How To Play Like Beegie Adair

Hey everyone :wave:

Here is some homework for those attending the “How To Play Like Beegie Adair” seminar later this month:

In the session we will analyse Beegie Adair’s solo piano recording of “When I Fall In Love” and examine the exact voicings, fills, arranging techniques and reharmonisations that she uses.

Take a good listen to the recording before the seminar:

For those attending I would recommend checking out the following lessons so that we can all hit the ground running in the seminar:

See you there!

5 Likes

Also here is an archived version of a previous seminar covering Beegie Adair’s style on the tune “Body & Soul”:

And here is the PDF file of the voicings in her intro:

Again lots of suspended harmony used in her intro. Remember to check out the lessons above to brush up on your sus chord theory ahead of the live seminar on the 20th.

Let’s use this thread to organise Beegie Adair related lessons and seminars.

2 Likes

I love the song you are going to cover in the upcoming seminar!

I noticed the Bb (sus4) in the introduction of Body and Soul. It sounds like she is arpeggiating a Bb (sus4) in the second bar of When I Fall in Love. Bb to Ab to a C minor chord and resolving a half step down to D F played together.

Really looking forward to this seminar!

2 Likes

Yes Beegie uses Sus chords throughout the arrangement - often with arpeggios and other types of embellishment.

We will analyse her exact voicings in the seminar :sunglasses:

2 Likes

I was looking forward to this seminar but will be on the road somewhere between Quebec and Ontario. Looking forward to the video instead.

2 Likes

Definitely one of my favourite seminars! Brilliant work there. Thanks so much again, Hayden. Am all smiles from start to end :blush: - inspired me a lot to play my keys today!

2 Likes

Agreed Kristeta! It was a wonderful seminar!!!

May I suggest My Foolish Heart from her album Quiet Romance? It is beautiful and one we have covered in our lessons.

2 Likes

A few comments before I forget while it is still fresh in my mind:

(1) Another fantastic seminar like everyone else has mentioned!!
(2) It was very helpful for you to provide background material which helped me to follow even better and focus on the nuances. Anytime there is background material which you believe will be helpful (as well as after a presentation), please share (maybe you do and I haven’t realized it yet).
(3) If you are ever get into a rut or run out of ideas for a seminar or you need just extra motivation, just do another transcription of Beegie Adair’s interpretation. It is obvious to me (and to others) that you are passionate about her playing and it shows when you present the material which leaves me to point 4.
(4) Don’t ever feel rushed about a presentation to meet a specific time goal (unless of course you have a personal time commitment). Archiving these seminars / workshops is a fantastic resource and I go back to each seminar I’ve watched and rewatch to take further notes (not to mention I plan to watch EVERY seminar by every presenter since the information is so good). In my limited time with the subscription, I have already gone back to some seminars at least 5 or 6 times because I find new information / ideas that I missed previously. I have a strong suspicion I will be rewatching this one at least 10 times as I couldn’t keep up with all the nuggets I was seeing!!
– It was illuminating how you mentioned it took you 8 to 9 hours total to transcribe this piece. Given the amount of time you spent, you “might as well” share as much as you think is important remembering these presentations are archived for later review.

I’ll stop here. I’ll close and just repeat what someone commented during the seminar that I really enjoy your analysis after you completed the transcription. It was also a nice touch that you replayed certain sections of the original recording to re-emphasize certain points. You’ve shed so much light I have never seen anywhere else so thank you!!

1 Like

Thank you Hayden - I loved this seminar…. I listen to a lot of Beegie Adair.
I’m a beginner so the sus chords are challenging but hope to improve. Great links re transcription in the seminar too - I’ve been very hesitant about transcription but I’m going to give it a go now :grin:

1 Like

Great suggestion @celia, we can certainly cover this tune next month. I agree Beegie Adair’s arrangement is lovely:

This performance is in the key of Ab (the original being Bb and the key that we used for the tutorial).

It is a very productive exercise to transpose standards so we can explore and discuss that for the first half of the seminar, and then move onto the actual transcription for the second half. I think that would work well.

2 Likes

That’s great to hear @donna1 - the sooner that we get started with transcription the better.

Here are a few other pointers:

  • Transcription is very difficult to start with so be prepared for that. It’s important to pick something that is just beyond our comfort zone and that way the material should be challenging and rewarding as well as achievable and enjoyable. Jon explains this very well in his video here.

  • For myself the key is regularly revisiting the task at hand, making sure not to ‘burn ourselves out’ by studying something for hours on end. Instead split that time over the course of a few days or a week. I always find it much easier when I come back to the task the next day with a fresh mind.

  • Other useful tools and resources are Tuomo’s Ear Training Exercises - perhaps complete one per day to train your ears - and also the Transcription Themed Course that you already mentioned.



Thanks for all of this feedback Leo and I'm glad you enjoyed the seminar. I agree it's a nice format to follow with the theory notations, playing the recording, and then breaking down the transcription.

Agreed. I have scheduled a transcription study next month on the “My Foolish Heart” recording that Celia shared above.

Awesome.

I will add the blue highlights over the notation to make it easier to follow. I also forgot to change the in-video notation for the C Section (1:05:00 onwards) so I will fix that.

Yes as I outlined to Donna above, it’s important to split our transcription time over different days, and when we come back to revisit the song we should see noticeable improvement each time.

I split that 8/9 hours worth of practice time over 3 weeks or so, usually spending 30 minutes o 1 hour each time.

That number is an estimate so for the seminar in November on “My Foolish Heart” I will track my time and keep a log of my practice time to get a more accurate figure to share.

Brilliant, I’m very happy to hear that :sunglasses:

2 Likes

Thanks, Hayden. This was a great session. Beegie Adair is my favorite jazz pianist and I always wondered what she was actually playing that made her sound so good. By the way, as a joke I played Adair’s recording of “When I Fall in Love” for my wife and told her it was me playing after practicing really hard. She said that while it was “pretty good,” she didn’t like all the “extra stuff” I threw in and that I played it “too slow.” Seriously. That’s what she said. Tomorrow I’ll play her some Oscar Peterson so I can find out how bad my improvisation is.

3 Likes

Thanks Hayden! I can’t wait. I did notice her version was not in Bb, so wondered if you would cover it. I am so happy you are!

Having a lot of fun with the seminar you did yesterday. I am so glad you are covering Beegie. I think a lot of people in the community love her style.

It is great to see what she is actually playing. Even more important, you explain her use of chords and substitutes, provide an understanding of her fills and how they relate to the underlying chords while emphasizing her styling techniques. Simply outstanding!!! Thank you so much for all you do.

2 Likes

Hey Beegie Adair fans!

November’s live event listings will arrive in everyone’s inbox shortly.

On the 19th November I am hosting a listening and transcription session on Beegie Adair’s solo piano recording of the tune “My Foolish Heart”.

Thanks for suggesting this lovely recording @celia and I recommend everyone to study the recording ahead of the seminar:

Seminar Downloads

Beegie Adair arranges the tune in Ab Major, which is a whole step below the key that we arranged the tune on PianoGroove (Bb Major).

I have created a new chord chart in Ab Major and also an annotated version with the rough voicings and reharmonisations that Beegie Adair is playing. Download them both here:

I need to spend more time listening and transcribing what she is playing, but the annotations are at least close to what she plays.

In the seminar we will breakdown all of her voicings, fills, and explain the theory and logic behind her reharmonisations.

Similar to the last session on “When I Fall In Love” her arrangement features lots of suspended harmony and so again we will revisit this reharm technique which is very characteristic of her playing.

Seminar Homework

  • Familiarise yourself with the tune in Ab Major - both the melody and the harmony

  • Listen intently to the recording whilst looking at the annotated lead sheet. Follow along and try to match the annotations to what you are hearing, for example try to actually hear the #11s, b9s in her voicings, and other alterations. Check out my recent seminar on chord alterations.

  • Similar to the above point, try to hear the suspended voicings that she is using on the recording. Sus chords have a very distinctive ‘bright and uplifting’ sound that is easily recognisable with practice.

  • Play the recording and follow along whilst looking at the annotated lead sheet and try familiarise yourself with the sound and character of sus voicings. The goal here is to learn to recognise this sound when listening to recordings.

  • If you’re new to sus voicings here is a quick lesson to brush up on the underlying theory:

See you all in the seminar!

2 Likes

Thank you so much Hayden! I like having the directed homework assignment and will start working on it right away.

2 Likes

@celia - there was a small error on the annotated chord chart.

Bar 6 and 22 was meant to be a B13 passing chord, not Bb13. I have corrected this and re-uploaded the PDF.

2 Likes

Wow. Thank you Celia. … listening to it now - Superb link shared by Hayden. :star_struck:

1 Like

Here is a electronic version of the chord changes for Beegie Adair’s “My Foolish Heart”:

We will be discussing the chord substitutions in detail in the seminar tomorrow.

Thank You so much Hayden Beegie is an artist I listen to all the time. I plan to be there. Wish you would transcribe her arrangement of “Little Drummer Boy” for Christmas.

1 Like

Thanks to everyone who tuned into my seminar yesterday, it was a fun session.

Unfortunately I forgot to record a local version of the seminar on my desktop, and to make matters worse the live event suffered from an archive failure on Vimeo’s back-end which means that the recording is not currently showing. I reached out to them and they said:

Our engineering team is working on recovering the full archive for this event. As this is a manual process, this may take a bit of time, but we will reach back out to you as soon as we’re able to restore the full video.

If it isn’t restored by Monday I will record it again.

Apologies for anyone wanting to watch the replay over the weekend, and I will ensure either the original version, or a new version is added by end of play on Monday.

2 Likes