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Jazz Piano Lessons: Practicing Upper Structure Triads on II-V-I

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We'd like to be able to practice or
to play, have access to upper
structure triads throughout the course
of any cadence of our two, five, one.
Let's say [SOUND] we're going to D here.
[SOUND] That's a nice, well spaced,
well structured sound [SOUND].
And then [SOUND], there's our
triad that we've been working on,
the F [SOUND] over A seven,
our altered, upper structured triad.
And then down here [SOUND] for
once we [SOUND] hit the one,
we have an upper structure triad for
this too.
Let's look at what these are, they are
really quite simple as with our previous
upper structure triads, these
are collections of extensions or tensions,
if you prefer to call them that, and they
are put together in the shape of a triad.
Which has survived throughout
history by being a really
strong shape with a lot
of integrity to itself.
Here's [SOUND] what we're looking
at on the upper structure triad on
the minor chord.
[SOUND] There's our guide tones,
it's very simple,
it's a major triad based
on the 7th of the chord.
it's giving us the nine and the 11,
we're not gonna freak anybody
out [SOUND] with 13 yet.
Right [SOUND] now we're just
working with nine and the 11.
And if you look at this,
it's just a step away.
It actually,
as it's constituted here is kind of two
upper structure triads,
the G.
And then the D.
This is a really upper structure [SOUND],
if you voice it like that somehow,
you get a little bit more
of a bitonal flavor to it.
But that's a nice [SOUND] way
to go on your minor chord.
You can shift [SOUND] easily
into that variant of [SOUND]
the altered chord [SOUND],
guide tones [SOUND], F triad.
And then on the major chord,
we're gonna use a major
triad based on the fifth
of the chord [SOUND].
Maybe you don't even need
the third [SOUND] in there,
that's with the third in there [SOUND].
This one of course incorporates
both of the guide tones are in the chord
now, because the C sharp is part
of our A triad that we're using.
All we're really adding to the party
here is the nine and of course,
we're adding the strength
of the triad structure and
no matter
which inversion you choose you've got that
integrity going.
Keep it a little bit close
down with your guide tones.
Let's practice, where I'm gonna put up the
two, five, let's go to B flat, let's say.
The two, five one track to B flat,
and we're just gonna employ,
[SOUND] these upper structure triads and
there are a lot more of these [SOUND].
On those cadences I'll start with the two,
two, four, the one with two bars
of C minor seven, two bars of F seven and
four bars of B flat major seven.
Let's just kinda party for
a little bit with these.
Here's our basic harmony.
F seven, B flat major 7.
[SOUND] Here's the upper
structure triads.
What I did there, of course was play the F
13 natural and then go to the altered.
I'll do it again here.
Here's the 13th voicing.
My upper structure triad,
the F is appearing here [SOUND]
kind of low in the voicing.
There's the upper structure
triad on the B flat.
Look at that voicing,
went to a B flat seven there for a minute.
Little more chromatic action in there,
it's the simplest thing in the world.
Up and down a little bit,
just everybody by a half step.
That's how we'll practice these things.
Looking at them on our tune up
cadences [SOUND] it's D minor,
I mean D major over E minor seven [SOUND].
And then F over A7 to give
us our altered dominant.
[SOUND] And there we have our D
seven with our A triad on top.
Next we have [SOUND] our D minor seven.
Drop yourself a C major
[SOUND] triad on there,
guide tones are still contained and
then [SOUND] let's cluster it like that.
Every time you can get that going
in the middle of your chord,
you get a bonus point.
The half step interval [SOUND] and there's
our G triad over our C major seven,
and finally we've got what we
were just working on [SOUND].
A B flat triad [SOUND],
to our D flat triad
to make our altered F seven chord.
With an upper structure triad
on top [SOUND] and boom,
there we are with our F triad over B flat.
Now we've really got a nice, dense sound
going on every chord in that tune.
We've got our E flat seven
that sneaks in there on us.
Put yourself a B flat major triad on that.
There's our natural 13 voicing.
There's our B flat major seven, and
we've got
the notes of an F triad contained in
there, and we're really in business.
I'll see you for the next lesson.