Monday, December 8, 2008

Going around in circles (of fifths)

I did not have a piano lesson the week of Thanksgiving, and due to my instructor having a rehearsal, did not have one last week, either. Before the hiatus began, he instructed (what piano instructors do) me to work on three-note chord voicings going around the circle of fifths. This is a practical exercise for any jazz musician, one that can never be done too much. In my zealousness to learn our jazz ensemble's music and perform it adequately, I had not been practicing anything in the circle of fifths. Sad part is, practicing chord voicings based on the CO5 would probably have done me the most good.

So, after asking me to play three-note voicings around the circle, and being essentially unable to do so without a lot of mistakes and stoppages to think, that's what I've been practicing for the last three weeks. I've also worked some on four note chord voicings using the 9th and 6th notes, which in some respects is easier, but is difficult to get sounding right. I even learned to play Miles Davis' "Tune Up" using the four-note voicings.

It hasn't been enough. I need to do more of it. I need to work through the boredom.

If you are a jazz musician and you haven't worked through some skill on your instrument using the CO5, I humbly suggest you do so today, or at least, at your next opportunity. No need to thank me. The continual improvement of jazz music everywhere is enough thanks for me.

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