This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores the jazz standard, "All of Me". Discover, learn, and play essential voicings, chord/scale relationships, and a solo!
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 discover, learn, playa jazz standard, "All of Me". In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:
A classic jazz standard from the 1930s, "All of Me"
The Chord Changes, Harmonic Function, and Musical Form of "All of Me"
Various Voicings and correct Chord/Scale Relationships for "All of Me" which will be cultivated into a jazz solo.
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 you discover, learn, and play All of Me.
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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. I am totally pumped about today's episode. Well, I'm pumped about every episode. But today, I may be a little more excited than normal because we're going to apply all of the essential jazz piano skills that we have been working on over the past two weeks. That's right. So all of your study and practicing over the past two weeks, as we tackle the key of C major harmonic workout, which were the block chords, traditional shells, contemporary shells, and two-handed voicings plus all of your grunt work from last week when we immersed ourselves in the key of C major melodic workout, ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion, all that work, harmonic workout, the melodic work our workout, all of that work is about to pay off big time. How do you ask? Well, we're going to take those very same jazz piano skills and apply them to a tune. So today, you are going to discover a classic jazz standard from the 1930s. All of You and you're going to learn the chord changes, harmonic function, and musical form of autonomy. And you are going to play various voicings and correct chord scale relationships for all of me, which will then be cultivated into a jazz solo. So as I always like to say, regardless of where you are in your jazz journey, a beginner or an intermediate player, advanced player, or even if you consider yourself to be a seasoned and experienced professional, you are going to find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson, exploring the jazz standard, all of me to be very beneficial. If you are a new jazz panel skills podcast listener if you're new to jazz piano skills, I want to take a few minutes right now, as I always do at the beginning of every podcast episode. to personally invite you to become a jazz panel skills member. Just visit jazz piano skills.com To learn more about all the abundance of jazz educational resources, the materials, and services that are available to help you in your studies to help you to become an accomplished jazz pianist. For example, as a jazz piano skills member, you have access to all the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets, and the play alongs that I develop and I produce and, and make available for you each and every week with each and every podcast episode. These are invaluable tools that you want to have in your hands as you listen to the podcast episode and you want to have at your fingertips when you're at the piano practicing. And also as a jazz piano skills member, you have access to the online sequential jazz piano curriculum. Now, this curriculum is loaded with comprehensive courses, all of them using a self-paced format. There are educational talks to enjoy interactive media, video demonstrations of the jazz panel skills in all 12 keys, play along, and much much more. Also, as a jazz panel skills member you have a reserved seat each and every week to the online masterclasses which are in essence a one-hour online lesson with me every week. Fantastic. And also as a jazz panel skills member you have access to the jazz panel skills community, which hosts the variety of engaging forums, podcast-specific forums, course-specific forums, and of course general jazz piano forums as well. And last but certainly not least, as a jazz panel skills member you have unlimited, unlimited, private, personal, and professional educational support whenever and as often as you need it. So take a few seconds few minutes to visit jazz piano skills.com To learn more about all the educational opportunities that await you and how to easily activate your membership There are several membership plans to choose from. And I'm confident there is one that is perfect for you. And if you have any questions once you take a look at everything, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to not think twice to reach out, contact me. I'm always happy to spend some time with you and help you in any way that I can. So okay, let's discover, learn play jazz piano, let's discover, learn and play all of me. Okay, the last two weeks.
The last two weeks have been pretty intense with our key of C major harmonic workout. And our key of C major melodic workout. Our harmonic workout was an extensive exploration of four very specific approaches to play and sound harmonically to play in chords. And our exploration was not simply about playing the seven chords found in the key of C major. It was about how to approach voicing the chords so that you are playing sounds that are stylistically correct. In other words, you want your chords to sound like jazz. So we looked at the basic block shapes and root position and inversions. We looked at the traditional left hand three notes shell voicings and the contemporary quarter voicings for the left hand. And we also looked at two-handed voicings. Now all of them all those voicings those styles of voicings need to be in your arsenal, no doubt about it. Then the following week are our attention, we turned our attention to a melodic workout, which was a thorough and thorough investigation of ascending and descending scale, and arpeggio motion through each of the seven chords, found within the key of C major. Now our primary focus was to begin developing root independence by shifting the entry points of our scales and arpeggios from the root of the sound to each of the sounds to the third, fifth, and seventh. Needless to say, if you have never intentionally played scales and arpeggios, varying your entry and destination points, then I would assume that last week's workout was probably very challenging for you. Very good for you, but very challenging as well. So the whole point of our key of C major harmonic workout two weeks ago, and our key of C major melodic workout last week, whole point is to prep us for applying our skills to tunes. And that's exactly what we are going to do today, we are going to take the practice approaches we have explored over the past two weeks and apply them to a jazz standard. And in not only are we going to put our harmonic and melodic jazz piano skills to work within a jazz standard, but we're also going to use our jazz piano skills to construct and play a jazz piano solo over the chord changes of the tune. How fun is this going to be? Well have fun it's gonna be it's gonna be a lot of fun. So, the educational agenda for today is as follows. Number one, we're going to explore the jazz standard, all of me the chord changes and harmonic function. Number two, we are going to discover learn and play various voicings for all of me, blocks traditional shells, contemporary shells, two-handed voicings. Number three, we are going to discover, learn and play the chord scale relationships for all of me. In other words, the appropriate ascending and descending, scale, and arpeggio motion. In number four, we're going to discover learn and play a jazz piano solo for all of me using 100% diatonic scale and arpeggio motion So we have a lot to get done. So with that being said, if you are a jazz piano skills member,
I want you to take a few minutes right now hit the pause button. Take a few minutes right now to download and print the illustrations and lead sheets packet, you have access to all the podcast packets, and you should absolutely be using them. I remind you of this every week, you should absolutely be using them when listening to this podcast episode, and of course, you should be using them while you're at the piano practicing. So if you're listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast directories such as Apple or Google, Amazon, Spotify, I Heart Radio, Pandora, the list goes on, then be sure to go directly to jazz panel skills podcast.com. To download the podcast packets, you're gonna find the active download links within the show notes. And that URL again is jazz piano skills podcast.com. And one more final reminder, an important note that I mentioned every week, that if you're tuning in, and if you are thinking at this point that the standard all of me and the various jazz piano skills that we are about to discover, learn and play the voicings and chord scale relationships, if you're thinking in your head, in your mind that that this is maybe a little or even if you are thinking it's a lot over your head, then I would say to you breathe in, breathe out, relax, it's okay. Continue to listen, continue to grow your jazz piano skills intellectually by listening to this podcast episode, because the fact is this. All skills are over our heads when first introduced. And that is precisely why the very first step that we all need to take when being introduced to new jazz piano skills. The very first step that we need to take is to simply listen, our musical growth begins upstairs mentally, conceptually, before it can come out downstairs physically in our hands. So sit back, relax, and listen to this podcast lesson now to discover and learn the play, the play will come in time, I guarantee it. Okay, I want to make sure now that you have your lead sheets in front of you that you've printed them off, or that you have them on your computer screen that you can scroll through and look at as well. There are 11 lead sheets. And we're going to walk through each one of the lead sheets here today. Now the illustrations packet that you have in front of you as well as a way for you to map out to sketch out all of the scale and arpeggio work and the voicings that we are going to explore today. And you'll see in that illustration packet, you'll see that I've placed all the scale tones, the Chord/Scale relationships for All of Me within the packet. And then I've provided you templates to use to map out all of your chord/scale relationships, all of your voicings, and all of your chord/scale relationships as well. So you have both of those packets in front of you, you may need to also have handy your packets, as you do some of this studying after listening to this podcast, the packets from two weeks ago with the harmonic key of C major harmonic workout. And last week the key of C major melodic workout. But let's start with our lead sheets. So grab exercise one lead sheet number one.
And here you can see that you have the chord changes for all of me laid out for you. Now, All of Me is is a classic jazz standard form, right? It's 32 measures in length, there are four sections, eight measures each. In jazz forms. Usually, the standard forms are what we call AABA orABAB. All of Me, however, would be categorized as an ABAC form. So you can see the rehearsal letters there A, B, C, and D. Those are just the four sections of All of Me. You'll notice section A and Section C are exactly the same. Section B is a little bit different. And of course, in section D the last eight measures are quite a bit different So, this is why we call it an A B, a C form, because section A and Section C are identical. So you have there with exercise one, the simple lead sheet with the chord changes clearly laid out for you within the form of all of me. Now, place exercise to lead sheet to place that side by side with that with the first lead sheet, same, same format, right. However, exercise two has you play in all of me using harmonic function. So, instead of the chord changes, instead of C Major we are playing in the key of C. So, instead of that first chord change B and C major seven, we have on exercise to lead sheet number two, we have one major seven, right Roman numeral one, capital M seven for major seven. So, this is the harmonic like I like to call it the harmonic DNA of All of Me, if you understand the harmonic DNA of All of Me, you can actually play all of me in any key that you wish to play it and also, the harmonic function, when playing all of the using the harmonic function lead sheet, your ears will grow tremendously, tremendously because you're hearing relationships. chord changes do not establish the relationships like the Roman numerals do, or the harmonic function lychee does. So both of these lead sheets number one, and number two, I think are invaluable to have on your piano and, and to study to help you thoroughly learn the harmonic structure the harmonic of the form the harmonic DNA of this classic standard. Okay, so let's move on to exercise three, lead sheet three. Here is all of me and notice based Cluff everything is laid out in the bass clef because we're dealing with the voicings, the chord changes now are written out for you. So, we have I have there, are you starting with your basic block shapes. And you'll notice that all of these black shapes are utilizing different inversions. For instance, the C major seven, the first chord, the piece I have, have you playing that in first inversion, go into the E dominant seven in root position, go into the a dominant seven and second inversion, and then to the D minor seven and root position, again, trying to utilize minimum motion going from one chord to the next. And to create that minimum motion, we need to be familiar with our root position, and our first, second and third inversions. So what I want to do is I want to bring the ensemble in and I'm going to play these exactly what's written here on the lead sheet in my left hand the first time through, not going to do anything fancy when to strike that voicing, I'm going to hold it right I'm going to hold that C major for two measures going to hold that E dominant seven is played as a whole note. Again, for two measures. I'm not going to do anything rhythmically with these voicings because I want you to hear them. The second time through I'm going to drop the melody. I'm going to play the melody on top of these voicings so you can hear these basic block shapes in relationship to the melody to see what you think. Okay, so here we go. Let's bring the ensemble and let's check it out. basic block shapes using root position and the three inversions to create minimum motion. First time through and then melody the second mount melody added the second time through. So here we go. Let's check it out.
Not a bad sound right. This is where most students learn how to play chords first using these blocks, these block shapes, and root position first, second and third inversion. But do not make the mistake of thinking that because one begins to learn their chords in this manner, that for somehow these are not viable voicing options, because they are, and I draw upon them all the time when playing. So I wanted you to hear these block shapes, and hear them in relationship with the melody and in the context of the tune. So you can actually validate for yourself that these are indeed important shapes for you to have within your voicing arsenal. Now, grab lead sheet number four exercise for now we're going to take a look at those traditional shell voicings that were in our workout two weeks ago as well. Now, these are our 379 and our 735 voicings. So you'll see on the lead sheet, I have my voicing options laid out, I want to draw your attention to measure five, on the A dominant seven, I'm using actually a two-note shape there I have the seventh and the third of the voicing in my left hand. And the reason for that is to avoid any conflict with the melody that I'm playing in the right hand, it's perfectly acceptable to actually play a two-note voicing that includes the third and the seventh. And you see it here within all of me not only in measure five, but you see it also in measure 21 as well. So I want to bring the ensemble back in and I'm going to do the exact same thing that I just did with the block shapes on the first time through. I'm going to play my 379 my 735 voicings just left hand and then the second time through the tune, I'm going to add the melody so you can hear the melody in relationship to these three classic traditional three-note shell voicings in our left hand. So here we go. Let's check it out. Let's see what we think.
Nice right? Hard to argue with those voicings. They're fabulous, absolutely fabulous. And one thing I want to mention right away as we work through these lead sheets, voicings can be interchanged. And what I mean by that is, everything doesn't have to be three-note voicings all the way through the piece. Everything doesn't have to be a block, block-type traditional voicing all the way through the piece. You can mix and match these voicing types. However you wish right in the ear is always, always the final judge with regards to do I use a traditional three-note shell here do I use a block shape here do I use a quarter voicing right our ears lean on the ears. So with that being said, I want to draw your attention to exercise five on each sheet number five. Now I'm going to play all of me using those contemporary quarter voicings in my left hand. And again, with any voicing structure that you're using, the idea is to move from one quarter to the next quarter. The next chord with minimal motion you do not want to be hopping all over the piano. So you can see here, all quarter voicings all the way through the first time through I'm just going to play the voicings not no rhythmic variation whatsoever. Second time through I'm going to bring the melody so now so again once again you can hear the melody in relationship to these quarter voicing structures. So let's bring out ensemble and let's check it out and see what we think here we go.
Absolutely love it right. And once again, you can mix and match quarto shapes with traditional three-note shells 735 and 379 structures, block shapes root position first, second, third inversion, you can mix and match them however you wish. Now grab lead sheet number six, Exercise number six. So now I'm want to spend a little time with art to note I'm sorry, two-handed voicings. And again, these were these voicings shapes were explored in our harmonic workout that we did two weeks ago. So you're gonna see it On the lead sheet how I have my two-handed voicings structured I have two notes in the left three notes in the right and once again, I'm going to try to move my, my voice scenes from one chord to the next chord using good voice leading minimum motion getting from one shape to the next shape. So the first time through I am going to play just the two-handed voicings very simply write as whole notes. And second time through as I have done with the other voicings, I'm going to bring the melody in. But this time with the melody I'm going to play the melody using playing trumpet because I want you to hear these two-handed voicings being used to accompany a soloist or an instrumentalist. So the second time through melody again but this time as the trumpet Okay, so here we go let's check it out see what we think.
Very cool voicings in D right. So, so far we have taken our four voicing types our basic blocks, root position first, second, third inversion, our traditional three-note shells, 379 and 735, our contemporary left-hand quarter voicings, and then our two-handed voicings, and we've played all of me using each one of those voicing types. Now, one of the things I do want to point out I selected All of Me because typically played in the key of C, and in the last two weeks, we have been focusing on the key of C. And but more importantly, I've chose All of Me because the root movement of the chord progression is like 99.9% diatonic. The only chord that steps out of the key is in our C our last section. In the piece that F sharp diminished chord is the only chord that steps out of the diatonic movement that would be in measure 26. So it's a great tune for us to kind of cut our teeth with all of the all of the various jazz piano skills that we've been focused on the last two weeks with our key of C major harmonic workout and our key of C major melodic workout. Okay, so now if you would grab lead sheet number seven, exercise seven. We are now going to turn our attention to our melodic development. Right? So exercises are lead sheets 345 and six focused on harmonic work, lead sheet 789 and 10 are going to focus on melodic work. So the very first melodic exercise that we're going to do exercise seven lead sheet seven, we are going to practice playing our scales, our chord scale relationships with the root entry for today, Root Entry. So you'll see there with our C major, I'm playing from C up to B. Right, our E seven, E, starting on the root E up to D, a seven from our A up to G. Right and then D minor D um to see. But I'm gonna play all of this in time and I'm only ascending motion right throughout, you can see this on the lead sheet, it's all ascending scale motion through each chord of all of me. And I'm entry my entry point is going to be the root and I'm going to travel the distance of a seventh with each one of my scales. Alright, so nothing fancy, straight scale work, ascending motion from the root to the seventh of each chord. So let's bring the ensemble lead. Let's check this out. See what it sounds like here we go.
Very cool that will test your skills pretty quick, won't it? Right playing the scale that goes with each chord. Now with that being said, a couple things I want to point out E dominant seven, right? We know that E dominant seven doesn't belong in the key of C, right? The three chords should be what? Minor. So anytime we see a dominant seven, it's pointing us to another key right other than G dominant seven, which is the dominant that belongs in the key of C. So E dominant seven would be pointing us to what key center? If you're seeing a, you're correct, a dominant seven would Key Center. If you're saying D, correct, right. So these chords, even though the root movement is staying diatonic, the sound itself the E dominant sound E dominant sound, those dominant chords are pointing us to a different key center. Right? And then I want to draw your attention down there to that F sharp the message that I mentioned earlier in measure 26 scale that I'm using for that F sharp diminished is the seventh mode of the harmonic minor scale from which the diminished chord originates. Okay? So I'm being theoretically correct here with my diminished choice. So Okay, with that being said, You know what goes up must come down. So if you grab lead sheet, number eight, exercise eight, we're going to is going to reverse the process, we're going to stay with our root entry, and we're going to descend, right this time, we're going to descend from the root down to the second or the ninth. For C, right, for E, for a for D minor. So again, scale motion descending from the root, traveling the distance of a seventh for each chord of all of me. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's check it out. See what we think. Here we go.
Very nice again, it will test your skills how well do you know your scales? Right now, in our melodic workout that we did last week, we varied our entry points. When we did our scale work, right, we did the route we did the third, we started with, you know, entry point of a third entry point of a fifth entry point of a seven for each one of our scales. I do not have time to do that today with all of me, but that should be part of your practicing with all of me as well, what I modeled what I just got done modeling with this, playing the ascending and descending scales from the root entry, you should do the exact same thing from the third, the fifth and the seventh, as well. Okay, so with that being said, grab a lead sheet number nine, Exercise number nine. Now we're going to shift our attention to our arpeggio motion. So again, we're going to use root as our movement, I mean as our entry point, and we're going to move from the root to the seventh, right? So our C major seven arpeggio, our E seven arpeggio, a dominant, D minor. We're gonna do that for each section for the entire tune. So once again, let's bring our ensemble in. Let's play through all of me using ascending arpeggio motion from the root to the seventh of each chord, here we go.
I love it. Such a great, such a great exercise, right and you see how we're drawing from all of our harmonic and melodic workout exercises that we did the previous two weeks we're doing this applying it to all of me all that work, we're just transferring over to the structure of attune of All of Me. So as we did with the scales, what goes up must come down. So now we're going to do descending arpeggio motion from the root of each chord of all of me, descending. So my C major arpeggio starting from the root down to the third by IE seven. Again, from the root down to the third, a seven from the root down to the third, and D minor, upside from the root down to the third. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's play through all of the chords of all of me using descending arpeggio motion from the root, down to the third. Here we go. Let's check it out.
Very nice, very nice indeed. And just, as I mentioned, with the scale motion, right, today, we look at just entry point of the route to the seventh. But we should vary our entry points with arpeggios, just as I mentioned with the scales, from the third from the fifth and from the seventh as well. Again, this was the approach that we used with our melodic workout last week, we don't have time to go through each one today. But what I modeled for you with ascending and descending arpeggio motion from the root entry, you should also do from the third, the fifth, and the seventh as well. Okay, so let's grab our last lead sheet lead sheet 11 Exercise 11. This is going to be fun because what I've done is I've written out a solo that you can practice in play using ascending and descending scale in arpeggio motion only. Through all of me, I'm using all diatonic to the chord, chord tones, in other words, chord tones and scale tones to play my solo. That's it. So what I want to do now is I want to bring the ensemble and I'm going to play all of me I'm going to play the head first and I'm going to be using various voicings that we've gone through our four voicing sides. I'm going to play the melody of all me and then I'm going to actually play this solo that you have in front of you. And then I'll play the head again to end the song. So I'm going to do the traditional jazz format right where we play the head we take a solo we play the head. So pay attention to the solo follow along and keep in mind everything you're hearing her chord tones and scale tones, only ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. So here we go. Let's have a little fun with all me. Check this out.
Pretty amazing stuff, right? So hopefully what you've what you're seeing here is how our harmonic and melodic workouts for the past two weeks, applying those jazz piano skills to all of me, helps tremendously with developing jazz language for improvisational purposes. Heck, it helps tremendously with just being able to play the tune period, even way before improvising. But you can see how the dot diatonic having a command of diatonic chord tones and scale tones, ascending and descending, goes a very, very long way to developing jazz vocabulary to use when soloing. So you know, we have unpacked in a very short period of time here today, as always, we've been unpacked a ton of information. And, again, today was certainly no exception. As we set out to discover, learn and play all of me, I wanted to model for you today how to begin to truly learn in tune, how to connect what and how you're practicing to a piece of music. How do the jazz piano skills you are practicing translate to real plane and I'm saying real plane with air quotes and, and my tongue in cheek, right? Because real playing is indeed having a command of jazz piano skills, which allows you to eventually add a melody like we did today. Right, more on that in a second. In fact, if you are unable to apply your practice approach, whatever it is that you're practicing, if you are unable to apply your practice approach to the learning of tunes, I would say that you need to seriously examine the what why and how of your practicing. You know another way of saying this is if the tunes you are playing, if in the tunes that you are playing, you do not see the necessity of having the commands, the command of jazz piano skills that you're practicing, then you have a disconnect between the two, which is not good. You know you have heard me say this many times and on many different occasions that harmony and melody are one and the same. And as indeed they are. I can also say that proper jazz piano skill practicing and tunes are one and the same as well. In what I am saying is that if you do not practice jazz piano skills, like our arpeggio and scale, motion, ascending and descending, like the four voicing types, if you do not practice jazz piano skills, then you will not be able to successfully play tunes. You're kidding yourself if you think so. And hopefully, you are beginning to see that tunes are jazz piano skills, with a melody added. Let me say that, again. tunes are jazz piano skills, with a melody added. I said it last week and the week before. And I want to stress it again today. If you hang in there with me this year, you're going to experience a ton of jazz piano growth. You will love where you are musically a year from now, I promise. And once again, I want I want to encourage you to use the podcast packets that we're using today. The illustrations that lead sheets to guide you and you've heard you've heard me say this over and over again as well. That your conceptual understanding determines Your physical development so the time that you invest in studying and mapping out your voicings and ascending descending scale and arpeggio motion from various entry points is time very well spent the return on your investment cannot be adequately expressed, no way. And as always, I want you to be patient Alright, cut yourself a little bit of slack Be patient. Developing mature professional jazz piano skills takes time. So begin structuring your practicing your studying after my plane demonstrations today and in the last two weeks right with the harmonic workout melodic worker workout, right begin
structuring your development after the play and demonstrations that I do in these podcast episodes. And you will begin to see you will begin to feel you will begin to hear your progress. Well I hope you have found this jazz panel skills podcasts lesson exploring All of Me to be insightful and of course beneficial. And don't forget if you're a jazz piano skills member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills masterclass 8 pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode lesson exploring all of me in greater detail and of course to answer any questions that you may have about the study of jazz in general. Be sure to use the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets to play alongs for this podcast lesson and all the podcast lessons, and also, be sure to tap into the jazz panel skills courses to maximize your musical growth. Also, make sure you are an active participant in the jazz piano skills community. Get out there, get involved, contribute to the various forums, and most importantly, make some new jazz piano friends always a fantastic thing to do. As always, you can reach me by phone 972-380-8050 my extension is 211 by email Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills.com or by SpeakPipe handy little widget found throughout the jazz piano skills website. Well, there is my cue. That's it for now. And until next week, enjoy all and most of all, have fun as you discover, learn, and play jazz piano
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