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Jazz Piano Lessons: Practicing Upper Structure Triads

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The perfect vehicle for
us to start integrating these voicings
into our vocabulary is the blues.
For one thing,
you get yourself a nice long interval,
sitting on the same dominant chord.
And another one when you go to
the four chord, then you go here.
Then you get your choice of what to do
on the chord that we find in bar ten.
And for the purposes of this,
since we're working on these upper
structure triads, [SOUND] I'm gonna
kinda mostly go with our altered
voicing as expressed as
the A flat triad over C there.
What I wanna do here is get
a little bit more harmonic
movement going in our blues
by comping like this.
One, [SOUND] two, [SOUND] a one,
[SOUND] two, three, four.
In that fourth bar,
take your natural voicing,
which is our D minor triad over F 7, and
now change it, which basically just
means moving those two voices down there.
And you can see that we've taken something
that was really static for four bars and
we've added another change in there.
And for my money,
that kind of multiplies the harmonic
interest in the tune by a factor
of two over that four bars.
gotta be a little more accurate
with my sustain pedal.
Let's just have some fun
with this on our blues.
I may mix in a
like that, too.
And, we'll get these integrated,
there are PDFs of the blues changes
in all 12 keys and of course we have
play along tracks in all 12 keys.
And this is a simple enough,
elemental enough thing that you should be
able to find it in any of the 12 keys.
So if you're going to start exploring
the other keys with the information that
we're working with,
this is a great place to start.
Play it in D7
like that.
Let's play it in F, though, for
now, and just have a little fun,
and then we'll carry on.
our G minor
There's our A flat over C7.
B flat 13.
G minor 7
a little bit of chromatic action in there.
There was a quick shot of our F altered
again with our D flat triad over it.
A flat over C.
Starting to really sound
like jazz here now.
More of our diatonic
triads moving there.
All I did there was take it and
go chromatically up into
the A flat triad over C7.
triadic movement in there.
Don't forget that these voicings are also
great one handed, really,
just down in here.
is a look at
playing those
things on
the blues.
Next thing we're going to do, we're
going to do a two five cycle with these
because that's the most common thing
of course in jazz and we want to,
we want to be able to get at
these right in the line of fire.
We're also going to look,
before we do that we're going to take a
look at a quick upper structure triad for
the minor chord, which is
a variant on our minor nine chord.
Then we've got these things that
we can go with on our altered, or
shape it as a natural dominant chord.
And then there's an upper structure
triad for our major seven.
Let's look at those next.
The next thing we wanna do is put
these on our two five cycle and
we're gonna go ahead and
practice the two fives to D, C, and
B flat cuz then we can use
all this stuff on tune up.
But before we do that we're gonna take
a look at a quick upper structure triad on
a minor chord and a quick upper
structure triad on a major chord.
And that way,
we're kinda getting this nice, strong,
cohesive sound on every
chord in the cadence.
And we'll look at that next.