This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores how to develop II-V-I improvisational ideas using Neighboring Tones (Enclosures).
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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, play II-V-I Enclosures. In this Jazz Piano Lesson, you will:
How to construct II-V-I Melodic Lines using Ascending /Descending Arpeggio/Scale Motion
Various improvisational Ideas using Enclosures to decorate II-V-I Arpeggio and Scale Motion
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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. Today, you are going to discover 251 enclosures, you're going to learn how to construct 251 melodic lines using ascending and descending arpeggio and scale motion. And you are going to play various 251 improvisational ideas using enclosures to decorate to five one arpeggio and scale motion. So as I always like to say, regardless of where you are in your jazz journey, a beginner an intermediate player, an advanced player or even if you are an experienced professional, you will find this jazz piano skills podcast lesson exploring 251 enclosures to be very beneficial. If you are new to jazz piano skills if you are a new listener to the jazz piano skills podcast, I want to personally invite you to become a jazz piano skills member. Visit jazz piano skills.com to learn more about the abundance and I mean abundance of jazz educational resources and services that are available for you to use. For example, as a jazz piano skills member you will have access to all of the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets, the play alongs that are available for every podcast episode every every one. As a jazz piano skills member you also have access to the sequential jazz piano curriculum, which is loaded with comprehensive courses using a self paced format, educational talks, interactive media, video demonstrations and play alongs. A tremendous resource to help you develop as a jazz pianist. You will also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the online weekly masterclasses, which are in essence a one hour online lesson with me every week. You will also have access to the private jazz piano community, hosting a variety of engaging forums, podcast specific forums and course specific forums. And last but certainly not least, unlimited. Yes, unlimited, private, personal and professional educational support. Again, visit jazz piano skills comm to learn more about all of the educational opportunities, and how to easily activate your membership. If you have any questions, any questions at all, please, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I'm always happy to answer any questions that you may have and to help you in any way that I can. Okay, let's discover learn and play jazz piano. Let's discover, learn and play to five one enclosures. The last three weeks, we have explored inverted melodic shapes for the major dominant and minor sounds. The the focus of each of the last three podcast episodes was to illuminate the oneness, the sameness of harmony and melody. The goal to see harmony and melody as one. And quite honestly, if we are unable to see harmony as a roadmap, a blueprint to melodic invention, then any aspirations we have been able to creatively express ourselves improvisationally they're in vain. This makes sense since harmony produces a musical sound, major dominant minor half diminished, diminished. It produces that sound vertically and melody expresses the same musical sound horizontally. linearly, can a harmonic representation of a musical sound exist without a melodic representation of the same sound? Let me ask that question again. Can a harmonic representation of a musical sound exist? Without a melodic representation? of the same sound? The answer? Yes, of course, Harmony can exist. Without melody, I could sit here and play all kinds of right? No melody. So now, the opposite question can be asked, Can a melodic representation of a musical sound exist? Without a harmonic representation of the same sound? The answer? No. And why? Because harmony is the very essence of melody. I think I think I'm saying that correctly, right? harmony is the very essence of melody. In other words, we can with great accuracy, look at a melodic idea and pinpoint the harmony from which the melody flows. A simplistic way of stating this reality is, Melody must always concur with harmony. When I was a young boy trying to figure out how to play jazz, how to improvise. Old jazz, there's always used to say to me, Bob, if you want to get good at creating melodies, improvising, then study harmony. Of course, at that time, I had no earthly idea what they were trying to tell me. In fact, I thought they were nuts. Because I saw harmony and melody as being two very distinct things. Now, of course, because wisdom typically comes with age and experience, and I certainly have age and experience. But because of wisdom typically comes with age and experience. I know exactly what they were trying to say to me. They were saying to me what I have been trying to drive home for you. In the last three podcast episodes, that melody flows from harmony, they are one in the same one in a solid form, harmony, and one in a liquid form, Melody. So after making a nexus between harmony and melody, we took four harmonic shapes, root position, first inversion, second inversion, third inversion of each major, dominant and minor sound and turn them into melody, using ascending and descending arpeggio and scale motion. We established a very methodical and formulaic way of producing melody, from harmony. And I want to stress again, why this is so important. why having a methodical and formulaic way of producing melodic ideas is crucial to your development. Because having a methodical and formulaic way of practicing any jazz piano skill, makes it possible to replicate it. From chord to chord. And from key to key. No methodical, systematic formulaic way to practice means that you have elected to use a random approach when practicing. And unfortunately, you can't replicate randomness. And not only that, it is impossible for randomness to produce conceptual, aural and physical memory. And no conceptual, oral and physical memory means no improvisation. Additionally, throughout the past three weeks, I stress The importance of two musical facts. Fact number one, there are only two types of melodic motion in music, arpeggio and scale motion. Fact number two, there are only two directions. melodic motion can travel, ascending and decent. So in other words, we create melodies we, we improvise, using arpeggios and scales that go up and down. That's it. I wish I could make it more complicated than that because it would really be much more impressive. But I can't. These are musical facts that every musician must adhere to when playing because that is all we have ascending and descending arpeggio and scale motion. But, but even with all of that being said, we found out there are ways we can decorate or camouflage the arpeggios and scales so that they do not sound like arpeggios and scales. The approach we have been studying the last three weeks is enclosures. And what exactly are enclosures? enclosed enclosures. approach a selected target note, a root third fifth the seventh using a lower neighboring tone, one half step below the target note followed by an upper neighboring tone, the closest diatonic note above the target note. And typically, we come out of those enclosures with arpeggio or scale motion. Now enclosures as I have stressed in the previous podcast episodes, do not always have to follow this rule of thumb. In fact, I would encourage you to always trust your ears and make musical decisions based on sound and not on theory. And again, I remember my teacher always used to constantly remind me that if it sounds good, it is good. And if it sounds bad, it is bad. In other words, trust your ears. Regardless as to whether or not something is theoretically correct or theoretically incorrect. always trust your ears and make decisions, musical decisions based upon what you are hearing. So today we are going to retain our methodical and formulaic approach to practicing creativity to practicing melodic improvisation as we pull the last three weeks of study together, and place it all within the context of the most iconic jazz progression of all the 251 progression. Now, here is the format for today. Number one, I will be playing all demonstrations today in the key of B flat major. Number two all demonstrations will use a for measure format, the two chord C minor and measure one, the five chord f dominant and measure two and the one chord B flat major seven in measures three and four. Number three, the tempo for today for all demonstrations is 120 number for the groove for today is going to be a traditional jazz swing. Number five, I'm going to present four sets of 251 melodic lines using ascending and descending arpeggio and scale motion. Number six, each set consists of two demonstrations and the first demonstration I will play my original musical line that was methodically and formulaically constructed using ascending and descending arpeggio and scale motion. In the second demonstration, I will strategically place enclosures around various target notes within the arpeggio and scale. This compare and contrast approach will help illuminate how the addition To know how the addition of enclosures decorate in camouflage, arpeggios and scales so that they do not sound like arpeggios and scales, which by the way, has been the entire point of the last three jazz piano skills podcast episodes. And number seven, I will play the 251 musical line in each demonstration in two different octaves, so you can simply hear how the ideas sound when played in different geographical regions on the piano. This is not only going to be a tremendous way for us to wrap up our four week series on the importance of converting this shapes of harmonic inversions into melodic ideas. With the addition of enclosures, it will also be a ton of fun. So let's do this. Oh, but before we do all jazz panel skills, Members, please, please take the time to download and print the podcast packets for this episode. As I always like to say a picture's worth 1000 words, and you're definitely going to want to have these documents under your eyes. The lead sheets lay out the melodic ideas I'm about to play lays those ideas out for you in all 12 keys. You can practice the various keys throughout the week. But for now, just grabbed the key of B flat lead sheet the fall follow along with and the illustrations outline those illustrations outlined for you again in all 12 keys, the 251 progression, the scales, the arpeggios and the enclosures for the root, third, fifth and seventh of each core tone of the two chord, five chord and the one chord. I'm just saying very invaluable educational tools to use when studying and practicing and when listening. So take a second right now in print, download and print those podcast packets. Okay, so let's check out the first demonstration. Them demonstration number one key A B flat major, it's going to be the 251 progression C minor to F dominant to B flat major. I'm going to start with an ascending C minor seven arpeggio watching from the root watching from the note C up the B flat just like that. I'm going to descend on the F dominant using scale motion in second inversion. In other words starting on the node A and descending down to the note C then I'm going to ascend on the B flat major using arpeggio motion in first inversion. In other words, starting on the note D and ascending up to the note B flat. So when I put all that together, C minor ascending arpeggio coming down scale on the F damage seven. back up to the through the B flat major with an arpeggio. Right, again. That's it. Classic eighth note feel. I want to repeat, repeat and repeat this pattern. Right I'm gonna stay focused on my zone in no doodling. It's a musical exercise exercise designed, composed to help develop conceptual, oral and physical memory needed for improvising. Remember, random thoughts won't get the job done. So I'm focusing on scene, the harmony and melody is one. I want to see my melodic line as outlining. The chord changes. The two chord C minor seven, the five chord f dominant seven and the one chord B flat major seven. So let's bring the ensemble in and let's check this out. Here we go. Very nice, right? You know, the reality is reality is that, that that's a nice musical line that's a nice musical font just in and of itself without applying any kind of decoration, or camouflage, right? But that's exactly what we're gonna do right now. So demonstration number two, again, key, a B flat major, everything I just played, I'm gonna play exactly everything that I just played, but now with the addition of enclosures. So on the C minor seven, I'm going to place an enclosure around the root, okay, so it's gonna go B to D to C, then arpeggio motion up to the B flat. Let me play that again. Just like that. Now, on the F dominance seven on the scale, motion, descending scale motion, I'm gonna place an enclosure, around the seventh around the E flat. So I'm gonna come down and it's gonna sound like this is my enclosure, right? Nice. And now on the B flat major, I'm going to add an enclosure around the fifth as I ascend using arpeggio motion. So my E, G, E, G is my enclosure around the note F. So I put that entire line together now it sounds like this. So, again, classic eighth note feel. I'm going to repeat, repeat, repeat, I'm going to focus I'm going to zone in no doodling. Again, it's a musical exercise designed, composed to help develop conceptual, oral and physical memory needed for improvising. And again, remember, random random thoughts won't get the job done. So I want to focus on C in harmony and melody is one I want to see my melodic line is outlining the chord changes. The two chord C minor seven, the five chord f dominant seven in the one chord B flat major seven. I want to see my melodic line outlining those chords, even with the enclosures added. In other words, I want to be able to see through the enclosures which are musical decorations, simply a way to camouflage the arpeggio and the scale. So let's bring the ensemble in. And let's check this out and see what we think. Here we go. What I tell you right decoration camouflage that line, no Longer sounds like that whole musical thought no longer sounds like I'm simply going up in arpeggio coming down and scale going up in arpeggio. Right? very musical very jazz, like authentic jazz language. Okay, so now let's move on to demo three, demonstration number three, again, key, a B flat major, again, 251 progression, C minor, seven, f dominant, the B flat major, my C minor seven is going to use ascending arpeggio motion again, right? So this time though, however, I am going to start on the third, my entry point will be the third the C minor. And I'm going to ascend using first inversion from the E flat, up to that C. Okay, I'm going to descend, the F dominant seven using scale motion again, starting on the note C, down to the note E flat, or F dominant in third inversion. And then ascend through the B flat major seven again, using arpeggio motion in second inversion, in other words, starting on the note F, and arpeggiating, up to the note D. Just like that. So when I put it all together, now my lines gonna sound like this. Nice, right? And just as I did before, I'm going to repeat the exercise the melodic line several times, right? Several times I'm gonna zone in here. It's a musical exercise that is designed that is composed to help develop what conceptual oral and physical memory that is needed for what? improvising and again, random thoughts won't get the job done. We need a formulaic a methodical and formulaic approach, which we are doing. Now. Focus on seeing the harmony and melody is one I want to see my melodic line. As outlining literally outlining the chord changes, the two chord C minor seven, the five chord f dominant seven, and the one chord B flat major seven. So let's bring down Summerlin. Let's check it out. Here we go. Again, not too shabby, right? You can, you could play that idea, while improvising. And it's gonna sound just fine. No decoration, no camouflage needed. However, let's see what that does. Let's see what happens when we decorate and we camouflage this melodic line. So next demonstration, I'm going to play again, everything in B flat, everything I just played. When I play it, the same melodic line again, but with the addition of enclosures. So on my C minor seven, I am going to place an enclosure now around the fifth. So I'm going to have an F sharp on my lower neighboring town and a is my upper neighboring town before I land on the note G so I am ascending through my C minor using arpeggio motion with an enclosure around the fifth and it's going to sound like this. Nice again and I'm going to come down my f dominant seven using scale motion. Again, in third inversion starting on the notes, see, I'm going to place an enclosure around the second or the night. And it's gonna sound like this. Again, very nice. And I want to follow that with us sending arpeggio motion on the B flat major, with an enclosure around the fifth and a closure around the note F. So my lower neighboring tone is he upper neighboring tone g followed by the target note. So the arpeggio sounds like this. Wow. So I put that whole entire line together with the enclosures added it now sounds like this. Wow, let's bring the ensemble in. And let's check this out. But before we do, right, I'm gonna repeat it what several times and why? Why repeating several times, because we want to develop conceptual, oral and physical memory needed for improvising. Again, random thoughts won't get the job done. I want to focus on singing harmony and melody is one. I want to see my melodic line is outlining the chord changes. I want to be able to see through the enclosures and be able to see the decorations, decoration, and the arpeggio on the scale as the arpeggio and scale. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's check it out and see what we think. Here we go. Wow, really nice, right? Just want to make a point. I'm using the same formulaic approach on all the demonstrations. today. I'm using arpeggio motion on the two chord ascending arpeggio motion to chord, descending scale motion on the five chord, ascending arpeggio motion on the one chord. course we can mix and match that right we can go descending, ascending, descending, we can go ascending, ascending, descending, descending, descending, ascending, right, you get the point, I can mix and match it however I want. However, today to keep things really the continuity from demonstration, a demonstration, I'm using the same formulaic approach, ascending arpeggio motion on the two descending scale motion on the five ascending arpeggio motion on the one. And if you've noticed already, my entry point for the melodic line started with the root of C minor for demonstrations one and two, and then demonstration three and four, I moved the entry point to the third. So guess what we're going to do now we're going to shift our entry point to the fifth of C minor. So again, we're in the key of B flat major 251 progression C minor seven to F dominant seven to B flat major seven, or C minor seven, it's going to use ascending arpeggio motion launching from the fifth from the G. Right, so it's second inversion. And then we're going to follow that with the sending scale motion on the F dominant seven, from the E flat down to the F or root position. Followed by ascending B flat major arpeggio from the A up to the F or third inversion. So if I put the entire line together, it's going to sound like this. Nice. So I'm going to repeat this melodic line over and over again, stay in focus zoning in. Again, musical exercise that has been designed that I have composed to help me develop conceptual, oral and physical memory needed for improvising. And again, random thoughts won't get the job done. I'm repeating all this information every time. Because as an educator, it's so important. I keep repeating it, so it sinks in. Now, focus on seeing the harmony as and melody as one, I want to see my melodic line outlining the chord changes, I want to see the two chord in my melodic line, I want to see the five chord in my melodic line, I want to see the one chord in my melodic line. So let's bring the ensemble and let's check it out and see what we think. Pretty cool. Pretty cool, right? You can start to really see how practicing in this way will help you develop jazz vocabulary needed for improvising. So now we're going to add our decoration, we're going to add our enclosures to this melodic line. So I'm now going to place an enclosure around the root of my C minor. So we'll have a B natural followed by a D, and landing on a C. So the arpeggio now is going to sound like this. Right? Still, it's an arpeggio and second version, but has that enclosure inside there. Followed by descending scale motion on the F dominant seven, again, with an enclosure placed around the root. Okay, so it's gonna sound like this. There was my e natural on my my G, lining on my F, again, the entire scale. To come out of that with a B flat major arpeggio starting on the note a right third inversion with an enclosure around the third, which is the D. So I have a C sharp and E flat, then my de. So that arpeggio now sounds like this again. So if I put the entire line together with the enclosures added, now my melodic idea sounds like this. Really nice. So let's bring the ensemble back in. And now let's check out the impact that are decorations that are camouflage that our enclosures have on our original melodic idea. So here we go. Let's check it out. Very nice. So here we are, we're at our last set of two demonstrations, right demonstration seven and demonstration eight. So, with demonstration seven, we now shift our entry point to the seventh of C minor. Again, we're in the key of B flat major, playing our 251 progression C minor seven to F dominant seven to B flat major seven. So we begin with our entry point being the seventh, the B flat, which is third inversion, and we arpeggiate up to the G. Next, we're going to descend on the F dominant seven using scale motion starting on the route down to the note the route F and down to the note a the third which is first inversion. And then descend through our B flat major using ascending arpeggio motion in root position, starting on B flat up to the note eight. So our entire melodic line sounds like this. Nice. So let's bring the ensemble in once again. And let's listen to how this melodic line sounds over 251. Again, classic jazz eighth note feel I'm going to repeat it several times, zoning in and, and focusing on developing conceptual, oral and physical memory that is needed for improvising, not going to allow random thoughts to be my method of practicing I'm going to utilize this methodical and formulaic approach. I'm going to focus on seeing harmony and melody as one, I want to see the melodic line that I am playing as literally outlining the chord changes. I want to see my melodic line as the two chords C minor seven. And then I want to see my melodic line is the five chord f dominant seven and see my melodic line the one chord as B flat major seven. So let's bring the ensemble in and let's listen to this melodic idea. Here we go. Once again, with any of the original melodic ideas today I've done presented for them, any of them without any of the decorations without any of the enclosures added. Fantastic, right? You can play those lines when improvising and they're going to sound wonderful. So now let's add our enclosures to this last melodic idea and see what happens. So I'm going to add any closure around the fifth of my C minor, so around the note G. So my enclosure is going to be an F sharp and a around the note G. So my arpeggio now sounds like this. That's nice, isn't that again. Now I'm going to add enclosures, yes, more than one on my descending scale motion for my f dominant. So I'm going to add an enclosure around the road. And I'm going to add an enclosure around the fifth. So when I play that scale, motion descending, right in first inversion from the AF down to the A, with my enclosures around the root, and the fifth, that scale now sounds like this. Wow. Again, and then I'm going to ascend and actually didn't go down all the way to the A, right, I just went down to the sea there. Because now I'm going to flip place and enclosure, I'm going to play the A, but in relationship to B flat, I'm going to place an enclosure around my B flat, A, C and B flat, and then ascend my root position arpeggio for B flat major. So I get very nice. Now the entire line with the enclosures added. Sounds like this. Wow, sounds nothing like just simple arpeggio and scale motion. I guarantee it. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's place this into a musical context. And let's see what we think. Let's see what this sounds like. Here we go. Once again, what can I say? between the last three podcast episodes, the last three podcast lessons, along with this episode, the conclusion of the series that brings all of our inverted melodic shapes with enclosures together, and places them within the musical context of the iconic 251 progression. To help us begin developing jazz vocabulary for improvising is simply to say the very least astonishing. This is not an overstatement. Once you begin to conceptually, orally and physically recognize that a methodical and formulaic approach is needed to begin developing musical creativity to begin improvising and that the methodical and formulaic approach must utilize the only two types of melodic motion that exists in music, arpeggio and scale motion, and that the arpeggio and scale motion can only travel one of two directions, ascending and descending. And your daily practicing is governed by and reflects this understanding. Then you are on your way to becoming an accomplished jazz musician. Congratulations. Use what I have taught you over the past four weeks to begin developing your own melodic ideas using ascending and descending arpeggio and scale motion with enclosures. Your musical growth will explode. Well, I hope you have found this jazz piano skills podcasts lesson exploring 251 enclosures 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 251 enclosures in greater detail and to answer any questions that you may have about the study of jazz in general. And again, as a jazz panel skills member, be sure to use the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets to play alongs for this podcast lesson and for every podcast episode. Also, be sure to use the jazz panel 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 always a great thing to do. And as always, you can reach me by phone at 972-380-8050 extension 211 by email Dr. Lawrence Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills calm or by speakpipe found throughout the entire jazz piano skills website. Well, there's my cue. That's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the 251 enclosures, enjoy the journey. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz piano
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