Essential Techniques Of Jazz And Contemporary Piano

Essential Techniques Of Jazz And Contemporary Piano

by Steve Lockwood

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Overview

Essential Techniques Of Jazz And Contemporary Piano by Steve Lockwood

Looking for that definitive text that covers improvisation in all its diversity with clarity and ease? Are you ready to put in the time and effort required to be a complete musician? Are you unable to afford huge tuitions for your education, but want the careful guidance that a private teacher with the right text can give you? Your search has ended!

This book covers "Essential" materials for a thorough study of improvisation and Jazz piano in two parts: Techniques and Styles. Part 1 includes studies of chord voicings, (how to arrange chord notes in your hands), harmonic and linear approaches to soloing, keyboard bass, rhythmic phrasing, and the "free areas" of introductions, endings, and turnarounds. Part 2 covers a chronological study of style from early Stride techniques, through Swing, Be-Bop, modal harmony, Latin "montuno" techniques and thoughts on soloing in general.

Serious amateurs and young professionals alike will learn basic concepts, enabling a deeper pursuit of each subject, opening the door to a personal repertoire and individual style for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781456737313
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 03/10/2011
Pages: 140
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.30(d)

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Essential Techniques of Jazz and Contemporary Piano


By Steve Lockwood

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2011 Steve Lockwood
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4567-3731-3


Chapter One

Lesson 1 Rudiments: Intervals and Triads

If you have already studied the material in this lesson, consider this section of the book as a review. Rudimentary harmonic studies are the foundation studies for Jazz and Contemporary music as they help you learn to play by ear and are necessary to read fakebook lead sheets.

The simplest chord form is a triad. The four triad types are Major, Minor, Diminished, and Augmented. The eight 7th chord types are Major, Major 7+5, Minor, Minor +7, Dominant, Diminished, Augmented, and Half Diminished.

Notice the chord symbols below. An alphabetical letter indicates the root on which a chord is built. Chords are built in consecutive thirds (i.e., C-E-G-B or Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc). Two short cuts to aid in chord construction follow: 1) build the chord using alternating letters of the musical alphabet, and 2) build the chord using either the lines or the spaces of either clef.

One of the first things that you must learn is to read and interpret chord symbols. The following list is a reference that includes all the chords you will encounter in this course.

Chord Symbols

Reference Table 1

Intervals

Reference Table 2

The following table is to be used as a reference for the student to aid in the understanding Of intervals. The indication N/A simply means that the half or whole steps for that quality are not applicable.

Unisons, 4ths, 5ths, and Octaves are Perfect, Augmented, and Diminshed. Augmented is 1/2 step larger than Perfect. Diminshed is 1/2 step smaller.

Example 1a

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2nds, 3rds, 6ths, and 7ths are Major, Minor, Diminished, and Augmented. Minor is 1/2 step smaller then Major, Diminshed is 1 whole step smaller, and Augmented is 1/2 step larger.

Example 1b

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Major triad = Major 3rd on bottom - Minor 3rd on top Minor triad = Minor 3rd on bottom - Major 3rd on top

Diminished triad = Minor 3rd on bottom - Minor 3rd on top Augmented triad = Major 3rd on bottom - Major 3rd on top

Example 1c

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Assignment

As part of your assignment, copy all the intervals on this page to the bass clef.

Exercise 1

Identify the intervals:

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Write the interval above the given note:

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Identify the following triads:

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Identify the intervals:

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Write the interval above the given note:

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Identify the following triads:

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Write the triad above the given note:

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Chapter Two

Lesson 2 The Diatonic Scale Tone Triads

In Lesson 1, you saw that chords are spelled in thirds (Example 1c) and that a triad, with just 3 notes, is the simplest chord form. These triads are the harmonic basis of our music. The scale formula (that is, the interval between each note of a scale), can be harmonized in triads. In the examples on the next page, all the triads are in root position. This means that the root of the chord is in the bass. So, playing only the bottom note of each triad gives you the scale formula. For example, playing the roots of the triads in Example 2a gives us the actual scale formula for the Major scale. The formula is: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole. Knowing this formula will help you to understand how harmonic and tonal "gravity" occurs in our music.

Tonal gravity works the same way in Classical music as it does in Jazz, Rock n' Roll, Blues, and most of the other forms of Contemporary music. In later lessons, we will see how this tonal gravity shapes chord progressions through the Circle of Fifths.

When you do the exercises in this book, you will begin to identify for yourself the sounds you hear everyday. But from now on you will have a reference point by which to identify these sounds. This is how to begin to play music by ear!

Diatonic Scale Tone Triads: Major and Relative Minor

Example 2a

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Example 2c

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Example 2d

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Example 2e

Inversions

Triads are inverted by taking the bottom note in the triad and placing it on the top. For instance, all the triads in Example 2 are in root position, that is, with the root in the bass. If you put the root C in Ex. 2a one octave up, the triad will be in the first inversion, with the third in the bass. Putting the third one octave up puts the triad in the 2nd inversion.

Assignment

Identify the quality (Major, Minor, Dim. or Aug.) and inversions (Root Position, 1st, or 2nd inversion) of the following triads. Also, write the triad again in the bass clef.

Exercise 2a

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Assignment

Identify the inversion (Root pos. 1st inverson or 2nd inversion), number (i - vii), and the quality (major, minor, diminished, or augmented) of the following triads.

Hint: If you practice inverting the Example 2 triads, finding triad roots will be easy.

To complete the assignment, follow these steps I used for the first triad:

1) To find the root of the chord, invert the chord on the keyboard until it has only thirds in it.

2) Refer to Examples 2b, 2c, 2d and 2e in this lesson to find the answers on this page. Answers must be transposed from the examples.

Hint: Any triad with a Perfect 4th, must be in either 1st or 2nd inversion.

Exercise 2b

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Chapter Three

Lesson 3 Simple Chord Progressions and the Circle of Fifths The Circle of Fifths is the clockwise arrangement of the twelve keys in an order of Ascending fifths (or descending fourths), showing that after twelve such steps the initial key is reached again. It presents the keys in their natural order, that is, increasing by one at a time the number of sharps in the signature. If viewed counterclockwise, we see descending fifths (ascending fourths) again viewed in their natural order, increasing by one at a time the number of flats in a key signature.

In this lesson you will be asked to practice the progression assignments in the Circle of Fifths. That is, you will see the chords written out in the key of C, but after you become familiar with the voicings (distribution of notes through the hands) of each progression in C, you will next transpose (play the same chord voicings in a new key) that progression to the next key in the Circle of Fifths. This could be either the key of G, or F depending on which way you choose to go around the circle. In other words, in Exercise 3c the first chord, a chord spelled d-f-a-c in the key of C, would be spelled g-b flat d- f when transposed to the key of F. Am is the relative minor of C major. Notice that the chord symbols above the staff will be notated in this manner in your fakebook. Refer to the page showing the Diatonic Scale Tone 7ths (Examples 3a-d) or the chord symbol chart on the Introduction page to Lesson 1 for reference if necessary.

Keyboard Assignment Open and Closed Position Chords and "Satin Doll"

This is your first assignment using a sketchbook. Buy a blank spiral music book (with the Grand Staff or blank staffs on the pages) to write out this exercise. There will be others as we proceed.

Triads can be voiced in both open and closed positions. A closed-position voicing is Defined as a distribution of notes whose span from top to bottom does not exceed one octave. It will be some combination of adjacent 3rd and 4th intervals.

Open position triads have a distribution of notes, whose span from top to bottom exceeds one octave.

In Exercise 3d in this lesson, notice that the left hand has two notes to play, thereby extending the voicing through both hands. Although the R.H. voicings are less than one octave in most examples, I have still named them as "open" because of the total expanse of the chord, and the space between both hands which includes at least one omitted chord tone.

Practive Exercise 3c and 3d (p18) before you begin this assignment. Then find "Satin Doll" by Duke Ellington in your fakebook. Play the melody alone as it is in the fakebook version. Then, switch the chords to your left hand as you did in Exercise 3c, keeping the single note melody in the right hand. Make sure your fakebook example is in the key of C with chord symbol indications. Use Reference Table 1 in Lesson 1 to help you find the correct notes for the chord in question if necessary. Try to play this with a swing feel, noting the syncopations that occur between the hands.

Diatonic Scale Tone 7ths

Study each example, then write all chords in the bass elef.

Example 3a

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Example 3b

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Example 3c

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Example 3d

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Diatonic Scale Tone 7ths

Chord Voicing Study - In the following exercise, play the voicings for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd inversion chords in Major and Harmonic, Melodic, and Natural minor in 12 keys. C major and A harmonic minor are provided as examples. Practice the R.H. alone at first. Then, add the L.H. Use Root-5, or Root-7 in the left hand, depending on which sounds best to you. If this sounds like a lot to do, it is!! But, if you take one key per day, you will have finished the exercise in 2 weeks!

Exercise 3a

C major – 1st Inversion

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C major – 2st Inversion

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C major – 3rd Inversion

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A harmonic minor - 1st Inversion

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A harmonic minor - 2nd Inversion

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A harmonic minor - 3rd Inversion

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Hint: For the A Melodic minor, you will only have to add an F# to the harmonic minor exercise. For A Natural minor, you will have NO ACCIDENTALS. This should help when it comes to transposing.

Example 3b

More Diatonic Scale Tone Seventh voicings. Do the same as you did with Exercise 3a. Be ready to name the chord qualities as you play and transpose them.

C Major

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A Harmonic Minor

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A Melodic Minor

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A Natural Minor

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Chord Voicings for Simple Progressions

Common Tone 7ths - closed position

Transpose to other keys. Switch R.H voicings to L.H., playing chord roots (8ves) in the R.H. Some of these switched voicings will sound better than others. Pick which ones you like best. Be sure to observe the ties as this describes the tones that are indeed "common" to any two chords and helps to create good voice-leading.

Example 3c

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Common Tone 9ths - closed position

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Common Tone 9ths - open position

Exercise 3d

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Tip: Almost all contemporary songs in any style contain this progression in some form. Knowing how it sounds and how it is played is essential to the growth of your ear.

Chord Voicings for Simple Progressions in Minor

Common Tone 7ths - open and closed position

Exercise 3e

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The above voicings can be used in Standards, Minor Blues or even pop tunes that are in a minor key. Note the use of the Bmin9 and Bmin 11 in the last 3 examples. It is possible that these chords could occur in certain songs with resolutions in a minor key. See Reference Table 5 in Lesson 10 for more on the min7-5 and and the min7th chords. Also, notice that not all of the E7 chords have the same alterations. As in the other examples, use the Circle of Fifths to play in all keys, and observe the ties.

Left Hand ii7-V7 Voicing

What if you wanted to improvise on the progressions in Exercises 3c, 3d & 3e? Simplicity can be maintained by using spare voicings such as the ones below. They are somewhat derived from L.H. voicings in the previous pages. (See Exercise 3d). Improvise your own melodic patterns or see the melodic patterns in Exercise 3c in Lesson 3a for help.

Exercise 3f

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Hint: Practice one bar at a time and slowly piece together on a progression. Do you want your R.H. line to come from the chords or the accompanying scale?

Chapter Four

Lesson 3a Another Simple Chord Progression

Please turn to "I Got Rhythm" by composer George Gershwin in your fakebook. This song became a template for Bebop musicians who used the song's chord progression to write many Jazz melodies of their own. You will find out more about his practice in Lesson 7 and in Lessons 10-12 when you study Bebop in depth.

This song starts out with a I-VI7-iimin7-V7 progression, two bars in length and repeated Through the first two 8 bar sections of the piece (played 8 times). Then the progression continues with the third 8 bar section, better known as the "bridge". It is a Circle of Fifths beginning with the Dominant 7th chord whose root is the 3rd scale degree of the home key. So, in C, this would be an E7 chord. Then, the bridge moves around the Circle of Fifths to G7, Two bard for each chord, and the tune ends with the first 8 bars played again. This is 32 bar Standard song form. Many songs from the early 30's to late 50's were written with a similar form in mind.

In the last lesson, we covered the most important iimin7-V7-I progression. Now, we will do the same in this lesson, adding the I-VI7 to the iimin7-V7-I progression. This will cover 24 bars of "I Got Rhythm." Then, in Lesson 4, along with our discussion of the Blues, we will discuss the Dominant 7th chord, which will help in our execution of the Circle of Fifths bridge section of the song, thereby completing our in depth look into the song and it's harmonic makeup.

Below are a few tunes that are variations of the "Rhythm" template. They either have the exact chord progression as "I Got Rhythm," or they are very similar. You can find recordings f these compositions online by searching under the composer listed, or under any artist you may know who recorded the composition. Be sure and follow along with the appropriate fakebook lead sheet as you playback each song.

Suggested Listening

"Perdido" by Dave Brubeck on Time Signatures: A Career in Retrospective

"Cottontail" by Duke Ellington on Duke: The Complete Works-1924 - 1947

"Anthropology" by Charlie Parker on The Bird Returns

"I Got Rhythm" by George Gershwin on The Kansas City Sessions by Lester Yound

"Ornithology" by Charlie Parker on In a Soulful Mood

"Scrapple from the Apple" by Charlie Parker on In a Soulful Mood

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Essential Techniques of Jazz and Contemporary Piano by Steve Lockwood Copyright © 2011 by Steve Lockwood. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction - Chord Symbols - Reference Table 1....................1
Intervals - Reference Table 2....................2
Intervals and Triads....................3
Exercise 1....................4
Introduction: The Diatonic Scale Tone Triads....................7
Scale Tone Triads: Major and Minor/Inversions - Examples 2a-e....................8
Assignment - Exercise 2a-b....................9
Introduction and The Circle of Fifths....................11
Keyboard Assignment: "Satin Doll"....................12
Scale Tone 7ths: Major and Minor - Examples 3a-d....................13
Voicings - Scale Tone 7ths: Chord Voicing Study - Exercises 3a-b....................14
Voicings - Exercise 3c-d ii7-V7-I....................18
Voicings - Exercise 3e - ii7-V7-I in Minor....................20
Exercise 3f - Left Hand/Root 7-Root 3 Voicings....................21
Introduction - "I Got Rhythm"....................23
Voicings - Exercise 3a and 3b....................24
Keyboard Assignment: Melodic Exercises - Exercise 3c....................25
Sketchbook Assignment 1: "I Got Rhythm"....................26
Introduction....................27
Example 4: Blues Progressions 1-6....................28
Dominant Cycle - Exercises 4a-d....................29
Sketchbook Assignment 1a:....................34
Introduction....................35
Keyboard Assignment Bass Lines - Exercises 5a-j....................36
Writing Assignment....................38
Exercise 5k....................39
Introduction - Reference Table 3....................41
Note Value Divisions – Reference Table 4....................43
Keyboard Assignment Examples 6a-i: The 2 Bar Syncopated Phrase....................44
Exercises 6j-m: Written Assignment: Phrasing....................45
Introduction - Momentary Keys - Form Discussion....................47
"In Your Own Sweet Way", "Triste"....................48
Introduction....................53
Introductions: Examples 8a-g....................54
Endings: Examples 8h-n....................55
Turnarounds....................57
Sketchbook Assignment 3: Written Intros/Endings....................58
Introduction....................63
Keyboard Assignment....................64
Rhythmic Styles: Exercises 9a-d....................65
More Rhythmic Exercises 9e-g....................67
More Rhythmic Exercises 9h-j....................68
Introduction....................69
Scale/Chord Syllabus - Reference Table 5....................70
Scales and Chords: Examples 10a-e - Reference Table 6....................71
Keyboard Assignment: Diminished Whole Tone Scale & It's Equivalents: Exercise 10b....................74
Introduction....................77
Sketchbook Assignment 4: Vertical Improvisation - Examples 11a-d....................78
Dominant Alterations - Exercises 11a-h....................79
Introduction....................85
Sketchbook Assignment 5....................85
Example 12: More Blues Progressions....................86
Altered Dominant Cycle - R H Exercise 12a....................87
Altered Dominant Cycle - L H - Exercise 12c....................89
Double Altered Dominant Cycle - L H Exercise 12d....................90
Sketchbook Assignment 6 - "Blues for Alice"....................91
Introduction: How are Modes Used in Contemporary Song Compositions?....................93
Solo Approach - Modal Improvisation in Jazz History....................95
Listening Assignment....................96
Diatonic Modal Harmony - Example 13a....................97
Hamonic Definition in the Modes – Example 13b....................98
Definitive Modal Chords – Written Assignment – Exercise 13a....................99
Mode Exercise - Exercise 13b....................100
Mode Recognition - Exercise 13c....................101
"Sadjoy"....................103
"Portrait"....................104
"Landscape II"....................106
"Latinesque"....................108
Modes and Polychords - Example 13c....................110
Modes and Polychords - Exercise 13d....................111
Introduction....................113
Latin Basics - Example 14a-b....................115
Keyboard Exercises: Latin Piano Styles - Exercises 14a-g....................116
Introduction....................119
Rhythmic Subdivisions in the Jazz Waltz - Examples 1-4....................120
Other Polyrhythms - Examples 5 & 6....................121
Sketchbook Assignment 7....................121
Introduction....................123
Sketchbook Assignment 8....................125

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