“Big Three” Seventh Chords

These exercises will help you master your 7th chords for faster recall.

Hey guys, Willie Myette

creator of jazz edge, I want to welcome you to episode number 10 of the confident improviser podcast. So today we are going to be talking about the big three seventh chords. And I’m going to show you some cool exercises that they’re going to help you be able to master the seventh chords so that you can recall them faster at the piano, I want to remind you that this podcast is designed to be used along with my confidence in improviser program found at jazz edge, there will be a video replay of this as well, which you could find at the confident improviser.com you could find more information about it there. Okay, so just go back to the confident improviser calm. Alright, so the big three seventh chords. So when I’m talking about the big three seventh chords, I’m talking about major seventh minor, seventh dominant seventh chords, right, you really want to make sure that you know those chord tones. Now we’re using all three of those types of chords, those three quality of chords in exercise number 10, exercise number 10 starts with a C major seventh chord, right, and it goes to an a seven chord, then a D minor, seven chord, and then a g7 chord. So we’re getting the major, the minor and the dominant. Alright, so I got five exercises here that I want to show you that are going to help you be able to master these chords faster. The each of these exercises involves you spelling out the name of the notes in the chord, right. So what that basically means is like if we were to play a C major triad, that would be the notes, C, E, and G, right? So C is the root is the third, g is the fifth. Now I realized that, you know, I have students around the world, and some students, especially in France, and Europe, learn using a solfege method, and they are not actually spelling out the actual note names. So I will tell you that you can do this via soul fish, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult for you. So I suggest and encourage you to learn the note names of the chords, trust me, you won’t regret it down the road, that theory is really going to help you be able to master these chords a lot faster. Okay. All right. So with our C major seventh chord, the notes are C, E, G, and B. So C, E, G, and D, let’s just get down the four chords. First of all, a seven chord is a C sharp, D, and G, D minor seven is D, F, A and C. And finally, g seven is G, B, D, and F. So first of all have to know those chords. If you don’t know those chords, then I wouldn’t bother doing these exercises, because quite frankly, you’re just not ready yet. But if you kind of know the chords, you could, you know, you know the notes of those, you could spell those, these next five exercises are going to help you be able to really lock in those chords. Much better at the instrument. Now you can spell these away from the piano. And that’s what we’re going to be doing here in this podcast episode. But remember, you can also play them as well, right? So these exercises are good to play at the piano. And I will be doing some of that as well. Right. So if you happen to be looking at the podcast, video replay, there is sheet music that you can download for this will make the exercises a little bit easier. Alright, so the first exercise is just going up from the roots, right, so all you’re doing is you’re spelling the chord from the roots of each of the chords. So for C major seventh, spelling it up from the root, it would be C, E, G, E natural, right? So this is what we just did a second ago, right? A seven would be A, C sharp, and G, D minor seven would be D, F, A and C. And finally g seven would be G, B, D, and F. So first of all, you just want to make sure you could spell all those chords going up from the root. The next exercise exercise number two is simply going down. So you start on the seventh, and you go down each of the chord tones. So C major seven, I’ll give you a second. Think about what it is. All right, so it’s B, G, A seven, what is it? It’s G,

C sharp,

D minor seven, start spelling out the notes. It’s C, A, D, and finally g7. What are the notes? It’s f, d, b, and then finally G. Now that little bit of pause that I gave, you should give you enough time to be able to submit those notes before I start to play them. If not, it just means that you have to work on spelling these chords a little bit faster. Okay? All right, exercise number three, this is where it gets a little bit interesting and a little bit more tricky. So let’s take some time on this. So again, the notes of the C major seventh chord, our C, D, G, B, right, and we have this as the root, the third,


fifth and the seventh of the chord. Okay, so that’s all fine. So this exercise is called from the third. So that means you start on the third, which is e, and then you spell the rest of the notes. So that would be B, and then C, G. So again, we have root 357. I already said the three I said the third. So now I’m going to say the root, I’m not going to say the third again, because I already said it. So I’m going to skip over, I’m going to say the fifth. And then I’m going to say the seventh. So it goes third, root, fifth, seventh, third, root seven, and the notes for that for C major r, e, c, G, speller for a seven,

C sharp

speller for D minor, F, A, C, speller for G, seven,

B, G.

All right, great job. Now if you didn’t get that, just rewind that, try doing that again. But I’m spelling the third than the root than the fifth than the seventh. Okay, so exercise number four, this is from the fifth. Well, what do you think we’re going to do now, back to our C major seventh chord, now we’re going to say the fifth, which is G, then we’re going to say the rest of the notes, which is then the route, see, the third is D, and the seventh is B. So we go fifth, root, third, seventh, obviously, we skip over the fifth, because we said at the beginning, so five, root three, seven, so that would be for C major, G, C, D, be for a seven, day, C sharp, for D minor,


C, and for G, seven, D, G. All right, great job. And then finally, exercise number five, you guessed it from the seventh. So then we say, the seventh of the chord first, then we go down and say the root, the third and the fifth. So for C major seventh, that would be

B, C, G,

C, G, A, seven, G, C sharp, D, minor, seven, C, D, F. And finally, g seven, F, G, B, D. So you should realize as well on that, from the third from the fifth from the seventh, we did the third than the root, then the fifth and the seventh, we did the fifth than the root, then the third and the seventh, we did the seventh than the root, the third and the fifth, right? So we are always going down, while of course, we could go the opposite direction as well. So when we’re starting on the third, I could go the third E, and then come down from the top, B, G, C, A, B, C sharp, G, D minor, it would be F, C, A, B, and then g seven, it would be b, f, d, g, so just know that you can change around that direction, as well. All right, so let’s talk about practicing these at the piano. Well, when we sit at the piano, we could simply just do these as eighth notes. Okay, so that’s literally just going right, up and down. going right, on up. And if you want you can go down as well. And actually, a real nice exercise is go down one hand and go up the other hand, if you don’t like that interval there, it’s a little too close for you. Don’t worry, I get it. In that case, play the hands an octave apart.

Again, if you don’t like that sounds too much tension then just go into fight. So what you can also do is you could start To mix these together, so we have three root five, seven. Okay, well, let’s do the three root five, seven over here in the right hand, but remember how I said that you could also come down so you could go three, seven, fifth root

that’s separated by an octave. So in the left hand, I’m playing E, C, G. And the right here, I’m going A, B, G, C, right? So you can, there’s all different patterns that you can come up with here of these, but you could find it really quite interesting. What about if you did something like this, rather than going 357? In both hands, do that in the left hand, but in the right hand, let’s keep it simple. Let’s just go root 357.

All right, what if we did five root three, seven in the left hand, and still just do root 357? in the right hand? Right.

So what if you did something to like, go down in the left hand, let’s do this on a seven. So I’m going to do the seventh, the fifth, third and the roots in a seven. So that’s G, C sharp and a in the left hand, and then just to start, I’ll go up in the right hand. That’s pretty simple. So now what if I do the seven root three, five in the right hand.

So I was just going down in the left hand, seven, root three, five in the right hand. So you can practice these, you know, in some more advanced ways like that, but really, the best way to practice them at the piano to just get started. It’s just

just simply go up and down, up and down. And just try and play them nice and steady. You don’t have to go as fast as I just went. That’s good. Not too fast, right? Just nice and steady. That’s the name of the game. Okay. Now, to finish up here, you know, you might have the question. Okay. So why do I really need to know these chord tones? What remember when improvising, if you know your chord tones, you can always use your chord tones for improvisation, and it’s always going to sound great. So listen to what happens if I put on the I real pro track for exercise number 10. Right. And then I’m going to play my just my root three root seven chord shows in the left hand. But now listen to what happens when I am just improvising using chord tones in my right hand. Right? Listen to how good this sounds. There we go. Whoops. Got to put the bass on. Sorry about that. Let’s put that bass sound on right now. Here we go. Excellent.

It’s all cortos. Now again, it’s not blowing the doors off of anyone’s house for improvisation, right? I mean, it’s not the most interesting improvisation that has ever been played. But it sounds good, right? And that’s what we’re looking for. At this stage of the game, just something that we can play, we can hold on to it’s going to sound halfway decent. It’s going to get us an improvisational sound, and then we can always add on to that later. But in order to make this happen, you have to know your chord tones, and you have to know them quick, quick, quick, quick. So if I say a seven, bam AC Sharpie, g you’ve just said it already. If I say D minor seven, you will immediately see it as d f, AC, g seven g b, d, f, h Then you start moving into other keys, E flat seven, E flat, G, B flat, D flat, B flat major seven, B flat, D, F, A, right G major seven, G, B, D, F sharp, right, you should be able to see those chords and be able to spell them very, very, very quickly, faster, the better, right? There’s really, you can’t spell them too fast. So if you can get it down, see EG p, AC sharp, Eg you know, like, if you can get it that fast. Great. If you can spell it that fast. Don’t fret, right? If as long as you could be like, Alright, D minor, seven, D, F, AC, Okay, that’s good. It’s not super fast, but it’s not too slow. The exercises I laid out in today’s podcast will help you get there. It does take work. So be patient with yourself, do the work, right and I’ll see you guys in the next exercise.

Three Easy Jazz Endings

Learn some classic song endings to add to your arrangements!

Hey everybody, Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge. Welcome to episode number nine of the confident improviser podcast. So today we’re going to be talking about three easy song endings, and you’re going to learn some classic endings that you can add to your arrangements. As usual, this podcast is really best designed to be in conjunction use in conjunction with the confident improviser program found a jazz edge. If you want more information, just go back to the confident improviser.com. And you can get more information there and also catch replays of the podcast episodes as well. So today, we’re going to be going through three easy song Enix. Now of course, remember the term easy is relative, what’s easy to some will not be easy to others. So remember, take a take your time, you can listen to this over and over again, if you check it out the podcast and if you happen to be a member of jazz edge, be sure to take a look at the video of this because it will be extremely helpful for you to be able to see exactly what it is that I’m doing. Alright, so the first ending is this. Oh, and by the way, all of these endings are designed to go at the end of the exercises. At the end of the lesson, I’m going to give you some other resources of some other lessons that are on the jazz edge site for endings. But these endings, I kind of built them and design them to, you know, work with the exercises that you already have been learning. That’s not to say that you can’t use these exercises at the end of songs you most certainly can. And I actually I use some of these endings as well at the end of songs, I’m sorry, I think I said you can’t use these exercises at the end of songs, I meant to say you can you can use these endings at the end of songs. Most definitely. Alright, so first of all, ending number one, it goes from the four chord right to the one chord. So for in the key of C, we’re going to go from an F chord, which in this case, I’m going to play it as an F dominant seventh chord, and I’m going to resolve to my C. Now that’s c by the way that resolution chord could be a C major, it could be a C dominant, it could be a C minor, it really doesn’t matter. The f7 to C works whether going to f7 to C major, or, or to C minor. Okay, so, in the right hand, I’m going to just come right on down the blue scale 321432121. That’s my fingering, right, and the note notes are C, D flat, G, G flat, F, E flat, C, B flat C, we get this.

It’s usually best when playing this ending to retard the tempo as you go. Okay, so to retard means to go slower, right, so we instead of going

kind of like slow it down as we go.

Hold that out. Now I’m going to show you examples of each of these three endings. So let’s just move on for right now. That’s the first ending. Ending number two is the Duke ending. And this is the Duke Ellington ending, you’ve probably heard it before.

Right or

so it’s a very, very common jazz, and then definitely something to put into your practice routine. Now, you could start up here and see. So right now I’m just playing lefthand, it’s see that it drops down into E,

F sharp, and then thumb on G, G, A, B, C, C, E, F, F sharp, G, A, B, C, you could also start with the see down here, that would still be C, E,

F sharp, G, A, B, C.

And the way that I have it written here is like this.

Go right into that C, but the reality is, you could do this.

See, I took a little bit more space in there a little bit more time before I came down to this note. Now once I hit this note down here, it’s usually best to hit some kind of chord up here, maybe a C seven chord, maybe even a C major, major seventh, okay? C minor, whatever chord you want to end on, that’s absolutely fine.

You could also play it hands together. Now the only thing with this ending is it doesn’t really work well for minor. Okay, so if you’re gonna play the minor, you’re not gonna want to come down to a natural, you could come down to an E flat

and then hit a B

Flat up here or a B natural, either one would actually work.

You could do that, although that’s not your typical Duke ending, ending. So. So you know, Duke Ellington ending is

usually not played a minor, but you could tweak it to play it in minor, you’ll make a little bit more central, we get to the examples. And then the last ending ending number three, here, we end on our, whatever the first note is of the exercise. So I’m playing a C here, and then I’m playing

isn’t nice voice and right here, we break down this voice and explain what I’m doing. First of all, left hand, just root five. So we’re going up a half step, we’re playing D flat major seven. Okay, so I’m playing a root five and the left hand, which is D flat, and a flat, and then I’m coming down to a root five, for C major seven. Route five, again, is C and G. So D flat and a flat, down to C, and G, D flat, and a flat down to C and G. In the right hand, I am playing the third of D flat, the seventh. And the ninth, those notes are F, C, and E flat. And this see right here is middle seat, so you kind of know where it is on the piano. This is F below middle C, middle C, and an E flat.

And then the right hand notes just come down to how stuff as well. So I’m playing at the end D in the right hand. So F C, D flat, then coming down to E, and D, that’s all right.

And you can play around with this rhythm as well, it doesn’t have to be two quarter notes. So the way I have it right now is 12341234. All right, it doesn’t have to be that it could be to

do that as well, a quarter note, eighth note. So you see how I can anticipate that C major. So that’s a cool sound. Now there is an alternate ending to this. And rather than playing D flat major with the C natural change that seemed natural, to a C flat,

and then change this B natural to a B flat for a C seven, this is a D flat seven chord going down to a C seven chord.

And this C seven chord could also be minor as well. So I could change that thumb down here, you know, is playing an E, I could play an E flat. So again, notes in the left hand exactly the same D flat, a flat, C and G notes in the right hand,

B natural or C flat, and E flat.

And then resolving down to E, B flat, and D four c seven.

Or if I want to play C minor, it would be B flat, B flat D.

So this ending obviously works well for our minor progressions. Okay, so here’s an example, for ending number one. So here I have the exercise number eight. Okay.

So I have the I’m sorry, exercise number nine, it is.

Literally, I could play the exercise, but

go through it again. This time, I’m going to end I’m going to go to the f7.

And then I end on the C right. So I literally, just, as soon as I’m done with the exercise rather than coming back and playing c again. I just go right into ending number one. So again, that would be

f seven.

And then going to see right on I gotta send a shout out to my student Joe, she had the idea of doing this ending podcast. So thank you, Joe for that. Alright, so here is ending number two. Here. I think I’m doing I forget exactly which exercise it was, I believe it was number four in the left hand here. So

right so is one of these exercises that has that baseline, right. So it might have been four or it could have been number six as well. You know what I’m going to do I am going to find out for you right now.

It was not number believe it was number four. Let’s just double check here. Yep, number four. Okay, so this is exercise number four that I’m playing

Now, for those of you who are listening to the podcast and can’t see the music in front of me, I have a C minor chord for one measure. And then in the second measure is an F minor chord for two beats and a g7 chord for two beats. Okay? So it’s C minor,

F minor g7.

c, see my, Alright, so what I’m going to do is I’m going to play the exercise, right.

And it would normally go back and play the exercise again, and just keep looping it. Okay, so what I’m going to do this time, is I’m going to add on that Duke ending. Now, even though I said, hey, look, it doesn’t really quite work all that well and minor. The point is, try it right, you never know what’s going to work until you actually try it. And then once you try it, if you find out that a second, I really like the sound of it, then you can tweak it a little bit. So let’s take a look. Take a listen to what that sounds like.

So say, she doesn’t sound all that bad. Let’s try it again.

Do it one more time.

And now the ending.

This time I ended on a C minor chord. So I kind of kind of mix these together and play around with it. then figure out from my ears, what I like the sound of remember endings and intros which you can also use these as intros as well. But we won’t get into that today. But endings are, you know, it’s almost like copying and pasting, right where you could like, kind of copy the ending or like I let me paste it here, let me paste it here, let me paste it here, you could try putting it at the end of many different songs or exercises, it’s not always guaranteed to work. But the only way that you’re really going to learn what works and what doesn’t work is to try different things out and kind of make some judgments for yourself based upon what it is you hear. Alright, so one thing that I circled in the music is this last note in the baseline. So the baseline for exercise number four here is C, G, C, I’m an octave, then G flat, F, F, G, and then going down to D. And then we’re going to resolve down to this C down here. So we have the D right here. But the way that the ending is written, we’re going to come up to our two up to the C up here. And it’s going to sound a little bit weird to do that. So

sounds like an awfully big jump. So in that case, as I said, in that Duke ending, we can either play this note here, or down here.

So you want to pay attention to where you’re leaving off in the baseline and make sure that the ending that you’re going to choose is not some dramatic jump, right? So if I go from D, to C there, that’s gonna sound like a big jump versus if I go D to C right there.

So just remember to pay attention to pay attention to where you’re ending and making sure that you’re not doing these large skips or jumps in your baseline. The end is, what if we tried this exercise along with ending number one, right?

But then ended on minor versus major? Well, let’s try it

one more time.

Sure, you can do that there’s nothing wrong with that, that would work out fine. What you might want to do in that case is writing going G and then down to D like that, just play the G twice, and then go to the F so that sounds like this.

F, F, G f7.

And then play C minor. You can play a full C minor chord, it would probably sound better than just doing the root three shell. Okay. All right. So, point is you can mix and mingle these endings and try out different stuff. All right, let’s take a look at the last one, which is ending number three. So this is using exercise number. Exercise two, right, so


So we have our simple bass line down here to the left hand, just C, E flat, F, G. So take a listen to this. I’m going to play the action

sighs and then go into the ending, listen to how cool it sounds.

It’s pretty sweet, huh? It’s a nice sound right there. Alright, so what’s going on? Well, I’m literally just playing the exercise. And as soon as I’m done with the exercise, I go right into ending number three. But remember, I’m going to play that first note of the exercise. Now, in ending number three, I wrote the first note, as a see up here, obviously, if you’re playing the baseline, and starting down there, that’s the C that you play, you play the lower one, you play this one down here, so you’re not gonna do this.

And then come up to this scene of here, and then play.

That’s not gonna make sense. So instead, you do,

go to the lower seat, pull that out to bees.

There’s the anticipation.

You could also play that two or three times like that. So it sounds like this.

In the right hand, I just went up an octave, went up an octave went up an octave, and I kept the left hand where it was, I could have gone up an octave with the left hand as well.

Right. So hopefully, what you’re hearing and understanding is, it’s absolutely okay to play around with these endings. And to try and figure out new ways of utilizing them, right. So you don’t want to just have the ending just be one ending that you use one way, play around with it. So the best way of doing that is take these three endings, and try adding them to the end of any of your exercises. Now I have set it inside of the lessons, but in case you’ve missed it, you could always just end your exercise by going right back to the very first note that you played in the accompaniment, and just hold it out. So in this case,

go back to see and hold it out for like I don’t know, 234 beats, and then, you know, take your hand off, right. So that’s the easiest ending that you could do is just play that first note, hold it out. But if you want to try adding on some of these other endings, I think you’re going to find that it really elevates your

you know, it elevates your, you know, the sound of the exercise, it makes it also a little bit more fun starts to sound like okay, there’s a nice closing out of the exercise.

There is one other thing I want to say on ending number three, because remember, we also had that we also had that major one as well. So where would that one work? Well, if you have any major progression, like you know, in exercise number eight or number nine, okay?

Number nine.

And then what remember, what you want to do is, you don’t want to go down to a baseline like that, right, hit the seat down here, if that’s not part of the exercise, you want to play the first note of the accompaniment in the exercise. All right, so the accompaniment in exercise number nine, again, is the root three and C seven on a three and D seven on G. So when I’m going to play that first note of the exercise, right that it says in this half step resolution, and then that means I’m going to go to C and E, I’m going to play that chord show, I’m not gonna come down here and play a similar note baseline, because this exercise is like using the baseline. So again, it would sound like this.

Play the first few notes.

And then now I come down to my D flat major seven, down to C major seventh, okay.

So it’s


And the beauty of this ending and all of these things is that it should not matter if you have a large hand or a small hand reach, okay, whatever your reaches, you should be able to hit all of these relatively easily.

The largest stretches this in the right hand, F C and E flat, but honestly, that should be fine for most people’s hand size. So they’re very versatile endings for all types of players. Alright, so some other endings

lessons, take a look at the jazz and blues Made Easy course. Take a look at lesson number 25, three easy blues and things out of my noble guide to jazz piano. And I also have an intros and endings course as well. So there are many, many different options for you to be able to learn a whole bunch of different endings and introductions at the jazz head site. Alright, so that’s it for our podcast. If you have any questions as a member of the confident improviser Remember, you could always join in on Thursdays and ask me questions live right so that’s it. Have a good one guys. I’ll see you in the next episode.

Comping Chords

Learn how to comp your chords to fill out your improvisation.

Hey guys,

Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge and I want to welcome you to episode number eight of the confident improviser podcast. Alright, so today’s topic we’re going to be talking about comping chords. And you’re going to learn how to comp your chords to fill out your improvisation right. comping chords, super important skill to learn about and a lot of students always have questions about comping chords. So we’re going to cover all of that today. As a reminder, this podcast is a great companion to my confident improviser program found the jazz edge, and you can go back to the confident improviser.com for more information and also to be able to get replays of this podcast. Alright, so comping chords. The first thing to understand about comping chords, is what is comping chords, basically, you’re adding rhythm To the chords, right? That’s, that’s really, if we were to boil it down, that’s basically what’s going on. So rather than just playing, you know, if I take my exercise number eight, have my 1625, C, to a minor to D minor, to g7. And remember, here, I’m just playing by root three, root seven on a three on D, seven on G. So simple chords. For right now, we’re just going to use these simple chords today, we don’t have to do anything more fancy chord wise than this. So I could put on let me go ahead and put on my whoops, let me go ahead and put on my I real pro track here. And you’re going to hear, so I could simply just do this.

Right, so there’s nothing

wrong with that, right? Just playing, you know, those chords is half notes. But the problem is, it’s gonna get boring after a while, right? So when we comp our chords, all we’re doing is we’re adding some rhythm To the chord. So it sounds more like something like this.

And you’ll see and hear that I’ll play some of the chords on the beat, I might do some off the beat. I’m going to mix my down beats and up beats to create more of a syncopated rhythm, right? We’ll talk about that as we go. I The other thing is, comping chords is a great way to fill space. So when you’re improvising, you don’t like a lot of times, we think all we can just gonna keep playing the right hand, right, we’re just gonna keep playing making up stuff in the right hand. But the reality is that a lot of times students don’t use comping enough to fill in that space, and they end up playing way more than the right hand and they need to, they could really just fill some of that space by comping in the left hand. Third thing is it is a super important accompaniment skill, tool and skill to master. So when you listen to great pianist comp behind other instrumentalists, or vocalist, you’ll hear that they are really listening and actively engaged, and listening to what the vocalist or the other instrumentalist is doing, and then responding back to that. So it’s very much a dynamic, almost call and response in a way sometimes, but it’s a very dynamic relationship between you and the soloist. Now, as a pianist, we might be both accompanist and soloist, all at the same time. So like, I’m playing my chords in the left hand here, right? Well, I’m accompany myself, why

solo it

while I solo in the right hand, so I am accompanying my right hand, so I need to be a good my left hand needs to be a good accompanist to my right hand, who is improvising, it’s kind of weird to think of your left hand and right hand as two separate people. But in a way, it’s kind of helpful to think of it that way. So the left hand is accompanying the right hand, which means that that left hand has to support that right hand, if the left hand is doing too much or too little, it’s not going to be supportive. And then finally, you want to remember, keep the rhythms simple when you comp, the number one, you know, problem that students have, and the number one mistake they make, is that they try playing too complicated of rhythms when they start to cop. Alright, so now let’s talk about how to practice comping number one, pick your progression in your chord voicings, so we’re going to do the C major seven to a minor seven to D minor, seven to G seven. If you are not at the piano, you can’t see what I’m playing here. This is C and E in the left hand that’s the root and three, I’m playing the root seven for a which is A and G, root and three for D which is D and F, and root and seven for G which is G and F. Okay? Number two, start with a simple rhythm, right? This could be quarter notes, it could be even half notes, right? It could be a dotted quarter, eighth note, it could be two eighth notes. But the point is, keep the rhythm simple. And number three, leave space, you want to make sure that you do not overplay. So you don’t want to let me give me an example here of what it’s like. Sounds like to overplay.

Me mean, do you hear how it just sounds like like madness here, right, the left hand is playing too much, the right hand isn’t in sync with the left hand. That’s an example of bad accompaniment against that improvisation, right. So you want to make sure that the left hand is really paying attention and listening to the right hand, I’ll give you some more examples. And then finally, you want to look for holes to fill with comping. So when the right hand is really active, when the left hand doesn’t have to do that much, but when the right hand kind of has a little bit more rest, than the left hand comes in with comping. Now, let’s pause there for a second. And remember, we’ve talked about playing and resting, right, so we’ve talked about, you know, coming up with a

line that might sound like something like this. Right, so you hear on the right hand, I’m resting yet. And I hold that that note see out for, for a few beats,

well, while I’m holding out that note, see, that’s a perfect time to cut my cords. So an example of not very good copying would be something like this. Whoops.

I see how just like playing those chords just on beat one and beat three, it’s not very exciting or interesting is it? Now listen to this. know, when you listen to that, you can kind of hear how, okay, the right hand shines a little bit and then the left hand kind of takes over, the right hand takes over, then the left hand takes over. So how do we practice this? Well, first of all, I’m going to pull up my example here. So this is the exercise from, you know, exercise number eight, right? So we have this. And now the one thing that you’ll notice, if you take a look at this, or even if you’re just listening to this, right, I mean, take a listen to it, I’ll play it a couple

of times, so you can hear it. Right, there’s not a lot of space going on in the right hand, right? Like these two measures that are happening here. In this exercise,

the right hand is filling up a lot of that space. So there’s not much space for the left hand to fill. But now let’s say that I change this around. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to basically x out this box, this second measure, okay, so I’m not going to play anything in the second measure. And I’m just going to leave my chords for the second measure. So the second measure, the D minor into the G is just going to be chords. So basically, it’s going to sound like this. And then D minor, G, D minor. So I suggest that you do the same thing. So just simply take out one measure in the right hand, it could be the first measure, so rather than going to do chord and then do the lick in the measure number two, right, so we have C major seven, a minor seven in first measure, then D minor seven g7. In the second measure, is a to measure exercise, what I’m saying is take off either the first measure in the right hand or the second measure the right hand. For this example, I’m going to take off the second measure in the right hand. Alright, so I’m going to have and then now it’s D minor, G. So now what do I do over that D minor, g This is where I’m going to count my chords. Now what’s written is just playing a half notes. So start by doing something simple like changing that g7 rather than it being a half note changing into two quarter notes.

Two quarter notes.

That adds a

little bit of motion there. But still, since it’s quarter note, it’s on the beat. It doesn’t sound very jazzy. Right. So what we need to do instead is we need to bring in some of those syncopated rhythms. What is a syncopated rhythm, a syncopated rhythm or the definition of syncopation? The most basic definition I’ve heard of syncopation, that I really love is the alternation between on the beat and off the beat, okay? So if we have some rhythms that are on the beat, and some rhythms that are off the beat, which basically means the ends or the upbeats. Okay, when we have that alternation, then we greet, we create syncopation. Now, it kind of falls into line with the a great definition, I heard of rhythm. And the definition of rhythm is the alternation between sound and silence. So rhythm is the alternation between their sound and then their silence. So if we have sat, down, down, down downtown town, town town, right, you can hear that creates a rhythm, what the rhythm is, it doesn’t matter. But the point is, we’re going from sound, we’re making sound and then we have silence. That’s rhythm. Well, syncopation is altering that sound so that the sound is not always coming in on the downbeats. Not always 123412341234123. Right. So it’s like, that seems very predictable. Right? So now we’re going to create some syncopation. And how we do that is how some upbeats, right, so like, if I just play on a note, see here, just a rhythm, to the board.

Bada, Bada here,

those are my upbeats right there. So I’m playing some on the upbeat and I’m playing some of the downbeat. Now, if I play everything on the upbeat, that’s not syncopation. If I play everything on the downbeat, that’s not syncopation, I need to have the combination of the two. So what I would suggest you try doing to start with your syncopation at first is just tried doing it over this D minor seven g7 measure, right, so I’ll put my real pro track back on here.

One, and two, and three, and four. So you hear how I’m like Hindi I every time I’m saying that, those are my up beats there. I can even come in with that C chord a little bit before the beginning of the measure. So listen to as I do that,

there we go. So listen for that. See. See, right here how I came in just before the resolution of the big

1234 and 1234123. And one, two, so I can play that C chord before the measure starts. Now typically, when I’m starting the exercise, I’m going to start on the downbeat. But every repeat after that is where I can come in and do some of those anticipations. Right. So how you get started with this is just have some fun, you don’t have to have anything specific written out. Okay, just play around and see what kind of rhythms you come up with then that D minor, and then g seven. So again, take a listen. Play the lick. Now I can come All right. So the best way of approaching comping at the beginning phase is to understand some of those rules that we talked about. Right. So the first thing is, remember, you’re just adding rhythm To the chords. It could be whatever rhythm you want. It’s a great way to fill space. It’s an important and complement tool. And you want to make sure that you keep your rhythms simple, the practicing, pick your progression and your chord voicings, that way, you’re not hunting around and trying to figure out what what progression Am I doing, what chord voicings Nana have it already set, because then you could really focus on the rhythm. And we want to start with a simple rhythm. Hey, I know I was doing some syncopation. If that’s too difficult for you, then start with some even more simple rhythms, like I said, just to beat three and four, you know, try doing all quarter notes. Can you do that? Just playing the left hand and quarter notes rather than half notes. Start there, you know, I try playing on beats two and four.

See, I did 12341234, right. But I’m the very first on the See I did one, two, I played on beats One, two, so I can create a very interesting pattern there. Remember, leave space, do not overplay and look for holes to fill with comping. So that means that you’re going to play in the right hand, you’re going to do your improv, but then add some space in the right hand. And while you add that space in the right hand, that’s where you fill in with the left hand. And again, that sounds like this.

space in the right hand, fill what a copy. Okay, and of course, the last thing is, have fun when you’re copying your chords, right? If it’s stiff, and it’s very, like rigid, it’s not gonna sound good, right? So for comping to sound good, you need it to be relaxed. So you need to make sure that you’re having fun right. Now, if you have any questions, feel free to join me on Thursdays for my q&a session that’s at 1pm Eastern, go back to the competent improviser.com. If you’re not a member of jazz edge, you can learn more back at that site or a jazz hedge calm. Thanks for joining me guys. I’ll see in the next podcast episode.

Practice Session – Triads

How to master your triads away from the piano.

Hey guys, Willie Myette

creator of jazz edge want to welcome you to episode number seven of the confident improviser podcast. Today we are going to talk about, we’re going to have a practice session on triads. Right I’m going to show you how to master your triads away from the piano, I want to remind you that this podcast goes hand in hand with my confident improviser course found at jazz edge. So it’s a great supplement to that course. And also there is a video replay within the course. You can also find more information about the program at the confident improviser.com. Okay, so practice session triads. First of all, why should we practice away from the piano? The first reason is, it’s a great way to internalize theory, right. So when you’re practicing stuff away from the piano, you don’t have the benefit of seeing the keys right in front of you, you don’t have that tactile sense. So you really have to get the keys in your mind’s eye. So like when I see the key of C, you know, if you’re looking at the virtual keyboard here in the video, right, you see all the arms lit up, like I’m seeing all of these notes in my mind’s eye, if I move to the key of F, then I have that B flat right in my mind’s eye as well. So I can visualize what that scale looks like in each note of the scale, just in my mind’s eye without having to see it. The other thing that’s great about it is it’s really encourages multimodal learning real quickly, remember, multimodal learning as we learn all in different ways, some of us are more aural listeners in which we have to hear it, some of us have to see it, some of us have to like actually get hands on and do it. So this is just another way another mode that you can use to be able to learn and who knows, this mode might really speak to you and speak to your learning style. So until you try it, you don’t know. Third thing is it’s also intellectual expression. So we’re very used to like, you know,

right, we’re used to playing at the piano and being able to express ourselves by playing notes. Now, this gives us an opportunity to still be making quote unquote, music and expressing ourselves through music, but in a more intellectual way, right. And that’s good, because that kind of ties in with our multimodal learning. The other thing too, is, it’s truly the path to mastery. If you can’t spell your scales can’t spell your chords, be able to visualize all of that away from the piano, then you really haven’t mastered it yet. Right? So think about it, like you know, your times table, you know, one times one, one times two, one times three, like all of that stuff, you’ve memorized all of that you don’t have to like fill it all out and try and figure it out. That stuff is memorized and you memorized it in school. And now you own it, you master it. Okay, so how do we do this, the first thing you do is pick a tonality. So that means that Okay, we’re going to do like say major triads, or minor triads are diminished or augmented. So start with one tonality I say for right now, let’s start with major triads. Second thing is picking inversion. So, right now I’m just going to say root position. So remember, in a try, it could be root position, first inversion, second inversion, root position, right? So when we’re just getting started with this, just start with the root, root position, okay? Now, bear in mind, that’s not an inversion, it’s really root position, but you get the idea, like, you know, pick an inversion, maybe you want to do first inversion, second inversion, whatever it is, but stick with one of them to start, first of all, third thing, say a random note, so not a chord, so you’re not going to say, oh, D major, you’re just gonna say D, you already know it’s going to be major. So all we need to know is what is the root of that chord. And finally, you’re going to spell out the chord tones. So now, what does that mean? spell out the quarter. As you can see, I have this in quotes. I’m not going to say, like for D major, I’m not going to say D and A j or right. And that’s spelling D major. I’m spelling the notes that are found in that D major, try it and what is it, it’s D, F sharp and egg. Don’t worry, we’re going to practice a bunch of them in just a second. And then finally, rinse and repeat. Just keep going on doing it over and over and over again. Okay, so now what we’re going to do is, we’re going to try a couple right now. And this is going to be a good practice session for you when you go through all 12. But we’re going to do them randomly. Now just to make sure that I get through all 12. I’m going to bring this over here and get my randomization sheet so that we just do it all in order here. Okay, so all right, so let’s start with F, right? So it’s going to be F major. So what are the notes of an F major triad? I’m going to give you an opportunity to say it then I’m going to say it after afterwards. So this would be a good way for you to practice. So F major

F, A C, what about a So what is a major, A, C sharp, E, D major, D, F sharp, a, in fact, let’s go back, I’m gonna do this one more time F major, f AC,

I’m gonna play it for you as well. Okay, so here it, f AC, alright, and then a major, A, C sharp, E,

D, Major, D, F sharp, A, B, flat Major, B, flat, D, and F, right, just gonna switch this. So we have all everything is flat. So right now, B flat, D, and F for B flat major, A flat major, a flat, C, E, flat, good. E major, E, G, sorry, E, G, sharp, B, E, Major, E, G, sharp, B, D flat major, D flat, F, A flat, B major. That’d be B, D sharp, F sharp, C major. That’s pretty easy, right? C, E, G, G flat major, G


B flat, D flat, E flat major. That’s E flat, G, B flat. And then finally, G major. That is G, B, and D. Now I have this randomization chart, okay, that you can go ahead and download. Right in the jazz head site, there’s a lesson I did that is entitled master every chord using this exercise. And these randomization charts are great way of practicing your chords, without you know, going through like the circle of fifths or circle of fourths, which your your ears are going to get very accustomed to, very quickly and you’re going to know what’s coming next. Okay. All right. So let’s try a couple more this time. Let’s go through and let’s do minor chords. Alright, so let’s go ahead through and we will do minor chords, we’re going to do a different different one now. Okay, so here we go. C minor, C, E, flat, G, G, minor, G, B flat, D, E minor, E, G, B, B flat minor, B flat, D flat, E flat, minor, E flat, G flat, B flat, a minor, A, C, E, D flat minor, D flat, F flat, or E, you can think of it as well, and a flat, it’s best to think of it as D flat, F flat and a flat rather than E. Okay? Because for you to write it out, you’d write it as an F flat. Same note, still the note E, but we would say f flat, B minor, B, D, natural, F sharp, G flat minor, G flat. This one’s kind of tricky. The enharmonic spelling would be B, double flat. Okay, that’s what we’d say. But we could also just say a for right now, right? And then D flat. So G flat, B double flat, D flat, or G flat, A and D flat. In case you’re wondering what that is all about that term is an harmonic. And harmonic is basically saying that there are more than one way, there’s more than one name for each note. So just note could be an a natural or a B double flat, right, which is a B flat and then flat it again. Okay? All right. So let’s see, we did a, G flat, F minor, F, A flat, C, D minor, D, F, A, and finally, a flat minor, a flat,

C flat, E flat. So a flat, C flat, E flat. You might also think of it as a flat, B, an E flat. Okay. All right, so now we’ve gone through and we’ve done all of our major and minor root position triads. So you should go through and just make sure that you practice those and what you could do is you could literally just write out on a sheet of paper, all 12 chromatic tones in a random order, like the order I just did here, C, G, B flat, E flat, A, D flat, B, G flat, F, D and A flat, that gives you all 12. Right. But in a random order, you don’t have to do that order. In fact, what I would say is try coming up with different orders. Or you could just on the spot, just kind of like say it out loud, like as you’re walking down the street or whatever. Alright, F minor, F, A flat, C, B minor, B, D, F sharp, E flat, Major, E, flat, G, B flat, D, Major, D, F sharp, a, right, and try and make sure that you get the sharps and the flats correctly, you’re not going to mix sharps and flats, right? So for instance, you know, in E flat, if I’m going to say E flat minor, I’m not going to say E flat, F sharp, B flat, right, I’m not going to mix flats and sharps in these triads. So if I’m using flats, then it’s going to be flats on using sharps, then it’s going to be sharps, D major D, F sharp a, right, so I’m using the F sharp now, I’m not going to say G flat, because there’s no G flat in the D major scale. Now, this is practicing triad, you can do the same stuff for practicing scales. And I encourage you to do that as well. For instance, the D major scale or what didn’t know to the D major scale, and I’m going to give you a trick right now, that works really, really well. This is like kind of like a little bit of a bonus trick. When you spell a major scale. Notice what I’m saying a major scale, right? I’m not saying an altered scale, half whole diminished, or anything like that, those scales might have mixes of sharps and flats in them. But when you are spelling a major scale, we have 12 major scales, right, you are going to use each note one time, right, and you cannot double A note. So that means that it is going to go D then e then not G flat because we would have been skipping over F it’s D, E, F sharp. So now I know that in the key of D, I have to use an F sharp, so it’s D, E, F sharp, G, A, B, C sharp D. Now, you might also wonder, wait a second, how do I figure out my major scale? If I’m away from the piano? Remember, there’s a pattern to the major scale, it’s actually pattern to all the scales, but let’s just focus on the major scale. And that pattern is two whole steps, a half step, three whole steps and a half step. So what you do if we go back to the D major example, again, we start on a note. No, I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t gone a whole step or a half step, I just literally put my finger on the note D. So that’s it. Okay, so I’m on D. Now I go up a whole step. So that is what he right. Now I go up another whole step. Well, what is that it’s not f that’s a half step, I go up here to F sharp. Now the virtual keyboard you see says G flat, but we know better than it’s supposed to be F sharp. And what’s the rule that we know that we can’t break? The rule is that we have to use each letter in order without skipping. So if I said D, E, G flat, I just skipped over F. So I know that that’s that’s not right. So I know it’s going to go a D and I know it’s going to be an eighth and I know it’s going to be some kind of f, right, either f flat F or F sharp. In this case, it’s F sharp. Now I know what’s coming up next is some kind of a G, well, I got to go up a half step. already gone my two whole steps, right. So I started D went up a whole step to E from E and went up a whole step two F sharp now the next thing is a half step. So that’s G, another whole step after that is a, another whole step is B, another whole step is C sharp, okay? And then a half step is D. Now, I said that we don’t repeat the notes, right, we don’t repeat a letter, obviously, when we get to the very end, we’re repeating the very first one, right, because we’re going to keep going, right? So you will have to repeat at the very end. Okay. So again, D, E, F sharp, G, A, B, C, sharp, D, spelling these scales,

and these chords away from the piano, I can tell you firsthand, completely changed my playing. So when I was a teenager, and even before as a teenager, my father used to have these index cards, and we would spell scales and modes and chords and all of this stuff in the car. He was a professional photographer, we would so we would go all over the place. You know, he’d be taking pictures, and we would have these index cards in the car and constantly running through all of these theory drills. Well, when I went to Berkeley, he’s supposed to take four semesters of music theory, I was able to test out of the first two levels of music theory and start on level three, because I already knew all of this music theory before I even entered school, right. So I know for firsthand that it works. And it definitely makes a huge difference. And I’ll tell you one more anecdote. I always find it interesting when I was in theory classes at Berkeley, you know, if a teacher would say, Okay, yeah, spell, like the E major scale E, F sharp, G sharp, A, B, C, sharp, D sharp, E. And then like, you know, other musicians would be like, they’re like, oh, he then, uh, you know, they had a real hard time being able to spell out those scales, especially musicians that are not, you know, melodic instruments, like, you know, like, say, a drum or something like that, you know, drummer, it’s kind of tough because you know, you’re not dealing with melodies, right? So anyway, spelling this stuff. And doing this work away from the piano is super, super powerful. That’s why I wanted to do this podcast on it. Hopefully, you’ll go back and you’ll try refreshing, you know, and testing yourself on those. But then also make up your own stuff and just say a root, say a chord type and and spell the chord. Right. And if you have questions, remember, you can always join me on Thursdays at 1pm. Eastern, the link is on the jazz Ed site. And you can ask any of your questions for the confident improviser. Alright, that’s it for me. I’ll see you guys in the next lesson.

The Key To Killer Licks

How to make your licks sound more professional.

Hey guys, Willie Myette from jazz edge, I want to welcome you to episode number six of the confident improviser podcast. In today’s podcast episode, we’re gonna be talking about the key to killer licks. All right, so I’m going to show you how to make your licks sound more professional. So I want to remind you this podcast is for my students that are taking the confident improviser. course at jazz edge. It’s designed to help you stay focused, while learning improvisation and being able to learn away from the piano kind of take it with you to go, there is a video replay of this episode. So if you want to see any of these licks being performed, or you want to get the sheet music for today’s licks, you can get all of that at jazz edge.com. And it’s right in the confident improviser course, you can also learn more about the confident improviser at the confident improviser.com. Okay, so let’s get right into it to today’s topic. Again, the key to killer licks. So killer licks, there’s a couple of things that you want to do. And when I say killer licks, I mean, licks that you can play, and you can play well, and you could play well all of the time, and you just feel like you own them. Alright, so there’s a couple of things you need to do. Number one, is pick a simple rhythm and master it, rhythm is at the key to everything that we do with the piano. So if you really don’t have your rhythm down for a lick, that is gonna be very, very difficult for you to be able to play that lick, the rhythm that we’re using is owned by triple lead d by d by d by da. So it’s Oh, by triple lead d by d by d by.by. Play it on a note on the piano, oh, by triple lead d by d by the by


by tripod lead the by the by the bottom. Now, it could be any of the rhythms that we’ve talked about in the competent improviser could be a rhythm that you come up with. I would say though, keep it simple, meaning that it shouldn’t be too long. The nice thing about this rhythm is it goes over the measure, which we’ll see once we get to the sheet music by a couple of beats day, but it’s not so long as two measures or three or four measures long. It’s easily memorized, and manageable. So if you’re listening to to this away from the piano, I would suggest tap this bunch of a lady buddy, buddy, but you know, like tap it and try and get that rhythm in your bones before you get back to the piano. So that’s the first thing. Pick one simple rhythm, master it. Now I did not put this down. But it should go without saying as well. You also need a simple accompaniment that you have mastered for this a compliment. Today we’re going to use the component right from the exercise number six. Okay, so just that simple core note baseline, make sure that you have that memorized as well. All right, the next thing, you want to pick notes that are simple as well. For today’s example, we’re just going to use the notes of the C major five finger scale, which is C, D, E, F, and G. Do you want to make sure that you know those notes awesome. That’s pretty simple, right? Like that five finger scale, it’s only five notes. Starting right on C, make sure you haven’t memorized this shouldn’t take too long for you. Right, I would go ahead and play it up and down a few times, just to make sure that you really got it underneath your fingertips. Okay, so you’ve got that as well. Third thing, the articulation, you want to pay attention to your articulation, especially towards the end of the lick. And I’m going to show you in a second when I demonstrate these legs. So we’ll get back to this one in a second. But just think articulation, really important. dynamics number four, right? If you play with flat dynamics, it’s kind of like talking with a monotone voice. And I’m constantly talking with the same inflection and dynamics and I’m not changing at all. It sounds natural, right? Right. Sometimes you want a little bit of something, sometimes you want to get a little bit more loud, right? So you want those dynamics, because that’s what makes your lick and your improvisation sound real. Now, before we go on too far, let’s just do a quick definition of lick, right? Because we hear that a lot in jazz, you know, blues and rock and whatnot, you know, you’re going to play some licks. So a lick is just a short phrase that you use for improvisation like like, there you go. There’s a lick. A lick is usually not going to be something long like.

Right, something like that. That’d be way too long for a lick. And quite frankly, that doesn’t sound very good at all. Because I’m not putting any breaks in it. No pauses, no breath. All right. So illich is usually kind of a short it might be as little as two or three notes. And it might be as long as a measure two measures, maybe even three minutes. Long. All right, and then these licks, we could put them together, and then form larger licks and then form our improvisation from there. But to be honest with you, I don’t want you to just think of improvisation as being licks, because then you can get into sounding like a lick player, which you just go from lick, to lick, to lick to lick. And it’s really not improvisation. It’s more like painting by numbers at that point, right? So true improvisation is yes, you have these ideas in your mind, you practice them, you’ve heard them, you have had them underneath your fingertips, you’ve played licks, but true improvisation is really just bringing everything that you’ve learned up to this point in time. And bringing it all together in real time. Right. So it might be a lick. It might be, you know, just kind of like playing around with something right off of, you know, your scales. All right. But the point is, that it’s all done in real time. Right. So that’s licks, okay, so and, like I said, dynamics, really important to make sure that you, you know, think about your dynamics. The last thing is range. And in range. What we’re doing is we’re saying, Okay, why don’t necessarily have to stay right over here.

Maybe I

come up here. Maybe I come up here. Okay. And we’ll talk about that as well. All right. So let’s get into the two licks that I have here. I have the sheet music for them. The sheet music is in the inspiration, sheet music. All right, it’s the second page with the inspiration sheet music. So just take a look at this first leg. Now, again, you know, it’s not necessarily going to blow the doors off of anyone’s, you know, house, they’re like, oh, wow, boy, that lick is so interesting and whatnot. No, but the thing is, it sounds rhythmically. Interesting. There’s emotion to it. The articulation is good. The dynamics are are all right. All right. So that so the lick is a good sound lick. When I talk when I listen to students play, and they’ll play the bass line, right? And they’ll be improvising in the right hand. Like even using like a rhythm, like triplets and eighth notes. I’ll hear a lot of times this kind of stuff.


Right. So the rhythm might be off. Sometimes the notes might be off, but then a lot of times the articulation is off as well. So listen to what happens. I’m going to play the lick two times for you. And I want you to listen to both times. And you tell me which one sounds more buoyant to you sounds like it lately, like it kind of has more life to it. Here’s the first one.

There’s a second one.

If you answered the second one, I would tend to agree with you the first one, I was playing pretty much dynamically flat. The rhythm also on this was kind of like, played the rhythm a little bit straight in the articulation of that last note, that quarter note, rather than playing it short and run and giving it a little bit of a bounce. I just kind of held it out. And it sounded just kind of flat. The notes were okay. But the rest of it was not. So let’s pause there for one second. The notes were okay. Meaning that the notes that I played were absolutely fine. So the bass notes, the accompaniment notes, and the right hand improvisation notes. All fine. So then you might scratch your head and say, Well, wait a second. Isn’t that it? I got the right notes. I got the right accompaniment. Isn’t that enough? Like, like, haven’t I? You know, haven’t I achieved improvisational greatness there by playing the right notes along with their compliment? And the answer is no, because you’re not shaping the notes. Remember this? Here’s a good analogy. Just because you know exactly what it is to say, you know that how you say it has a huge impact, right? If you want to, like kind of, like get people excited. And you know, you know, come around to your way of thinking. If you say something like, you know what, I think that it would be a really good idea if we were to practice more than once a week because it’s going to make the band sound a lot better. You know, I mean, you listen to that. It’s like oh, it doesn’t sound like you really convinced you sounds kind of flat. Whereas if you say, you know what I think like our bandwidth sounds so much better if we were to practice more than once a week, right? So you hear the difference, right? You can hear the excitement, the passion of the second way that I said it, right. So the way that we say things is super important. Now, when it comes to notes of the piano, the way that we shape what it is that we’re saying at the piano, is through that articulation. It’s through the dynamics, it’s through strong rhythm. So the dynamics and the articulation are really, really important. So notice that that first note. And the last look, see that last note, nice and short. nice and crisp, as well. Remember, this is why we also do our scales, because in the middle, if we get

right, if we kind of like mush them together. Right, they get kind of mushed together, they don’t sound nice and crispy.

Using that grab technique, right with our fingers, the grab technique, like really allows us to make that line nice and crisp. So make sure that when you’re practicing your scales, you’re really thinking about that grab technique and grabbing at those notes, because that’s going to translate into your licks. Alright, so articulation, super, super important. Really, the best way of practicing it is just start to think about it, right? Just start to think like, Well, you know, when I get to that quarter note, especially at the end of the phrase, my kind of given a little bit of a pop, okay? Or am I just kind of letting it fizzle out, and it’s flat there. When you record yourself, which I recommend that you do weekly, at least once a week, record yourself improvising. And then ask yourself these questions, right, go back and ask these questions. You know, was the rhythm solid? Did I pick a simple rhythm? You know, did I keep the notes together? Or was I like, kind of like going all over the place with the notes? If I’m doing a cross, like doing a scale, which I have to cross underneath the cross over with my thumb or a finger in my crossing? Well, or am I having a little bit of a hiccup there? Third thing, articulation? You know, what’s going on with my articulation? Am I using articulation at all? Or am I just focusing on playing the notes? Then thinking about your dynamics? Or the dynamics there? Does it sound like everything is just played at the same level?

Or are you playing things at different levels. And then finally, let’s talk about range. So ranges,

we’re probably not gonna play it down here. Right, that’s a little bit too low. And it’s getting conflicted with the other hand with the bass hand, right. But the point is, by moving into that range, like playing it here, we’re playing a here or playing it up here. Hey, that changes the whole vibe and feel as well. And the cool thing about that is that you can play the lick more than once, right?

Alright, so you see how I could play that lick more than once. And it doesn’t sound boring, because I’m changing the range. Alright, so now let’s move on to the second leg. So you see, I took exactly the same rhythm, why the same rhythm, because I’m really just trying to nail that rhythm and really have that rhythm deep within my soul, right? So that I could play by triple ed d by d by d by da, I could play that rhythm anytime I can apply whatever notes I want to it. And I know that I own that rhythm. Okay, so that’s why I keep playing that rhythm over and over and over again. It’s a great way to practice that. So now again, notice here, same thing I’m thinking about my dynamics, I’m thinking about my articulation, thinking about range, so sorry. Whoops, let me fix that again.

There we go.

So here’s you here, awesome, the dynamic might start loud and kind of get a little bit softer. Now one thing that we’re also have not talked about yet, which we will talk about down the road is accents. Right? You hear how sometimes I will accent one note over another. For right now, don’t worry too much about that, but just kind of put it in the back of your head. accent in notes. That’s an interesting concept as well. Right? So Okay, so now I could take both of those, let’s run them wide, one after another.

I could change the range. Okay, so by working on the articulation by working on my dynamics, but really thinking about my range and playing around with range, and really

owning the accompaniment,

the notes and the rhythm, now I create killer licks for myself, right? Now, this can be a tedious process, right? So like you got to go through and you’re gonna work through all of these different rhythms and baselines and, you know, five finger patterns and notes and whatnot. But the reality is that it goes by quite quickly. And as you do more of this work, in which you’re focusing on some specific licks, and you’re focusing on really kind of tightening up your rhythm, and notes and all of that, you’ll see that very quickly, these licks start to add on to one another. So now this rhythm, okay, we’re doing it over and over these notes, there’s nothing to say that we can do it over a blue scale. All right, and then go back to this baseline, right?

Right. So you see how I’m playing that other baseline, I’m taking playing the five finger blue scale here, but I’m using the same rhythm. So this is where as we start to practice, and we start to kind of make our practice more encompassing, we can really start to utilize some of these same concepts, from lick to lick and a component to a component scale to scale, right. So the point is, you want to really make sure that you master those rhythms because by mastering those rhythms, you can reuse them over and over and over again. Alright, so now if you have any questions on what I’ve covered here, remember every Thursday at 1pm, Eastern, we do our live q&a session for the confident improviser. Anyone who is in my confident improviser course, is welcome to attend the link for that just login to jazz edge.com. And right at the top right at the top of the page where it says live training, go ahead and click there and you can get the link to to the live training. Alright, so that’s it. Thank you guys for joining me and I’ll see you in the confident improviser