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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds I don’t know how well I did in that last exercise. I’m pretty sure that in the improvisation in the middle eight my stabbed chords weren’t always stabbed and weren’t on beats one and three.

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 seconds So maybe take some encouragement from the fact that I’m finding these exercises quite hard, but all the time we’re tooling up. It’s a bit like when the parent says to the child “Do what I say, and not what I do”. So I hope you realise these exercises are planned to get you to where you want to get to. Right. As is the use of double octaves. So we’re going to play the tune “à la Jarrett” using double octaves and then we’ll improvise for a chorus using double octaves. Now, some of you may find this very difficult, again, because of the fingering – because of the fact the fingers are not the same.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds As you know, I probably cheat a bit in order to get the tune in, in the left hand, but it’s something, nonetheless, that I feel it’s worthwhile developing in your special devices bracket. For example, if I have a trio gig and I play a blues and I know I’m going to have to play 10 choruses before it’s the bass solo, then I might vary what I do. I might play at the beginning in the lower part of the piano just with the right hand.

Skip to 1 minute and 28 seconds Then I might play a bit further up, but using even open sevenths in the left hand to add some colour, and then I’ll probably use voicings in the middle of piano and improvise over the top of that. I might even lock the two hands together for a period, and I might even use double octave improvisation, on occasion, because it adds a different colour. So although it’s something that may be difficult for you at the moment, you might want to work towards it eventually and have it in your armoury when you think it might be useful to employ.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds Finally, when I get to the middle eight, I will use chordal improvisation, just for a change, so we bounce up and down the chords. We’ll then return to playing on the scales when we get to the final A section.

Discussion of playing Oleo with a playalong using double octaves

We discuss playing “Oleo” with a playalong using the special device of “double octaves”.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: II. Improvising on Jazz Standards

Goldsmiths, University of London