We also have the blues section of the site. The blues progression can be played at any tempo and the jazz blues progression is great fun to play over with the iRealPro backing track app.
A quick sidenote:
From my understanding, up tempo jazz tunes are most often performed with a full rhythm section (drums, piano, & bass) which creates the energy to propel the music forward. This is one of the challenges when arranging up tempo tunes for solo piano.
That being said, if you have any particular tunes you would like to see covered, or better still, any favourite examples of faster tunes being played or taught (in solo piano style) on YouTube, then please post the tune names and/or YouTube URLs in this thread, and I will work out how we can teach these tunes.
Solo up tempo performances are not my strong point as a player, but within our teaching team I’m sure we can deliver any jazz style that our students want to learn.
We have covered some of the most famous modal tunes such as:
If you can post an example of “jazz bands seemingly riffing over more modal sounding chord progressions” - perhaps a link from YouTube, then I will know exactly what it is you are looking for.
I’m sure we can create a lesson on modal playing, or at the very least explain what the band is doing.
In terms of soloing over a modal form, my best advice would be to transcribe from a modal recording. Perhaps start with Miles Davis “So What”. Transcribe the piano parts and also the horn players to get a feel for modal improvisation.
If you’re new to transcription, check out Tuomo’s weekly transcription exercises:
Thank you Hayden for your rich and full response. I’m very much glad to be considered one of your learners; and again, very grateful for your instructional method, which I find very effective.
Thanks also for the references to some of the more up tempo works within PG. I’m certain they’ll keep me busy for quite some time.
I also agree with your observation about the jazz combo being a better match for faster pieces. In fact, that’s me. My wife is my bassist and I’ve found the Beat Buddy very useful for our emerging cocktails and dinner jazz set lists!
I find in addition to the wonderful stylings I’m learning via PG, I also need to cover material clients might like near the beginning of their events when a more enthusiastic feel is desired. Songs like On the Street Where You Live, L.O.V.E, String of Pearls, Take the A Train, Mack the Knife, Blue Skies – pieces that get the audience toe tapping and finger snapping. Currently, I find my playing a bit mundane and “basic” when I approach these.
I am hoping that as I master your principles like Upper Structures and TriTones, that might transfer effectively.
I also find mixing in latin-fused pieces resonate with audiences. Kudos for your bossa courses. I’m also keen to approach faster pieces like Mas Que Nada and Wave.
Warm wishes to you from the States. I do still travel to London on business several times each year, so if you’re ever out gigging, I’d welcome the opportunity to come support you. You’re doing a great work Hayden. Please do keep it up!
It’s possible i don’t understand what I am listening to, but esp after about 30 seconds it sounds like a lot of almost random stacked fourths in the left hand and then various noodling scales in the right. Perhaps you would consider this more free form style playing in one of your Five Minute master classes?
Hi Everyone, I’ve memorised 9 of the standards so far, although I haven’t studied much of the theory because at the moment I only want to practice what I perform.
Don’t you think that once you have learnt Hayden’s great arrangements you can speed up or slow down or play in different rhythms as you want? do you agree?
I think it’s a great idea to have some PianoGroove lessons covering this type of playing style, but also understand that there are some special challenges in this area because if your ears aren’t developed, it’s very difficult to keep this kind of modal improvisation sounding substantial. It devolves into patterned noodling extremely easily unless you are hearing ideas in your mind and then executing them with intention, because the harmony simply doesn’t provide anything to hide behind like it does with tunes where the harmony moves around more.
So I think @Doug_Flather, you in particular can see from your own perspective that there are a few obstacles that perhaps lessons can help with, if I may break it down a bit:
First, you need a bit stronger ear training to recognize that the stacked fourths (which you ARE hearing correctly – good job!) in Effendi are not random at all – they are actually structured around two very specific scales. Can you pick out what the scales are, and can you map out the form of the piece, i.e., when does it switch between them? Once you have that, you will have something to start to work with for improvisation.
Second, the melodic part, and as you know already, Tyner’s melodic improvisation draws heavily on a level of technical skill that few of us have under our fingers. For those of us who don’t have that kind of technique, we are missing an important tool that he uses to add emotion and excitement to his improvisation, and sometimes it’s hard to work out what we might replace it with. That’s one reason why it’s hard to be McCoy Tyner!
But with all that said, I’m confident lessons can help make some of what he’s doing more accessible, and I’m looking forward to seeing and/or helping that happen.