4 Steps to Play Cocktail Blues Piano

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4 Steps to Play Cocktail Blues Piano


What do in-laws and cocktail jazz have in common? A jazz artist of high educational pedigree would answer, “neither are part of the family.” Incidentally, that artist probably lives alone. A diplomatic response would be, “they are both well-suited for casual listening.” However, a more gracious tone would be, “they are even better when taken together.” Of course, modern jazz music is as diverse as the audiences who embrace it. And just like when it comes to in-laws…a bit of graciousness goes a long way. Similarly, today’s Quick Tip topic, Cocktail Blues Piano, is somewhat of an anomaly. However, if you want to be able to stylize your solo cocktail piano playing with tasteful ornaments like Ray Charles and Billy Joel, this Quick Tip on cocktail blues piano is for you. You’ll learn:

-The Turnaround Progression
-Accompaniment Stylization
-The Gospel Scale
-3 Gospel Slides
-3 Cocktail Blues Improv Exercises

► Learn rootless voicings:

Rootless Voicings – Chord Types & 2-5-1 Application

► Learn guide tones and chord shells:

Play Piano Lead Sheets with Shells & Guide Tones

► Learn how to improvise with the Major Blues Scale:

The Major Blues Scale (Gospel Scale) 1

00:00 Intro
01:11 Step 1: The Turnaround
02:19 Beginner approach
04:12 Intermediate approach
06:15 Step 2: Gospel Scale
07:23 Beginner exercise
09:24 Intermediate exercise
11:40 Step 3: Gospel Slides
12:59 Gospel slide exercise
15:10 Step 4: Improvise!
17:28 Conclusion

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Happy practicing!
Jonny May

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