Piano day (2h)

  • Improv + scale studies
    • 2-octave Dorian scales in all keys with both hands
    • Same in harmonic thirds in RH + 5ths in LH
    • Harmonic thirds in RH + 1-5-10 in LH
    • Applying Dorian scales (also in thirds) over chromatic progression of m7 shells (3-7-9) — lesson 13 from Dan Haerle’s “Jazz Improvisation for Keyboard Players”
      • Emphasis on accidentals of each key
  • Left hand + technique / speed
    • m7 & maj7 arpeggios around the cycle of 4ths
    • Intervallic patterns
      • 1-5-10 (m & M)
      • 1-5-(8va)-1-3-5-7-(8va)-1
  • Interpreting pop tunes
    • Katy Perry — Lost (first couple of lines)
      • Block chords
      • Shells
      • Intervallic patterns

Piano day (1h 40m)

  • Improvisation
    • Chromatic progressions
      • Mixolydian over dominant, 3-7-9 shells, all keys
      • Dorian over minor, same
  • Modal studies
    • Harmonising Lydian mode
      • All keys, using 7-3-5 shells in RH and 1-5, 1-6 pattern in LH
  • Exotic stuff
    • Just trying different polychods from “The Jazz Language”
  • Comping + soloing
    • Airegin in A-
      • 2 runs of solo
      • 3 runs of comping with 1-5-1-6 pattern in LH
    • Baubles, Bangles and Beads in G
      • Comping + broken 10ths in LH

Piano day (2h)

  • Modal studies
    • Harmonising Mixolydian mode with shells (3-7-9) — C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db
    • Harmonising Dorian mode with shells (3-7-9) — C, F, Bb, Eb
  • Improvisation
    • Lydian pentatonic in all keys over major chords in 7-3-6 shells
    • Recap minor blues scale
    • Harmonising Mixolydian mode with block chords & 7-3-5 shells in LH & runs starting on each new scale degree in RH (C-D-E-F…, D-E-F-G…, F-G-A-Bb…, etc.)
    • Same for Dorian
  • Comping
    • Free comping over “Worth the Wait” in Eb (just chords & focus on voice leading)
    • “Worth the Wait” in C — block chords in LH, chord scales in RH

Piano day (1h 30m)

  • Technical
    • A Dozen A Day
      • “Stretching” — in C, F and Bb
      • “Flinging Arms” in all keys
    • Hanon
      • No. 26 (full)
  • Modal studies + left hand
    • 2-octave Mixo 7th arpeggios in LH, voice leading with shells in RH, e. g. (KILLER EXERCISE!!!)
      • I7 arpeggio going to ii arpeggio with I7 chord in 7-3-5 (A) voicing going to ii chord in 7-3-5 voicing (A)
      • I7 arpeggio going to IV△7 arpeggio with I7 chord in 7-3-5 (A) voicing going to IV△ chord in 3-7-9 voicing (B)
      • Repeat with all movements (I7 — ii7, I7 — iii⌀, etc.)
    • Harmonising Dorian mode with 7-3-5 shells (in all keys)

Observations

Just as Rick Beato says — any practice should be musical, never boring. Yes, you do need to spend some time just playing arpeggios, but after you’re somewhat familiar with them, you should immediately start introducing musical context, otherwise you’ll either be stuck or just eventually grow tired of perfecting your 2-octave runs and forget about them. Combining 2-octave arpeggios with voice leading and A-B voicings did the trick for me! The moment I felt the thought “Oh, those boring Mixolydian arpeggios—” creeping in, I knew I needed to change something. So I did, and it was a success, I literally couldn’t stop playing these combinations (although they sounded like crap at first). So yeah — whenever you can, add context. Even if your academic self tell you “it’s too early”. Sum hooligan advice here! :D

Piano day (1h 40m)

  • Technical
    • A Dozen A Day
      • “Stretching”
      • “Going Down Stairs”
      • “Flinging Arms” in all keys
      • “The Push-Up”
      • “Deep Breathing” in all keys
    • Oscar Peterson — Jazz Exercises
      • Exercise No. 1 (recap)
      • Jazz Menuet No. 1 (recap)
      • Tried out some other exercises and decided to use this book only for reading; quite boring, really
    • Hanon (ran a couple of random exercises from memory)
    • Dohannyi: checking out the book
  • Modal studies
    • Harmonising Mixolydian mode
      • LH: stride patterns: 1 — 1st inversion
      • RH: 7-3-5 shells

Observations

It seems like there are a lot of technical exercise books that might not be good for everyone. So it really is useful to take your time and go through some exercises to figure out whether they actually suit your goals. My goal right now is more freedom in left hand, so Peterson unfortunately didn’t work for me (although some minuets are very beautiful, so I’m going to go back to them time after time to practice sight reading). Dohannyi, on the other hand, seems to be my thing — it’s not as boring as Hanon, but technical enough to keep you challenged.

Piano day (1h 30m)

(Back to practice after a 3-day travel.)

  • Improvisation
    • Minor blues scale in all keys (over m7 chords in 7-3-5 shells)
    • Major blue scale in all keys over dominant chords in shells
    • Alternating between major and minor blues (sounded like crap)
    • Major Bebop scale in all keys around the cycle of 4ths (tried over major and dominant)
  • Left hand
    • 2-octave stride patterns
      • Progression from “Just One of Those Things” (without right hand)
      • Harmonising C minor with 2-octave jumps (root → 1st inversion with added m6, i. e. 3-6-1)

Next time: harmonise a tune from the Real Book, play to the walking bass & drums track, do some voicings, search for & add technical exercises