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Jazz Piano Lessons: “How Insensitive”

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Next chord,
C minor seven.
What can we say about C minor seven?
We did a really thorough look at
that in our Autumn Leaves segment.
They're showing this as C minor
six on the chart, and that's okay.
You can play that,
I just look at it as C minor if I.
If I hear it as C minor seven that's okay.
Don't think I would necessarily want to
go with C minor, major seven on this one.
And the reason why, again,
is that we're wasting our
leverage to the G seven over B.
Be better to hear this coming
We wanna change when we get
to this G seven over B.
This G seven over B is really.
You know, I don't know why they put
this one as G seven over B, and
they didn't put this one
as A seven over C sharp.
This one they wrote more
like I would want to see it.
And it's a G seven altered sound,
so here we are.
We're on our C minor six.
That wasn't
a great line.
So were putting our G seven
altered bop scale on there.
Or, we can just as easily be doing this.
And the reason we'd be doing
that is because, if we were actually
over our G on the bottom,
what that is is, once again,
the flat two minor six pentatonic scale.
So you can see here that I'm not
showing you anything new in here.
This is stuff that we've been working
on in one context or another already.
When we were playing tune-up, for
example, it's
And we talked about, when we get to
that A seven, E minor seven, A seven,
but turning that A seven into an altered
chord, and using these things on there.
And when we get to the G seven,
turning that into an altered chord and
So, It's just a question
of how we look at these.
G seven over B makes that very clear.
I would take your pencil maybe and
add in there G seven alt over B,
and we have a wealth of
resources to work with on that.
Then we have our B flat major seven chord.
We went pretty thoroughly
into that on Autumn Leaves.
To remember that,
the bop scale.
Maybe we're playing a pentatonic on
there,like a little bit
of an interesting one.
All that is right there is our G minor
six pentatonic scale that I'm using,
because it gives us that sharp 11.
And that's our little over under
pentatonic cross over
exercise with a little
approach pattern turn around at the end.
After our B flat major seven,
we're onto E flat major seven.
Let's try something here that again
hasn't occurred to me on this tune but
I'm gonna try it for the heck of it.
That's the G seven over B.
That's the B flat seven.
Nope, not digging.
This is better
as just E flat major seven.
Two five, minor two five.
There, the flat nine is in the melody.
The eighth on A seven flat nine,
it's a B flat in the melody,
and my instinct with that is to
buzz it up with the natural 13.
We've discussed this
triad a bunch of times,
the six major triad on A seven.
It's the G flat triad, and
look at how the melody comes down.
That's a nice chord on A seven
altered too.
It says A seven flat nine on the chart,
I read that as A seven altered,
and then, I'm gonna do that.
As long as the melody's
coming down in half steps,
see if it's cool to do your constant
structure, and that's great.
Just for a second there,
you're visiting an A major seven.
And then you're on another triad,
that's a cool upper structure
triad on A seven flat nine.
So, reading from that bar,
from the E minor seven flat five
I love that, for blowing purposes.
On the E minor seven flat five,
let me show you something that's
something to think about on this chord,
there the obvious.
There's our G minor bop scale.
There's the G minor six.
And my little Chick Corea lick there.
That's about as much of Chick
as I can play accurately.
G minor six
pentatonic scale.
Check this out.
I'm using there something since we're
kind of deriving our minor
seven flat five from
the minor chord above it,
using those resources.
[SOUND] G minor, [SOUND] There's the bop
scale we use on E minor seven flat five.
G minor again.
There's our pentatonic scale that we use.
The G minor six pentatonic.
Let's use what we would use if we were
trying to do a G minor major seven sound.
And that's that D bop scale.
The D seven bop scale
with a flat 13 in it.
Passing tone in this.
what we end up with.
When we put it on our E minor seven
flat five chord is these notes on the B.
And that's really great right there,
if you can outline that for
the listener over the top of this chord,
you sound really quite hip.
The A seven flat nine,
we know what we're doing on this.
Maybe C minor seven, pentatonic scale.
The A altered seven bop scale.
Pointed this one out a couple times too,
let's go with B flat minor bop scale.
That's actually,
I tend to go there more often,
to be honest,
when I'm trying to play a scale over
an altered dominant chord than I go
The thinking again is that whereas this,
the A altered bop scale
It does put the notes
of the chord on there.
And that's great and it sounds right and
you can rip on that.
The B flat minor bop scale
is giving you
hipper notes on the beat, but
it's still got the tri-tone going for
you as you go up on the beat.
So that makes it pretty
obvious what you're doing.
When I see C altered,
C sharp minor bop scale.
When I see E flat altered.
I play the E minor bop scale.
As I'm playing here I think you
can see the merit of really
having these things under
your fingers in a way that,
when you get going on it, it's a macro.
That chunk of scale is under there,
and you're not just hearing this note,
then that note, then that note,
then that note.
You're hearing that sequence.
And the brain is like
more of the master chef.
And the fingers are the sous chefs or
But you're thinking about
the contour of the solo rather than
the note to note minute to minute thing.
It's almost like speaking.
When I'm talking,
I'm thinking in terms of a phrase.
I don't have to think,
let's see, subject, noun, verb.
I'm not thinking in terms of that.
I'm not thinking from word to
word about what I'm saying.
I've done so much talking that
it flows out as a phrase, and
my brain is already thinking about
the next thing coming, on a good day.
Let's get to what's
happening next here.
Our two five E minor seven flat five to
A seven altered comes down to our D minor.
We've got a good wealth
of resources on that.
[SOUND] This D flat 7 13,
think about what that's actually doing.
It's getting us down to C minor seven.
So what it really is,
is a tri-tone substitution for
G altered seven.
So when you're thinking about what
the tensions would be on this,
it would be the same ones
that you would use here.
But they want you over that in the root.
What is going to give us this sound?
Which is essentially an E
flat triad over this tritone.
Still works great,
in fact it works perfectly
over the D flat,
but I wanna play a scale on this maybe.
I don't wanna hear this there.
And, even as a passing tone,
that doesn't sound right.
That's the Mixolydian mode on it.
What if we do this?
Which is something we can
also do on G altered.
This is G natural 13.
That's the E flat 7 bop scale with
the flat 13 so
that we don't have to hear this C
rubbing past there even for
a fraction of a second.
It's the regular E flat seven bop
scale, just with a B instead of a C.
And that gives us
that great texture on top.
And yet,
it still has the seventh in there.
And we're playing this with our left hand
so we hear this as some cool stuff above.
Again, you'll sound really sophisticated
if you're putting [SOUND] that note
on the beat, which is exactly what that E
flat 7 bop scale with the flat 13 does.
That also gives you a nice bunch of
different ways to hook into this C minor
Let's play something
a little more clear.
Close it out with a little
approach pattern down there.
But a lot of this stuff that
we're looking at is very
familiar to us from this cadence.
All that
stuff is equally
cool here over
the D flat.
on the minor
major seven.
There is a look at some of
the things I would consider,
some of the techniques that
I would look at this and
I would think, this is available
to me from minute to minute.
[COUGH] We haven't discussed yet on this
the arpeggiated triads that we would use.
And it's kinda similar to
what we've been doing.
Let's make some interesting
stuff happen now.
Maybe on the D minor nine,
we use that C major triad.
When we get to this,
that's lovely there.
And it's as simple as
anything we've been doing.
[SOUND] D minor,
the C sharp diminished seven is actually
the top part of an A altered
seven chord as we've discussed.
Let's try to get some of our
A altered things on there,
and the first one would be the flat six.
The flat six major upper structure triad.
Let's listen to that and
see if we can get that to fly.
it is.
But the one I actually
prefer is gonna be the six
major triad which is G
flat over A altered.
And if all we're doing is putting
that in the base instead of that,
let's get that to work.
This isn't actually shaping up to me as
the greatest thing, but
as a different way to go.
And while I'm on a G flat triad,
why don't I try something like this?
That's a G flat
altered bop scale.
I'm looking at this chord,
seeing that those notes are in it.
That's a G flat 7 chord.
Gee, maybe that G altered thing will work.
[SOUND] We have a little rub here
with the B, but I'm gonna ignore it.
Or maybe I'll make it a C.
This is the kind of thinking that I do.
And some of it is kind of
a B plus rather than any
kind of a home run, to mix my metaphors.
It's all worth trying out.
And if it flies by on a solo,
sometimes even if it's not something
that you want to take home with
you as the lick of the week or
something like that,
it's worth it to visit something else.
People love to hear you exploring.
And they can tell when they're
listening whether you are tuned in and
pressing forward, or
whether you're kinda playing something
that you have played 10,000 times before.
Bearing in mind Miles Davis' quote that he
considered it a good night if he played
one new thing.
On the C minor six.
Let's take advantage of a C minor six.
In our quest for upper structure triads.
Let's play good strong guide
tones in our left hand so
that the F triad can buzz against that.
Then on the G7 over B.
Maybe that works because a B,
an E flat triad over the G7, which is what
I'm doing, our familiar flat six triad.
Maybe that's okay,
because it also resolves the B flat,
but just listening to it,
I'm not crazy about it.
That's nice though.
No it's actually not
nice because the melody is on an A.
And if I can,
when I'm doing tunes like this, and
I'm thinking about alternate ways to go,
the first option isn't something that
directly clashes with the melody of the
song, cuz he's clearly stating in this.
That he hears an A rather
than the flat nine over our G seven.
So, that one, maybe I might try,
nah, that's not going to work.
If we're going to arpeggiate something on
that let's make it the G triad itself.
Now we're down here to
the B flat major seven.
Let me show you something
interesting on this.
All that is right there is.
We're gonna stick a D triad on there and
then resolve it as though we're
resolving to G minor seven.
Let's get into it.
So maybe you want to try that.
Experiment, find your own
ways of substituting on this.
When we get to the E
minor seven flat five,
bunch of things we could
arpeggiate on there.
A C triad, but
let's go something interesting here.
We've gone to the B flat
seven in the third system,
an E flat major seven in the third system.
Let's freshen this up by playing
it as a natural minor chord.
Instead of the minor 7 flat 5,
that's something you can do routinely.
And again, people hear that, they're
expecting you to come out of this and go.
But when they hear this
you really get their
attention when you do that.
And over that let's play an A triad and
see if we like it.
There's our E flat major seven.
Nice, especially if we're playing
a good clear seventh,
third, and fifth down here.
Listen to
how nice that is.
We're playing the most natural
possible tensions on this,
like the bright ones that
are found in the scale.
And then, we're going to some.
That was our C minor pentatonic.
So we're going from all the way
natural even on the minor chord,
we're playing this nice
bright 13 on there.
And we're getting that dark
jazzy texture on the next chord,
that kind of thing of pivoting
between those two things is,
you know, the more of that we
can find in these the better.
That's a good lengthy look at
the first chunk of how insensitive.
Remember that this is a latin tune.
I think I haven't really
played on it in awhile.
Let's discuss the bottom half
of it in our next lesson and
then I'm going to play it and there will
be a transcription of the playing with
notes about every last
little thing I'm thinking.
You'll see hopefully all of the techniques
we've got under our belt so far go by.
I think when I play this tune so
that we can hear it and
analyze it as a PDF,
I'm probably gonna stick a little bit more
with the natural,
the A triad idea over it,
or a G straight up box scale,
B flat major seven.
We've talked about that a great deal.
This little cadence here,
E minor seven flat five to A seven,
we discussed that thoroughly,
it's up there in bars 13 and
14 of the chart, in the fourth system.
By the way, when I'm talking about
a system, that means one staff basically.
If it's a piano chart then, of course,
there's two staffs per system but
in this chart, there's eight systems and
right now we're getting to the seventh
of these where we see the C minor seven.
We've worked on these in several
different contexts already,
they sure do appear in Autumn Leaves,
which we took a look at.
And we looked at them
up above in this one,
two five, but
then they're kinda sneaking
in A B minor seven in there.
So over this two five,
ordinarily when I see a two five,
something that's going to B flat,
I don't hesitate to alter
up that five chord,
the F seven here,
given where it's resolving,
that it's not going to B flat,
it's going to B minor seven.
And, I don't hear that being
compatible here with our altered
tensions, but maybe
I don't like that either though,
to be honest.
I think the long suit with this
one is playing it straight,
not trying to drop any more
sophisticated harmony on it.
Because it's going to freshen itself up.
When we hit that B minor seven by
going from the key of two flats.
All the sudden we're gonna go into
a key with three sharps in it and
that's a really cool change.
This is so typical of
the writing that these guys did.
Antonio Carlos Jobim and
these other writers who wrote these kind
of Bossanova tunes that Stan Getz
played on so beautifully.
So let's play that.
This B minor seven, in theory,
if I were writing this chart,
I would expect that to be
a minor seven flat five.
Let's listen to the tune.
But since that's what we're expecting,
I think it's actually nicer
to play it as it's written,
and instead of as A minor seven flat five,
there's the flat five,
play it as a straight B, B minor seven.
Then we get to hear that voice resolve in
the next chord and that gives us more
leverage as we head into our E seven flat,
E seven sharp,
their writing is a flat nine and
you can see why it's in the melody.
Check that.
That's also a little bit of an indicator
of where we might go when we blow on this.
We're gonna play the B minor seven
as a straight-up B minor seven.
And now we're on this E seven flat nine.
And right there under our fingers
is that nice,
the beautiful natural six
major upper structure triad.
And we can slide that down.
Anytime you can get away with something
like that.
We had it up here earlier
on our A seven flat nine.
Same idea but it went even further.
This is a little bit of the same here on
the E seven flat nine,
at the end of the seventh system,
right, the fifth bar
from the end of the tune.
And now we end up, that takes us right
to C triad over the B flat major seven.
Let's talk about what we would
put on our E seven flat nine.
They're clearly calling for
an altered chord,
and that sure sounds right on there.
This, so, once again,
our E seven altered bop scale.
Sounds perfect on there.
Our F minor bop scale,
that half-step above minor,
that sounds even better to me.
Maybe a pentatonic on there.
Straight up E,
G minor six pentatonic with
a couple approach patterns in it.
No secrets in there and
we stick that on our E seven
altered chord, our flat nine chord.
As I mentioned, they're practically
begging us to arpeggiate.
To play a D flat triad on there,
or to play,
to sneak a little bit of the melody in
All that was
arpeggiating that D flat triad
to the C triad.
Then we land on a B flat Lydian chord,
voiced maybe I would just
play it as a straight up
C triad over the B flat with
no help from the third.
You can do that too.
That's a great chord, but
there's something a little more stark and
bitonal about not hearing
the third in the there.
Maybe I would try to buzz this note
with that note by voicing like this.
Don't like the doubled Cs, but
that's nice right there.
C triad over just the fifth
on the bottom of the chord.
Nice to take a little break
from some of the denser
chords that we've been learning and
This one.
Maximize your E by putting it
on the beat with a C seven bop scale.
You're probably looking at this and
it's amazing how all
we're doing is deploying
the stuff that we've already learned.
I don't even know if we're learning
any new scales in here, but
we're looking at ways to take all
the stuff that we've gotten going.
And put them on this tune in a way
that consistently pricks the ear
of the listener, you know, delivers some
surprises and some twists and turns.
That's what we're doing here
is just looking at options,
you could play this thing with straight
up bop scales, when I play it I'll
do a chorus with nothing but
bop scales and approach patterns.
And you'll hear that that's great,
it's really more than that,
is just finding ways to bring
an added dimension to it and
we've got several of those
now that are really nice.
Let's go to the A seven altered chord.
[SOUND] We could do the Stevie Wonder
on this one with our moving triads.
Those are all just upper
structured triads.
And as I move down,
I'm changing the inversion.
Now we end up on our D
minor seven again.
There's a really good look at a number
of different ways that I look at this.
It's important to get things like your bop
scales and your pentatonics under there,
where once you set them loose, there, it's
not that they're going to play themselves.
But they're so
comfortable under your fingers
that you are the executive
producer rather than the key grip.
So let's play this tune.
There will be a PDF of it, and
I'm gonna notate exactly which
techniques I'm using where.
And what the thinking is,
how I came up with that idea, and
that will be available as a download.