Thoughts on playing melody

If you want to become a better improviser, spend some time with melodies. Any melodies, in any style. Focus on 2 or 3 at a time and memorize them, embellish them, play them at different speeds, and with various emotional qualities. gradually embellish them more and more and hear them begin to sound more improvisatory.

By doing this, you’ll be joining a long line of musicians who have followed this tradition, including medieval minstrels, Bach, Lester Young, and Jerry Garcia.

Speaking of Lester Young, let’s check out the master himself, playing one of his favorite melodies. Listen to how much he loves playing this!

Lester Young: These Foolish Things

Take your left hand playing to a new level with my free ebook: Left Hand Techniques for Jazz Piano
You’ll also get my weekly jazz newsletter with practice tips and inspiration

Leave a Comment

Sign up for Blog Updates