Guillaume Practice Schedule & Goals

Hey guys,
It’s time for me to challenge myself and try to make my first arragement of…Tune up! (Wes Montgomerry really inspired me)

My goal here is mainly to apply the stuffs i learnt, so what i want to do with this arrangement:

-play atleast one of these 3 voicings: kenny baron, so what, herbie hancock (maybe a chromatisim)

-playing rootless voicings

-include an idea of a record i like because there’s lots of gaps in the melody so i think i can include it

-add my own ideas to the melody maybe

In terms of courses i still need to watch the intermediate courses on arragement and tritone sub before starting

I thought of playing it more like a ballad, what do you think ?

So i think my process will be:

Listening a lot of all recording i can find
Transcribe ideas and write down what i like
See where i can put the 3 voicings (KB, So What, HH)
See how i can enhance the melody and place rootless voicings
Some Tritone subs maybe… ? Idk yet
Look for interesting alterations of chords

As soon as my university exams ends ill get into it !

Let me know what you think !


That’s a brilliant process Guillaume.

In particular the first 2 steps are very important:

  • Listening a lot of all recording i can find
  • Transcribe ideas and write down what i like

I like to listen to a song for at least a week before I start to arrange it. I try to listen to every version I can find - all instruments - and then I note down the parts I like in mm:ss format, for example “transcribe fill at 00:46s” or “figure out voicing at 01:24s” etc…

It might be a particular voicing, a rhythm, a melodic fill/ornamentation, a reharmonisation, anything… I then spend the time to analyse and transcribe the bits I like.

This process is very effective to develop our own ‘sound’ because we are analysing and transcribing the things that pique our own interest and tastes.

Check out this post Guillaume, it cover my process for arranging tunes:

I think a ballad is a good place to start whilst learning the form and the chord changes.

“Tune Up” is commonly played at faster tempos and so I would recommend using the iRealPro if playing the tune fast.

When we search for a specific tune in iRealPro, the tempo is set by default. This gives us an indication of what tempo the tune is most commonly played.

For “Tune Up” we can see it is set to 240 bpm.

When playing at such fast tempos, use rootless left hand voicings and practice playing along with both the iRealPro, and also the recordings that you like.

Playing along with recordings is very important… I would add that to the list also.

Hope this helps Guillaume :sunglasses:


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Hello there!

I hope this is not too late to pour goals for the week… well too bad if its, ill still do it !

So my goals for this week are:

  • Finish to transcribe Billie’s Bounce from Charlie Parker (im already at 65 ish %) ill keep the playing at full speed for another day :smiley:

  • I started the minor blues by curiosity and this is really cool, at the same time different and close to the classic 12bar blues
    So i want to have the progression memorized and play comfortably at 120 bpm with some chords inversions (ill already at 120 bpm with fundamental state of the chord, in the first lesson), well im working on the 12 bar blues at the same time, so soon im gonna be called “the blue guy” or something like that aha :grinning:

  • And finallly watch all the videos ( well atleast 70% of them) of the course of arrangement for piano, intermediate level, for the upcoming arrangement of tune up!

Hope this motivates you guys to keep playing as the people here do motivate me !

PS: Ill create a new thread for minor blues ?

Update #1 :

  • Im finishing the “Billie’s Bounce” transcription, it gave me hard time but im almost there !

  • I finished the first lesson on the minor blues at 120 bpm, ill post my progression too

  • And i watched the first lesson of tritone subs, and voicings for major and minor chords

So i think im good for this week, i will post my goals tomorrow :grinning:

PS: Here is my blues minor (there’s no ireal background with it :roll_eyes: )

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Bravo continue this going :cowboy_hat_face: Well done

you probably was hearing the ireal pro when recording yourself ?otherwise try to play the bass or some shell (137 or 17) with your left hand to memorizing clearly the progression.

but the harder was to record yourself doing it and posting it , its done ! :sunglasses:
my 2cents : some chords are not played with conviction some rolling (? notes are arpegiated ), so maybe take care of this. So keep this at same speed with only that in mind for 1-2 days.

ps i’m big fan of Wes too … so clear so fluid … la classe.

I dont understand dont you want to play tune up firstly ?

Yeah i do, and im already playing with iReal with rootless voicings, my goal also is to play with the rootless voicings in all 12 keys, to make sure i internalized the form well enough ! Thanks for your support !

Concerning my recording of the minor blues, yes i had iReal next to me, but my piano has a record mode, which is pretty usefull


i agree :slight_smile:

Hey guys !

Im finally done with my exams so i can put a ton of my time right now in piano practicing which i will hapilly do ! So my goals for this week are simple:

  • Discover 1 new album a day whilst im doing other stuffs

  • Get back to my good habits with my playing

  • Transcribe some lines i selected for my arrangement of Tune Up from the different recordings

  • Start a new transcription (i think of Red Garland C jam)

  • Play tune in many different keys with rootless voicings

Happy Practicing and gald to be back !

Congratulations on finishing your exams Guillaume :partying_face:

This looks like a brilliant plan.

I know we have discussed transcribing blues records over email, and also here in the forum.

I’d recommend that instead of starting with Red Garland’s “C Jam Blues”, you start with this record… Miles Davis “Phrancing” :

I have transcribed sections of both Red Garland “C Jam Blues” and also Wynton Kelly’s solos over “Phrancing”.

I think you will get more enjoyment, benefit, and see quicker progress by starting with “Phrancing”, and then move onto the “C Jam Blues” record.

The reason why i suggest this are:

  1. Wynton’s solo over “Phrancing” is not as fast-fingered or technically difficult to play as Red’s solo over C Jam Blues.

  2. The audio quality of “Phrancing” recording is clearer and so you will have an easier job hearing and transcribing the notes.

  3. There are some interesting intervals in Wynton’s solo over “Phrancing”. To give you a hint, he uses a lot of 4th intervals in parts his solo. I know you have been participating in Tuomo’s interval training exercises, and so this will be a good opportunity to put this interval training into practice.

From transcribing a bunch of different blues recordings, I think that for beginner transcribers, “Phrancing” is a very good choice to start with.

Keep us posted with your progress on this Guillaume.

Talk soon!

Hello again Hayden !

I’ve been listening a lot of blues lately and particulary Phrancing :laughing: so im quite familiar with the sound, also if im not wrong wynton kelly has 2 solo’s at 3:05 and at 7:04, in your opinion should i also transcribe the other instrument solos ?


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Brilliant :sunglasses:

Yes that’s correct he takes multiple solos in the performance.

I transcribed his first solo, starting around 0:37 and finishing at 1:19. He plays twice through the form and there’s some great material in there.

I’d recommend transcribing that first. The aim is to play it full speed along with the recording. Then move onto his other solos.

Yes it’s certainly worthwhile to transcribe the solos from the other instruments. Anything you like the sound of… transcribe it.

Transcribing Left Hand Comping:

A lot can also be learnt from listening to and transcribing the left hand during the piano solos.

Wynton Kelly has a very different style to Red Garland. Wynton adds left hand voicings when his melody breaks or rests. Whereas Red Garland plays a steady ‘Charleston Rhythm’ underneath his right hand. Both are great styles of coming in their own right.

Wynton’s 2 handed comping under the other solos are also worth studying.

Tuomo provides some useful tips for transcribing chords in the last 3 chapters of this tutorial:


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I’ll make sure to watch this course during the week !

Thanks for your advices :grinning:


PS: im starting to work on the first solo of kelly in phrancing and by slowing down the music i can really feel the swing rythm, im so glad you recommended that to me @Hayden , thank you again !

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Hello everyone !

My goals for this week of practice are:

  • Start the minor pentatonic impro with the C min pent scale, im thinking of picking up 3 different notes each time i sit down at the piano and improvise with it (only notes from of C min pent scale until im very good with it).

  • Start incorporating 1 note enclosure into my 12 bar blues, talking about that, im not sure if i understood the difference between chromatic approach and enclosure: so enclosure is when you play the 2 notes surrounding the target chord tone, and chromatic approach is when you play the 1 or 2 notes lower or higher of the target chord tone, so if im targeting the 3rd of Bb, which is D, with a chromatic approach i could play : C-Db-D and with a 1 note enclosure: Eb-Db-D, am i right ?

  • Im struggling with transcribing chords so i want to put a big part of my time trying to transcribe wyton kelly comp chords in “phrancing”

Thats it !

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Nice goals Guillaume.

It can be a fun exercise to try to improvise with as little notes as possible. Even just one note.

Red Garland’s solos are a brilliant example of this. I love it how sometimes he plays just one note repeatedly, but his syncopation and swing is so ‘in the pocket’ that it sounds amazing.

As an example, single note syncopation at 1:04s and at 1:54s in the below record.

Then playing a few repeated notes at 1:18s and keeping such a solid groove. Again at 2:29s:

Transcribing and emulating his phrasing and placement is the key here.

In my opinion Red is one of the fullest and most complete-sounding players. He has it all.

I just wish my fingers moved as fast as his! :smile: Maybe on day!

We cover these in the 12 bar blues course.

An enclosure is when you play both notes surrounding the target note.

If the target tone is D when moving to a Bb chord (targeting the 3rd) an enclosure would be Db, Eb and into D. (or vice versa Eb, Db and into D). Basically playing both tones a half step above and below the target tone.

We also have double enclosures where we play 2 half steps above and below the target note. Again using the example of targeting the 3rd of Bb, we could play C, Db, E, Eb, and then into D. So we are basically surrounding, or ‘enclosing’ the the target tone by its neighbouring tones.

Now Onto Chromatic Approaches…

The key difference from the enclosure is that you don’t ‘surround’, or ‘enclose’ the target note, you just approach it chromatically from 1 direction.

I’d recommend watching these 2 lessons:

and also passing tones which are somewhat related:

Yes this will take time Guillaume so don’t be off-put by slow progress.

It’s a ‘step up’ from transcribing melody lines.

Just a little work each day is key. Progress is slow. But stick at it, and revisit it each day.


Hi all,

This is what im going to work on the next week:

  • Play all 1 note enclosure on the F blues, just to make sure i don’t go too fast and to make sure this is solid before moving onto the 2 notes enclosures.

  • Adding a bit more notes of my playing of the Cmin penta scale on the minor blues

  • I really want to internalize Tune Up, so im going to start by playing the melody in all 12 keys, and work on transposing the form.

And having fun with it !

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Hey fellows pianists,

This is my plan for the next week,

  • Play around with enclosures, and as @Hayden suggested transcribe blues to get lines, and learn about how professionals use these tools,

  • A few days ago when play the minor blues, with i real pro, i realized that i actually had my phone with i real pro running next to me, i’ve put it away and kept i real pro running, but i can’t follow the progression well enough :cold_sweat: , im or 1 mesure late, or 1 mesure ahead so im working on fixing that. Any advice on it ?

  • I’ve transcribed the melody of tune up around all 12 keys, while transcribing the chords on the paper, and it was quite a challenge, but i did it !
    Now im thinking about playing the progression in all 12 keys, with melody in my RH and tonic of chords in my LH

There is some work to do !

Edit: Concerning the minor blues, im stepping back and re-learning the progression without iRealPro under my eyes, that should take 1 day or 2 and then, i will start implementing the Cmin penta scale a note at the time.

Hello @Hayden, as you might know i’m a lot interesting in playing with a band, so im thinking to start practicing comp voicings.
Moreover im getting pretty confident with my rootless voicings (exept the dominant ones which more time) and rootless 251s, i’ve watched the lesson on the standards forms and 2 handed comping voicings, and i wonder how can i implement this practice into my routine ?


Hi Guillaume :wave:

I have 2 recommendations here:

1) Laser Focus Your Practice

My first recommendation would be to focus on a small number of tunes - maybe even just 1 tune - and learn the rootless voicings so that you know them by memory.

Start with left hand voicings, and then spread those notes over 2 hands to create 2-handed rootless comping voicings.

Ideally we need to get to the point where there is no hesitation on the voicings we are playing so that we can free up our mind to focus on rhythm, and more importantly, accompanying the soloist. This ties into my next recommendation:

2) Find Someone To Accompany (A Singer Or Any Lead Instrument)

Comping is a skill that can only truly be learnt by doing it, ie. by accompanying other musicians in person.

When I was last in NYC, @Lyndol was kind enough to give me a few hours of her time where I was practicing accompanying her vocals over 4 or 5 standards.

In those few hours, I learnt a lot about following the lead of the singer which was only possible because I was accompanying a singer in person and getting real experience doing it in person.

So my recommendation is to find someone to accompany. Perhaps attend a local jam at a jazz club. There are also jazz groups on where amateur musicians meet to practice their ensemble skills.

I think that this kind of experience would be invaluable for you.

Be honest and open and explain that you are just starting out with playing in a jazz band. It might be difficult and frustrating to start but I’m sure that you will find other jazz musicians to be helpful, and at least share some pointers and tips with you.

If the goal is to play with other musicians, then make an active step to do it.

That’s what I think - hope it helps!

Just to add… if you are accompanying a singer in a duo setting, ie. no bass player, then I’d recommend including the root in most of your voicings to establish the basis of the harmony.

Comping just with rootless voicings would be more suited to playing with a full rhythm section (bass, drums, piano).

Playing in these different settings and experimenting with different voicing styles is the best way to gain an appreciation for this.