A Guide To Help You Play Better Jazz Piano

Ron Drotos

History and overview:
“There Will Never Be Another You” is one of the first Real Book tunes you should learn. It’s played at a lot of jam sessions and has just enough ii-V’s in the chord progression to get you comfortable with the jazz vocabulary.

The song was written by Harry Warren with lyrics by Mack Gordon for the movie musical Iceland in 1942. It’s one of those songs that was originally a lyrical vocal feature that was adapted by jazz musicians as a vehicle for improvisation.

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.)

Lester Young

Sonny Rollins: Live In Denmark, 1965 (video)

Musical ideas and jazz piano practice tips:
Here are 5 ways you can practice “There Will Never Be Another You:”

1. Play the melody with your right hand while your left hand plays the bass “in 2.” (half notes)

2. Walk a bass line with your left hand (quarter notes) while your right hand comps, playing chords with various rhythms.

3. Play the melody with your right hand over a walking bass line in your left hand.

4. Play the melody in both hands, 2 octaves apart.

5. Play chord voicings in your left hand, while your right hand improvises a solo, emphasizing chord tones.

If you’re at the beginning or intermediate level with your jazz piano playing, you can probably do some of these better than others right now. By diligently going through these steps on this and other tunes, you’ll fill in some of the gaps in your playing and get to a new level as a jazz pianist.

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

Further links and resources:
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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