Bebop essentials for piano

Mastering the basics of piano Bebop playing

by Rob van Bavel

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7 lessons

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you will have access to this course for 1 year


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Bebop essentials for piano

Mastering the basics of piano Bebop playing

The piano fulfils multiple functions in the jazz field, from accompanying instrumentalists and vocalists to its different function within

the many jazz ensemble settings. The piano styles within this range vary from big bands to their role as solo instruments.

The evolution of the piano has created endless melodic, rhythmic, technical, and harmonic possibilities.

This course deals with the basic essentials of piano bebop playing starting at scales, chord structures, voicings, and technique up to

advance improvisation techniques, advanced voicings, and solo piano techniques.


The course will take you through the evolution of the piano from its basic accompanying function and will explore technique, melodic

approaches, harmony, timing, rhythm, and improvisation.

The course introduces a wide range of styles and offers many possibilities of how to assume the function of a pianist within the

different genres in jazz.

During the course, you will develop your skills, theory, improvisation, and ear-training capabilities.


The lessons are accompanied by detailed worksheets, assignments per lesson, written material and exercises and

interactive play-along tracks.

These lessons are accompanied by an additional exercise book.


Video's: 1 hour

Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Backing Tracks: -

Language: English

Get personal video feedback every week and earn a certificate from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam: Visit the Course page!


How it works:

This masterclass is a series of related video lessons, each structured around a specific topic or topics. By the end of this course, you will have developed a strong sense of direction in your daily study routine.

Weekly video lessons: after joining the course, you will be able to view a new video lesson weekly. Each video lesson consists of:

Examples that musically define the sound of the topic you are studying in each video.


A study routine section in which we first discuss how to study the specific topic of each lesson. We will then play several exercises specially written to show you how to structure your daily study routine.


Assignments that will help you consolidate and practice what you have learned in each video.

Weekly assignments: after each lesson, you will be asked to study, practice and then video record yourself playing an assignment which may consist of several exercises. The process of having to record yourself every week, significantly helps to internalise the material discussed in this course - quickly and naturally.

Weekly feedback: This function is only available in the "course" mode.

Certificate: This function is only available in the "course" mode.


Content of this course:


Lesson 1 - Bebop Essentials; Scales part 2 Octatonic

In this lesson we’re going to discuss more possibilities for the dominant chord in the 2-5-1 in major. We will cover the following material:the octatonic scale, application on the dominant chord and emphasizing the #11, #9 and b9.


Lesson 2 - Building your library of vocabulary (part 1); 2-5-1 in major

In this lesson we will expend your library of vocabulary by making a clear system for this:

long/short 2-5-1 major, long/short 2-5-1 minor, long major, long minor, diminished chords, long dominants/dominant chain.


Lesson 3 - Harmonic Variations, the Triton 2-5 & Bill Evans variation

In this lesson we will look at some harmonic variations on the 2-5-1 in major, we will look at triton substitutions, Bill Evans variations. Kenny Barron variations, ascending and descending min 3rd sequences.


Lesson 4 - Bebop Essentials; Arpeggio’s (part 1) Triads, 7-chords

In this lesson we will work on arpeggios in a ‘modal’ context. We will later apply the arpeggio’s on functional harmony. This lesson will deal with different chromatic, triadic, ascending and descending variations, combinations and enclosures.


Lesson 5 - Fourth Voicing

In this lesson we will look at left hand voicings (McCoy Tyner style) we build chords using 4th’s

instead of 3rd’s.We will look at perfect 4th’s, and augmented 4th, Add a 4th on top & 5 note voicing.


Lesson 6 - Upper Structures

In this lesson we will look at Upper structures. It is possible to use (almost) any left-hand voicing (2 voice, 3 voice, 4th voicing, 4 note voicing) and then we put a different structure on top with the right hand. We will look at Triads, 4th chords & 7 chords


Lesson 7 - Piano Solo, rubato and Harmonization

In this lesson we will explore some ideas for Rubato playing and harmonization.

When pianists play solo, they often play Rubato; Playing Rubato gives a lot of freedom for expression,

We will look at tempos, dynamics and reharmonization.