This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores the popular jazz standard by Johnny Green, "Body and Soul." Discover, learn, and play essential voicings, chord/scale relationships, and a jazz piano 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, play a 1930 jazz standard by Johnny Green and Edward Heyman, "Body and Soul". In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:
Jazz standard Body and Soul (1930)
Essential jazz piano voicings and chord/scale relationships for Body and Soul
A jazz piano solo for Body and Soul using classic jazz language
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 Body and Soul.
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(detailed graphics of the jazz piano skill)
(beautifully notated music lead sheets)
(ensemble assistance and practice tips)
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Dr. Bob Lawrence 0:32
Welcome to jazz piano skills. I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence, it's time to discover, learn and play jazz piano. For the last two weeks we have relentlessly attacked key a D flat major harmonic workout and a key of D flat major melodic workout. Now our harmonic workout as it always does explore four different approaches the voicing the courts found in the key of D flat major, plus various rhythmic copying patterns. Now our melodic workout, as it always does methodically tackled the scale modes and arpeggios for each of the chords in the key of D flat major plus various linear lines to help develop improvisational vocabulary. Now, those of you who have been faithfully doing the workouts know firsthand that the workouts require a ton of work. But as always, as always, when you practice correctly, the proper skills, the proper approaches, the payoff is always huge, always significant. And how do we test the development of our skills? Well, there's no better way to test our improvement than by playing a tune. And that is exactly what we are going to do today. So today, we are going to discover a popular jazz standard from 1913 an absolutely gorgeous, ballad, body and soul. We're going to learn the chord changes harmonic function, musical form of body and soul. And we're going to play various voicings and correct chord scale relationships for body and soul, which will be cultivated into a jazz solo. So as I always like to say, regardless of where you are, in your jazz journey, beginner and intermediate player or advanced player or even if you consider yourself a seasoned and experienced professional, you are going to find this jazz piano skills podcast lesson, exploring the jazz standard body and soul to be very beneficial. But before we dig in, as I do each and every week, I want to take just a few minutes to welcome all first-time listeners to the jazz panel skills podcast. If you are indeed new to jazz panel skills, I want to encourage you to become a member I want to personally invite you to become a jazz piano skills member. All you got to do is visit jazz piano skills.com To learn more about the palesa
Dr. Bob Lawrence 3:16
of jazz educational resources, materials, and services that are available for you to use. I'm laughing because sometimes I use words that I pull left, right. In other words, there's a lot of educational resources, materials, and services that are available for you as a jazz piano skills member. Now, as a member, the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets and the play alongs that I developed for each and every weekly podcast episode are available for you to utilize. Now, you should absolutely have these podcast packets in your hands. As you listen to this podcast episode. Of course, you should have these podcast packets sitting on your piano when you're practicing as well. Now as a jazz panel skills member you also have access to the sequential jazz piano curriculum, which is loaded with comprehensive courses all of the courses using a self-paced format. There are educational talks, interactive media, video demonstrations and all 12 keys of the jazz panel skill being taught. There are play alongs and much more. As a jazz panel skills member you have a reserved seat in the online weekly master classes, which are in essence a one-hour lesson with me each and every week. Additionally, as a jazz panel skills member you also have access to the online interactive Fakebook which grants you access to jazz standards from the Great American Songbook like body and soul. You can enjoy lead sheets outlining the chord changes their lead sheets that outline the harmonic function of each tune. Chord scale relationships play along files historical insights inspirational read recordings, and much more. The interactive Fakebook is an ever-growing collection of tunes of standards that you should absolutely discover, learn and play. You also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the online jazz piano skills community, which hosts a variety of engaging forums, podcast-specific forums, course-specific forums, and of course, just general jazz piano forums as well. And last but certainly not least, you as a jazz panel skills member have unlimited, unlimited private, personal and professional educational support from me, whenever and as often as you need it. So once again, just visit jazz panel skills.com To learn more about all of the educational opportunities that await you, and how to easily activate your membership. Now there are several membership plans to choose from, I have no doubt there's one that is perfect for you. But nevertheless, once you get to the site and you poke around, if you have any, any questions, please let me know. I'm always happy to spend time with you and answer any questions that you may have. Okay, let's discover, learn and play jazz piano let's discover learn and play the Krait 1930 jazz standard body and soul. Okay, as I mentioned earlier, the last two weeks have been pretty intense with our key of D flat major harmonic workout and our key of D flat major melodic workout, our harmonic workout. As always, an extensive exploration of four very specific approaches to play in sound harmonically playing chords. And our exploration was not simply about playing the seven chords found in the key of D flat major, it was about how to successfully approach voicing the chords so that you're playing sounds that are stylistically correct sounds that sound like jazz. So we looked at basic block shapes and root position and inversions. Traditional left hand three notes shell voicings contemporary quarter voicings, again three notes, and of course, two handed voicings two handed shapes as well all of them, all of these voicings need to be in your arsenal, right they need to be at your fingertips when playing. Now our melodic workout was a thorough investigation of ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion through each of the seven chords found in the key of D flat major. Now our primary focus was to begin developing root independency by shifting entry points of our scales and arpeggios from the root of the sound to the third, fifth, and the seventh sound. Now needless to say, if you've never intentionally played scales and arpeggios vary in your entry and destination points, then the melodic workouts are challenging, no doubt about it. So the whole point of our key of D flat major harmonic workout and our key a D flat major melodic workout. The whole point is to prep us for applying our skills to tunes. So here we are. Today, we're going to take the practice approaches that we have explored over the past two weeks and apply them to body and soul. And not only are we going to put our harmonic melodic jazz piano skills to work within a jazz standard, we are going to use our jazz piano skills to construct and play a jazz piano solo over the core changes of body and soul. So we have a ton to get done today. The educational agenda is as follows number one, we're going to explore the jazz standard body and soul, the chord changes and harmonic function number two, we're going to discover learn and play various voicings for body and soul blocks, traditional shells, contemporary shells, and two handed shapes. Three, we're going to discover learn and play the chord scale relationships for body and soul. In other words, the appropriate ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. And number four, we are going to discover learn and play a jazz piano solo for body and soul. Using 100% diatonic scale and arpeggio motion. We're not going to use any notes outside of the key of D flat and we're going to focus on various eighth note patterns especially the eighth note triplet. And number five, we are going to be using a standard jazz ballad tempo of 70. Okay, so if you are a jazz piano skills member, I want you to take a few minutes right now as always, hit the pause button and I want Due to access, download and print the illustrations and the lead sheets or podcast packets, right now, again, you have access to all of the podcast packets. And again, you should absolutely be using them when listening to this episode and of course, when practicing, if you are listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast directories such as Apple or Amazon, Google, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and so on, then be sure to go directly to the jazz panel skills podcast.com website that's jazz piano skills podcast.com To download your podcast packets, and you will find the active download links within the show notes. And then one final but extremely important note that I mentioned every single week because it's so important. If you are thinking that body and soul and the various skills that we're about to discover, learn and play. If you're thinking that these skills are over your head, then I would say to you sit back, relax, continue to listen and continue to grow your jazz piano skills intellectually by listening to this podcast episode. All scales, every single one of them our overheads when first introduced and that is precisely why the first step that we always need to take. In order to improve our our musicianship and our jazz skills. The first step is always listen. So do not shy away from conversations discussing foreign topics, or using unfamiliar terms. I know it's uncomfortable, but do not shy away from these discussions. Stepping outside of our musical comfort zone spawns significant musical growth. As you've heard me say a million times if you are a regular listener, all musical growth begins upstairs mentally conceptually, before it can come out downstairs physically in your hands. So sit back and listen to this podcast lesson exploring body and soul to discover and learn the play will come in time,
Dr. Bob Lawrence 12:12
I guarantee it. Okay, now with your podcast packets in your hands, I want you to grab the lead sheets podcast packet, and you will see that you have 11 lead sheets within this packet.
Dr. Bob Lawrence 12:30
I want to walk us through these right now each of these lead sheets, and then we'll explore them in depth here in a moment. So skill one we're going to look at the lead sheet there's chord changes, skill to harmonic functions skill three block voicings skill for traditional shells, skill five contemporary shells, skill six to hand voicings, skill, seven ascending scale motion, Root Entry, skill, eight descending scale, motion, Root Entry, skill, nine ascending arpeggio motion, route entry, and scale 10 descending arpeggio motion route entry, skill 11, the solo and again the solo. If you look at it, it's using all diatonic scale and arpeggio motion throughout the entire solo. And we'll talk more about that when we get to skill 11. Okay, so that's your podcast packet. So now let's take a look at skill one, skill one is your basic common lead sheet that you will find in various books, jazz collections of body and soul. And you'll see here that it's just the chord changes, I have it broken out into four sections all with labeled A, B, C, and D, that those are rehearsal letters that does not, those letters do not indicate the form, the form of body and soul is what we call a a b, a, section A and Section B. If you take a close look at that, you'll notice that the chord changes are basically the same, right? Really the only difference are the last two chord changes in section B which take us into our bridge into a different key center. But section a Section B 100% the same chord changes as is Section D. So there is there are a and a section right. Now, letter C is what we call the bridge or the B section. And this is a standard form A A B A. also probably the next most common form in Jazz A B A B and yes there are other forms of course, but the two standard forms that you see mostly in the Great American Songbook are A A B A or a B A B. So just taking a glanced at these chord changes, right? There are a lot of chord changes in body and soul. But if you just take a glance at these chord changes, first thing you should be kind of zoned in is look at those dominant chords. I always like to find my dominant chords, which are always pointing me to specific key centers. But then I also like to look at how those dominant chords are treated. And you can see here, a lot of altered dominant chords in body and salt. Okay, the other thing I like to take a look at is, how is the tune starting? Is it started on the one chord to chord, how does this song begins sixth chord, this case, body and soul, we start on the two chord, and you'll see that we end the last measure the piece, we end on that D flat major, which tells us we're squarely in the key of D flat major, okay, that B flat seven, flat nine flat 13. You see at the very end there, that's a little turn around. That takes us back to the beginning, if we are going to repeat the form, okay, so skill one is your basic lead sheet with the chord changes that I am using today. for body and soul. One other thing that you'll see I want to draw your attention to and letter C or rehearsal letter C. And the bridge, take a look at measure two and measure three of the bridge. Right you have chord changes, moving on every beat within the measure. Okay, so I don't even care if you're only going 70. When you have changes moving that quickly, you better know your voicings. So we will take care of that today as well. All right, so now I want to draw your attention to skill number two. And skill number two is another lead sheet. But now instead of the chord changes, you have the harmonic function, I'm using the Roman numeral nomenclature here to denote harmonic function of the song body and soul, I like to call it the harmonic DNA of the piece. Okay, so this is worth studying, you know, I when I look at harmonic functional lead sheet, again, one of the very first thing I zero in on it, Where's all my 251 progressions, where's my two, five motion, then I'll expand it from there, where's all of my circle motion, whether it's moving to five, or some other type of circle motion, okay, I also look to see any chromatic movement that I need to be aware of. So these are just some of the little tips that I use when I'm looking at a heart when I'm studying and harmonic DNA to help me kind of get a feel for the landscape of the song. So, this type of lead sheet playing from this type of lead sheet is so important for the development of your ears because it denotes it illuminates the relationships between the chords, chord changes by themselves, they do not illuminate the relationship, harmonic function does and your ears want to hear harmonic movement, harmonic function, a one chord, go into a six chord go into a two core, and so on, right, this is what our ears lock into. So I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to be able to have an harmonic blueprint, harmonic DNA in front of you have a piece. And to play from that, to help you really digest the song thoroughly, harmonically speaking, and to help you get the song in your ears for ear training purposes. Alright, so I always like to say, you know, if you're looking at scale one, and you're seeing those chord changes, you should be thinking Roman numerals. And when you're looking at Roman numerals, you should be able to think chord changes, right? So scale one and scale two, you know, on the surface look very, you know, like, they're not all that important where they are very important. So spend time with skill one and skill to studying both of these lead sheets. Okay,
Dr. Bob Lawrence 18:51
so let's move on to skill three, and here's where I introduced the block voicings for you. And on the lead sheet, I have notated the block voicings and the invert root position and inverted shapes that I would be using the inversions that I would be using when playing body and soul. Now, of course, when you're playing through these chord changes, there may be an inversion that you prefer or sounds better to the ear for you. Fine, that's perfectly okay, make that adjustment then this is just, this is just kind of an example of how I would play body and soul if I were to use only block voicings from the beginning to the end. Okay. So what I want to do is I want to bring the ensemble in right now where I'm going to play through body and soul twice at first time through I'm just going to play the chord changes. And again, I'm not going to do anything fancy. I'm just going to play the chord changes as notated here on the lead sheet. I'm not even going to apply anything rhythmically to the chord changes. I'm just going to play the chords because I want you to hear these voicings. The second time through I am going to place the melody on top of these voicings so that you can hear them in context okay so let's bring on sample and let's check it out then we'll talk about it here we go?
Dr. Bob Lawrence 23:50
Pretty nice, right. Nothing wrong with using block shapes and I've mentioned this before in previous podcasts. This is all I knew for the longest time when I was learning how to play. These were the shapes that I knew. fact I didn't even know if any other voicings I didn't even know any other voices existed these were it and I played many, many gigs playing these type of voicings and playing the melody on top of these these voicings many gigs and it sounds fine. So my point is, is if that is if this is where you are right now, with these voicings perfect, celebrate, it's fantastic. Continue to get these under your hands in your ears and get comfortable with these shapes. Because not only are they great for voicing, but you'll find that they have a profound impact on your improvisation development as well, because we turn harmonic shapes into melody. Alright, so celebrate these blocks if that's where you are because this is a great place to be. Now let's take a look at skill four which introduces The traditional left hand shell voicings, these are our 379 and 735 shapes played in the left hand while you play the melody in your right hand. Now, these shapes obviously we have one last note the blocks are using four notes. We're eliminating one of the notes using a three note shape as opposed to a four note shapes. So of course, the voicing is going to be a little more transparent, not as dense right? These are beautiful, beautiful sounds. So I want to bring the ensemble in I'm going to play just as I did with the blocks I'm going to first time through play just the shells in my left hand. Nothing fancy, no rhythmic variation at all. I'm just gonna play them as written on the lychee second time through I will bring the melody ends so you can hear voicings and Melody together in context Okay, so let's bring the ensemble and let's check it out and we'll go from there here we go.
Dr. Bob Lawrence 29:43
Pretty nice, right. I love these traditional shells. They're beautiful. And again, these should be in your arsenal. Now, one point I do want to bring to your attention. I'm demonstrating these voicings today, as if they We all enjoy autonomy. Right? In other words, when you play blocks that I'm playing all blocks, in one example playing all traditional shells, and another example, contemporary shells, and another example, and then two handed shapes. And another example, right? Ideally, all these shapes get mixed and matched together, but we're keeping it I'm keeping it really clean and tidy right now, because we're learning these and studying these shapes. The reality is, is when I play, I'm drawing upon all of these shapes throughout attune when I play, but for learning purposes, we do want to keep it clean, tidy and separated when studying and practicing these shapes. Okay? All right. So now let's take a look at skill number five, these are the contemporary, what I call the contemporary shapes, these are chordal shapes, you can just take a look at this right away and see that wait a minute, we don't have thirds going on here we have force going on here, these shapes are built primarily on the interval of a fourth, which gives us even more of a transparent sound than the third, right. So I want to play through this now, just as I did with skill with the blocks and with the with the traditional shells first time through, going to play just the shells as written on the lead sheet. Second time through bring the melody and on top of these shells, okay. Now one other thing in your lead sheet, you'll see that there are some voicings as was the case with the traditional shells where I use the two notes shape. That's not a typo in your lead sheet. Sometimes I will drop down to a two-note shape, maybe just using the seventh and the third, especially if the melody and the voicing are tucked up right next to each other. Okay? So pay attention to that as well. All right, so let's bring the ensemble and let's take a listen to body and soul using contemporary shells in my left hand the first time through, second time through melody added. Here we go check it out.
Dr. Bob Lawrence 35:54
Love it. What a great sound. Absolutely love these contemporary left-hand shells. All right. So now let's take a look at skill six. These are their two-handed shapes. Once again, I play my voicing system utilizes a five-note structure to play to in the left, I play three in the right, always. So you'll see just looking at this lead sheet, you'll see always two notes in my left hand, three notes in my right hand. And so I'm going to play these shapes again, as I've been doing with all the examples today. The first time through, I'm just going to play these two-handed shapes as written on the lead sheet, again, nothing fancy. The second time through, I'm going to continue to play these leads these voicings as written, but I'm going to play the melody using a trumpet a muted trumpet kind of a Miles Davis sound, so that you can hear how these voicings support an instrumentalist or vocalist when playing behind another musician. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble and let's check out body and soul with our two-handed voicings and first time through and then second time through the melody being played with a muted trumpet sound. So here we go. Let's check it out.
Dr. Bob Lawrence 41:02
pretty darn cool, right? So once again, right you have your blocks, you have your traditional shells, you have your contemporary shells, you have your two-handed shapes. You want to study these voicings independently, right, you want to keep it nice, like I said earlier, clean and tidy. Reality is when you when you go to play, you're going to be drawn upon your entire arsenal. When you play tunes, you're going to be playing blocks and traditional shells and contemporary shells in two-hand shapes, all mixed together within one to beautiful, right. But when learning and studying them again, I cannot stress to you enough, keep it clean, keep it tidy, separate them out, and practice them as I modeled for you today. Okay, so now, I don't have the time to go through skill 789 and 10, which outline our ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. And in your lead sheets. They're all notated from Root Entry, but as you know, from the melodic workouts last week, the melodic workout where the entry points change to the third to the fifth to the seventh. For us ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. The same would apply here. When practicing body and soul, I would utilize the exact same approach. Once I had my chord scale relationships in place, then I would practice those score chord scale relationships from various entry points and moving to various destination points. Okay, if you have any questions, just let me know that skill 789 and 10. So I want to jump to skill 11 And this is the solo. Again, if you take a look at the lead sheet, everything you're seeing in front of you is 100% diatonic movement that coincides with the chord scale relationship. So in other words, I'm not playing any half step approachment. So I'm not playing in any enclosures. I'm not doing anything, any fancy shmancy outside playing, everything is 100% inside, right. Okay, so the other thing I want to draw your attention to a lot of triplets. That's what we've been focusing on the last couple of weeks, that's been the kind of the rhythm that we've zeroed in on with our D flat harmonic workout. And our D flat major melodic workout is his eighth note triplet. And you can see just looking at the solo here, quite a few triplets are laced throughout the entire solo. There are other eighth note patterns to be aware of in there as well that we've explored in our workouts. So this is going to be a lot of fun, right? So I want to bring the ensemble in right now. I'm gonna play this actually three times through kind of like I would if I were out, performing and playing a gig I want to first time through I'm going to play the head. Second time through I'm going to play this solo and then the third time through I'm going to state the head again the melody Okay, so let's sit back let's relax and let's listen to this gorgeous 1930 ballad, body and soul. Here we go.
Dr. Bob Lawrence 49:48
absolutely love this too. It is gorgeous. A lot of chord changes, not an easy tune to learn. It's not an easy turn to tune into play, but it's well worth your investment, and time and time and effort and energy to learn this beautiful, gorgeous jazz standard, body and soul. Well, it never fails, right? We have unpacked a ton of information here today within the hour as we do each and every week with each and every podcast episode today, body and soul absolutely no different as I do with every tune study, right? I want to model for you how to begin truly learning to tune and how to connect the what and how your practice into the actual piece of music. In other words, how how do the jazz piano skills that we've been exploring over the past couple of weeks and practicing how, how do those translate into real plane and of course, I'm kind of joking when I say real plane, right? Because real plan is actually having a command of jazz piano skills, right, or scales, arpeggios or voicings chord scale relationships, those are, that is real plain. And that real playing allows you to eventually add a melody. And once we add a melody to our jazz piano skills, there's usually a title attached to it like body and soul. And now we have to everyone's happy, right, we have a title, we have a melody, we have a song. So I want you to think about this, if if you are unable, if you're unable to apply your, your practice approach to learning of tunes like we did today, then I would say to you that you need to sit down and seriously examine the what, why and how of your practicing. And 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 jazz piano skills that you are practicing, then you have a disconnect between the two, which is not good. You've heard me say this many times as well. And on many different occasions that harmony and melody are one and the same hand in D they are. But I can also say that jazz piano skills and tunes are one and the same, which indeed they are. And what I'm saying what I'm saying is that if you do not practice jazz piano skills, and then if you do not practice jazz piano skills, then you will not be able to successfully play tennis I mean, that's, I can't even be can even be more honest than that right? If you do not practice the jazz piano skills, then tune study is going to be very difficult. So hopefully you are beginning to see that jazz piano skills are tunes and tunes are jazz piano skills. The only difference one has an has a name like body and soul, and one does not. But if you are beginning to see jazz piano skills as tunes and tunes as jazz piano skill, then you are definitely on the right track. You are on the correct path. Congratulations. I said this in previous podcast episodes as well. And I want to stress it again today that if you hang in there with me this year, as we go through all 12 keys, you are going to experience a ton, a ton of jazz piano growth and you will love where you are musically a year from now I guarantee it. So once again, use the podcast packets, the illustrations the lead sheets to guide you. Right. As you heard me say over and over again to conceptual understanding determines physical development, right So invest time and studying and mapping out the voicings. Use that illustrations podcast packet, there's plenty of worksheets in there, map out those voicings and map out your ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion from various entry points. These are jazz panel skills that are absolutely essential. And as always, I mentioned this every week to as always Be patient. Developing mature professional jazz piano skills takes time. So begin structuring your practicing after the plain demonstrations that I modeled for you today in this podcast episode and you will begin to feel you will begin to see you'll begin to hear your musical progress I guarantee it. Oh wow we have man this has been a fast lesson fast hour. So I hope you have found this podcast lesson exploring body and soul to be insightful and of course, extremely beneficial. Don't forget if you're a jazz piano skills member ensemble member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills masterclass.
Dr. Bob Lawrence 54:38
It's 8 pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode, exploring body and soul in greater detail and to answer of course, any questions that you have about the study of jazz in general. Be sure to use those educational podcast packets, your illustrations lead sheets play alongs for this podcast lesson, and be sure to use the jazz piano skills courses the curriculum to maximize your musical growth. Always I want to invite you to become an active participant in the jazz piano skills community. Get out there, get involved, introduce yourself, contribute to the various forms, make some new jazz piano friends, always, always, always a great thing to do. You can always reach me by phone at 972-380-8050 My extension here at the Dallas School of Music is 211 My email address is Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills.com That's firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can use that nifty little SpeakPipe widget that is laced throughout the jazz piano skills website to send me a message that way. Well, there is my cue. That's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the classic, beautiful standard bodies. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz piano