A Section Harmony Drills
In this lesson we start by discussing the form and structure of “The Nearness Of You” and identify the repeating sections. We then introduce 2 drills to help you learn and memorise the harmony of the A Section.
Harmony & Left Hand Stride
When playing solo jazz piano we are responsible for outlining the pulse of the tune and keeping a steady and solid rhythm as we play through both the head of the tune and during our improvised solos.
In this lesson we introduce 2 harmonic drills. We start by playing the harmony over 2 hands and then we play both the bass and the harmony in our left hand to create a basic left hand stride style.
The Importance Of Learning The Form
Throughout this course we are going to break down the tune ‘The Nearness of You’ into three distinct sections. We have the 8-bar A section that repeats twice so we’re going to view this as an 16 Bar chunk of of the tune. We then have an 8-bar B section. And finally, we have a 12 Bar C section.
We will isolate each section to internalize the harmony and then we will add them all together. This will deepen our understanding of the tune and it will also help our internal compass to understand exactly where we are in the tune at all times.
To internalise the chord changes, count through each bar with left hand bass and the 3rds and 7ths in the right hand.
Once this is comfortable, play both the bass and the 3rds and 7ths with the left hand to create a basic left hand stride.
If you're new to stride style, start with just 1 bar and cycle around. Then add the next few bars, and gradually work up to the full 8 bar A Section.
Remember that the harmony of the 2nd A Section is almost identical to the 1st A Section.