some ideas i was came up with looking over what kinds of things are being discussed here-

with the threads about practicing routines and what to spend time on in a goal-related sense(i.e. those "learn to play piano like your favorite recording artist in a week" sites online)vs. the "i've got so much stuff to work on,what should i focus on,how can i organize it" immersion in the potential black hole of involvement in the art form in all it's aspects in terms of your ultimate goals for your playing,here's a challenge........

try eliminating all the stuff you're "working on technique with" and replacing it with focused exercises/studies specifically based on jazz improv-rel study/tune structure/voicings in a jazz type context,etc.for a month and then see if your technical capacities have changed and if so in what way......speaking only about this factor now(technique/"piano-rel muscle memory-finger coordination etc)i'm willing to bet that not only will your "chops" not be negatively impacted but if there's any difference at all,it'll probably be that you can play more s--t on more tunes than you thought you'd be able to,plus the added factor of replacing solitary individual practice time with some kind of group-related activity like showing up at the local sessions(where more often than not the other players would be more than happy to have a developing player into comping who's still without a competent solo approach than you'd think(re-typical"jam session" paradox/stereotypes of players who are overconcerned about this latter capacity,fearful of appearing in public without being able to play solos like they want to yet(something that paradoxically actually depends on group playing experience in the first place to get together)staying home headtripping about themselves while a plethora of pianists who care more about how many choruses they can play in a social context than what the right changes are make the experience a nightmare for the bassist and any other soloists who have shedded the tune.......)will pinpoint for you the areas you really need to focus in on,eliminating any questions about the subject in terms of choosing what to work on out of the jazz-related repertoire and how to divide up your time......

to qualify this is important at the outset-if you are still at the stage of the game where you're a first time player learning stuff especially under the direction of a good teacher,"don't try this at home" so to speak but discuss these concepts first with whoever you're working with....if i had the opportunity to get into a one-to-one situation with each of the players reading this who are in the above-described intial stages,i'd try to develop a routine for them based on both trouble shooting their weaknesses/strengths and combining technical studies/ear work with piano skill development.......

over on the latest post about the subject(dividing time-hej) the replies are on the money in terms of the factors involved-especially the point a couple of people made about the place musical study has in the context of your life/daily routine and consequently what type of motivations/energies you're bringing with you to the piano when you sit down....leaving aside for now the topic of the relationship between everything else in your life and what music is about for you,after about 35 yrs. of being into it,i look at this way-the same attitude you have about it when you listen should carry over to your practice routine...in other words when you are listening to something you're into,music is a positive experience and it's that type of situation that got you into it in the first place probably....i like to keep that feel going when i practice/compose/check things out on the keyboard rather than adopt the "well anyways this is the stuff you're supposed to practice even though it bores the s--t out of me....i guess if i keep on doing it i'll be able to enjoy playing on the level i want.....i wonder if i'll have enough time to get to (insert actual interest-related practice option put on hold in favor of what you're semi-forcing youself to do in the present).....maybe the lakers will trade kobe...is there any of that pizza left ...."gradual space-out" mentality that i'm suggesting acually does more harm than good ,conversely wasting time set aside to reach goals being negatively impacted by what you're working on.....for more about this-

https://www.learnjazzpiano.com/citadel/scotcit.mvc?intro_off=1&action=forum&sub=display_thread&id=37722&bid=38105  

the replies again over there(dividing time-hej)definitely point you in the right direction re-all this.........i'd second the practice routine focus/approaches suggested depending on your own level of skill and what you want to acomplish....

more to come......

the accurate info in the post asking about upper structures might be clearer to players still learning aout the subject if i added this to the  replies-conceptually thinking about us in terms of a given triad over a root helps to.......  

more to come......
There are 10 comments, leave a comment.
.........see the approach and carries over into your total thinking about voicings so that gradually rather than internally naming the notes over any given root in terms of being related to the root by being intervallic notes of the chord type based on it ,you concieve of them as a chordal structure in of itself in relation the given root;using 7's reply as basis ,here's what i'm getting at-
in theory you want to know/understand what each us is in terms of the semantic use of the term to mean the chordal building blocks above the seventh as indicated in the reply,and then conceptually as structures in of themself over the root,i.e.in "slash chord terminology" using the diatonic 9th,#11th and 13th over e would give you the notes f#,a# and c#,an f# maj triad over the e root(f#/e)while using g natural,b and d natural,respectively the #9,5 and b7 in intervallic relationship to the e root,can be conceptualized as g/e,etc......this extends the concept so that any structure that can be viewed this way (and in actual practice much of modern piano voicing is based on various triadic inversions over the root)is thought of using this approach.....i.e. what would have been called(and still legitimitely is of course)emin9 could now be viewed as gmaj7/e,emin11 might turn into bmin7/e etc.........
reducing things to their basis like this helps you see contemporary concepts in a less confusing way and,to echo a point 7 makes in his excellent file on lh voicing,very often it is a specific given inversion or root-position-based voicing in a fixed area of the keyboard that gives you the sound you're looking for....this brings up something i wanted to mention re-the contributions i made over here
back in 2003-04 and where i'm at nowadays......back then i was just geting started transferring my musical appproach and knowledge to the keyboard from sax which i had learned things on and figuring everything out from a keyboard perspective.......i was working on reading piano music in bass/treble clef for the first time and using an electronic keyboard to do this,so i was more into how melodies could work over various types of chord progressions/voicings than developing a "acoustic piano concept" based on how each key is approached stylistically,i.e.which voicings played where give you a "piano-specific sound",in consequence things i've described theoretically in the many files/posts i've done have to be interpreted in strictly pianistically-related terms by players thinking in these terms(wanting to develop a given jazz-piano style vs. using the keyboard compositionally/as an electronic instrument in a pop/r +b influenced concept )..........
thank you for the honorable mention.

smg, i have to tell you that as much as i admire your work, i have a helluva a time reading through your incredibly dense paragraphs.

could you try (just to make me happy) separating your "thought bubbles" by hard returns? pretty please?

this would make your educational and informative writings so much more digestible!

for example, the third paragraph in your first post would be much nicer if it were presented thusly:

hey thanks jeff....forgot about that..let me see if  can cut and paste the whole thing again below-


some ideas i was came up with looking over what kinds of things are being discussed here-

with the threads about practicing routines and what to spend time on in a goal-related sense(i.e. those "learn to play piano like your favorite recording artist in a week" sites online)vs. the "i've got so much stuff to work on,what should i focus on,how can i organize it" immersion in the potential black hole of involvement in the art form in all it's aspects in terms of your ultimate goals for your playing,here's a challenge........  
  
try eliminating all the stuff you're "working on technique with" and replacing it with focused exercises/studies specifically based on jazz improv-rel study/tune  structure/voicings in a jazz type context,etc. for a month and then see if your technical capacities have changed and if so in what way......

speaking only about this factor now (technique/"piano-rel muscle memory-finger coordination etc)i'm willing to bet that not only will your "chops" not be negatively impacted but if there's any difference at all, it'll probably be that you can play more s--t on more tunes than you thought you'd be able to.

plus the added factor of replacing solitary individual practice time with some  kind of group-related activity like showing up at the local sessions.

where more often than not the other players would be more than happy to have a developing player into comping who's  still without a competent solo approach than you'd think.

re-typical"jam session" paradox/stereotypes of players who are over concerned about this latter capacity, fearful of appearing in public without being able to play solos like they want to yet(something that paradoxically actually depends on group playing experience in the first place to get together.

instead of staying home headtripping about themselves while a plethora of pianists who care more about how many choruses they can play in a social context than what  the right changes are make the experience a nightmare for the bassist and any other soloists who have shedded the tune.......

this will pinpoint for you the areas you really need to focus in on, eliminating any questions about the subject in  terms of choosing what to work on out of the jazz-related repertoire and how to divide up your time......  

to qualify this is important at the outset-if you are still at the stage of the game where you're a first time player learning stuff especially under the direction of a good teacher,"don't try this at home" so to speak but discuss these concepts first with whoever you're working with....

if i had the opportunity to get into a one-to-one situation with each of the players reading this who are in the above-described intial stages,i'd try to develop a routine for them based on both trouble shooting their weaknesses/strengths and combining technical studies/ear work with piano  skill development.......

over on the latest post about the subject(dividing time-hej) the replies are on the money in terms of the factors involved-especially the point a couple of people made about the place musical study has in the  context of your life/daily routine and consequently what type of motivations/energies you're bringing with you to the piano when you sit down....

leaving aside for now the topic of the relationship between everything else in your life and what music is about for you,after about 35 yrs. of being into it,i look at this way-the same attitude you have about it when you listen should carry over to your practice routine...


in other words when you are listening to something you're into,music is a positive experience and it's that type of situation that got you into it in the first place probably....i like to keep that feel going when i practice/compose/check things out on the keyboard rather than adopt the following type of mindset-  

"well anyways this is the stuff you're supposed to practice even though it bores the s--t out of me....i guess if i keep on doing it i'll be able to enjoy playing on the level i want.....i wonder if i'll have enough time to get to (insert actual interest-related practice option put on hold in favor of what you're semi-forcing youself to do in the present).....maybe the lakers will trade kobe...is there any of that pizza left ....

this kind of "gradual space-out" mentality that i'm suggesting actually does more harm than good,conversely wasting time set aside to reach goals being negatively impacted by what you're working on.....for more about this-

https://www.learnjazzpiano.com/citadel/scotcit.mvc?intro_off=1&action=forum&sub=display_thread&id=37722&bid=38105  

the replies again over there(dividing time-hej)definitely point you in the right direction re-all this.........i'd second the practice routine focus/approaches suggested depending on your own level  of skill and what you want to acomplish....


the accurate info in the post asking about upper structures might be clearer to players still learning about the subject if i added this to the  replies-

conceptually thinking about us in terms of a given triad over a root helps to see the approach and carries over into your total thinking about voicings so that this happens-  

gradually rather than internally naming the notes over any given root in terms of being related to the root by being intervallic notes of the chord type based on it ,you concieve of them as a chordal structure in of itself in relation the given root.

using 7's reply to the us post as basis ,here's what i'm getting at-  

in theory you want to know/understand what each us is in terms of the semantic use of the term to mean the chordal building blocks above the seventh as indicated in the reply,and then conceptually as structures in of themself over the root.

in "slash chord terminology" using the diatonic 9th,#11th and 13th over e would give you the notes f#,a# and c#,an f# maj triad over the e root(f#/e)while using g natural,b and d natural,respectively the #9,5 and b7 in intervallic relationship to the e root,can be conceptualized as g/e,etc......


this extends the concept so that any structure that can be viewed this way (and in actual practice much of modern piano voicing is based on various triadic inversions over the root)is thought of using this approach.....i.e. what would have been called(and still legitimitely is of course)emin9 could now be viewed as gmaj7/e,emin11 might turn into bmin7/e etc.........  

reducing things to their basis like this helps you see contemporary concepts in a less confusing way and,to echo a point 7 makes in his excellent file on lh voicing,very often it is a specific given inversion or root-position-based voicing in a  fixed area of the keyboard that gives you the sound you're looking for....

this brings up something i wanted to mention re-the contributions i made over here back in 2003-04 and where i'm at nowadays......

back then i was just getting started transferring my musical approach and knowledge to the keyboard from sax which i had learned things on and figuring everything out from a keyboard perspective.......

i was working on reading piano music in bass/treble clef for the first time and using an electronic keyboard to do this,so i was more into how melodies could work over various types of chord progressions/voicings than developing a "acoustic piano concept" based on how each key is approached stylistically......i.e.which voicings played where give you a "piano-specific sound"......

in consequence things i've described theoretically in the many files/posts i've done have to be reinterpreted to be usable in the context of an "acoustic piano/electric played as if it was an acoustic piano approach" way  (vs.using the effects settings as "pads" to set up backgrounds for vocal melodies etc...and how strictly piano-oriented voicings can be extended to work here) by players thinking in termsof wanting to develop a given jazz-piano style vs. using the keyboard compositionally/as an electronic instrument in a pop/r +b influenced concept )..........

that might be better..i've got some more to add here over the weekend and i'll remember this formatting thing......one thing to mention again is the mark harrison book referred to above is a good one,here's the link-
https://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/book.asp?ppn=bkhl220011

what i like about it is that he really goes into detail analyzing everything and referring back to pages where things are explained and the examples he gives you of how to use the stuff stylistically are based on the same progression/key with different ways of approaching them stylistically....

another book worth looking at especially in the context of this site is this one by a guy named john valerio that i've been going  
through....a lot of good analysis/examples,the info is all relevant and he gets into some of the major influences styles' with "etudes" based on each players s--t....
tell me if i am understanding you correctly, at least the first part of your essay here:

are you saying that instead of obsessing over what exercises to practice to gain certain technical skills, you should rather just play the songs you are interested in playing and jam with other people and that will be more helpful in your development?  i've heard this before several times, and in my experiences, i think it is true for the most part.  

in the metaphors for the musician book, the author also says something like this.  he mentions that you can do all the practices and technical exercises you want, but it won't get incorporated into your actual playing until you learn within the context of the song.  and that's true, i think.
i'd agree with the above for players at the level that they can expand their focus,as i suggested in the thread.....however i'd balance that with any number of exercises/studies geared to/based on/dealing with the repertoire you've going to be improvising on,substituting these kind of practice routines for the typical approach of "classical" studies for technique and then "squeezing in" whatever else you can in individual situations where this applies..
i.e. the "challenge" aspect of what i posted....

using your example("play the songs you are  interested in playing")i'd substitute studies/exercises based on the harmonic/melodic demands of the tune and what you want to do with it,studies on the progression and ways of playing it using substitue chords,etc...what i'm trying to get across here is how to deal with the apparent dichotomy confronted by players who solo/voice their chords using "technical aspects a concepts" which they hear but don't yet understand/know how to work on while their practicing routine consists of unrelated "technical aspects b concepts".......(a and b used here illustratively only,not meant to imply a/b voicings)......

continuing along these lines with some ideas based on reading over recent threads,here's some ways of dealing with pentatonics....
instead of the usual "cmaj pentatonic on c maj" approach,try using the scale over f maj;correspondingly applying the pent.major to a maj.chord a perfect fourth away from the root....there have been a lot of posts about pentatonics here over the years,analyzing what tensions over the given chord are outlined by the pentonic scale you choose,for more about this check the thread that prompted these ideas-
https://www.learnjazzpiano.com/citadel/scotcit.mvc?intro_off=1&action=forum&sub=display_thread&id=37971&bid=38150

in this case you'd be using the fifth,13th,maj7th,ninth,and maj.third....

the concepts based on the use of various pentatonic scales(some links about which are given over there)are a whole study in of itself,with different forms of 5 note scales(i.e. modal/altered pentatonics) and all the different applications...however for players just getting into this,who want to get to what they're hearing using the scale and past "the usual "cmaj pentatonic on c maj" and the related "am pentatonic is the same scale starting on the 5th degree" basic approach (again qualifying this,these concepts are the correct way to learn about pentatonics;what i'm describing are only some applications of this info in ways that may be more usable in actual playing situations)........

if you are currently using the "start on the first note of the first beat and play the scale up and down the octave" eighth-note approach(and applying this to 16th's as well),try this instead and see if it doesn't inject some life into your practicing-

-start on the second eighth of the first beat,then start on the first eighth of the second,etc.;experiment and see how starting the octave-based scalar approach in different places rhythmically affects the notes that fall on the strong beats etc....(this concept can of course be applied to any scale study)........

-using the example given(cmaj pent. on f maj),try starting on these notes,using a modal approach within the scale....these patterns are actually the type of lines you might practice when you get into studying the individual components of transcribed solos.......

1.start on d,the 13th
2."        g,the 9th
3."        a,the 3rd

(more to come)
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