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Quickstart Guide to Jazz Piano
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Level 5
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Jazz Piano Lessons: Introduction to Level 5 Curriculum

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Here we are at Level Five, and
this is where we're really gonna
start having the maximum fun as we go.
If you haven't really gotten the hang of
everything in the previous four levels.
Let's make sure that's
all under your fingers,
because at this level we're gonna
start working on modal music.
Where you're given E flat minor and
that's all you're given.
You've gotta hold the audiences attention.
You need to create your
own world of harmony.
You're responsible for creating good
tension and good release and so forth.
And it's a lot easier than you think.
People sometimes get on that thing,
and they see a minor seventh and
they run out of stuff to
play after 45 seconds.
Not with the tools we're looking at,
but the tools we're going to use,
are the ones that we've acquired in
the previous four levels of this course.
So make sure you're current on that,
and we're going to take those and
show you how to go to the moon with those.
We're gonna start with
a discussion of the modes.
Most people are aware that the modes
are part of jazz and so forth and so on.
I'm kind of warm on the modes in some
ways, and cold on them in others.
And we're gonna discuss that.
What they're useful for, and
where they can trip us up as
we think about improvisation.
Again, we're going to use all
the resources that we already have and
we're going to use them in a new context.
This is one of my favorite things
about teaching people to play jazz.
Once they're at the level that you're now
at, is that the light really comes on
here, as to how we're going
to get outside the changes.
Play some really sophisticated stuff,
while always knowing where we are.
We're going to learn
a different style of comping.
This very powerful sound that
McCoy Tyner developed in the 1960's,
to accompany the most powerful saxophonist
probably in history, John Coltrane, and
we still hear it all the time today.
It's also great, this stuff.
You can use it in any context.
You can use it,
if you're playing in a funk band or
something like that, this style of
comping is really great there too.
So we're gonna get into that.
We're gonna experience the idea of
bringing our own harmony
to the party here.
And this is where we take
it really quite modern, and
I left the idea of playing
on the modes to the end.
Because up until this point,
the chords have kinda been helping us out.
It's almost like, you know,
a road map or something like that.
We know that we're gonna get from
Birmingham to, you know, Binghamton, or
whatever it is, and
then we're gonna go here.
This you just get a map
that just says Birmingham.
Where are you gonna go, and why,
and how are you gonna get there?
And I think you'll be really
surprised by the extent to which
we already know this stuff.
It's just unlocking a few keys.
And you'll be off and running, playing
some really great stuff in and out of
the harmony on a modal tune, and you know
exactly where you're at the entire time.
This is the really fun stuff, so
why don't we get started on it?