PIerre practice routine in video, challenges

Wow that’s awesome Pierre :star_struck: beautiful arrangement .

Brilliant control of the melody which is tricky to play, and your improvised sections are really nice, and capture the Brazilian flavour. I’m impressed!

I didn’t actually get time to record myself but I will get around to it when I’m back at my piano in Manchester next week.

ps. I edited your post so that the video embeds properly in the post.

Hey Hayden

Thanks for your comment, but your to much polite :). Above all, don’t be afraid to criticize me and especially to point out to me the points where I should improve.

So i will do it for you :smile: :

grr I miss lot of my 251 and my rhythm is a not as acurate and swinging as i would like it to be. Probably normal because 251 not yet internalized too. I really need to work on this topic a lot and incorporate it in my routine .

In btw , It would be nice to do some course of different comping rhythm and exercice on it this could be a great topic IMPROVING RHYTHM in Jazz , not much about it on the site , or did i miss some lessons (only bossa rhythm from Jovino) ?

About my version of Song for my father ; i realize solo piano on it are rare as pearls and playing it was in fact pretty a big challenge for me. I even prefer not hearing it after recording before to send it :see_no_evil: :hear_no_evil: :speak_no_evil:. :rofl:

I have tried to incorporated some montuno but i completly miss what i have prepared for it :slight_smile:
Maybe Master Jovino could do some 5 minutes or even a whole course on montuno and Cubano rhythm as he does with bossa that would be great ! . Even mutuno are not brazilian rhythm

I also realized that i would never have post those videos if i have not challenge myself here. Good or bad thing … future will tell it :space_invader:

PS What was wrong in my editing of videos , to avoid you wasting your time for next videos.

So next challenge for the week

  • 251 minor rootless voicing ii-7b5 to V7#5b9 to i-9 (voicing 3 on bottom) with an easy minor right hand pattern

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 (in bold the rhythm)

  • my foolish heart
    -learn the A part

    -trying to analyse the Carmen Mc Rae version ( arg yes it is in EbM , another challenge )

a question for you Hayden

Here where i am when i just play it reading the leadsheet 3 times. I know there could be a different answer for each players because of our levels and goals. So i post you this honest video just for this.


What do you suggest me

  • try to memorize your version https://www.pianogroove.com/jazz-piano-lessons/my-foolish-heart-tutorial/ before and then trying to build on it for creating my own arrangement ?

  • or just learn some parts i love from your arrangement ? to be able to incorporate them in future songs more easily ?

  • should i always try to memorize the all form of a song with leadsheet before jumping in your arrangements ?

Thanks for your great help and generosity !


wow Trying to analyzing this “beginner” :hot_face: :exploding_head: standard My foolish heart for helping me memorize and transpose it , is not easy at all !

completely lost in fact :last_quarter_moon_with_face: , but internet give me this :gift: gift

http://tetsu-norioka.com/ジャズピアニスト ジャズピアノ jazz-piano-pianist-目黒区 /jazztheory/楽曲の分析analyze/長調の分析analyze-in-major/マイ・フーリッシュ・ハートmy-foolish-heart/

this help a lot :wink: … really need to do it more …

I really thought it a was in minor but this really is all in major Bb modulating shortly in F , with so lot of subdominant V7 to I or i . My ears are so foolish , and are without heart with me :smirk:c

Hi Pierre,

I cannot criticise any of your performance of Song For My Father, my only comment is that I really enjoyed listening to it.

Check out our course on “playing in a jazz band”:

I play a lot of rubato ballads, so perhaps I am not the best person to teach rhythm :smile: However, I have been working on my sense of swing over the last few years and I can say that the following has been the most effective for me:

  • listening to my favourite swingin’ players (Wynton Kelly, Red Garland)
  • transcribing from my favourite swingin’ players
  • playing along with the records of my favourite swingin’ players

I also learnt a tonne about comping just emulating Wynton Kelly’s comping patterns and playing along with him under bass solos.

Yes great ideas!

I will pass these suggestions onto Jovino to incorporate into our new recording session.

Yes I find that sharing my goals and aspirations helps me to achieve them. I think your initiative is awesome Pierre, it challenged me to drill around my minor 251s, and then I also realised the drill variations that I highlighted above. When I have some time to practice I know what I’ll be working on!

Nothing much, sometimes YouTube gives a shorter URL - i think for sharing - and the forum does not detect this to create the embed.

Nicely played Pierre :ok_hand: :ok_hand:

This very much depends, for some of our students, they just want to learn a nice arrangement in which case, yes, simply copy the arrangement.

I would recommend the following:

  1. Spend a week just listening to every version you can find

  2. Make note of anything you like

  3. Play through with R-3-7 just to get the foundation of the harmony

  4. If you struggle with any of the chords, then perhaps my arrangement tutorial would come in handy

  5. Use any parts of the arrangement that you like, but try to keep some of your own stuff, based on the records you listened to.

I talk about my own process here:

I don’t think it’s completely necessary to memorise the form before trying to arrange it. This should come naturally as you start to arrange the tune. Of course try to memorise the form structure (AABA or ABAC etc…) and also any common progressions too.


Hello Pierre and Hayden: thanks for the question re: rhythm and your responses/suggestion, Hayden. I spent a few days trying to find a direction to introduce rhythm in my otherwise rubato playing of mostly ballads. I found that lessons on the blues were a nice intro into that realm. Of course, Hayden, I have and use iRealPro you suggested to ‘keep me honest’ when playing left hand at tempo.

Are there any new suggestions (that I may have missed in my search) that a relative beginner at playing at tempo can use?

I am off to listening the Kelly and Garland more carefully…among other things.

Thanks again, Smole

I think it would be nice to watch Tuomo’s masterclass on 12 bar blues walking basslines:

Memorise the walking bass lines, and then listen to some of Wynton Kelly’s blues tunes, here is a nice blues in F with some interesting material to transcribe:

Listen to his left hand comping, transcribe some of his licks. I have transcribed the first 12 bars of his solo. It’s very rhythmic so I would likely have trouble notating it :sweat_smile: but I can record myself playing it and breaking down my findings.

The main thing to understand Smole is that when we transcribe something, we get 90% of the benefit. If we just watch someone playing it, or just read the transcription, then we get very little benefit.

This is because to transcribe something, we have to listen over and over again, play along with the record, and ultimately that is the key to getting the rhythmic aspect of this music ‘inside our bodies’.

It took me many hours to transcribe just those first 12 bars of his solo (0:52 to 1:15 )… That’s just 23 seconds of music, but I learnt a wealth of information just from transcribing those 12 bars.

When I get time I will do the whole recording, including his solo, his comping patterns in the left hand underneath his soloing, and also his comping voicings and rhythms that he plays under the bass solo from 3:23 to 3:50.

I use Transcribe App to slow down the recording. This course provides some insight on the process I follow:

Then you can take the rhythmic blues licks, lines, melodic ideas, comping patterns, etc… and add this to your ballad playing. That would be my main recommendation.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance/inspiration with this, and I will record my transcription when I’m back at my piano on Tuesday :slight_smile:


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You are hilarious Pierre


Thank you, as always, Hayden. It will take me a bit of time to digest and follow your suggestions. Since I asked the question about rhythm playing I did what I should have done before asking the question: I search through much of the PianoGroove lessons looking for relevant material and found more than enough to get me going. I am also searching Youtube for Kelly and Garland performances that would help (found, for example, Garland’s recording of “Please Send Me Someone to Love” that is oh so clear and so lyrical with the left hand clearly heard. That will be the focus of my next phase (aside from continuing with blues lessons on PG, including, of course, Tuomo’s lesson on stride playing).
So, as you are fond of saying, ‘leave it with me’ to pursue that line. I love having a clear goal ahead of me.
Thanks again. Smole

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Oh, I forgot: in that past I could not warm up to stride piano (don’t know why) but now I can see all kinds of possibilities so that Tuomo’s lesson is most welcome. Best, Smole

Nice choice @smole :sunglasses:
ye piano tuned at 440 and very in front of the recording that helps a lot lyrical and great bluesy feel . I love that too

maybe a challenge for next week to transcribe some of this tune … ok @smole ?
Amber Lane Studio Update: Please Send Me Someone To Love / Danger Zone for the chord progression.

Thank you, Pierre. I am not sure that I am able to tackle transcription as yet, my technical skills are not at the level needed. I’ll give it a try. In the meantime, I rely of transcriptions available on the internet, Youtube, or those that could be bought (I bought, in the past, several pieces by A. Herve, love his playing but that was before I joined PianoGroove and now PG is the only source for my study).

I am truly impressed with your playing skills but, since mine are way below yours, I am not able to join a study group that you’d like to start. Maybe in the future (but, alas, at my age - 78 - I do not know what future to expect in this matter).

Best, Smole

Hello Smole

@smole transcribing just one measure is enough ,no problem smole … i am not trying to do competition … it is just to share some notes … and being not alone is already cool…
and no matter with age or skills or talent … just sharing some music
the only challenge is about ourself … not with others players

  • PS1 i love Antoine Hervé’s playing, such a talent and love his touch … i have download some of his transcription too, Do you have hear his great masters lessons https://antoineherve.com/collections/styles-des-maitres i have some … wow so impressive , he masters and have absorb such many styles , and his love of music si so contagious ! :sunglasses:
    Best regards
  • PS2 i am admiring the fact you challenge yourself playing the piano at 78 , Bravo ! :champagne:

Thanks, Pierre for the Herve link; I’ll look it over.

Learning to play the keyboard is not (at least not only) a challenge: it is mostly joy when I produce something that’s like music mixed with frustration when I hit a wall.

Best, Smole

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Hey Smole :wave:

If you are new to transcription I’d recommend the following criteria for choosing a tune to transcribe from:

  1. A tune that you can already play and have memorised the chord changes

  2. Something that contains lot’s of 25s and 251s, any 251 lines you transcribe are immediately transferable to many other tunes

  3. I think a medium tempo tune is always good too.

Based on that criteria, here’s a record I would suggest to you:

The form is simple, we have covered it in many lesson on PianoGroove. The form is also very repetitive, mainly consisting of 251s in Bb Major, and G Minor.

Here’s a process for you to follow Smole:

  1. Play along with the record, just play left hand voicings underneath and listen to how Wynton adds to the melody, takes notes away, changes it, rephrases it, and ultimately adds more character and personality.

  2. A simple exercise could be to work out the melodic decoration he plays over the head of the tune which is from 0:05 to 0:53 second. There is that nice thing he plays at 0:38-0:41, but eveything else is just slight tweaks to the melody. If you know the tune, and know the melody, you should be able to figure that stuff out no problem. It will take work, but it is much easier that transcribing his solo because you know that he is simply adding to the original melody.

  3. Next notice how he transitions into his solo which starts in the last bar of the head 0:53 - i always pay attention to this transition from head to solo, it’s usually anticipated and starts in the final measured of the head.

  4. From 0:54 to 1:07 is the first A section of his solo. If you know the tune/changes (which you must do before transcribing!!) the you will know that it follows:

C-7 / F7 / Bb7 / Ebmaj7
A-7b5 / D7 / G-7 / % /

Just start with that 13 seconds of music. That is your exercise. I will do it too when I’m back at the piano on Tuesday. @kim22 … you might be interested in this too as I remember you asked about a transcription exercise.

First I always play the left hand voicings underneath the record so that I can hear exactly where his lines are starting and ending, and where his improvised notes and ideas are falling in relation to the underlying chord changes.

At first, it might have taken me a week, a month, whatever it took, I just worked out every single note so that I could play along with his and imitate his style flawlessly.

I promise you that just those 8 bars will teach you more about swing and rhythm than anyone can communicate verbally. Ultimately it’s a feeling, that’s why they call it ‘swing feel’.

@smole - you definitely have the ability to transcribe from records like this.

I’ve always been hesitant to ‘prescribe’ songs that students should transcribe from, but hopefully my tips above can put you in the right direction.

The whole point is that we choose things that we personally like, we transcribe from them, and that gradually develops into our own sound.


Beautiful record. One of my favourites by Red :star_struck:

love this recording too … arg have to calm me down

yeah love this one and now i’ ve got it , but can get it right harmonicaly for using it

if you can explain and show how to incorporate it in our playing , it would be great Waiting Tuesday …

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Thank you, Hayden, this is great. Of course, I will spend more time on your lessons on how to transcribe music in addition to the instructions in this post.

Interestingly (to me) is that I almost all but abandoned the Autumn Leaves. I grew up listening to Y. Montand singing it his whole life; learned the play it with the help form PG…and was never able to play any kind of interpretation!!! Nothings come out that resembles music.

Now I have another serious chance with the help from PG lessons and a new goal: transcription.

As you say “leave it with me” and it will take me some time to see progress. What a nice project.

Thanks much, again. Smole

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I’ve just arrived back in the UK Pierre, currently working my way from London to Manchester.

I will get to work on that tonight/tomorrow when I’m back at the piano, and post my findings here :face_with_monocle:

I had envisaged more collaborative transcription exercises here in the forum so this will be a great start!