Jazz Piano: WHERE TO START (ii V7 Is with 3rds & 7s)

hi everybody welcome to a Minolta music

I was just teaching a lesson to Kim in

Denmark this morning and Kim is a pretty

good piano player he had figured out how

to play misty and I think that's really

cool because it's nice to be able to

take a song that you know and just start

playing it I think that's what everybody

kind of wants to do I had some I had a

couple of moments with Kim where I kind

of had a little oh I wouldn't call it an

epiphany but just some thoughts about my

channel because I have some videos that

address some of the things that he

needed but I realized that I hadn't

started simply enough so anyway let me

kind of walk you through what it was

like with my lesson with Kim he was

playing misty kind of like this



it was really nice

kind of like that um he was doing great

and I said how did you figure out those

chords because for one thing he told me

that he was a bass player and new to the

piano and he said well it took me some

time probably a few you know months or

whatever I've been just figuring out

those chords cuz I don't really read

music and I'm trying to understand

theory and anyway when he got to the

bridge it kind of crumbled he said I

haven't really learned that part yet I

was like okay so you're playing some

really good notes 7th snipes adding a

13th like almost all the time when

you're playing major chords dominant

chords it's all sounding really really

good but I wonder if you could just and

and then he and then he cut me off and

he goes if you asked me to just play a B

flat seven chord I couldn't do it he's

like it would take me a little bit of

time but something about you know that

having the tune the beautiful jazz

ballad misty had forced him to be able

to every time he came to that B B flat

seven chord you know he could play it

because of how it fit in the song and he

knew it was going to sound good and all

of that but just to play a voicing for a

B flat seven chord right on the spot you

couldn't do it

I said let's okay let's make it even

more simple can you just go through the

tune and with your left hand just play

bass notes and with your right hand play

the third and seven okay he said so you

know he played that first bass note

e-flat his right hand played a D and he

and then the next chord was going to be

P flat minor 7 and he slowly figured it

out but his hand jumped way down here

did this and then when he had to figure

out the next chord which is E flat 7 his

hand dropped way up here then he jumped

down to here for the a flat major and he

was getting on but it was taking him

quite a while and I thought oh gosh

we've got to go back for you it's really

cool that you're playing this too and

you got a lot of talent because you

figured it out but jazz piano 101 really

is to be able to play the thirds and the

7s of all chords and in particular to be

able to make your way around the circle

of fourths playing two five ones with

just thirds and sevens it's kind of just

bare-bones jazz piano and I wanted to

make sure that I showed you guys how to

do that I do have a video called Ella's

rootless voicing game dice game and it's

a fun video but if it's kind of

intermediate so I know I have plenty of

intermediate videos and I thought I had

some beginning videos but I just

realized that I skipped a step so so I

would recommend kind of doing the exact

same thing we're doing with Ella's

rootless voicing dice game but

simplified and I'll tell you how to do

that okay the first thing we're going to

do is talk about the three flavours of

chords we're going to be dealing with

today and that's a minor chord a

dominant chord and a major chord minor

chord we're going to start with D minor

that's how you're used to playing it

but for our exercise and for most of

jazz in general it's so helpful to just

learn to play the 3rd and the 7th so

there's a D minor 7 chord we take the

3rd we take the 7 so that it stays

nicely in the middle of the piano I'm

going to put it right here ok 3rd 7 now

we've got a g7 chord dominant chord

we're going to take the 3rd and 7 of

that chord right there

there they are the 3rd and the 7 and

when we play dominant 7 chord we flat

the 7 so even though G major sounds like

this when we play a dominant chord or g7

we just flat that 7 so that it's a whole

step away from the octave take the 3rd

you take the 7 and that's the 3rd and 7

of G dominant or g7 now the next chord

we're going to deal with is C major C

major 7 so we're going to take the 3rd

gonna take the 7

okay so there was our first third and

seven of D minor right here was our

second one there was our third one this

was g7 this was C major so I know why

have I chosen those two it's because of

the two five one the two five one is

like this and we find it everywhere look

at me this here is one G minor C seven F

major tree they happen all over the

place in jazz so it's really important

to be able to navigate your way through

to five ones it'll help you forever in

your future so there's just a simple

exercise that I do here's your third and

seven of D minor so what we're going to

do is actually I think in order really

in order to keep it in the middle of the

piano I'm going to reverse it right here

no let's put it up high because when we

play this exercise we're just you'll see

we're just going to be going down and

down and down and down so we're going to

start here with D minor we're going to

play the root with our left hand D right

hand we're going to play the third and

seven now when we change to a G chord G

seven chord all that's going to happen

is we're just going to move this note to

this note and now we have it you see

that and that's the seven of G and

that's the third so it's a really easy

motion between D minor seven and g7 now

to move to C major seven to complete our

251 we've already got the seven of C we

just have to move this down a half step

it's really nice voice leading if you

had to sing one of these notes it would

be really easy to do try this one


or the top one


really easy to hear really easy on the

ears so after we've done that much now

what I like to do is to move the whole

thing that we just did down a whole step

from where we started so we started here

right I like to move the whole thing

down a whole step so this one's going to

go to here D minor become C minor right

these two go down a whole step and now

we're going to do the exact same thing

in the key of B flat so we've got C

minor f7 and all we have to do is lower

the top note f7 now all we have to do is

lower the bottom note B flat major seven

you see how that works so we were up

here at D minor

now we do c-minor now to get from C

major to C minor all we're going to do

is lower these a half set both of them

the e to there and then B to there so e

flat and B flat and we just follow the

same pattern lower this one a half step

over this one a half step now we're

going to do it again we're going to do B

flat minor this will be a two five in

the key of a flat so B flat minor all we

do we lower these by two now this one

gets dropped this one gets dropped now

we haven't talked about the left hand

much what are we doing there we're just


key of C is where we started right we

play the two the five the one you see

that one two three four five

then this becomes the - because we're

dropping everything a whole step two

five one now this becomes the two five

one does that make sense now I'm just

going to do the whole exercise you can

set your metronome

you're gonna have to go much slower than

this the beginning


as you can see this puts us right back

where we started

you see right so what that did was take

us through six keys we went we went

through C major B flat major

a-flat major G flat major E major and D

major six of the keys because we're

moving in whole steps now if we'd like

to hit the other six keys all we have to

do is go back to the beginning

and we can just raise it a half step

that way what key are we in what is this

the two of we go down a whole step there

it just one two four four so it's the

two of D flat major so now we're going

to cover D flat major B major a major

and so on so to start that do this like

this same thing we lower the top one and

we lower the bottom one now we lower the

both a half step you can do the exact

same thing in the other six Keys does

that make sense

good and and when you start to get fast

at it you know make your metronome go a

little faster and and give yourself a

nice drum beat to it you can you know

put on some brushes or something with

the drum genius app and and just play

your exercises


alright thanks for doing the exercise

with me now don't forget if you want the

worksheet this one right here you go to

my website click the card above my head

and you will be taken right there so

that you can have it for yourself it

takes you through all of the 12 keys

just like I did we go through 6 of them

and then we go through the other six of

them don't use the worksheet as a crutch

not for too long anyway you can use it

until you feel like you've got the feel

of it but then I really want you to be

using your brain I want you to be you

know thinking now we go down a half step

because that's the 7 it changes to the

third where in fact you should be

talking to yourself otherwise you're

going to get lost probably going to

sound a little bit loony while you do it

but this is how I would do it I would be

like ok this is D minor 7 this is G 7

this is C major 7 because we're in the

key of C major now we're going to flat

the 3rd and the 7 because we're in the

key of B flat major you just talked your

way through the whole thing otherwise

there's a really good chance that you're

going to get lost which is exactly what

happened to Ella right back to that


that's why Ella made up the dice game

the dice game would work well with this

as well after you kind of get them into

your fingers a little bit then you can

quiz yourself making sure that if I were

to say what are the 3rd and 7 of f-sharp

dominant 7 you could just do them real

quick that'll be your goal when you're

done with this this is the place to

start you guys if you're going to start

playing jazz piano this is what I would

tell anybody start learning your thirds

and sevens start learning your 2/5 1 so

I hope you had fun today thanks for

being here with me on a BLT music don't

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I'll see you next time