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Our harmony downloads are proving popular so here’s another Jazz Harmony PDF. This sheet is titled “Practise Worksheet – intermediate” but it’s vital for all serious Jazz/Commercial pianists to know these chords inside out.The first exercise is a simple series of II-V-I progressions in closed position, around a cycle of fifths. These are vital and even if I’m playing a weird large chord with loads of extensions and no root-I’m still am aware of the closed position voicing underneath it all!When this is familiar, move on to the next exercise which then opens out these chords using an interval of a fifth in the base and adding the 3rd and 7th (or 7th and 3rd) above. These voicings are absolutely vital to good jazz piano and indeed, good arranging. This style of opening out a simple chord uses the least amount of notes (in Jazz harmony) to the greatest effect. The next exercise goes on to add extensions to these chords, utilising a bass note in the left hand and chord in the right.The final exercise is to play the previous chord shapes in the left hand with the intention of leaving the bass notes to the bass player so as to allow the right hand to improvise. There we have it-most of Jazz harmony, all on a single sheet of paper!Jazz Harmony PDF download 

We had a fun job this week, to provide the brass arrangement for top producer Michael Gray. “You Got Me Twisted” is a great crossover Dance track, with -as you woud expect-superb production values. He needed a riff from a Michael Jackson track transcribed, transposed and arranged for trumpet. We altered the original to fit the rhythmic style and it was a pretty simple job musically, but when you arrange for studio sessions there’s always different things to consider than arranging for live music.One thing that I always like to do is to notate the “drop in” times on the part. This is the time from the start in minutes and seconds at each prominant section of the arrangement. This makes it easier for the arranger and producer to know exactly where each section is-  musically and from a recording point of view. Ok, we didn’t actually need it this time but it’s always best to cover every base rather than waste time/money on a session.When you arrange for recording musicians you can also add more parts than you could live so we had 3 trumpet parts which we then recorded using different mikes. Essentially the part only need a single trumpet but we used 2 on the top octave and doubled the part an octave below to thicken the sound. The producer now has a minimum of 6 tracks to mix as he likes.

If you create your own podcasts then you will certainly need great music to accompany your fabulous new show. There’s actually a great choice of music available on the Internet for podcasters but there’s two vital things to watch out for: is it legal? and is it good quality?To be sure that your podcast music is “podsafe” or legal, you really need to buy music from a royalty free music library or independent musician who specifically gives you the rights to use his or her music. The SMARTassMusic standard license gives you the right to use our music as much as you like in your podcasts and many other projects too! And did I mention….there’s free tracks too and yes, you’re welcome to use these in your podcasts absolutely free.The other important point is that of quality. Our music is crystal clear audio quality and available for instant download as both WAV and high quality MP3 files (192kbps). You shouldn’t sacrifice quality for bandwidth when producing your podcasts and any audio compression less than 128kbps containing music, is going to be noticably poor. Good luck with your podcasting!

I had a great night out on Wednesday with a Jazz gig at The Woodman, in Sevenoaks, Kent. They put on regular evenings of Jazz with top name players and on this occasion we had the great Roger Beaujolais on vibes (a much neglected, wonderful instrument), Jo Fooks on sax, Bobby Worth on drums, Pete Ringrose on bass and myself (Jim Treweek) on piano. A personal thanks to everybody involved in setting up these gigs, including the audience who  really support the venue and the musicians.

 Today I’ve posted a more advanced tutorial on harmony and in particular the harmonic extensions and voicings used in Jazz. The “pretty notes” as Charlie Parker called them, are the higher notes of the chords (9th,11th,13th) which are vital to contemporary Jazz but also familiar to classical musicians from the works of Debussy and Ravel. download jazz harmony pdfIt’s important to be able to instantly recognize these larger intervals in every key as well as to utilize them properly by means of good “voicing”. To Jazz and commercial musicians “voicing” is the way that one places the notes of the chord across the keyboard (or among the instruments if arranging) and really, is of more importance than the simple choice of notes in the chord.

My own study of piano technique began after my initial rapid progress (from 0 to Grade 8 in 1 year) began to subside and I needed to go back and cover much needed groundwork and really understand how to control the instrument, my muscles and my thoughts! In the following years I came up against various dead ends and numerous technical methods which in my opinion, are flawed. I now possess a reliable technique with a good tone which (on good days) is completely effortless – so that my concentration can be entirely devoted to hearing the music (which is a difficult enough task!)

 The article below (re-printed with kind permission) is written by Canadian pianist ALAN FRASER who has developed an approach to technique which I wholeheartedly endorse. His thinking is based upon sound scientific thinking and over 30 years research and performing experience. For further reading and many, many fascinating articles (look out for the one on Horowitz!) please visit:

The Craft of Piano – an Introduction Why yet another piano method?

Countless excellent methods exist today – but some pianists still fall short of their full potential. Many pianists play with unquestionably beautiful tone and expression, but fewer possess the big, orchestral sound that was the trademark of the Romantic virtuoso. The mark of each artist’s personality is less visible than it was in a bygone era – and there’s a hidden underlying cause: limitations in one’s physical organization.

Craft of Piano also effectively addresses another pressing concern: performance injury.

 What makes this method different?

Recent insights into the nature of human movement offer new opportunities for improvement. We know more about how the brain uses the sensory-motor feedback loop to control the muscles and bones, fine-tuning a movement’s accuracy literally dozens of times a second. More is known about the hand’s innate structure, and how its natural grasping function is hidden in virtually all finger actions. Craft of Piano links these developments in kinesiology to piano technique, creating a focus on the physical that enriches personal expression rather than sterilizing it.

What are the basic components of the method? Instead of defining a particular movement as good or bad, Craft of Piano enriches the sensory picture of your hand, allowing you to find the best way of moving in any pianistic situation. In Craft of Piano, old terms take on new meaning – for instance, relaxation is no longer an end in itself but becomes a means to greater activation of the hand. And new terms are introduced, such as skeletality: how the bones would move if you were a skeleton and nothing more. You learn to make your bones do more of the work, your muscles less. Freed from the need to stiffen or take over the work of the skeleton, your muscles can now fine tune movement, leading to a new level and quality of control – more refined and more powerful.Craft of Piano analyses whole body actions such as standing, walking or running, then creates a pianistic analogy to give your hands the sense that they are really starting anew, learning from scratch, with the exciting possibility of leaving old counter-productive habits behind and developing new combinations of grace and power, sensitivity and brilliance.At the piano we first look at legato, the foundation of piano technique. We discover the structural integrity needed in the hand to create a legato that really joins notes together but avoids stiffening physically – the combination of structural stability and moveability that your hand needs to do the job. We then examine other types of finger action before moving on to the role of the arm in this complex and multifaceted process. Every physical step is linked to listening: to the aural result any particular physical organization will obtain.

How can one put it into practice?

– Learn to sense your own structural power. Lessons in Feldenkrais Method © can help you experience the incredible release of muscular tension that happens when you access the skeletal power of your body.

– Learn how to stand, walk and run skeletally at the keyboard. The Craft of Piano Playing video and book will guide you in developing these qualities in your own playing.

For further reading please visit:


Well, the Sugababes single we worked on has risen to number 3 in the UK charts……..…will it make it to number 1? ..…possibley  not then…………oh well :-)

For those of you that surf the ‘net often, you might be noticing audio clips that are popping up. Some will start playing as soon as you enter a site, and others you are beckoned to click “play” to hear their message.Adding an audio clip to your website gives a personal touch where reading text is hard to portray. It puts a voice to you representing your product or service and can make a big effect on how you are perceived. It assists your website visitors so they can gain a better understanding of what you offer – just as a face-to-face meeting would – having an audio clip helps your web audience build that important relationship with you.Audio also enhances your professional presentation – in most circumstances. In my opinion, having an audio clip (whether it is music or a voice-over) automatically play when a web page is opened is not a good idea. It is forcing the visitor to listen to something they may not have cared to hear and more importantly, it interferes with the music or radio program they are playing while surfing. It is best to provide an invitation to listen to the audio clip when it is appropriate to introduce it in your website content. This way, you are making your visitors feel comfortable and you appear professional and trustworthy at the same time.From a marketing perspective, audio can act as an “attention grabber”. You have the ability to guide your website visitor through your site and talk about the product or service you have to offer. The audio clip can also be a powerful motivator to explore and discover your site.There are several ways to utilize audio on your website:*Personal Messages: Add a personal greeting by means of introducing yourself, your products or your services. This is a quick way to capture their attention as opposed to counting on them to read all of the text you have provided. In fact, simply do that – read what you already have written on your site! This will give your visitors a lasting impression once they hear your voice.*Promotional Message: Promote a sale, special give-away, or announce a brand new product you want to let everyone know about. Your passionate message speaking about how much you truly believe in your product or service will be sure to catch people’s interest.*Audio Testimonials: Ask your clients to record a quick sound byte for you and post this audio message, along with their name and website address (or contact information) and it becomes a powerful way to tell others of your credibility. Your visitors will be more apt to believe the testimonial if it’s attached with a live voice of your client. Your client also wins by giving them some extra exposure of their business.*Audio Instructions: If you offer a product that needs some instruction, provide an audio clip that explains the steps involved. You can accompany it with a picture of what you’re talking about. Seeing and hearing how something works is very powerful and will give people the confidence they need to purchase what you have to offer.* Audio Invitation: If you have a free e-newsletter, it’s important to try and get as many people to sign up for it as possible – they are your target market just waiting to hear more from you! By using an audio message inviting people to sign and explain what they will get for their efforts (answering the “what’s in it for me” question), can be very effective. Be sure to mention that you are giving away a free item to anyone signing up – such as a free article, e-book, or piece of artwork etc – people love receiving something free!How to Put Audio on Your SiteDigital audio can come in many different formats, but the most common and safe format to use is MP3. There are several ways to going about creating these MP3 files – some more expensive than others. I’ll detail a few here:*Recording the audio on your home PC: There are lots of audio recording software available for you to install and start recording your message. All you need is a good quality computer microphone, a quiet room and you’re good to go. Here are a couple of software suggestions:– Audacity is a free, open source audio software program you download and install yourself. – Web Audio Plus 1.0 is another free software program. I found instructions to use it here: How to put audio on your website – Sony Sound Forge is a software package that you purchase. Sony Sound Forge enables you to create CD tracks and web audio files. You can even capture audio from an analog source and digitize it onto CD’s and MP3’s. – Internet Audio-Video. These guys offer several different pieces of software in one bundle – which includes creating your own video as well. But be careful making your own video clips, if not done professionally, they could work against you. I’ll be talking more about video next month.* Using an on-line service: – BYOAudio is an audio recording service where you can use your computer microphone or call in via the telephone. The MP3 sound clip is produced for you. They have a sale on right now for a 30-day trial for $1 and after that, it costs $19.95 a month. – Audio Generator is also a monthly fee-based audio generating service. Beware – you have to sign up to get any information on them and then it is a very intense marketing campaign you need to endure. I was turned off right away – but that’s just me.* Hiring a Professional: With this option, you hire a local audio recording company and go into their studio where they record your voice-over, do edits to make it sound professional and perfect, add some background music and then your audio file is ready to be burned to CD or uploaded to your website.As you can see, there are many options to consider on how to go about adding audio to your website; in my opinion, give the free open source software a try first and see how that works. If you find it’s too difficult to manage and you want an easier way, try the services offered. Once you have your audio clip created, simply contact me or your web developer to have it added to your site.PS. The resources mentioned above are sites I have found in my Internet searches – I do not make any guarantees; I’m just sharing my research results and do not endorse any of them personally.Kind regards, Susan Friesen, B.B.A. eVision Media ~ Definitive eBusiness Solutions evisionmedia.caAbout the Author: Susan is a professional website developer with over eight year’s experience in the industry. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, concentration in Computer Information Systems, she is able to provide a unique and caring service to her clients not only as a website designer, but also an eBusiness Advisor; assisting individuals, businesses and organizations establish and brand product or service effectively on the World Wide Web. Contact Susan today for your free consultation on building your website presence to the effective marketing tool is can be. or visit http://www.evisionmedia.caArticle Source:

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