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Aug. 17, 2021

Rhythmic Vocabulary, 3

This JazzPianoSkills Podcast Episode continues to explore standard Rhythmic Vocabulary found in classic jazz language.

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 Harmonized Diminished Scales. In this Jazz Piano Lesson you will:

Standard Rhythmic Vocabulary found in Classic Jazz Language

How to use Quarter Notes and 8th Notes to create Rhythmic Vocabulary Patterns

12 Classic Rhythmic Vocabulary Patterns used for developing a sense of time, proper jazz articulation, and improvisational ideas

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 studying and practicing Rhythmic Vocabulary.

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.

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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. Today you are going to continue our journey to discover standard rhythmic vocabulary found in classic jazz language. And we are going to learn how to use quarter notes and eighth notes to create rhythmic vocabulary patterns. And we are going to play 12 Classic rhythmic vocabulary patterns over the standard 251 progression. Specifically for developing jazz improvisational language, a sense of time, and of course proper jazz articulation. So as I always like to say regardless of where you are in your jazz journey, if you're a beginner and intermediate player, and advanced player even if you consider yourself a seasoned and experienced professional, you will find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson. Continuing our exploration of rhythmic vocabulary applied to the standard 251 progression you will find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson to be very beneficial. If you are new to jazz piano skills if you're a new jazz piano skills listener, I like to take a few minutes right here at the beginning of the podcast to personally invite you to become a jazz piano skills member. Visit jazz piano to learn more about the abundance of jazz educational resources, materials, and services that are available for you to use when studying and practicing jazz piano for example, the educational podcast packets, the illustrations, the lead sheets to play alongs that I developed that I produce and develop for every podcast episode each and every week. As a jazz panel skills member. These educational podcast packets are at your fingertips to open up and to download into use at the piano or at the sofa if you just study in the concepts before you actually get to the piano invaluable educational tools that you're going to want to use. As a jazz piano skills member, you also have access to the sequential jazz piano curriculum. And now this is a curriculum that is loaded with comprehensive courses using a self-paced format, educational talks, interactive media, there are video demonstrations of the jazz piano skills and all 12 keys. There are play alongs and much more for you to utilize. As a jazz panel skills member 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 private lash and say private because there's some other folks in there with us. Right? They are in essence, I want our online lesson with me every week. And also as a jazz panel skills member, you have access to the bright private jazz panel skills community, which hosts a variety of engaging forums, podcast-specific forums, core-specific forums, and of course, General jazz piano forums as well. And certainly, but not least, certainly, but not certainly. I get that messed up once in a while, right. So last, but certainly not least, you have access to unlimited private, personal and professional educational support whenever and as often as you need it. I'm going to tell you this is pretty. This is pretty big stuff, right? I remember when I was a kid in the 70s Yes, I'm that old. I remember when I was a kid, I had a great piano teacher who used to say to me, hey, Bob, if you have any questions, call me during the week, and I always felt so think about that for a second night in the 70s. He was all he was offering tech support long before tech support was even a thing. He was saying Call me if you have any questions. So I remember the first time I called him I was a little nervous because I thought, Man, I shouldn't be doing this. I don't want to bug him. So I made that first phone call and he answered my questions in like 30 seconds and it was so liberating for the rest of the week and practicing so I've kind of kind of kept his spirit alive and offer private and personal and professional support through speakpipe, or email or even a phone call I. So I offer that. And that's just not

empty promise. I want you to take advantage of that because it meant so much to me when I was learning and I hope it will mean a ton to you as well. So again, visit jazz piano skills comm to learn more about all of the educational opportunities, and how to easily easily activate your membership. If you have any questions, please let me know I am always happy to help you and take time to help you in any way that I can. I also want to remind everyone to check out the jazz panel skills blog, I'm really enjoying this platform quite a bit. And you can you can check out the blog whether you're a jazz panel skills member or not. And you can enjoy reading some additional insights regarding the jazz panel Skill of the Week. And you'll find the blog link in the menu bar running across the top of the page at jazz piano skills Or once you're there, you can just simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see it an entire blog section. I take some time at the end of each week to jot down my final thoughts about the jazz piano skill explored in the weekly podcast episode. And hopefully provide you with some words of encouragement and inspiration as well. So be sure to take a few minutes and check it out. Check out the blog and let me know what you think your feedback is always welcomed and is always very much appreciated. Okay, so let's discover learning play jazz piano, let's discover learning play some rhythmic vocabulary applied to to this standard 251 progression. Throughout the last two weeks, we have explored 12 different rhythmic patterns using ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. And even though our exploration had melodic movement, it was intentionally harmonically stagnant. In other words, I played all 12 rhythmic patterns over the C minor chord and the C minor chord only. Now, I have said this many times throughout many podcast episodes, that isolating sound in order to thoroughly digest a jazz panel skill to digest that conceptually and aurally and physically is without question, a very efficient and very effective practice approach. And in fact, I have no problem stating that I believe this is exactly how you should begin to discover, learn and play any jazz piano skill. As one of my musical mentors and teachers used to say, if you can't apply a jazz piano skill to an isolated sound and isolated chord, then you certainly won't be able to apply it to multiple chords within a progression and I got to tell you, he was 100% correct. But with that being said there is one little problem with this approach that only becomes a problem if you do not push yourself beyond isolated chords when exploring a jazz piano skill. And that problem is this harmonic isolation. A single core conditions us to think about melodic creation improvising. It conditions us to think about that process vertically. And unfortunately, music melody movement melody creation, whether it be compositionally or improvisationally. It's a horizontal process melody is linear, great melodic lines move linearly and are supported harmonically. In other words, Harmony supports melody. Melody does not support harmony. So

that is exactly the approach we are going to take today using our twist rhythmic patterns, we are going to support our ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion, our melody with the harmony of the classic and standard 251 progression. And in doing so you will begin to hear the formation of these melodic ideas horizontally, you will begin to hear the formation of these melodic ideas linearly. How cool Will this be? That which started as an isolated vertical exercise the last two weeks, scale and arpeggio motion moving up and down a minor sound will now become a linear melodic idea supported by the 251 progression. Now, I always like to cut my teeth. With any new jazz piano skill using the minor sound. You may have noticed that through previous podcast episodes. So why because the minor sound is the gateway to the 251 progression, which is, without question the most common, the most important chord progression in all of so we have a ton to get through today. So let's get after it. The educational agenda for today is as follows. Number one, I'm going to present 12 rhythmic vocabulary patterns, the same 12 that we did, that we have explored for the last two weeks, I'm going to present those 12 rhythmic vocabulary patterns for you to study in practice to develop your sense of time proper jazz articulation, and improve your improvisational skills. And number two, I will be playing each of the 12 rhythmic vocabulary patterns using the 251 progression in the key of B flat major. So now C minor seven to F dominant seven to B flat major seven. So now you see why the last couple of weeks we have focused on the C minor seven, setting up the 251 number three, I will be playing each rhythmic vocabulary pattern using ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion. And number four as I did the last two weeks. Just as a little added bonus. I will be using the two-handed contemporary voicings minor dominant major voicings that I presented in the June 15 22nd and 29th podcast episodes to create harmonic fills in between each rhythmic vocabulary pattern. And number five, I will be playing all demonstrations all rhythmic vocabulary patterns today using a comfy Temple of 120. And actually, I say comfy but 2120 can be a little snappy,

especially if you're not familiar with the jazz piano skill. So as always, I recommend using slower temples. Again when cutting your teeth 6575 85 right whenever you begin to explore to physically explore new jazz piano skill. Nice slow tempos are the way to go. If you are a jazz piano skills member take a few minutes right now to download and print your jazz your podcast packets, the illustrations, and the lead sheets. They're loaded. So take a second right now. download those access them and download them and you should absolutely be using them when listening to this episode. And of course, you should be using them at the piano and practicing as well. If you are listening to this podcast on any of the popular podcast directories, Apple Google Amazon Spotify I Heart Radio Pandora on and on and on then be sure to go to jazz piano skills podcast comm to download the podcast packets you will find the link the active links for the podcast packets you will find them within the show notes. And one final but extremely important note that I have started to include in every podcast episode if you are thinking that the rhythmic vocabulary patterns that we are about to the Discover, learn and play today are in some way or even if they are all the way over your head, then I would say to you, okay, don't be a scaredy-cat. Continue to listen, continue to grow your jazz piano skills intellectually by listening to this podcast episode. The fact is this. All skills are over our heads when first introduced. And that is precisely why the first step that we always need to take in order and prove our musicianship, the first step is listening. Our musical growth begins upstairs, mentally, before it can come out downstairs physically in our hands. So listen, listen to this podcast lesson now to discover and learn the play will come later, I promise. Okay, look at pattern a, in your lead sheets. And to refresh your memory, it's three quarter notes, followed by a pair of eighth notes. Just like that, and descending. Now I'm gonna put the 251 underneath that, check this out.

Nice, right now you see where we're going with this. Wow. Now check out the arpeggio with my 251 underneath it. So I get that same same rhythmic pattern

again. And if I descend, I start my arpeggio descending the sounds like this.

So now those same rhythmic ideas that we isolated using, played with an isolated minor sound, now start to sound like an improvisational line when supported with that 251 progression. So let's bring the ensemble in. And let's hear this, this rhythmic idea, this rhythmic pattern in a musical context in a musical setting, so I am going to play scale motion first a couple times ascending, then scale motion descending. Then I'll play arpeggio motion ascending, and then arpeggio motion descending from the root in an inverted shape. So on your lead sheet, just as illustrated there on your lead sheets. So let's bring the ensemble and let's see what we think. Let's listen to this. Let's check it out. Here we go.

Wow. See now now you can hear where we're going with this right? Those rhythmic ideas using simple ascending and descending scale and arpeggio motion when supported by the 251 progression, all of a sudden. Sounds like an improvisational line sounds like jazz vocabulary, jazz language. The reason it sounds like that is because it is jazz language. It is common jazz vocabulary. Right. So just a side note here real quick. I'm doing everything today scale motion, the fragment, the fragment of the my of the sound that I'm using, I'm playing the minor sound, minor scale from the root to the seventh. And I'm applying the 251 place and the 251 underneath that motion. And then when I do the arpeggio, Id set what the scale I ascend from the C up to the B flat, descend from the B flat down to the C, when I do my arpeggio ascending, I ascend from the root of the C C minor, up to the seventh. And when I descend, I just added a little inverted shape, instead of descending from the seventh, I choose to descend from the root. So I'm actually playing an inverted C minor shape C, B flat, E flat, descending, and then working my way back up to the root again, it's if you look at the lead sheet, it should all make perfect sense. So now pattern number two, we shift our eighth notes over to count three. So our pattern sounds like this. descending my arpeggio nice and descending.

So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's listen to this rhythmic pattern placed within a musical context and musical settings. So here we go. Let's check it out.

Pretty darn cool. It's amazing. quarter notes, eighth notes, quarter notes, and eighth notes. Sounds so flipping good. That's awesome. So let's continue on. We're going to shift our eighth notes, our pair of eighth notes now over to count two. So it's going to sound like this when supported by 251.

Coming down, arpeggio going up

and our pitcher coming down.

Good stuff. Let's bring the ensemble in. Let's drop it into a musical context and see what we think. Here we go.

Very, very nice, very nice. So we've had our pair of eighth notes on count four, we shifted the eighth notes to count three, we shifted the eighth notes to count two. Now our pattern D, in your lead sheets, the pair of eighth notes are now placed on count one. So when supported by 251, it sounds like this.

Nice arpeggio and descending.

hard to beat. I mean, those are just great melodic ideas supported by the iconic and standard classic 251 progression. So we'll bring the ensemble back in, let's place it into musical setting our pattern de rhythmic idea pattern D Let's place in a musical context and see what we think Here we go.

Awesome. Love it, absolutely love it. So pattern, a pattern beep pattern c plat pattern D simply has a single pair of eighth notes that we moved that we placed on count four, then on count three, count two, and count one. So now with pattern e on your lead sheet there, you will see that we now have a couple pair of eighth notes. And we're going to start with the back end of the measure counts three and four. So we're going to have quarter notes on counts one and two. And our eighth note pairs on counts three and four. So when that rhythmic pattern is supported by 251, it's going to sound like this. Coming down nice, the arpeggio, the application of that pattern to the arpeggio sounds like this again, and descending.

Sounded like jazz. Sounds like jazz to me. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's place it into a musical setting and see what we think. Here we go. Check it out.

Very, very nice. So, we're going to shift our pair of eighth notes now two counts two and three. We're gonna have quarter notes on count one and a quarter note on count four, with our eighth notes placed on counts two and three. So that rhythmic pattern, pattern F, supported by the 251 progression sounds like this.

I love it. Now the arpeggio sounds like this. Again, descending.

Very nice. So once again, let's bring the out sample. And let's place this rhythmic pattern f into a musical context into a musical setting and see what we think. Here we go.

Very cool. Very cool indeed. So if we've taken our pair of eighth notes, we started on the back end of the measure and placed those pair of eighth notes on counts three and four. We then shifted our eighth notes two counts two and three. Now we're going to shift them to the front end of the measure and play start place our eighth notes on counts one and two, followed by a quarter note on count three and a quarter note on count four. So when I take pattern G and I apply placed a 251 progression underneath it, it's going to sound like this scale motion first. descending.

Nice ascending arpeggio motions going to sound like this. Again descending

Wow, can't wait to hear this. Let's bring the ensemble and let's drop this pattern g into a musical context a musical setting and see what we think here we go check it out.

Wow, what can I say? Good stuff. So so far, we've done seven patterns, pattern a through pattern G. First, for patterns, we dealt with a single pair of eighth notes that we placed on counts for on count four, count three, count two, and then count one. And then patterns Five, six, and seven, or pattern E, F, and G, we dealt with two pair of eighth notes, side by side that we placed on the back end of the measure on counts three and four, then we shifted in the counts two and three. And then we place them on the front end of the measure on counts one and two. Now we're going to split those eighth notes apart, we're going to still just deal with two pairs of eighth notes, but we're going to split them apart. So with pattern H, we're going to place our eighth notes on count two and four, and place quarter notes on counts one and three. So when we play this pattern pattern, ah supported by a 251 progression, it's going to sound like this when we use scale motion. descending. Again,

nice arpeggio motion now same rhythmic pattern

descending arpeggio motion.

Wow, you see how it's becoming linear, our melodic line, we're thinking linearly, stretched out, a melodic idea is stretched out over the top of several chords. And of course, we're using the standard 251 progression today. But you should this this should start to make sense to you orally. And it will definitely make sense to you physically. When you start applying the 251 underneath you'll see a shift in linear thinking to linear thinking versus vertical thinking. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's check it out. pattern. Ah, let's check it out and see what we think. Here we go.

Very, very nice, you can now predict what's coming next, right? If we've placed our eighth notes on counts two and four, we're going to flip it. Now we're going to place our eighth notes on counts one and three, with quarter notes placed on counts two, and four. So was scale motion supporting with scale motion at our when using scale motion with that rhythmic ideas supported by 251 it's gonna sound like this.


nice arpeggio motion a Sunday.

And now descending.

Very cool. Wow, let's bring the ensemble back in. Let's check this out. Here we go.

Okay, so I just want to make a point here, with all of these rhythmic patterns when practicing them, when using the play alongs that are provided. Right? You should be you should be thinking when you're playing these rhythmic patterns, do I sound like a jazz pianist? Right, you should be playing these lines in such a way that if somebody walked into the room, nobody's gonna walk into the room and go, Oh, I see what they're they're just going straight up the scale and straight down the scale or they're just going straight up the arpeggio and straight down the arpeggio. I promise you if you're playing these lines with the correct articulation, the correct feel, and you're bouncing from quarter notes, eighth notes and back to quarter notes to eighth notes like we were just doing. No one is going to think that you're just going up and down a scale. They're gonna walk in and they're gonna say, Man, that sounds great. And that's ultimately what you want to happen you want you're practicing the sound so musical that anybody in earshot listening is enjoying. And in fact, they'll probably think you're playing some song will ask you what are you playing? That's the goal, right? We do not want exercises sounding like exercises, they need to sound like music. So now let's move on to pattern J. And now we're going to use primarily all all eighth notes right three pairs of eighth notes So pattern j, or the 10th pattern that we're using today is going to start with a quarter note on count one, followed by eighth note pairs on counts two, three, and four. So it's going to sound like this using scale motion supported by the 251. progression ascending.

I was descending again.

Nice. Now arpeggio motion.

Good. And descending from the root. Again.

Love it. Let's bring the ensemble in. Let's check it out. Here we go.

So now let's, let's reverse it. Let's play eighth note pairs on counts one, two, and three, followed by a quarter note on count four. And if we play that using scale motion first supported by our 251 progression, it's classic. Here we go. Again,

nice arpeggio motion.

Now descending, ascending arpeggio motion.

Wow, great stuff. excellent way to practice. So now let's bring our sample back in. And let's place it in a musical context and see what we think. Here we go.

Very cool. Just imagine if you could play all these patterns, these 12 patterns. And you can play these 12 patterns overall to five ones all 12 to five one progressions you are on your way to becoming a very accomplished jazz pianist. That's how fundamentally important these rhythmic patterns are, to your success. The goal should be to play these 12 rhythmic patterns using quarter eighth note combinations over all 12 to five ones, playing them with proper feel proper time articulation, sounding like a jazz pianist, if you do that, you are well on your way to becoming a very accomplished jazz pianist. So the last pattern for today pattern l or the 12 pattern, all eighth notes, counts 123 and four, which will require us to repeat the top and bottom notes of the phrase. So using scale motion supported by two five one's gonna sound like this. Again,

nice ascending descending arpeggio motion

and descending us in the arpeggio motion.

Very good. Excellent. So now let's bring the ensemble in. Let's place pattern L, our last pattern for today the 12 rhythmic vocabulary pattern into a musical context into a musical setting and see what we think Here we go. Let's check it out.

What can I say? This has been a very exciting hour to say the least. I've mentioned this in the last two podcast episodes that I've been teaching jazz, piano and improvisation for 35 plus years. And I never get tired of talking about rhythm. And I never get tired of talking about rhythm when applied to linearly over a 251 progression. And I guess the reason is because rhythm is. As I've mentioned previously, rhythm is the big dog. It is definitely the big dog in music. And ironically it is, without question the most neglected aspect of music when it comes to teaching. All of us jazz teachers we love to teach. And all jazz students love to learn about melody and harmony. But rarely do we spend time with rhythm and this is tremendously sad because as a result, we end up producing a lot of wandering jazz musician Right, they're playing just sounds like they're wandering over the keyboard playing, playing notes. And ultimately, jazz musicians were just wandering, end up frustrated because they are playing. They know they're playing all the correct notes and they know they're playing the correct chords. But without any rhythmic definition to their plane. It always will leave the aspiring jazz piano scratching their head as to why their music doesn't sound like jazz. I've mentioned this in the previous podcast episodes. So do not blow past this jazz panel skills podcast episode or the previous two podcast episodes dealing with rhythmic vocabulary. Do not take it lightly. Your ability to play various rhythms using various quarter note and eighth note combinations is absolutely crucial. If you do not get comfy playing quarter eighth note rhythmic combinations in time over 251 with a proper jazz articulation, you will never develop into an accomplished jazz pianist that is just simply the truth. So play the 12 patterns, again, play these 12 patterns that I've presented to you today overall to five over the 251 progression in all 12 keys. If you do, you will indeed love how you're playing your sound will radically change and improve and you will be well on your way to becoming a very accomplished jazz pianist. So, as you have probably surmised, with the name of this podcast episode, rhythmic vocabulary, three, that there are more rhythmic studies to come and there are in time. All right, we're going to take a little break from rhythm next week, but these three episodes will certainly get you well on your way. So I hope you have found this jazz piano skills podcast lesson exploring standard rhythmic vocabulary applied to the standard 251 progression to be insightful and of course, beneficial. Don't forget if you are a jazz piano skills member I will see you online Thursday evening at the jazz piano skills masterclass 8pm Central time to discuss this podcast episode lesson exploring the rhythmic vocabulary patterns over the 251 progression in greater detail and to answer any questions that you may have about the study of jazz in general. And again, as a jazz panel skills member Be sure to use the educational podcast packets, the illustrations the lead sheets to play alongs for this podcast lesson, and be sure to use the jazz panel skills courses to help you maximize your musical growth. Likewise, make sure you are an active participant in the jazz panel skills community get out there, get involved contribute to the various forums, make some new jazz piano friends. Always an excellent thing to do. You can reach me by phone 972-380-8050 my extension my office extension is 211 by email Dr. Lawrence Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano or through speakpipe found throughout the jazz piano skills website. Well, there is my cue. That's it for now and until next week. Enjoy the rhythmic vocabulary patterns apply to the standard 251 progression. Enjoy the journey. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play

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