March 2, 2021

Diatonic II-V-I Excercises

This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores how to create linear motion over the II-V-I Progression using diatonic shapes.


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 Diatonic II-V-I Exercises. In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:

Discover
Classic Diatonic II-V-I Exercises
Learn
How to construct Diatonic II-V-I Exercises
Play
Eight Diatonic II-V-I Exercises designed for developing 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 studying and practicing Diatonic II-V-I Exercises.

Open Podcast Packets
Illustrations
(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
SpeakPipe

Episode Outline
Introduction
Discover, Learn, Play
Invite to Join JazzPianoSkills
Demonstrations/Exercises
Conclusion
Closing Comments

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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
JazzPianoSkills

AMDG

Transcript

Welcome to jazz piano skills. I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It's time to discover, learn and play jazz piano. Today you are going to discover diatonic to five one exercises. You're going to learn how to construct diatonic to five one exercises. And you're going to play eight diatonic to five one exercises designed for developing jazz vocabulary. So as I always like to say regardless of where you are, in your jazz journey, a beginner and intermediate player or an advanced player or even an experienced professional, you will find this jazz piano skills podcast lesson, exploring diatonic to five one exercises to be very beneficial. If you are a new listener to the jazz piano skills podcast, I want to invite you to become a jazz piano skills member. Visit jazz piano skills.com to learn more about the jazz educational resources and services that are available for you to use. For example, the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets and the play alongs. The sequential jazz piano curriculum with interactive courses that use a self paced format. There are online weekly master classes, and a private jazz piano community and unlimited private, personal and of course professional educational support. Again, visit jazz panel skills comm to learn more about activating your membership. If you have any questions, let me know. I'm always happy to help you in any way that I can. Okay, let's discover, learn and play jazz piano. Today we wrap up our series on diatonic exercises at least for now. We will definitely circle the wagons back around to explore more diatonic exercises in the future you can count on it. But for now we will conclude the initial introduction to intentional diatonic exercises. Two weeks ago I introduced the diatonic harmonic exercises and last week, I presented to you some diatonic melodic exercises. Well today we are going to take it a step further and construct some very useful diatonic to five one exercises. Before we go any further I want to take a moment as I did in the last two podcast episodes, and make sure that everyone understands what the word diatonic implies. The word diatonic simply means that we are going to use only the notes found within the scale within the key. No chromaticism, no notes outside of the scale. So the notes C D, E, F, G, A and B are the diatonic notes for the key of C major, or the C major scale. That's it. That's what the word diatonic is referencing the seven notes of any given major or minor scale. Okay, today I am going to share with you eight diatonic to five one exercises that I used and I continue to use for developing jazz vocabulary to use when improvising. Now these exercises like the diatonic melodic exercise exercises that I introduced last week will help you develop better linear technique better melodic ideas, which honestly, we all should be striving to do. So we have a lot to do today. We have a lot to discover, learn and play. So let's dive in. As I did the last two weeks, I am going to be discussing and playing everything today in the key of C major all exercises. We'll use a for measure 251 progression, the two minor for measure one, the five dominant in measure two and the one major For measures three and four and as I also did the last two weeks with the diatonic, harmonic and diatonic melodic exercises, I'm going to be playing all exercises at a very relaxed tempo of 110. But before I play each exercise, I want to outline for you the formulaic approach, I use to construct the diatonic 251 exercises. I always develop and use a structured roadmap to guide my practicing so that I can easily replicate my plane in all 12 keys. And quite honestly, if I am unable to easily transfer and replicate my plan to other keys, I have a flawed practice approach. And needless to say, a flawed practice approach is not good. A flawed practice approach produces little if any, positive results typically zero musical results. So here is my formulaic approach for constructing and playing the diatonic to five one exercises. Number one, I will be using alternating ascending and descending motion, I will ascend on the to descend on the five and ascend on the one or descend on the to us and on the five and descend on the one. Number two, I will be using arpeggio motion only on each chord consisting of the root, third, fifth and seventh of the chord, which may be played in root position, or any of the inverted shapes. Number three, I will play each arpeggio using eighth notes placed on counts one and two of each measure. Number four, I will rest on counts three and four of each measure to assess and prep, assess what I just played and how well I played it and prepare to play the next chord in the progression. Number five, I will always ascend or descend using the closest chord tone on the ascending or descending side of the last chord tone of the proceeding chord. Now that may sound a little confusing, but it won't be as we go through today's lesson. And if you have downloaded the podcast packets, and have the illustrations and the lead sheets in front of you, you will see what I am talking about As the old saying goes a picture is worth 1000 words. And number six, after playing through the alternating ascending and descending to five one line several times straight with no embellishments. I will begin using the shapes and the direction of the line to begin improvising and when improvising I will use only the notes of the root position or the inverted shape no outside notes no upper lower neighboring tones no chromaticism, just the notes of the core. One final caveat. When you are using the podcast packets along with this episode, take note that I grouped all of the ascending exercises together and all of the descending exercises together in the illustrations and the lead sheets. However, today when I play the exercises, I will alternate between ascending and descending exercises. So on your illustrations and lead sheets, just know that exercise one is followed by exercise five and exercise two is followed by exercise six, three by seven and four by eight. Okay, exercise one a sense through the D minor seventh chord in measure one using the root as the entry point And the seventh as the destination point, all four notes, the root, the third, fifth, and the seventh are played as eighth notes on counts one and two of the measure. Again, I am going to rest on counts three and four, to assess my plane of the D minor seven, the good, the bad and the ugly, and prep for my plane of the G dominant seventh chord. In measure two, I am going to descend through the G dominant seventh starting on the third of the chord, the note b, y b, because the note B is the closest chord tone on the descending side of the note C, the last note of my D minor seventh arpeggio. So I'm going to descend through my G dominant seventh using second inversion, B, G, F, nd. And using eighth notes, again, playing on counts one and two of the measure and resting on counts three and four. To assess and prep. In measure three, I am going to use ascending motion to play the C major seventh arpeggio. I'm going to begin my ascending C major seventh arpeggio on the note E and ye. Because the note E is the closest chord tone, the closest note on the ascending side of the note D, the last note of the G dominant seventh chord. So I'm going to ascend through the C major seven in first inversion, E, G, B, C. Again, playing on counts one and two of the measure and resting on counts three and four. To assess what I just played the good bad and ugly. And not only that, I am going to arrest for the entire fourth measure to assess my plane of the entire 251 melodic line. So what exactly am I assessing? With these two count in four count periods of rest? Well, the same thing I was assessing in last week's podcast episode dealing with diatonic melodic exercises. Do I see the chords the harmony the two the five and the one melodically and do I see the melodic line harmonically? Do I play each for note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? And do I play the entire 251 line musically as if it was being improvised within the context of a song. One last thing to quickly discuss before playing exercise one. The voicings that I am going to be playing in my left hand are the contemporary shell voicings. If you are unfamiliar with these voicings, check out my December 16 2019 podcast episode devoted entirely to the contemporary shell voicings and check out the diatonic harmonica exercises podcast episode from just two weeks ago, February 16th. Both of these episodes along with the podcast packets, the illustrations, lead sheets and play alongs should get you up to speed on contemporary shell voicings rather quickly. Okay, let's get after it. Let's bring in the ensemble and play exercise one and then we can talk about it. Here we go. Let's check it out. Wow, very, very cool. I know I explained it earlier. And I know you heard it in my plane but I just want to state it again that in the last half of each exercise I am improvising using the shapes of the root position or inverted arpeggios. That's it. No scale tones, no outside notes, no chromatic upper lower neighboring tones. So how is it possible? That simple arpeggios involving only the root, third, fifth and seventh of the chord? How is it possible that the root, third, fifth and seventh of the chord sounds so much like jazz? The quick answer because roots, thirds, fifths, and sevens are the primary tools in the arsenal of every professional jazz musician, and are used extensively throughout their solos when improvising. I make this point because so many beginning jazz musicians, including myself when I was getting started, think that the jazz solos they are hearing must be some serious, fancy schmancy stuff. Because they sound so good. In fact, the solos sound so good that there is absolutely no way I can be hearing the roots third, fifth, and seventh. Of course, those notes are way too simple, too bland. To sound bad, good. Well, skewed thinking will always lead you astray. And if you are trying to develop jazz language for improvising void of the roots, third, fifth and seventh, then I am sorry to say you have skewed thinking and you have definitely been led astray. But no fear. This podcast lesson will get you thinking correctly and back on track. All right, let's take a look and listen at the next diatonic to five one exercise. Well, we all know what goes up must come down. So this time, instead of starting the 251 line ascending from the root of the D minor chord, I am going to descend from the root of the D minor chord. So my D minor descending arpeggio will be d C, A n f, all four notes, the root, third, fifth and seventh are played as eighth notes on counts one into of the measure and once again, I am going to rest on counts three and four to assess my plane and prep for my plane to the G dominant seventh chord. So the D minor seven descending arpeggio d c A and F is a D minor inverted shape. first inversion. In measure two, I am going to ascend through the G dominant seventh. Starting on the root of the chord, the note G y g because the note G is the closest core tone on the ascending side of the note f the last note of my descending D minor seven arpeggio. So I am going to ascend through my G dominant seven in root position, G, B, D f, using eighth notes. Again playing on counts one and two of the measure and resting on counts three and four. To assess and prep. In measure three, I am going to use descending motion to play the C major seventh arpeggio. I am going to begin my descending C major arpeggio on the note E, ye. Because the note E is the closest core tone, the closest note on the descending side of the note F, the last note of the G dominant seventh arpeggio. So I'm going to ascend through this a descent through the C major seventh. In second inversion, E, C, B in G. Again, playing on counts one and two of the measure and resting on counts three and four to assess what I just played. So once again, what exactly am I assessing with these two count and four counts periods of rest? Number one, do I see the chords? The harmony? The two the five and the one? Do I see them melodically? And do I see the melodic line harmonically? Number two? Do I play each four note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? And number three, do I play the entire two five lot to five one line musically as if it was being played, being improvised within the context of a song. Okay, let's bring the ensemble back in and play exercise too. And then we can talk about it. Here we go. Let's check it out. I love it. Such a great way to take our hands and ears to new places to introduce them to new shapes and motions for the development of jazz vocabulary. My students hear me say this all the time. Your hands and your ears can never go where they have never been. It's that simple. So one might ask then how do I get my hands and my ears to go? where they've never been? The answer your hands and your ears must be escorted to new horizons. escorting? Yes, escorted by whom or by what? The answer? Are you ready? your intellect? Yes, it is your intellect that opens the door for your hands and ears to experience new improvisational possibilities and that is why that is precisely why I always say conceptual understanding drives your physical development conceptual understanding determines your physical design. For example, it is my conceptual understanding of jazz of music. That allows me to create formulaic ways to practice the development of improvisational skills, which is exactly what we are doing today in this lesson. So let's continue with our formulaic ways. And take a look at exercise three. Now the approach of launching from the root of the two chord, the D minor using ascending and descending motion can be applied to the third as well. And that is exactly what we are going to do. The third of D minor is of course, the note F. And once again, we will begin with us and the motion f A, C, D, which is a first inversion, D minor shape. The G dominant shape will descend from the note B, because a note B is the closest core tone on the descending side of the note D, which was the last note of our D minor arpeggio. Hopefully this approach is starting to make sense now. So the descending g down in arpeggio, b g, f, d, is a second inversion shape, I will ascend through the C major arpeggio launching from the note E, Eg bc because the note E is the closest chord tone C major chord tone on the ascending side of the note D, which was the last note of our G dominant arpeggio. And once again I will be assessing throughout the entire exercise. Do I see the chords the harmony melodically? And do I see the melodic lines that I'm playing harmonically? Do I play each four note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? And do I play the entire 251 line musically as if I were improvising it within the context of a song? Okay. Let's listen to exercise three and see what we think Here we go. Let's check it out. Very, very nice. I want to point out that once I begin to improvise, after Of course playing through the 251 lines several times to solidify the shapes and motion of the line. I continue to hear once I begin to improvise I continue to adhere to the shapes and motion of the lines. I do this because the parameters will spawn my creativity in other words by having a set of rules if you will, that I have to follow. I am forced to be creative within my boundaries. Listen very, very carefully. I am going to give you a huge jazz tip. Are you ready? Are you listening Here we go. It is the limiting and not the abundance of options that challenges us to be creative. It is through the administering of self imposed restrictions that are improvisational skills develop. Let that sink in. I had a teacher who used to say, if you can't improvise with two notes, adding a third note won't solve the problem. He was absolutely 100% correct. If you can improvise with two, adding the third won't solve the problem. So remember, it is through the administrative self imposed restrictions, maybe just two notes that are improvisational skills develop. And again, let let that sink in. Okay, on to exercise four. We just launched from the third of the two chord using ascending motion, which means that we are now going to launch from the third using descending motion. The third of D minor is of course, the note F and our descending motion will create a second inversion shape. So we start on F, F, D, C, A, the G dominant shape will now ascend from the note B, because the note B is the closest g dominant chord tone on the ascending side of the note a, which was the last note of our D minor arpeggio, the ascending g dominant arpeggio, B, D, F, G, is a first inversion shape. I will then descend through the C major arpeggio launching from the node EECB G, because the note E is the closest C major chord tone on the descending side of the note G which was the last note of our G dominant arpeggio. This creates a second inversion shape. And once again, I will be assessing throughout the exercise number one do I see the chords? harmony melodically and do I see the melodic line harmonically? Number two? Do I play each four note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? Number three, do I play the entire 251 line musically as if I were improvising within the context of a song? Okay, let's bring the ensemble in. Let's listen to exercise four and see what we think. Here we go check it out. Pretty cool, right? Here's another huge tip. If you do not have the podcast packets in front of you, as you are listening to this lesson, then make sure you download and print them. As soon as you can. The illustrations provide you tremendous worksheets for all 12 keys that will help you think, right your conceptual understanding will help you think through all of these arpeggio entry points, inverted shapes and alternating ascending and descending motion. The lead sheets have all the diatonic 251 exercises that I'm playing today, written out using traditional music notation, and again, in all 12 keys. And of course, I strongly suggest practicing with the play alongs. So you can not only get used to hearing these 251 lines in a musical context, you can develop your sense of time and feel as well. invaluable tools and deeds so make sure you are using them. Okay, on to exercise five. So far, we have developed 251 lines launching from the root and the third of the minor two chord, the D minor using ascending and descending motion. Now it's time to turn our attention to the fifth. The fifth of D minor is the note a and our ascending motion will create a second inversion shape a C, D and F. The G dominant shape will now descend from the note D because the note D is the closest g dominant chord tone on the descending side of the note F which was the last note of our D minor arpeggio. The descending g dominant arpeggio de BGF is a third inversion shape. I will then ascend through the C major arpeggio launching from the note G, G, B, C, E because the note G is the closest C major chord tone on the ascending side of the note F which was the last note of our G down at arpeggio and this creates a second inversion shape. And as always, I will be assessing throughout the entire exercise. Do I see the chords the harmony melodically and do I see the melodic line harmonically? Do I play each for note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? And do I play the entire two five line to five one line musically as if I weren't improvising it within the context of a song. Okay, time to check out. Exercise five. Let's see what we think. Here we go. Love it. Love it. Love it. Well, what goes up as you hear me say all the time, what goes up must come down. So now let's start our 251 line with a descending arpeggio launching from the fifth of the two chord of the D minor. The fifth of D minor is the note a. And so our descending motion will create a third inversion shape a, f, d, c, the G dominant shape will now ascend from the note D because the note D, you can probably say this with me by now is the closest g dominant chord tone on the ascending side of the note C, which was the last note of our D minor arpeggio, the ascending g dominant arpeggio, D, F, G, B, is a second inversion shape. I will then descend through the C major arpeggio, launching from the note G, G, C, B, because the note G is the closest C major chord tone on the descending side of the note B, which was the last note of our G dominant arpeggio. This creates a third inversion shape. And as I have done when playing every exercise, I will be asking myself the following questions saying along with me. Number one, do I see the chords the harmony melodically? Do I see the melodic line harmonically? Number two do I play each four note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? And number three, do I play the entire 251 line musically as if I were improvising it within the context of a song. Okay, let's listen to exercise six and see what we think. Here we go check it out. As my dad used to say, Not too shabby, and I would have to agree. So we now have played the diatonic 251 exercises using alternating ascending and descending arpeggio motion, launching from the root, third and fifth. Now it's on to the seven. I'm going to start the 251 line with an ascending arpeggio launching from the seventh of the two chord. The D minor. The seventh of D minor is the note C and our ascending motion. We'll create a third inversions shape. See the F and a the G dominant shape one now. ascent, no decent. The Gita it's hard to hate. It's hard to keep track all this. So the G dominant shape one now D sent from the note G because the note G is the closest g Dom Unit seven chord shape chord tone on the decent inside of the note a, which is the last note of our D minor arpeggio, the descending g dominant arpeggio g, f, b, I am just botching it here, man, g, f, d, and v is a first inversion shape. I will then ascend through the C major arpeggio launching from the note C, C egb. Because the notes C is the closest C major chord tones on the ascending side of the note B, which was the last note of our G dominant arpeggio. And this of course, creates a root position shape. And you got it. You know, I'm going to be assessing I'm going to be assessing what number one do I see the chords? The harmony, the 251 melodically and do I see the melodic line harmonically? Number two? Do I play each four note phrase? eighth note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? And do I play the entire 251 line musically as if it were being improvised within the context of a song. So okay, let's listen to exercise six, and see know if I need a break, let's listen to exercise seven, and see what we think. Here we go. Let's check it out. so incredibly cool. I love practicing like this, and discovering new jazz language for using while improvising. It's like going on the HIPAA scavenger hunt ever, period. It's way too much fun. So you have to be very careful, you'll find yourself sitting at the piano for hours searching, exploring and discovering new melodic treasures. Now it's an important for me to point out that today I am using arpeggio motion only. I could use scale motion only. I could use combinations of arpeggio and scale motion. I could have used ascending ascending descending motion over the 251 or descending descending ascending motion or descending ascending ascending motion and so on. You get the point. You see so many ways to be creative with in our set limitations. Our parameters are self imposed guidelines. Okay, so now let's take a look and listen to the final exercise for today. I will be descending from the seventh of the two chord, D minor the notes C and my descending motion will create a root root position shape The A f d, the G dominant line will now ascend from the note f because the note F is the closest g dominant chord tone on the ascending side of the note D, which was the last note of our D minor arpeggio. The ascending g dominant arpeggio, F, G, B, and D, is a third inversion shape. I will then descend through the C major arpeggio, launching from the notes C, cb, G, E, because the note C is the closest C major chord tone on the D sending side of the note D, which was the last note of our G dominant arpeggio. And this creates a first inversion shape. And of course, you know, I'm going to be playing the exercise and doing the following assessment. Number one, do I see the chords the harmony melodically? And do I see the melodic line harmonically? Number two, do I play each for note phrase? eighth note phrase with a proper jazz articulation and feel? And do I play the entire 251 line musically as if it were being improvised within the context of a song? Okay, let's listen to exercise eight and see what we think Here we go. Check it out. Wow. We certainly covered a ton of ground today. And what a nice conclusion to the diatonic series that we started two weeks ago with the diatonic harmonic exercises, which served as a nice segue into last week's episode exploring diatonic melodic exercises, which was the perfect setup for today's episode outlining eight diatonic to five one exercises perfect for developing jazz vocabulary to use for improvising. Definitely a packed lesson today, as they all as they all are. I cannot stress enough however, the importance to practice these diatonic 251 exercises regularly, especially if you are serious about developing jazz improvisational skills. Well, I hope you have found this jazz piano skills podcast lesson, exploring diatonic to five one exercises to be insightful and of course beneficial. Don't forget if you are a jazz piano skills member, I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills masterclass. 8pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode lesson, exploring the diatonic 251 exercises in greater detail, and of course 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 for this podcast lesson, and the jazz piano skills courses to maximize your musical growth. Likewise, make sure you are an active participant in the jazz piano skills community. Get involved, contribute to the various forums and most importantly, make some new jazz piano friends. As always, you can reach me by phone 972-380-8050 extension 211 by email Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills.com or by speakpipe found throughout the jazz piano skills website. Well, that's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the diatonic to five one exercises, enjoy the journey. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz piano