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Hi,

I'm looking for a good book to help with jazz voice leading and jazz harmony. I have the Frank Mantooth book but find it's too advanced for my current level.

I've been working through the ii V I's in all keys in the open and closed voicings, but am looking for something to reinforce this as I'm find them hard to memorise and how to apply them in the standards.

I'm thinking maybe one of these two. Any other recommendations?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jazz-Piano...94963654044&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jazz-Keybo...ef=pd_lpo_2?pd_rd_i=1562240692&psc=1

Thanks
Andy


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Hi

I don't think you can wrong with either of those. I own Phil De Greg's book (somewhere!) and it's very good. I also had the pleasure of being taught by him on one of Jamey Abersold's Jazz summer schools. He's a teriffic musician.

The Dan Haerle book should be good, though I don't own that one.

Cheers


Simon

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Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi

I don't think you can wrong with either of those. I own Phil De Greg's book (somewhere!) and it's very good. I also had the pleasure of being taught by him on one of Jamey Abersold's Jazz summer schools. He's a teriffic musician.

The Dan Haerle book should be good, though I don't own that one.

Cheers

Thanks Simon,

That book by Haerle was actually the third on my list ! The Phil De Greg book was probably the favourite of the two I was looking at.

I also quite fancy going to a Summer School, but they've all been suspended due to Covid. There's one in Cardiff that looks good and would give me the chance to revisit some of my old haunts from when I lived there. 😀


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Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
...
I've been working through the ii V I's in all keys in the open and closed voicings, but am looking for something to reinforce this as I'm find them hard to memorise and how to apply them in the standards.

The ii, could be in any one of root, 1st or 2nd inversion. Sort of. The bass in LH won't change, but any inversion you play in RH along with the melody, could change. The V could be in any one of root, 1st, 2nd, 3rd inversion and lastly, the I has 3 possibilities again. That is a lot of combinations in a single key for this simple cadence, to memorize.

The problem is you don't know where the melody is yet (or what the rhythm is; yet another matter) , so even if you've memorized and rehearsed a combination that will work, the voicing may still need to change.

It is very difficult to rehearse all the combinations of even very small progressions and get them to fit into your standard.

Just playing standards though (perhaps focusing on one's that actually have this progression in them) would be a more direct approach. Then you see how to voice the chords in a real world scenario, and not memorizing stuff you are unlikely to ever use.

On the other hand, it would be fine for getting the hands moving in different keys and there could be lots of value in it that way.

But every ii, V, I you come across should likely be played in a unique way anyway. Unique (in terms of voicing at least) to the piece you are playing.

Last edited by Greener; 01/28/22 02:17 PM.
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To be honest, besides special books for piano, the best material is orchestral arranging textbooks. There are practical tips for specific tunes - a lot of instructive; and of course in the light of voice-leading and passing chords .



https://www.bookdepository.com/Jazz...jE0YueshYvM8CyqErL_vnXnHchsaAi0eEALw_wcB

https://www.bookdepository.com/Arra...8tbtcuxulhSXBL8pCP9ou6wYpLsaAsE8EALw_wcB



https://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Concepts-Complete-Ultimate-Course-ebook/dp/B00EUV4EBQ/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1643399231&refinements=p_27%3ADick+Grove&s=books&sr=1-3



https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Arranger-Composer-Russell-1954-12-01/dp/B01FGN4NQC/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1L5MHBAS8AVUD&keywords=russell+garcia+the+professional+arranger+composer&qid=1643399776&sprefix=russel+Garci%2Caps%2C257&sr=8-3

I have read all these books.

Last edited by Nahum; 01/28/22 03:59 PM.
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Originally Posted by Greener
Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
...
I've been working through the ii V I's in all keys in the open and closed voicings, but am looking for something to reinforce this as I'm find them hard to memorise and how to apply them in the standards.

The ii, could be in any one of root, 1st or 2nd inversion. Sort of. The bass in LH won't change, but any inversion you play in RH along with the melody, could change. The V could be in any one of root, 1st, 2nd, 3rd inversion and lastly, the I has 3 possibilities again. That is a lot of combinations in a single key for this simple cadence, to memorize.

The problem is you don't know where the melody is yet (or what the rhythm is; yet another matter) , so even if you've memorized and rehearsed a combination that will work, the voicing may still need to change.

It is very difficult to rehearse all the combinations of even very small progressions and get them to fit into your standard.

Just playing standards though (perhaps focusing on one's that actually have this progression in them) would be a more direct approach. Then you see how to voice the chords in a real world scenario, and not memorizing stuff you are unlikely to ever use.

On the other hand, it would be fine for getting the hands moving in different keys and there could be lots of value in it that way.

But every ii, V, I you come across should likely be played in a unique way anyway. Unique (in terms of voicing at least) to the piece you are playing.


Thanks Greener

This is pretty much what I'm getting caught out with. I can play the shells but find it hard to play the melody on top as I'm too busy trying to figure out where it fits with the other notes I'm playing.

Maybe working through some standards is the way to go.


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Originally Posted by Nahum
To be honest, besides special books for piano, the best material is orchestral arranging textbooks. There are practical tips for specific tunes - a lot of instructive; and of course in the light of voice-leading and passing chords .



https://www.bookdepository.com/Jazz...jE0YueshYvM8CyqErL_vnXnHchsaAi0eEALw_wcB

https://www.bookdepository.com/Arra...8tbtcuxulhSXBL8pCP9ou6wYpLsaAsE8EALw_wcB



https://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Concepts-Complete-Ultimate-Course-ebook/dp/B00EUV4EBQ/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1643399231&refinements=p_27%3ADick+Grove&s=books&sr=1-3



https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Arranger-Composer-Russell-1954-12-01/dp/B01FGN4NQC/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1L5MHBAS8AVUD&keywords=russell+garcia+the+professional+arranger+composer&qid=1643399776&sprefix=russel+Garci%2Caps%2C257&sr=8-3

I have read all these books.

Thanks Nahum, to be honest, they all look a bit...well...intimidating. What level are they pitched at ?

I can play the shells in most keys in open and closed positions, but can't put the melody on top without having to work out, very slowly, where it all fits together and how I'm going to move to the next chord and which inversion to use.


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Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
Thanks Nahum, to be honest, they all look a bit...well...intimidating. What level are they pitched at ?

I can play the shells in most keys in open and closed positions, but can't put the melody on top without having to work out, very slowly, where it all fits together and how I'm going to move to the next chord and which inversion to use.
Many years passed before I realized that the chordal texture on the piano is a kind of orchestral texture, crowned with this or that melodic line in the soprano (even if you do not pay attention). Since we are talking about arranged multi-voices, it is natural that arranging textbooks give an incomparably broader view than self-instruction books for pianists. Of course, such textbooks also contain a lot of material that may be redundant for a student pianist (although it is no less interesting in itself). Jazz chords do not start with four notes in the right hand and a bass in the left, but with two voices chosen by the arranger's ear .

https://disk.yandex.ru/i/v25q3jB0qddE0w

BTW, Phil de Gregg's book is not bad at all.

Last edited by Nahum; 01/29/22 05:53 AM.
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I will be glad to questions regarding the choice of notes in voicings.

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Thanks Nahum, that's very good of you.

Let me think that through and I'll get back to you tomorrow ( it's late and I need to get to bed now).


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Hi Andy

JIC you're not familiar with the example chord sequence Nahum has written out it's Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are".

Cheers


Simon

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This is another type of melodic-harmonic thinking - linear, where voices are layered one on top of the other; instead of compiling ready-made voicings .

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Originally Posted by Simon_b
Hi Andy

JIC you're not familiar with the example chord sequence Nahum has written out it's Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are".

Cheers

Thanks Simon.

It couldn't be a better example as this is the song I started to learn last week and was trying to apply this to !

This is like when you talk about something and then Facebook gives you examples of it two hours later ! 😆


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Hi Andy

While not a book, my site offers a solid foundation in jazz harmony and voice leading with video lessons and downloadable pdf files.

I have a free lesson on the basic seventh chords:

Five Essential Seventh Chords
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings#five-essential-seventh-chords

And a free lesson on the Major ii-V-I progression:

Major ii-V-I progression
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/courses/major-ii-V-I-progression

The voice leading lesson is paid (via subscription) but you can read more about it here:

Rootless Voicings with Added Tension
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings#rootless-voicings-with-added-tension

I have a wide variety of lessons covering virtually every aspect of jazz piano:

Chords & Voicings
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings

Improv & Licks
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/improv-licks

Theory & Composition
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/jazz-theory-composition

Styles, Arranging & More
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/styles-arranging-more

Please reach out to me and let me know more about your musical background and goals for playing jazz and I'd be happy to do what I can to help.


Bill
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I think that my confusion or struggle is trying to integrate the right hand melody in with the shell and especially the left hand.

Take the first ii V I which goes Bb m7, Eb7, Ab M7. (I'm using the Fakebook progression which is little simplified on the score you posted Nahum).

Bb m7 is built from Bb Db F Ab, so I have a few options.

If I was just playing the progression I'd play either :

Bb Ab Db F (R, 7,3,5) or Bb Db Ab C (R, 3,7,9), typically playing two notes in LH and 2 in my right.

In this example I've been playing Bb & Ab in my LH and then just playing the melody notes in my RH, and then when it moves to Eb I play Eb & G and play the G in my right.
For the final chord in this progression ( Ab M7) I'd play Ab & G and the G and C melody notes in my RH. So in summary, I'm playing R 7, R 3 and R 7, in my LH, but would it be any better to play R3, R7 and R3?

How do I know whether to start with Root & 7 or Root & 3 and how can I integrate this better with the melody ? How can i add more notes to give it a fuller, more lush sound, should I just play the fourth note in my RH along with the melody ? What happens if I'm already playing the melody note in my LH ?

Also for me to do this means takes a lot of time as i have to sit down and play through the progressions and try and work out where to start, what melody notes I should be playing and how to be economical with movement.

Sorry for all the questions. I'm just trying to improve so it comes quicker and sounds better.


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Originally Posted by JazzPianoOnline
Hi Andy

While not a book, my site offers a solid foundation in jazz harmony and voice leading with video lessons and downloadable pdf files.

I have a free lesson on the basic seventh chords:

Five Essential Seventh Chords
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings#five-essential-seventh-chords

And a free lesson on the Major ii-V-I progression:

Major ii-V-I progression
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/courses/major-ii-V-I-progression

The voice leading lesson is paid (via subscription) but you can read more about it here:

Rootless Voicings with Added Tension
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings#rootless-voicings-with-added-tension

I have a wide variety of lessons covering virtually every aspect of jazz piano:

Chords & Voicings
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/chords-voicings

Improv & Licks
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/improv-licks

Theory & Composition
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/jazz-theory-composition

Styles, Arranging & More
https://www.jazzpianoonline.com/pages/styles-arranging-more

Please reach out to me and let me know more about your musical background and goals for playing jazz and I'd be happy to do what I can to help.


Thanks. I appreciate your response. I will look through those links and get back to you.


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Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
How do I know whether to start with Root & 7 or Root & 3 and how can I integrate this better with the melody ? How can i add more notes to give it a fuller, more lush sound, should I just play the fourth note in my RH along with the melody ? What happens if I'm already playing the melody note in my LH ?
It all starts with overtones.

[Linked Image]


This is a natural endless super chord with the thickest sound that exists at all. It is the best example for us which steps of the chord are above the root, which intervals, in which register, where triads are created and sevenths, where clusters are created.
Doublings inside the voice highlight this note, so it is advisable to double the soprano first of all (jazz does not like doubling the root, hence the rootless chords)
The first classical piano composers who created piano texture according to the overtone system were John Field and Fryderyk Chopin.
One unexpected takeaway from this system is that if you play a relatively low left fifth or a major triad (also a 7) in a wide range, you can play in the right hand any chord in the upper register.

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Thanks Nahum, I will spend some time working through that.


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