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Jazz Piano Lessons: Approach Pattern 1

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Let's discuss our next little
piece of melodic invention here.
These are called approach patterns,
they're very simple, they're little
three note combinations that lead to
a target note, and there's four of them.
And we're gonna look at the first one
now which is kind of my favorite one.
And when you hear it you'll probably
recognize it if you listen to a lot of
bebop you will probably
recognize this little
piece of information from
a lot of great bebop solos.
What it lets you do, it's kind of like
a pivot point or a hinge maybe And
it's real simple,
it's just these three notes.
The C being our target note,
just for now, to illustrate.
It's two notes from above,
to one note from below,
and then you end up on the target note,
and, for now,
and in general the target
note is a chord tone.
So what this lets you do, one, two, three
You can hear that now you've got
your chord tone on the beat and
you're ready to proceed with your scale or
whatever comes next.
So that's the first approach pattern.
Generally, it's two chromatic
notes from above to
a chromatic from below, so
we're looking at [SOUND] G,
[SOUND] G flat, and
then E [SOUND] target note is F.
So two chromatic steps from
above the target note.
[SOUND] To one chromatic step from below,
then you hit the target note.
If you check it out,
I'm going to play this approach
pattern to all four degrees
of our F seven chord which,
again, F, A, C, and E flat.
And you can see that,
that already kind of has a lot
of element of a jazz line to it.
These have been part of the jazz
vocabulary since the 1930s.
They're a kind of connective
tissue if you will.
The way that I generally finger them, it
sort of depends on where I'm going because
in an ideal world, I would end up
with something where I'm ready.
I'm already in the process of
fingering the next part of the line.
This is something that takes a while
to develop cuz it's gonna vary
according to where you want to go.
As a rule on this, I like to go four,
three, two, one, and
then again up here for the next one,
four, three, two, one,
same thing here, four, three, two, one.
And here it's maybe a little bit
different, four, three, one, two.
And if we look at how we
would continue on from there,
And then
A lot of jazz is
fingering on the fly.
And figuring out how you're gonna
get out all those notes, and
being prepared with good fingers for
the next thing you wanna play is
something that takes a lot of developing,
but for the first bunch of these I'm
going to give you my fingering on them.
Just as a way thinking about
landing on your target note.
Again a cord tone, with something that
positions you to go somewhere else.
You can see that I'm
varying up the fingering there
according to where I want to go.
The first bunch of exercises on this,
though, are pretty consistently the same
with the fingering, and
I'm gonna show you what that fingering is.
There is a PDF of these approach patterns.
I think all four of them
each have their own PDF.
So have a look at that,
and in our next lesson,
we are going to get into ways to practice
these to get them under your fingers.
Cuz what we eventually wanna end up
with here between just
our F7 bop scale And
the approach patterns is a line like
I actually snuck in our second
approach pattern there too, but
you can hear how with just those
two things we are off and running,
making very nice sounding,
correct sounding bebop lines.
I don't wanna go too far with correct be,
because Jazz is a little
bit about incorrect, but
you can hear that those sound like
they're in the pocket, they're in sync.
You'll notice that with our
approach patterns, 1 2 3
that is on the B, and part of what we like
about the approach pattern is that it does
for a second, it puts attention thing.
Something that wants to
resolve on the beat.
And then the very next beat you're back
down to your target note, the chord tone.
And that little bit of tension and
release is really just a classic
part of the jazz vocabulary.
So on to our next lesson where we're
gonna work on some exercises for
this stuff, and
we'll keep putting it together and
before you know it you'll
be playing in F-7 blues.