Skip main navigation


Exercises Week 6
© Goldsmiths, University of London

Please consider sharing your recordings and I particularly recommend Soundcloud for doing this.

Week 6 Exercises

  1. Choose a tune (such as a blues or a standard) and play whole choruses improvising over
    (i) legato left hand chords one to the bar on beats 1, then 2, then 3 and then 4
    (ii) on the “and” of beats 1, 2, 3 and 4
    (iii) playing two chords to the bar on beats 1 and 3, 2 and 4, then the “and” of beats 1 and 3, then “and” of beats 2 and 4.
    Try recording yourself to check that the left hand is correct.

  2. Do the same exercises as 1 but using stabbed chords.

  3. Choose a tune (such as a blues or a standard) and play whole choruses improvising over “Amen” in the left hand where
    (i) both the “A” and “men” are legato
    (ii) where the “A” is legato but the “men” is stabbed.

  4. Echo the hot licks played in section 12.5 on C minor 7.

  5. Practice playing II-V-I in a minor key using the half diminished, flat nine and major/minor scales as appropriate.

  6. Play “Autumn Leaves” in root position (i) Colla Voce (ii) in time (iii) in time with a playalong.

  7. Play and improvise on “Autumn Leaves” in voiced position with a playalong.

© Goldsmiths, University of London
This article is from the free online

Learn jazz piano: Improvising on Jazz Standards

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education