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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 willdiscover,learn,playtheDominant #11 Sound. In thisJazz Piano Lessonyou will:
How to construct theDominant #11Sound
TheDominant #11SoundHarmonically and Melodically
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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 don't know about you, but I had a ton of fun last week tune Tuesday, I introduced a new feature for those of you who are listening for the first time I introduced a new feature last Tuesday, last week's podcast episode called tune Tuesday, and I plan on doing a tune Tuesday at least at least once a month. And on tune Tuesday, we discover learn and play a jazz standard. Together, we take the time to discover some interesting and historical facts about the tune, like the composer year influential recordings, influent, influential musicians, and so on. We also learn the tune, we learn its form harmonic function chords, get relationships, right modes, and we play the tune in its sections. And also in its entirety using arpeggio motion scale, motion and improvisation. And last week, we kicked it off for the first time with Duke Ellington's take the a train. It was great. I had fun, I hope, I hope you had fun. When it's all said and done. We're going to discover, learn and play a jazz standard on every tune Tuesday. And again, I plan on doing doing one at least once a month. So maybe even more importantly than learning the tune. Actually, you end up learning in a systematic and methodical way to properly build a jazz repertoire. So stay tuned. so you don't miss tune Tuesday. Okay. All right. So today, today we are going to, we're going to go a complete opposite direction. And instead of focusing on an entire tune, we are going to discover, learn and play a specific sound. So think about this, the proper study of any discipline requires you to establish a macro and a micro exploration balance. So last week was obviously a macro approach, right? We we looked at an entire song from beginning to end. And this week, is all about a micro approach. And to be honest with you, I personally, I personally enjoy micro exploration the most. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the big picture, right, I enjoy taking an entire tune like we did last week, and learning that entire tune from start to finish. But I have to admit I love getting under the hood sort of speak and taking apart the various sounds of music to see how they work. And this is what we're going to do today. This is exactly what we are going to do today, we are going to take apart the dominant sharp 11 sound. Now, as you're listening to this podcast on the dominant, sharp 11 sound if you have any questions, the great news is that you can get help immediately. If you have any questions during this podcast episode, you can send me a speakpipe message a voicemail, and I will respond with an answer right away. If you're listening to this podcast through the jazz piano skills website, look directly below the podcast player. And you'll see the snazzy little widget called speakpipe and click on that the button. It's called start recording the start recording button. That's it, click on that button and speak. That's all there is to it. Your message will come to me in seconds, and I will return your question with an answer. It's awesome. speakpipe allows us to engage with one another and for you to get help quickly. It's a very cool technology and I hope you take advantage of it as you listen to this podcast and I hope you use it often. I'm always happy to help you at anytime. Discover, learn and play play jazz piano. Okay, jazz. Music is made up of sound, I'm trying to say is not just jazz, but all of music is made up of sound. This is what we do as musicians, we produce sound. I know this may be obvious to you, as I say it. But let's be honest. It's not. Most students, most people do not think of music as sound. In fact, most people think of music as simply notes, notes that produce an autonomous sine wave. The thought is this, musicians composers, string together a bunch of autonomous sine waves, notes, and Wallah, we have music. We then take that sequence of autonomous sine waves, notes, and we put them together on paper so people can reproduce them at home. This is music. This is why most people think that learning music is simply learning how to read music, how to read a sequence of autonomous sine waves. Not too exciting when I put it like that. But actually, that is why most people after they start music, to study music, they last for a while. And then they stop, they quit. And that's because music has simply just been a series of autonomous sine waves linked together, very mechanical process, very much a dot and button approach, that that means push this button, and so on. As a jazz musician, I can emphatically say that reading music is simply a musical skill, it is not music. Those autonomous sine waves have a relationship. And it's the relationship that produces a specific sound. And it is that specific sound that you me and anyone who wants to play jazz, must become profoundly aware of and intimately comfortable with. If we hope to become an accomplished musician, we must know and be able to play the sounds of music. And today, we take the time to discover, learn and play the dominant, sharp 11 sound. Before we dig in, I want you to know the educational guides for this jazz panel skills podcast episode devoted to the dominant sharp 11 sound are available for immediate download at jazz piano skills.com. And again, if you're listening to this podcast episode, through the jazz piano skills website, you'll see the download links for each guide to the right of the podcast player very easy. And likewise, you can easily access all the educational guides for all episodes through the jazz panel skills store. So there are three educational guides the illustration guide, the lead sheet guide, and the play along guide for every jazz panel skills podcast episode, which can be downloaded individually or as a bundle, or as a subscription. The illustration guide, for those of you listening for the first time helps you discover the jazz piano skill conceptually, the imagery and the graphics that I put together, I think are fantastic right there. Their imagery, the imagery and graphics I wish I would have had when I was studying this initially starting out. So the dominant sharp 11 sound is outlined for you in these guides visually. And you've heard me say this 1000 times your physical growth and your as a jazz pianist depends 100% of your mastery of of jazz piano skill, the dominant sharp 11 sound mentally it's your conceptual understanding that drives your physical development. So imagery graphics play a huge part in that development. So check out the illustration guide to hope you Thoroughly digest the shapes and sounds of jazz the dominant sharp 11 sound. The lead sheet guides use traditional musical notation to help you learn the dominant sharp 11 sound or the jazz piano skill that is being addressed. And if you're a reader, and you like seeing the concepts placed on the musical staff, then the lead sheets are your ticket, they are perfect for you to have sitting on your piano. As a quick reference when you're getting the various sounds, the various melodic lines or harmonic shapes under your fingers. And there are 12 lead sheets included one for each key not just for the key that I use to demonstrate the skill within the podcast episode. So the lead sheet guides are invaluable. The play along guide our play along tracks, and again for all 12 keys, and they're perfect to help you successfully play the jazz piano skill being taught. So they're going to help you play the dominant sharp 11 sound and the play long tracks. In addition to that help you really develop a strong sense of internal time, proper jazz feel, and articulation. And again, I say this all the time as well that these are essential elements of playing jazz piano that you must experience them in order to properly develop them. And there is no better way to do this than to use quality play long tracks. So three guides the illustration guide, the lead sheet guide and the play along guide. I cannot stress to you enough how beneficial these educational podcast guides are for maximizing your musical growth. Be sure to check them out at jazz piano skills comm if you're not already there, listening to the podcast if you happen to be listening to it through another platform like Spotify or iheart radio or Pandora or Apple podcast, then simply go to jazz piano skills comm go to the homepage, and you'll see the menu bar that runs across the top of the page, click on the podcast link, and it will take you to the podcast page where all the podcast episodes are laid out by year that you can just click on the expandable menu, select the episode that you want, and you will be good to go. You'll have the podcast player there you'll have access to all the educational guides that you can download as well. And of course after you download the educational guides if you have questions or need assistance, you can always do so very easily again, using the speakpipe widget to send me a direct message voicemail and I'll respond right back to you. Or you can post your question in the in the jazz panel skills forum and let the jazz panel skills community help you or attend the Thursday evening jazz panel skills masterclass at 8pm Central Time to get your questions answered face to face. Again, so many ways to get help and to get assistance when you need it. And my entire goal I continue to stress and and express how important it is for me to provide for you the very best jazz piano lessons, jazz piano education, materials, and support available anywhere today. Okay, here we go. Let's discover, learn and play jazz piano. In this podcast episode, you are going to discover the dominant sharp 11 sound. You're going to learn how to construct the dominant 11 sound and you're going to play the dominant sharp 11 sound both harmonically and melodically. So regardless of where you are personally in your jazz journey, whether you're a beginner or intermediate player, an advanced player or even an experienced professional, I guarantee you that you will find this podcast episode this lesson, exploring the dominant sharp 11 sound to be very beneficial. With any sound, any sound, the very first thing we want to do is to get a handle on the sound to discover it. First and foremost harmonically as a court and today I'm going to use the C dominant seven sharp 11 As the model pen, you of course are going to then apply the approach I use today to the remaining 11 dominant, sharp elevens chords. That's kind of interesting, right, the remaining 11 dominant, sharp 11 chords, right. So we're going to start with a two hander, we're going to contrast construct this sound dominant, sharp 11 sound using a classic two handed piano voicing, okay. So in your left hand, I want you to play the third and the seventh of C dominant seven, that's going to be your E and your B flat. And in your right hand, I want you to play a D major triad in root position. So that's going to be D, F sharp, and a. So you put those five notes together, the two notes in your left hand that E and B flat, and the three notes in your right hand D, F sharp, a, we play them together, we get a very nice c dominant seven sharp 11. Now if you want the full effect, you can reach down and play the notes, see down in the bass, hold your sustain pedal down, and then come up and hit those five notes. Wow, big chord, right. So it's a great way to digest that the full impact of that sound, play the C in the bass again. Hold your sustain pedal down and come up and hit those five notes. Just let that sink in. What a sound. Okay, so that's voicing. That's a two handed voicing number one, the second voicing now, I want you to utilize. So we're going to use the seventh and the third in the left hand, we're going to put the seventh the B flat first. And now the third E. And we're gonna play our D major triad, but we're going to play it in third. Get second inversion, right. So it's going to be a, D and F sharp. So play together. Next, and again to get the full impact of the sound. Good and play your see in the bass, hold your sustain, pedal down, come up and hit those five notes. really pretty. So that's the second voicing. So the first voicing again. And the second voicing first voicing. Second voice Wow. Such a great way to kind of I like I use the expression you know to bathe, to bathe in the sound. And you don't have to do anything fancy with this right just play the bass note, come up and play the voicing and just let it ring and listen to that sound. Right? It's a great way to really start digesting the the dominant sharp 11 sound. Now an easy way for you to transfer this information, this knowledge to the remaining 11 dominant chords is just think of it as kind of a poly chord relationship in other one chord, one chord stacked on top of another chord. So notice I played the D major triad on top of my C dominant seven. So always think the major triad a whole step above the dominant chord that you're wanting to produce the sharp 11 sound. So if you were doing this for F dominant, you would place a G major triad on top of your F dominant. If you're doing this for a B flat dominant, you would place a C major triad on top of your B flat dominant and so on. It's a nice, easy and quick way for you to initially get your hands on the dominant sharp 11 sound. Okay, now that we have established the dominant seven sharp 11 sound harmonically as a chord now we want to learn that sound the dominant sharp 11 sound melodically So to do so, we are going to use ascending and descending scale motion. And I want to present to you two approaches to accomplish this. Approach number one is the academic approach the college perspective. And approach number two is the practical approach the street perspective. Okay, approach number one, the academic, or the college perspective. The dominant sharp 11 sound originates from the melodic minor scale, and is often called the Lydian flat seven. So, to make sense of this, we are going to take the G melodic minor scale, we're gonna first let's first construct the G melodic minor scale. So to do that, we're going to start with the G major scale. G, A, B, C, D, E, F sharp, in the turn of major scale into a melodic minor scale, we're just going to simply flat the third of that scale. So that would be the note B, we're going to lower that one half step to B flat. So now we get G, A, B flat, C, D, E, F sharp. There's our G melodic minor scale, going up and coming down the same way we do not change the notes of the scale on descent, when descending, like you may have seen on the internet, Google is a classical perspective. And this is jazz. So we do not change the melodic minor scale. So again, it's going to be g A, B flat, C, D, F sharp, and coming back down the same way. Now if we take that g melodic minor scale, play the exact same notes of that scale, starting on the note C, we get what looks like and sounds like a seat dominant seven, sharp 11. And there you have it. So from the academic perspective, that the college perspective, if you want to construct the dominant sharp 11 sound, you begin with the melodic minor scale, and then you treat that melodic minor scale as Lydian, which is hence it gets its name Lydian flat seven. And you will now have a dominant sharp 11 sound. Sounds very academic. And you know what it's, you know, you can kind of tell I'm tongue in cheek here, but there's a valid there's, it's a valid approach to looking at it when when, in fact, that's what it does, it validates the sound, it's a legitimate sound coming from the melodic minor scale, okay, it's just that I would say to you, you can think that way, when you play. If you try to think that way, when you play, it would be equivalent to strapping sandbags around your ankles, and trying to swim across the Atlantic Ocean, it ain't gonna happen. So I would strongly suggest approach number two, the practical approach, or what I like to call the street perspective. And that is, first of all start with your C major scale. Turn it into a dominant scale by lowering the seventh. Now the B becomes B flat. That totally makes sense, right? Because that's how we change our C major chord to a dominant chord by lowering the seventh. Right c egb, C, E, G, B flat, we'll do the same thing for the for the scale, right C major scale. Now, change the C dominant chord. Change the scale to be dominant. Pretty straightforward, pretty simple. Oh, and you want a sharp 11? Well, let's just raise the fourth or the 11th a half step. There it is. Let me do it cleanly. F sharp. So again, Much easier, right? Just a real practical approach, you start with the dominant scale, right? Raise the fourth a half step or the 11th. And now you have C dominant, sharp 11. No need to be thinking modes, no need to be thinking melodic minor, no need to be thinking about that melodic minor starting on a different different note in order to produce the dominant sharp 11 sound that you desire. Right, that's a lot of hoops to jump through to get there, I would highly recommend approach number two, the practical approach, if need be start with the major scale, turn it into a dominant scale, and then sharp the fourth degree of the scale or the 11th raise at one half step. And now you have your dominant sharp 11 sound. For those of you who are interested, I mentioned this in passing earlier that on Thursday evening, 8pm Central time, I am live online using the zoom platform that I know you're familiar with. This is an online masterclass and open discussion and deeper dive into the dominant sharp 11 sound. So we'll be we'll be looking at all of this in a much more detailed and profound way on Thursday evening. So if you can join us, that would be great. Again, it's Thursday evening. 8pm Central time. And of course, I always leave room within the hour long masterclass for some q&a, as well. So it's a lot of fun. It's, again, a deeper exploration of the jazz panel skill concept for the week that we're exploring that we are on the process to discover, learn and play. And if you can join us, that would be great, you'll meet some new folks and have some fun as well. I always say it is definitely a value added educational opportunity for you that you do not want to miss. The Zoom link is posted on my Twitter and Instagram and Facebook pages. So if you're not already following me, please be sure to do so. Plus I it is posted on the homepage at jazz piano skills.com as well. So I look forward to meeting you Thursday evening. 8pm Central Time on line through zoom. Great fun, I'll see you on Thursday evening. Okay, let's play the dominant seven sharp 11 sound. So the very first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to practice this sound using scale motion. Right. And I'm going to start with the root. And I'm going to go play to the seventh. So literally, I'm just going to go up. And I'm going to have this sound underneath it. Kind of letting it just blend all together here, right? That's the sound. So I'm going to bring in the ensemble. And we are just going to sit on C seven sharp 11. And you're going to hear me just play from the root the seventh and back down, ascending and descending. And you'll hear me use those two handed voicings that we walked through earlier in the episode in this lesson, right? So I'm going to use those harmonic shapes that we outlined. And I'm going to play the scale this sound as a scale from the root to seven. And in doing so I'm going to focus on playing this scale as an improvised line. I'm going to play it as a musical idea and not thinking of it as a scale. I want it to be very musical, right? So let's bring in the ensemble. Let's hear this the C dominant sharp 11 sound in context. Okay, here we go. Let's check it out. Wow, pretty nice, right? A lot of times the sharp 11 sound when first introduced, it's kind of harsh on the ears, right? Like, you know, a lot of students go, I'm not sure. But I'll tell you what, the more you live with this sound, the more, the more it starts to sound just beautiful. So again, I was just trying to play that scale, from the root to the seventh and back down as musical as I possibly can, musically as I possibly can, with a nice jazz feel, and a nice jazz articulation. Don't do anything fancy when you're doing this, right, this is not improvised time this is like really kind of digest this sound harmonically and melodically. Now, we want to continue with our exploration of this sound. But now we're going to shift it a little bit, right, we want a different, we're going to create a different perspective. So now I'm going to play that same sound, but I'm going to now play it from the third to the ninth, right, so I'm going to start on the note E. I'm going to go all the way up to the note D or the nine. And again, if I put the sharp 11 chord underneath it, there's my sound. And I want to play that scale. Wow, same scale, same sound, different perspective. So let's bring the ensemble in. And now let's hear that sound, the sharp 11 sound in that perspective, in a musical context. Again, I just want to play it as musically as I possibly can with a nice jazz feel, and nice jazz articulation. So here we go. Let's check it out. Pretty cool stuff. Pretty neat, right? We want to with any sound with any scale, or any arpeggio for that matter, we're focusing on scale today. But with any sound with any scale, any motion that we're using, we always want to practice it from multiple perspectives, you do not always want to play a scale from the root, right? That's the one dimensional, not good. So we want to always create a different perspective of the sound. And I like doing that by simply moving my entry point of the sound from the root to the third. And now we're going to move it to the fifth and create a nother perspective. So now, my dominant sharp 11 sound starts on the G and it will go all the way up to the sharp 11 sound. Put my voice in underneath it my nice voicing. Now play that scale. Just kind of letting it all blend together. Wow, really cool perspective. So now let's bring the ensemble in. And let's drop this into a musical context. And let's hear how it sounds. And again, I'm not trying to improvise In fact, I'm thinking of this line as an improvisational line even though it's the scale technically But I want to play it with a nice jazz feel nice articulation up and down. So here we go. Let's check it out. Wow, pretty cool. Great stuff, right? So so far we've taken the dominant sharp 11 sound, we've looked at it from the root to the seventh. We've looked at it from the third to the ninth. Now we just looked at it from the fifth to the sharp 11th. All right, we have a couple more perspectives to go. But I want to mention before time gets away that in addition to the educational podcast guides, the illustrations, the lead sheets in the play Long's that are available for you to download, which I strongly suggest that you do. There are the jazz piano skills courses online as well, that I want you to check out when you have a moment. And the courses are a tremendous sequential jazz curriculum that utilize a self paced format for you that are packed with all kinds of educational goodies. Each course has a series of lessons, six lessons, each with detailed instructions, illustrations, educational talks, interactive learning media, traditional guides and worksheets that you can download and utilize high definition video demonstrations of me playing the skills in all 12 keys. There play along tracks and lead sheets and of course educational support. And and yes, mobile access to all the courses and lessons on any of your smart devices, your your desktops, your laptops, your tablets, phones, TVs, watches, so any device that you have that has internet access, you can access the jazz piano skills courses. So when you're at jazz piano skills, calm Yes, of course, check out the educational guides, but the jazz piano skill courses are worth taking a look at as well. If you have any questions, let me know. Okay, so now let's look at the dominant sharp 11 sound starting on the seventh of the sound, right? So we're going to start on B flat. And we're going to travel to the 13th or to the note a game let me put my voice in underneath that. Let me do that again. Nice. Wow, just a different same sound. But Wow, what a different perspective. Right. So now let's bring the ensemble in. And let's sit on this deep c dominant seven sharp 11 and let's explore it from the seventh to the 13th. Okay, again, not trying to improvise, focusing on my articulation, my feel, and really trying to just bathe in the sound and digest the the chord the voicing, as well as the scale motion ascending and descending. So here we go. Let's check this out. Good Stuff indeed, really good stuff. Wow. So important, you're gonna see here in a second why it's so important to get comfortable with a sound from various perspectives, being able to enter that sound from different entry points. And not just from the route, right? You, the reality of it is you never know where you're going to be coming from are going to win, you have to play any sound, right? Any sound not just the dominant sharp, 11 sound, but any sound. So practicing it from multiple perspectives is absolutely essential. Now, the last entry point we're going to use is actually the ninth, I'm going to start on the D of the sound, and I'm going to travel to the root. So we're going to end up right where we started at the root. So we're going so again, let me put the voice underneath. Again. Wow, see, I like to let it just all bleed together. When I'm working that sound out, I just again, I like to bathe in that sound. So nothing wrong with put that sustain pedal down, hit the voicing, play the scale and just let it all merge together. Okay, but now, we're going to actually place it into a musical context. So I'm not going to sit on my pedal right and bring in my bass and my drummer, my guitars. And now I want to play that like a legitimate musical line. So here we go with the dominant seven sharp 11 sound, entry point being the ninth and traveling up to the root. Let's see what this sounds like. Here we go. Nice. So we have just completed a pretty thorough a pretty thorough exploration of the dominant sharp 11 sound, the C dominant seven sharp 11 sound from various entry points from the root from the third from the fifth from the seventh from the ninth, ascending, descending using scale motion. Pretty darn thorough. So last step we want to do is actually place it into harmonic motion, right, so we're going to use the classic 251 progression in the key of F, so we have our G minor, go into our C seven sharp 11 resolving to our F major. So my focus is going to be on the dominant sharp 11 sound, not on the G minor and not on the F major. So I'm not worried about doing anything fancy on the book ends right on the G minor, or on the F major. It's that C dominant seven sharp 11 that I want to focus on. And the way I'm going to do this is when we play the two chord, I'm going to make my focal point on the two chord the root. Then from that root, I'm going to play the C dominant seven sharp 11 scale. Okay. Then it will resolve to the F major. Now the next time around when I come back to the two chord I'm going to focus on the third of the G minor. So I'm going to focus on that B flat and then launch into my scale ascending or descending. That B flat of the G minor, then when I circle back around, I'm going to make the focal point of the G minor, the note D, then I'm going to ascend or descend, using the C dominant seven sharp 11 scale from that note D of the G minor. And then when we circle back around again, for the last time, I'm going to make the focal point of my G minor, the F or the seventh. And then launch into my C dominant seven sharp 11 scale from that F. In other words, what I'm trying to do is what I mentioned earlier, I'm trying to create a scenario where I'm not sure where I'm coming from, or going to at my improvisational line, where am I going to be? When I have to enter into my C seven sharp 11 sound? I don't know. So what I try to do is simulate that as best as I possibly can, by making my focal point of the minor chord before it a various note, like the root or the third, or the fifth or the seventh. I hope that makes sense. If not, send me a message and I'll answer that for you or join the masterclass Thursday evening, we'll talk about this a little bit more in detail. But I think hopefully, you'll hear as I bring the ensemble in. And I actually play this in context, you'll hear what's going on as I move the focal point of my minor entry point. So it forces me to play my dominant seven sharp 11 sound from a different entry point. Okay, so here we go. Let's bring the ensemble in to five, one key of F, using the dominant seven sharp 11 sound. So here we go. Let's check this out. Wow, really, really nice when you start hearing a specific sound, not only in context, right? musical context, but also in the context of harmonic motion like 251. Very powerful, it's a very powerful way to practice and study a specific sound. So, you know, we've covered a lot of ground today, and a lot of ways to think about not just the dominant, sharp, 11 sound, but any sound that we deal with. And we're going to continue to deal with sound in upcoming podcast episodes as well. So anyway, I hope you have found this jazz panel skills podcast lesson exploring the dominance sharp, 11 sound to be incredibly insightful, and of course, beneficial. So don't forget I will see you Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills master class at 8pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode in greater detail and to answer any questions that you may have about this lesson or the study of jazz in general. Also, don't forget, download the educational guides for this podcast lesson at jazz piano skills.com. They are a tremendous resource that will expedite your musical growth and maximize it right. And while you're there, check out the jazz piano skills courses as well and the jazz piano skills forums, join the community, get involved and make some new jazz piano friends. And as always, you can reach me by phone my office number here at the Dallas School of Music is 972-380-8050 my extension is 211 or by email Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills.com or use the speakpipe widget found on the jazz piano skills website. It's also in the educational guides. It's also found in the jazz piano skills courses as well. So that's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the journey and most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and grow play jazz piano
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