This is a public version of the members-only Jazz Piano With George Whitty, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Jazz Piano With George Whitty.
Join Now

Quickstart Guide to Jazz Piano
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
30 Day Challenge
Electric Piano & Keyboard Concepts
«Prev of Next»

Jazz Piano Lessons: Practicing Timing Using the b7-9-5 Voicing

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Quizzes
information below Close
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Level 1

+Level 2

+Level 3

+Level 4

+Level 5

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Jazz Piano

This video lesson is available only to members of
Jazz Piano With George Whitty.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Jazz Piano With George Whitty. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Jazz Piano Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
While we have these voicings going,
let's do a little bit
of work on our time and
our groove as we're comping here.
And what we're gonna do is just
a little bit of exercises in laying
these things in with the real
rolling triplet feel going.
And the idea here is very simple.
I'm gonna put up a metronome, and
I'm gonna start with the metronome on all
four so that you can hear what's going on.
We're gonna start by just playing
the third triplet of each quarter note.
So, just, it's, we would be going
We're trying to do that and
just play the third of the triplets and
then we're gonna take this and
make it a good deal more
challenging by focusing
on playing just the second
of the triplets.
And this is an exercise that
Jerry Bergonzi got me into.
It's kind of hard to do at first but
to the extent that it's hard to do,
it's something that we need to work on.
So I'm going to put up the metronome on 1,
2, 3, and 4 first.
Then I'm going to put
the metronome on 2 and 4 and
work on just the third
triplet of each beat.
And then I'm gonna do the same thing and
work on the second triplet.
Maybe we'll put up the track a little
bit and work on it on that as well.
[SOUND] One, two,
three, four.
Let's put the metronome on 2 and 4 again.
And again, all of the exercises that
you can do with the metronome on 2 and
and 4, that's our preferred
way of doing it because
we need to burn into ourselves that
we're playing with a back beat
whenever we're playing any
worthwhile music basically.
And so let's spread it out, the other
thing about putting the metronome on 2 and
4 is that you carry the time
twice as far between clicks.
It's good for
developing your inner clock, so
I'm gonna put it on 2 and
4 and do the same thing.
[SOUND] One, two, one,
two, three, four.
the idea for
If you get it rolling
the right way,
you kind of hear the click
as completing the phrase.
And you know the tendency,
of course, is to wanna rush those.
Try to hang a little bit off
the back of the beat and
get it where it's really just
rolling in the right kind of way.
Let's put the click back on 1,
2, 3, and 4, and
now you'll hear a difference on this.
There's a great Al Jarreau track where
that's basically the rhythm section.
It's off a record called High Crime.
I think it's called You're
the Only Luck I Need.
Something like that.
Really, it's just a killer,
swinging, kind of funk track.
Where that's what they
are doing with the rhythm.
So let's put the metronome back on 1, 2,
3 and 4, and I'll show you the next thing
we're gonna do, which is to play every
second of the triplets on each beat.
And this is challenging.
[SOUND] A one, two, one,
two, three, four.
One, two, three,
one, two, three, one,
two, three, one, two, three.
One, two, three, one, two, three,
one, two, three, one, two, three.
One, two, three, one, two, three,
one, two, three, one, two, three.
One, two, three, one, two, three,
one, two, three, one, two, three.
One, two, three, one,
two, three, one, two,
three, one [NOISE]
One, two, three,
one, two, three,
one, two, three.
That's the idea there with that.
[SOUND] Next thing we're gonna do is we're
gonna put the metronome only on 2 and
4, and here's one where you
really are gonna have to
get a very comfortable roll
going on your triplet feel.
Because now you're bridging across,
you don't have that,
the 1 and the 3 click in a way to
kinda help you recenter yourself.
Very good exercise for, again,
as we're doing it,
learning to do it while just relaxing.
Getting our head into a space where we're
not going, one, two, three, one, two,
three, like this.
Just kind of feeling it.
The slower you do it, if it gets very much
slower than the tempo I'm gonna play at
it here, the more difficult it gets.
But again good,
let's make this a challenge for ourselves.
And it's a challenge to do it, and
really intuit this, rather than
have to apply our whichever side of
the brain is the technical brain to it.
Let's put the metronome on 2 and 4 and
see if I can still do this
after all these years.
[SOUND] Again,
here comes the metronome, and
I'm thinking in my head already.
[SOUND] You can hear
that I'm brushing there.
the idea
with it.
And when you really get it in the pocket,
I could feel that I was a little bit
left and right of it from time to time.
But when you really get it in the pocket,
you feel like the click is
almost coming from you.
It's like you, but when it's
all swinging together and it's effortless,
that's where we wanna be at with this.
The more you do it,
the more that happens, and
the more everybody in
the band will appreciate it.
We do a lot of playing with a click
as a modern keyboard player.
I mean, I do a lot of jazz gigs.
I do a lot of funk gigs.
I do a lot of stuff with a click.
I play on pop sessions, and so forth.
And one day I was at a session for
a great guitar player named Drew Zingg.
And Vinnie Colaiuta was playing drums,
tremendous drummer and great clock.
Will Lee was playing bass.
And I walked into the studio and I could
hear whenever they started the track there
was just this click just banging
out of these headphones.
And I figured out that it was
coming from Will Lee's headphones,
Will the bass player.
And so the next time I saw him, I said man
you've got a lot of click going in there.
And he says yeah, I feel like I have
a responsibility to help toe the line.
Which was to say,
some musicians including me,
we more or less let the drummer have a lot
of clicks so that he's keeping the time,
keeping things centered.
And then I don't want that
non-listening element in my phones,
so I have it in there but
it's not dominant.
And Will helped change my mind.
That if we're all playing
with the drummer and
the drummer has to stay with the click,
that's not as nice as all of us
working with the non-listening
Otherwise known as the click.
So getting where you can
really play metronomically,
whatever happens on the gig
the time is gonna happen.
But you should be able to
toe your part of the line.
Let's play a little bit with
our F blues track, at 110 BPM and
we'll do these same exercises there.
I'm gonna do a chorus playing
it on the third triplet.
And I'm gonna do a chorus playing
it on the second triplet.
One, two, three, four.
That is difficult.
I felt like I was a little to the left and
right of it sometimes,
particularly toward the end.
But again,
that's what we're working on here.
So practice that, do it on the slower,
I mean if we play it on the 80 BPM, for
example, you'll find you can actually
count through it more easily.
Let's do a pass on that, just doing
the second triplet of each quarter note.
One, two, three, four.
it's a
little bit
easier on
the slow
You might notice that, once again,
I'm thinking with my left hand,
I'm filling in a little bit but
I don't think I played an actual note
except maybe on a couple down beats.
But I'm,
This is what I'm thinking in my head.
I do a lot of that.
I notice a lot of other piano
players do the same thing.
I see Herbie Hancock often, it's a way of
kinda centering and grounding yourself.
But you don't want to be busy down here.
Eventually the bass player
will throw his bass at you.
So that's a really good time exercise.
A really good groove exercise.
You might have noticed I'm doing it with
my eyes closed trying to focus in on it.
But I'm not letting it
become one of these.
I'm not letting myself get uptight.
The whole effort here is to get where
you can do that consistently, relaxed.
So, there's our lesson on the time.
It's a really good one.
You can do it, I mean,
you can play a melody with it too.
Going back to our track.
I'm using
that we just
those things.
And you can hear that there's just,
with those really elemental tools,
a little grease and a lot of dynamics.
You can make an amazing amount of music,
I don't want to say, the easy way.
But the principle is very simple.
So, work on that, and
let's get our time in the pocket.
The next thing we're gonna study is
something that I was doing a little bit of
as I ended this lesson.
The pentatonic scales.
And this is something that's
a really great way to kinda open up
your soloing sound of it.
So I'll see you for that one.