Peter's Practice Log

Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Scales:

  • Majors: C, G, D, A, G𝄬/F𝄰, D𝄬/C𝄰, F, B𝄬, E𝄬, A𝄬 (2-octave, ascending)
  • Minors: A, D, G, F (natural, Dorian, melodic; 2-octave, ascending)

Chords:

  • Major/minor triads: C, D𝄬/C𝄰, D, E𝄬/D𝄰, E, F
  • Triad Inversions: C, F, G Majors (1-octave, ascending, broken & solid)

Lessons:

  • Jazz Piano Foundations: 2.3 - The 5 Types of 7th Chords
  • Seminar: Jazz Piano Voicings For Beginners & Beyond

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners, mm. 1 - 15
2 Likes

Great start Peter :grinning:

I would recommend focusing on 2 or 3 jazz standards at the same time. “Georgia” could be a nice option for the 2nd tune as it contains a lot of harmonic similarities with “The Nearness Of You” (the 2nd line of the A section is identical in both tunes ie. A-7 / D7 / G-7 / C7 ).

For the third tune, pick one that appeals to you the most!

3 Essential Elements For Practice Time

I like to structure and visualise my practice time split between 3 general areas:

  • Theory Drills
  • Jazz Standards
  • Listening & Transcription

You mentioned you were listening to Eddie Higgins earlier which is great. Allocating some time each and every day just to listen to your favourite players will work wonders for your playing in the long run.

The Importance Of Transcription

An important - and often overlooked - element of our development as jazz musicians is transcribing from our favourite records. I recommend allocating a little time to this each day and you will see great results in the space of a few months. I showed in a recent seminar how we can transcribe and play along with the melody of the jazz standards we are working on.

If transcription is new to you, check out these 2 videos:

and also start the ear training exercises here in the forum to get your ears up to speed:

https://community.pianogroove.com/c/transcription-exercises/ear-training-exercises/44

Spend 5 or 10 minutes on an exercise or 2 in the ear training section - starting with the beginner ones - and this will help you to identify intervals, melodies, and common progressions and cadences.

If you have already done some ear training and/or transcription in the past, you might like to jump straight in with our Transcription Studies or transcribing from your favourite records:


I hope that helps Peter.

Definitely incorporate some ear training/transcription into your daily practice routine and then we have all bases covered :sunglasses:

1 Like

Thank you for the recommendations, Hayden.

I’ve bookmarked the Bluesy Stride Piano For Beginners course and the “Georgia” Deep Dive Analysis seminar. Prior to signing up to PianoGroove, I had been working from sheet music for “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “This Masquerade” (all in the Easy Piano category).

The two aspects of the Royal Conservatory of Music piano syllabus that I’ve neglected are sight reading and ear training. I try to do 15-minutes of sightreading practice a day (I’m at the most elementary level). I’ve an ear training app on my Android tablet, but I’ll attempt some of the beginner ear training exercises in the Forum.

My scales and triads exercises take up about 90-minutes of daily practice time. The remaining 60- to 90-minutes is spent primarily on repertoire (yes, three hours per day—it’s good to be retired). I’m not sure how much more I can pack into a day.

Regards,
Peter

1 Like

My pleasure Peter - that all sounds great.

One final piece of advice, and then I will let you practice :grin:

An alternative to 90 minutes of theory practice on just scales and triads is the Simplified Foundations Planner which covers 6 drills broken down by key:

Work towards completing all 12 keys in 1 sitting. Make notes of the keys that you find difficult and practice these keys individually. Find the lesson here where the drills are explained and demonstrated:

Be sure to progress onto the next courses too. I recommend new students to study the Foundations course and Chord Extensions course simultaneously. Much of the theory is interrelated.

Perhaps alternate 2 or 3 days of the Foundations, then 1 day of Chord extensions, then repeat.

1 Like

Thanks for the additional recommendations, Hayden.

The extra time spent on scales and triads is because I’m having difficulty with unfamiliar keys, e.g., D𝄬/C𝄰 & G𝄬/F𝄰., and Dorian mode scales are also new to me. It’ll take a few days to work out the fingering.

I’ll definitely take a look at the Extended Chords & Voicings course.

Regards,
Peter

2 Likes

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Scales:

  • Majors: B𝄬, E𝄬, A𝄬, G𝄬/F𝄰, D𝄬/C𝄰, E, (2-octave, ascending), HT
    (difficulty w/ G𝄬/F𝄰, D𝄬/C𝄰; more practice)
  • Minors: A, D, G, F (natural, Dorian, melodic; 2-octave, ascending), HT

Chords:

  • Root Position Triads: All 12 Major Keys, HT
  • Major & minor Triads & Inversions: All 12 Major keys, RH
    (very slow, need more practice)

Courses/Lessons

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners, mm. 1 - 15, metronome @ 60-bpm
1 Like

Thursday, July 21, 2022
Scales:

  • Majors: All 12 Keys, (2-octave, ascending), HT
  • Dorian Mode: A, D, G, A𝄬/G𝄰; (2-octave, ascending), RH

Chords:

  • Root Position Major & minor Triads: All 12 Major Keys, HT
  • Major Triads & Inversions: All 12 Major keys, RH (too slow)
  • Minor Triads & Inversions: A, D, G, B (2-octave, ascending), RH
  • Diatonic 7th Chords: C, D Majors (LH on root, RH 7th chord)

Courses/Lessons

  • Jazz Piano Foundations: Major 251 Drill For Beginners
  • Bluesy Stride Piano For Beginners: Diatonic 7th Chords in F Major
  • Jazz Piano Foundations: How to Read Lead Sheets: “Tune Up”

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners, mm. 1 - 15, metronome @ 60-bpm
1 Like

Friday, July 22, 2022
Foundations

Courses/Lessons

  • Continue Jazz Piano Foundations: How to Read Lead Sheets: “Tune Up”

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners, mm. 1-15, metronome @ 56-bpm;
    mm. 16-19, fingering (This piece is starting to sound good.)
  • “Tune Up,” mm. 1-8
2 Likes

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Foundations

  • Simplified Practice Drills: C, F, B𝄬, E𝄬
    • Moving slowly, seeing the shape of Major, minor, dominant, & m7b5 chords
    • Listening to sound of each chord in the key

Courses/Lessons

  • Seminar: Harmonizing with 3-Note Voicings (to time index 15:11)
    • 3rd and 7th of the chord are most important tones (called Guide Tones)
    • In minor keys, replace 7th with 6th when the melody is the root (investigate)
    • Begin with 251 exercise in Major keys
  • Continue Jazz Piano Foundations: How to Read Lead Sheets: “Tune Up”
    • Can I go half way between 3-note voicings & extensions?

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners, mm. 1 - 15, mm. 16-19
  • “Tune Up,” mm. 1-8
1 Like

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Foundations

  • Simplified Practice Drills: Bb, Ab, Db

Courses/Lessons

  • Review “The Nearness of You” for Beginners

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners, mm. 1-15; mm. 16-23, fingering
    mm. 25-30, same as mm. 1-6 (only 5 more measures!)
1 Like

Monday, July 25, 2022

Foundations

  • Simplified Practice Drills: Eb, Ab, Db
    Concentrating on Eb Major (the key of love) (better than Ab Major (the key of the grave))

Courses/Lessons

  • Jazz Piano Foundations: How to Read Lead Sheets: “Georgia”, to time index 12:40

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners, mm. 1-15; mm. 16-23, fingering
    Analyzing arrangement; trying different 3-note voicings.
    Trouble with rhythm in mm. 22-24

Tuesday & Wednesday, July 26 & 27, 2022
Foundations

  • Major Keys: All 12, HT
  • Dorian Mode: All 12, RH
  • Simplified 7th Chord Practice Drills: F, Bb, Eb

Courses/Lessons

  • Seminar: Bossa nova Workshop, to time index 16:00
  • How To Sing & Play Jazz Piano: Find Your Vocal Range With The Piano
  • Beginner Jazz Arrangements: “Pure Imagination” For Beginners (to time index 7:16)

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; mm. 1-23 (good progress)
  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners; mm. 1-7

Thursday, July 28, 2022
Foundations

  • Major Keys: C, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb; HT
  • Dorian Mode: C, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb; RH
  • Simplified 7th Chord Practice Drills: F, Bb, Eb, Ab

Courses/Lessons

  • Beginner Jazz Arrangements: “Pure Imagination” For Beginners (to time index 7:16)

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; mm. 1-23 (good progress)
    (still having difficulty with mm. 22-24 in the bridge)
  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners; mm. 1-7
    (Getting better at the Fm7 - F#dim7 - Eb/G transition in mm. 3-4)

Reading/Theory/Study

  • Posted forum question on lead sheet chord notation
1 Like

Friday, July 29, 2022 (4 pomodoro cycles)
Foundations

  • Major Keys: F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb; HT
  • Dorian Mode: F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb; RH
  • Triads and inversions, Major & minor: F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db; RH
  • Simplified Ascending 7th Chord Drills: F, Bb, Eb, Ab (LH on root, RH 7th chord)
  • Type A & B 251 Progressions: F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db

Courses/Lessons

  • Beginner Jazz Arrangements: “Pure Imagination” For Beginners (to time index 8:22)

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; mm. 1-23 (good progress)
    Keying off “The Nearness of You” recorded by Dick Haymes (The Complete Capitol
    Collection, 2006) and Nancy Wilson (The Complete 1956-1960, 2011).
  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners; mm. 1-10

Saturday, July 30, 2022 (5 pomodoro cycles)
Foundations

  • Major Keys: All 12; (RH, LH, HT)
  • Minor Keys: C, F, B♭, E♭, A♭; Natural, Dorian, melodic; (LH on m7, RH ascending)
  • Major & Minor Diatonic Triads: All, ascending across the octave; (HT)
  • Major Diatonic Triad Inversions: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭, A, A♭ (2 octaves, ascending, RH, LH)
  • Minor Diatonic Triad Inversions: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭, A, A♭ (2 octaves, ascending, RH, LH)

Courses/Lessons

  • Jazz Piano Foundations: Foundations Practice Guide (to time index 15:27)
  • Beginner Jazz Arrangements: “Pure Imagination” For Beginners (to time index 10:33)

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; complete, focus on mm. 25-37
  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners; mm. 1-16
    Keying off “Pure Imagination” recorded by Bill Charlap (All Through the Night, 1997)

Transcriptions

  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners

Sunday, July 31, 2022 (4 pomodoro cycles)
Foundations

  • Major Keys: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭, A, A♭; (HT)
  • Major Keys: B, D♭/C♯, G♭/F♯ (RH, LH, HT)
  • Minor Keys: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭, A, A♭; Natural, Dorian, melodic; (LH on m7, RH ascending)
  • Major & Minor Diatonic Triads: All, ascending across the octave; (HT)
  • Simplified Ascending 7th Chord Drills: C, F, G, B♭ D, E♭, A (LH on root, RH 7th chord)
  • Type A & B 251 Progressions: C, G, D Majors

Courses/Lessons

  • Beginner Jazz Arrangements: “Pure Imagination” For Beginners (to time index 15:56)
  • How To Accompany Singers: Working With Singers: Goals & Expectations
    Bass = C2-E4; Baritone - F2-G4; Tenor = B2-C5
  • How To Accompany Singers: Accompanying Singers: Melody, Harmony & Bass

Repertoire

  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners; mm. 1-16, beginning B section
  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; complete, focus on mm. 25-37

Monday, August 1, 2022 (6 pomodoro cycles)
Foundations

  • Major Keys: All 12; (RH, LH, HT)
  • Minor Keys: C, F, G, B♭, A; Natural, Dorian, melodic; (LH on m7, RH ascending, 2 octaves)
  • Major Diatonic Triads: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭, A, A♭; 2 octaves, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Minor Diatonic Triads: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭, A, A♭; 2 octaves, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Simplified Ascending 7th Chord Drills: C, F, G, B♭, D Majors; (LH on root, RH 7th chord)
  • Type A & B 251 Progressions: C, G, B♭, D Majors

Courses/Lessons

  • How To Accompany Singers: Piano Accompaniment Techniques: Adding Fills

Repertoire

  • “Autumn Leaves”; RH melody & LH 7th chords only (from lead sheet)
  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners; mm. 1-16 + mm. 17-20
  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; complete, focus on mm. 25-37

Reading/Theory/Study

sus Chords

A “sus” chord refers to the suspended fourth of the chord. In the example of a Gsus chord (equivalent symbols are Gsus4, G7sus4, G4, and Gadd4), this means “to play the root with your left hand while playing a major triad a whole step below the root with your right hand” (ref. The Jazz Piano Book, Mark Levine, 1989). G is the root of this sus chord; the triad in the right hand would be the second inversion of F Major. Because of this, the symbol for Gsus can also be F/G. According to Wikipedia, however, the F/G symbol actually refers to a G9sus4 chord. The third is voiced above the fourth.

1 Like

Tuesday, August 2, 2022 (5 pomodoro cycles)

Foundations
  • Major Keys: Random Scale Machine; (RH, LH, HT) Difficulties with D♭ & G♭
  • Minor Keys: C, F, G, B♭; Natural, Dorian, melodic; (LH on m7, RH ascending, 2 octaves)
  • Major Diatonic Triads: All 12 keys; 2 octaves, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Minor Diatonic Triads: All 12 keys; 1 octave, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Simplified Ascending Diatonic 7th Chord Drills: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭ Majors;
    (LH on root, RH 7th chord) slow, but showing improvement
  • Type A & B 251 Progressions: C, F, G, B♭, D, E♭ Majors

Repertoire

  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; complete, focus on mm. 25-37
  • “Pure Imagination” For Beginners; mm. 1-16 + mm. 17-20
1 Like

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 (2 pomodoro cycles)

Foundations
  • Major Keys: Random Scale Machine; (RH, LH, HT) Difficulties with D♭ & G♭
  • Minor Keys: C, F, G, B♭; Natural, Dorian, melodic; (LH on m7, RH ascending, 1 octave)
  • Major Diatonic Triads: All 12; 1 octave, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Minor Diatonic Triads: All 12; 1 octaves, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Simplified Ascending 7th Chord Drills: C, F, G, B♭, D Majors; (LH on root, RH 7th chord)
  • Type A & B 251 Progressions: C, G, B♭, D Majors

Courses/Lessons

  • Beginner Jazz Arrangements: “Days Of Wine & Roses” For Beginners (to time index 4:38) Prep for August 8 Days Of Wine & Roses - Harmony workshop

Repertoire

  • “Days Of Wine & Roses” For Beginners, mm. 1-4
  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; practice

Thursday, August 4, 2022 (6 pomodoro cycles)

Foundations

Keep tempo on scales at 92- to 104-bpm (two notes per beat)

  • Major Keys: Random Scale Machine; (HT) still trouble with D♭ & G♭
    Begin D♭ scale on D♭2 (LH) & D♭3 (RH)
  • Major & Minor Root-Position Diatonic Triads: All keys, ascending across the octave; (HT)
  • Major Diatonic Triads Inversions: Random Scale Machine; 1 octave, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Minor Keys: D, A♯, E, B, G♯, C, A, F, G; Natural & melodic + Dorian modes;
    (LH on [tonic]m7, RH ascending, 1 octave)
  • Minor Diatonic Triad Inversions: All 12; 1 octave, solid & broken; (HS)
  • Simplified Ascending 7th Chord Drills: G, F, B♭, D Majors; (LH on root, RH 7th chord)

Courses/Lessons

  • Jazz Piano Foundations: How to Read Lead Sheets: “Georgia” (to time index 11:43)

Repertoire

  • “Days Of Wine & Roses” For Beginners, mm. 1-4
  • “The Nearness of You” for Beginners; practice (if I don’t practice regularly, I forget…)
  • “Georgia On My Mind” (for Beginners), mm. 1-5

Reading/Theory/Study/Listening

  • Listening to John Sarta & Andrew J. Fletcher versions of “Georgia On My Mind.”
    Prep for August Improv Challenge