This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores the popular jazz standard, "Fools Rush In". Discover, learn, and play essential voicings, chord/scale relationships, and a jazz piano solo!
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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 will discover, learn, and play Fools Rush In. In this Jazz Piano Lesson, you will:
The 1940's Jazz standard Fools Rush In
Essential jazz piano voicings and chord/scale relationships for Fools Rush In
A jazz piano solo for Fools Rush In using classic jazz language
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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. Well, here we are. The end of August. It's hard to believe. And we've spent the entire month pounding away at the key of B major. We've explored the key of B major both harmonically and melodically. Our harmonic workout, as it always does explored four different approaches to voicing the chords found in the key of B major plus various rhythmic comping patterns. Our melodic workout, as it always does methodically tackled the scales, modes, arpeggios for each chord in the key of D major plus various linear lines to help develop improvisational vocabulary. Now, those of you who have been faithfully doing the workouts I know firsthand, I'm not telling you anything new here, that the workouts are hard.
And they 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, big time significant. And, and how have we throughout the entire year, how have we tested our skills after each harmonic and melodic workup? Well, you know, there's no better way to test our improvement, and to test our skills than by playing a tune. And that's exactly what we are going to do today. So today, you're going to discover a classic jazz standard from the 1940s back, I believe it was 1940 Fools Russian, you're going to learn the chord changes, harmonic function and musical form of fools rush in. And you're gonna play various voicings and correct chord scale relationships for fools rush in, 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 and intermediate player, bass player even even if you are a seasoned and experienced professional, you're gonna find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson, exploring the jazz standard fools Russian to be very beneficial. But before we rush in, to play in fools rush in, I want to take a moment, as I do at the beginning of every jazz panel skills podcast episode to welcome all of you first time listeners. So if you are indeed new to jazz panel skills, if you are indeed a first time listener to the jazz panel skills podcast, I want to personally invite you to become a jazz piano skills member. Simply visit jazz piano skills.com To learn more about all of the educational resources, materials and services that are available for you to help you improve your jazz piano skills. For example, as a jazz piano skills member, you have access to all of the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets and the play alongs that I develop and I produce and publish for every weekly podcast episode. Now, these are invaluable tools that you want at your fingertips while you're listening to this podcast episode, and certainly you want to have sitting on your piano as you practice, so you have access to all of the podcast packets for every podcast episode. As a jazz panel skills member you also have access to the online sequential jazz piano curriculum. This is a curriculum that is loaded with comprehensive courses, all of them using a self paced format. There are educational talks, interactive media, video demonstrations of the jazz piano skills being taught and all 12 keys There are play alongs and much, much more. You also as a jazz panel skills member have a reserved seat in the online weekly master classes. Essentially these master classes are a one hour online lesson with me every single week. 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. You'll enjoy the lead sheets outlining each tunes chord changes as well as the harmonic function of each tune. You'll learn about the chord scale relationships that are play along files, historical insights, inspiration, inspirational recordings, and so much more. The interactive Fakebook is an ever growing collection of tunes that you should absolutely discover, learn and play. You also as a jazz panel skills member, you have access to the private online jazz piano skills community, which hosts a variety of engaging forums or podcast specific forums, course specific forms. And of course, there are just general jazz piano forms for you to enjoy, for you to engage, interact with other jazz panel skills members. And last but certainly not least, as a jazz panel skills member you have access to unlimited private, personal and professional educational support provided by me whenever and as often as you need it. So once again, when you have a few minutes, visit jazz panel skills.com To learn more about all the educational opportunities that await you and how to activate your membership. Now, once you're there, if you have any questions, please let me know there are several membership plans to choose from. And I'm quite certain there is one that is perfect for you. But nevertheless, let me know if you have any questions. I'm always happy to spend some time with you. Always happy to help you in any way that I can. All right. Well, let's discover learn and play piano let's discover, learn and play. The great jazz standard Fools Ruh In. Okay, as I mentioned earlier, the last
the last few weeks, that's the month of the month of August. It's been pretty intense, right with our key of B major harmonic workout and our key of B major melodic workout. Right? The harmonic melodic workouts are, are hard hard enough. Hard enough when they're in keys that we're familiar with, right like C and F and B flat. But really the key of B that just adds an extra layer of complexity, complexity to deal with. So our harmonic workout melodic workouts for the key of D major, no doubt, pretty intense. Now, our harmonic workout was an extensive exploration of four very specific approaches to playing sound harmonically. In other words, playing chords. And our exploration was not simply about playing the seven chords in the key of B major. It was about how to approach voicing those chords so that you are playing stylistically correct sounds right. In other words, your chord sound like jazz. So we looked at basic block shapes and root position and first, second and third versions. We looked at traditional left hand three note shell voicings, we looked at contemporary choral voicings for our left hand. And then we also looked at our two handed voicings as well. All of them of course, right, all of them need to be in your arsenal. All right now, our melodic workout on the other hand was a thorough investigation of ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion through each of the seven chords in the key of B major. Now our primary focus was to begin developing route what I like to call route independence by shifting the entry points of our scales and arpeggios from the root of the sound, which is typically how everyone plays them to launching from the third, the fifth and the seventh of the sound. Now, if you've never intentionally played scales and arpeggios, varying your entry and destination points, then then these melodic workouts without doubt, are very challenging, but also very rewarding. So the whole point of our key of B major harmonic workout in our key of B major melodic workout, the whole point right is to prep us for applying our skills tunes. So, today, we take those practice approaches that we have explored over the past few weeks in the month of August, and we apply them to fool's Russia. And not only are we going to put our harmonic and melodic jazz piano skills to work within a jazz standard, we will also use our jazz piano skills to construct and play a jazz piano solo over the core changes found within fools Russian, right? Tons of fun. So the educational agenda for today is as follows. Number one, we're going to explore the jazz standard fools rush in the chord changes and harmonic function. Number two, we're going to discover learn and play various voicings for fools Russian, our blocks, traditional shells, contemporary shells in two handed voicings. Number three, we are going to discover learning play the chord scale relationships for fools Russian, 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 fools Russian using 100% diatonic scale and arpeggio motion and focusing on various essential rhythms that we have been exploring throughout the year, and especially the 16th note pairs, which were introduced here in the month of August. And number five, we are going to continue using a very relaxed Basa groove of 85. Right. It's the same groove, same tempo that we have used throughout the entire month, exploring our key of B major melodic and harmonic workouts. So wow, we have a lot to get done today. So if you are a jazz panel skills member, I want you to take just a few minutes right now, hit the pause button here, I want you to download and print your podcast packets, the illustrations and the lead sheets. Again, you want to have these in your hands. As you listen to this podcast lesson. Again, you have access to all of these podcasts packets, and you should be using them right not only when listening to this podcast, but of course when practicing as well. And if you're listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast directories such as Apple or Google, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora and on and on and on, then be sure to go directly to jazz piano skills podcast.com go directly to the Jas panels skills podcast.com website to download the podcast packets and you will find the act of download links within the show notes. Okay, one final but extremely important note that I mentioned every single week that if if you are thinking that fools rush in, and the various skills that we are about to discover, learn and play. If you're thinking that they are somehow over your head, then I would say to you, sit back, relax, and continue to listen. Continue to grow your jazz piano skills intellectually by listening to this podcast episode, right all skills are over our heads when first introduced, which is precisely why our first step to improving our musicianship is listening. Do not shy away ever, ever, ever shy away from conversations, discussing foreign topics or using unfamiliar terms. Right stepping outside of our musical comfort zone. His what spawns our musical growth. Now you have all heard me say say this a million times. All musical growth begins upstairs mentally conceptually, before it can come out downstairs physically in your hands. So I want you to just sit back and listen to this podcast lesson now to discover and learn the play will come in time. It always does. Okay, you should have your podcast packets in front of you your lead sheets packet especially. And just make sure that you have a lovin lead sheets in your packet skill one through skill, lovin we're going to walk through these here today. So I want to make sure that you have all of them in your hands. So we're going to start with skill one. And you'll see there for fools rush. And this is your basic traditional lead sheet chord changes, only right? chord changes only. Now the form of falls rushon is an A, what we call an A, B, a C, format, right? Now, typically, the two most common forms a A, B, A, or A, B, A, B, right? Those are the two most common forms found throughout the Great American Songbook. But here's a great example of one that deviates from that right just slightly. So fools rush in is an A, B, a C format. Now, do not let the rehearsal markings on your lead sheet, the letter A, B, C, and D, do not confuse that with musical form. Those are what we call rehearsal markings, those are just denoting each of the four sections of this lead sheet. Okay. So, you know, the tricky thing here with fools rush in, it's typically I believe the standard key is the key of C. And of course, we're playing it today. And we're studying it today in the key of B major. And of course, what makes it difficult is just the unfamiliarity of the nomenclature, right? For instance, and measure three, we see a D sharp minor seven, or not, typically, we were not used to seeing that, right, we're used to see an E flat minor seven, not a D sharp minor seven, measure four, but we have a G sharp minor seven. Again, we're not, we're not used to seeing that notation, are much more comfortable as pianist as jazz pianist and a flat minor seven. But again, we're doing everything in the key of B major. So all of our Lishi lead sheets here are going to reflect and honor the key of B major and be notated accordingly. Okay. So anyway, skill one, or lead sheet one here is the basic lead sheet. Now, skill two, or lead sheet two, is our harmonic function lead sheet, or what I like to call the DNA of the piece, right. And so you'll see that all these chord symbols have now been converted into Roman numerals. And if you're really serious about learning this song, this is the way to do it, right? Because now you're learning the harmonic motion, the harmonic function of the two. And not only that, you are literally engaging your ears in the learning process. Now imagine that, right? So often, though, it's very common, that students will take in information musically through their eyes, which is I so there's such irony there, right? Because music is an aural art form. We we consume it through the ears, but we want to study it through the eyes. So what I love about harmonic functional lead sheets, is it forces us to Yes, intellectually understand the harmonic movement of the piece, but it engages our ears. So that we start to hear these relationships like measure to measure one and two, a two, five relationship, measure three and four, a three, six relationship measures five and six that fall back to a two, five relationship. If you're only looking at the chord symbols, the ears get shut out. It's when you start understanding harmonic movement based on this Roman numeral nomenclature, that now the ears become actively engaged in the learning process. So all that say to you spend time studying lead sheet to skill to hear and spend time playing fools Russian utilizing this lead sheet. Okay? So, the goal here is that when you're looking at lead sheet one, you're seeing chord symbols, but you're actually thinking Roman numerals, lead sheet two or skill two, you're seeing Roman numerals that you're able to think chord changes. Okay? So, lead sheet one, lead sheet, two, very important. Okay. Now with all that being said, let's turn our attention to skill three or lead sheet three. Now you have fools rush in we have our core changes. We have our block voicings, our block chords, illustrated here, and this I'm using In my block voicings in root position, first, second and third inversion. And again, I mentioned this, every time we look at it, we do a tune study. This is just a recommendation, you can utilize what ever block shape you prefer. root position first, second or third inversion. So feel free to experiment with it. If there's something that just doesn't sound correct to your ears, modify it, change it to a different inversion, a different shape and see if you like that better. This is just a suggestion here. Okay. So I want to bring the ensemble in, I want to play through fool's Russian. Again, very comfy Temple of 85 kind of a Basa groove. I'm going to first time through I'm going to play the chord changes only and I'm just going to play them really as notated here on the lead sheet. Not going to be doing anything fancy with it rhythmically. I'm going to play the chord on the downbeat of one, let it sound, let it ring let you digest it, and then the next chord downbeat of one and so forth, okay? So nothing fancy second time through, I'm going to add the melody. So now you can hear the melodic line in context in relationship to the block voicings Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in and let's enjoy fools rush in here we go.
Beautiful right now I mentioned this every time we do a tune study as well. If this is where you are, in other words, your understanding of voicing are these block chords in root first, second and third inversion. Fantastic, congratulations. Wonderful. You can play a lot of music using these harmonic shapes with the melody placed on top right chords in the left hand melody in the right hand. Again, I when I was learning how to play I went out and I did many, many gigs. Playing these voicings In fact, I still use these voicings This is not like, I don't want you to, I don't want you to think that these are in some way shape or form fundamental structures that are only used as a introduction to voicing because they're not, these are legitimate voicings that should be part of your arsenal and you will use forever for the rest of your life whenever you're playing the piano. But my point being is that if this is all you know, if these are the only voicing structures, you know, you're in great shape. Welcome to the club, your jazz pianist. Enjoy making music for ever. Okay. All right. So now let's take a look at the very next lead sheet. This is a scale for or lead sheet for now we're going to have our traditional shell voicing. So I'm going to do the same format first time through, I'm going to play just these traditional three note shapes, utilizing 379 and 735 structures in my left hand, the second time through, I will play the melody on top of these voicings so you can hear them in relationship to one another. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in and let's enjoy fools rush in once again here we go.
Awesome right now, you know as soon as you go to these three note shapes, a little bit more transparent, right the sound where the root is the root is gone. The root in these voicings are gone. And we're utilizing the third and seventh plus an additional note like the ninth or the fifth added in. Okay. So, again classic voicing structures that should be part of your arsenal. enjoy studying these structures. Jazz musicians have used these for her ever. And they are classic voicing vocabulary. Okay. All right. So now let's turn our attention to the lead sheet Five or skill number five. Now these voicings unlike our traditional voicings or block voicings and our traditional shells, the primary interval here that these shapes are built on is is the interval of a fourth. Right. So it's a much more contemporary sound than our blocks and our traditional voicings. So let's let's take a lesson again. I'm going to play first time through just the voicings, again nothing fancy, playing the voicing shape on the downbeat of one and letting it ring. And then moving on to the next measure. Second time through the piece I will play the melody so you can hear the voicings and the melody together All right, so let's bring the ensemble in and let's take another listen to Fools rush in.
Wow awesome, love those shapes. Now, you know it's interesting I want you to get a little experiment would be to put your block voicings lead sheet next to traditional shells lead sheet next to your contemporary shells lead sheet. And you can just visually see right how these voicings open up from the blocks to the traditional shells to contemporary shells and what I mean by opening up right that you can see that the spreading of the notes and notes being spread out. And as the notes become further spread out, right, the sound is more transparent. It's a lighter sound. So it's kind of neat to just visually see that and then also to listen to each one and then to hear that as well. All right, so now let's take a look at lead sheet six. These are our two handed voicings. And as always, the way I approach playing two handed voicings, I always play five note shapes where I have two in the left, three in the right. Now are there are other other approaches playing two handed voicings. Yes, of course, but this is how I approach plain two handed shapes. Now, again, you're gonna see that these shapes or built primarily using the interval of a fourth. So there's a very open sound. You'll see some poly chord structures in there, especially with the altered dominant sounds. So you'll see some poly chord voicings in there. So I want to bring the ensemble in and again, I'm going to play it through twice. First time I'm going to play just these two handed shapes. The second time I'm going to continue to play these two hand shapes, but I'm going to play the melody as a trumpet, trumpet player on top of these two hand shapes so you can kind of hear that relationship how these chords sound behind an instrumentalist. Okay, so let's bring fools rush in and let's enjoy it again two handed shapes two times through here we go.
Awesome All right so now that concludes our look at voicings in relationship to fools rush in. We've looked at our block voicings, our traditional shells, our contemporary shells, and our two handed voicings. Now, skill 789 and 10 is a melodic exploration using ascending scale motion descending scale motion was skill seven and eight ascending and descending arpeggio motion scaled nine and 10. Okay, now I do not have time to play through those examples today. But take a look at those and if you'll notice they are all utilizing root and tree but you should utilize the exact same approach in these lead sheets to explore ascending and descending scale motion from the third, fifth and seventh entry as well. And then do the same for ascending and descending arpeggios from the third, fifth and seventh entry as well. Okay, so now we want to jump to skill number 11. And this is the solo that I play over fools rush in. Okay, skill 11. So I'm going to play through this three times, I'm going to play the head first, the melody in other words, and then I'm going to play a chorus, take a solo, and then I will play the melody again the third time through. Okay. Now in the solo, you'll see that we have all the rhythms that we have been focusing on, we have eighth note rhythms, we have our most recently our 16th Note pair where we have eighth note with 2/16 notes on either 2/16 notes on the backside of that eighth note or to 16th notes on the front side of that eighth note, we also have dotted quarter eighth rhythms, we have eighth note triplets, we have quarter note triplets, we have eighth notes that enter on the backside of the beat on the end of one or the end of two and so forth. Alright, so you'll see all the rhythms that we've been dealing with that we've been practicing and studying throughout the year, find their way into this solo, in some way, shape, or form. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in and let's enjoy fools rush in three times through melody first, and then solo and then melody again. And by the way, I'll be using a whole lot of different voicings. So some chordal shapes, some blocks, some three note, traditional shells. It all kind of gets mixed in there. Okay, so here we go. Let's enjoy fools Russian
What a great tip. And you know, it's interesting, right? Typically fools rushed in Russian, played as a ballad, but not typically with a boss a groove, right? This is what great. This is what makes the Great American Songbook so wonderful these tunes are always a thrill to enjoy and to experiment with different tempos and different grooves. It's amazing to me, how many different treatments tunes from the Great American Songbook can utilize to just add a like I like to say a fresh coat of paint on on a old standard. So anyway, it never fails. Right? We have unpacked a ton of information in this podcast episode as we do in every podcast episode. And today certainly was no exception as we discover, learn and play. Fools rush in as I tried to do with every tunes study, right I want to model for you how to begin truly learning a tune how to connect the what and how that you are practicing to an actual piece of music. In other words, how to the jazz piano skills you are practicing, translate the plane. And I want you to think about this. If you are unable and I've mentioned this before, if you are able to apply your practice approach to the learning of tunes just like we did today, I would say to you that you need to examine seriously examine the what, why and how of your practicing. Another way of saying this is that if you do not see the jazz piano skills you are practicing in the tunes you are playing, then you have a disconnect between the two which is which is not good. And you've heard me say this many times on many different occasions as well. But harmony and melody are the are the same as indeed they are right. I can say the exact same thing about jazz piano skills and tunes, they are the same as well. Bottom line if you do not practice jazz piano skills, you will not be able to successfully play jazz tunes. And hopefully you're beginning to see that jazz piano skills our tunes and tunes our jazz piano skills. The only difference is one has a fancy name like fools rush in and one does not. Right so if you are beginning to see jazz piano skills as tunes and tunes as jazz piano skills, then you are on the right track you are on the correct path. Congratulations. I said this in previous podcast episodes since the start of the new year since January and I want to stress it again today. If you hang in there with me this year, you will experience a ton of jazz piano growth and you will love where you are musically. By the end of the year. I guarantee it. Once again, I want to encourage everyone to use your podcast packets, your illustrations, your lead sheets, and play alongs right you've you've heard me say this over and over and over again to write conceptual understanding determines your physical development fact I said it earlier in this episode. So the time that you invest in studying and mapping out your voicings, your ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion from various entry points. This kind of grunt work as I like to call it. The time that you spend doing the grunt work is time very well spent the return on your investment simply immeasurable. As always, as always Be patient right developing mature professional jazz piano skills takes time. So begin structuring your practicing after the plane demonstrations that I modeled for you today in this podcast episode, and you will begin to feel and you will begin to see and hear your progress. Well I hope you have found this jazz piano skills podcast lesson deploring fools rushing to be insightful and of course to be very beneficial. And don't forget if you are a jazz piano skills member and ensemble member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills masterclass, it's 8pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode lesson exploring fools rush in in greater detail. And of course to answer any questions that you have about the study of jazz in general. Be sure to use the educational podcast packets, be sure to use the jazz piano skills courses to maximize your musical growth. And also, make sure that you are an active participant in the jazz piano skills community. Get out there, get involved, contribute to various forums and of course, make some new jazz piano friends. Always, always a great thing to do.
You can reach me by phone if you have any questions. My number here at the Dallas School of Music is 972-380-8050 My office extension is 211 You can reach me by email Dr. Lawrence. That's Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills.com. Or you can utilize the nifty little widget found throughout the jazz panel Skills website. It's called SpeakPipe for send me a message as well. There is my cue. That's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the classic jazz standard fools rushing and most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz piano!