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FEBRUARY 3, 2019 NEWSLETTER
Hello Fellow Pianists,

I just posted a fun piano clip on YouTube for One Note Samba
Click here:
I am back on the road here in SE Asia and always try to arrange to have a digital piano in my hotel rooms so I can work on things. It’s a pretty casual clip and not the best sound but I hope you will enjoy it anyway.
 
I put the song in the key of D, an unusual key for it. It’s usually played in C or Bb. I made it in D to sync with a new ukulele arrangement of the song I posted on YouTube a couple of weeks ago. My jazz ukulele students will be able to play along with this piano clip while they are studying the lesson. I play it twice on the video. The second take is at a slower tempo.
 
I’ve included the chord changes to the song here for you in the key of D, just in case you would like to try it yourself. You might enjoy checking out the video to see how I have voiced the chords and added melody. One Note Samba is made up entirely of common jazz patterns. If you know your major ii-V-I patterns then you will be able to understand and identify them. If you don’t know them yet, get the two lessons on the website titled,
Understanding the 2-5-1 Jazz Progression and 
The Minor 2-5-1 jazz pattern.

 
I didn’t include the melody in the chart, but I think you can probably figure it out yourself because the A-section has only two different melody notes in it. Then the melody in the bridge is made up of two major scales going up and down in F and Eb. The only trick is to know that the scales begin on the 6th of each major scale. First you play the scale steps up and down from the sixth tone in the key of Eb, like this:
6-7-1-2  -1-7-6-5  -4-3-2-1 - 7-1-2-3  - 7-6  

If you work on the song it will give you a reason to learn or revisit playing your major scales in the keys of F and Eb and discover the fun of starting the scale from anywhere within it. This is something that jazz and cocktail players do all the time when improvising. I demonstrate this concept on my Joy of Scales video. 
Turnaround changes and tri-tones

The song uses the chord patterns F#m7 – F7 then Em7 – Eb7. This is actually a very common jazz turnaround change found in standards.
It is two normal ii-V patterns but they are using what we call tri-tone substitutions. I’m not going to explain tri-tones here because it’s quite a lengthy subject and you must know your ii-V-I patterns first, in order to understand the substitution concept. But I want to mention it, so as to make you aware that you will want to find out what they are all about sometime in the future. I hope to have a lesson on turnarounds and tri-tone substitutions ready for the website sometime soon.
 
To give you a clue, here is what the chords would normally sound like if they were not using  tri-tone substitutions:
F#m7 – B7 then Em7 – A7.

You can play the song with those chord changes instead, but I think you will find it a little plain sounding as compared to using the tri-tone subs in the same place, F#m7 – F7 then Em7 – Eb7.
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If you are studying my Jazzy Ukulele books as well as my piano videos then you probably got the newsletter a couple of weeks ago announcing the new One Note Samba, jazz-chord ukulele lesson. In case you didn’t get it, here is the link to see it below. And, if you would like to buy the ukulele chord-melody chart that goes with the lesson ($3.99), just drop us a note. 

By the way, if you have the Hal Leonard, Real Vocal book, Volume One, which we use in the open voicings study, you will find the chart for One Note Samba in there with the melody, but it is in the key of Bb, not D, like I play it in the video.
 
If you use the chart that I have included here, in D, I hope you will at least be able to play the chords along with me. I am only using rootless-jazz chords in the intro. For the rest of the song I am using pretty much normal 7th chords, but in open voicings, like we study in the open-voicings study courses on the web site. In the bridge, you will see that I am not doing much of anything besides playing the major scale rather quickly, while my left hand is playing just root note-7th or only a root note alone. Throughout the entire song I use a lot of steady 1-5 left-hand rhythm, playing on half notes, which I talk about in all of the open-voicing lessons.
 

I hope you will be inspired by the new piano video to dig deeper into your piano studies. One Note Samba is a fun tune to play! For those of you who enjoy singing, check out the lyrics and you will see how cleverly the words fit with the construction of the melody and intertwine it with a love story. It makes a lovely Valentines Day song. 

 

Jazzily yours,

Glen


 
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