The Days of Wine and Roses

The Days of Wine and Roses

Do you want a great jazz standard to add to your repertoire, one that almost every good “jazz standard player” knows AND that is equally at home being played as a ballad, mid-tempo, or up-tempo swing tune?  Well, then, you’ll probably want to check...

Using Advanced Pentatonics

In this article we’ll take a look at some advanced pentatonics concepts, first examining how pentatonic scales are derived and then looking at a very common left hand comping device that uses the minor pentatonic scale. This left hand comping structure is an...
Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” – A Piano Tutorial

Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” – A Piano Tutorial

In this article we’ll be taking an in-depth look at Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.” This is a classic Motown hit that has been performed countless times by rock and funk bands, but has also been covered by jazz musicians. Combining a simple harmonic...
Jazz, Blues & Gospel Walkups

Jazz, Blues & Gospel Walkups

As you learn more progressions, you also need to learn how to join these progressions together. In traditional music this is often achieved using passing chords. In jazz, blues and gospel music circles you might hear the term “walk up” or “walk...
Back to Bach

Back to Bach

  There is an excellent pianist in New York City, Spike Wilner (who runs the iconic Greenwich Village jazz club, Smalls, and a newer club, Mezzrow), who was kind enough to give me a free piano lesson a couple years ago.  In that lesson, Spike told me that he...
Every Breath You Take – An Inside Look

Every Breath You Take – An Inside Look

A little backstory about this lesson - it was a sponsored lesson, meaning a student specially requested it and paid for its creation. I remember when I got the email request - it said something like “please do a jazzy arrangement of the tune.” That meant...
Tritone Substitutions Demystified

Tritone Substitutions Demystified

  One of the most common jazz harmony devices is the tritone substitution.  If you’re a jazz fan or player you’ve likely heard tritone substitutions many times.  But despite the fact that the tritone substitution is often encountered, many students are still...
Finding Inspiration And Building Intensity At The Piano

Finding Inspiration And Building Intensity At The Piano

Recently, I saw a production of The Rant by Andrew Case at The Gamm theater in Rhode Island. From The Gamm’s description of the play: One summer night in Brooklyn, an unarmed black teenage boy is gunned down by the police. When the department closes ranks around...
What is the key of this song?

What is the key of this song?

Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars   So, what would you say is the key of this popular Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson tune? First off, let’s see if you can figure out the correct chords in the tune. Here’s a hint - there are only 2 chords in the song....
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