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Learn Jazz Piano Book 2

Learn Jazz Piano Book 2

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Learn Jazz Piano Book 2

4.5/5 (12 ratings)
117 pages
1 hour
Oct 30, 2013


With over 100 illustrations, book 2 of Learn Jazz Piano journeys further into the heart of jazz and blues improvisation. In non-technical language Paul Abrahams explains such concepts as rootless voicings and tritone substitution.

Oct 30, 2013

About the author

I live in London, UK and have been a professional musician and composer since 1967. This series of books run alongside my online video course at

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Inside the book

Top quotes

  • Tip1. Take any major 7 chord in root position: 1, 3, 5, 7.2. Now play this chord as a first inversion: 3, 5, 7, 9. It has turned into a minor 7.3. Do the same with any minor 7 chord and notice how it becomes a major 7.

  • Take a closer look at the dominant 7 chord: F⁷. By changing 9 and 13 to b9 and b13, we have created what is known as a tritone substitution: F⁷ has become B⁷… but more of this later.

  • I’ll begin with two basic facts about diminished theory:1 All intervals of a diminished chord are equidistant.2 There are only three diminished scales to learn.

  • The reality is that you need to combine knowledge of the chord's extensions and alterations, together with the scales and modes that fit the chord.

  • However, we are about to insert it into our sequence, not once, but twice! The only difference is that Fmaj⁷ will become F⁷.

Book Preview

Learn Jazz Piano Book 2 - Paul Abrahams

Published by Paul Abrahams at Smashwords

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy.

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

© Paul Abrahams, 2011

Author’s note

Although this book can be read independently, I would recommend that each section be studied alongside my online video course Learn Jazz piano, which can be found here:

Learn Jazz Piano Online with Paul Abrahams

Together with each online video lesson, I have bundled four backing tracks, downloadable sheet music and a quiz.


This book is part of series of three eBooks called Learn Jazz Piano.

Click here to purchase book 1.

Click here to purchase book 3.

There is also a fourth book called How To Solo.


At the start of some chapters I have indicated which video lesson relates to the text.





Chapter 1: Rootless Voicing

Chapter 2: Diminished Theory

Chapter 3: Tritone Substitution

Chapter 4: The Blues Part 2

Chapter 5: Rhythm Changes

Chapter 6: Modes Part 2

Chapter 7: Soloing Over Dominant 7s

Chapter 8: Upper structures

Chapter 9: Block chords

Chapter 10: Stride (1)

A final word



For obvious reasons, more Americans than Brits follow my lessons. So after numerous emails asking me what I mean by a crotchet, I’ve mended my ways and now refer to quarter notes. This also means that swing quavers are now swing eights. With apologies to my British readers I’ll also be using the following terms, which appear in the left-hand column.



half step / semitone

whole step / tone

Note names


whole note / semibreve

half note / minim

quarter note / crotchet

eighth note / quaver

However, as a token act of rebellion, I’ll continue to speak of key centres rather than centers.

Naming chord symbols

As no two books use the same chord symbol names, I’m opting for the following:

* In book 1, I used the triangle for a major 7. In this book I’m mostly using ‘maj⁷’.

I suggest you get used to working with both symbols.

Naming extensions

As the name suggests, extensions are notes played above the octave. They should therefore be referred to as 9, 11 and 13.

When these extensions are flattened or sharpened they become b9, #9, #11 and b13. These four ‘altered extensions’ are commonly known as alterations.

However, if these added notes occur within a chord they should, in theory, be referred to as 2, 4 and 6 etc.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t that simple and the same note can be described in a number of ways. For example, #11 will often be referred to as b5. Here are the possibilities:

You will also encounter + and - signs instead of # and b. I suggest that you get used to seeing #11 and b5 as the same note. This also goes for b13 and #5.

Keep in mind, however, that in a chord such as C⁷(b⁵), the 5 (G) is being replaced by the flat 5 (G b) and therefore needs to be described as such.

Compare this with the chord C⁷(#11). Here, although the note in question is still the same, it is now an alteration rather than a replacement of the G. It is therefore described as sharp 11. I feel a migraine coming on!


Alteration of flattening or sharpening an extension.

Bridge The middle ‘B’ section of a song. Also known as the middle

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    One of the best books I studied ever...