Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsThis course is about principally playing in voiced position, playing with other musicians, typically groups that involve bass and drums, but I have given you some ideas about playing on your own and playing in root position. It does have some relevance for say working, for example, in a trio format where, quite often, the pianist will play the tune out of tempo - colla voce as we call it, following the voice - prior to playing with the rhythm section. Somewhere at the end of the introduction the player will pick up the time and then the bass and drums will join and then, typically, you play the tune again in voiced position.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsThen people who are going to improvise improvise and then you play the tune again at the end. There’s the issue of endings - which we haven’t really discussed because all the time we’ve been playing with playalongs and we’re only starting the playalongs, we don’t actually get to the end. We’ll discuss that in a minute. Also there’s then the issue of outros. An outro is a kind of coda where the player can take some seeds from the tune, or some source ideas that cropped up in the improvising and do again a solo ending.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 secondsI suppose the greatest exponent of this is Keith Jarrett. Some of his intros and outros are just spectacularly creative and I urge you to listen to some of them. Knowing something about playing in root position is going to be of interest to us in playing these intros. Let’s have an example. Let’s look at this Irving Berlin tune “How Deep Is The Ocean?”, if you remember one of the tunes John Taylor plays in solo piano concerts. I think I’ll just play it to you first and then I’ll discuss the various devices that are in use. They’re devices we’ve already met so try and keep an eye out for them yourselves.

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 secondsWhat are some of the devices that we used?

Skip to 3 minutes and 43 secondsThere’s the root and then the chord - um-chick.

Skip to 3 minutes and 51 secondsThat third bar, I might have played chick-um.

Skip to 3 minutes and 58 secondsSo that’s question and answer. Let’s see if we can track that down a bit more carefully.

Skip to 4 minutes and 5 secondsThat’s question and answer.

Skip to 4 minutes and 12 secondsThat’s question and answer.

Skip to 4 minutes and 17 secondsDominant pedalling? So that’s E flat7sus over a B flat root.

Skip to 4 minutes and 30 secondsHere’s your sus chord and we’re going to make a little figure of introducing the third.

Skip to 4 minutes and 40 secondsHere’s the little device that I like in parenthesis where you go down chromaticaly to the dominant G7 to get you back to the top Cm7. So it goes like this.

Skip to 4 minutes and 54 secondsThen A+7

Skip to 4 minutes and 58 secondsA flat7 G sus to G7, I’m playing it there with a flattened ninth.

Skip to 5 minutes and 8 secondsIn quite a lot of places I use arpegiation.

Skip to 5 minutes and 21 secondsIn an awful lot of places I use Ray’s chord, going from the sus to - in this case I don’t know if I played it - but anyway with a flat 5 and a flat 9.

Skip to 5 minutes and 39 secondsThen dominant pedalling - second time.

Skip to 5 minutes and 46 secondsRay’s chord - going up or down.

Skip to 6 minutes and 3 secondsThere - sus.

Skip to 6 minutes and 9 secondsOk, using the devices that we’ve discussed as a prelude to playing this in time. So how could you play this in time? One thing you could do, for example, in the last 4 bars is to play those last 4 bars in time and that would be a cue to the rhythm section - to the bass and drums - to join you.

Skip to 6 minutes and 34 secondsSuppose we’re going to do it as medium - slow medium. Let me have a go. I’ll go from 6 bars from the end.

Skip to 6 minutes and 53 secondsAnd you’re in time now - ding, ding, ding, ding.

Skip to 6 minutes and 58 secondsAnother thing you could do is actually just establish time in the last bar by doing a II-V to the top I. Usually the bass player and the drummer can pick that up.

Skip to 7 minutes and 13 secondsThe last line.

Skip to 8 minutes and 14 secondsOK. So playing it in time in root position using much the same devices as we did playing it out of time as an intro.

Colla voce and Intros, example "How Deep Is The Ocean?"

Playing Intros to tunes in root position both in time and out of time with the example of the jazz standard “How Deep Is The Ocean?”.

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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