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Improvising using open sevenths

Improvising using open sevenths
I’d like you to have a go at a second exercise, which will consist of playing “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be”, five choruses.
The first and last chorus will be the tune. The second chorus will be improvising using the American blues scale only. The third chorus will be improvising using the three seventh scales C7, F7, G7. The fourth chorus will be improvising using the three full blues scales.
In the left hand, I’d like you to play open sevenths and use the thumb to determine the pulse. OK, let’s make a start. I’ll give you an example of doing a chorus using the seventh scales – the three seventh scales. Now, at this stage, I wouldn’t really expect you to do much more than, more or less, run up and down the notes in the scales that are available to you. If you can do a bit more with it, great,
but what’s important is to play only the notes which, in some sense, are allowable to you. And if you can do it using jazz quavers, then so much the better. We’re going to have to get to what is real improvising in stages, not surprisingly. And when I do an example for you, my example is probably going to be a bit complicated, because I’ve been playing the music for over 50 years and I find it quite hard to be simple. So if what I do seems advanced, then just go back
to what I’m asking you to do: go up and down the scales on the notes that are available to you, starting anywhere, finishing anywhere, trying to play musical phrases if you can, and using jazz inflected quavers also if you can. OK, let me try and do an example. So we’re going to play the third chorus of the exercise, which is playing the blues using the seventh scales.
One, two, three, four …
And now making use of the three full blues scales – the three full blue scales on C, F and G. OK, here we go. One, two, three, four …
See how you get on.

In this video, we’ll be improvising in the right hand using using open sevenths in the left hand in preparation for the exercises.

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Learn Jazz Piano: Begin with the Blues

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