Piano day (1h 50m)

  • Modal studies
    • Harmonising Harmonic minor (as if it was not already harmonic enough — IT’S NOT FUNNY DAD — I know — okay let’s change the topic)
      • Hm1 (key of C), shells 7-5-3, 3-7-9, 7-3-6
      • Hm3 (key of C), shells 7-5-3, 3-7-9, 7-3-6
      • Improv with “blanket scale” over Hm3 (A Harm. minor over 3rd mode of C)
  • Left hand
    • Stride patterns: recap 2-octave jumps with 7-1-3 and 1-3-7 kind of stuff
    • Rolling tenths
  • Jazz voicings
    • Voice leading patterns (A — B, A — A, etc.) while switching between different scale degrees (Dan Haerle, “The Jazz Language”, Chapter 7)


I must say I’m finally starting to like Harmonic minor. It was really weird at the very beginning, because of the rather unique chord qualities: minor / major 7th, augmented major 7th and fully diminished, not to mention two m7b5’s. It’s a really harsh sound, and while the scale itself is beautiful, the modes that it produces sound at first kinda ugly. But that’s where the power of modal approach comes in. Just because you don’t like minor / major 7th chord as your I (the Roman numeral, lol), doesn’t mean it sucks. It simply means you should try and start on another degree and see if you will like the new progression. I decided to start on III, which makes the 3rd mode of Harmonic minor. I like the sound of augmented major 7 chord, and I like how it falls into the pure minor IV (i. e. II in the 3rd mode). Now we’re talking! Instead of unsure and a bit intoxicated Cm/M7 to Dm7b5, I have beautiful, complex and fragile, unexpected and really otherworldly Cmaj7#5 to Dm7. Wow! So yeah. That’s how you get to love the stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable at first.

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