Showing posts with label mccoy tyner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mccoy tyner. Show all posts

Monday, April 22, 2013

Jazz Piano Lesson #46 - Diminished Scale Workout - (Technique/Hanon)

Sheet Music:  Jazz Piano Lesson #46 - Diminished Scale Workout

I've mentioned many times before on this blog how big a fan I am of technical exercises.  I feel like my playing is at it's best when I have some sort of daily technique routine.  Almost every exercise I work on is played and sung through all twelve keys.  For this reason, the technical exercises (ala Hanon) I've been writing lately have been really challenging both my technique and inner singing voice.  I have to remind myself that daily slow and patient practice is the key to making these exercises feel effortless.

In this week's lesson we're taking a look at the diminished scale.  You may remember the diminished scale topics we covered in some previous lessons.  You will hear this scale utilized often in modern improvisation, especially in the playing of Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock.  Practice this melody slow at first, somewhere around 40-60bpms.  Gradually increase tempo as you become comfortable with each shape and fingering for each scale.

Sheet Music:  Jazz Piano Lesson #46 - Diminished Scale Workout

Watch the video lesson:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Jazz Piano Lesson #44: Major Pentatonic Workout (Pattern/Technique)

I've mentioned many times before on this blog how big a fan I am of technical exercises.  I feel like my playing is at it's best when I have some sort of daily technique routine.  Almost every exercise I work on is played and sung through all twelve keys.  For this reason, the technical exercises (ala Hanon) I've been writing lately have been really challenging both my technique and inner singing voice.  I have to remind myself that daily slow and patient practice is the key to making these exercises feel effortless.

In this week's jazz piano lesson we will be taking a look at the Major Pentatonic scale.  The pentatonic scale is a very old traditional five note scale that is often used in jazz improvisation.  Some of my favorite jazz masters known for their mastery of pentatonics include McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, Woody Shaw and Chick Corea.  Any of these great players is well worth checking out.

The construction of the pattern used in the jazz lesson is discussed in the video below.  Suggestions for practice are also included.

Sheet Music: Jazz Piano Lesson #44 - Major Pentatonic Workout (.pdf)

Video Lesson:



Friday, January 18, 2013

Modern Jazz Line #8 - Chick Corea and McCoy Tyner

This week's modern jazz line is inspired by the playing of McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea.  Tyner and Corea redefined "modern" jazz piano (along with Herbie Hancock) after years of Bill Evan's dominating presence in the jazz piano scene.  Some early seminal works essential to the diminished/pentatonic style of playing are Tyner's The Realy McCoy and Corea's Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.  Check out examples of both below!

Here is Modern Jazz Line #8, a melody using only diminished and pentatonic scales.  Follow the steps in the video to increase your ability to hear and improvise your own creative jazz melodies.

Sheet music for this lesson:  Modern Jazz Line #8 .pdf


Here's Chick Corea playing his version of the Blues on "Matrix" from Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.  Featuring Miroslav Vitous on Bass and Roy Haynes on Drums.



Here's McCoy Tyner's version of the Blues from the aforementioned The Real McCoy.  This album features Joe Henderson on Tenor Saxophone, Ron Carter on Bass and Elvin Jones on Drums.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jazz Piano Lesson #33: Improvising in all 12 Keys (ii-V-I-VI)

My college piano teacher Allen Myers kept things interesting by giving each individual semester of lessons a different theme.  We had semesters that covered large topics like modalism and semesters that were more narrowly focused on individual players such as Chick Corea.  One of my favorite semester long topics, and the one where I felt like I experienced the most growth, was on Bill Evans.  Recording this lesson reminded me of one particularly important lesson we had that semester. 

My assignment was to transcribe the changes to Bill Evans' tune Sugar Plum and the melody if I decided there was one.  What I found in "Sugar Plum" was a cyclical progression not so different from the one in Lesson #33.  It is likely that the tune was used by Evans as an exercise for his own practice.  I decided that the piece must have originally been a technical exercise and likely had no true melody.  The introductions however are strikingly similar on the three recordings I have listened to.  Keep Evans' in mind as you practice this progression and try to transcend the technicallity of the exercise to improvise beautiful music. 

Free Jazz Lesson .pdf (Scribd)Lesson #33 .pdf
- to print and download click purchase to the right.  Lessons will always be free to view on your laptop, iPad and desktop.
Video Lesson:  http://youtu.be/0GfDr9_aEIs

Thanks for checking out this jazz piano lesson.  Feel free to leave any suggestions below for future jazz piano lessons or send me a message with any questions you might have.  Click the link "Lessons" above for more free lessons.

Learn how to get a signed copy of my album "Meditations Vol.1" here:
http://tjjazzpiano.blogspot.com/2012/08/meditations-vol1-solo-piano-tj-martley.html




Monday, October 15, 2012

Free Jazz Lesson #29: Modal Interval Pattern in 5/4


From last week's lesson:

"In this week's lesson we are taking a look at one of the first types of improvising beginning improvisors learn.  One thing I remember as a requirement to Jazz lessons in High School was a copy of the Aebersold book "Maiden Voyage."  The reason being that it had a lot of opportunities for modal improvising.  The idea is that long vamps over one chord are generally easier for younger students to grasp and improvisor over.  While I don't necessarily agree with this approach, I remember being a big part of my early Jazz studies.

Interval exercises are a great way to start internalizing the sound of the modes you practice with.  I wrote out this simple pattern in all 12 keys for you to work with this week.  You don't have to be a jazz pianist to practice this free lesson.  Try it on any instrument!  Better yet, if you're not a pianist, use it as a technical exercise to get bet better on the instrument.  Every musician can benefit from working on piano playing."
This week's free jazz lesson .pdf can be found here:  Lesson #29

This week we are taking the same pattern through the Lydian and Lydian Dominant scales.  I have also altered the rhythm to imply 5/4 time.  Take a look a the video link below to find great suggestions on how to practice feeling this pattern in "odd time."   Listen to and play-along with this free jazz lesson below. 

Here are the intervals:
Ascending -  Up 4th, Up 4th, Down 5th, Down 2nd
Descending - Down 4th, Down 4th, Up 5th, Up 2nd

YouTube Video Lesson:  Lesson #29 Free Jazz Video Lesson
Soundcloud Play-Along: Free Play-Along Recording
FREE .pdf of this lesson:  Free .pdf of Lesson #29

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lesson #28: Modal Interval Pattern (Dorian) "Free Jazz Lesson"


In this week's lesson we are taking a look at one of the first scales beginning improvisors learn.  One thing I remember as a requirement to Jazz lessons in High School was a copy of the Aebersold book "Maiden Voyage."  The reason being that it had a lot of opportunities for modal improvising.  The idea is that long vamps over one chord are generally easier for younger students to grasp and improvisor over.  While I don't necessarily agree with this approach, I remember being a big part of my early Jazz studies.

Interval exercises are a great way to start internalizing the sound of the modes you practice with.  I wrote out this simple pattern in all 12 keys for you to work with this week.  You don't have to be a jazz pianist to practice this free lesson.  Try it on any instrument!  Better yet, if you're not a pianist, use it as a technical exercise to get bet better on the instrument.  Every musician can benefit from working on piano playing.

Here are the intervals:
Ascending -  Up 4th, Up 4th, Down 5th, Down 2nd
Descending - Down 4th, Down 4th, Up 5th, Up 2nd

Check out the .pdf below to see this pattern clearly laid out in all 12 keys of the Dorian mode.  The left hand voicing in the free jazz lesson is built up in perfect 4ths, ala Mccoy Tyner.

Free .pdf of Scribd:  Lesson #28 .pdf
- click "purchase" to the right of the document to print and download.
YouTube Video Lesson Link:  Lesson #28 Video

Thanks for checking out my free jazz piano and improvisation lesson.  If you'd like to see more jazz lessons and videos, check me out on YouTube or click the "lessons" tab above for a list of all my free jazz piano lessons. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lesson 23: McCoy Tyner Pentatonic

I've been inspired by McCoy Tyner's playing as long as I can remember listening to jazz.  Some of my favorite solos are on the later recordings of the "classic" John Coltrane Quartet with Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison and McCoy Tyner.  My two favorite McCoy solos of all time are on "Song of Praise" from Live at the Half Note and "Transition" from the similarly titled album.  If you haven't heard either you are truly missing out on the wonderful energy and joy McCoy brings to every solo during this period.  I hope you enjoy this McCoy Tyner inspired line I wrote out for this week's lesson.

View the video of this lesson YouTube here:  McCoy Tyner Video Lesson on Youtube
Download your FREE .pdf on Scribd:  Lesson #23
Get the .pdf in all 12 keys:  Lesson #23 in all 12 keys

Practice with the play-along below:
If you enjoyed this lesson, please share with your friends and consider donating with the button on the left.  All donations go to support the site and help me keep making videos.  Thank you!

If you haven't seen any of my previous lessons from this series, here is a recap on how to practice this lesson.


Turn on the metronome at a slow enough tempo where you can play the exercise effortlessly.

1) Play each hand as written while concentrating on hearing the melody in your head.

2) Play the L.H. as written while singing the right hand melody.

2b) An alternative to this step include pantomiming playing the right hand while singing. This helps connect the physical action of playing with your aural memory.

3) Sing the R.H. melody away from your instrument.

Was that not enough of a challenge for you?
1) Consider taking small sections you enjoyed through all 12 keys.

2) Practice displacing each phrase by half a beat, a full beat, or one and one half beats.

3) Practice improvising with the melody by altering the rhythms within each phrase.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Free Jazz Piano Lesson #17: Open Position Shell Voicings

In this week's free jazz piano lesson, we revisit two-part shell voicings. We'll explore how to take these basic voicings and make them fuller sounding for when you're playing in a solo or duo situation. This style of jazz piano voicing is very commonly used by solo pianists (especially stride pianists of the '20s and '30's). Some great examples of this style of voicing can be found in the solo playing of Bill Evans, Bud Powell and even McCoy Tyner!

I hope you enjoy this lesson. Please leave a comment with any questions or suggestions and feel free to share this lesson with your friends.

Click here to view your free .pdf of this lesson on Scribd.com.

 


Did you like this lesson and want to see more like it?  Please donate to help me keep making videos!
 
Scribd Link:
Lesson #17: Open Position Shell

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lesson #7: Diminished Pattern with Left Hand Voicings

Donwload Link for Lesson #7 .pdf

In last week's lesson we talked about how to play less patternistically while improvising with the Hexatonic scale. This week, we're going to be looking to do the opposite with the Diminished scale.. The symmetrical nature of the diminished scale lends itself quite well to patternistic improvisation. However, the improvisor should still always be careful not to overuse just one approach to playing over changes.

There are two basic diminished scales. They are built by constructing alternating half-whole and whole-half steps from any given scale root. For example:

C half/whole: C Db Eb F F# G A Bb
C whole/half: C D Eb F F# G# A B

The symmetry established by the consecutive half-steps and whole-steps means that it is very easy to transpose patterns within each scale. The example pattern shown in this lesson is based on the half/whole diminished scale. When the initial pattern is transposed up or down a minor 3rd, it will still contain all notes form the original diminished scale it is based upon. You can transpose a pattern up or down in minor 3rds up to three times before it starts repeating itself.

Sound complicated? It's really not once you start getting used to the concept. After learning the initial pattern from the .pdf, you should find the other two transpositions to be much less challenging.

Remember to take it slow, stay focused and try to play as effortlessly as possible.



Click here to download your free .pdf copy of Lesson #7
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