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Waltz vamp till ready

Waltz vamp till ready
The last 2 sessions, I think, have been quite challenging for this course and really moving away from the central theme of playing in voiced position. Let’s return to that now. Let’s return to, I hope, something more straightforward and let’s have a look at the jazz waltz.
When you start a piece of jazz you often do it by what’s called “vamp till ready”. Vamp till ready means you play usually some chordal pattern that gets, for example, the rhythm section ready to join you, or the horn players to join you if you’re in a group context.
That’s called vamp till ready - setting the piece up in a sense, etablishing the tempo. There’s also a thing at the end which you can have where you finish a piece with a “vamp out” where, again, you play typically some repeated chordal pattern. Let’s look at the case of a vamp for a waltz. Let’s talk about a waltz in C major.
Here are some examples. The first chord is a chord for C major7. It’s a new voicing, one I haven’t given you before. I think it’s from John Taylor, but I’m not absolutely sure. I think he plays that sometimes for a major seventh. It’s the third, the root an octave higher and the ninth. The advantage of it is that you can easily play C major7 with a suspended fourth just by moving the bottom note up - it goes like that. Then you improvise over C major.
Then you can do it over a C pedal: 1,2,3,2,2,3,1,2,3,2,2,3
or over a dominant pedal - over a G pedal: 1,2,3,2,2,3,1,2,3,2,2,3. That’s one example. Another example is to take our - you don’t have to use this particular voicing - but we’ll take a voicing for C major7 and move it down a tone, so you get this.
over C, or
Then, you either just improvise in the right hand over C major, or over C major and B flat major. Another one is to go the other way and go up say a semitone from C major7 to D flat major7. The final one is to do exactly the same thing but, typically when you’re thinking about rooting it on a C, to actually flatten the fifth and we will see an important example of that.
So typically you might want to vamp for 8 bars. I’ve got a playalong here from a tune we’re going to look at in the next section and I’ve moved it up to a G pedal so that I can give you an idea. Here’s the first one.
Here’s the second example.
Here’s the third example.
The fourth example.
Vamp till ready.

We present some “waltz vamps till ready” used to set up a jazz waltz.

You can download the chart for “Waltz Vamp Till Ready” in PDF format at the bottom of this step.

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Learn Jazz Piano: Advanced and Solo Playing

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