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Jazz Piano Lessons: Put it on the Blues

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[MUSIC]
Let's put what we've learned
at this point on our blues progression.
If you look at the PDFs,
you will see that there's one
called blues in F-sharp, I think.
And it's a really simple progression.
We're gonna play one that's a little
bit more of a be bop oriented blues,
and that means that we're gonna
play [SOUND] four bars of F7,
a [SOUND] bar is a measure if
you're not familiar with that,
then we're gonna play two
bars [SOUND] of B flat 7.
Then we're gonna go back to F7 [SOUND] for
two bars, and
then we're gonna play this part is
the part that's more of a bebop idea.
G minor 7 to C7 and then back to F7.
The part that makes this a little
bit more of a bebop thing.
A traditional blues
[SOUND] would hit the C7.
Then it would go back to the B flat 7 and
back to the F7.
But I wanted to put this in there.
It's called a 2-5-1,
because this is the two minor chord.
It's built on the second
degree of our F scale.
And then the five chord is the C,
which is built on the C, the fifth
degree of our F scale, and
one of course is F seven.
We are gonna.
We're probably about eight lessons,
something like that,
away from starting to
work with our left hand.
But for now, we're gonna do.
There's a great pianist named
Lenny Tristano, who used to spin lines for
a really long time without ever
touching anything with his left hand.
And he also got really adept at playing
bass with his left hand, and kind of not
really comping with his left hand, which
means playing the chords underneath here.
For now, we're just working on our lines,
and let's talk
about a few of the different techniques
we can use when we put this on the Blues.
There's all this stuff
that we've done already.
There's this one.
[MUSIC]
Play your scale fragment.
Intersperse it with an approach pattern.
Don't feel like you have
to play an unbroken line.
[MUSIC]
Leave some spaces in there if you want.
Start on different
scale degrees
[MUSIC].
Mix up the approach patterns in there.
Play two in a row if you like.
Pick some target notes and
just hit them with the approach pattern.
[SOUND] All that is is four
approach patterns in a row,
with a little bit of thought
put into spacing them out.
Then you hit the next chord, and
when you get to the next chord,
[SOUND] sometimes your bop
scale will flow right into it.
If I'm playing on F seven.
[MUSIC]
That's a valid way to do it.
But for now, maybe a good hook into it,
and the reason that I call these approach
patterns a kind of hinge, is cuz whatever
you're doing here on your F seven,
when you get to the B flat seven,
pick a note and approach it.
[MUSIC]
And right there,
you're into your B flat seven, and
you're positioned to play your bop scale
in sync with the chord tones
on the beat all the way up.
Then the next chord we hit is the G minor,
[SOUND], in its most elemental
form it's like this.
Then we hit C7.
And the same rules apply.
Now in our last lesson when I just sort
of having fun on the G minor business,
you could hear that sometimes I
was choosing to play the scale,
but I was playing it not as
[MUSIC]
I might.
Play it like this
[MUSIC].
Something like that.
All that is, is the G minor bop
scale spread out a little bit.
We're going to cover some
very quick techniques for
getting you some spread cover.
[MUSIC]
It's that kind of thing that will put some
air and
a different kind of lift into your lines.
But for
now we can make an awful lot of music.
Just kinda having fun and
using our imagination on the F7 Blues.
So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna put up
that swinging, 140 bpm Blues in F track.
And I'm just gonna have some fun.
I'm gonna try to keep this to
the stuff that we've learned so far.
And then I'm gonna go back and
I'm gonna play the really, really slow one
just to show you the potential for that.
Playing that slow is a little
more difficult, but it's a very,
very blues thing to do that
you're gonna do on the gig.
I guarantee it.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So let's have some fun on the F7 blues,
trying to keep it to
just the bop scales and
the approach pattern,
one, two, three, four.
[MUSIC]
There,
with
just
a couple
of
little
exceptions,
was
a nice
solo
composed
entirely
of the
tools
that we
have,
by
articulating
differently,
accenting
differently,
dropping
notes.
Which is all stuff that you really,
I acquired it,
by listening just
tirelessly to the masters,
Oscar Peterson,
Herbie Hancock, Wynton Kelly.
Gene Harris is a favorite,
McCoy Tyner for all the power and
the glory of all that stuff that he
plays is an incredibly swinging pianist.
In our list of recommended listening,
I'm going to recommend some records but
one in particular, McCoy record.
You have to hear him play,
In My Solitude, a Duke Ellington tune
with art Taylor on brushes on drums is
one of the swingingest piano tracks ever.
And it's really, we have a good command
of good notes on these things, and not
it's really just up to your imagination.
We're going to continue to expand on these
techniques, and we're going to do a blues
in E, so that we start covering
a little bit more of the sharp keys.
But in the mean time have fun with this.
Figure out all the different
ways you can play.
I mean you can do this
with your Bop scale,
1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.
Couldn't be simpler than that, but then
[MUSIC].
You know, modify it a little bit.
Put it on your B flat bop scale.
And just have fun with that.
You're improvising and
the sky is the limit.
[MUSIC]