A couple of years ago I began to shift away from using the word “solo” with many of my jazz students. This was especially the case for beginning improvisers or the ones who were preoccupied with the chord progressions or playing a barrage of disconnected patterns or licks. Many of them started to sound way better in a very short amount of time.
This video lesson covers how I begin with every jazz piano student. Swing scales are great because they enable students to focus on their groove and time-feel from the start. Rather than load students up with harmony and theory information, prioritizing the groove should sustain itself through the whole process of learning to play jazz and modern music. Here’s how we start:
Tadpole Race – Sheet Music and Recording Here's the music from a jazz tune I wrote called "Tadpole Race"
This is from the live jazz recording I released called The Fantastic Adventures of an Amphibian Named Jamal. It’s called “Tadpole Race”.
This one has many variations over the years. So the lead sheet may not match this recording exactly.
Download the free PDF sheet music here: Tadpole Race
Here are some tips for those of you who want to try your own improv at the end of Amber Blue. You can listen to a recording and download the free sheet music by clicking here.
Here is a piece that was originally written for an electronic project of mine. Then it was recorded and appeared on the jazz trio recording “The Fantastic Adventures of an Amphibian Named Jamal”. Now it has a solo piano version with sheet music if you want to give it a spin.
Download a free pdf of the score here: Circle Song
Solo Piano Version:
Jazz Trio Version: