Acknowledgments: Terms of use: The Rocket Piano series was created on behalf of Rock Star Recipes LTD. Co-Author & Additional Music: Ruth Searle - PDF

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Acknowledgments: The Rocket Piano series was created on behalf of Rock Star Recipes LTD. Author & Music: Asheigh Southam Co-Author & Additional Music: Ruth Searle Multimedia Content: Rock Star Recipes
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Acknowledgments: The Rocket Piano series was created on behalf of Rock Star Recipes LTD. Author & Music: Asheigh Southam Co-Author & Additional Music: Ruth Searle Multimedia Content: Rock Star Recipes Studios Cover & Photography: Simon Waterhouse Edit & Graphic Design: Rock Star Recipes LTD Publisher: Rock Star Recipes LTD All other enquiries visit our support team at: Terms of use: By purchasing The Rocket Piano series - you agree to the following: You will use The Rocket Piano series, Chordinator, Keycelerator, Perfect Your Pitch Pro, Jayde Musica, Advanced Learning Techniques for Piano and other Rock Star Recipes Ltd products and services for your personal and private use only. The Rocket Piano series, Chordinator, Jayde Musica, Advanced Learning Techniques for Piano remain the property of Rock Star Recipes Ltd. and may not be resold, repackaged or otherwise transferred. Course and bonus product materials may not be duplicated or distributed in any way without expressed, written permission from Rock Star Recipes Ltd. Rock Star Recipes Ltd. retains all rights to these products. Copyright, Rock Star Recipes Ltd. Welcome to Rocket Piano s Introduction to Jazz Piano! A Personal Message from Me Do you want to learn to play jazz? Jazz is difficult to play, but very rewarding. By teaching yourself jazz, you are in good company! The earliest jazz musicians were almost all self taught. If you are a beginner, you should master the concepts in the Rocket Piano guide to playing the piano before you start. For this book you ll need to understand intervals, major and minor chords, and chord progressions. In this book, we ll give you a very simple explanation of how jazz songs work and are played. You ll learn to play jazz melody, jazz harmony, and jazz rhythm. You ll also get the opportunity to play along with the Rocket Live Band using the new Jazz Edition Jam Tracks! Using just two tunes we ll show you how to break down a song into aspects like phrasing, feel, and syncopation. You ll learn exactly what makes a jazz tune, and the techniques to play a piece in a jazz style. Something to ponder: Wynton Marsalis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning African-American composer, once said that jazz was the hardest music to play that I know of. He played a mean jazz trumpet. Playing jazz at an introductory level is not easy, so take your time and most importantly, have fun! We ve also included the Rocket Piano Progress Tracker so that you have a checklist of all the techniques you can expect to learn in the course. Once you have mastered a lesson or skill tick it off on the Progress Tracker, and move on to the next lesson! Commit yourself to ticking off the skills you learn as you go and see your improvement instantly! The Rocket Piano Team Page Table Of Contents Welcome... Table of Contents... 4 Rocket Piano Progress Tracker... 5 Chapter 1. A Brief History of Jazz...6 Chapter 2. Jazz Rhythm...8 The Dotted Eighth Note... 8 Swing Time... 9 Chapter. Seventh Chords...10 Major 7th Chords Dominant 7th Chords...11 Minor 7th Chords Chord Quality Jam Track Chapter 4. Chord Progressions...16 Key of C Major Key of B Major Key of G Major Chord Progression in the Minor Keys Key of A Minor Key of D Minor Key of E Minor Chapter 5. Building onto What You Know...20 Minor 7 Flat 5 Chords Recap of 7th Chords Chord Progressions Revisited Iv, iii, V, I Chord Progression Chapter 6. Playing Chord Progressions...2 Syncopation... 2 Chord Displacement iii, vi, ii, V, I Chord Progression Jam Track Chapter 7. Melody...28 Syncopation in the Melody Passing Notes... 0 Review... 1 Chromatic Notes... 2 Chapter 8. Real Jazz... Conclusion Every time you see this button, play the relevant video! Every time you see this button, play the relevant track! Page 4 Rocket Piano Progress Tracker Lesson or Skill Page #.Date Signature Jazz rhythm: dotted notes The dotted 8th notes Swing time Major 7th chords Dominant 7th chords Minor 7th chords Chord quality th chord progressions C major: Imaj7, IVmaj7, Vdom Bb major: Imaj7, IVmaj7, Vdom G major: Imaj7, IVmaj7, Vdom Chord progression in minor keys: Aminor: Imaj7, ivmin7, Vdom Dminor: Imaj7, ivmin7, Vdom Eminor: Imaj7, ivmin7, Vdom Minor 7 flat 5 chords v, iii, V, I progression Syncopation in chords Chord displacement: Anticipation, delay iii, vi, ii, V, I progression Syncopation in melody Passing notes Chromatic passing notes Page 5 Chapter 1. A Brief History of Jazz Before we plunge in, here s a brief history of jazz. Did you know that some consider jazz to be the first original art form developed in America? Early jazz piano evolved from ragtime music popular in the last decade of the 19th century. Ragtime was fast, and one of its masters was pianist Jelly Roll Morton. Morton ( ) lived in New Orleans. He was the leader of a band called Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers. Surrounded by African-American, Creole, Latin, and French influences, he was a key figure in the development of jazz. In fact, many consider him to be the first jazz composer. By the 1920s, Morton and his band were creating jazz albums that were considered classics of their kind. Morton even carried a business card identifying himself as Creator of Jazz and Swing. Jazz fused ragtime with the blues, and its end result was a style of music characterized by syncopation, improvisation, and blue notes (or flattened rds, 5ths, and 7ths). From New Orleans, the new style spread to California, then to Chicago, where it was officially christened jass. By the time jass made its way to New York in 1910, the word was respelled to become jazz. (Supposedly, this was because posters advertising jass bands were being modified by passers-by who scratched the j off... creating advertisements for ass bands. ) Although the 1920s was the official Age of Jazz, jazz as a musical style is still popular today. Celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman, and Dudley Moore all play the jazz piano. Jazz pianists/singers like Nat King Cole, Harry Connick, Jr., Norah Jones, and Diana Krall sell millions of albums. The great jazz pianist Ray Charles was even the toast of Hollywood when an Oscar-winning movie about him, called Ray, was made. Page 6 If you want to listen to some great jazz pianists, here are some suggestions. SWING-ERA JAZZ Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, Errol Garner, Oscar Peterson BEBOP JAZZ Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Lennie Tristano POST-BEBOP JAZZ McCoy Tyner, George Shearing, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim MODERN JAZZ Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Kenny Barron EXPERIMENTAL JAZZ Anthony Braxton, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor Page 7 Chapter 2. Jazz Rhythm Let s start out by looking at the distinctive rhythms used in jazz music. You ll find many dotted notes in jazz music. If you recall, a dotted quarter note ( ) is one and a half times the value of the original note. q. = q + e Dotted quarter notes are used frequently in conjunction with eighth notes ( ). You will almost always see the combination of dotted quarter notes and eighth notes in jazz melodies. Dotted notes are important to describe the jazz feel in musical notation. Feel refers to the underlying quality of the rhythmic movement of a piece. The feel of a piece results from how the notes are played in terms of timing, dynamics or placement. A piece of music may have a blues feel, a swing feel, a rock feel, and many more. The musical notation of the rhythm is important to describe the feel of a jazz piece. For example, swing feel is played using dotted notes. For this book, you ll be playing a jazz swing feel. 42 e. e The Dotted Eighth Note You should be quite comfortable with the dotted quarter note, but you may not have played the dotted eighth note ( ) before. This note is important for a jazz swing feel. e. A dotted eighth note, like all dotted notes, is one and a half times its original value. You may find it helpful to envision it as an eighth note tied to a sixteenth note. e. = e_ Just as dotted quarter notes are often seen in the company of eighth notes, dotted eighth notes are often seen in the company of sixteenth notes. The tails of the notes can be connected together so that they look like this: x Page 8 Exercise: Familiarize yourself with the rhythm of dotted notes by counting aloud the rhythm below. You may also want to try clapping the rhythm while counting aloud the beats. 1 a and a 2 a and a a and a 4 a and a 1 and 2 and and 4 and Swing Time 01 If you found that exercise difficult, you may find an audio example useful. Listen to Track 01. It is an example of swing time played using a ride symbol. The ride symbol ( ) is found on most drum kits. / Did you notice that it is the same phrase as above? This type of phrase played on the ride symbol is a common feature of keeping time in jazz. (A phrase is a passage of rhythmic or melodic notes in music. It usually means a few bars.) Listen to as much jazz as possible. Listening to jazz is the best way of learning jazz! Page 9 Chapter. Seventh Chords Now that you know a little bit about the type of rhythms found in jazz, you need to know about the type of harmonic structures you ll find in jazz music. In other words, you need to know the most commonly used chords. Jazz depends on 7th chords. In this chapter, you ll learn about three kinds: major 7ths, minor 7ths, and dominant 7ths. First of all, though, you need to know what a 7th chord is! You already know that you re playing a chord any time you play two or more notes simultaneously. You know that you re playing a triad when you play three notes simultaneously. Quite simply, a 7th is when you add one more note to an already existing triad so that you play four notes simultaneously. Major 7th Chords A triad is composed of a root note, the rd note above the root, and the 5th note above the root. In a 7th chord, the 7th note above the root is added to the triad. For example, look at the C major chord below. C major 7th chord (root position) 7th 5th rd root The 7th note, B, is a major 7th away from C. The 5th note, G, is a perfect 5th away from C. The rd note, E, is a major rd away from C. The root note is C. So, relative to the root note, the C major 7th chord goes 1,, 5, 7. It looks like a C major triad on the bottom with a major 7 note added to the top. There are so many different chords available to jazz musicians. There isn t room in this book for them all! Still, with the three chords that I m going to show you, you can play A LOT of jazzstyled music. Page 10 Dominant 7th Chords What happens when you add a minor 7th to the top instead of a major 7th? You get the dominant 7th chord. To get a dominant 7th, you will flatten the major 7th chord that you have just looked at. You should recall that when you flatten something, you turn it into its minor version. The way you flatten the major 7th chord is by taking the major 7th note and dropping it a semitone (for example, from B to B b). You may also think of it in terms of taking the interval between the root note and the 7th note (a major 7th interval) and shortening it by a half step, making it a minor 7th interval. C dominant 7th chord (root position) b b The 7th note, B, is a minor 7th away from C. This gives the chord its dominant quality. The 5th note, G, is a perfect 5th away from C. The rd note, E, is a major rd away from C. The root note is C. The second aspect that gives the dominant 7th chord its quality is the major rd in it. In all dominant 7th chords, the rd in the chord is always a major rd. So, let s review. Relative to the root note, a dominant 7th chord goes 1,, 5, 7. It looks like a major triad with a minor 7th on top. b The fingering for playing 7th chords on the right hand goes 1, 2,, 5 OR 1, 2, 4, 5, whichever is most comfortable for you. The fingering for playing 7th chords on the left hand goes 5,, 2, 1 OR 5, 4, 2, 1, again whichever is most comfortable for you. Page 11 Minor 7th Chords Minor 7th chords are a snap once you understand dominant 7th chords. Basically, a minor 7th chord is a dominant 7th chord with a flattened rd note. To get a minor 7th chord, take the major 7th chord. Flatten the 7th note (which makes it a dominant 7th). Then, flatten the rd note. Look at the example below. C minor 7th chord (root position) b The 7th note, B, is a minor 7th away from C. The 5th note, G, is a perfect 5th away from C. The rd note, E b, is a minor rd away from C. This gives the chord its minor quality. The root note is C. Relative to the root note, a dominant 7th chord goes 1,, 5, 7. It looks like a minor triad with a minor 7th on top. b b b b 4 Chord Quality Now that you ve learned the three most common jazz 7th chords, play through them and listen to the chord quality of each. The quality of a sound can be difficult to describe, but the three chords you ve learned often have the following descriptions applied to them. The major 7th chord can be described in many ways, but in general it has a happy or romantic sound. It is also a quite complex sound, due to the extra 7th note that adds interest and color. The dominant 7th chord has a certain movement to it. In other words, it feels slightly unstable, as if the I chord should be played after it. The minor 7th chord has a sad feeling to it. Most minor chords, whether a 7th or a triad, have this sad quality. Page 12 Exercise: To train your ear to recognize the difference between major, dominant, and minor 7th chords, play through the following chords. They aren t grouped in any particular order: they re just examples to play and listen to. Think about the harmonic quality of each chord. Then, try to identify whether each chord is a major, dominant, or minor 7th. Major 7th chord: 1,, 5, 7 Dominant 7th chord: 1,, 5, b7 Minor 7th chord: 1, b, 5, b Page 1 WE RE JAMMIN! Jam Track 16 Exercise: Here is a Jam Track that uses 7th chords you have been learning about, except they are using three note 7th chords and inversions so they are disguised. To learn more about three note 7th chords refer to the Advanced book. Practice through your piano part a few times, before jamming it out with the band! 16 Allegro continued on the next page.. Page 14 When you can play this piece confidently by yourself, you are ready to jam! This track has no piano on it so its just you and the band! 16x Page 15 Chapter 4. Chord Progressions Now that you understand the three kinds of 7th chords, you re ready to apply it to the I, IV, V chord progression. Remember that when there is a progression in I, IV, V, the notes in the chords can only be taken from the notes in the particular key that the progression is in. (You will know what key it is in by the key signature.) For example, in the key of C major, the I, IV, V progression chords can only contain notes that already exist in the C major scale. If you know your scales, you ll find that this little tip will help you enormously to create your chords! You know that the kinds of notes found in your chord will be limited to the kinds of notes you find in the scale. Once you know that, you can see whether those notes (1,, 5, and 7) are natural or flattened according to the notes that appear in the key signature or scale. Key of C Major 44 Let s take an example. Here s the I, IV, V progression with the 7th chords played in C major. It is in the root position so that it is easy to read. Exercise: Play chords (over page) several times. Listen to the major 7th quality of the C and F compared to the dominant quality of the G dominant 7th chord. 0 Page 16 I major 7 V dominant 7 5 IV major C major 7 F major 7 G dominant Page 17 Key of B b Major b Now, here is the same progression, this time in the key of B. Notice that the chords all have notes that are found in the key of B major. b I major 7 IV major 7 V dominant 7 04 Key of G Major Here is the I, IV, V chord progression in G major. This time, the IV and V chords are played in their second inversion. The second inversion makes the progression easier to play, because there is less jumping around the keyboard. 05 I major 7 IV major 7 V dominant 7 Remember that as you play a seventh chord, your right hand position should go: Page 18 Chord Progression in the Minor Keys Now, let s add some minor keys. Minor chords are played 1,, 5, 7. The root notes should be played with the left hand. This gives the chords more stability and makes them clearer. When the root notes are played with the left hand, it is said that the left hand is playing the bass notes of the chord progression. b b Key of A Minor Here is the A minor i, iv, V progression with 7th chords and the bass notes in the left hand. i minor 7 iv minor 7 V dominant7 06 Key of D Minor Here is the D minor i, iv, V progression with 7th chords and the bass notes in the left hand. i minor 7 iv minor 7 V dominant7 07 q = 96 Page 19 Key of E Minor Here is the last i, iv, V progression we ve looked at: E minor progression with the bass notes played by the left hand. i minor 7 iv major 7 V dominant 7 08 q = Good job! Now you can play and recognise three different types of 7th chords. Go on to the next chapter and learn about the last new 7th chord for this book- Minor 7 flat 5! Page 20 Chapter 5. Building on What You Know In this chapter, you ll learn about one more kind of 7th chord. You ll also add a new chord onto the I, IV, V chord progression you already know. Minor 7 Flat 5 Chords 45 This is the last 7th chord you ll learn in this book. With the addition of this chord, you ll have the vocabulary you need to cover the 7th chords in any major key. Minor 7 flat 5 chords are written minor 7 5 for short. To create one of these chords, all you have to do is take the existing minor 7 chord (1, b, 5, b7) and flatten the 5th. In other words, it will look like this: 1,, 5, 7 These chords sound quite unusual, and it may take a while to get used to how they sound. Here is an example. This is a C minor 7 5 chord in the root position. b b b b C minor 7 flat 5 (root position) b b The 7th note, B, is a minor 7th away from C. The 5th note is now flattened from G to G b. This note gives the chord its unique sound. The rd note, E b, is a minor rd away from C. This gives the chord its minor quality. The root note is C. Relative to the root note, a minor 7 flat 5 chord goes 1,, 5, 7. It looks like a regular minor 7 chord with a flattened 5th note. Recap of 7th Chords b b b b Here s a brief recap of the chords you have learned to play so far: Major 7th chord: 1,, 5, 7 Dominant 7th chord: 1,, 5, b7 Minor 7th chord: 1, b, 5, b7 Minor 7 b5 chord: 1, b, b5, b7 Page 21 Chord Progressions Revisited So much of jazz revolves around chord progressions. You should be quite familiar with the I, IV, V chord progression by now. This is one of the most popular progressions in music across all genres. However, there are other progressions in jazz that are also very common. As an introduction to those chord progressions, let s expand on what you already know about the I, IV, V progression. For every note in a scale or key, there is a corresponding chord to go with it. The chords are named by a Roman numeral (upper case for a major chord, lower case for a minor chord) corresponding to the position of the note in the scale. For example: The 1st note in a major scale is the root of the I chord. The 4th note in a major scale is the root of the IV chord. The 5th note of a major scale is the root of the V chord. Similarly, you can build a chord on EVERY note of the scale, as long as you just use notes from that scale. You ve already learned the rules for constructing any of four kinds of 7th chords, as long as you know the root note. Take a look at all the 7th chords in the C major scale. Each chord is built up from a note in the scale and only uses notes from the C major scale. Study the order of the chords and notice how every chord corresponds to its location in the scale. ii minor 7 IV major 7 vi minor 7 I I major 7 iii minor 7 V dominant 7 major7 7b5 vii minor C major 7 E min
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