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Artist Voicings: Danny Grissett Practice Sessions

Practice Session 1
The objective: To learn the 125 cluster voicing.
The task: Write out and play the 125 cluster voicing in 12 keys.

1. Print this document and bring it to your piano or keyboard.


2. On the blank staves provided below, write out the 125 cluster voicing in all twelve keys. Include the
chord symbol (maj9) above each voicing.
3. The first chord is done for you. The numbers 125 refer to the scale degrees of the key. In the key of C
these are C, D and G and represent a voicing of the Cmaj9 chord. (For help in identifying scale degrees
refer to the Major ii-V-I Lesson).
4. Starting in measure 2, complete the voicing in F and continue to measure 3 with Bb and repeat for
each measure through the cycle of 4ths in this order: Eb, Ab, Db, Gb B, E, A, D, G.
5. Self-Assessment
Compare your answers with the answer key at the end of this document.
If you wrote out all the notes correctly with no mistakes move on to the next step.
If you wrote out most of the notes correctly and understand where you made mistakes, correct
your errors and move on to the next step.
If you wrote out few of the notes correctly or didnt understand why your notes were wrong:
Review the lesson again.
Ask questions about anything that you dont understand.
Try writing out the voicings again. When you can do it without making any errors move
on to the next step.

6. Open the play-along file 125 Cluster Voicings in a sequencer, Band-in-a-Box or GarageBand.
7. While reading the notes of the voicings that you wrote out below, play along with the accompaniment.
Since these voicings can be played by either the left or right hand, alternate hands with each chorus.
Continue with this exercise until you memorize each voicing.
8. Once youve memorized the voicings, play through the chords again but this time while reading only
the chord symbols as you play with the accompaniment. To do this you will need to either erase the
notes of the voicings that you wrote out in step 2 or print out a new blank page of staves and write the
chord symbols above each measure.
9. As you gain confidence with the voicings, experiment with these ideas:
Play the voicings in different ranges of the piano.
Improvise rhythmic patterns as you play the chords as you would when comping behind a
soloist. Alternate sustained chords with rhythmic patterns.
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Turn on the soloist feature of Band-in-a-Box and practice comping behind the soloist. Try to
support the soloist by using rhythmically complimentary patterns. Use your ears to determine
what sounds good.

10. Self-Assessment
If you played all the notes correctly and in time with no mistakes and felt comfortable playing
them, move on to the next step.
If you played most of the notes correctly and in time with a few mistakes and/or didnt feel
comfortable with them, try it again at a slower tempo, say 60bpm. Once you can play it with no
mistakes at 60bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 80bpm, then 100bpm,
then move on to the next step.
If you played few of the notes correctly or were unable to play any of the notes in time:
Review the lesson again.
Ask questions about anything that you dont understand.
Try again at a slower tempo, say 60bpm. Once you can play it with no mistakes at
60bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 80bpm, then 100bpm, then
move on to the next practice session.

11. Repeat this practice session for each of the remaining cluster voicings as described below. Blank
staves as well as play-alongs are provided for each voicing type.
12b3 cluster voicing
b7b34b5 cluster voicing
1b235

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Write your 125 cluster voicings here:

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Write your 12b3 cluster voicings here:

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Write your b7b34b5 cluster voicings here:

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Write your 1b235 cluster voicings here:

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Practice Session 2
The objective: To learn the 5-down 4th voicing.
The task: Write out and play the 5-down 4th voicing in 12 keys.

1. On the blank staves provided below, write out the 5-down 4th voicing in all twelve keys. Include the
chord symbol (6/9) above each voicing.
2. The first chord is done for you. The name of this voicing (5-down) refers to the top note of the chord
(the 5th) and is voiced down in perfect 4th intervals. So for C, the top note is G and the notes below it
are D, A, and E.
3. Starting in measure 2, complete the voicing in F and continue to measure 3 with Bb and repeat for
each measure through the cycle of 4ths in this order: Eb, Ab, Db, Gb B, E, A, D, G.
4. Self-Assessment
Compare your answers with the answer key at the end of this document.
If you wrote out all the notes correctly with no mistakes move on to the next step.
If you wrote out most of the notes correctly and understand where you made mistakes, correct
your errors and move on to the next step.
If you wrote out few of the notes correctly or didnt understand why your notes were wrong:
Review the lesson again.
Ask questions about anything that you dont understand.

5.

Try writing out the voicings again and when you can do it without making any errors
move on to the next step.
Open the play-along file 125 cluster voicing in a sequencer, Band-in-a-Box or GarageBand. The 125
cluster voicing chords work for the 5-down 4th voicings as well.

6. While reading the notes of the voicings that you wrote out below, play along with the accompaniment.

Since these voicings can be played by either the left or right hand, alternate hands with each chorus.
You can also play this voicing with two hands; RH plays the top two notes and the LH plays the bottom
two notes. Continue with this exercise until you memorize each voicing.

7. Once youve memorized the voicings, play through the chords again but this time reading only the

chord symbols as you play with the accompaniment. To do this you will need to either erase the notes
of the voicings that you wrote out in step 2 or print out a new blank page of staves and write the chord
symbols above each measure.

8. As you play through the chords and gain confidence with the voicings experiment with these ideas:

Play the voicings in different ranges of the piano.


Improvise rhythmic patterns as you play the chords as you would when comping behind a
soloist. Alternate sustained chords with rhythmic patterns.
Turn on the soloist feature of Band-in-a-Box and practice comping behind the soloist. Try to
support the soloist by using rhythmically complimentary patterns. Use your ears to determine
what sounds good.
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9. Self-Assessment

If you played all the notes correctly and in time with no mistakes and felt comfortable playing
them, move on to the next step.
If you played most of the notes correctly and in time with a few mistakes and/or didnt feel
comfortable with them, try it again at a slower tempo, say 60bpm. Once you can play it with no
mistakes at 60bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 80bpm, then 100bpm,
then move on to the next step.
If you played few of the notes correctly or were unable to play any of the notes in time:
Review the lesson again.
Ask questions about anything that you dont understand.
Try again at a slower tempo, say 60bpm. Once you can play it with no mistakes at
60bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 80bpm, then 100bpm, then
move on to the next practice session.

Artist Voicings: Danny Grissett Practice Sessions


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2010 JazzPianoOnline.com

Practice Session 3
The objective: To learn the V7sus-V7#9b9 reharmonization technique.
The task: Write out and play the V7sus-V7#9b9 reharmonization technique in 12 keys.

1. On the blank staves provided below, reharmonize each ii-V progression into a V7sus-V7#9b9
progression.
2. The first progression is done for you. Reharmonize the ii-7 chord into a V7sus chord by using a 5 note,
5-down 4th voicing. Reharmonize the V7 into a V7#9b9 by writing the tritone (3 and 7) in the left
hand and the #9 and b9 within the same octave.
3. Starting in measure 2, complete the reharmonization in F and continue to measure 3 with Bb and
repeat for each measure through the cycle of 4ths in this order: Eb, Ab, Db, Gb B, E, A, D, G.
4. Self-Assessment
Compare your answers with the answer key at the end of this document.
If you wrote out all the notes correctly with no mistakes move on to the next step.
If you wrote out most of the notes correctly and understand where you made mistakes, correct
your errors and move on to the next step.
If you wrote out few of the notes correctly or didnt understand why your notes were wrong:
Review the lesson again.
Ask questions about anything that you dont understand.

5.

Try writing out the voicings again and when you can do it without making any errors
move on to the next step.
Open the play-along file V7sus-V7#9b9 Reharm in a sequencer, Band-in-a-Box or GarageBand.

6. While reading the notes of the voicings that you wrote out below, play along with the accompaniment.

Play this voicing with two hands; RH plays the top two notes and the LH plays the bottom three notes
in the case of the V7sus chord. For the V7#9b9 chord the RH plays the top two notes and the LH plays
the tritone. Continue with this exercise until you memorize each voicing.

7. Once youve memorized the voicings, play through the progressions again but this time reading only
the chord symbols as you play with the accompaniment. To do this you will need to either erase the
notes of the progressions that you wrote out in step 2 or print out a new blank page of staves.

8. As you play through the chords and gain confidence with the voicings experiment with these ideas:

Rhythmically improvise patterns as you play the chords as you would when comping behind a
soloist. Alternate sustained chords with rhythmic patterns.
Turn on the soloist feature of Band-in-a-Box and practice comping behind the soloist. Try to
support the soloist by using rhythmically complimentary patterns. Use your ears to determine
what sounds good.

9. Self-Assessment
Artist Voicings: Danny Grissett Practice Sessions
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If you played all the notes correctly and in time with no mistakes and felt comfortable playing
them, move on to the next step.
If you played most of the notes correctly and in time with a few mistakes and/or didnt feel
comfortable with them, try it again at a slower tempo, say 60bpm. Once you can play it with no
mistakes at 60bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 80bpm, then 100bpm,
then move on to the next step.
If you played few of the notes correctly or were unable to play any of the notes in time:
Review the lesson again.
Ask questions about anything that you dont understand.
Try again at a slower tempo, say 60bpm. Once you can play it with no mistakes at
60bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 80bpm, then 100bpm, then
move on to the next practice session.

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2010 JazzPianoOnline.com

Artist Voicings: Danny Grissett Practice Sessions


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Practice Session 4
The objective: To learn to use the voicing and reharmonization techniques in a tune.
The task: Write out and play the voicings and reharmonizations for eight measures of the standard tune
Imagination.

1. On the blank staves provided below, add voicings and/or reharmonize any ii-7 V7 progressions with
the voicings from this lesson.
2. Use 125, 1b235 cluster voicings and 5-down fourth voicings for major chords, 12b3 and b7b34b5
cluster voicings for minor chords. Use the V7sus-V7#9b9 chords to reharmonize any ii-7-V7
progressions.
3. Use your ears to decide how to use the voicings and reharm techniques.
4. Self-Assessment
It is difficult to perform a self-assessment on a subjective task like this. There are infinite ways
to use these materials. Trust your judgement as to what works. Examine the sample voicings/
reharm in the answer key as a guide.

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Next Steps
Congratulations! Youve done a lot of work. Continue to experiment with these voicings and reharm
techniques as you play through tunes to keep these materials in your arsenal of voicings and reharm
techniques.

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Answer Keys
Practice Session 1
125 cluster voicings

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12b3 cluster voicings

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b7b34b5 cluster voicings

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1b235 cluster voicings

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5-down 4th voicings

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Voicings and Reharm Techniques used in Imagination

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Intro Transcription
This transcription is not rhythmically accurate because the music is played out of time and without strict
meter. It is included only to demonstrate how he uses the voicings. Several measures are not shown after
the dotted barline.

Click on the here to sample the track or purchase the album from iTunes.

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