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Cello Lessons: “Lester Leaps In”

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[MUSIC]
Lester Leaps In,
which is written by Lester Young,
the saxophone player
in Count Basie's band.
This is going to be our first
preparation for rhythm changes.
Rhythm changes is one of the core
parts of a jazz musician's repertoire.
Pretty much the jazz, blues and
rhythm changes are the two most
common chord progressions in jazz.
Rhythm changes, it actually comes from
George Griffin's song, I Got Rhythm.
[MUSIC]
It's got a lot of One-Six-Two-Five chords.
But we're not gonna get there just yet
cuz it's really fast.
What makes rhythm changes stand out,
often, is the B section.
So the form is A, A,
B, A, and the B section
is always a circle of fifths
progression starting on the sixth.
So in Lester Leaps In,
the sixth of B flat is D.
So the B section has a D7 to a G7,
to a C7, to an F7.
That cycle of four dominant seven
chords are just like an epic, epic
four chords of music that you are gonna
be spending a lot of time practicing and
improvising them because they are a big
part of the jazz musician's language.
For Lester Leaps In, we have a pretty
simple melody, it just keeps repeating.
[MUSIC]
And actually,
this melody works over just a B flat vamp.
[MUSIC]
So we're not gonna dive
into the really fast chord
changes of rhythm changes yet.
Those would sound like this
[MUSIC].
We're not quite gonna get there.
We're gonna prepare ourselves for
the changes with Lester Leaps In cuz
it has the same form of rhythm changes.
So the A sections, the A, A, B, A, the
A sections are just gonna be on B flat.
And then that B section's gonna
go through the circle of fifths.
So practice improvising four-bar phrases
and getting used to the structure
of this tune, and this will prepare us for
rhythm changes later.
The backing track I performed this with is
a really fast rhythm changes that actually
is throwing in a lot of chords, and it's
actually changing the chords each time.
You can actually pretty much just
ignore that, and just think B flat, and
really try and improvise in
a jazzy language over that vamp.
But do try it with that backing
track cuz it's super fast and
the feel is so strong that it's really
gonna guide you in your jazz feel.
And it's about time we started playing
jazz really fast, because that's
a big part of developing as a jazz
improviser, is getting faster and faster.
So see how well you can do with
this fast backing track, and
our preparation for
rhythm changes with Lester Leaps In.
[MUSIC]