Friday, August 3, 2012

Lesson #22: Bill Evans ii-V-I Transcription in 12 Keys

I really enjoyed working on this transcription (more like adaption) of Bill Evans. It's an excellent example of his approach to vertical (chordal) playing on the piano.  His advanced sense of phrasing and rhythmic displacement is also evident in this melody.  Notice how the delayed placement of the V7 chord and delayed resolution to the I chord plays with the listeners perception of where beat "one" is.  This rhythmic playfulness is key to absorbing Evans' style and is especially evident in his later playing. Tony Bennett, when asked in an interview to describe Evans' style said, "He plays like the ocean."

Get your free .pdf of this lesson HERE.

How to train your inner melody using this free .pdf jazz piano lesson:

Step 1)  Write out fingerings for all keys if needed.  Play slowly through the line in all 12 keys and make sure you do not have any technical issues with any of them.  Any fingering mishaps will greatly slow your ability to translate what you're hearing in your head to the instrument.  It may seem tedious, but the more you do it, the less time it will take up later on.

Step 2)  Play and sing the melody.  Play slowly and focus on singing towards the exact center of each pitch.  Right now we're focusing on singing as in tune as possible.  Well, maybe not so much in tune as singing "in pitch."  Go slow and be honest with yourself.  I'm not the greatest singer but it's easy to tell when I'm not really getting things right.

Step 3)  "Ghost" and sing the melody.  Finger the melody on your instrument without making a sound and sing along.  This creates a very strong connection between the aural and physical perceptions we have while playing the line.  The line will sound more solid and become less challenging the stronger these connections become.

Step 4)  Sing the melody while playing simple left hand voicings.  Being a pianist grants us the advantage of being able to hear harmony and melody while playing alone.  Take advantage of this by singing slowly to hear the tension and release of each note against the harmony.  If you have trouble figuring out what voicings to play, check out my tutorial on Shell Voicings.

After completing these steps you will be well on your way to having the melody down.  Keep it up and try different tempos, phrasing and articulations to keep things interesting.

Thanks for watching and please feel free to send my any questions you might have about my videos.

Get your free .pdf of this lesson HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I love this lick! Thanks for sharing and especially for making all the PDFs for free! That is very generous of you. Also, your modern jazz line lessons are very helpful with my ear training and transposing skills, thanks again.


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