PRO-SOUNDING Blues Piano Improvisation (Podcast Episode #50)

Posted by: JAZZEDGE on October 5, 2021

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00:27 Hey guys, Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge Welcome to The Confident improviser podcast. This is episode number 5050 episodes now and I got a special treat for you today. Today, I am going to show you this pro sounding blues piano improvisation. This is a way that you can as I say sideslip your way into the audience's ears. Alright, so let's take a look at the music and let's look at what's going on here. If you would like to grab the sheet music for this lesson, just go head back to jazz edge comm slash try tone, or check out the card that just popped up on your screen there. Alright, so the music. Alright, so if you've been following the last few podcast episodes, we talked about tried tones tritone substitutions in Episode 4445 46. In 4748 49, we've been talking about the blues, and talking about adding in those triad tones and also the bell tones. Well now this is kind of a culmination of that. And you can see that now we're starting to bring in that side slipping technique, right, I've talked about the side slipping in my jazz piano daily lessons, I'll tell you later how you can grab those. Right, so the left hand, all we're doing here, the whole concept is we have our anchor chords, which are just the one four and five. Alright, so my anchor chord right here is my C seven chord, right? Remember, it's really the blues is C seven all the way through those first four measures, right? So it's c seven for the whole first measures for the whole first four measures on this. So really, that anchor chord is going to be that C seven chord. Once I have that anchor chord, then I could start to go down and then back up, right, so you see how I go down here a half step and then back up, what do I do here, I go up a half step, and then back down to C seven. In the final music, I'm going to have to write in C seven there, I should say C seven. Actually, you know what I could do that for you right now. I forget that I'm in this program. So there you go. Alright, so it goes right on back down to C seven. So all that's happening here is I take that C seven rootless chord voicing, I literally move all the notes down a half step to B seven, and I move them right back up to C. In the right hand, I'm playing a G, which is the fifth of C seven. Again, all I do is move all of those notes right back down, and then back up. Now something to pay attention to is look at what I wrote in in the music. I didn't write it in on all of the eight those, but I did on the first couple here so you could see it. Notice this right here, see that articulation, see how there's a line over the B seven, and there's a dot over the C seven, that line means that you hold out that eighth note for its full value. And dot means you play it staccato. So you get this kind of sound. Versus See how it's not sticky at the end there, I kind of bounce off of that. Right? And that gets it if you think about like big, big, bad. And by now you know how they can kind of swell Well, we can't really swell, but we could get that sound you can kind of get that bow swell in the swell is when it gets louder at the end by just increasing the volume here at the very end. So it's 03:54 alright, so the rhythm here, just real simple. quarter note 2/8 notes right over here in this measure number three, what I'm doing is C seven. So you see what I do is just three quarters. Why do I do the three quarter notes because we've got so much syncopation going on sometimes just hitting that downbeat. Like that really sounds nice. It really just kind of drives the beat home right? Don't forget about the beat, everything doesn't have to be off the beat. But at the end of the measure, I draw that syncopation and again, right so I get that 1234 ad or da da da v bar, right? Right. Moving on to this next spot here on the f7 chord. I'm doing exactly the same thing. Just moving down a half step on the f7 notice I'm still playing the G Why am I keeping the G because that is a common element that's running through this whole 12 bars gives my my improvisation some structure to it. It almost sounds like a song doesn't it? Right when I'm playing it's it sounds like this could be A blues head, and you couldn't utilize this as a blues head. But in an improvisation having that structure really kind of like makes the listener to clue into that versus constantly doing something different all of the time. Alright, so in the play the f7, and I go down to the seventh and then go back up the episode. Same thing. Now, a note here, when playing octaves twice in a row like this, right, a lot of times by a half step, rather than coming down and playing the pinkie here, let me give you a little pro tip, you come down and play your thumb and forefinger and then come back to the pinkie, it's a lot faster for you to move like that. Trying to try to move like that, that's also very inaccurate when you're trying to do that. So instead use your fourth finger. Now, if that's too much of a stretch, while you might have to just use that Pinky, right. But if you can make the stretch and it's not too much of a stretch, and it doesn't hurt the arms or hurt the hands, then that fourth finger is a great way of being able to play those octaves faster back and forth, because you're able to keep that finger closer to the key, right? So F seven, gives you seven, f seven, D seven, f seven, and then the next measure here, what am I doing now I'm playing right over here, I'm playing the seven, f seven, and then I go back to that D flat seven, we've already talked about that. Okay, so just the D flat seven, and I resolved down to that C seven. In this next measure, and the C seven, I'm just playing the copyright that I've done. So not every measure has to be some kind of groundbreaking earth shattering improvisation, sometimes just hitting that comping is enough. Alright, now let's move on to this part right here. So then we have the C seven, B seven, and then we bring in the a flat and roll the G, G flat down to the right, and then back to D flat. Okay, so these measures are pretty much the same that we've already done. Okay, so all of this is the same that we've already done. Okay, all of this stuff in the boxes here is the same that we've already done. Nothing has changed there. And then finally, what do we do here at the end, we bring in that C seven to be seven again and I got the D flat seven, back to C. Alright, so now what I'm going to do is I'm going to play it along with the backing track. Okay, again I'll try and make this so you can kind of see it I know it's very small if you want to be able to get the printed sheet music and a nice PDF file that you can download yours free of charge Okay, just go ahead back to jazz edge comm slash try tone, right? Get jazz edge comm slash Triton or like I said, check out the card that popped up in the video, you can follow that link as well. Alright, so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to put the band track on 100 I'm using I real pro, you also get this ireo profile as well. By going back to jazz edge comm slash Triton. Alright, so let's 08:12 play this. Now one thing I didn't want to talk about is also the pedal, right so when exactly should I be using that pedal, right, so take a look right there and you'll see every time that glows orange, that means that I'm using my pedal. So when should I use my pedal. A lot of times I'll use it when I'm rolling those chords, I kind of hold that down because it kind of helps to all blend together, you might notice that I even kind of use it in that C seven B seven over down, 09:14 hold it down and then lift it up. Lift it up. Normally when I hit that B seven chord 09:25 when you do not have to use the pedal there, right, I just use it because it allows me to be able to lift up my hands and get to that be seven, just a little bit fast. You can not use it at all where you might want to use this. Anytime you're doing those roll chords, throw that pedal down. But check it out. I could play this now and I'm going to play this without using the pedal at all right so let's start again. Pay attention to the pedal I don't want to roll rolling at all, at all. Now, as we've talked about in the previous podcast episodes, remember, you could also take that right hand up an octave, sounds super, super hip. Alright, so now let's put this on 130. Let's, let's really kind of, you know, 10:37 challenge ourselves. Bring it up an aka change the dynamic, right? Have fun with it. Bring the dynamics. Alright, now you might notice I have a little bit of fun with the rhythm. Sometimes I'm not always playing the rhythm exactly as written. I think we understand why this is jazz. It's blues, it's improvisation and want to have some fun with it. Okay, but you can play that rhythm exactly as whether as as written and it sounds a lot beautiful, right? This is a pro sound right here, 12:33 you play this on the bandstand, you go to a jam session or something, you play this kind of stuff, you're going to turn heads, right, this would be a great ending to your solo as well. So what you could do is, let's say that I end up going through and I'm gonna improvise over the blues. So let me just go ahead and and improvise over the blues. I'm just gonna play straight, rootless chords in the lefthand, C seven, f seven g seven, nothing fancy, I'm just gonna use my minor pentatonic blues scale in there in the right hand, right. So the first time through, I'm going to improvise just using the single note, but then notice how I can go into it in the second time, right? Now the other thing I want to also note, you notice how I bring in some of this stuff. Alright, notice I'm using my open palm to kind of go up sometimes I'll go the other way, use the back of my nail to do that, right? I can do that as well. I could cut up open up and just kind of like follow down. So these grace notes like that. Now what you might notice is, sometimes you hit the wrong No, you don't get right back to it. It don't matter. It's the blues. That's not to say that the blues is inaccurate, or that you're always playing wrong notes. No, no, no, obviously we want to try and get it. But the main thing is you want the feel if you don't have to feel you don't have the groove. You don't matter if you play all the right notes. So I can tell you, I've been doing this for years. And guess what, I'm a human being just like you and I make my my fair share of mistakes. And guess what? No one's ever come up to me after a gig or performance and said, Hey, you know, I noticed when you did that, come on, right? Alright, so because you can't hear it in real time. So always go for the field and getting in that that nice glissando like that sometimes really kind of, it's a it's a real nice sound. It really really brings it up a lot. Alright, so what I'm going to do now is like I said, I'm going to go through one time just playing single note and I'm going to go into this and you hear how you could really build up that solo. Here we go. 14:58 Start to build up And then that's the end of my soul, that'd be a great way of ending your solo, you can even just take this to all bars, change it around a little bit like I was doing, you know, you know, change the rhythm around, you know, kind of have some fun with it, and then that's your solo. But the point is, this is a great way of really building up that solo. So it's not just single note. Last thing I'm going to tell you another little pro tip is stuff like this is great when you're playing with a loud band, right? There are many different players that I play with many different circumstances, many different gigs. Some of them are nice and soft and sensitive. 16:03 I could do that kind of stuff and get some nice lines in there and kind of shape it. But then other ones are like, like super heavy, I can't do that. If I do that single line stuff, nobody's gonna hear anything that I'm playing, I might not even be able to hear my cell phone, I'm playing it. This is where these Bell tones and then this trick of playing the chord along with the bell tone together really gives you that nice, big rich sound. So you can have a lot of fun with this. Alright, so like I said, if you are enjoying these lessons, be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel. Just do a search on YouTube for jazz edge, you'll find the channel and if you like these videos, check out jazz piano daily calm, you got 45 days of absolutely free lessons, you get the sheet music, all of it, and then all 365 videos you'll be able to see on my YouTube channel as well. So do me a favor, be sure to subscribe to the channel, like the video, turn on notifications. And most of all, leave your comments in the video. If you love this stuff, let me know why do you like it? What would you like to see you hate it? Hey, let me know. If you don't like something about it, let me know leave a comment. Because those comments I read those comments and I use those as a way of basing what future lessons I'm going to do so if you have something that you would like me to cover, leave it in the comment section on my YouTube channel, and I'll take a look and then it might find its way into the next lesson. Alright, so that's it for me. Thanks, guys. I'll see you in the next podcast episode.

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