At the heart of solo jazz piano playing lies the use of spread and rootless voicings. But to truly transform a simple lead sheet into a captivating piece of music involves digging deeper into the jazz player's bag of tricks and employing an array of arranging and reharmonization techniques to develop and intensify the underlying character of the melody and harmony of the tune. Each lesson in this series features a comparison of a fully realized two-handed arrangement of a tune with it's basic lead sheet that will reveal the techniques and devices used to transform the piece from a melody and chord symbols to a finished arrangement.
Sarah Jane Cion's jazz ballad, "The Safflower," is presented in the first lesson of this series to demonstrate how to get from a lead sheet to a complete arrangement using various arranging and reharmonization techniques. By supplementing spread and rootless voicings with upper structure triads, related ii chords, deceptive cadences, sus chords, constant structures and other devices, this already beautiful tune is elevated into a engaging and compelling arrangement.
Watch this short video for an overview of the content of this course.
Upper Structure Triads
Solo Jazz Piano
Rootless Voicings with Added Tension
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To continue your study of this topic, face-to-face, live webcam lessons are available.
"This last lesson (Safflower) was outstanding. The explanations were clear. The musical examples were beautiful. Keep them coming!" -Tim
"I signed up for the three-month subscription this morning (it was your email responses and the free lydian exercise lesson that convinced me) and I've spent most of the day at the piano with Safflower. What a beauty. What a blast. And perfect for where I want to start. Not too hard, but challenging with great chords that have never come out of my hands. Great motivator (as in...oh, man, maybe I CAN do this..)" -Andy
About the instructor
Bill did undergraduate work at the Berklee College of Music and holds the M.Mus. degree in Jazz Studies from the Boston Conservatory/Berklee College of Music where he studied with Ray Santisi and Charlie Banacos. Bill taught and played extensively around the Boston area for the better part of two decades appearing everywhere from the legendary Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge MA to a long stand at the Hampshire House on Beacon Hill in Boston before relocating to the Raleigh-Durham NC area where he teaches full-time on JazzPianoOnline.com.