A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“Pfrancing” (also known is “No Blues”) is a Miles Davis tune from his 1961 album Someday My Prince Will Come. The whole album is great and featured Wynton Kelly on piano. If you don’t yet know Kelly’s playing, you’ll definitely want to check him out. His playing exemplified the “swing feel” at its best, and was a big influence on the young Herbie Hancock.

Recommended videos/recordings:
(for international readers who may not have access to these YouTube links, I’ve indicated the original album names wherever possible so you can listen to them on music streaming services, etc.)

Miles Davis: Someday My Prince Will Come

Miles Davis Quintet: At Carnegie Hall

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
The tune itself is a lively jazz blues. The melody isn’t actually played much, but since the chords are a jazz 12-bar blues in the key of F, you can easily play it if it’s called at a jam session. The only thing you have to remember is that the chords are Ab7 and Db7 in measures 8 and 9. They are the bIII and bVI in the key of F, and give a nice harmonic “detour” on the blues progression. Since this is a bit unusual, take some time to practice improvising over this section at a real slow tempo. This will help you get used to “hearing” your way in and out of these chords in a melodic way.

Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!”

Further links and resources:
Someday My Prince Will Come (album): Wikipedia

A transcription of Miles Davis’ trumpet solo on “Pfrancing”

The Best Way To Use The Real Book

How To Learn Jazz Piano
A podcast to help you learn jazz piano more effectively

Take a Free Jazz Piano Lesson

Mastering The Real Book: A 10-week Skype Intensive for Jazz Pianists

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