November 2017 newsletter
A new video lesson!

The minor 2-5-1 jazz pattern
Hi Cocktail Piano Fans!
I am still in beautiful Santa Cruz, California, working away on recordings and lessons for my upcoming cocktail piano subscription web site, but will be on the road again soon.
While in Santa Cruz, I have been making videos on my favorite Yamaha C3 grand piano and have created a new lesson called, The Minor 2-5-1 Jazz Pattern. The full-length video lesson is available on the web site and is filled with useful information on this essential jazz progression and will help you fill in some of the blanks necessary for you to play cocktail piano music.
The Minor 2-5-1 Jazz Pattern video is the second in a developing series of jazz pattern studies I’m putting together which focuses on chord patterns.
Learning to identify and play tunes by understanding their patterns is the
backbone of chord playing! 

Tunes are not just a hodgepodge of a lot of different chords.  Many of those chords fall into predictable patterns over much of any song. When you understand how to identify and play the patterns within a tune, your fingers will already know what to do when you come across the first chord of a pattern. You will find that you are actually playing whole segments of the tune instead of just playing a bunch of individual chords. More importantly these patterns will be applicable in multiple places throughout various other songs and, if you understand them, then you will start to recognize them.
 Dm7b5 – G7b9 – Cm6
 (iiø – V7b9 – im6)
The Minor 2-5-1 Jazz Pattern video is really the minor counterpart to the Major 2-5-1 Jazz Pattern video studied in our last lesson. Like the major pattern, the minor pattern is a progression that is used extensively throughout standards, bossa novas, movie themes, Broadway songs and jazz tunes.
It is necessary to understand and be able to make this 3-chord pattern in order to play standards with a sophisticated cocktail piano sound.  The minor pattern isn't used as frequently as the major 2-5-1, but is found in nearly all standards and therefore is a pattern that is absolutely necessary to learn to recognize. You can get an idea how often it’s used in standards by looking at the charts I’ve attached here with the newsletter. I’ve highlighted all of the major and minor patterns in the songs so you can see them.
The new video introduces you to the sound of the minor pattern and presents musical exercises for learning to play it in all twelve keys. I hope that you will find these exercises enjoyable. They are very calm and meditative. You may find yourself sounding like Debussy as you sink into them. Speaking of Debussy, he is often credited with ushering in the sound of the first modern jazz chords that coalesced in jazz piano legend Bill Evan’s playing in the 1950’s. You will get a hint of that when you are practicing the minor pattern.
The lesson also shows you how to apply the minor pattern to a couple of well-known example songs, “Sway” and “Softly As In a Morning Sunrise.” The A sections to both songs are made up entirely of repeating minor patterns.

Song charts for you!

I’ve attached a few song charts for standards in this newsletter which go along with the new minor 2-5-1 lesson.  (Click here to download) I’ve circled all the minor patterns in blue and the major patterns in red so you can see how valuable it is to know your patterns.These charts here are more complete than the ones that come in the lesson package.  I always recommend that before you start to learn a song, you circle all the jazz patterns first, just as I’ve done for you here in the example below. 
Sample song chart 
One of song charts for standards
Cecilia and I at the computer when she visited Santa Cruz
My trusty assistant, Cecilia, and her husband, John, visited me in California a few weeks ago. They are now back home in beautiful Dalat, Vietnam, where I play at the V-Cafe when I'm in town. Cecilia and John also list rooms in their lovely home on AirBnB and there is also a digital piano in their house. If you are going their way, you might be interested in staying with them. Click here.
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Jazzy Piano
2006 HWY 101
Florence, Oregon  97439
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