Learning Jazz Piano with Paul Abrahams
‘HOW TO SOLO, PART 2.’
The second video lesson in this series is called ‘Chords and their scales.’
In lesson 22, I take the 4 chord types and pair them with all their scales and modes. The obvious pairings are as follows:
- Major chords: major scale
- Minor chords: dorian mode
- Dominant 7 chords: mixolydian mode
- Half diminished chords: locrian mode
But this is just the beginning. If you want to play creative solos, there are far more options when we dig deeper. For example, I illustrate five scale options just over the dominant 7.
Here’s a summary of the lessons 1 – 20:
Lesson 1 – From scales to chords
- Soloing over the Pentatonic scale
- Mastering intervals
- The V – I concept
- One formula to construct all major scales
- 7 chords, one family
Lesson 2 – Building a chord sequence
- Chord sequences
- The relative minor and its scales
- The family row of minor triads
- Soloing in a minor key
Lesson 3 – Mastering every key
- The circle of 5ths
- How to play in any key
- Preview of the II-V-I sequence
- Introduction to the turnaround
Lesson 4 – Swing time
- Learning to swing
- The construction of 7th chords
- How to interpret chord symbols
- Shells – how not to upset the bass player
Lesson 5 – Walking 3s
- Turnarounds part 2: I – VI – II -V
- Walking 3s and 7s: the seeds of vertical improvisation.
- How to use passing notes.
- Voice leading
Lesson 6 – Extensions
- Extensions: how to use 9ths, 11ths and 13th.
- Know which extensions work with which chord.
- Voicing a chord using extensions.
- Introduction to Modes.
Lesson 7 – The II-V-I sequence
- Master the II – V – I sequence in all keys
- Seven soloing techniques over II – V – I
- Alterations: know your sharp 11 from your flat 13
- Flat 9s and the diminished chord
Lesson 8 – How to comp
- Comp like a pro
- Find the best chord voicings
- Use the right extensions
- Build up to a five-note comp
- Explore rhythmic variations
Lesson 9 – Modes
- Know your Mixodydian from your Dorian
- Grasp the connection between modes and chords
- The art of modal soloing and comping
- How to play ‘So What’
Lesson 10 – Autumn Leaves part 1
- Playing your first standard
- Learning the melody
- The comp
- The shells
- The solo
Lesson 11 – Autumn Leaves part 2
- Taking Autumn Leaves to the next level
- How to fill out the melody
- Comping with alterations
- Soloing with vertical improvisation
Lesson 12 – The Blues part 1
Play with confidence over the blues.
- How to solo creatively
- The minor blues
- Blues in 12/8
Plus lots of tips, tricks and licks!
Lesson 13 – The Blues part 2
- Taking the blues beyond the basics.
- Chord changes that turn blues into jazz.
- Lydian dominant & diminished scales.
- Rootess left-hand voicings.
Lesson 14 – Bebop blues
- Left hand 4-note rootless voicings
- Constructing the Bebop sequence.
- How to solo over a Bebop blues
- Comping over a Bebop blues
Lesson 15 – Rootless voicing
- Constructing left hand rootless voicings.
- Applying rootless voicings to II-V-I and turnarounds.
- Adding the alterations: b9, b13 etc.
Lesson 16 – Tritone substitution
- Diminished theory
- Soloing over diminshed chords
- Using diminished scales over dominant 7ths
- Mastering tritone substitution
Lesson 17 – Putting it together
- Now put your knowledge to work!
- Combine learned techniques to play a jazz standard.
- Rootless voicings + tritone substitution
- Altered and diminished scales
Lesson 18 – Decoding a standard
- Analysis of ‘All The Things You Are.’
- How tunes are structured.
- Identifying key centres
- Connecting melody and chords
- How to learn tunes
Lesson 19 – Reharmonising a standard
- Chord substitution
- How to reharmonise a tune
- All The Thing You Are: advanced
- Take The A Train reharmonised
Lesson 20 – Rhythm Changes
- Next to a 12-bar blues, Rhythm Changes
is the most important chord sequence in jazz.
Master all its forms in this vital video lesson.
Jazz Piano eBooks
These latest lessons are based on book 4 in my series of eBooks. You’ll find extracts from this book in the lesson packages, but as I’m still working on book 4, it’s not yet available. You can purchase books 1, 3 and 3 here: