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#1152605 - 07/06/07 02:56 PM Do you improv Big Band piano?
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
Hello Sandy B here ...a member...I posted this on Non-classical too. What I am wondering is do most of you improv Big Band? As creative people I would think you would if you have the desire. Not certain though. Input from you please? I would call myself an intermediate Big Band improv pianist. What should I do to progress at 68 years old to a more advanced level? I entertain at my assisted living for the other residents and they so love Big Band. I want to improve for them too...Sandy B...Thank you in advance for your input.
Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06

Piano & Music Acc. / Sheet Music

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#1152606 - 07/08/07 05:09 PM Re: Do you improv Big Band piano?
JohnEB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 754
Loc: Belgium
I used to play piano for a Big Band, and yes it was all improvised. It was really a lloooonnnggg time ago, but it was a load of fun.

The best way I found to improve was, to just do more and more and more of it. Learning scales adn a bit of theory helped me too - so I knew chords and could manage arpeggios easily.

Enjoy yourself!

#1152607 - 07/09/07 06:29 PM Re: Do you improv Big Band piano?
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
Dear John, So happy to hear you played improv piano with a band. Thank you and the more and more is great advice, I do know basic theory and chords and arpeggios . I will do the more and more. Thank you again, Sandy B
Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06

#1152608 - 07/09/07 08:45 PM Re: Do you improv Big Band piano?
superlocrian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/30/07
Posts: 69
Loc: Dallas, TX
Hi Sandy. A good book for just voicing jazz chords is "Voicings for Jazz Keyboard" by Frank Mantooth. It is pretty heavy on the Theory side of things, but if you can understand all of that stuff, it will give you some cool four and five note voicings for any given chord (e.g. D7#9#5, etc.)

As far as just improving a melody while the band is playing the chords, etc., you might check out the improvisation series by Jamie Aebersold. There are many volumes of his CD's and they are set up where you hear the rhythm section while you create melodies. He also includes charts in his books that show how certain scales may be used as melodic material while certain chords are playing. These "chord/scale" relationships are vital to understand if your solos are to make sense and match the sounds of the song you are improvising over.

Good luck!

#1152609 - 07/10/07 01:16 PM Re: Do you improv Big Band piano?
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
Sandy B. here...Thank you so much for this information. I just printed so I can refer to your input. Jamie Aebersold series will be looked into and I love the Mantooth referral too. I think I know enough to follow both books. I will try. Thank you again.
Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06


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