Whenever we dedicate time to internalizing musical material, it is ideal to choose structures that are applicable to many common jazz situations. This lesson focuses on one such structure that I have affectionately labelled the crunch chord. There are two main reasons this voicing is so versatile. First, it contains 2 tritones, so it can be used on 4 different dominant chords. Second, it contains many different smaller chords within its overarching structure. The relationships between these chords within the voicing create a unique harmonic texture that is useful for harmonizing any melody of your choosing.
When people talk about the origins of jazz, the name on everyone’s mind is the creator of ragtime piano, Scott Joplin. With such standbys as “The Entertainer,” “Sugar Cane Rag,” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” he came up with the makings of blues and swing which would eventually become jazz as we know it today. But […]
Getting Started with Playing Solo: When you’re first starting off, playing solo piano can be a daunting task. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. As jazz scholars, we are often taught to play with a band before truly exploring the art of playing by ourselves. This is probably because when you get right down to […]
What are shell voicings? Shell voicings are LH (left hand) voicings for piano which form the foundation for any third-based harmonic accompaniment. They can be found in the repertoire of great pianists such as Bud Powell, Sonny Clarke, and Phineas Newborn, to name a few. Where do they come from? These voicings define the harmony […]
Last time we looked at some orchestration techniques and the main challenges involved in playing solo piano. If you haven’t checked that out yet, click here to read that first. Today we are going to tie it all together by looking in-depth at a solo piano arrangement of Bill Evans on “Here’s That Rainy Day”. […]
There are always those tiny details that instantly improve the sound of someones playing. This episode is about the little secret movements players put into their playing to add flavor and spice!
We’re releasing the brand new Solo Piano System on January 23rd at 9am. In this podcast I cover 9 steps taken directly from the course that will improve your solo piano and build a solid foundation for your solo piano future.
Playing solo piano is the type of thing that may literally make you want to go into Crate & Barrel with a baseball bat and smash everything to bits. (Don’t tell me you’ve never thought of doing that.) Well maybe not, but still you get the idea. IT’S FRUSTRATING! How do I know? Because […]
We’re releasing the brand new Solo Piano System on January 23rd at 9am. This podcast will finally answer the question “How do I arrange my hands while playing standards to achieve a beautiful lush sound?” With these 7 steps you’ll be able to arrange any standards of your choice. The solo piano system will go into much more depth and answer all the “But what if this happens” questions.
I think we can all agree that Oscar Peterson is a beast. He was my main inspiration growing up so I’ve learned and studies his style…a lot! In this podcast I go over 11 specific characteristics in his playing that make him sound the way he does. This one is a doozy! Enjoy!