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Feb. 2, 2021

1-2-3-5 Patterns

This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores jazz improvisation exercises using the Root, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th of the scale.

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Welcome to JazzPianoSkills; it's time to discover, learn, and play Jazz Piano!

Every JazzPianoSkills weekly podcast episode introduces aspiring jazz pianists to essential Jazz Piano Skills. Each Podcast episode explores a specific Jazz Piano Skill in depth. Today you will discoverlearnplay 1-2-3-5 Patterns. In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:

The essential 1-2-3-5 Patterns used by Jazz Musicians
How t construct Major and Minor 1-2-3-5 Patterns for developing jazz language
Four Major and Four Minor 1-2-3-5 Patterns used to develop Jazz Vocabulary

For maximum musical growth, be sure to use the Jazz Piano Podcast Packets for this Jazz Piano Lesson. All three Podcast Packets are designed to help you gain insight and command of a specific Jazz Piano Skill. The Podcast Packets are invaluable educational tools to have at your fingertips while studying and practicing 1-2-3-5 Patterns.

Open Podcast Packets
(detailed graphics of the jazz piano skill)
Lead Sheets
(beautifully notated music lead sheets)
Play Alongs
(ensemble assistance and practice tips)

Educational Support
Community Forum

Episode Outline
Discover, Learn, Play
Invite to Join JazzPianoSkills
Exploration of Jazz Piano Skills
Closing Comments

Visit JazzPianoSkills for more educational resources that include a sequential curriculum with comprehensive Jazz Piano Courses, private and group online Jazz Piano Classes, a private jazz piano community hosting a variety of Jazz Piano Forums, an interactive Jazz Fake Book, plus unlimited professional educational jazz piano support.

If you wish to support JazzPianoSkills with a donation you can do so easily through the JazzPianoSkills Paypal Account.

Thank you for being a JazzPianoSkills listener. It is my pleasure to help you discover, learn, and play jazz piano!

Warm Regards,
Dr. Bob Lawrence
President, The Dallas School of Music



Welcome to jazz piano skills. I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It's time to discover, learn and play jazz piano. Well, here we are another Tuesday. And as we do every Tuesday, we spend time exploring some aspect of playing jazz piano, whether it be theory technique, transcriptions tunes. And as much as I try to keep everything in a nice tidy box. The reality is that the study of jazz does not always work out that way. And today is a great example of that reality. When I decided to do a podcast episode dealing with 1235 patterns, I found it to be well, quite literally impossible to categorize the skill as either being a theory lesson or a technique lesson. And the reason why is quite simple 1235 patterns require both some basic theory understanding and fundamental technique ability. So what I'm trying to say is this, today's jazz panel skills podcast episode, today's jazz piano lesson, introducing the essential 1235 patterns is both a theory and technique lesson. It's a twofer. In By the way, 1235 patterns, the 1235 or scale tones want to make sure we understand that right. So there's not a really easy way to say it 1235 patterns. Now, with all that being stated and explained, I want to say right from the get go. This type of jazz piano lesson is actually my favorite type of jazz piano lesson. It's not physically flashy. It's not academically lofty. It's not orally challenging. And in fact, it can easily be said that this type of jazz piano lesson is quite bland, maybe even teetering on the edge of boring. plain vanilla, if you will. So why teach it because it gets to the very fundamental core of three essential elements of jazz. Number one, the development of time and feel, articulation. And number two, development of technique needed for improvising. And number three, the development of jazz language needed for improvising. So yes, not physically flashy, check. Not academically lofty check. Not orally challenging. Check. Some of the best exercises that you will ever practice, check. exercises that develop essential jazz piano skills. Check exercises that pay huge jazz improvisation dividends, check. So bottom line, sit back and listen carefully today. These 1235 patterns will have a profound impact on your development as a jazz pianist. Today is going to be a ton of fun. But before we get down to business, I want to take a second as I always do, and personally invite all new first time jazz piano skills listeners and old time listeners to become active members. Simply go to jazz piano skills comm select a membership plan. Click on the join link. And welcome to our jazz family. Once an official member, you will have full access to all of the educational content and resources at jazz piano skills. You'll have full access to all of the podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets, the play alongs that are developed and available. With every podcast episode, you will have access to the interactive courses which make up a sequential jazz piano curriculum. Utilizing a self paced format, you will also have access to the weekly masterclass This is a one hour live online masterclass with me every week, every Thursday evening. You will also have access to the private jazz piano skills community where you can engage in conversations that are skill specific, or course specific right there are forums that deals specifically with the with the jazz panel skills podcast episodes, and there are forums that deal specifically with the jazz piano skills courses. And last and certainly not least, you will have access to unlimited personal and professional support whenever you need it as often as you need it. So what a package right jazz piano skills members have quite an arsenal of tools at their fingertips to help maximize your musical growth on a week to week on a day to day on a month to month basis. So I will of course be sharing more details about each of these amazing benefits throughout today's episode. But I say this every week because it is so important and I simply cannot stress it enough. If you are indeed serious about developing the jazz piano skills needed for you to become an accomplished jazz pianist, then you should absolutely become a jazz piano skills member. And begin taking advantage of all of the educational content, the materials, the resources and professional support. There are several membership plans to choose from, so you can definitely find one that is going to be a good fit for you. You can become a member for a month, just simply try it out. You can also become a quarter there's a quarterly membership plan. There's also an annual membership plan and there's even a lifetime membership plan. So all four plans grant you full access to all of the educational content, materials, the resources and the professional support. So check everything out at jazz piano skills comm if you have any questions, let me know. I am always happy to spend time with you. Whether it be by phone or through speakpipe, or email. To help you determine which jazz piano skills membership plan is best for you. Alright, let's discover learn and play these not physically flashy, not academically lofty, not orally challenging, but life changing 1235 patterns. So today you are going to discover the essential 1235 patterns used by jazz musicians to develop jazz improvisation vocabulary. You're going to learn how to construct major and minor 1235 patterns used for the development of traditional jazz language and you are going to play for major and for minor 1235 patterns are essential for developing proper jazz technique. So regardless of where you are in your jazz journey, a beginner and intermediate player, advanced player or even if you are a experienced professional, you will find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson exploring major and minor 1235 patterns to be very beneficial to begin, as always, all jazz panel skills members need to pause this episode right now. Take a few minutes and print the podcast packets, the illustrations and the lead sheets. Always, always important to have these packets in front of you as we go through the lesson. As the old saying goes up Pictures worth 1000 words. And the illustrations and the lead sheets will indeed illuminate various aspects of aspects of these 1235 patterns that will make it actually so much easier to conceptually and physically digest. Okay, now that you have the podcast packets in front of you, I want to walk you through them. Let's begin with the illustrations of which there are 24, one for each of the 12 major sounds, and one for each of the 12 minor sounds. You'll notice that each illustration contains a practice outline with very specific exercises listed. And those exercises include one isolation to half step pairs, three, whole step movement for minor thirds movement, five major thirds movement, and six circle of fifths movement. You will also notice a nifty little diagram that outlines 41235 patterns. The diagrams actually give you the notes of each major and minor 1235 pattern that I am going to be using today. And we'll also give you the direction of the line. In other words, when is the line moving up? When is the line moving down? Pretty nifty diagrams indeed, and definitely worth studying and definitely worth having at your side when practicing. Okay, now let's look at the lead sheets, you should have 24 lead sheets in your hands 12 dealing with the four major 1235 patterns, and 12 dealing with the for minor 1235 patterns. These are the patterns that I am going to be playing today. And my first suggestion is to practice these lead sheets as written. And as I'm going to be demonstrating today, I'm actually going to be playing them as written. Okay, my second suggestion is to not jump into the exercises that I have outlined in the illustrations until you can easily play the 1235 patterns as notated in the lead sheets. And again, as I will be demonstrating today, if you cannot remain disciplined enough to gain the conceptual, physical and oral command of these fundamental 1235 patterns, before attempting to apply them to the exercises, then you will be in essence trying to hang pictures on the wall before the paint is dry. And the results will of course, be devastating. So bottom line, get the patterns down first for all 12 major sounds and for all 12 minor sounds get them down first. And that is going to be our primary and sole focus for today. Just that and finally I also want to mention the play along packet that I have produced and included in your membership for this jazz piano skills podcast lesson you have play alongs for all 81235 patterns that I am going to be playing today for all 12 major and for all 12 minor sounds right that is that is a total of 96 play alongs 4848 of those play alongs are going to be using a traditional jazz, swing groove and 48 are going to be using a traditional Latin basa groove. Okay, so the podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets, the play alongs are simply an invaluable reservoir of tools designed, developed and are available for you to use to help maximize your musical growth. So my advice is pretty simple. Use them they're fantastic. And if you have any questions, let me know. So no doubt we have a ton I want to cover today with these 1235 patterns. And of course, even with the podcast pack, it's in your hands, the illustrations, the lead sheets in the play alongs you will indeed have some questions. And that is precisely why I am committed to providing all jazz piano skills members immediate, personal and unlimited professional support. If you are listening to this podcast through the jazz piano skills, a website, which I hope you are, you can use the extremely convenient speakpipe widget which is nestled directly beneath the podcast player to send me a voicemail message. It's that easy. It's that simple. One click and the two of us are interacting and engaging with one another. Send me a voice message with your questions. And I will send you one back with the answers. It's very cool, very simple technology. If you're listening on I Heart Radio, Spotify, apple, Pandora, amazon music, Google podcast, or any of the other popular podcast directories, you can use the URL forward slash jazz piano skills to send me a quick message. And that URL again is forward slash jazz piano skills. If you are a scaredy cat, and you are afraid to send me a voice message, then you can post your question in the jazz in the in the private jazz piano skills community in the forums, and let the community help you write. Also, if you are interested, you can participate in that Thursday evening jazz piano skills masterclass that I host every week, join me online 8pm Central time using the zoom link that is posted on the jazz panel skills website and get your answers questions answered face to face, right. So that would be a wonderful option for you to consider as well. Bottom line is I provide you with so many ways to get help as a jazz piano skills member. So definitely take advantage of all of the various opportunities. As you know, my entire goal with jazz piano skills is to provide you with the very best jazz piano lessons, the very best jazz piano educational materials, and the very best jazz piano support that is available anywhere today. Okay, here we go, I'm going to play through 81235 patterns. For them, we're going to be dealing with the major sound. For them, we're going to be dealing with the minor sound. And with each demonstration, there's going to be a very specific jazz concept that I am going to focus on that I'm going to highlight. Okay, so not only in the end, not only we're going to have 81235 patterns that we're practicing and playing. But there are going to be eight very specific jazz concepts connected to these patterns as well, that become an essential part of your practicing. Okay. So everything I'm going to be doing today is going to be demonstrated in the key of C just to keep things simple. And I'm also going to be playing at a tempo of 180, which is, which is fast. And I'm only doing that for the sake of time, I would encourage you to practice that much slower tempos, okay. But nevertheless, the very first pattern is 1235, just as the title suggests, so, C, D, E, G, or the first degree, the scale second degree, third degree, fifth degree, C, D, G. And that's it. That's the pattern. Now, we want to play that pattern right in time. And we want to be able to play that in time in such a way that we're not rushing, or we're not dragging, so time, the element of time. So I'm going to bring the ensemble in and you're going to hear me play the pattern. Us The only and then you're going to hear me rest for about three measures, assessing what I just did, and then repeating the process. And I'm going to do this over and over again, focusing on the importance of time. I should never feel like I'm rushing. And I should never feel like I'm falling behind the beat, either. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in. And let's listen to our very first 1235 pattern. Keep see 180 focusing on time. Okay, here we go. Let's check it out. Nice. Now, you may be thinking, golly, that's kind of an easy exercise, I cannot begin to tell you how many students with the so called easy exercises, struggle, right to be able to play that 1235 over and over and do it consistently well, is not as easy as one may think. So let's march on to exercise number two, it's just going to be the reverse. Instead of 1235. We're going to come down 5321. So G, E, D, C, now feel in articulation. so incredibly important. You can be playing all the right notes, but if you have an incorrect feel, or an incorrect articulation doesn't matter whether the notes All right, it's still not gonna sound like jazz, right? I always use the example of if a Texan goes to France and says, you know, parlez vous francais? Mademoiselle? Well, that text and maybe actually, that text and maybe actually same French, speaking French, but the French people they would say that in French, right, does not have the right articulation does not have the correct feel. So now let's bring the ensemble back in good kisi 185, three to one descending, and I'm going to be focusing on my feel, and my articulation. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in. Let's check it out. Here we go. You know, not that easy, right to repeat a pattern over and over and over again. And to do so to replicate that pattern with the exact same feel, and articulation is not that easy. Just like the very first exercise, to replicate the pattern over and over and over again, without rushing without dragging, not that easy. So that's why we take the pattern, and we repeat it several times. That's why we have measures of rest after playing the pattern, so we can make any assessments and adjustments that we need to make before we do it again, right. So not that easy to replicate the same time to replicate the same feel and articulation. To do so over and over and over again. So the next pattern is going to be slightly different. Now instead of starting on one, we're going to start on three, so it's going to go three, five, to one. So E, G, went down to the D, and the down to the sea. So three, five to one. Now, the focus, this go round is going to be on what I like to call Annunciation, I want to be able to clearly hear every note of every of the pattern every time I play it. Right. So I want to avoid what I call rolling the hand, where things kind of get blurred like I'm not hearing all three notes clearly an equally enunciated. Right, we want to avoid that. That's what we want to hear. those notes, those four notes of the pattern, clearly enunciated not once, not twice, not three times, over and over and over again. So let's bring the ensemble in. And let's check this out. Again. kisi, 180, I can just playing that bass for the sake of time. So let's bring the ensemble on. Let's check it out, and see what we think. Here we go. Wow. Okay, so So far, we've done three patterns. And we've focused on time, we've focused on feeling articulation, and we are focused on Annunciation are clearly playing each of the note of each note of the pattern. Now, for the fourth demonstration, it's going to be three five to one again. But we're going to go up to two to D above C, and then resolve it down to C. So we get nice, right? So now, I want to focus on the balance of my sound, right from the bottom to the top. Right, I do not want things to be out of balance. So I don't want right, we're some notes are really punched, and other notes are not. So I call this the balance of sound. So now let's bring the ensemble in. Let's repeat this several times. And you're gonna find see it's not that easy to keep a nice balance of sound over and over and over and over again. But let's give it a try. Let's see what happens. So again, KFC 180. Here's the ensemble. Let's check it out. Nice. So we have now looked at, for me Major 1235 patterns. And the four objectives that we've had in mind number one time. Number two feel articulation number three enunciation and number four balance of sound. That's a pretty good little set right there and be able to do that for all 12 major sounds, not a small task, right, not a small task at all. So now let's turn our attention to minor. So we're going to stay with C minor. But we are going to change our groove instead of a traditional swing groove at 180, we're actually going to switch to a Latin basa groove at around 140. So little slower. So now we're going to take our very first minor sound minor pattern, and it's going to be 1235. Right, C, D, E flat. So 1235. So now, what we want to do is bring the ensemble in. And, you know, of course, the focus this time is just on a whole different groove. So we're going to play this one, two, flat three, five, I guess, you know, it's kind of funny, I never know where they call it 1235. You know, if I'm thinking in terms of the Dorian mode, that's, you know, 1233 is the E flat, right? And then g is the fifth. But if you're going to base it off the major scale, it would be one, two, flat, three, five, to give us a minor sound. I hope that's not confusing, but, but I just thought I'd mentioned that right. So if you hear me sometimes reference that as one, two, flat three, five, or 1235, and we're dealing with minor know that I'm saying the exact same thing. Okay, so we're gonna bring the ensemble in, and our focus this time really is getting acclimated to a different groove, a different groove, a different tempo, which should always be part of our practicing. So let's bring the ensemble in and let's hear this 1235 minor pattern, just going straight up using the Latin Bossa group. Here we go. Check it out. Very nice, right. So we've changed our groove, we're now doing a Latin basa groove. But those elements that we we addressed in the major patterns, right time, feel, articulation, Annunciation balance of sound, all that kind of carries, carries with us right to this new groove, this new tempo. So now, number six, we're going to just reverse that pattern. So we're going to go five flat 321 straight down, just like We did with the major, right five, G, D flat, D, C. And we're going to do this again with our keep our basa groove and keep our tempo of 140. And I'm going to focus again, consistency of control, right our consistency, our ability to be able to play that pattern. Right? With good time, good feel articulation, Annunciation balance of sound, and to be able to do all of that consistently, over and over, and over again. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in. Let's check it out. And let's see what we think. Here we go. Again, you know, all these exercises. All these little 1235 exercises sound pretty simple until you start doing that. And when you start moving them around to different keys, all of a sudden, they're not as simple as they initially appear, that's for sure. Okay, so now, demonstration number seven, we're going to stay with our minor sound, we're going to stay with our Latin basa groove at 140. But now our pattern is going to go flat three, five, to one. That's it. Flat three, five to one, or E flat, G, D, C. Now, now when I practice this pattern, I want to practice it in such a way that it sounds like it's being naturally improv improvised. Naturally, it sounds spontaneous. It does not sound formulaic. I want it to sound very musical, right? Like I'm improvising this line. So this is going to be my focus now when I play. So let's bring the ensemble in. And let's check it out. And let's see if I can make this sound natural as I'm improvising this melodic idea, and it's not based on some pattern or formula. Okay. All right. So here we go. Let's check it out. Wow, see, again, the idea is can I replicate that over and over and over Forget, again. That easy to do, right. Okay, now for our final demonstration today or final 1235 exercise. This time, again, we stick with our bossa nova groove, we stick with our minor sound, we're going to go flat three, five, to one. So just like we did with the major, now we're going to extend up into the next octave. Right, flat 351. Okay. And you know what my objective is, as I play through this? Is it musically convincing? Does this sound like music, not an exercise. I've mentioned this before in podcast in previous podcasts, every, every exercise that you do every pattern that you play every scale that you play. Ultimately, ultimately, you want to play it in such a way that it doesn't sound like a scale. It doesn't sound like a pattern. It doesn't sound for me, like, it sounds, musical. Everything should be played musically, everything. And if you're practicing that way, you're going to develop into a very fine musician. If you are not, you will develop into a very good exercise player. Don't let that happen. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in. Let's do our final pattern for today, flat three, five to one using a basa groove, minor sound at 140. And let's make this very musical. So here we go. Let's check it out. Nice, really nice. So today, you know, we've looked at eight we have taken eight, what I call 1235 patterns for them major for them minor. And we've practiced each one of those patterns with some very, very specific objectives. I want to go through that list again, because these eight objectives should be swimming around in your mind in your head and you'll be consciously aware of them as you're practicing. Here they are, number one, time number two, feel articulation. Number three Annunciation. Hear every note number four the balance of sound. Number five practice with different grooves and tempos. Number six, your consistency. Always be aware of your consistency of control. Number seven, naturally improvise improvisational? Does the patterns that you're playing sound improvised. And number eight, do they sound musically convincing? Do they sound like music and not exercises. Those eight objectives should be the center, the core of what you focus on when you're practicing when you're playing these 1235 patterns. Okay. And again, get these patterns down before you Start looking at applying them to the exercises that I lay out inside the illustrations. We're going to do some of those exercises using these patterns in upcoming podcast episodes. But for now, just focus on the 1235 patterns for major for minor, right, and keeping those eight objectives in mind as you're practicing them. Not only in the key of C, but in all 12 keys, right? a tall order indeed, but pays huge dividends or efforts will be really rewarded big time. Well, I hope you have found this jazz piano skills podcast lesson exploring the essential and quite honestly, way too often overlooked. 1235 patterns to be insightful and of course beneficial. Don't forget if you are a jazz piano skills a member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills masterclass. 8pm, central time to discuss this podcast episode this lesson, exploring the 1235 patterns in greater detail, and to answer any questions that you may have about the study of jazz in general. Also, as a jazz piano skills member, be sure to use the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets the play alongs not only for this podcast episode, this lesson, but for all podcast episodes and lessons. And make sure you check out the jazz piano skills courses as well. Use them all to maximize your musical growth. And likewise, make sure you are an active participant in the jazz piano skills community. Jump into a forum, join the conversation, get involved and make some new jazz piano friends. As always, you can reach me by phone at 972-380-8050 my extension is 211 by email, Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano or by speakpipe found on the jazz piano skills website in the educational podcast guides and also in the jazz piano skills courses. So that's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the journey. Enjoy these 1235 patterns. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz piano