Easy steps to learning jazz piano episode 4

Here is episode 4 of easy steps to learning jazz piano. In episode 1 our first step was to find the notes V that lead to I, dominant leading to tonic, tension to release. This interval, up a perfect 4th or down a perfect 5th is the backbone of most Western music. The graphic below shows the note D moving to the note G. D=5 and G=1.

The second step in episode 2 was to convert these two notes into chords: the dominant 7 chord leading to the tonic chord. An example would be D7 – G or A7 – E. The tonic chord can be major or minor.

In episode 3, we added a third chord, the ‘II’. This is usually a minor 7. And now we have the most important 3-chord sequence in jazz: The II-V-I sequence.

Now, in episode 4 of easy steps to learn jazz piano we will explore ways to solo through this important chord sequence.

First method: use notes from the parent scale.

Because all three chords are part of the same scale we can therefore use the parent scale to solo through these 3 chords.

For example if our 251 chord sequence is Gm7, C7, Fmaj7 we can use the parent scale of F major. In the graphic below I am only using notes from the scale of F major.

Example 1 of easy steps learning jazz piano

Second method: use notes from parent scale plus passing notes.

In the example below I am now adding passing notes. These are chromatic notes not in the scale of F major but connecting two notes from the scale.

II-V-I phrase with passing notes.

Third method: build your phrase just from the notes of each chord.

Use the notes from each chord.

There are many other ways to play through this sequence such as adding the spicy notes (extensions and alterations) to the dominant 7 chord but for now try out the three methods above.

And here’s a short video on YouTube.

Now take these easy steps to learn jazz piano and move up to the full video course.

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