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Feb. 14, 2023

Jazz Improvisation Exercises, F Altered Sounds

This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores Jazz Improvisation Exercises for F Altered Sounds. Arpeggio and Scale Patterns for developing proper fingering and articulation.

Welcome to JazzPianoSkills; it's time to discover, learn, and play Jazz Piano!

Every JazzPianoSkills weekly podcast episode introduces aspiring jazz pianists to essential Jazz Piano Skills. Each Podcast episode explores a specific Jazz Piano Skill in depth. Today you will discover, learn, play Jazz Improvisation Exercises for 'F' Altered Sounds. In this Jazz Piano Lesson, you will:

Jazz Improvisation Exercises

Developmental Arpeggio and Scale Patterns for 'F' Altered Sounds

Five Arpeggio and Scale Patterns for the  'F' Altered Sounds of Music (#11, b13, b9b13, Fully Altered b9#9b5#5)

Use the Jazz Piano Podcast Packets for this Jazz Piano Lesson for maximum musical growth. All three Podcast Packets are designed to help you gain insight and command of a specific Jazz Piano Skill. The Podcast Packets are invaluable educational tools to have at your fingertips while doing the Jazz Improvisation Exercises for 'F' Altered Sounds.

Open Podcast Packets
(detailed graphics of the jazz piano skill)

Lead Sheets
(beautifully notated music lead sheets)

Play Alongs
(ensemble assistance and practice tips)

Educational Support
Community Forum

Episode Outline
Discover, Learn, Play
Invite to Join JazzPianoSkills
Lesson Rationale
Exploration of Jazz Piano Skills
Closing Comments

Visit JazzPianoSkills for more educational resources that include a sequential curriculum with comprehensive Jazz Piano Courses, private and group online Jazz Piano Classes, a private jazz piano community hosting a variety of Jazz Piano Forums, an interactive Jazz Fake Book, plus unlimited professional educational jazz piano support.

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Thank you for being a JazzPianoSkills listener. It is my pleasure to help you discover, learn, and play jazz piano!

Warm Regards,
Dr. Bob Lawrence
President, The Dallas School of Music



Welcome to jazz piano skills. I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It's time to discover, learn and play, jazz piano!

fingerings, fingerings, fingerings and more fingerings! Have we been diligently attacking patterns and fingerings or what? Wow. I guess by now, it has settled in just how important fingerings are when it comes to playing jazz and improvising. Bottom line, poor fingerings will stop you in your tracks. Perfect poor fingerings make it next to impossible to improvise. I said in last week's podcast episode that the struggles students have with improvisation, more times than not originate from poor fingerings not from a lack of skill or theory familiarity, but simply due to immobile hands, resulting from poor fingerings. So guess what we're going to do today, you got it. Some more pattern work focusing on the altered F dominant sounds using proper fingerings that force our hand to shift why playing the phrase. So very important. So today, you are going to discover essential jazz improvisation exercises. You're going to learn developmental arpeggio and scale patterns of F-altered sounds. And you're going to play five arpeggio and scale patterns. For the F dominant altered sounds of music, the dominant sharp 11 dominant flat 13, dominant flat nine flat, 13, and dominant, fully altered, which is the flat nine sharp nine flat five sharp five sound. So as I always like to say regardless of where you are, in your jazz journey, a beginner to intermediate player, and advanced player or even if you consider yourself an experienced and seasoned professional, you're gonna find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson exploring jazz improvisation exercises for F altered dominant sounds to be very beneficial.

But before we dig in, I want to as I always do at the beginning of every podcast episode, I want to welcome new listeners. And if you are indeed new to jazz panel skills if you are listening for the very first time, I want to welcome you and personally invite you to become a jazz piano skills a member all you have to do visit jazz piano Once you arrive at the homepage, you can begin to explore the abundance of jazz educational resources, materials and services that are available for you waiting for you to help you significantly improve your jazz piano skills. For example, as a jazz piano skills member, you have access to all of the educational podcast packets these are the illustrations, the lead sheets, and the play alongs that I developed and produced, and published for every weekly podcast episode. These are invaluable educational tools that you want to have in your hands as you listen to the podcast episode. And you certainly want to have sitting on your piano when practicing as well. You also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the online sequential jazz piano curriculum which is loaded with comprehensive courses. All of the courses using a self-paced format there are educational talks for you to enjoy interactive media to help you accurately assess your conceptual understanding of the jazz panel skill being taught. There are video demonstrations in all 12 keys of course, play along, and much more. As a jazz panel skills member, you have. You also have what I like to say is a reserved seat and the online weekly master classes which are in essence, a one-hour lesson with me each and every week. As a jazz panel skills member, you also have access to the online interactive Fakebook which grants us Access to jazz standards from the Great American Songbook, you'll be able to enjoy chord changes lead sheets, there are harmonic functional lead sheets, play along files, historical insights, inspirational recordings, and so much more. It's an ever-growing collection of tunes that you should absolutely discover, learn and play. You also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the private online jazz piano community, which hosts a variety of engaging forums, podcast-specific forums, course-specific forums. And of course, there are just general jazz piano forms for you to enjoy as well. You'll have access to all of them, and you will be able to contribute to them as well, which I strongly encourage you to do. The forum's are there for you to share, engage and grow. And last but certainly not least, as a jazz panel skills member you you're going to have access to unlimited. Let me say that again, unlimited, private, personal, and professional educational support provided by me whenever and as often as you need it. So take a few seconds, visit jazz panels To learn more about all the educational opportunities that await you and how to easily activate your membership. Now, there are several membership plans to choose from. So I'm quite certain there is one that is perfect for you. But nevertheless, if you get there if you have some questions, please by all means, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I'm happy to spend some time with you answer any questions that you may have, and to help you in any way that I can.

Okay, so let's discover learn to play jazz piano Let's get after these jazz improvisation exercises for altered F dominant sounds. As I mentioned earlier, the struggles students have with improvisation More times than not originate from poor fingerings. Not a lack of skill or theory, but simply due to immobile hands resulting from poor fingering. So I have a few questions for you. Number one, what constitutes good fingering? Number two, when establishing a fingering for a certain musical phrase, what should we be looking for? Number three, what should we be trying to accomplish with our fingerings? Number four, is there always a fingering option that will reign supreme over other options? Number five, are the golden rules of fingerings truly Golden, and therefore should never be violated. For example, using our thumb on a black note to begin a musical line.

See, when pondering such questions, right, we often end up with a fingering dilemma, a fingering dilemma that often leaves us musically parallel paralyzed. Well, the whole point of our journey this year is to establish definitive answers for these types of questions. But, but also we want to circumvent any type of fingering dilemma as well. In other words, we need to establish a simplistic approach to fingering doing that. And in doing so, establish an unimpaired mobility for our right hand. Sound good? Of course, right? Of course, it does. Because deep down, you know, that if you can get your right hand to easily move around on the keyboard, you'll be able to play the tunes you love and embellish them with melodic improvisation, you'll be able to play jazz. Again, this is the entire point the entire objective of this entire year to simplify our fingering approach, to establish a fingering conviction that will allow you to begin successfully practicing and establishing fingerings for all 60 chords using typical jazz patterns. Wow, that's a mouthful. I'm gonna I'm gonna say that again. Because I really want that to sink in. We are wanting to establish a fingering conviction that will allow you to begin successfully practicing and establishing fingerings for all 60 chords using typical jazz patterns. And in doing so solidify a fingering muscle memory that ultimately frees us up to think about things like I don't know, musical expression, musical emotion, musical articulation, musical creativity, right, all the things that we want to be focusing on.

So to begin this fingering liberation, I want you to begin paying very, very close attention to playing all musical patterns using intentional hand shifts. So for example, when playing an F-dominant seventh arpeggio, we will not play it using a fingering sequence of 1235. As is typically done, and every Piano Studio worldwide, instead, we're going to use a 1313 fingering sequence. See, we have inserted intentional hand shift between the third the note A and the fifth, the Notes See, right 1313. The spirit of this very same approach, this hands shift approach, the spirit of this approach will be used today in all of the altered F dominant arpeggio and scale patterns that we are about to explore. So regardless of the altered sounds, sharp 11, flat 13, flat nine, flat 13, fully altered flat nine, sharp nine, flat five sharp five, right? Regardless of all these altered sounds, all the modifications needing to be applied to the patterns. Regardless of all these circumstances. We're going to use intentional hand shifts. I'll speak more about this when I actually play each altered pattern. 

Okay. So all right. Wow. If you thought last week was fun. I hope you did. If you thought last week was fun and challenging, you ain't seen nothing. Yes, yet. Right. So okay, here we go. So the educational agenda for today is as follows number one, we are going to explore Jas Ember improvisation exercises for F-altered dominant sounds. Number two, we will play essential F altered arpeggio patterns that you need to discover learn and play from the root to the 13th through the sound using a root, third, fifth, and seventh entry. Number three, we will play essential F altered scale patterns that you need to discover learn and play again from the root to the 13th of the sound using a root, third, fifth and seventh entry. Number four, I will be playing all jazz improvisation exercises today using the F seven flat nine flat 13 Sound one of my favorites. Of course, I do not have time to play all of the altered sounds. They are included in your educational podcast packets, the lead sheets, but I will be focusing and demonstrating and modeling everything today using the F seven flat nine flat 13 sound. And number five, I will be playing all jazz improvisation exercises today using a traditional swing groove of 110. So if you are a jazz piano skills member, I want you to hit the pause button right now and take a few minutes to access and download and print your podcast packets, your illustrations, your lead sheets, your play alongs. Again, as a member, your membership grants your access to all of these educational podcast packets, again for every weekly podcast episode, and as I mentioned earlier, you should have these in your hands as you listen to this lesson today. And you certainly should have them at your fingertips on your piano when practicing as well. So if you are listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast directories such as Apple or Google, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio Pandora, the list goes on and on and on of course, then I want you to go directly to G. As piano skills Jazz panel skills To download your podcast packets, and you will find the active download links in the show notes. Okay, and one final but very significant note that I mentioned every week, if you are listening right now, and if you are thinking that the jazz improvisation exercises for the F altered dominant sounds, and the various skills that we are about to discover, learn and play, if you are thinking that all of this is over your head, then I would say to you breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, no worries, relax, continue to listen, continue to grow your jazz piano skills intellectually by simply listening to this podcast episode. And keep in mind, every new skill is technically over our heads when first introduced. But this is how we get better, right? We hang in there. And we listen we place ourselves smack dab in the middle of conversations where we have absolutely no idea what people are talking about. We're hearing things that we've never heard before, we're hearing terms that we have no idea what they mean. But this is how we begin to grow. And I say it all the time, right? All musical growth begins upstairs mentally conceptually, before it can come out downstairs physically in your hands. So I want you to just to sit back, relax and listen to this podcast lesson now to discover and learn. The play as it always does, will come in time, I guarantee it. 

Okay, now that you have your lead sheets in your hands, I want to point out a few things. You will see that lead sheets one through four, deal strictly with arpeggio motion, while lead sheets five through eight address scale motion. Okay, you will also notice that the jazz improvisation exercises are the same for all four altered F dominant sounds, the sharp 11, the flat 13, flat nine, flat 13. And the fully altered the flat nine, sharp nine, flat five sharp five. The exercises are of course modified to reflect the proper sound. Now, you may be wondering why these alterations? Where are these alterations coming from these are the alterations that are given to us through the harmonic minor and melodic minor scales. Right, that's where altered sounds come that's their origin. That's where they come from. Okay, so I'm not just not just making these up going like hey, you know, I don't sharp 11 These are the sounds that are tuning system, or harmonic minor and melodic minor scales provide us okay, you will also notice that my suggested fingerings are included for every note of every exercise for every sound. Now, of course, you can modify the fingerings slightly. But as I always say, be careful. Remember, number one, there has to be a shift. So if you're modifying the fingers to not have a hand shift, and wrong, number two fingerings should be chosen that allow you to play these lines, these exercises these melodies with proper jazz articulation. So you may be inclined to change fingering because you think it feels more comfortable or is easier. However, you're easier, may actually end up making it harder in the long run. Right? harder for you to actually play with mobility and to play with proper jazz articulation. So I'm just throwing that out there as caution to the wind. Just be careful. Okay.

Okay, so let's get started. I want you to grab lead sheet three, skill three, and lead sheet seven, skill seven. Please remove those from your packet because those that's where we're going to be focusing today. Okay. And and both of these skill three deals with the F dominant, flat nine flat 13 Sound arpeggio motion, skill seven deals with the F dominant flat nine flat 13 Sound scale motion, I'm going to start with the arpeggio motion. So, you'll see on each of these lead sheets, five sections A, B, C, D, and E. Each has a different melodic idea or pattern that we are going to address today and use proper fingerings with our hands shifts, right. So look at letter A on skill three, here we have the F dominant flat 13, flat nine flat 13 sound, a Root Entry, a third entry, fifth entry and seventh entry straight arpeggio motion. Okay, now the before we go any further, the F seven, flat nine flat, 13 sound. So you're going to have F, G flat, A, B flat, C, D flat, and E flat to beautiful sound. lovin so all patterns will reflect that scale that sound. So you'll see, for instance, look at letter A, look at the entry of a third where we have the A C, E flat, and then you'll notice that the G is flat, up on top of that arpeggio. That's the flat nine. Okay, so every pattern, every exercise will be altered accordingly to reflect the flat nine flat 13 sound. So, letter A, the root to the seventh arpeggio, notice the fingering 1313, so we have a hand shift. Notice the fingering for the third entry to one to four, again, a hand shift, notice the entry on the entry of the notice the fingering on the fifth entry, we have 1313 again, and then the fingering for the seventh entry of the sound to one to four, all four of those arpeggios, ascending arpeggio, simple ascending arpeggios, all have an intentional hand shift. So let's hear how this sounds. Let's hear the flat nine flat 13 sound, let's listen to these simple arpeggios using a hand shift. So let's bring the ensemble in and let's check it out here we go.

Max right, even with the hand shift you, you couldn't hear the hand shift. Right? You're not listening, that you know there's the shift. That's how we want to approach all of these patterns today. All of these fingerings right, the shift ultimately provides us the mobility in the hand and proper jazz articulation. So it should sound fine. It should actually sound pleasant to your ears. It should sound like jazz. So let's take a look at letter B. Okay, again, we're gonna follow the same format. We have a pattern that we're going to play using a Root Entry, a third, fifth and the seventh, right in other words, we start Aren't the pattern off the route, we start the pattern off the third, off the fifth and off the seventh point. We want to be able to play create melodic ideas melodic motifs and not be route independent. I mean, be route dependent, we want to be route independent. In other words, we don't always want have to start an F dominant idea on the note F on the root. So we're intentionally moving around with different entry points, the third, the fifth of the sound, the seventh the sound. So if you look at these patterns, again, this pattern Alright, we're gonna move that through off the third there's the flat nine, and so on, you're going to notice the fingerings. See if you can identify where that hand shift is taking place. You know, it might be a good idea to actually circle that, you know, like a little red pencil and see where the hand hand is shifting. All right, so let's bring the ensemble back in. Let's listen listen to pattern to letter B. Again, same format, root, third, fifth, seventh entry, all patterns having a hand shift. All right, here we go. Let's check it out.

Love it, it's amazing how easy these patterns are with the proper fingerings. So let's take a look at letter c. Now, the hand shifts should even become a little bit more visually apparent, right? Look at the very first pattern here often with a Root Entry 1414. Wow. Right and check out 1414 In measure three as well with the third entry, we have 1414 Again with the fifth entry, which actually forces us to use our thumb on a black note. I know for some of you classically trained musicians out there, this might be like wow, you know, petting the dog backwards here a little bit with the thumb up here on some of these black notes. But this is one of these golden rules that do not apply 100% of the time when playing jazz and trying to articulate and phrase like a jazz musician would. So this letter C is one of my favorite because of the hand shift movement in the in this pattern. So let's bring the ensemble back in. Again, root third, fifth, seventh entry, flat nine flat 13 sound a lot of hands shifting going on. So let's check it out and see what we think. Here we go.

Absolutely love it letter C, spend some time with it get used to that hand shifting the 1414 movement, it's going to come in handy I promise. Now letter D. Now we get these eighth note triplets that we have to deal with and our musical line gets fills up the entire measure now, and so I have, again included the fingerings here for every one of these patterns off the root, the third, the fifth and seventh. Again, looking for the hand shift. Again, use that red pencil circle them before you even dive in. But I want to bring the ensemble back in right now we're going to play this, this eighth note triplet idea, again, reflecting the flat nine flat 13 sound and route entry, third, fifth and seventh entry. All right, so let's check this out. Again the reason for the 110 Temple you're going to find that this this line this exercise pattern right here at 110 is not easy. So as I always encourage you to do slower tempos are very much encouraged. Okay, so here we go, let's listen to this idea and see what we think.

Aren't you loving this flat nine flat 13 sound I mentioned it earlier. It's one of my favorite, I love it. I use it all the time, all the time. So Okay, our last arpeggio pattern using the flat nine flat 13 Sound letter E. Now our our musical idea, our phrase extends over the bar line into the second measure. So each one of these phrases right getting a little longer. But each one of these phrases also including hand shifting some multiple hand shifts. So make note of that as well. So once again, we're going to focus on playing this line from four different entry points. With our hands shifts, you want the art we want to articulate this in such a way that the listener would not even be able to tell. Okay, so we're gonna bring out some go back in and let's listen to our last idea letter E using arpeggio motion for the flat nine flat 13 sound. All right, here we go. Check it out.

Fantastic I want to stress again, you know, typically, you know, we're pretty used to shifting our hand when playing scales, not so much when playing arpeggio motion. So spend some time, especially letter A, letter A, those exercises right there, simple arpeggio off the root, the third, the fifth, the seventh, all with a nice hand shift, a built into that four note arpeggio reflecting the flat nine flat 13 sound. But But again, that set letter A for any of these sounds, the sharp 11 sound, the fully altered sound, the flat 13 sound, I cannot stress to you enough how important it is. To focus on letter A, get used to moving your hand across the keys using intentional hand shifts playing arpeggios, and you will be doing yourself a world of good in in developing a jazz articulation and jazz hand movement. Okay, so now we are on to skill seven, lead sheet seven. We're going to five exercises gibbet. Now this is all scale movement, scale movement going through the flat nine flat 13 sound and again with four different entry points, the root, the third, the fifth, and the seventh. So letter A is pretty straightforward right scale motion straight up from the root to the seventh, then from the third to the ninth, from the fifth to the 11th and then from the seventh to the 13th. So let's bring the ensemble in and let's listen to scale movement reflecting the flat nine flat 13 sound here we go.

And again, just like I told you to focus on letter A of the arpeggio exercises, I would say the exact same thing here this letter A ascending scale motion off the root, third, fifth and seventh for the sound. Playing it with a nice hand shift nice articulation. I cannot tell you enough. I cannot stress enough how important letter A both for the arpeggio on the arpeggio side and on the scale side. Both of these exercises are. So I know there's b I know they're C I know there's The no there's E, but if you only had time to practice one, I'm telling you letter a arpeggio motion letter A scale motion. All right, so now let's move on to letter B. Now we modify our scale movement, we have a nice leap of a fifth right right away, and then the rest of it is kind of a little descending snd motion, right, so we get a nice little idea. And we're gonna play that idea off the third off the fifth and off the seventh as we've been doing all day. So let's bring the ensemble and let's listen to letter B, flat nine flat 13 sound and we're our our hand shifts taking place. Let's check it out here we go.

Love it, love it. Love it not as much though as love see. We with these eighth note triplets. Here we go. Right. You know, we're gonna have eighth note triplets always. So, again, all the fingerings are notated for you the phrase now the musical idea stretches over the bar line and to count one of the second measure. Pay attention to the fingerings these eighth note triplets can be tricky again, I'm playing them at 110 but I encourage you nothing wrong 6070 7580 slower tempos, right, look for the hand shifts, circle them, study these ideas, study these patterns and study the fingerings before you even dive in. Okay, but let's listen. Let's see if we can identify where these hand shifts are by just listening I don't think so. But let's let's see here we go check it out.

I was just thinking I forgot to mention that. I'm sure you all figured it out by now I'm playing each one of these four times right and play the the pattern off the Root Entry four times then off third four Time's the fifth four times the seventh four times, you know, I use the same format, I'm going to be using the same format all the way through the year with all of these in the different off of the different notes, but I just wanted to mention it just in case in case you hadn't picked up on it, which I'm sure you have. So, alright, letter D. Now our scale motion again, the phrase gets a little bit longer, but we are again, focusing on the flat nine flat 13 sound, we have hand shifting taking place in these patterns. And again, same format, right root, third, fifth and seventh entry. All right, so I'm gonna bring the ensemble back in let's listen to this melodic idea letter D, okay, here we go check it out.

Right we are down to our final pattern for today letter E. Again, scale motion, again, root, third, fifth entry. Again, flat nine, flat 13 is sound. You notice that these lines are primarily ascending motion, that's intentional. Well eventually get the descending motion. But for now, as we're getting used to hand shifts, and being very careful about how we're moving our hands, we're going to limit our variables, right? No need to get descending motion involved until we have a handle on and a command of hand movement using ascending motion. So with that being said, let's take a look at letter E, we have a musical phrase a musical idea that extends all the way to count to the second measure. And once again, there's multiple hands shifts taking place, so you want to mark those and be aware of those before you even begin to play. And again 110 But I'm just again, I play 110 For the sake of time in the podcast episode, if I really would prefer to actually model these at much slower tempos. So feel free again to spend time at slower tempos first, to get a command of these patterns and to get a command of these fingerings. So okay, so let's bring the ensemble in and let's take a listen to our last melodic idea. Last exercise pattern for today. letter e. Here we go.

I think I mentioned it last week, I always feel like I'm running a marathon to try to get everything done. Get through everything that is on the agenda in one short, very quick hour. So even though I played the jazz improvisation exercises today using the dominant flat nine flat 13 sound, only, be sure to practice the exercises for the sharp 11, flat 13. And for the fully altered sounds to there in your packet. They are all laid out for you in the lead sheets Pat podcast packet with fingerings included. Now remember, you can you can modify the fingering slightly to suit your hand best but be careful, right? We want to always make sure we have hand shifting taking place in our patterns. And we want to make sure that our fingerings actually allow us to play the exercises with an authentic jazz articulation through the entire sound from the root to seventh third to the ninth fifth to the 11th seventh to the 13th. Right. Remember, each musical phrase is articulation, regardless of the entry point should sound the same.

So you have a ton to tackle this week as always right. So use your practice time wisely. Next week, we will explore the head of a bebop tune it's going to be TUNE Week next week. And we'll be closely examining the various melodic shapes found within the melody of the Bebop tune, and, of course, their fingerings and once again, I want to encourage all you jazz piano skills members to use your podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets, and the play alongs to guide you as you study and practice these melodic ideas and their proper fingerings. These are educational tools that will help you gain a mastery of the jazz piano skill not just physically, but conceptually and musically as well. And most importantly, I say it every week. Be patient. Developing mature professional jazz piano skills takes time. So begin structuring your development after your practicing and development after the plane demonstrations that I modeled for you. In this podcast episode I guarantee it, you will begin to see feel and hear your musical progress. Well, I hope you have found this jazz panel skills podcast lesson exploring jazz improvisation exercises for F altered sounds to be insightful and beneficial don't forget if you are a jazz panel skills ensemble member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills masterclass a pm central time to discuss this podcast episode lesson exploring jazz improvisation exercises for F altered dominant sounds. Wow should be great fun. And of course I'll answer be there to answer any questions that you may have about the study of jazz in general. Again, use those educational podcast packets check out the jazz piano skills courses to maximize your musical growth. And also make sure you are an active participant in the jazz piano skills community. Get out there, get involved contribute to the forums. But most importantly, make some new jazz piano friends always, always a great thing to do. You can reach me by phone my number here at the Dallas School of Music 972-380-8050 my extension is 211 You can reach me by email Dr. Lawrence. That's Or you can use the nifty little widget found throughout the website called SpeakPipe. To send me a message that way as well.

Well, there is my cue, that's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the jazz improvisation exercises for the F altered dominant sounds and most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz Piano!

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