We’ve all struggled to play fast, uptempo tunes, and if the tune’s chord progression is complex, it even more difficult to keep up with the pace.
Yes, it’s challenging, but attainable with the right approach.
Here’s a 4-Step Method I’ve developed to help you become comfortable improvising on those fast, uptempo jazz tunes that give us all some trouble from time to time. I use this method myself and it works wonders!
Here’s the method:
1. Playing out of tempo, with the goal of hearing our way through the chord progression.
2. Playing simple melodic lines, at a steady ballad tempo.
3. Simplifying the right-hand improv while swinging at a medium tempo
4. Starting slowly again, and gradually building up to a fast tempo
You can watch me demonstrate it all on this video, using John Coltrane’s tune “Moment’s Notice.”
Moment’s Notice: Journey Through The Real Book #240
Give it a try, and you’ll see how these “impossible” tunes soon begin feeling more comfortable!
Learn the 5 Essential Left Hand Techniques with my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
You'll also get my weekly jazz newsletter with practice tips and inspiration