NUMBER

I

EXERC ES and PI...... ~ES
NG "'AZZ PIANIST

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Copyngnt © 1965 by Torni Musk Co. and Doe Music Co International Copyright Secured Made in U.S.A. All Rights Reserved

This edition authorized for sale in the United States, Canada and Great Britain.
T138

notes from the author
PREFACE Jazz piano can be a very enjoyable musical experience from a listening standpoint, to everyone, both adult and youngster alike. However, when a person, whether studied or not classically speaking. attempts to enter the Jazz world from a playing aspect, he often finds himself EXERCISE THREE AND MINUET THREE hamstrung by many varied musical inadequacies. Very few people truly ever attribute their lack of ability to the proper cause, I feel. Many of" them blame what they term their creative inability to conceive jazz phrases, without stopping to realize that a jazz technique in many ways is a completely new form of technique when compared with the classical. It is with this primary aspect in mind that I have conceived this set of beginner's exercises. I feel that if the player honestly and sincerely learns the jazz exercises one at a time, and after having completed one, then applies that learning to the little jazz minuet that matches the exercise, he will be in effect conditioning the hands for proceedEXERCISE TWO AND MINUET TWO

This exercise and minuet are merely to induce in the player the ability to phrase jazz-wise in his left hand when called upon to do so. Here also he should strive for a completely even tonal result.

This exercise and minuet deals primarily with what I feel are the two weakest fingers of the jazz pianist's right hand (the fourth and fifth fingers). On playing this exercise and piece the player should attempt to keep the listener (or his instructor) from knowing that he

IS using his

fifth finger on his right hand. Usually this is a pitfall in jazz playin-g. The student will notice that the fifth finger is employed in the middle of the phrase rather than at the end which is the usual jazz custom.

!ina into deeper jazz playing.
I

It is vitally important that all fingering given in

both hands be followed completely. In the ex...· I feel that the player should instinctively have

EXERCISE

FOUR AND

MINUET merely

FOUR

ercises where no fingering is given in one hand, no trouble finding the proper digital position to give the greatest ease of hand movement, thereby achieving a better tonal result on the piano. I hope that this first book of jazz exercises and pieces opens a new world of pianistic command to the avid young pianist. EXERCISE ONE AND PLAYING NOTES MINUET ONE

Thts"'e't~rcise andpteee'tte

to give the
in his own

beginner the chance to formulate

mind the format and content of the blues from a background standpoint. Very elementary harmonic movement is employed and after both exercise and minuet have been learned thoroughly, the player should attempt to improvise his own right hand lines on the background given here.

Exercise one attempts to give the player two things. First, strength. The player moves from the middle of the right hand to the last finger of the right hand, then moves from the thumb of the right hand to the middle of the hand. Secondly, if practised properly, the player should be able to achieve better digital control on this type of phrasing without rocking the hand from $ide to side.

EXERCISE now that

FIVE AND

MINUET

FIVE the

We now approach the walking bass line. I feel with the movement employed player should gain a much firmer understanding of what a bass player does for the pianist on the blues in the primary stage. Again I state that after command is gained of these two pieces, the player should attempt to conceive lines on this given bass.

EXERCISE

SIX AND

MINUET

SIX

The left hand pattern now enters the form of boogie woogie. This is a very important exercise and should be thoroughly learned before any other lines are attempted against the left hand. Incidentally this should represent a great challenge from this aspect because it is fairly difficult to move the right hand line to any depth against a bass line that is quite busy such as the one provided.

EXERCISE ELEVEN MINUET ELEVEN

AND

9:

EXERCISE

SEVEN AND MINUET

SEVEN

We [lOW employ the stop and go bass figures. This gives us the ability to change from an elementary sense of rhythmic pattern in the left hand, introducing from time to time a straight four as a form of relief. The melody in the jazz minuet should be played in a very legato manner in order to give the listener a sense of cohesiveness between the two hands.

Many jazz pianists including yours truly at various times employ a double melodic line using two hands. Many times this is used to give a deeper rhythmic projection to the melodic line. At other times it is used in a very free-flight manner (primarily during fast tempos). Another aspect of the ability to play double lines is that it can be very effective when the pianist is doubling the same line as another instrumentalist. You will notice in the minuet that both hands at various times get a chance to play background and lead. This is an exercise that should be practiced carefully in order to give the pianist the ability to make this change as smoothly as possible.

18

EXERCISE TWELVE MINUET TWELVE

AND

EXERCISE

EIGHT

AND

~

MINUET

EIGHT

Here we employ a steady walking bass figure in the exercise. In the minuet we employ fairly busy lines. The player should attempt different types of articulation in order to obtain the final and correct jazz feeling that he desires. In doing this he should then be able to realize how the jazz player (professional) changes the complete complexion of a tune by changing his articulation.

We deal now with the aspect of a moving line and chords in both hands. The minuet bears a very close resemblance to the exercise here, so the transition from the exercise to the piece should be very easy. It is important to give each underlying harmony its proper rhythmic value and tonal respect.

EXERCISE THIRTEEN MINUET THIRTEEN

AND

EXERCISE

NINE AND

MINUET

NINE

This is an exercise in double hands in which once again the player has a choice of articulation. However. the fingering should be studied carefully so that he realizes that in order to articulate with complete ease, his hands must be free of any keyboard entanglements.

EXERCISE

TEN

AND

'J'

In exercise thirteen we prepare for changing rhythms in both hands. Upon reaching the minuet, if any difficulty is experienced, the player should leave the minuet and return to the exercise, for the secret lies in first imprinting the depth of the melodic line in either hand. If any other trouble is encountered here, the player should return to exercise and minuet number eleven.

MINUE'r;'FTEN EXERCISE FOURTEEN MINUET FOURTEEN AND

Exercise ten is vitally important for here we have the walking bass line in eighth notes. Later on in the minuet, we add a line of eighth notes in the right hand also. The trick here is to keep the primary sense of rhythmic impetus in the left hand while playing the right hand lines with an even legato feel.

Exercise fourteen should be practiced until the player achieves a fleet but confirmed sense of interpretation. When this has been accomplished, he should then apply this technique to the minuet.

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