Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's been too long.......

.......since I posted here. I have been a bit busy playing guitar of late since Ramsnake started gigging. Yes, I am still playing the piano and have chosen 20 or so standards to practise. The reason is I am hoping to get my playing up to scratch enough to team up with a local trumpeter, bass player and drummer and plus some jazz gigs. I can tell you I would be stoked to have got my playing up to that standard within three years since I started learning to play piano. I have got quite a few of them going playing the melody and improvising over thirds and sevenths in the left hand. I am ok this but have not quite got the hang of adding a 3rd or seventh in the right hand along with the melody. The image at the start of this post shows Randy Halberstadt's neat trick, from his great book  Metaphors for the Musician, for deciding whether to play a Root and 7th or Root and 3rd whilst maintaining the best range for the middle voices, which is straddling middle C. If you are using the 5th finger for the root play a 7th above and if the 2 finger is used play a 3rd above.
What I really need to practise though is more accompaniment style playing for when others are doing the soloing. This is proving a bit of a challenge oddly as I am not that familiar with playing chords in the right hand? Bizarre I know! I have found the "Incomparable Comping" section of Metaphors for the Musician very useful. Randy explains in detail what voicings to use solo, in duos, trios and quartets. Basically it means becoming much more familiar with voicing rich sounding chords across both hands. One great and relatively easy technique he talks about is using improvised octaves over rootless left hand voicings. I must start practising that!