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Bud Powell's solo on Charlie Parker's Scrapple from the Apple
How Bud Powell's approached improvising on Charlie Parker's Scrapple from the Apple
Bud Powell improvisational lines found in Charlie Parke's Scrapple from the Apple
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Welcome to jazz piano skills. I'm Dr. Bob Lawrence. It's time to discover, learn and play jazz piano. Today is transcription Tuesday. As you know, last week, I announced the official jazz piano skills educational podcast lineup, which I personally think is fantastic. Of course, I may be a little biased, but you have to agree that an educational rotation that includes tunes study, technique, study, theory study, and transcription study is pretty darn cool. And not only is it pretty darn cool, it's pretty darn thorough as well. It's a solid educational agenda program that will without doubt, without doubt, help you successfully discover, learn and play jazz piano. And here's the best part. It happens every Tuesday, every week, of every month, throughout the entire year. It doesn't get much better than that. So today, transcription Tuesday, we are going to take a look at a classic solo by none other than the great bud Powell. We're going to take a close look at his tremendous performance on Charlie Parker's tune scrapple from the apple from the 1963 Dexter Gordon recording our man in Paris. It's fantastic. Our analysis will cover the entire solo from start to finish, and answer a variety of questions. Questions such as? What types of motion? Does bird pile tend to use arpeggio scale? What type of alterations? Does he tend to favor flat nine, sharp nine, flat 13? Etc. How much repetition does he use throughout his soul? Does he use any additional harmonic structures or chord substitutions? What lines would be beneficial for us for you for me to use to develop our own jazz vocabulary? Wow. An incredible amount of great information to unpack. So it's going to be a busy podcast episode without a doubt right. But before we dig in, and spend time with bud pow, I want to take a second and personally invite all new first time listeners to join jazz piano skills to become an active member. All you have to do go to jazz piano skills.com click on the join link, pick a plan and join. It's that simple. Once you are an official member, you will have full access to all of the educational content and resources at jazz piano skills. The educational podcast guides the interactive courses the weekly masterclass a private community plus personal and professional support provided by me. I will of course be sharing more details about each of these amazing benefits throughout today's episode. I say this every week because it's so important and I simply cannot stress it enough. If you are indeed serious about developing the jazz piano skills needed for you to become an accomplished jazz pianist, then you should absolutely become a jazz piano skills member and begin taking advantage of all of the education additional content, all of the materials, the resources and the professional support. There are several membership plans to choose from. So you can definitely find one that is going to be a good fit for you. You can become a member for a month, if you just simply want to try it out. There's also a quarterly membership plan. And of course, there is an annual membership plan as well. All three plans regardless of which one you choose, all three plans will grant you full access to the educational content, the materials, the resources and professional support. So check it out jazz piano skills calm. If you have any questions, let me know. I'm happy to speak with you and help you determine which jazz piano skills membership plan is best for you. Alright, on with the show, it's time to discover, learn and play. Bud powe's solo on scrapple from the apple. So today you are going to discover by piles scrapple from the apple, you're going to learn what improvisational approaches but pa tend to to use when soloing and you are going to play various bud power lines to begin developing your own jazz vocabulary. So regardless of where you are in your jazz journey, a beginner an intermediate player and advanced player or even if you are an experienced professional, you will find this jazz panel skills podcast lesson exploring bud pals solo on scrapple from the apple to be very beneficial. To begin, I want to briefly talk about transcriptions. Why are they important and how to properly use them. When practicing. You do not have to hang around jazz circles for very long before you will hear someone in fatica Lee proclaim, you must begin to transcribe if you are serious about learning how to improvise. And you will then witness as you look around the room, everyone. And I mean everyone, emphatically shaking their heads up and down in complete and total agreement. Heck, it's such a powerful jazz moment that you will even begin shaking your head up and down in agreement. Even if you are new to the idea of transcribing and know absolutely nothing about transcriptions. You'll find yourself shaking your head up and down like yeah, that's right. Then, after you have publicly affirmed your commitment to transcribing solos, you're hearing instantly miraculously improves. That's right. Because it's at this point, it's at this very moment, you will actually begin to truly listen and hear the conversations about what all is involved with transcribing a solo which in turn will make you become somewhat depressed. and rightfully so. Because at this point, you will begin doubting your newfound eagerness and commitment to transcribe, you will begin questioning. Man transcribing seems like an awful lot of work to actually decipher every single note a pianist is playing and then write it down on manuscript paper. And then begin to meticulously practice the entire solo in hopes of retaining various musical phrases so that I can then utilize them in my own plane. Really. Now, it's time for a little old fashioned skepticism to settle in. And again rightfully so. You now ask this is probably process really work? What actually will be my return on investment? Well, let's take the time to actually think this through number one, it is indeed a ton of work to figure out every note of a solo and then figure out how to properly write it down on manuscript paper using traditional music notation, and not only that, transcribing also involves determining how the notes are rhythmically played. And then writing that down to bottom line, it is very, and I mean, very time consuming is specially if you are new to the entire transcribing process. And it can also be very, very frustrating. So with that being said, some of you must be thinking, Well, then, is it worth it? to transcribe? Here's my answer. No. Stand. It is not worth your time to transcribe. Whoa. I am sure many of you are indeed stunned. Especially all of you jazz traditionalist, believe me, I realized that I have just spoken jazz blasphemy. Before you set out to crucify me, allow me to explain why I make such a radical claim. To begin, I am not. And I repeat, I am not saying that transcriptions are not beneficial to one's musical growth. In fact, just the opposite. transcriptions are invaluable. As we will soon realize, when studying bud pals solo on scrapple from the apple. The number one justification you will always hear for the importance of transcribing is that it is good for your training. And transcribing is indeed good for the development of musical ears, no doubt about it. However, there are much more effective and efficient ways to develop musical ears than to spend hours trying to figure out each and every note and rhythm of a jazz solo. Also, just because you may not have physically transcribed a solo, it doesn't mean that your oral scales will not significantly improve through the proper study and practicing of the solo. The second justification for transcribing is that it is an invaluable type of jazz excavation needed for discovering stylistically correct vocabulary. And again, this is a very true statement. However, we are living in the year 2020, where we now have what feels like endless access to collections of transcriptions, transcription books, transcription, and now apologies and downloadable PDF transcriptions, like like everything else, they're everywhere and accessible with one click of your mouse. In other words, you do not need to reinvent the wheel here. There are already more than enough transcriptions are ready available to keep you busy for the rest of your entire life. simply impossible to get through them all. So that study of transcription should be an integral part of your practice routine. So much so that I'm dedicating an entire podcast episode two transcription study every month. All I am stressing here is that you do not need to spend hours upon hours Every week trying to figure out every single note of a solo, when you can download it in seconds, right? Makes no sense. There are much better ways to spend your time practicing than trying to transcribe. Now, once you have your transcription in front of you, regardless of how you've obtained it, either through transcribing it yourself, or downloading it, you have to know how to properly use a transcription in order to experience jazz growth. And today, we will do just that we will properly use bud Powell solo on scrapple from the apple to strengthen our jazz technique, our jazz articulation, our jazz, oral skills, and our jazz vocabulary. What we will not be doing today is memorizing a line a leg from a bird POW solo in hopes to regurgitate it why plain other songs. So many students approach transcriptions in this manner and as a result, experience disastrous results. Why? Because the entire point, the entire objective of studying transcription is to discover and unveil your musical thoughts. When I say that again, the entire point. The entire objective of studying at transcription is to discover and unveil your musical thoughts. The study and practice of a transcription is not about shoving something into you. It's just the opposite. It's about pulling something out of you. Musical thoughts that you are ready, possess. transcriptions simply serve as a launch pad or a diving board into your pool of musical thoughts. Yes, a transcription is indeed a window that allows us to peer into the mind of a musician. Today we will learn a ton about how bud Powell thinks about music. But more importantly, bud powe's. scrapple from the apple performance will function as a musical flashlight that will illuminate our inner musical thoughts. No doubt. Today is going to be fun. As we discovered, learn and play jazz piano with jazz great bud Powell. And without question, you will more than likely have many questions as we take apart scrapple from the apple. And that is precisely why I am committed to providing all jazz panel skills members immediate personal and professional support. If you are listening to this podcast through the jazz piano skills website, you can use the extremely convenient speakpipe widget nestled directly beneath the podcast player to send me a voicemail message. It's that easy. It's that simple. One click and the two of us are interacting with each other. Send me a voicemail message and I will send you one back. Send me your questions. I will send you answers. It's very cool technology. If you're listening on on I Heart Radio or Spotify Apple Pandora, Amazon, music or any other popular podcast directory you can use the link speakpipe.com www dot speakpipe comm forward slash jazz piano skills to send me a quick message that link again speakpipe.com forward slash jazz piano skills if you're a scaredy CAD and you're afraid to send me a voicemail message. Then you can post your questions in the private jazz piano skills forum or the private jazz panel skills Facebook group and let the jazz piano skills community help you. Look directly beneath the speakpipe widget. And you'll see the links for easy access to each of these communities each of these platforms, or, hey, if you're free on Thursday evenings, you can attend the Thursday evening jazz piano masterclass that I host every week. Join me online 8pm Central time using the zoom link posted at the jazz panel skills on the jazz panel skills website. get your questions answered face to face, I would love to see you Thursday evening 8pm Central. I provide you with so many ways to get help. So definitely take advantage of the opportunities. As you know, my entire goal is to provide you with the very best jazz piano lessons, the very best jazz piano educational materials, and the very best jazz piano support that's available anywhere today. Okay, here we go. If you are jazz piano skills member take a second right now to open download and print. The illustration guide, hit the pause button, download and print the illustration guide and the lead sheet guide. Both download both the illustration guide and the lead sheet guide. You're going to want to have these guides in front of you as we go through this transcription. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words you will find these guides to be incredibly beneficial. If you're not a jazz piano skills member join so you can access and use the educational podcast guides they are invaluable and pack more value than I can even explain. Okay To get started, you have your guides in front of you. To get started. Let's take a listen to the head of scrapple from the apple as played by Dexter Gordon, in 1963 on an album called our man in Paris, along with pianist bud Pao basis, Pierre Michel Oh, and drummer Kenny Clark. Let's check this out. Here we go. Wow. Now that is some kind of energy right from the downbeat. Wow, now that we have a feel for this tune, and its treatment in this recording, let's check out bud powe's solo. It begins at the five minute and two second mark. Again, download and print out the transcription which is included in the lead sheet guide. It helps, right it helps to have it in your hands and to follow along with your eyes as you listen. Okay. All right. So here we go. Here's bud Paul's solo on scrapple from the apple 1963 check it out. Pretty impressive, it's great. But now let's begin our analysis. All right, now that we've listened to the, to the tune to the head of the tune, and we've listened to the song, by the way, I encourage you to listen to the entire recording. So go to YouTube, check it out. But now that we've listened, let's begin our analysis. And I always like to break apart a transcription into three parts. Number one, I like to take a look at the chord and scale tones that are being used the root, third, fifth, seventh, and so on. Number two, I like to take a look at the non chord scale tones, right things like neighboring tones, passing tones, alterations. Number three, I like to look at significant harmonic motion such as 251. Okay, so you will notice in the illustration guide, you will notice you have a copy of the transcription with all of the chord scale tones highlighted in yellow. Right. Now talk about a picture's worth 1000 words. Just look at all of those yellow dots. Right? It jumps, they all jump off the page, it is obvious that most of his solo uses chord tones and scale tones. I would guess easily 90%. But you know what? Before I started the podcast today, I did a really quick count of all the notes in the entire solo, right? And I did it really quick count of all the chord scale tones. Okay, so the total number of notes if I counted correctly, 358 notes, total number of chord scale tones 289. So this comes to approximately 81%. Wow. Now again, my math may be off a little because I did it very, very quickly. But the point being is that the majority of the notes played by bud Pyle during his solo are chord and scale tones. I tell students all the time, improvisation development begins first and foremost, with chord tones. Then we add scale tones. Then we add non chord scale tones. Playing with non chord scale tones before you have a command of improvising with chord and scale tones is like playing with fire. You're going to get burned. You know why? Because non chord scale tones are technically wrong notes. And if you can't make music using the right notes, you certainly cannot make music using the wrong notes. I remember one time a teacher asked me, Dr. Lawrence, how do you teach students to play wrong notes? Right? What a great question, right? How do you teach students to play wrong notes? Right? I said heezy teach them how to play write notes right? First, then worry about the wrong notes. But Pao is certainly validating this improvisational approach. You will also notice that included in the illustration guide that I hope you have downloaded and printed and have in front of you is a copy of the transcription with all of the non chord scale tones analyzed and labeled as well. I want you to take note of a couple things. Number one, bud Powell loves to use approach tones like upper and lower neighboring tones. passing tones, and he loves the altered dominant sound, flat nine, sharp nine, flat five, sharp 11, sharp five, flat 13. And along these lines, I want you to notice that all of those fancies man see alterations occur on what sound? Yep, the dominant sound, not the major, not the minor, not to have to manage not to diminish the fancy schmancy altered sounds, all occur on the dominant chord. Maybe that's why the dominant chord is called dominant. Finally, included in your illustration guide is the transcription with six to five one ideas played by bud POW that I have highlighted, and that we are going to isolate today we'll analyze each one, play each one. And I will use one of them. To demonstrate how to practice musical thought. From a transcription to illuminate your musical ideas. I'm going to say that again, we're going to analyze one of them or look at one of them to demonstrate how to practice musical thought a musical thought by bud POW to illuminate your musical ideas. Who told you transcription Tuesday is awesome. Okay, grab the transcription that you have in your illustration guide that has the 6251 lines highlighted. Okay. And we're going to go through each one of each one of those ideas right now. So number one right out of the chute, right? Right at the beginning of his solo, a 251 that he plays, what a great line, it goes like this. Is that nice? again. So let's take a look at that. Right away he in circles, his target note is a G minor, right, we're in the key of F G minor c seven F major he circles that g with an upper and lower neighboring town, then use a scale motion. Now he gets that dominant chord, his entry point is the seventh. And so he's thinking upper extensions, because he starts on the seventh, he goes to the nine up to the 13, flat 13. Here's these alterations flat 13/3 flat nine route, and then he resolves it to the F major. Really nice. So I'm gonna play this line, I'm gonna bring the ensemble and I'm gonna practice this to five one. And I'm gonna play it at 180, which is kind of a smoking temple, right, but, but I want you to hear it up tempo. And FYI, it's not as smoking as Dexter Gordon. But Paul, I believe they're playing around 240. But when you begin practicing this idea, and all of these ideas I present today, do so at a much slower tempo. So you can really nail down the musical idea, not just the notes and the rhythm, but the proper feel and articulation as well. Also, you are going to hear me repeat this idea several times, one after another after another after another. And in reality, if I was actually practicing this idea and not doing a podcast, I would repeat it many many more times. I want this line this shape the sound to become a musical an oral memory. So I can begin using it to expose and develop my own musical ideas. We'll talk about more about that more in more detail later. So okay, so let's take a listen. Here we go. Idea number one. I'm gonna play that with the ensemble several times 180 Here we go. Let's check it out. When I tell you that's a great line, and it takes repetition, repetition, repetition, to really get that thought that musical idea that shape that sound into your ears and under your fingers, we're going to come back to this very 251 this very first one, and we're going to utilize it to actually develop our own musical thoughts toward the end of this podcast episode. Okay, so let's take a look at 251 progression number two. Okay. So again, G minor, C seven F major, he starts it with a little motif. I love that again on the G minor. Now check this out on the C seven. Right, he starts on the flat nine, up on top, starts on a D flat. then guess what he does, he uses chromaticism get down to his B flat. But then check this out. We got the a flat, E, D flat. There we go. Again, with the flat nine, I mean, the flat 13. And then the flat nine, the same thing that we just played in the first 251 exercise. So he's repeating that idea again, right? He gets and then resolves to his F. So the whole thing is to then, really great. Another great idea. So let's bring the ensemble in. And now let's listen to this idea. up tempo 180. I'm going to repeat it over and over and over again. So I get this shape and this sound in my ears and under my fingers. Again, if you're practicing at home, I would start much slower tempos. But here we go. Let's check it out and see how this 251 sounds. When we isolate it. Here we go. Wow, another great 251 by Mr. Boyd pile, all of these ideas. Today I'm doing 6251 patterns from the scrapple from his solo and scrapple from the apple. And all of them are just really just fertile ground for you for me to explore, to develop to discover our own musical thoughts and ideas and develop our own jazz vocabulary. So onto 251 pattern number three, he starts on G and he works his way down. The minor chord basically in thirds, right Then on that's dominant seventh chord, again, he's going to incorporate the flat nine. There's that flat nine, and then resolves it to the F. A great little line, primarily one chord, and scale tones, with the exception of that flat nine. Very nice. So let's bring the ensemble in. Let's take this up tempo. Let's isolate it. Let's listen to it. Repeat it several times to get the sound in the shapes in our ears and under our fingers. Here we go. 180 251. Pattern number three from scrapple from the apple, bud Powell. Here we go. Very nice. Awesome, man. All right, number four, we're just going to keep marching on here, right number four, the fourth to five one. This is page two of your transcription that you have in front of you. page two right at the top of the page 251 pattern number four, check it out. That opening line that opening musical thoughts sound familiar? That's the very same very same melodic motif that he used with 251 progression number one that we looked at where he circles and circles the tonic the G. Fantastic. Now we're getting to that dominant What do we have again, guess what flat 13 comes down the scale flat nine. Then he uses lower neighboring tones resolve up to that F major. Nice little chromatic idea. So it sounds like this the whole thing. Classic classic Bebop line right there. Beautiful. So let's bring the ensemble back in. Let's listen to this uptempo at 180 isolate this to five one get the shapes and sounds in our ears and under our fingers. So here we go. Check it out. Really great. Write again classic, classic Bebop melodic thought classic Bebop line. Okay, on to 251 pattern number five. This one he utilizes a lot of chromaticism, really kind of working off of the fully altered dominant sound right. So he's got a like a flat nine sound in there sharp nine sound, a flat 13. It's fantastic. So listen to this, he starts on the E of G minor, G, now he starts this chromatic descent. And then finally, he in circles, approaches, the F major resolves that by encircling the third of F major. Right, so he gets. Wow, that's a great line to say a little tricky with all that chromaticism in there. But that's again as a classic Bebop sound right with that fully altered dominant, all these all those alterations in there. So let's bring the ensemble and let's isolate this to five, one, played up tempo at 180. Repeat it several times, again, why we're getting these shapes and these sounds in our ears, and under our fingers. So here we go. Let's check this out. doesn't get much better than that. That is just a great line over 251 really nice. Now the final 251, the sixth 251 that we're taking a look at today six pattern. It two is another great line that utilizes altered dominant sounds you're going to hear. We're going to hear our sharp nine again, our flat nine, our flat 13. Alright, he loves it. And he goes back to the well several several times on all these ideas. So the G minor he starts his entry point is the 13. He just goes up arpeggiated motion using chord tones all the way up to the nine. Then he begins his descent. Alright, so now he's thinking right there he's thinking alteration into that C dominant, that C dominant sound sharp nine flat nine again root flat 13 and then finally resolves it to our F. Again, he's resolving the F to the third. Right. So now this line sounds like this. Pretty right. One more time. Wow. Another great classic Bebop line. What else do we expect right from bud POW. So okay, let's bring the ensemble back in. We'll pump this up to 180 isolate this to five one, get these, this line. These shape the sound in our ears and under our hands. So here we go. Let's check it out. Okay, so there you have it, you have 6251 melodic ideas that we have extracted from bud Powell solo on scrapple from the apple that we are going to use to discover our own musical thoughts, our own musical ideas, right? Again, remember we're going to use utilize these ideas to illuminate and develop our jazz vocabulary. So to do this, I'm going to demonstrate this on our very first 251, your job is to do this same process on the remaining five to five ones. Okay. So let's go back to 251. Number one, remember this, this 251, it was this great line. So I'm going to first take the two core, I'm going to isolate the two chord and this musical motif, this idea. Just that. So I'm going to bring the ensemble and we're going to isolate the two chord, the G minor, and I'm going to work off that melodic motif, you're going to hear me repeat it several times. And then you're going to hear me start to play around with it start to experiment with changing it rhythmically. And coming up with some new ideas on how to transform it into shapes and sounds that kind of makes sense to me. Right? Again, I'm trying to pull out of me extract from me, my musical thoughts and my musical ideas, right? So let's bring the ensemble and, and I'm just going to work for a little bit on this too, on this two chord, isolated G minor with this melodic motif. Okay, so here we go. Let's check this out. That makes sense. Now you see where I'm going with all this, you see how you should begin utilizing the ideas from a transcription to help us start to develop your jazz vocabulary. Right. So now I want to do the same thing on the five chord, I'm going to isolate that five. Remember, he starts on the seventh then resolves it. But the idea on the dominant seven 913, then altered flat 13 to the third flat nine, back to the root. Wow. So now I'm going to isolate that dominant chord. I'm going to take that melodic motif. And I'm going to experiment with it and see what I can discover. see what I can find. Okay? So here we go. Let's bring the ensemble in. I'm going to repeat that idea several times. And then you're going to hear me go to work and start to explore using that melodic motif. Alright, here we go. Let's check it out. Very, very cool. Right? So now we've isolated the two chord we've taken from bud Powell, his little motif, we've explored with that, discover some of our own ideas, our own thoughts. We've done the exact same thing. For the five chord we've taken bud powers melodic thought melodic idea. And we utilize that, again, as a diving board into the pool of our own thoughts and try to discover our own creativity, right. So now we're going to put it all together, I'm going to do the 251. And I'm going to you're going to hear me play the original idea from bud Powell. You're going to hear me play that several times. And then you're going to hear me begin my exploration of that 251 pattern, using his melodic motifs as a springboard right as a way to get into my musical thoughts and ideas. So here we go. Let's bring the ensemble Lin. And let's check it out. Here we go. So much fun, man. could do that all day long. So now you have the idea, right. So now your your job is to take the transcription that you have that you have downloaded, included in your lead sheet guides. And also in that lead sheet guide, you're going to see just the core another lead sheet with just the chord progression and another lead sheet illustrating the harmonic function. Very important practice with both of those as well. But now Your job is to take the transcription take the six to five one patterns that I have isolated that I highlighted in your packet in the illustration guide, and use those guides and use the illustrations in the lead sheets to help you begin exploring your musical ideas to help discover your thoughts and ideas that yes are already in you. And we're using bud Paul and his thoughts to help pull out of us our creativity, our jazz vocabulary. So I hope you have found this transcription Tuesday this jazz piano skills podcast lesson exploring bud pals solo on scrapple from the apple to be insightful and of course, to be very beneficial. Don't forget if you are a jazz piano skills member I will see you online Thursday evening 8pm Central Time for the jazz panel skills masterclass. We will discuss this podcast episode, we will discuss this lesson exploring bud piles solo on scrapple from the apple in greater detail and answer any questions that you may have, not only about the transcription in the study and the use of transcriptions in your own practicing, but any questions that you may have about jazz in general. Also, as a jazz piano skills member, be sure to use all of the educational podcast guides that are included in your membership to help expedite your musical growth, especially, especially with today's lesson. And also check out the jazz piano skills courses to maximize your musical growth as well. It's a fabulous sequential, educational curriculum that's available for you at jazz piano skills.com likewise, make sure you are an active participant in the jazz panel skills forums and private Facebook group get involved and make some new jazz piano friends. As always, you can reach me by phone at 972-380-8050. Extension 211 by email Dr. Lawrence Dr. Lawrence at jazz piano skills.com or by speakpipe found on the jazz piano skills website. Also included in the educational podcast guides and the jazz piano skills courses. Well, that's it for now. And until next week, enjoy the journey. And most of all, have fun as you discover, learn and play jazz piano