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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds I thought you might like another blues besides “Equinox” to play - to experiment with your thirds and fourth-based voicings. Here’s another one by John Coltrane called “Mr PC” and so we can use the same ‘Trane sequence. If you try and play it with the Aebersold playalong, you’ll find the Aebersold playalong is ridiculously fast and you probably won’t be able to keep up. But it would be good to try and brighten up the speed a bit. I suggest that if you do get the Aebersold playalong track you play it something like - I’m going to play it at 80% of the speed. You can try and increase it as you get more familiar with it.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds Alternatively you could just take your C minor blues playalong track that we’ve had previously and speed it up. So you do get an idea of playing something which we call “medium-up” - just a little bit faster than medium. Let’s have a look at the tune. I’ll play it slowly first of all so that we can analyse it and I’ll play it is root position using fifth tenths mostly. Here it goes. 1,2,1,2,3,4.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds The first thing that is different is that in the tune there’s this sort of “Amen” sound … or with sevenths … and that’s really just in the tune and it happens three times. Once you get to the jazz then you can forget about that couple of beats of B flat7- just a kind of “Amen” within the tune. Now let’s think about playing it in voiced position. You can play your C minor here and then if you wanted a B flat7 you can play that. I suggest that we play it up for a change, so we go … I’ll keep 4 note voicings throughout so we’ll thicken our B flat 7 with a 3 …

Skip to 2 minutes and 31 seconds And now when you play the A flat 7 you need to play it really with the last note in the 8th bar … Similarly when you play the G7 you play it in the last note of the 9th bar… You’ll get an idea of the sound of the blues when we play it with a playalong. So now you’re in a position to, as I say, experiment with this playing your third-based voicings, your fourth-based voicings, your McCoy Tyner vamping and trying to play it at a brighter tempo than we’ve been playing our C minor blues. This is 80% of the Aebersold speed.

Playing "Mr PC"

We introduce and discuss the John Coltrane blues “Mr PC” and illustrate how to play the tune with a playalong.

You can download the “Mr PC” chart in PDF format at the bottom of this step. Click here for a playalong for “Mr P.C.”.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: II. Improvising on Jazz Standards

Goldsmiths, University of London