As jazz pianists, playing ballads gives us a chance to go in many possible directions. We can be tender, passionate, lush, bluesy, lyrical, sparse, delicate, mysterious, chromatic, and countless other possibilities.
Here's an exercise I came up with to help you broaden your approach to playing ballads. It's a way to go pretty deep into different styles, and each one will let you express a whole range of emotional colors through your playing. Watch me demonstrate the exercise on this video, as I take a song through the styles of Bill Evans, Ravel, and Chopin.
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