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#1324520 - 12/13/09 01:47 PM Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video)
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 796
Loc: Northern, Northern California
I'm making some progress on my solo piano voicings, and before I get too entrenched in my habits, I'd like to get some comments and suggestions from you guys. This video shows the types of voicings I'm using. Please give me some feedback on whether I'm on the right track, things I should change, things I should add, etc.

Thanks!
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1324540 - 12/13/09 02:15 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: TromboneAl]
Swingin' Barb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 889
Loc: North Carolina
Excellent! You are definitely on the right track.

My advice -- keep at it and post the entire song for us to hear.

BRAVO thumb

Barb
_________________________
A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com

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#1324640 - 12/13/09 04:56 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: Swingin' Barb]
knotty Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 3003
Loc: Bethesda, MD (Washington D.C)
AI,

Nice job. Don't worry too much what's ok to use where. It seems you have a pretty good bag of tricks already. The only rule, as you know is that it should sound good. The most important aspect is time, so be sure to practice with a metronome.

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#1324671 - 12/13/09 05:34 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: knotty]
dailyjazztweets Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/09
Posts: 55
Loc: Seattle, WA
AI, I enjoyed hearing you play My Romance, so I played it twice. Nice going!! To respond with constructive criticism, here a few small things might enhance what you've accomplished.:

1. Chord voicing. Do you like the sound in the LH of the root and the 3rd, or 3d and 7th; whether the 3d is major or minor and the 7th is major or flatted)? You might find your II-V-I chords progress by moving one finger 1/2 step! Moreover, I don't feel we are required to play the 5th in all chords. Only the half-diminished chords, however, need the 5th.
2. Keyboard. I see that you use two regions of piano to get different sounds with hands far apart and very close together. If you try other voicings, do you discover new regions that sound good too?
3. Melodic phrasing. Lyrics to My Romance are lovely. A few times, try phrasing your right hand as a vocalist would sing them. The first example can comes to mind is to build the dynamics from My (very soft) Ro-(soft) mance (as a base to work around through the melody).

I think you'll enjoy playing with more dynamic changes and using different LH chord voicings. If not, at least you'll know what you don't like.


Hope this helps and all that jazz!

Jim


Edited by dailyjazztweets (12/13/09 05:35 PM)
_________________________
Jim

eLearning Mashups
DailyJazzTweets

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#1326574 - 12/16/09 11:39 AM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: dailyjazztweets]
Ragtime Clown Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 684
Loc: Ireland

Al, I know little about voicing but I really enjoyed your video. I don't know the song but the sounds you have created here are beautiful.

Please give us more.

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#1326760 - 12/16/09 03:33 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: TromboneAl]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1766
Loc: Colorado
Thanks for posting, Al. You are doing really well there, sounds great.

Keep up the good work!

Glen
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A Bit of YouTube
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#1425170 - 04/27/10 12:56 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: Inlanding]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 796
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Quote:
My advice -- keep at it and post the entire song for us to hear.


Well, here it is:

Click here for the improved version.

I'm pretty happy with my solo piano progress. The new voicings are starting to get automatic.

Thanks again for the comments. Any further suggestions would also be appreciated.
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1425185 - 04/27/10 01:09 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: TromboneAl]
Swingin' Barb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 889
Loc: North Carolina
Hi Al,

You have conquered solo piano. You sound absolutely fantastic. Voicings/movement -- everything is SUPER! I only wish I could have seen your hands after that first minute.

Give yourself a real big pat on the back. thumb

Barb
_________________________
A Sudnow Method Fanatic
"Color tones, can't live without them"

To hear how I have progressed since 2006, check out: http://b.kane.home.mindspring.com

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#1425310 - 04/27/10 03:30 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: Swingin' Barb]
adriel&jazz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Vancouver, BC
Hi Al,

Listened to your piece. Sounds wonderful! Hope to be able to play at that level in the future. Practice practice practice! smile
_________________________
Yamaha P155 Black&Mahogany

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#1425758 - 04/28/10 08:40 AM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: TromboneAl]
s_winitsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 61
Nice playing Al. One of my favorite songs.

I play this one too but from sheet music; I have not yet made my own arrangement of it (Preston Keys has a version of this.)

You should post more.

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#1427638 - 05/01/10 06:30 AM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: s_winitsky]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Sounds excellent AL!
Now that you are comfortable with this concept ,try expanding your chordal voicing utilizing both hands still retaining the melody note on top.
You should maybe start thinking chordal substitutions /linear block chordal lines utilizing the notes of the melody. Here is a short example I did of your tune as for solo piano.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXaeGMz-l5s

Just more solo jazz piano vocabulary.


Edited by pianobroker (05/01/10 06:37 AM)
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#1428469 - 05/02/10 05:33 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: pianobroker]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 796
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Thanks, broker, that helps. I love the block chords but I can only seem to use them if I essentially memorize a run.

Can you talk a bit about putting some of the chord tones in the right hand. Do you just select a few chord notes that will work? Any system?
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1428538 - 05/02/10 08:10 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: TromboneAl]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Hey Al, I am far from the authority on this block chordal concept but I will tell you what works for me in a simplified approach.

In approaching a basic tune as in a solo arrangement, obviously the melody note is always on top and the bass note is the tonic of the chord.
Some common two hand voicings could be

L.H. R.H.
1,5 3,6
1,5 3,b7
1,5 3,b7,9
1,7 3,6,9
1,5 b7,9,3,5
1,5 3,b7,9,#11
1,5 b7,9,3,13

There are endless two hand voicings. Just remember the melody note is always on top. This is the basic structure along with appropriate passing tones in the melody.

Now there are a few different block chordal concepts that I use. These are described fairly well in these youtube videos. The styles of George Shearing and Red Garland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-CI9FABTw4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi-V7jSIU_A

Now I did a couple youtube vids myself on my own complex block chordal substitution concept.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCgxPnV_VlA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxKLiFNk2RE

If you grasp these concepts along with your already acquired knowledge, you will expand your solo piano vocabulary immensely. wink


Edited by pianobroker (05/03/10 01:55 AM)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
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#1429081 - 05/03/10 04:19 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: pianobroker]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 796
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Well, at this point, with block chords, I'm not able to think fast enough to play them. For example, in my video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcTyXoqSb3Y

at 40 seconds in, I play some locked-hand, drop-2 style block chords that I memorized. It follows the exact formula that Dick Hyman describes.

But if I didn't memorize them, I'd have to think this:

First note, C, is in the Am7 chord, play the notes of that chord, with C on the top.

Second note, D, not in the Am7 chord, play the notes of an Fdim chord, with D on top.

Third note, E, is in the Am7 chord, play the notes of that chord, with E on the top.

Fourth note, G, not in the new chord, Dm7. Play the notes of a Bb dim chord with G on top.

Etc. My mind just isn't fast enough to do that on the fly. I've tried the exercises in Levine's book, but I am still too slow.

Will I just get better at that? It seems like a lot to ask for that complex process to become automatic.
_________________________
- Al

My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1429130 - 05/03/10 05:39 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: TromboneAl]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Nobody said one had to literally sightread a fake book chart and come up with that perfect solo arrangement on the spot. Though muscle does have memory so to speak. After a while you will have played all these block chordal inversions repeatedly upon song after song so...it will become secound nature. After all there is only so many inversions in the more popular keys. With the diminished passing chord,there are only 3 inversions so that should be much easier.

Now with my alternate block chordal counterpoint approach,it will be much more difficult in that one has to compose the counterpoint line againest the melody first before one actually plays it.
But even than it can become repeative or somewhat secound nature after 1000+ tunes.
I wish I could practice what I preach in that if one does not make time to practice it doesn't become easier or for that matter secound nature. grin
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#1429134 - 05/03/10 05:46 PM Re: Solo Jazz Piano Voicing Advice Requested (With Video) [Re: pianobroker]
Legal Beagle Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/09
Posts: 776
Al, just a quick note to say your postings on these topics are really excellent, and they are also generating excellent and informative comments from others.

Bravo from the peanut gallery. thumb
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"Wide awake, I can make my most fantastic dreams come true..."
- Lorenz Hart

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