This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores the Frank Loesser jazz standard, "I've Never Been In Love Before" from Guys and Dolls. Discover, learn, and play essential voicings, chord/scale relationships, and a 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, play a jazz standard, "I've Never Been In Love Before". In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:
Jazz standard by Frank Loesser, I've Never Been In Love Before from Guys and Dolls
Essential jazz piano voicings and chord/scale relationships for I've Never Been In Love Before
A jazz piano solo for I've Never Been In Love Before 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, we just completed another harmonic and melodic workout. We're doing a set of these workouts every month throughout 2022. And every month we focus on one of the 12 major keys of music. The past two weeks, we zeroed in on the key of B flat major. The idea of course, of this methodical endeavor this methodical game plan is that by the end of the year, we will have successfully explored all 12 major keys, harmonically the study of voicings and melodically, the study of scales and arpeggios chord scale relationships. Now, as I have mentioned previously, our workouts require a ton of work. But as is always the case, when you practice correctly, when you focus on the proper skills and approaches, the musical dividends that you earn are significant. And how do we assess our gains? Well, our musical growth always, always comes down to our ability to successfully apply our new jazz piano skills to a tune. And that is exactly what we do after every harmonic and melodic workout. We are, we apply our new jazz piano skills to a tune. So today you are going to discover a classic jazz standard by Frank Laaser. I've never been in love before from guys and gals, you're going to learn the chord changes the harmonic function and the musical form of I've never been in love before. And you're going to play various voicings and correct core scale relationships for I've never been in love before, which will be cultivated into a jazz soul. 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 a seasoned and experienced professional, you are going to find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson, exploring the jazz standard I've never been in love before, to be very beneficial. Before we begin, I want to as I always do, I want to take a couple of minutes right now to welcome all first-time jazz panel skills listeners. And if you're a new listener to the jazz panel skills podcast, I want to personally invite you to become a jazz panel skills member. Visit jazz piano skills.com To learn more about the abundance of jazz educational resources, materials, and services that are available for you waiting for you to use to help you along your journey to becoming an accomplished jazz pianist. For example, as a jazz piano skills member, you have access to the educational podcast packets these are the illustrations the lead sheets, the play alongs that I develop the produce and make available for every weekly podcast episode. These are educational tools I promise that you want to have in your hands as you're listening to this podcast episode. And you want to have at your piano and when practicing you also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the sequential jazz piano curriculum, which is loaded with comprehensive course is all of them. All of them using a self-paced format. There are educational talks to enjoy interactive media, video demonstrations of the jazz panel skill being taught in all 12 keys, play along, and much more. You also have access you have a reserved seat as I like to say to the online weekly masterclasses which are in essence a one-hour online lesson with me each and every week. You also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the online interactive Fakebook. This is access to jazz standards from the Great American Songbook you'll be able to enjoy the chord changes lead sheets there's a harmonic function lead sheets. There are play long files historical insight, inspirational recordings, and much, much more. So it's an ever-growing collection of tunes that you should absolutely study and absolutely learn. You'll also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the private jazz piano skills community, which this is a community that hosts a variety of engaging forums that are podcast-specific forums, core-specific forums, and of course, general jazz piano forums as well. And last, but certainly not least, you have as a jazz panel skills member Unlimited, private, personal, and professional educational support whenever and as often as you need it again, just visit jazz panels skills.com To learn more about all of the educational opportunities, and how to easily activate your membership. Now there are several membership plans to choose from. And I am certain I'm absolutely positive, there is one that is perfect for you. So once you take a look, if you have any questions, please let me know. I'm always happy to help in any way that I can. Okay, let's discover learning play jazz piano, let's discover, learn and play the great jazz standard from the musical guys and gals. I've never been in love before. Okay, as I mentioned earlier, the last two weeks have been pretty intense with our key of B flat major harmonic workout and our key of B flat major melodic workout. Our harmonic workout was an extensive exploration as it always is a four very specific approaches to playing sound, harmonically playing chords. And our exploration was not simply about playing the seven chords found in the key of B flat major, it was about how to approach voicing the chords so that you are playing sounds that are stylistically Correct. Right, in other words, your chords. You want your chords to sound like what? Like Jazz. So we looked at four basic shapes, four basic types, I say basic, but
nothing basic about it right? For voicing shapes, types, right, we started with the block shapes and root position and their inversions. We looked at traditional left hand three-note shell voicings, we looked at contemporary chordal fourth the voicings and of course, we looked at two-handed voicings two-handed shapes. Now all of them, all of them need to be in your arsenal. Our melodic workout was a thorough investigation of ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion through each of the seven chords of the key of B flat major. So our primary focus was to begin developing root independence by shifting the entry points of our scales and arpeggios from the root of the sound to the third to the fifth to the seventh. Needless to say, if you've never if you've never intentionally played scales and arpeggios, varying your entry and destiny nit destination points, then the melodic workouts are pretty challenging, no question about it. So the whole point of our key of B flat major harmonic workout. And our key of B flat major melodic workout is to prep us for applying our skills to tunes. So as I've mentioned, we are going to take the practice approaches we have explored over the past two weeks and apply them to I've never been in love before. And not only are we going to put our harmonic and melodic jazz piano skills to work within a jazz standard, but the very cool thing is we're going to use our jazz piano skills to construct and play a jazz piano solo over the chord changes of the tune as well. So the educational agenda for today is as follows. Number one, we are going to explore the jazz standard I've never been in love before the chord changes and harmonic function. Number two we are going to discover learn and play various voicings for I've never been in love before our block voicings traditional left-hand shells, contemporary left-hand shells and two-handed voicings number three, we are going to discover learn and play the chord scale relationships for I've never been in love before. In other words, the appropriate ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion number four. We are going to discover learn and play a jazz piano solo for I've never been in love before using get this 100 under percent diatonic scale, and arpeggio motion. In other words, using notes that only fall within the key in the scale of B flat major. Number five, we're going to be using a comfy traditional swing tempo today of 110. So we have a pretty extensive lineup to get through today, no doubt. So, if you are a jazz piano skills member, I want you to take a few minutes right now to hit the pause button to access and download your podcast packets, your illustrations, your lead sheets, and your play alongs you have access as I remind you every week you have access to the podcast packets, and you should be using them. When listening to this podcast episode, you will get so much more out of today's lesson if you do. You should also be using these podcast packets of course when you are practicing. So if you are listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast directories such as Apple or Google, there's Spotify, Amazon, I Heart Radio Pandora, the list goes on and on. Then be sure to go directly to jazz piano skills podcast.com to access and download your podcast packets, you will find the links for your podcast packets within the show notes at jazz piano skills podcast.com. And one final but extremely important note that I it's a little disclaimer that I put in every podcast episode that if you are listening, and you're thinking that I've never been in love before,
in the various skills that we are about to discover, learn and play in relationship to I've never been in love before. If you are thinking that these skills are over your head, I would say to you just relax. It's okay. Continue to grow your jazz piano skills intellectually by simply listening to this podcast episode. All skills are over our heads when first introduced. And that is precisely why our very first step always needs to be to listen. So do not shy away from conversations and music that discuss foreign topics and use unfamiliar terms. Right. Stepping outside of our musical comfort zone spawns significant musical growth right? You've heard me say this a million times you regular listeners have heard me say this a million times that all musical growth begins upstairs conceptually mentally before it can come out downstairs physically in your hands. So listen to this podcast lesson now to discover and to learn. The play will come in time I guarantee. Okay, so hopefully you now have your jazz panel skills podcast packets in front of you you have your lead sheets, I want to draw your attention to that packet first, you'll see you have a 11 There should be 11 lead sheets in your packet. lead sheet number one chord changes lead sheet number two harmonic function, lead sheet number three, block voicings number four traditional shells five contemporary shells, six two-handed shapes, two-handed voicings seven ascending scale motion route entry, eight descending scale, motion, route entry, nine ascending arpeggio motion route entry, and 10 descending arpeggio motion route entry. The last skill the last lead sheet number 11 is a solo written out for you to play as well. So you should have all 11 lead sheets on 11 skills in your hands. So let's take a look at skill one, the chord changes the form of I've never been in love before this is a classic standard A B A form. So on your lead sheet, section A, section B section D are basically the same set of chord changes, C is considered Section C is considered the bridge this is a 32 measure tune for sections eight measures each a be a classic jazz standard form. Now look at skill to lead sheet number two. This is the harmonic function of I've never been in love before. All Roman numeral representation of the chord changes I like to call this the harmonic DNA of the piece, right. And there are some standard chord movement motion progressions happening within this standard. For instance, the very first two measures we have a 1625 progression classic, measure three and four classic, the one chord go into the four dominant, go into the three go into the six, nother classic motion. Measure seven and 83625. Take us right back to the one right. Again, classic jazz harmonic movement. So this Oh, and then going into the bridge, where does it go, it goes to the four of the key the E flat major, again, classic. So studying the tune, harmonic D DNA of a song is really the way you go about learning to write. If you understand the harmonic DNA, you can play a song in any key. So skill, one skill to lead sheet one. And to really get to the very essence of this standard I've never been in love before. So do not jump over these two lead sheets, do not set them aside as being kind of irrelevant. Let's get to the good stuff and leave this skill one skill two alone because this is the harmonic Foundation, the blueprint, the DNA of the standard, and you should spend some time studying these lead sheets, especially the harmonic function. Okay, so let's look at skill three. This lead sheet, I have mapped out the block voicings, for each chord within I've never been in love before. So you'll see everything from root position chords, the first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion. Again, the idea is to move from one chord to the next chord to the next chord with minimal motion. Okay, so you'll see the block chords mapped out there. Now, in measure three, you'll see there's an E flat dominant seven with a sharp 11. I have a little note underneath there that the melody is the sharp 11. Right? So it's not in the chord voicing. It's actually in the melody and in fact, the little note that I have right next to the rehearsal number or the rehearsal letter A. There's a little note there Right? Alterations not handled with block voicings. In other words, these chords. These shapes are not intended to handle nines and flat nines and sharp nines and sharp elevens and flat Thirteen's right, so do not try to squeeze them into the voicing. So what I want to do is I want to bring the ensemble in and apply I've never been in love before. I'm going to use these black voicings as notated in your lead sheet that you have in your hand. Not going to do anything rhythmically fancy at all. I'm just going to play these voicings so that you can hear them in a musical context. The second chorus I am going to play the melody over the top of these voicings and again, I'm going to play the voicings very straight so that you can hear the voicings in relationship to the melody in a musical context. Okay, so two times through first-time chords only second-time chords, the voicings with the melody. So here we got let's check it out and see what we think.
Very nice, right? Nothing wrong with straight, basic fundamental block shapes. In fact, I, when I was learning how to play, I played many gigs, many many gigs, playing these voicing shapes for the evening, right, because that's all I knew. And no one complained. They work, they're fine. They're good. They're legitimate. Okay. So now let's look at skill for lead sheet for traditional shells. Now, these are three-note left-hand shell voicings that I have mapped out here for you on this lead sheet. These are traditional shells and in that they contain a third, there's always a third in these voicings. So I have a little note there again, next to rehearsal letter A, that says all the chords that are marked with the little asterisk is played, you can play those as two-note voicings right do not play the top note and that is to avoid conflict. The reason for that is to avoid conflict between the voicing and the melody line. Okay. So one other little note before we bring the ensemble back in and listen to these traditional shells. If you look down in measure 21, I have like a little Bill Evans cluster there where I had the, you know, the ninth with tucked right next to the third and the fifth on that G minor seven. That's just a little cluster, create a little interest. I love those little voicing shapes. I have not presented those before, before now. So I just don't want that to be confusing to you. And you're looking at that voicing it's not a typo. In fact, I have notated there Bill Evans type cluster. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in. Again, I'm going to play two times through I've never been in love before. First time I'm going to use traditional shell voicings in my left hand, no melody because I just want you to hear these shells. I'm not going to do anything fancy rhythmically fancy with these voicings so that you can focus on just listening to the voicings themselves. Then I'm going to add the second course I will add the melody on top of the voicing so you can hear them in relationship to one another. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble and let's listen to the these traditional shells for I've never been in love before. Here we go.
I love it right? It's a great sound, it's a classic sound a little more transparent than the block shapes or the block voicings, right block voicings are more dense, the traditional left-hand shells seem to open up that sound, it becomes a little more transparent. So now we're gonna even become more transparent with our voicing. So look at skill five, lead sheet five, with all the contemporary shells mapped out for you. These are all quote what we call quarter voicings or fourth, the shapes, right, the intervals between the notes here are primarily the interval of a fourth. So if you look at these, so obviously, the notes are spread further apart, so there's it's going to have more of a transparent sound. So I have these mapped out for every chord, for I've never been in love before. And again, I have a little note up there in the top, there are certain chords, I play as a two-note voicing in order to avoid conflict between the left and right hand when playing the melody. Alright, so I want to bring the ensemble back and I'm going to use the same format first time through I'm going to play these contemporary shells in my left hand, I'm not going to do anything fancy with them and I play them as written, no rhythmic variation, whatsoever, so you can just really soak in the sound of these voicings. Second time through I will add the melody again keeping the voicings very simple, no rhythmic variation. So you can hear really hear the voicing and the melody working together. Okay, so let's bring the ensemble in. Let's listen to I've never been in love before, using contemporary shell voicings and our left hand. Here we go.
Nice, right. I love that sound. So, okay, so now we've covered our block voicings we've covered traditional shells. We've covered contemporary shells. If you look at skill six lead sheet six, two-handed voicings. As you all know, for those who have been listening for a while I use five-note shapes, two in the left, three in the right, when I play my two-handed voicings, so I have the map out here for I've never been in love before. And a couple things I want to draw your attention to, in measure three, you'll notice the E flat seven sharp 11, I have voiced as a poly chord, I have an F major triad on top of my E flat seven, my third and my seventh of the E flat dominant is in my left hand, I have the F major triad in my right hand, which is what we call a poly Chord Voicing one chord stacked on top of another chord in order to produce a very specific sound. And in this case, the E flat seven sharp 11 sound in measure for the G seven sharp five, eye voice fully altered. So that's a fully altered sound that's going to have in the voicing of flat 13 or sharp five, along with a flat nine. And also with a flat five, it's a fully altered dominant sound, or use another fully altered dominant sound. In measures anything I've measured 20 with the D seven flat nine flat 13. Again, I have the third and seventh in my left hand and my right hand I have the F B flat E flat or I have the sharp nine, the flat 13 and the E flat B and the flat nine, so another fully altered sound. Alright, just want to point those out, but everything else is pretty straightforward as notated. So let's bring in the ensemble. I'm going to play these two-handed shapes first time through as written. I'm not doing any rhythmic variation again with these voicings so that you can soak them in. The second time through I'm going to come in with the melody but I'm going to be playing trumpet, not piano so that you can hear the distinct you can hear these voicings being played underneath an instrumentalist. So let's bring the ensemble back in and let's listen to I've never been in love before. Here we go.
Very nice. make one thing clear. I was playing the trumpet sound through the keyboard. I don't want anybody think I'm blowing a trumpet over here because you that's a sound you do not want to hear, I promise. But anyway, I played the trumpet sound so that you can hear those voicings underneath the instrumentalists. So that concludes our harmonic workout for the application of our harmonic workout for I've never been in love before. So we've put our block voicings to work with put our traditional shell voicings to work with put our contemporary shell voicings to work. And now we've put our two-handed shapes to work. Wow, fantastic. So now let's turn our attention to the melodic side of things, let's put our melodic skills to work. So I want you to take a look at skill seven, or lead sheet seven. I have here, the chords for I've never been in love before. laid out on this lead sheet, you'll see there's a line dedicated to each chord found within I've never been in love before. And I have not only the chord changes listed there for each chord, but I also have the appropriate mode or the the appropriate scale that would be played with that chord. And then I have those scales mapped out for you as well on the lead sheet. So the idea here is that you would practice these sounds these chord scale relationships isolated. And in your play alongs packet, I have play alongs for each of these chords, isolated so that you can do just that. So but for today, and for the podcast purposes, in the sake of time, I'm going to play this exercise straight down, I'm going to play every one of these chords that is found within I've never been in love before and the ascending scale or mode that goes along with that chord. Okay, just ascending with the Root Entry. Okay. And of course, when practicing this, you should also practice it with a third entry, a fifth entry, and a seventh entry. We do not have the time to do that today. But that is in your melodic workout and should be applied to these chords within I've never been in love before, as well. But for now, I want to bring the ensemble in. I'm going to play through each chord found within I've never been in love before and play the appropriate scale or mode ascending from the root. Okay, here we go. Let's check it out.
Not easy, right? Yeah, you want to when you're playing these scales that you want them to sound very musical very relaxed. Alright, very jazz, like with a nice feel nice articulation. And you've noticed in the, in the exercises, I played each scale one time on the lead sheet I have the map out twice because I'm trying to communicate there that you should be repeating these scales over and over and over and over again. Right, not just moving from one to the next one to the next one to the next one as I just modeled again just for the sake of time. So you know what goes up must come down. So take a look at skill number eight or lead sheet number eight. You will see these are descending route entry scales. So again, I'm going to look at the 13 chords found within the I've been in love before. I'm going to descend use descending scale From the root of each one of these chords, okay, one time from chord to chord to chord, even though it's notated twice in your lead sheet. Alright, so let's bring the ensemble, and let's listen to descending scale motion played over each of the chords found in I've never been in love before. Here we go check it out.
Now that we've done scale motion, let's turn our attention to arpeggio motion. So again, we're going to use our route as our entry point. And we're going to play arpeggio motion from each chord found with within the tune I've never been in love before. So we have 13 chords, we're going to arpeggio ascending arpeggio motion, I will draw your attention to the G seven sharp 11 I will play that arpeggio with a sharp five in that arpeggio. So let's bring the ensemble in. Again, I'm going to keep this very straight one time, one arpeggio for each chord. And I'm going to try to focus on a nice relaxed articulation and feel as I play each ascending arpeggio. So let's bring out Samba Lin. Let's check it out here we go.
Nice and again, what goes up must come down. So look at skill 10 lead sheet 10 We are going to now use descending arpeggio motion from the root of each chord 13 chords and I've never been in love before. And again, I want to stress that you should be playing these arpeggios ascending and descending not just from the root entry, but from the third from the fifth and from the seventh as well as we were worked on in our melodic workout last week, right. So let's bring the ensemble in. And let's listen to these descending arpeggios from the root of each chord found within I've never been in love before. Here we go.
All right, well, that concludes our melodic workout for I've never been in love before, using scale and arpeggio motion ascending and descending, not just from the root, but from the third from the fifth and from the seventh of the sound, as well. So once we have a handle on our hump, the harmonic side of things, our chords are voicings, and once we have a handle on our melodic side of things with our scales, or arpeggios, our chord scale relationships, we are really in a position at this point in time to begin playing I've never been in love before. And to play us played the melody and to play a solo. And if you look at skill 11 or lead sheet 11. It's exactly what we're going to do. So we're going to play it I've been in love before, I'm going to play through it three times, I'm going to play the head the first time going to solo the second time, I'm going to play this solo, and I'm going to play the head the third time, I'm going to use my various voicings and my solo, I want to take you take a look at this. If you notice right away a couple things. If you notice, it's all quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes, oh notes, right, all the rhythms that we worked on within our harmonic and melodic workouts. Right, our rhythms were restricted to just one note, half note, quarter notes, and eighth notes. So number one, you'll see that all the rhythms in this solo, do not step outside of those boundaries at all. You'll also notice that the Solo is 100% diatonic. All the notes that are in the solo are found within the key of B flat major, or within the scale that the appropriate scale that goes along with that chord. So we're not stepping outside of the key. We're not using neighboring tones and approach tones and passing tones that would fall outside of our key center. Right and what you're going to find out sounds pretty darn good. So let's bring the ensemble in let's listen to I've never been in love before playing the head the first time through playing the solo, follow along with your lead sheet the second time through and then playing the head again. So here we go. Let's check it out and have a little fun
Not too shabby, right? It's pretty amazing how much music you can create. Interest in your improvisational lines can be when using quarter notes and half notes, whole notes
and diatonic notes that are diatonic or notes found within the key. Right? I had a teacher one time asked me, Bob, how do you teach students to play wrong notes, right? In other words, notes that fall outside the key? My answer was very simple, very straightforward. I said, Well, that's easy. Teaching the play right notes right first, then the wrong notes will all follow and make sense. Right? So what we've done here today, is we're playing the right notes, right? Within I've never been in love before. So, as always, right, we have unpacked a ton of information. And we do so on each and every podcast episode and, today, certainly no exception. As we set out to discover, learn and play I've never been in love before. As I tried to do with every tune study that we do, I want to model for you how to begin truly learning a tune, how to connect the what, what and how you're practicing to an actual piece of music. In other words, how do the jazz piano skills you are practicing translate to real playing, right, and I'm, I say real playing, right with air quotes, kind of tongue in cheek because real playing is actually having a command of jazz piano skills, which in turn, allows you to eventually add a melody. And once we add a melody to our jazz piano skills, we give it a name like I've never been in love before. And we call it a tune. And now everyone is happy, right? You're happy because you're playing a tune, and listeners are happy because they're hearing it too. But I do want you to think about this. If you are unable to apply your practice approach to the learning of tones like we did today, we took our harmonic and melodic workouts and apply them to attune if you are able to apply your practice approach to attune I would say that you need to seriously examine the what why and how of your practicing. Another way of saying this is if the tunes you are playing, you do not see the jazz piano skills you are practicing, then you have a disconnect between the two which is which is not good. And you've heard me say this many times as well on many different occasions that harmony and melody are one in the same and indeed they are. I can also say that jazz piano skills and tunes are one and the same as indeed they are. Alright, so what I'm saying is that if you do not practice jazz piano skills, then you will not be able to success successfully play tunes. And hopefully, you're beginning to see that jazz piano skills are tunes and tunes are jazz piano skills. The only difference is one has a fancy name like I've never been in love before and one does not. 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. You are on the path to be very successful. I said this in previous podcasts Episode since the start of the new year, and I want to stress again today, if you hang in there with me this year, you are going to experience a ton of jazz piano growth you will love where you are musically, a year from now. And once again, I want to encourage you to use the podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets in the play alongs to guide you, as you practice I've never been in love before, as you've heard me say over and over and over again. In fact, I said it earlier in this podcast episode, conceptual understanding determines your physical development. So spend time invest and studying and mapping out all of these voicings and these courts care relationships, use your illustrations podcast packet. To do that I have tons of worksheets in there for you to utilize the return on your investment is just simply impossible to adequately express. As always, I want you to be patient, developing mature professional jazz piano skills, as you know takes time. So begin structuring your practicing based on the demonstrations that I modeled for you here today. And if you do so, you will begin to see you will begin to feel and hear your musical progress. I guarantee it. Well, I hope you have found this jazz piano skills podcast lesson exploring I've never been in love before to be insightful and of course, I hope you found it to be very beneficial as well. Don't forget if you're a jazz piano skills member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz panel skills master class 8 pm Central time to discuss not only this podcast episode exploring I've never been in love before. But we have some unfinished business from last week to talk about as well since we were on spring break. So
again 8 pm Thursday evening, I will see you online. Be sure to use the educational podcast packets, the illustrations the lead sheets to play along not only for this podcast lesson. But for all the podcast episodes. They're invaluable educational tools that along with the jazz panel skills courses will certainly maximize your musical growth. Also, please take time to make sure that you are an active participant in the jazz piano skills community. Get involved and contribute to the various forums make some new jazz piano friends always a fantastic thing to do. As always, you can reach me by phone 972-380-8050 by email Dr. Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org or by SpeakPipe, which is a handy little nifty little widget found throughout the jazz piano skills website. There is my cue. That's it for now. And until next week, enjoy I've never been in love before such a great time. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz piano