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Jazz Piano Lessons: Another Take on this 2nd Cadence: C Minor Modal

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As we mentioned in the last lesson,
we're going to continue with this
very simple idea of substituting
an altered dominant to one cadence.
But now we're going to take and
over this chord, over our B flat altered.
Instead of playing our bop scale,
we're gonna play this,
which is the C sharp
minor pentatonic scale
which gives you a collection
of really nice notes
to sit on top of your imaginary,
your mental B flat seven altered.
Look at how out this is though.
It's almost like a polar opposite
of what our base harmony is
which is C minor seven,
we've got these notes going.
Kind of none of which belong on there.
But that's what makes it so great is that
we take it and we really stretch it.
When you're playing on a modal piece
it's a little bit like watching
maybe a gymnast on the parallel bars,
let's say.
We don't want to watch her get
up there and sit on it, and
we don't want to watch her just
kind of pivot from side to side.
We don't want to see anything simple,
we want to see her go flying up about
ten feet and do three flips and
a half, a twist and we can't believe
she's gonna stick the landing.
There's all this tension
created when she goes up.
And when she actually comes back and it's
beautiful, and she grabs the thing and
then she's smoothly into the next thing,
that's thrilling to watch.
It's the reason that we watch.
It's the same thing when you're
blowing on a modal piece, in that
we want to get way up off the bar and
make people kind of go like this.
And then when we bring it
back in really smoothly,
we're able to take them on this great
trip with a lot of tension release.
Can also relate it maybe
to a roller coaster.
You don't get on a roller coaster to
just go straight down the track for
a quarter mile, and then get off.
You need the experience of being
taken around all these twists and
turns, and you can't believe that
you're gonna survive that one.
And it's the dynamic of being taken out
of your comfort zone and returned to your
comfort zone, however temporarily,
that makes that experience fun.
Exact same thing that we're working
on doing here when we find ways to
get outside the harmony on
a minor chord for five minutes.
Let's play with this cuz
this is a really good one.
This is one of my favorite places
to go and from time to time,
I'll put my left hand in but as opposed
to the first cadence we stuck in,
the one dominant seven altered to the 413.
This doesn't sound good over this.
I might stick it in there just to help
center us as to where we are, but
I'm going to be doing the same
pattern here one, two, three, four,
one, two, three, four,
B flat seven altered.
E flat major seven.
I'm just gonna stick with that.
Of course the track is gonna be
bumping away here on C minor modal.
Let's turn it on and have some fun.
[SOUND] One,
two, three, four.
[SOUND] There's our basic tonality.
What I'm
doing there is
really looking
at these C sharp
minor pentatonic
scale as what I'm
imagining going
over our cadence.
So once again,
what we're looking at here is
B flat altered,
[SOUND] B flat major seven.
If you can
hear what's
on there,
it's going
quite a ways
outside the
but it's
just like
a bebop
At tempo,
it kinda tends to work better
because we're not hanging
outside the harmony as long.
To get back to our rollercoaster allegory,
if you're on a rollercoaster and
it's making a sharp turn to the right,
you're gonna go like this.
But if it's not going at a certain speed,
you don't experience it as
yourself swinging out like this.
You're just leaning over like this.
So, this is something that you
wanna work on at a slower tempo.
But when you get it up more at tempo,
that's when it really starts to fly.
that stuff
is right
there is
these two
The C sharp [SOUND] minor
to C Minor [SOUND],
essentially with some approach
patterns mixed in there.
I used to ask Michael Brecker sometimes,
we'd be listening to a playback
of a show or something like that.
And I'd say, what are you doing there?
And Mike would never give me
any more help than to say,
I don't know half step up, half step down.
And there's never been anybody as
sophisticated with this stuff as
Micheal Brecker.
But look at what we end up with here.
We've found a way to get a half step up,
[SOUND] and
then go our half step back down,
back into the key.
But we're hearing it clearly, because
that's just standard issue bebop.
I'm actually making better lines now than
I was when the track was playing.
Those are some nice lines in there,
really simple idea though.
B flat [SOUND] altered to E flat as
the upper structure of C minor nine.
Work on this stuff,
because this is really the keys to
the kingdom when it comes to
playing on a modal piece.
And there's one that basically you
can justify visiting any other
pentatonic scale by
substituting something on it.
But you can make a lot
of hay out of this for
a pretty long time between
the first one we looked at.
C altered seven [SOUND] to F 13.
And then [SOUND], just those two
little substitutions combined with
the other things that we have.
We've got
that's a minor bebop scale.
That's a minor sixth pentatonic scale
with one little approach pattern in it.
the minor-major seven on there.
Another great way to go.
[SOUND] Maybe you visit C altered and
you just play on that.
You don't resolve it.
Or hang out on
that for four bars.
These are all places to go visit
that'll prick up the listener's ear.
And in the interest of
getting as much tension and
resolution as we can over
a really static thing.
I mean you look at the chart C minor
seven, it's on you to figure out how
you're going to generate that tension and
resolution that makes jazz so satisfying.
And these are really great
tools to start with.
Next thing we're gonna look at is
a different style of comping that's really
very simple but very powerful sounding,
and it fits well on our modal tracks.
So, I'll see you then.