Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Goldsmiths, University of London 's online course, Learn Jazz Piano: I. Begin with the Blues. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds We are now in a position to look at our first standard. I’ve tried to find something simple for you. So simple that, at one level, you could probably improvise just on one scale, but we’ll see how we can actually develop that idea a bit further.

Skip to 0 minutes and 30 seconds The tune’s called “Blue Room” by Rodgers and Hart - Richard Rodgers wrote the music, Lorentz Hart wrote the words. It’s a standard structure which is used a lot in jazz called a 32 bar sequence and it’s organised in the form AABA. That is to say, first of all there is an A section which lasts 8 bars then, pretty much, that A section is repeated - that’s the second A. Then there is a B section which lasts for 8 bars and then finally the A section is used again - AABA. The B section is usually known as the “middle 8”, because it is 8 bars, or the “bridge”.

Skip to 1 minute and 14 seconds In classical music this structure is known as “sonata” form - it’s a well-known structure. Lots of standards in jazz have that structure. What I want to do first of all is to have look at the tune. So I’ll play the tune for you. I’ll play it first of all in root position, but I’m not really interested in playing in root position. I really want to move on to playing it with a rhythm section, although I must confess I have never played this tune with a rhythm section, but I have chosen it because it has certain properties that I think help us at this stage.

Skip to 1 minute and 50 seconds So when I play in root position I’m not going to guarantee I’m going to play the same thing all the way through. I’m trying to make it as simple as I can. I’ll try and play just 2 chords to the bar and concentrate on the sound of the tune. So here we go with the tempo 1, 2. 1,2,3,4.

The tune "Blue Room"

You will learn the tune of the jazz standard “Blue Room”.

You can download the chart for “Blue Room” in PDF format at the bottom of this step.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: I. Begin with the Blues

Goldsmiths, University of London