Solos are more than just notes. How you play those notes matters!

Hey guys, Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge, I want to welcome you to the confident improviser podcast. This is episode number five. And today, we’re gonna be talking about articulation. And how solos are more than just notes, and how you play those notes matters. All right now before we go too far, let me just tell you, this podcast is a great companion to my competent improviser program, which is found at jazz edge. If you happen to be listening right now in November 2020, we have our black FRIDAY SPECIALS going on. So if you want to become a jazz edge member, now is a great time to get in because you can get in and lock in legacy pricing, just go back to jazz edge comm For more information, there is also going to be a video replay of this. So you can get the replay inside of the confident improviser course at jazz edge, right. And then you can also get the podcast episode over at the confident Alright, so today’s topic, articulation, let’s get right into it. So what is articulation of the piano articulation is basically legato and staccato. That’s pretty much what we have at the piano. So if we play legato, if I just take my C minor five finger pattern, right so legato usually means that we do not play the next note or I’m sorry, legato normally means we don’t lift the note we’re on until we play the next note, right. So you see I’m holding the note down until I play the next note. If I don’t, then I get that kind of say here how there’s a break in between. Now staccato is when we played the, the note short and detached, right. Another way of thinking about legato as well as smooth and connected. staccato is short and detached. So this would be staccato. Now what’s important about when you play staccato like this, is it helps especially when you’re practicing, you know, in a live situation, it’s always going to be different, but when you’re practicing, it helps to really pull out those notes using that grab technique. Right, so you don’t want to just push it down on the notes, you want to actually grab those notes rather than pushing down. Same thing with legato as well. Grabbing the notes. Pull them more toward the first thing you should do is just practice playing legato and playing staccato. So legato

and staccato.

Now, those two articulations are really important for us. Because if we play everything smooth and connected, well, it sounds smooth and connected all the time. What I’m gonna do is I’m going to pull up the I real pro track here, right? And now just listen to what happens if I play like even a simple baseline right that we’ve been doing. And everything is smooth and connected in the right hand.

doesn’t sound bad, but now listen to it this time. sounds a lot better that time sounds at least more interesting to my ears. And that’s because there’s a mix of legato and staccato articulations. Right. So how do we practice this? Well, the first thing is, just try practicing the legato and staccato just on the scale as is. The next thing you could do is try doing that simple baseline that I was just doing in the left hand, right, the C, the E flat, the F, the G, and then using your C minor five finger scale, which is C, D, E flat, F and G, try playing legato and then try playing staccato. Right sometimes there’s a lot of benefit just to you mentally saying, hey, look, this is what I’m going to focus on. And just by focusing your attention on it, you’re able to really increase your skill level on it. Sometimes that’s really all it takes. Sometimes it just takes practice, but you have to focus your energy on that. So we say okay, let me go through it. I’m going to play the bass line and I’m going to think like just playing legato.

Now, you might say well wait a second when you get to those end those phrases like what I do, right? Is it that note that I just ended on isn’t that staccato? No, because I’m not attacking it as a staccato note, this would sound staccato. Right. So if I’m just ending on like an eighth note and there’s an eighth rest after it, well then it just sounds short, but it’s not a staccato articulation. Alright, so that was legato. Now I’ll go through it, I’ll try doing the same thing staccato.

Just try to get

the feel of what it’s like to play all of those notes short and detach. Now I don’t have to play every single note short and detached because then that would sound like

you hear I get some legato notes in there, right. But for the most part, I’m playing most of them

staccato. Most of them are being played short. Now, where do you really want to get to, in your practice, is mixing them together, right? So you have some short notes, and you have some long notes.

Now, when you’re doing that, obviously, rhythm is a piece of that as well, isn’t it? You should definitely take a look at the confident improviser practice guide that I did for rhythm. There is a rhythm practice guide, a scale practice guide and an accompaniment practice guide. Right. So those are three great practice guides to to take a look at. They’re all available within the confident improviser course found the jazz Alright, so now that you could do that, what are some other ways in which we can practice legato and staccato? Well, the other thing that you can do is take just a regular scale, like let’s take maybe the C major scale. This is obviously all legato, right. There we go. This is the capo right. content. It makes sure that when you play legato and staccato, you’re also thinking about your dynamics, right? Remember we can play soft, we can play loud, like

so I started staccato, loud, and then staccato, soft, legato, loud, then legato soft. So playing around with those different articulations like that you can get some really interesting sounds. Another great scale to work on is that chromatic scale as well, where you’re just going to each individual note, right, so you can do that.

Alright, so what I did there was I played one octave staccato one octave, legato, right, so here we go, we start staccato. Right, there we go. legato. staccato, legato, right, I can keep going and going and going and go. Alright, so you can move in between the scale, legato and staccato. So really, the, as you just kind of pay attention to this and you do a little bit of practice on this, it’s going to start to get into your playing naturally, I don’t want you to really try and force this into your playing, I really want you to just kind of like practice it and let it organically get into your playing. Now, let’s put on the play along track. I have the play along the real pro track up here for exercise number four. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to put the bass line on as well, right, so the bass player is going to play and in this time in the left hand, I’m going to use those rootless chords that I’ve talked about the rootless chord for C minor, which is playing a three note chord. Sometimes we could do a four note but in this case, I’m just doing three notes and playing a flat, B flat and D that’s the third the seventh and the ninth. For F minor. It’s E flat, a flat and C. That’s the seventh, the third and the fifth. g seven I’m playing f, b and d sharp or E flat, that’s the seventh, the third and the flat 13th. Right. So for first of all, let’s just, in fact, let me move this down a little bit slower. I’ll put it down to 80 beats. Oops, there we go. First thing, you just start with the chords, right? Just hold the now

then I can bring in my minor five finger scale, and then think what Gods price the cost. Oh, we got legato, we’ve done staccato. Now let’s mix between them. So again, utilizing legato and staccato, it’s just one more way that we can create a little bit more expression with what it is that we’re playing. Ultimately, that’s what we’re looking for. Right, we’re looking to be able to express ourselves fully at the instruments. Now how I like to think about articulation is it’s really kind of like enunciation. So you know how some people they’ll talk and it was like, like, the tongue might be kind of lazy and whatnot. And it’s just, it just, it’s kind of hard to understand what it is that they’re saying and everything because there are their enunciation of their words is not very good. Whereas sometimes you can get somebody who’s going to talk like this, and it’s there really enunciating every word. And that’s a little bit too much as well. So you want to find that balance, right? You want to make sure that when you are quote, unquote, speaking at your instrument, that you’re not being lazy with what it is that you’re playing, you know, in your improvisation, but that you’re also not overdoing it with the articulation. Remember this, your scales, your at piano essentials, all of that is really important, like working on that technique is really important, because that’s what builds up the strength and dexterity in your fingers for you to be able to do all of this articulation work. Okay, so now, we’ve talked about playing rest and other stuff in the podcast. Now we’re just kind of bringing in articulation. So hopefully what you’re realizing is that, okay, here’s another concept. Let me bring this concept back to the piano. But then even before you bring it back to the piano, if you happen to be listening in the car right now, throw on some jazz, you know, listen to another jazz pianist. How does Keith Jarrett articulate versus Bill Evans versus online Jamal versus Thelonious Monk versus been Paul, like, you know, you’ll hear that the articulation that players will have, some of them will be a little bit smoother, some of them be a little bit more aggressive, right, you know, you might find that that the, it’s a little bit more short and detached and, you know, in one player, whereas another player, it’s a little bit more smooth, and they’re like, play a little bit more legato, and, and connected. Remember this as well, is that rhythm really kind of plays a big part of this as well, we never really take out one, you know, one concept, you know, we could focus on a concept when we’re practicing. But, you know, we don’t really just take out a, you know, a concept like, okay, now it’s articulation. Okay, now, it’s like your chords, like when we improvise, it’s all being put together, you know, the rhythm, the articulation, the notes, you’re choosing the accompaniment, all of it is, you know, playing and resting. All of those elements are combined together in improvisation at the spur of the moment, right. But we want to obviously practice them separately, so that we get better at them. Right. So anyway, now, I want to remind you that if you have questions, members can join me on Thursdays at 1pm. Eastern, while the competent improviser courses active again, this is November 2020. I’m not sure when you might be taking a listen to this. But the course is going to be active for well over a year. So we’ll be well into you know 20 21 The course will be active all through 2021 we got a lot of stuff to talk about a lot of, you know, a lot of lessons to, you know, to to go through, right. So be sure to join me on Thursdays. If you are a member. Remember the link is just right in the menu area where it says live training. Alright, so anyway, that’s it for me. Thanks, guys for joining me and I will see you in the next podcast episode.

Play & Rest

Hey guys, Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge. Welcome to the confident improviser. This is podcast episode number four. Today we’re going to be talking about play and rest, and how to add space in your solos to make them sound more interesting. Now, this podcast is best used as a companion to my confident improviser program. Of course, it’s optional, you don’t have to you like, you could just, you know, listen to the podcast as it is and get a lot of great information out of it. But if you really want to see the replay video, and be able to get the rest of the sheet music and all of that, just go back to the confident for more information on that program, okay, so playing and resting. First of all, let me do this, I’m going to pull up the the sheet music from exercise four. And let me just play the baseline for you Just so you can hear it again. Alright, so this is our baseline, it’s much more active right now. I’m playing it maybe a little bit faster than you would play it. Don’t worry about the speed right now. It will make sense, you know, when we start talking about playing and resting, okay, so I’m gonna play an example for you right now. And just kind of like, just listen to it, and see how it feels. Right? Here we go.

So now, there’s the first example. Let me play the next example now. And you tell me which one you like better, here we go.

I said which one sounded better to you to your ears? If you said number two, I would agree with you. Because number one, I was just playing and playing and playing and playing and playing a lot of notes without any rest. And it gets very difficult for the listener to pay attention to that and listen to that. Now, a little side example here, in our everyday lives, we’ve all met somebody who just talks and like somehow able to talk without ever taking a breath, right? Just you know, and it’s very difficult to like really listen to them, and absorb the information because they’re throwing so much information at you so fast. Okay, so same thing happens with improvisation. So now, playing and resting comes in. Okay, so now let’s talk about this play. Rest concept. I’m going to improvise again. And I’m going to utilize the play rest concept in my right hand. But now I want you to listen to the left hand and tell me what happens with the left hand. Okay, here we go.

So, you hear in the right hand, I would play a little phrase or a little lick a little mode of motif, whatever. Okay. And then I would pause a little bit, but the left hand did what did it stop? Or did it keep going? If you answered that it kept going, you’re absolutely right, it kept going. So that left hand is steady, steady, cornets, keep the baseline moving, the left hand does not stop. So when we’re talking about playing and resting, we’re talking about the right hand resting, not the left hand. Now, you might wonder, oh, whoa, wait a sec, you’re doing you know, baseline down there. What if you were, you know, playing along with the band track. Alright, so let me put the band track on here. Let’s Let’s play along with the I real pro track and let’s use rootless chords in the left hand. Whoops, let me put the bass track on so you can hear some bass as well. Okay. All right. So let’s do that again. And let’s bump this up. I’m going to right now to 80. I’m going to bring it up to 100 beats per minute.

Alright, so you here in the left hand, comping chords, while the band The bass in the drum track keeps going on. And then the right hand, I’m adding in some space to my solo, right. So again, when we play in rest, the left hand can keep going. The left hand can keep playing. It’s the right hand. What we’re talking about. Alright, so now let’s dig into this play rest idea a little bit more and really talk about what does it mean to play into rest, right. So first of all, the typical way of resting is literally just take your right hand off of the piano. So if you’re just take your hand out right

off the piano.

So I’m just moving my hand right off the piano, and I’m literally not touching the keyboard, the piano keys anymore, and I am providing some space there. Another way of resting is to hold a note out. So now listen, this.

Should you hear him holding out those notes. Right? Right, I’ll hold that note out. Right, that provides some rest as well. Again, what we’re trying to achieve here is we’re trying to give the listener a break for their ears, right, that’s really all that’s going on, you’re trying to give them a break, then you’re trying to separate the improvisational ideas, okay, another way of thinking about is you’re separating out the sentences, right, so you put a little bit of pot, you say something, you get to the end of a sentence, there’s a period there, you have some space, and then you say something else, okay? Otherwise, you get to the end of the sentence, and then you go right on to the next sentence, and then you go right on to the next sentence, and it becomes just overbearing, and too much. Now, where most students have difficulty is resting enough, for some reason, that space, just like creates this anxiety and nervousness for a lot of students. So one way of getting accustomed to that is to really force yourself to rest for a while, right, so you do something like this, let’s go back to playing the baseline. Okay, and I’m literally, I’m just literally gonna go right up the five finger blue skin, and I’m just gonna hold that note out.

And then what I’m going to do is, I’m going to hold that out for two times through the baseline. So I’ll play the bass line again, all by itself.

Now come down,

hold the baseline out again. Now in that example, right there, the three examples that I just played, right, they notice I played over the C minor measure the first measure, but the second measure that has the F minor and the G seven, I didn’t play there, again, I still kept baseline going, right. So what you want to try to do when you’re practicing your improvisation, keep the left hand steady, whether you’re playing a baseline, or you’re playing chords, in the right hand, try to add in some of that rest. Now, this podcast is not going to be the complete be all end all on this subject, I have a lot more lessons at the jazz edge site. I’m playing and resting so you can if you want some more examples, but this just kind of like hopefully gets the idea percolating in your brain that, Okay, I need to rest a little bit and not just keep playing stuff. Okay. All right. So let’s put the play rest stuff off to one side for a second. And let’s talk about some other stuff that’s kind of wrapped around the play and rest. One thing I want to go back to is what we talked about in the last episode about target notes, starting targets and ending targets. But I also want to talk to you a little bit about motif development, right? And we’ll get into this in another episode, right, but something for you to just kind of start to think about, and and this plays into the play rest as well, is taking the same idea and playing it more than once.

Typically, what

students will do when they’re improvising is you’ll get something like this. Maybe there should be some rest. Right? So all of that’s fine, right? There’s this kind of some rest in there. Maybe it’s a little bit busy. But there’s some rest in there. There’s some ideas that are going on. But the challenge is there are too many ideas, and we never come back to an idea and repeat the idea. So something that I want to do Kind of like slip in right now so that you could start thinking about it. And we can talk about it later in more detail is the idea of playing something, and then repeating the exact same phrase again. So sounds like this.

So you see how I had that phrase? And I repeated that three times. And then the third time that I add, added something to the end of it, right? Okay. So I could take that phrase, repeat it three times. Can I repeat it more than three times? Sure. But it starts to sound like a little starts to sound boring, starts to sound a little too much. Okay? Can I repeat it less than three times? Sure, you can do that as well. But sometimes if you just repeat it twice, right? Or repeat it once, I guess, if you play it twice, sometimes it doesn’t really like, you know, latch into the ear of the listener. So sometimes it’s good to play it like three times, right? So if I do.

So now, do you hear there how I repeated a phrase, sometimes I repeated it more than three times. But sometimes I’ll also take just a piece of a phrase.

So this right here, I’m playing F sharp and G and crushing them together. So that little idea right there in the beginning of my lick, I repeat that, but the rest of the lick is different. Okay? So it’s not like you’re going to take exactly the same notes and play the same notes every single time three times in a row. No, you could take like the first part of a lick. Repeat that, and then change the rest of the lick. Now, what I’d like you to do is listen to some improvisation, right? Listen to Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Brad mehldau, Keith Jarrett, any of these great improvisers, or pick your own pianos that you like to listen to, and listen for repetition, in their improvisation listen for when they play an idea. And when they play it again, but they kind of morphed it a little bit. Keith Jarrett is a great example that he loves to do that we’ll take an idea and it just kind of builds and builds and builds on that idea. And it just morphs and builds, it’s kind of like a snowball, you know, you know, at the top of the mountain, but then turns into like this giant snowball, by the time it gets down to the end of the mountain. All right, so that building, building, building, building, really, really cool to listen to, and a great technique in your improvisation to really make your improvisation sound much more sophisticated. These are the techniques that make you go from student improviser to semi professional improviser to professional improviser, right. So that Semi Pro improviser or the the better sounding improviser knows to add space into their solo, they know to repeat an idea and to utilize that repetition in their solo so that it really just kind of like locks in the idea for the listener. Okay, so the last thing I just want to talk about, is that idea that we talked about in the last podcast, sorry, podcast episode of starting notes and ending notes. So when I have a phrase, okay, when I improvise, okay, I’ll play this bass line. Again, I’m going to improvise. There are multiple phrases that I’ll play, right, so I’ll just count them out as I do them. So here we go. 1234 for.

Right, so I had four

different ideas there that I played, or four different licks that I played for phrases, for motifs, for motives, whatever definition you want to have for whatever you want to call it. The idea is that I played four separate ideas. Okay, four separate licks, four lines as I like to look at it. Each one of those lines has a starting note and an ending note. You could also So think of them like sentences. That was like four different sentences. One after another, there’s a, the first word in the sentence. And there’s the last word in the sentence. And just like in grammar, we know that, right? Like, we’re not going to end the sentence, right? Like, we got to finish it out for it to make sense. So, like with our sentence structure, and with language, and with grammar, we know there are certain ways in which we have to start a sentence and in which we have to end the sentence. And we know that good grammar tells us what those rules are. Well, the same thing happens with improvisation as well, the starting note, and the ending note for right now is very important. For right now, this does not have to be forever as you get better than you could change that around. You could use your ears and all of that in theory and all that good stuff. But for right now, if you’re a beginning improviser, it helps if you start on a chord tone, and end on a chord tone. Okay, the starting chord tone is wherever you’re starting. So if I don’t start until I get to the F minor chord, well, now the starting chord tones should be part of that F minor chord, right? f a flat, C, E flat. So right, so here, when I got to the F, I started on E flat. And then when I ended on the C, I ended on G in the right hand, okay, so E flat is the seventh of F minor. g is the fifth of C minor. Okay, so I start on a chord tone, whatever chord I’m on for that moment. That’s the important thing, right? So if I started the beginning on C minor, well, then I’m talking to C minor chord tones, I’m not talking the G seven chord tones. Because I haven’t gotten to G seven yet. I’m talking about C minor, which is C, E flat, G and B flat. Okay. So I start on one of those chord tones, I play and let’s say I’m going to end my line on the F chord. Alright, well, then I’m going to end on one of those F chord tones, or if I ended on G, and then one of the G chord tones. Now, at first, this seems like a lot of work and a lot of attention to detail, doesn’t it? But it does get easier. And I also will tell you this, just try to keep it in mind. But if you don’t hit those chord tones, it’s not going to be the end of the world. It’s not like the entire improvisation is going to sound completely terrible. It might sound a little bit weird, right? But it will, it will work. If you just keep going. I will also tell you this, the ending chord tone is more important than the starting core tone. I’m going to start my improvisation on a B natural on a C minor chord, obviously, a bad choice, right? I mean, it’s just like, it’s not going to sound good. But I’m going to end it on a G, okay, and then I’m going to end another g when I get to the G chord, so it’s like that, that’s gonna sound good. So take a listen.

I kind of hit the G when I get back to the C. But anyway, you get the point like it sounds. Now what’s interesting, I’m going to tell you that that’s kind of interesting. And this that be natural kind of works with that with that C minor because it really is kind of like from your harmonic minor melodic minor, I don’t want to get into all of that theory. But it kind of gives it that interesting, almost a Middle Eastern kind of flavor to it, right? Kind of like, you can kind of have that that soundscape going on. Right? So it’s kind of cool. I love playing that in my play. So let me pick a different note. All right, let’s pick one that’s not gonna work. Let’s say F sharp. So when I play F sharp on that C minor, right, it doesn’t sound all that good. But now listen to what happens if I resolve it to G a little a little ways down down the road here.

So I went up to Jean and I went down to see so you hear the F sharp that sounds tense in the beginning. But eventually, I end the line on a note that’s going to sound less tense and it sounds like it fits better with the chord. That’s really what’s going on with those starting and ending target notes. So the ending target note is really the most important one listen to what happens now if I end my line on an F sharp.

Whoops, sorry. It just doesn’t sound all that good constantly ending on that F sharp. Listen now. When I had that baseline going, you kind of covered up a little bit, let me play it with the with the band.

Right. So if I just keep playing that F sharp over and over like it is really tense. And if I end on that F sharp, it sounds really tense. Now I’m going to start on the F sharp again with the band, and I’m going to end on a chord tone. That’s going to sound nice. So hear me on the F sharp.

So I’m playing F sharp, G, B flat, C, E flat, right? So I’m just kind of walking up that C minor chord, but starting on the F sharp, which again, sounds really tense. So the ending note is the one that really has the most power, the starting one, you can get away with it being more tense than the ending one. Okay? So again, just something else to consider when you’re practicing. And when you’re improvising. Now, I want to leave you with this this last thought, and that is, when you practice, this is like you slowed down, you think about these things. You say, Okay, let me do play rest. Okay, let me think about my starting notes. My target notes, let me think about my core does that data, right, there’s all of this theory and work that you’re doing because it’s practice, it should be work. But when you actually go to just improvise, just play. Don’t worry about all of that other stuff, okay. And that, in and of itself is a skill to learn to like step away from the practice room. And now you’re just simply playing, it’s just like, okay, just play. And then whatever happens, happens, just let it go. If you make a mistake, you just keep going. And literally, it’s only a half step away. If you play F sharp and it’s a good, it’s a little too tense, go down to effort up to G. And guess what, it’s gonna sound good. Alright. So just remember when you’re playing, play, when you’re practicing, practice, a lot of times students get into thing in which what they’ll be practicing or quote, unquote, practicing, only to be actually playing. So when you’re practicing, make sure you’re practicing and when you’re actually playing. Just have fun playing. Alright, so anyway, that’s it for me. Thank you guys for joining me today. Remember, every Thursday, I answer questions in my confident improviser live training. Okay, the link is right on the jazz edge site, you do need to be a member of jazz edge in order to join in. If you happen to be catching this before Black Friday, it’s this episode would be coming out before Black Friday, just know that we are going to be having some black friday specials, which if you’re interested in getting into jazz, that really will be the the best time I like to be completely upfront and honest with students. The pricing for Black Friday will not be any lower right? You will not find any lower pricing for jazz edge, right? So the Black Friday pricing, we’re going to be going back to our legacy pricing. If you want to get in that will be the time to get in. So be sure to get in. You will not see pricing any lower than that, right. So if you’re looking for the absolute lowest price to become a jazz edge member, Black Friday is going to be the time to grab that. Alright, so anyway, thank you all very much. And I’ll see you guys in the next lesson.

Improvisation Targets

Hey guys, Willie Myette creator of jazz edge, I want to welcome you to episode number three of the confident improviser. Today in today’s podcast, we are going to talk about improvisation targets. Just as a reminder, if you’re a jazz edge student, and you’re following the confident improviser program on the jazz edge website, you can also watch the video for this podcast. Okay, so I will have a video available as well that you can follow along with. Okay, so today, let’s talk about improvisation lines. And let’s start there. So when we refer to an improvisation line, we might call it several different things, we might call it a lick, we might call it a phrase, man might call it a motive or a motif, we might even just call it a sentence. So for instance, an improvisation line. If I play my simple bass line down here, okay, I’ll just keep that simple bass line going. So an improvisation line might be something like this. So just a short little phrase. There’s another one, right? Now, as you get better at improvisation, you tend to make longer lines, you know, so you start to do things like this. So you can hear that the line is a little bit longer, it spans several measures, don’t worry about getting there just yet. It’s okay, I just want to kind of explain to you that sometimes the line might be short and might be longer. A great way of thinking about improvise lines and improvisation lines, is to think of them like sentences. So when I get to the end of my sentence, what am I going to do, I’m going to take a breath, right, and if I don’t take a breath, and I’m going to pass out, alright, so we obviously need to get to an end of a sentence, we take a breath, and then we have another sentence. It’s also important to realize and why the analogy is so good, is that if I don’t take that breath, like, you know, like, like, we all have that friend who did, they just keep talking and talk and talk and you can like, never get a word in edgewise. And it’s like, it seems like they never get to an end of a sentence. And that gets very difficult to listen to, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s like you feel like kind of bombarded. And that’s why with improvisation, we want to make sure that we put in those rest, and the whole play rest thing, we will end up talking about playing and resting a little bit later. Right now, I want to focus mostly on these improvisational targets, right? So anyway, that’s what we might call an improvised line, a lick a phrase, a motive motif, a sentence, whatever, okay? The and it might look something like this. And if you’re not watching the video, you see that, you know, we have kind of a line that goes up and then starts to curve down and it comes back up again. So it means like, we might go up, and then come down, and then go up, or something like that, or do something like that, right. So the line goes up comes down a little bit goes back up, doesn’t matter what the shape of the line is. This is just an example, I could easily do a line that starts high and goes low, and it’s a straight shot down. Right there you go straight shot down, or the opposite way, is a straight shot up. Okay? So the shape of the line has zero impact, zero meaning, okay, we’re not worried about the shape of the line right now, what we are worried about is the fact that the line starts and ends. This is super important. So let’s go through this nice and slow. Make sure that you really fully understand this. So every improvise line has a start and an end, right. So let’s just keep this simple. So if I go up like this. So I started on C, and I went up to G. So my first note was C. And my last note was G, I have a starting point. And I have an ending point. Now, when we are paying attention to these starting and ending points, this is what we call targeting. Right? So we are targeting in our improvisation, targeting you’re going to realize is a super important thing to do when you improvise, okay. And if you don’t target you’re going to see very quickly in a second, why targeting is so important. And if you don’t do it, why your improvisation is not going to sound great, right? So the best way of explaining targeting is to actually get in and let’s actually create some lines. Before we do that, just remember, we have a starting point, and we have an ending point. So we have a start and an end we start the line someplace and then we end the line. Okay, so here what I have on the screen is the ingredients for exercise number three, which is just simply the first four notes of the minor pentatonic scale. It’s just four notes, C, E flat, F, and G. Okay, so now like I said, there’s always going to be a starting note with your improvisation, and there’s going to be an ending note with yourself. conversation. What I’m going to do right now, and this is great, especially since it’s a podcast, because you could really focus on listening and not watching what I’m like, I’m going to play two different improvise lines, right? I’ll say, tell you that this is line one. And here’s line two, right, I’ll put some space in between line one, and line two. I’m going to in one of them, I’m going to focus on targeting. And in another one, I’m going to just not focus on targeting at all right, so here’s the first line. I’ll start with the baseline first.

Here comes line one. So there was a line one. Now here’s line two. line two again, there’s line one again. So now when you listen to that, which one sounds a little bit more kind of intune with the improvisation, and feels like it kind of fits right? It feels settle the feels like like, like the notes fit over that baseline does this one sound? Right, or this one?

Now, if you answered

in line number two here, this one, I would agree with you, this one doesn’t really sound like it fits with that baseline too much. There’s a lot of tension and a lot of rubbing that’s going on. Okay? That’s because I am starting and ending on a non chord tone. I am starting my line and ending my line on a non chord tone. Okay, so when I played this, this was F, E flat, F, E flat, F, D flat, F. So I’m starting the line on F, and I’m ending the line on F. But now let’s remember what was our accompaniment again, it’s a C minor chord, right then to F minor, g seven. So the C minor chord. Remember, in our podcast episode, last week, we talked about mastering our chords. So we really want to know, you know, very quickly, what are the notes of that C minor triad, right? Well, it’s C, E flat, and G, right? So is the note F, in that,


C, E flat, and g are my chord tones, the note f would be considered a tension. You know, for those of you that want to know, though, be considered the fourth or the 11th. On a minor chord, typically, we would call it 11. We’re not going to dive down that rabbit hole between four and 11. Don’t worry about that right now. thing to focus on is that I was starting my line and ending my line on a non chord tone. Now, that was line one. Now when I did line two, there, I started on G, then E flat F, I still play the F, but then I finished on C. So I started on G, and I ended on C. Well, again, are those chord tones on a C minor chord? You bet they are right. So G and C are part of that C minor chord. So here’s the deal. You if you want your improvisation to sound good, you do not always have to start on a chord tone. Okay, you do not always have to end on a chord sound. But right now I’m talking to the improviser who’s just getting started, right? You know, so like, if you’re more of a pro, you know, you can break these rules. But to get started, if you want your improv to sound more, like sound more, quote, unquote, right? You know, or good to your ears start and end on a chord tone. So you’re targeting these chord tones. There’s a starting target note and an ending target note. So in other words, like when I have the notes, C, E flat, F and G, well, that’s pretty simple. And C minor chord, right? I mean, C, E flat, and g are the chord tones. F is the only non chord tone. So when I start my line on an app, what’s that? how that sounds?

Right? It’s not

G, right? I did F, E flat, C, E flat, F, G, right. So I ended up ending on a chord tone, but I started on a non chord tone. So when I start the line, it sounds a little rough at first sounds a little bit tense, but eventually when I end the line, and it sounds, it sounds fine, it sounds good. Okay, so the starting the starting target note in your improvisation is less important as the ending one, right? And I’ll demonstrate that in a second. All right, well, let’s do this line again. Right, so that’s fine. Okay, so the ending target note was a G. It’s a chord tone sounds great, even though the first Note in that line was an F and it’s a non chord tone, it gets resolved so the ear doesn’t really remember it. Now listen to what happens if I end on an F. Now,

does it sound terrible? Well, no, of course, it

doesn’t sound terrible. But as you start to add more notes to your scales and your ingredients, you’re going to have notes that are really, really going to start to sound outside and sound much more tense. Okay? For instance, if I used a chromatic scale, and I did something like this ending on a C sharp D flat here, it sounds terrible, right? Like, I wouldn’t want to play that. Unless, of course, for one odd reason or another. That was the sound I was looking for. But most of us are not looking for that sound. So there, that final target note, the ending target note was a non chord tone, and it made the line not sound all that good, right? So now what if we go to the ingredients number two, so this is the five finger blues scale, this one is going to be a little bit easier, because now we have five notes to play around with. So now if we think about notes that are outside of the C minor chord, that

F and the

F sharp are most definitely outside of C minor. So remember, the five finger blue scale, the notes are C, E flat, F, F sharp, G. Okay? Those are my notes. Those are my five notes. So now if let’s say I start a line, and I end it on F sharp.

You hear it right away. It sounds very, very tense. You know, and you know, maybe you like the sound, maybe you don’t, but the point is, it definitely adds on a lot of tension. Now listen to what happens if I start the line on an F sharp but I end on a chord tone. So I can see here, I start on F sharp, F, E flat, C, E flat, C, right, so I end on C, but I start on F sharp. Well, what did you hear in that leg? You heard probably that Whoa, wow, that’s what it resolves. By and Gee, there, it resolves there as well. Okay, now, so there, that’s not bad. Even though I started the F sharp, it creates the tension at the beginning of the line. But ultimately, when I resolve the line when I get to my final target note, it’s a chord tone, and it works. So now you might be thinking, Well, it seems to me like that final target note is really the most important. If you think that you’re right. It’s really that final note that you play in your line that people are going to hear and they’re going to remember. So if you find when you’re playing lines, or you’re creating improvisation, you’re creating licks, you know, if you find that your improvisation is just not sounding the way that you want it to sound, then it’s likely that you’re ending your improvise line on a non chord tone. Okay. Again, as reminder, as you improve and you know, you learn more about improvisation, you do not always have to end your lines on a chord tone. But right now we’re trying to get started and just trying to like, get some rules that are kind of, you know, just really help you establish a strong foundation. So start with a chord tone. And with a chord tone. Remember, the chord tone is whatever chord you’re, you’re on for the moment. So when we do C minor here, right? But then we go to F minor, that g7. Okay, so let’s say when I get to the G seven, I end on a B natural. Now, we haven’t talked about adding in that note, right? But listen to what happens.

Right? So it doesn’t sound bad, right? Sounds a little interesting, because we’re going to that major sound and that be natural. So it might sound a little weird to ears, but it doesn’t sound so tense that it’s like, whoa, wait a minute, that sounds like a wrong line. Hey, listen, what happens when we get to the F chord, right? Get the f and I play an F sharp over that. Right and I get to the G and I’m still playing the F sharp. You can hear there’s a lot of tension there. Right now you’ve probably heard of tension and release. And where we want to release that tension while to release the tension. Move it away from being a non core tone, and move it to a core tone. So the easiest way of doing that is usually just moving by a half step.

Right. So if I resolve it down to f, right, or go up to G, that sounds fine as well. So try playing around with your starting and ending target notes. And the biggest thing is just kind of keep that in mind when you’re improvising. If you keep it in mind, you don’t have to really do much necessarily, just keep in mind that okay, where am I starting this? And where am I ending this? And then listen to the sound and ask yourself, do I like the sound of that line, if you don’t like the sound of the line? Well, then likely, you’re starting on, you know, a non chord tone, or you’re ending on a non chord tone. Don’t worry, if you don’t fully understand target notes, and all of that, there’s a couple of things that you can do. Number one, I will be doing a longer lesson on that with some more examples. Okay, and number two, you can join me every Thursday at one o’clock, for the confident improviser live training, right, all you need to do is just log in at jazz edge, and then you can see it right up in the live training menu item. If you’re not a member of jazz edge, check it out. I think that you would enjoy it. And I think that you would find that the lessons are set up step by step. Every Tuesday, you can do coaching with me every Wednesday, you can get online and do office hours every Thursday, you can do the confident improviser with me, so there’s a lot of live training and live interaction between me and my students. It’s not some other teacher. It’s me, right? So the jazz program is really me. So when you write in or you see live stuff, it is me doing it right. We are not a huge corporation, which we farm out all of the stuff, you know, to some customer service place, you know halfway around the world when you’re dealing with jazz as you’re dealing with Willie Myette right. So anyway, hope that I’ll see you in the site. And then I’ll see you in the next podcast episode.

Mastering Your Chords

Learn how to master your chords and why this skill is critical for improvisation.

Hello everybody and welcome to The Confident improviser podcast. This is episode number two and I am your host, Willie Myette. Today’s episode is on mastering your chord. So you’re going to learn how to master your chords, and why this skill is critical for improvisation. Okay, so let’s get started. Remember, this podcast just as a reminder is for anybody who’s in my confident improviser program. Of course, you don’t have to be a part of the confident improviser program to utilize the podcast, but it’s really designed as a companion to the confident improviser program. So if you’re a member of my site and going through the confident improviser program, this podcast is perfect for you to help you stay focused at the piano, there is a video replay as well. So I’m recording video of this. So if you if anything that I’m playing, you want to be able to see it, if you just log in at jazz edge comm you can go ahead and get that video replay. If you are a member, if you are not a member of the site, just go back to the confident Right on the main page, there’s a spot that says a button that says free lesson access, put your name and email address right in there. And you can sign up and you can get the first five lessons absolutely free of charge. Okay, so again, today’s topic, mastering your chords, and how to master your chords and why this skill is super important for improvisation. Alright, so let’s go to our progression here, our basic progression that we’ve been doing in exercise number one, and exercise number two is doing a very basic C minor, right, then to an F minor g7. Back to see my now, just as a preview of where we’re going to be going with this, we’re going to be talking about target notes and target notes in our improvised lines as we get going. But before I can get there with you, I need to make sure that we get through these chord tones first, because they’re going to be critical to be able to fully understand our target notes. Alright, so just understand that there’s a master plan here and a direction that we’re moving in, I don’t always say all of the moving parts all at once, because I don’t want to overwhelm you, but know that there is a master plan that is underlying all of this teaching. Alright, so when we have our chord C minor seven, F minor, seven g7. In our improvisation, we have our simple accompaniment that we’re doing right here, we’re already doing that in the exercise, and we have

our five finger

minor scale, or we have our five finger blues scale, depending on which exercise you’re doing. Remember, again, the five finger minor scale for C is are the notes, C, D, E, flat,

F, and G,

right? And then the five finger blues scale in the key of C are the notes, C, E flat, F, F sharp, and G. Right? So both of those five finger note patterns, or those ingredients, as we like to call them in the program work perfectly over this baseline. Now, are these the only notes that you can use for improvisation? Of course not. There are other notes that we can utilize for improvisation. And that is our chord tones. So just a brief explanation. What exactly are chord tones? Well, first of all, we got to go back to how we form our chords. And just a real like, let me just go through this real quick. So if we start with our first five notes of our C major scale,

that’s C, D, E, F, and G,

we number those notes 12345. So 12345. Alright, it happens to correspond to the finger numbers in the right hand. But don’t get confused thinking that we’re talking finger numbers. No, we’re numbering the notes of the major scale. And of course, if you don’t know your major scales, take a look at my 30 day piano playbook. Take a look at my piano essentials program. All of that will explain those major scales too. Alright, so anyway, we have our five finger scale, if we play the first, third and fifth notes, we get C, E and G that creates our C major triad. And then we can do things like flatting, the third and that creates our C minor triad. Again, all of that instruction is in the 30 day playbook. And also piano essentials, if you need it, okay, so I’m going to assume at this point, you kind of have an understanding of like, okay, C minor, F minor, g Seven, eight, you basically understand those chords. So typically what happens is students will understand the chords but they don’t really know the chords. So they’ll know that the notes of C minor, a C minor triad, or C, E flat and G, but a lot of times when you’re starting to do them inversions, or starting to move them around the piano, it becomes very difficult for To be able to do that quickly, part of that is a visualization problem, okay? And it’s also a kinesthetic and just like feeling on the keys problem. And then also another part of it is a theory problem. So let’s talk about some different ways in which you can kind of lock these chords in. So the very first step is you have to know the basic chord. So you have to know your C minor triad to C, E flat, and G when we go to F minor, those notes are our F, A flat, and C, F, A flat, C, and G seven. That’s our full seventh chord. And those notes are G, B,

D, and F. Now,

you might be questioning, okay, well wait a second, the chord here is listed as C minor seven. Why aren’t you playing C minor seven, Willie, and adding in the seven, you absolutely can, right? I just brought it down to the triad just to make it a little bit easier for you. But let’s go through those seventh chords right now, just to make sure we’re on the same page, C minor, seven, C, E flat, G, and B flat. All right, F minor seven, F, A flat, C and E flat. And again, g seven, G, B, D, and F. If you happen to be looking at the video, you might notice that a lot of times I’ll put my fourth finger on the B flat and the C minor seven chord just happens to be a little bit more comfortable for my fingers, I get really big hands, but usually you play it as 123 and five for your fingering. Okay? Alright, so this is what we call our root position, seventh chords, root position, seventh chords. So with our root position, seventh chords, the root is the bottom notes. Now, we can also move these chords into inversions, which you’ve probably heard before. And that’s basically you take the bottom note, you put it up top. So now my bottom note is E flat, G, B flat, C, this is what we call our first inversion, C minor seven chord,

we can do this again, take the E flat, put it up here,

and now we have G, B flat, C and E flat. And then we could take the G put that up an octave, and now we have our third inversion C minor seven chord, Oh, and by the way, with the G, B flat, C and E flat, this is what we call our second inversion, C minor seventh chord. And then finally, the third inversion of the C minor seventh chord is B flat, C, E, flat, and G. Now one way of looking at this is root position as the root as the bottom note, first inversion, as the third is the bottom note. second inversion has the fifth as the bottom note, third inversion has the seventh as the bottom note.

Now, let me throw a little

monkey wrench in here for a second. And what happens if we keep playing a seed

down here in the bass

while I’m playing these different inversions? Okay, well, it would still sound like kind of a root position chord because we have our root going on down there. But in the right hand, we would still consider them inversion. So right here, I’m playing a C minor seven, in first inversion, but I got the root playing in the bass. Okay, if we were to move the bass note to say, E flat, now we’re getting into something called alternate bass notes, or slash chords. And that’s not where we want to go right now. So if you’re going to play a route, or you’re going to play anything in the left hand, for right now, just play the route, you could also be playing these chords in your left hand as well. Alright, so if you don’t fully understand that, don’t worry about that. Don’t get bogged down by that that’s not something that you have to really be overly concerned with. Right now, the main thing is knowing the notes of the chord. Now, I’m going to share a little story with you a little bit of an anecdote of how I learned all of this stuff. So when I was young, as a baby, my father taught me how to play piano, I remember sitting at the piano, I have a picture of my mom, kind of like holding my backup as literally an infant at the piano, just kind of like playing around and, you know, pressing notes. And as I got older, you know, it’s like, 10 1112, my father started to teach me how to play the piano. And, you know, my father could play the piano well, but he wasn’t a teacher, you know, you learn all of that skill, but he did the best job that he could. And he did a really good job. You know, I’m very appreciative of all that he taught me. But one of the things that he did a lot of is he taught me a lot of theory. And it really served me well for when I was 15, and started studying with, you know, a more professional teacher. So we used to go through and go through theory all the time, and he would have these index cards that he would put in the car I’ll be at that’s not very safe today. But anyway, the point is, he would have a these index cards that we would glance at now and again, and it would say things like chord tones and scales and whatnot. But the point is, we did so much of this work away from the piano, and he would constantly be quizzing me and asked me, What are the notes of a C minor seventh chord? And I’d say I have to say C, E flat, G and B natural is a no, not B natural. What is it?

Oh, that’s right. It’s B flat, C flat, G and B flat.

So what happened was, I became very quick and being able to name my chords, and understand understanding my theory, so much so that when I actually went to Berkeley, and started my first year of college, I was actually able to test out of half of my theory classes, I only had to take two out of the four theory classes that I was required to, because I already knew so much theory going into college. Okay, so what does that mean for you? What that means for you is the best way to master your chords, and really understand your chords is to practice them away from the piano, right? The more that you could start to practice theory away from the piano and start to get it visualized in your head, the better. So if you happen to be listening to me right now, on a podcast and you’re away from the piano, that’s perfect. You’re doing exactly what I would recommend that you do. Okay, so now you’re away from the piano. How do you practice this stuff? Okay, well, first of all, you say C minor seven, what are the notes of a C minor seven chord? Okay, it’s C, E flat, G, and B flat, right? And then you think, okay, now my first inversion, what note is going to be on the bottom, it’s going to be the E flat. So now I know that the ingredients of that C minor seven chord are C, E flat, G, and B flat. Now I need to move that C up. So the bottom note is now going to be a flat, G, B flat, C. And I try and visualize that in my head while I’m away from the piano. And now the second version is going to have the fifth on the bottom. So that’s going to be G, B flat, then C, and then E flat. And then my finally my third inversion is going to have the seventh on the bottom, that’s going to be B flat,

C, E, flat, and G.

Right? Then I can go through and I could start to just simply ask myself random notes. Okay, what’s the seventh of a C minor seven chord? I’ll give you a second. 321. Did you answer B flat? If you did, you’re right. What’s the fifth of a C minor seven chord? It’s a G, right? What’s the third of a C minor seven chord? It’s an E flat. Right? So you know now the third of C minor seven chord is a flat, the fifth is G, the the seventh is B flat, the root is C, you might question Hey, Willie, should I do the tensions 911, stuff like that. If you want to short there’s nothing wrong with that. If you don’t know about those, leave them off. For right now, the main thing is really getting down the chord tones for improvisation, okay, so if you want to do the tensions, and you want to do a little bit of extra credit short, that’s fine. But for our purposes, right now, for improvisation, what we really need is the main chord tones, which is C, E flat, G and B flat. Let’s move on to F minor seven. Okay? It’s pretty simple, right? We know those notes, F, A flat, C, and E flat, F, A flat, C, E flat, right? This is

root position.

first inversion has a flat, C, E flat, and F, second inversion, C, E flat, F and a flat. And finally, third inversion, E flat, F, A flat, and C. Okay? So kind of spelled through your inversions. Another way of doing this is you could say, okay, F minor seven, F, A flat, C, E flat, first inversion, a flat, C, E flat, F, second inversion, C, E flat, F, A flat, third inversion, E flat F, A flat seat. Can you do that? Can you do it that fast, right? You don’t have to do it that fastest start. But you really want to build up that speed. Because the idea is that the quicker that you can recognize and identify your chord tones, you’re going to see in a second, how that’s really going to help out your improvisation. Okay, so really knowing your chord tones, super, super important. Best way of doing it, do it away from the piano. Let’s just stop there for one second and talk about well why is doing this stuff away from the piano so important? Because when you’re playing at the piano, your visual senses definitely take over. Okay, so like what you’re looking at the notes and then your kinesthetic which means basically how like your fingers feeling on the keys. Okay? Just like how it’s super easy for you to get to a C major try because you know that feel right? You’re not thinking about the notes anymore. Well, that kinesthetic sense, takes over as well. So you get your eyes doing work. You get your fingers and kinesthetic sense doing work and then you get your ears doing work as well. And a lot of times the brain and the theory is just kind of like yeah, okay, we’ll just like kind of hold off for right now. So you’re really not working your brain and you’re not working the theory as much. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that you’re not doing anything wrong. That’s actually exactly what you should be doing. Because imagine if you had a think about all of these chords, every time you had to play them, you’d be crippled, when you’re playing, you wouldn’t be able to play, right. So this is good. But we want to make sure that we also practice that brain work as well. And the best way of doing that is away from the piano, because then you’re just forced to do it, right, you don’t have a piano in front of you. Finally, g7, G, B, D, and F. That’s root position, first inversion, B, D, F, and G, second inversion, D, F, G, and B. And finally, third inversion, F, G, B, natural, and D. Right? So those are our three seventh chords that we are doing in these first couple of exercises in the confident improviser. Okay, so now, as promised, why do I care about chord tones? Why do I care about mastering these chords and knowing what my chords are? The reason is that when it comes to improvisation, you can both start and end with nothing but chord tones. Okay, so if I were to go through and improvise over like a song, like, say, autumn leaves, and I just do you know,

my cortos.

So you could hear that, you know, is the improvisation, you know, gonna blow the doors off? No, but does it sound good and sound pleasing? And do all the notes sound quote, unquote, right? You know, that I don’t really like thinking of notes is right and wrong, but you get the point, right? I mean, all the notes sound good, they sound pleasing, they fit in the box. So you could start and end by just using chord tones for improvisation, right, you can make a pretty decent sounding improvisation with only chord tones. So you don’t have to know scales, you don’t have to know all this other stuff if you didn’t want to. Now, I’m not saying not to learn scales, obviously, we want to learn scales, because we don’t want to just play chord tones. But the point that I’m making is that chord tones are so powerful, that really, you could start and end there with your improvisation. So now,

if we go back to our baseline,

right, and if I utilize these chord tones, during my improvisation, I could get something that

sounds like this.

Again, pretty decent sounding right? I mean, you know, it’s, it’s not the, you know, some grand improvisation, but it sounds good. And this is where we want to start, we want stuff that’s gonna sound good, that’s going to work for the progression, it’s going to make a sound good. And we can always build upon that. Now, the thing that you probably heard, or maybe noticed, if you happen to be watching the replay of this is that I am playing these chords in all different inversions. So when I started the C minor, I can come down from my G and when I come up to F minor, I go to the a flat bed to g7.

It’s a really being able to move those chords around and create some steady eighth note lines, and stay within those chord tones. Okay, so how is it that I’m able to do that? Once because I really know those chords, right? I mean, I’ve practiced them for years and years. So forget about me, how do you do this? Well, number one, practicing these chords away from the piano and really, diving into that theory is going to be super important. Now, let me just kind of put your mind at ease for a second. You know, when I say the word theory, I know for some students that’s going to make the hairs on the back of their neck stand up. Okay. You know, the word theory is not a great word. It’s not a very fun word, right? It’s, you know, it’s not like sitting on a beach soaking up the sun, right? I mean, when we think of theory, we think kind of like boring, right? It’s like, it sounds like work. Is it work? Yes, of course it is. Come on, let’s call it what it is. We have to work in order to get Better at stuff, but it’s work that pays off so wonderfully for you. And if you’re scared off by theory, let me tell you that this does not have to be difficult, you just simply start with those three chords. So while you’re out and about in the world, just think C minor seven, F minor, seven g7. Okay, what are the notes, a C minor, seven, C, E flat, G, B flat, right, and try and when you’re doing this, visualize what it looks like. So if you happen to be watching the video replay, you see the virtual keyboard up, there’s how it lights up, all in that nice bright orange. So that’s what you want to see, you want to see those inversions, you want that that mental picture. So when I think of like an F minor seven, in third inversion, this is what I see in my mind’s eye, I see that E flat F, right there close together. There’s root position, there’s first inversion, there’s second inversion, right?

g7 root position,

second inversion, first inversion, third inversion, right? I could see all of that in my mind’s eye. And I can visualize that, you know, the keyboard, right? So now, some other ways in which you could practice this is try doing your inversions, but not in order. So another would say, Okay, let me ask you a question. We’ll do a little column response, a little quiz right now. So spell out a C minor seven chord in root position, I’ll give you a second. Okay. So you should have said C, E flat, G, and B flat. Okay, so those are the notes of your C minor seven in root position. Now spell out a C minor seven chord in second inversion, remember, the fifth is going to be the bottom note.

So you should have said,

G, B flat, C, and E flat, right? That’s C minor seven in second inversion. Now go to F minor seven, first inversion, one of the notes quickly, go as fast as you can, okay? f, a flat, C and E flat, quickly, g seven in third inversion, that means the seventh is going to be the bottom notes.

So what is that

F, G, B, and D.

So moving to different inversions, like that, and not going in order is a great way of doing this as well. So you notice I went C minor seven root position, then second inversion, then to F minor seven root position, then g seven third inversion, okay? It’s not just going in order. Remember, anytime that you practice a pattern, both your brain and your body are going to get used to that pattern very quickly. An anecdote for that, just if you go to the gym, or anything, if you lift a 20 pound weight, right, maybe, you know, on the first of the month, it feels heavy. But if you keep lifting that 20 pound weight, every single day, guess what, at the end of the month, it’s not going to feel heavy anymore, you’re gonna have to go to 25 pounds in order to, you know, make that feel a little bit heavier, because your body starts to get accustomed to it starts to get used to it, right. So same thing happens at the piano as well. If you practice in patterns, then your brain and your body is going to get used to those patterns. And as soon as you break out of that pattern, then everything starts to fall apart. So it’s encourage, I encourage you to practice not in patterns, instead, try to randomize your practice as much as possible. Now, if you’re also looking for another lesson, I have a lesson called master every chord at the piano that’s at my jazz edge site. And it goes through how to use a randomization technique. And I also have an i real pro backing track that you can download. And then going through that randomization technique is a great way of mastering your chords, because you’re breaking outside of those patterns. Okay. All right. So your marching orders right now what you really want to practice and make sure that you get down well, as well as possible is really trying to understand these three chords, C minor, seven, F minor, seven, g7. Know the notes of those chords, be able to spell the notes of those chords. Try to visualize those chords in your mind’s eye and know that playing the chord tones is what will give you a good sounding improvisation. Okay, so anytime you see a chord, and you’re looking for notes that can work over that chord for improvisation, you could start right with your chord tones. They’re always going to work. Right. So anyway, that’s it for me. Thank you guys very much for joining me in the confident improviser podcast. I do want to remind you if you have questions and you are already a member, a jazz edge member, be sure to join me on Thursdays for my confident improviser q&a session. This is a great way to ask me questions, to get feedback on your playing and and to also get some other tips and tricks. That happens 1pm. Eastern every Thursday, the link is in the site. If you’re not a member of the site, I encourage you to go back to the confident Put your name and email address in there, go ahead and click on where it says the free lesson access, click on free lesson access, put your name and email address in there, you’ll get an email from me, that’s going to set you up with a free account on jazz edge. And every Wednesday at 1pm. Eastern time, I do my live office hours and this is an opportunity for anybody regardless of whether or not you are a paying student or not to be able to get online, ask me questions in a live situation. And the I have the keyboard in front of me and I can demonstrate and give you tips and tricks that way. All right. So anyway, thanks guys so much. Remember every Tuesday is the confident improviser podcast. I’ll see you guys next week.

All right,

this is Willie Myette for the confident improviser. Thanks again for joining me