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March 15, 2022

Key of Bb Major Melodic Workout

This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode explores a Key of Bb Major Melodic Workout (Bb Major Modes, Inverted Melodic Arpeggios, and Rhythmic Melodic Lines).

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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, playa Key of Bb Major Melodic Workout. In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:

A Key of Bb Major Melodic Workout

How to "think" within the Key of Bb Major, Melodically

The Modes of the Key of Bb Major plus Inverted Melodic Arpeggios from various entry points (Root, 3rd, 5th, 7th).


You are going to play Melodic lines using various Whole Note, Half Note, Quarter, and 8th  Note Rhythms played over the II-V-I Progression.

For maximum musical growth, be sure to use the Jazz Piano Podcast Packets for this Jazz Piano Lesson. 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 a Key of Bb Major Melodic Workout.

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
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.

If you wish to support JazzPianoSkills with a donation you can do so easily through the JazzPianoSkills Paypal Account.

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



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. Last week we tackled the key of B flat major, focusing on harmonic development this week, and extensive workout in the key of B flat major again, but this time, melodically. So today you're going to discover a key of B flat major melodic workout, you're going to learn how to think within the key of B flat major melodically and you're going to play the modes of the key of B flat major using ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion launching from various entry points, root, third, fifth, seventh, and you're going to play melodic lines using various high note, half note, quarter note, and eighth note rhythms played over the classic 251 progression. So as I always like to say regardless of where you are in your jazz journey, a beginner, 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 a key of B flat major melodic workout to be very beneficial. I want to take a moment as I do at the beginning of every jazz panel skills podcast episode to welcome all first-time listeners. If you are indeed new to jazz piano skills a first-time listener to the jazz panel skills podcast, I want to personally invite you to become a jazz panel skills member. Visit jazz panel To learn more about the plethora of jazz educational resources, materials, and services that are available for you to use to help you along your journey to becoming an accomplished jazz pianist. For example, as a jazz panel skills member you have access to all of the educational podcast packets these are the illustrations, the lead sheets, and the play alongs that are available for every weekly podcast episode. These are invaluable tools that I develop and publish. To go along with each podcast episode to help maximize your musical growth. You're going to want to have these podcast packets at your fingertips as you listen to this episode as you listen to all of the episodes. And you certainly want the podcast packets sitting on your piano as you practice at home as well. As a jazz piano skills member, you also have access to the entire sequential jazz piano curriculum which is loaded with comprehensive courses. All of them using a self-paced format, educational talk there's interactive media, video demonstrations, and all 12 keys of the jazz panel skill being taught there play alongs and much much more. You also as a jazz panel skills member have a reserved seat in the weekly online masterclasses which are in essence a one-hour lesson with me each and every week. You also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the online interactive Fakebook right access to the jazz standards from the Great American Songbook enjoy the chord changes lead sheets harmonic function lead sheets that are play along files, historical insights, inspirational recordings, and much much more. It's an ever-growing collection of tunes that you should absolutely study and learn. You also as a jazz panel skills member have access to the private jazz piano skills community, which hosts a variety of engaging forums, podcast-specific forums, core-specific forums, and of course just general jazz piano forums as well. And last but certainly not least, you as a jazz panel skills member have unlimited private, personal and professional educational support whenever and as often as you need it. Again, just visit jazz piano 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. And I am confident. In fact, I'm absolutely certain there is one that is perfect, just right for you. So if you have any questions once you poke around if you have any questions, please let me know. I'm always happy to help answer any questions that you may have and assist you in any way that I can. Okay, let's discover, learn and play jazz piano. Let's get after this key of B flat major melodic workout. In January, we tackled a key of C major harmonic workout and a key of C major melodic workout. And last month, February, we jumped into a key of F major harmonic workout, followed by a key of F major melodic workout now, this month, the month of March. In fact, just last week, we continued our workout series with a key of B flat major harmonic workout. So today, we are going to continue our exploration of the key of B flat major with an extensive melodic workout. I mentioned last month that harmony and melody without rhythm, remain stationary, or static sounds. In other words, not very musical, if at all. So it would be incredibly remiss of me to present you musical data voicings scales arpeggios, without also presenting a visual and aural application of the data rhythm. So last month, we applied various rhythmic patterns to both the harmonic and melodic data. Now granted, I kept the rhythmic patterns basic by using only whole half and quarter note values. The idea is that we start with fundamental patterns. And then as the year progresses, so will the intricacy of the rhythms. But I must say based on years of teaching experience, I am no longer amazed at the difficulty most people have with the so-called easy and so-called fundamental rhythms, then why is this

because most people have difficulty playing in time, the easy and fundamental rhythms. In other words, I now know that rhythmic difficulty is the norm for most people and not the exception. All that to say, Don't blow off the easy and fundamental rhythms because you think they are too rudimental they're not. They are actually the essential core of rhythmic vocabulary, get them wrong, and you'll struggle with rhythm forever. Last week with our key of B flat harmonic workout I included eighth note pairings along with the whole half and quarter note values. Still, no single eighth notes no syncopation no 16th notes, no fancy schmancy rhythms at all. Today we follow the same gameplan the application of rhythmic ideas using whole half quarter an eighth note values to create 100% diatonic melodies. But before we do, I want to stress the importance of doing the entire key of B flat major melodic workout and not just simply jump to the last sheet in your podcast packet skill 25 to attack the melodic rhythms. In other words, you have to have a functional command of your scales and arpeggios in the key of B flat major the data if you will before you can begin applying rhythm to them. As I like to say you have to bake a cake before you decorate the cake. So don't jump to decorating the scales and arpeggios with rhythm before you bake your scales and arpeggios long enough by practicing the first 24 skills in your jazz piano skills, podcast packet illustrations, right so that you can actually play them. So you will find in your lead sheets podcast packet, as you did with our last two melodic workouts, the key of C and key of F melodic workouts all 24 skills laid out for you. So let's do a quick review. Skills one through four modes ascending root position, first, second and third inversion scales five through eight modes descending root position, first, second, third inversion scales 99 through 12 arpeggios, US Sunday, root position, first, second, third inversion skills 13 through 16 arpeggios, descending root position, first, second and third inversion scale 17 251 ascending scale motion scale 18 to five one descending scale motion scale 19 to five one ascending arpeggio motion, scale 20 251 descending arpeggio motion scale, 21 36251, ascending scale motion, scale, 22 36251, descending scale motion, scale, 23 36251, ascending arpeggio motion, and scale 24 36251 descending arpeggio motion. So after you have thoroughly completed your workout skills one through 24 Then you can turn your attention to plane skill 25 which challenges you with 12 melodic lines using fundamental whole half quarter an eighth note rhythms. So the educational agenda for today is as follows. Number one, we are going to explore the key of B flat major melodically number two we are going to play 12 melodic ideas using ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. Number three all melodic ideas will be applied to the 251 progression in the key of B flat major C minor seven to F dominant seven to B flat major seven. Number four all melodic lines will be played using a traditional swing and Basa groove. This is going to be interesting three different tempos 101 2140

at 100 swing in Basa two times through each style 120 Swinging Basa two times through each style 140 Swinging Basa two times through each style number five all swing grooves will be played using a single note right-hand melodic treatment. And number six all Bossa grooves will be played using an octave Unison approach with both hands. Now I am not saying that you have to play both the swing and Bossa styles when practicing. And you do not have to use various tempos when practicing and you do not have to use an octave Unison approach. When practicing the Bossa style, I am simply modeling for you various ways to approach practicing these jazz piano skills to insert some variation and challenge to your practicing. That's it. And why would you do this? Because so often students, not you. Right, not you, but other students will play a jazz piano skill one way using one style, played at one tempo, and then proclaim Wow, that was simple. I have that down. Time to move on to something new. Again, I know you wouldn't do that but, but for those students who are way too eager to move through simple and I'm putting simple in air quotes, exercises quickly so that they can get on to the good stuff. Again, air quotes around good stuff. I model these various ways to create challenging approaches so that you gain the full value of these jazz piano skills. Think of it this way. When watching someone making freshly squeezed orange juice. You can't hope to notice how they squeeze and they squeeze and they squeeze that orange to extract every last drop of juice from the orange. Well, that is exactly how you should be approaching These exercises, squeeze every last drop of value out of each of these exercises by exploring various tempos, grooves, and melodic treatments. Bottom line, don't be in such a hurry to check it off as completed.

If you do so, you're leaving behind a lot of juice. Okay, before we go any further if you are a jazz piano skills member, I want you to take a few minutes right now hit the pause button to download and print your podcast packets, the illustrations, and the lead sheets. Again, you have access to all of the podcast packets. And again, you should absolutely be using them when listening to this podcast episode. And of course, you should be using them when practicing. And if you are listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast directories, Apple, Google, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and on and on and on. Then be sure to go directly to the jazz panel skills podcast website, that's jazz panel skills to download the podcast packets and you will find the active download links in the show notes. And one final but extremely important note that I include in every podcast episode if you are thinking that the key of B flat major melodic workout and the various skills that we are about to discover, learn in play are in some ways over your head than I would say to you. Okay, fine, sit back, relax, continue to listen continue to grow your jazz piano skills, intellectually by listening to this podcast episode, right? All skills. All skills, when first introduced are over our heads. Right? So we need to take the first step in order to improve our musicianship which is always listening. So do not shy away from conversations discussing foreign topics. And using unfamiliar terms. Right stepping outside of our musical comfort zone spawns significant growth. As y'all heard me say a million times, musical growth begins upstairs mentally conceptually, before it can come out downstairs physically in your hands. So listen to this podcast lesson now to discover and learn the play will come in time. Okay, we have quite a few 12 melodic lines to get through, right and again, these melodic lines are all using whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes. And all melodic lines are 100% diatonic meaning that when you look at skill 25 here when you look at this lead sheet, you'll notice you don't see any sharps you don't see any flats anywhere in any of these musical lines, which tells you that they all shake hands perfectly with the key, this case the key of B flat so we had a lot to get through. So we're gonna just jump right in. So look at rhythmic pattern A right simply goes like this

that's a nice little wine again all diatonic let's bring the ensemble in. And let's check it out. Again, three different temples 101 2142 Different styles swing in Bossa. We're going to play through this melodic line twice for each style, swing and style swing and Bahasa, and do so at all three temples. You'll get it after you hear it here we go. Let's check it out.

make sense, right? So I'm just trying to put these three styles back to back these three tempos back to back really, for the sake of time, I would, I would practice these various styles and these various tempos separately and do so repetitively. A lot, right? So I'm just doing this I'm crunching everything together today. Just really for the sake of time. Okay, let's move on to letter B. All right, this pattern sounds like this

again, 100% diatonic using only note notes found within the scale of the key of B flat. Okay, and again, eighth notes. You can see eighth notes quarter notes in this entire line. So let's bring the ensemble and let's listen to this in a musical context using a swing style and Bossa style three different temples here we go.

When you study these lines when you're playing these lines pay attention to the change of direction the ascending and descending qualities of the lines pay attention to when arpeggio motion is being used pay attention to when scale motion is being used. Right? The linearnous of each line. So look at letter C. This melodic idea sounds like this

right and check out the repetition that I use in these lines like the last two measures of this melodic idea just repeated that little motif. So let's bring the ensemble in less listen to let her see played in a swing and Bossa style. Three different temples here we go check it out.

Now on to letter D. Right we have well let me play it for you first there we go

again, repetition the last three, the last two measures, right you hear this same kind of idea descending, measure one if you notice I'm moving in thirds, alternating thirds. Really nice and then arpeggio motion up to the ninth of the C minor. And then what I do on that f7 Nothing space, I let that note that D just rang out. Right beautiful. So now let's bring the ensemble back in again let's listen to this melodic line and swing and Bossa styles at three different temples here we go check it out.

Love it. Alright, letter E - nice so what's going on measure one, check out the first half of measure one that's like a cyclical quadruplet but using a triad shape, right. Start on my G come right back to my G. Then basically scale motion going up my F seven scale motion disguised using eighth notes and coordinates, the B flat major. That's I'm coming down arpeggio motion, B flat major in second inversion right there. So let's bring the ensemble lens. Let's drop this into a musical context using swing and Bossa style. oh, three different tempos here we go let's check it out.

Nice and speaking of cyclical quadruplets, look at letter F. These are authentic true cyclical quadruplets I start, well let me play. Let me play the I'm getting so excited. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me play the idea first.

Nice. So first measure cyclical quadruplet on that C minor starting on the fifth of the sound. Start on the fifth the G come right back to the G then the F seven I moved the same idea take that little motif that little cyclical quadruplet I move it down a whole step and I play it on the F dominant seven starting on the root B flat major seven, straight ascending scale motion. So the whole thing again nice little melodic idea. So let's bring the ensemble back in. Listen to this in a swing and Bossa style three different tempos here we go.

Onto letter, G. Check it out.

Nice. So we're gonna measure one again. I have a little idea a little motif starting on the third of the sound the way I do I like it. So I repeat it. Repetition. Right one of the keys to great improvisational solos and lines, the use of repetition. And then the B flat major, I'm ascending straight up starting on the ninth of the sound using arpeggio motion. Right? So yes, repetition is absolutely okay when improvising so often students think if I repeat an idea, or repeat a motif somehow that is an indication of of lack of creativity, not the case at all. So do not be afraid of repeating motifs repeating musical ideas within your melodic lines. So let's listen to letter G. Let's bring our ensemble back in. Let's listen to it three different tempos two different styles here we go.

Love it all right on to letter H.

Okay, so here's the idea. Nice. So this is interesting right letter H here I start measure one descending arpeggio motion, starting from the 11th of the C minor sound. Right. And then arpeggio motion on F7 as well followed by ascending scale motion on the B flat major. So neat little idea. Let's bring the ensemble in. Let's listen to it and swing in Bossa styles at three different temples. Here we go.

Before moving on to LiDAR, I just want to make this point to draw your attention to this point that one of the reasons I always stress practicing your scales and arpeggios from different entry points, right? With different entry points, different destination points, right? Whether from the root from the third, from the fifth from the seventh, notice how these lines are all starting at different entry points or ending different destination points. All right, you have to be comfortable launching melodic ideas from anywhere within the sound, right, we cannot always be route dependent. Back we want to be route independent. So anyway, another point to pay attention to as you study and you practice these melodic ideas. So now on to letter I, and one thing that should catch your attention right away when you're looking at this, this line in your lead sheet there is all eighth notes, look at the linearnous of this line. It's fabulous. Listen to how this sounds

a nice balance between ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion, which is always the formula for great melodic ideas. So let's bring the ensemble and let's take a listen to this again with our swing and Bossa grooves at three different temples here we go.

Beautiful you know JK and l all follow the same suit right a lot of eighth note movement. But I want you to check out the always check me checking out the linear motion the arpeggio motion the scale motion ascending and descending. So let's take a listen to letter J.

Nice so let's bring the ensemble in. Let's take a listen to this with our swing and Bossa grooves and three different tempos here we go

Okay, now letter K. This is a fun little idea, right? Cascading or descending thirds, all the way through the minor sound, the C minor sound all the way through the F dominant sound, and then followed up with straight arpeggio motion on the B flat major seven in third inversion. So it sounds like this

nice right, little tongue twister there with all these cascading thirds and descending thirds. So let's bring the ensemble back in. Let's take a listen to this again with our two styles or swing style Bossa style and of course, three different tempos. So here we go check it out.

Before moving on to letter L, our last melodic line for today, I just want to stress again that all of these melodic lines all 12 of these lines today are using only whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes and all of them are sticking to 100% diatonic notes. In other words, notes that belong to the scale of B flat major only. This should illuminate for you just how creative you can be in creating and developing and plain lines that just stick to simple rhythmic values and stick to diatonic notes. In fact, if you look at transcriptions, and you went through and you counted up all the diatonic notes versus the non diatonic notes, used by all the great jazz musicians of the world, you would find the majority the notes are diatonic. Okay, so let's listen to letter L.

Love it. Notice again first measure I, I state this little melodic motif. I like it. So what do I do on my F7 I repeat the same idea and then I wrap it up with my B flat major All right, very nice so let's bring the ensemble in let's listen to this one last time with our swing and Bossa styles and three different temples here we go.

Wow, it never fails, right, we always unpack a ton of information in every podcast episode and today was no exception as we explored a key of B flat major melodic workout. I cannot stress enough I've tried to stress it throughout this podcast episode, how important it is that you spend time becoming familiar with the diatonic melodic shapes the scales, and the arpeggios of a key having a command of ascending and descending scale motion within the framework of a key the modes is a huge step towards developing mature improvisation skills. And likewise, having a command of ascending and descending arpeggio motion. Outlining the harmonic shapes of a key is equally important. Then, being able to easily apply the ascending or descending scale and arpeggio shapes of a key to common chord progressions within the key such as the 251 like we did today is a big-time jazz piano skill that must be strategically studied and practice. If you're serious about becoming an accomplished jazz pianist, Now, combine last week's key of B flat major harmonic workout with this week's key of B flat major melodic workout. And you have an incredible one-two punch that will have you well on your way to mastering the key of B flat major. I said it last week and I want to stress it 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. I guarantee it. Once again, I want to encourage you to use the podcast packets, the illustrations the lead sheets the play alongs to guide you. As you've heard me say over and over and over again conceptual understanding determines your physical development. So the time that you invest in studying and mapping out the melodic exercises that we explore today is time very well spent. The return on your investment cannot be adequately expressed and as always, as always Be patient developing mature professional jazz piano skills takes time. Begin structuring your improvisation development after the plane demonstrations that I modeled for you today in this podcast episode, and you will begin to see feel and hear your progress.

Well, I hope you have found this jazz panel skills podcast lesson exploring a key of B flat major melodic workout to be insightful. And of course, I hope it's beneficial. Don't forget if you're a jazz piano skills member I will see you online next Thursday evening March 24. Not this Thursday evening. Okay? 8 pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode lesson exploring our key of B flat major melodic workout and next week's podcast lesson in greater detail and to answer any questions that you may have about the study of jazz in general. So, no masterclass this week due to spring break, I'll be out east watching my oldest son play some college baseball cannot wait. Likewise, be sure to use the educational podcast packets, the illustrations the lead sheets to play along for this podcast lesson. And the jazz panel skills courses check them out, use both they will maximize your musical growth. Also, make sure that you are an active participant in the jazz piano skills community get involved contribute to the various forums, they have a whole new look, which I'm very excited about. So take some time to make some new jazz piano friends always a great thing to do. You can reach me by phone 972-380-8050 by email Dr. Lawrence or by SpeakPipe nifty little widget found throughout the jazz piano skills website. Help held there is my cue. That's it for now. And until next week. Enjoy your key of B flat major melodic work. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz Piano