mind so you can develop your solos and say something meaningful.
Ear training is highly sought after in jazz because much of the music involves using our ear to hear progressions, licks, movements and much more. The better ear you have, the better player you will be. So how exactly do we go about improving our ear and helping it to hear movements and notes better. In this podcast that’s exactly what I will tell you.
To make our solo’s sound good we need to be able to connect the chord changes smoothly in our right hand. This means hitting chord tones on down beats without having to think about it. The ability to play these chord tones on down beats as the chords are changing will allow our solos to reflect the harmonies perfectly. We want to practice this very slowly at first until we build up our spontaneous flow. This is not something you will be able to go fast with. If you do you will hinder your learning of this skill set.
Jazz information has always gone about jazz piano improvisation as if it is some trip to outer space. Well you have to explore yourself in order to find out how to improvise. I couldn’t disagree more. Jazz improvisation in the beginning is definitely a step by step process. In this episode we move on to step number 2, connecting the chord tones with notes from the major scale.
My good friend and also Dr. Samuel Griffith shares his insight about jazz. He has traveled and played in many different cities with many different artists. When it comes to jazz pedagogy and playing he is the man to talk to. I was learning so much even as I was interviewing him. I strongly suggest you get a pen and paper to take notes because this interview is filled with nuggets you can use in your playing! Enjoy!