Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsSo now you should be in a position to have a go at improvising on “I Love You” with a playalong. What I’d like you to aim to do, if you feel ready for it, is to have a go at (using) the appropriate scales. - with a flat 5 and a flat 9 in, for example, the first couple of bars in “I Love You” when it comes to improvising. Again, all I would expect you to do is to kind of get down some of the notes, or get out some of those notes from those scales.

Skip to 0 minutes and 34 secondsIf you’re not ready for that yet - if you find it’s just too difficult - then just improvise on F major7 for the first 4 bars and, indeed, the second 4 bars.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsAgain in the left hand I think I’d still like you to carry

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondson playing regular patterns - whatever you decide: legato, stabbed on particular parts of the bar.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 secondsSo far we’ve looked at 3 devices for the left hand: legato, stabbed and Amen. We’ve only seen Amen in the context of the blues where we’ve taken a seventh chord and we’ve anticipated it

Skip to 1 minute and 14 secondschromatically: A-men 2 3, A-men 2 3. Now, in fact, that anticipation can be applied to any chord. For example, look at our tune “I Love You”. Notice that when we get to the third bar we stay in F major and we stay in F major for 2 bars. It’s quite a bit of time. What we can do is to get ready for the G minor7 in bar 5 by anticipating it chromatically. So we can do an Amen - whether we do a stabbed Amen or a legato Amen - it depends on how we’re choosing to play it at that stage.

Skip to 2 minutes and 3 secondsAmen applies to other chords as well and, although we are not ready to look at it yet, not only can you anticipate the chord form above, you can anticipate from another chord.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 secondsThis is a device to keep the left hand, in some sense, interesting. I’d like you to have a go at mixing up legato and stabbed. For example, suppose we are going to do 4 bars legato and 4 bars stabbed. Let’s just look at the tune to start off with … legato, now stabbed.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 secondsSo you can have a go at that, maybe.

Skip to 2 minutes and 55 secondsOne small thing, when you do get to A major in bar 12, you can start the A major straight away. I’ve said the whole point of this part of the course is to modulate from F in this case to A using II-V-I. Of course, I didn’t make it clear perhaps that we get back to F via a II-V-I. So in bar 17 we’ve got G minor7, C7, F major 7 - so it’s II-V-I back home. It works in both directions. I’m going to have a go at improvising for you now. First of all, I might take a few more liberties with the tune. I won’t play exactly, rigidly as I’ve written it out - (I’ll) interpret it, in some sense.

Skip to 3 minutes and 45 secondsWhen I get to the improvisation, I will try and stick to the notes of the scales, but I will free up my left hand. I will play combinations of legato, stabbed and Amen chords.

Skip to 4 minutes and 1 secondNot that I’m expecting you to do it yet, but I would like you to start listening to this approach - listening to the mixes - and we will get there in stages. Here is my version of “I Love You”.

Improvising on "I Love You" with a playalong

We consider in particular the ways in which the left hand may be used in improvising on “I Love You” with a playalong.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: III. Solo Piano and Advanced Topics

Goldsmiths, University of London