How To Play Like Beegie Adair

Hey everyone :wave:

Here is some homework for those attending the “How To Play Like Beegie Adair” seminar later this month:

In the session we will analyse Beegie Adair’s solo piano recording of “When I Fall In Love” and examine the exact voicings, fills, arranging techniques and reharmonisations that she uses.

Take a good listen to the recording before the seminar:

For those attending I would recommend checking out the following lessons so that we can all hit the ground running in the seminar:

See you there!


Also here is an archived version of a previous seminar covering Beegie Adair’s style on the tune “Body & Soul”:

And here is the PDF file of the voicings in her intro:

Again lots of suspended harmony used in her intro. Remember to check out the lessons above to brush up on your sus chord theory ahead of the live seminar on the 20th.

Let’s use this thread to organise Beegie Adair related lessons and seminars.


I love the song you are going to cover in the upcoming seminar!

I noticed the Bb (sus4) in the introduction of Body and Soul. It sounds like she is arpeggiating a Bb (sus4) in the second bar of When I Fall in Love. Bb to Ab to a C minor chord and resolving a half step down to D F played together.

Really looking forward to this seminar!


Yes Beegie uses Sus chords throughout the arrangement - often with arpeggios and other types of embellishment.

We will analyse her exact voicings in the seminar :sunglasses:


I was looking forward to this seminar but will be on the road somewhere between Quebec and Ontario. Looking forward to the video instead.


Definitely one of my favourite seminars! Brilliant work there. Thanks so much again, Hayden. Am all smiles from start to end :blush: - inspired me a lot to play my keys today!


Agreed Kristeta! It was a wonderful seminar!!!

May I suggest My Foolish Heart from her album Quiet Romance? It is beautiful and one we have covered in our lessons.

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A few comments before I forget while it is still fresh in my mind:

(1) Another fantastic seminar like everyone else has mentioned!!
(2) It was very helpful for you to provide background material which helped me to follow even better and focus on the nuances. Anytime there is background material which you believe will be helpful (as well as after a presentation), please share (maybe you do and I haven’t realized it yet).
(3) If you are ever get into a rut or run out of ideas for a seminar or you need just extra motivation, just do another transcription of Beegie Adair’s interpretation. It is obvious to me (and to others) that you are passionate about her playing and it shows when you present the material which leaves me to point 4.
(4) Don’t ever feel rushed about a presentation to meet a specific time goal (unless of course you have a personal time commitment). Archiving these seminars / workshops is a fantastic resource and I go back to each seminar I’ve watched and rewatch to take further notes (not to mention I plan to watch EVERY seminar by every presenter since the information is so good). In my limited time with the subscription, I have already gone back to some seminars at least 5 or 6 times because I find new information / ideas that I missed previously. I have a strong suspicion I will be rewatching this one at least 10 times as I couldn’t keep up with all the nuggets I was seeing!!
– It was illuminating how you mentioned it took you 8 to 9 hours total to transcribe this piece. Given the amount of time you spent, you “might as well” share as much as you think is important remembering these presentations are archived for later review.

I’ll stop here. I’ll close and just repeat what someone commented during the seminar that I really enjoy your analysis after you completed the transcription. It was also a nice touch that you replayed certain sections of the original recording to re-emphasize certain points. You’ve shed so much light I have never seen anywhere else so thank you!!

Thank you Hayden - I loved this seminar…. I listen to a lot of Beegie Adair.
I’m a beginner so the sus chords are challenging but hope to improve. Great links re transcription in the seminar too - I’ve been very hesitant about transcription but I’m going to give it a go now :grin:

Great suggestion @celia, we can certainly cover this tune next month. I agree Beegie Adair’s arrangement is lovely:

This performance is in the key of Ab (the original being Bb and the key that we used for the tutorial).

It is a very productive exercise to transpose standards so we can explore and discuss that for the first half of the seminar, and then move onto the actual transcription for the second half. I think that would work well.


That’s great to hear @donna1 - the sooner that we get started with transcription the better.

Here are a few other pointers:

  • Transcription is very difficult to start with so be prepared for that. It’s important to pick something that is just beyond our comfort zone and that way the material should be challenging and rewarding as well as achievable and enjoyable. Jon explains this very well in his video here.

  • For myself the key is regularly revisiting the task at hand, making sure not to ‘burn ourselves out’ by studying something for hours on end. Instead split that time over the course of a few days or a week. I always find it much easier when I come back to the task the next day with a fresh mind.

  • Other useful tools and resources are Tuomo’s Ear Training Exercises - perhaps complete one per day to train your ears - and also the Transcription Themed Course that you already mentioned.

Thanks for all of this feedback Leo and I'm glad you enjoyed the seminar. I agree it's a nice format to follow with the theory notations, playing the recording, and then breaking down the transcription.

Agreed. I have scheduled a transcription study next month on the “My Foolish Heart” recording that Celia shared above.


I will add the blue highlights over the notation to make it easier to follow. I also forgot to change the in-video notation for the C Section (1:05:00 onwards) so I will fix that.

Yes as I outlined to Donna above, it’s important to split our transcription time over different days, and when we come back to revisit the song we should see noticeable improvement each time.

I split that 8/9 hours worth of practice time over 3 weeks or so, usually spending 30 minutes o 1 hour each time.

That number is an estimate so for the seminar in November on “My Foolish Heart” I will track my time and keep a log of my practice time to get a more accurate figure to share.

Brilliant, I’m very happy to hear that :sunglasses:

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Thanks, Hayden. This was a great session. Beegie Adair is my favorite jazz pianist and I always wondered what she was actually playing that made her sound so good. By the way, as a joke I played Adair’s recording of “When I Fall in Love” for my wife and told her it was me playing after practicing really hard. She said that while it was “pretty good,” she didn’t like all the “extra stuff” I threw in and that I played it “too slow.” Seriously. That’s what she said. Tomorrow I’ll play her some Oscar Peterson so I can find out how bad my improvisation is.

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Thanks Hayden! I can’t wait. I did notice her version was not in Bb, so wondered if you would cover it. I am so happy you are!

Having a lot of fun with the seminar you did yesterday. I am so glad you are covering Beegie. I think a lot of people in the community love her style.

It is great to see what she is actually playing. Even more important, you explain her use of chords and substitutes, provide an understanding of her fills and how they relate to the underlying chords while emphasizing her styling techniques. Simply outstanding!!! Thank you so much for all you do.