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Jazz Piano Lessons: Practicing D Minor, G7 & C Major Bop Scales

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Let's do a quick pass here,
practicing on our little funk
track on these new bop scales.
I'm just gonna do an example
on our D Minor 7.
Of the different ways that we can have
some fun with this as we practice and
make it an improvisational exercise
instead of just up and down the keyboard.
So I'm gonna start it up and I'll kinda
talk about what I'm doing as I go.
If you remember from our comping lessons,
when we got to the minor chord,
we're starting out,
we had a thing with our triads
that we were working with,
where you start out with this.
And then you move it up a whole step and
back down and
create yourself a little melody.
And you
can do that.
I can sit there all day practically
doing that kind of thing.
Little chromatic alterations back and
So maybe as you're practicing you get
yourself in the groove with this kind
of thing.
Lets play it
really slow.
Again, I'm playing a little piece of
the scale, and then I'm making a little
something out of it at the end, just kinda
tying it together into a melodic fragment.
Let's do some approach banners now.
Space it out, so that when you're ready
for the next thing,
you'll let the track breathe.
A real masterpiece of this
in kind of the great tracks
of our time is Herbie Hancock
playing on a tune called Thrust.
No, it's actually called Butterfly
from a record called Thrust.
He plays so spaciously on that,
he's kind of sustaining chords,
he's playing really
interesting notes on there.
But it's so spaced out.
It's like three notes per bar or
something like that.
And the tune is actually
a pretty slow funk tune.
You might wanna listen to
that to get some ideas.
He's also, really, he's laying back so
far on that against the time.
There's another tune from
a George Duke record.
That I would have to look at what
the name of it is even though
I've heard it three thousand times.
I learned it off of vinyl and I didn't,
but another master of making
a tremendous statement.
Putting a lot of weight in his notes
by where he puts them in time.
Let's play a little bit more on this and
then I'll see you for the next lesson.
Let's do some more structured things here.
We're gonna play our D minor bop scale.
Let's do it from the different degrees.
That's the three.
And on the way down let's
play a little motivically,
but go down the scale.
Get our left hand in there a little bit,
working on our D minor nine
voicing that we've talked about.
There's our guide songs,
third seven and nine,
an this is where you can
really have some fun there.
Because you can phrase against it,
for example.
Double chromatic thing
coming up into it there.
Those are some different ideas for
ways to have fun with this
stuff as you practice.
So, work out on these.
Get them really well under your fingers,
especially get your left hand under there.
I would voice our G9 voicing down here.
We're just above the threshold where that
starts to sound like a bass note, and
then C sits right in a perfect register.
This gives us an opportunity to,
rather than sit there just mindlessly
grinding away on scales and exercises,
we're developing our improvisational mind,
our own sound
What's unique to us, we're having fun,
is really the most important thing.
And we're integrating
our left hand in there.
So have a good time on the funk track,
and I'll see you for the next lesson.