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Learn Jazz Piano: book 4: How to solo

Learn Jazz Piano: book 4: How to solo

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Learn Jazz Piano: book 4: How to solo

4.5/5 (9 valutazioni)
135 pagine
1 ora
Mar 2, 2016


This 4th book in the Learn Jazz Piano series, called How To Solo, focuses on soloing techniques, using jazz standards as your guide. Everything you have learned from books 1 – 3 is now brought together to turn your jazz solos into an expression of your individuality.

Mar 2, 2016

Informazioni sull'autore

I live in London, UK and have been a professional musician and composer since 1967. This series of books run alongside my online video course at

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Learn Jazz Piano - Paul Abrahams

Learn Jazz Piano

Published by Paul Abrahams at Smashwords

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy.

Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

© Paul Abrahams

First published 2014

Revised 2016

Author’s note

Although this series of books can be read independently, I would recommend that certain sections be studied alongside my online video series Learn Jazz piano, which can be purchased here:

Learn Jazz Piano Online with Paul Abrahams

Each lesson package contains a 30-minute online video, together with downloadable backing tracks, sheet music and a quiz.

At the start of a chapter I have indicated which video lesson relates to the text.


Playing the illustrations

Throughout this book I have provided many graphic examples. When playing these illustrations always assume that they are to be performed with swing eights, unless otherwise stated.


Table of contents

Author’s note


Naming chord symbols

Naming extensions & alterations



1: The trouble with 7th chords

2: Right hand / left hand

3: Chords and their scales

4: The Bebop scales

5: Putting scales to work

6: Rhythmic variation

7: All Of Me

8: 3s and 7s

9: A Berlin classic

10: Finding the sweet notes

11: Taking notes for a walk

12: Interlude

13: Danger Zones!

14: Too much information

15: Managing turnarounds

16: A final checklist



As in my three previous books, I will be using American terminology. So with apologies to my fellow countrymen and women, I’ll continue to speak of quarter notes and swing eights rather than crotchets and swing quavers.


Naming chord symbols

As no two books use the same chord symbol names, I’m opting for the following:

Naming extensions & alterations

As the name suggests, extensions are notes played above the octave. They should therefore be referred to as 9ths, 11ths and 13ths and their respective flattened or sharpened versions as b9, #9, #11 and b13.

9, 11 and 13 are extensions.

b9, #9, #11 and b13 are alterations.

If these added notes occur within a chord they should, in theory, be referred to as 2nds, 4ths and 6ths etc.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t that simple and the same note can be described in a number of ways. For example, #11 will often be referred to as b5.

Here are the possibilities:

You will also encounter + and - signs instead of # and b. The good news is that 9ths don’t change.

If the 5th is being replaced within the chord, then C⁷(b5) is used to describe the note Gb. If a b13 is also required, then it must also be shown:

C⁷(b⁵#¹¹) = C + E + Gb + Bb + F#

So, even though Gb and F# are the same note enharmonically, they serve different functions and therefore need to be described individually. This also applies to b13 and #5.

Having said that, many chord charts use b5 and #11 (or b13 and #5) arbitrarily. So I suggest that you get used to seeing them as the same note.



Alteration The result of flattening or sharpening an extension.

Bridge The middle section in a song form, often the ‘B’ section contained within AABA. Also known as the middle 8.

Comp The accompaniment to another musician’s solo.

Extension Added note above the octave and not within the basic harmony of a chord.

Head The written melody before and after the solos.

Interval The space between two notes.

Key centre The key connecting a group of related chords.

Lead sheet Melody plus chords.

Mode Scale that begins on different steps of the major or melodic minor scale.

Pick-up One or more notes, (but usually less than the full measure) leading into the first complete bar of a tune or new section.

Rootless voicing A left-hand chord that removes the root note from the bottom of the chord. It is often replaced with a 3 or 7.

Secondary dominant A dominant 7 chord pointing to a tonic that is not in the primary key centre.

Standard A well-known song or tune favored by jazz musicians.

Tonic The first step of a diatonic scale.

Tritone substitution The replacement of one dominant 7 with another at a distance of three whole steps.

Turnaround A chord sequence that leads back to the start or on to the next section. A common turnaround is I – VI – II – V

Vertical improvisation Each new chord has an influence over the improvised notes.

Voicing The combination and placement

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