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John Nguyen
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Another (fort)night, another jazz piano lesson.

Using the jazz minor modes.

Using the jazz minor modes is a good way to improvise.

Modes sound a lot better when you can blend them into each other. They basically give you tension and release for free. It will give you the iconic bebop jazz sound.

They sound awful on their own but playing it quickly and well blended will give a great sound.

Jazz minor scale

T: Jazz Minor Scale
|: c2 d2 _e2 f2 | g2 a2 b2 c'2:|

For the first part of There Will Never Be Another You:

T: TWNBAY part 1
|:"EbMaj7" z4|"EbMaj7" z4|"Dm7b5" z4 |"G7" z4|"Cm7" z4 :|

You can use:

Reading from lead sheets

Reading lead sheets fluently is just a matter of practice. Reading bebop tunes is good practice. They’re written for saxophones so fingering these tunes on a piano is difficult and leads to unexpected movements.

Walking bass is extremely difficult and needs to be completely automatic. Best to leave it to later. For the time being simple 2 or 3 note voicings will do.

When playing bud powell voicings (2 note), using 3 and 7th scale tones is fine when you’re in the middle register of the piano. Too low and it is a good idea to invert otherwise it’ll sound like a different chord.