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Edgar Myshkin
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How to Play Soulful Music on the Keyboard: The Ultimate Gospel and Jazz Piano Collection


The Ultimate Gospel and Jazz Piano Collection




If you love piano music that is soulful, expressive, and uplifting, you might want to explore the genres of gospel and jazz piano. These styles of music have a rich history and a vibrant culture that can inspire your playing and creativity. In this article, we will introduce you to the basics of gospel and jazz piano, show you some techniques that you can use to spice up your chords and melodies, and share some resources that will help you learn more and improve your skills. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, you will find something useful and enjoyable in this ultimate gospel and jazz piano collection.




The Ultimate Gospel and Jazz Piano Collection


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Introduction




What is gospel and jazz piano?




Gospel and jazz piano are two related genres of music that originated in the African American communities of the United States. Gospel music is a form of Christian music that expresses faith, praise, worship, and testimony. It often incorporates elements of blues, soul, R&B, and rock. Jazz music is a form of art music that combines improvisation, syncopation, swing, and complex harmonies. It often incorporates elements of blues, ragtime, folk, and classical music.


Gospel and jazz piano share some common characteristics, such as:


  • Using extended chords, such as seventh, ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth chords



  • Using chord substitutions, such as replacing a chord with another one that has a similar function or sound



  • Using passing chords, such as adding chords between the main chords to create smooth transitions



  • Using reharmonization, such as changing the harmony of a song to create a different mood or effect



  • Using modulation, such as changing the key of a song to create contrast or interest



  • Using voicings, such as arranging the notes of a chord in different ways to create different sounds



  • Using embellishments, such as adding notes or ornaments to a melody to make it more expressive



Why learn gospel and jazz piano?




Learning gospel and jazz piano can benefit you in many ways, such as:


  • Improving your musical knowledge, such as scales, chords, progressions, modes, etc.



  • Improving your musical skills, such as ear training, sight reading, rhythm, technique, etc.



  • Improving your musical creativity, such as improvisation, composition, arrangement, etc.



  • Improving your musical expression, such as dynamics, articulation, phrasing, emotion, etc.



  • Improving your musical appreciation, such as listening to different styles, genres, artists, etc.



  • Improving your musical enjoyment, such as playing for fun, relaxation, entertainment, etc.



How to get started with gospel and jazz piano?




If you want to get started with gospel and jazz piano, here are some steps that you can follow:


  • Learn the basics of piano playing, such as posture, fingering, notation, etc.



  • Learn the basics of music theory, such as intervals, scales, chords, etc.



  • Learn some gospel and jazz songs that you like or are familiar with



  • Analyze the songs that you learn and identify the techniques that are used



  • Practice the techniques that you learn and apply them to other songs or situations



  • Listen to gospel and jazz piano players that you admire or want to emulate



  • Imitate their style and sound and try to incorporate their ideas into your own playing



  • Experiment with different variations and possibilities and create your own style and sound



Gospel and Jazz Piano Techniques




Chord substitutions




A chord substitution is a technique where you replace a chord with another one that has a similar function or sound. This can create more harmonic interest or diversity in your playing. There are many types of chord substitutions that you can use in gospel and jazz piano. Here are some common ones:


Tritone substitution




A tritone substitution is a technique where you replace a dominant seventh chord with another dominant seventh chord that is a tritone (three whole steps) away from it. For example,


Cmaj7 - G7 - Cmaj7 (original progression)Cmaj7 - Db7 - Cmaj7 (tritone substitution)


The tritone substitution works because both G7 and Db7 share the same tritone interval (B-F), which creates tension that resolves to Cmaj7. The tritone substitution can also create a chromatic bass line that adds more movement to your playing.


Diatonic substitution




A diatonic substitution is a technique where you replace a chord with another chord that belongs to the same key or scale. For example,


Cmaj7 - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 (original progression)Cmaj7 - Em7 - Dm7 - G7 (diatonic substitution)


The diatonic substitution works because both Am7 and Em7 are diatonic chords in the key of C major. They have similar functions (subdominant) and sounds (minor seventh). The diatonic substitution can also create more variety or contrast in your playing.


Chromatic substitution




A chromatic substitution is a technique where you replace a chord with another chord that is a half step away from it. For example,


Cmaj7 - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 (original progression)Cmaj7 - Bbmaj7 - Ebmaj7 - Abmaj7 (chromatic substitution)


The chromatic substitution works because it creates a chromatic descending bass line that adds more interest or tension to your playing. The chromatic substitution can also create more color or richness in your playing.


Passing chords




A passing chord is a technique where you add a chord between two main chords to create a smooth transition. This can fill in the gaps or spaces in your playing. There are many types of passing chords that you can use in gospel and jazz piano. Here are some common ones:


Diminished passing chords




A diminished passing chord is a technique where you add a diminished seventh chord between two main chords that are a whole step apart. For example,


Cmaj7 - Dm7 (original progression)Cmaj7 - C#dim7 - Dm7 (diminished passing chord)


The diminished passing chord works because it creates a chromatic ascending bass line that adds more movement or excitement to your playing. The diminished passing chord can also create more tension or dissonance in your playing.


Secondary dominant passing chords




A secondary dominant passing chord is a technique where you add a dominant seventh chord that is not the main dominant chord of the key, but rather the dominant chord of another chord in the key. For example,


Cmaj7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 (original progression)Cmaj7 - A7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 (secondary dominant passing chord)


The secondary dominant passing chord works because it creates a stronger resolution to the next chord. A7 is the dominant chord of Dm7, so it leads to Dm7 more strongly than Cmaj7. The secondary dominant passing chord can also create more harmonic interest or diversity in your playing.


Altered passing chords




An altered passing chord is a technique where you add a dominant seventh chord that has one or more altered notes, such as b9, #9, b5, #5. For example,


Cmaj7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 (original progression)Cmaj7 - Dm7 - G7b9 - Cmaj7 (altered passing chord)


The altered passing chord works because it creates more tension or dissonance that resolves to the next chord. G7b9 has an Ab note, which is a half step away from G and A, the root and third of Cmaj7. The altered passing chord can also create more color or richness in your playing.


Reharmonization




Reharmonization is a technique where you change the harmony of a song to create a different mood or effect. This can make your playing more creative or original. There are many ways to reharmonize a song in gospel and jazz piano. Here are some common ones:


Modal interchange




Modal interchange is a technique where you borrow chords from other modes or scales that have the same tonic as the original key. For example,


Cmaj7 - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 (original progression in C major)Cmaj7 - Abmaj7 - Dbmaj7 - Gbmaj7 (modal interchange from C lydian)


The modal interchange works because it creates a contrast or surprise in your playing. Abmaj7, Dbmaj7, and Gbmaj7 are not diatonic chords in C major, but they are diatonic chords in C lydian, which is another mode that has C as the tonic. The modal interchange can also create more mood or atmosphere in your playing.


Backdoor progression




A backdoor progression is a technique where you replace the V-I cadence with a bVII-I cadence. For example,


Cmaj7 - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 (original progression with V-I cadence)Cmaj7 - Am7 - Dm7 - Bbmaj7 - Cmaj7 (backdoor progression with bVII-I cadence)


The backdoor progression works because it creates a smooth voice leading to the tonic. Bbmaj7 has an F note, which is a half step away from E, the third of Cmaj7. The backdoor progression can also create more warmth or softness in your playing.


Turnaround progression




A turnaround progression is a technique where you add a series of chords at the end of a phrase or section to create a cycle or loop that leads back to the beginning. For example,


Cmaj7 - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 (original progression)Cmaj7 - Am7 - Dm7 - G7 Em7 A7 Dm7 G7 Cmaj (turnaround progression)


The turnaround progression works because it creates more movement or momentum in your playing. Em7-A7-Dm-G are all secondary dominant passing chords that lead to each other and back to Cmaj. The turnaround progression can also create more interest or variation in your playing.


Gospel and Jazz Piano Resources




Online courses and tutorials




If you want to learn more about gospel and jazz piano online, here are some courses and tutorials that you can check out:


Gospel Jazz Progressions Course by Emanuel Blanco Piano




This course will teach you how to play 10 gospel jazz progressions on piano with detailed explanations and demonstrations. You will learn how to use techniques such as tritone substitution, diminished passing chords, secondary dominant passing chords, altered passing chords, modal interchange, backdoor progression, turnaround progression, and more. You will also get access to PDF files and MIDI files for each lesson.


You can find this course at .


Gospel Tutorials by Gifted Hands Music




This YouTube channel will teach you how to play various gospel songs and styles on piano with easy-to-follow instructions and tips. You will learn how to play songs by artists such as Kim Burrell, Kirk Franklin, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Fred Hammond, and more. You will also learn how to use techniques such as chord substitutions, passing chords, reharmonization, voicings, embellishments, and more.


You can find this channel at .


Gospel-Jazz Piano Techniques & Reharmonization by The Jazz Piano Site




This website will teach you how to apply gospel piano techniques to jazz piano with clear examples and diagrams. You will learn how to use techniques such as tritone substitution, diminished passing chords, secondary dominant passing chords, altered passing chords, modal interchange, backdoor progression, turnaround progression, and more.


You can find this website at .


Books and sheet music




If you want to learn more about gospel and jazz piano from books and sheet music, here are some recommendations:


The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine




This book is considered one of the most comprehensive and authoritative books on jazz piano ever written. It covers topics such as scales, chords, progressions, modes, voicings, reharmonization, improvisation, comping, and more. It also includes hundreds of musical examples and exercises that you can practice along with.


You can find this book at .


The Real Book by Hal Leonard Corporation




This book is a collection of over 400 jazz standards that are commonly played by jazz musicians. It includes the melodies and chords of the songs in a simple and easy-to-read format. You can use this book to learn new songs, practice improvisation, or play with other musicians.


You can find this book at .


Gospel Keyboard Styles by Mark Harrison




This book is a comprehensive guide to gospel keyboard playing. It covers topics such as chord voicings, bass lines, rhythms, fills, runs, harmonization, modulation, and more. It also includes 80 musical examples and 12 complete songs that you can study and play.


You can find this book at .


Songs and artists to listen to




If you want to listen to some gospel and jazz piano songs and artists that will inspire you and improve your ear, here are some suggestions:


Amazing Grace by John Newton (arranged by Emanuel Blanco)




This is a classic gospel hymn that has been arranged by Emanuel Blanco, a YouTube piano teacher who specializes in gospel jazz chords. He plays a slightly reharmonized version of the song using techniques such as tritone substitution, diminished passing chords, secondary dominant passing chords, altered passing chords, modal interchange, backdoor progression, turnaround progression, and more.


You can listen to this song at .


There Is Something About That Name by Bill Gaither (played by Kim Burrell)




This is a beautiful gospel song that has been played by Kim Burrell, a Grammy-nominated gospel singer and pianist who is known for her jazzy style and vocal range. She plays a jazzy gospel chord progression as an intro to the song using techniques such as chord substitutions, passing chords, reharmonization, voicings, embellishments, and more.


You can listen to this song at .


What A Friend We Have In Jesus by Joseph Scriven (played by Jason Tyson)




This is another classic gospel hymn that has been played by Jason Tyson, a YouTube piano teacher who teaches gospel jazz chords. He plays a chord progression taken from the song using techniques such as tritone substitution, diminished passing chords, secondary dominant passing chords, altered passing chords, modal interchange, backdoor progression, turnaround progression, and more.


You can listen to this song at .


Conclusion




Summary of the main points




In this article, we have introduced you to the basics of gospel and jazz piano. We have shown you some techniques that you can use to spice up your chords and melodies. We have also shared some resources that will help you learn more and improve your skills. We hope that you have enjoyed this ultimate gospel and jazz piano collection and that you will apply what you have learned to your own playing.


Call to action for the readers




If you want to take your gospel and jazz piano playing to the next level, we encourage you to check out the courses, books, and songs that we have recommended in this article. They will provide you with more information, examples, exercises, and inspiration that will help you grow as a musician. You can also join online communities or forums where you can interact with other gospel and jazz piano enthusiasts and share your questions, tips, feedbacks, or experiences. Remember that learning gospel and jazz piano is a lifelong journey that requires practice, dedication, and passion. But most importantly, have fun and enjoy the music!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about gospel and jazz piano:


What is the difference between gospel and jazz piano?




Gospel and jazz piano are two related genres of music that originated in the African American communities of the United States. Gospel music is a form of Christian music that expresses faith, praise, worship, and testimony. Jazz music is a form of art music that combines improvisation, syncopation, swing, and complex harmonies. Gospel and jazz piano share some common characteristics, such as using extended chords, chord substitutions, passing chords, reharmonization, modulation, voicings, embellishments, and more.


How can I learn gospel and jazz piano?




If you want to learn gospel and jazz piano, you can follow these steps:


  • Learn the basics of piano playing, such as posture, fingering, notation, etc.



  • Learn the basics of music theory, such as intervals, scales, chords, etc.



  • Learn some gospel and jazz songs that you like or are familiar with



  • Analyze the songs that you learn and identify the techniques that are used



  • Practice the techniques that you learn and apply them to other songs or situations



  • Listen to gospel and jazz piano players that you admire or want to emulate



  • Imitate their style and sound and try to incorporate their ideas into your own playing



  • Experiment with different variations and possibilities and create your own style and sound



What are some gospel and jazz piano techniques?




Some gospel and jazz piano techniques are:


  • Chord substitutions: replacing a chord with another one that has a similar function or sound



  • Passing chords: adding chords between the main chords to create smooth transitions



  • Reharmonization: changing the harmony of a song to create a different mood or effect



  • Modal interchange: borrowing chords from other modes or scales that have the same tonic as the original key



  • Backdoor progression: replacing the V-I cadence with a bVII-I cadence



  • Turnaround progression: adding a series of chords at the end of a phrase or section to create a cycle or loop that leads back to the beginning



What are some gospel and jazz piano resources?




Some gospel and jazz piano resources are:


  • Online courses and tutorials: such as Gospel Jazz Progressions Course by Emanuel Blanco Piano, Gospel Tutorials by Gifted Hands Music, Gospel-Jazz Piano Techniques & Reharmonization by The Jazz Piano Site



  • Books and sheet music: such as The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine, The Real Book by Hal Leonard Corporation, Gospel Keyboard Styles by Mark Harrison



  • Songs and artists to listen to: such as Amazing Grace by John Newton (arranged by Emanuel Blanco), There Is Something About That Name by Bill Gaither (played by Kim Burrell), What A Friend We Have In Jesus by Joseph Scriven (played by Jason Tyson)




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