Thursday, August 9, 2018

Pianist Blooper/ Pianist Falls Off Bench

Jennifer Warren-Baker: Washington, DC Jazz Pianist/ Jazz Piano Solo

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Summer Piano Deal: 6-Lesson Trial for Loudoun County, VA

Back by popular demand, our 6-lesson summer trial is back!  Are you hesitant to commit to a long term of lessons but want to see if piano is for you?  Purchase 6 summer lessons for the price of 5, scheduled around your vacations and availability.  And the best part?  You don't have to drive.  I come to you!

Areas serviced:  Purcellville, Hamilton, Round Hill, Leesburg, Ashburn, Lovettsville, Point of Rocks (Tuesdays only).  

To register, fill out the form at http://www.piano2go.com/sign-up

Summer Piano Lesson Deal/ Piano Camp/ Summer Music Camp by Piano 2 Go:  Serving Loudoun County, Virginia (VA)  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Jazz Jam-Along No. 2 in Eb Blues/ Eb Dorian



Here is my next jazz jam-along, composed about 15 years ago (for real).  It has some pretty far-out 13th chords, suspensions, 11ths, etc.  I just never recorded it until now (thanks for recording this last week, Mike Pugh​).  This is not a stand-alone piece and is meant to be paired with another solo instrument like sax, trumpet, piano, jazz organ, clarinet, jazz guitar - whatever!  Have the other instrument improvise along in Eb Blues or Eb Dorian.  If you teach little kids, tell them to improvise with the black keys and it works!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Maybe I'm Amazed" as a Case Study in Good Songwriting

The chromatic piano bass walk at 00:55. A simple detail, but an example of what's missing from modern popular music arrangements. I've been trying to figure out what song this little chromatic piano bass walk was in (it was filed in my head but I could't remember what song). I wanted to show my songwriting students so they can incorporate this sort of bass walk into their accompaniments. Well, here it is. It's a chromatic scale from the root to the 7th of a dominant 7th chord. Some say it's cliche. I like it. I want to hear more cool bass walks in modern pop music. This is just one example. The piece flirts with 3 different keys and has chords that confuse the heck out of music theorists (they don't seem to belong, and yet, they work). The chorus is transposed up from the verse and contains 3 different variations of a D chord (D Ma, DMa7, and D7). How's that for variety? Who transposes the chorus anymore? Well some do at the end of the song, but it's less common to go back and forth between keys as Paul does here. Then there's a clear B section that's a definite contrast (I'm not sure modern pop artists know what a true B section is). Also, considering that most modern pop songs only have four chords max, Paul McCartney should be hailed as a pop genius for having 12 different chords in this piece. They are:

1. A
2. D
3. Dm
4. Em7
5. Bb
6. F
7. C
8. G
9. Ab
10. Eb
11. DMa7
12. D7

Wow! That's a lot of chord variety! YES. Study the Beatles if you want to write good songs (this was performed by Wings, after the Beatles broke up). Also study Carole King, Billy Joel, and Elton John. Always look to the classic rockers for good songwriting.

So what makes a good song?

  • MORE THAN 4 CHORDS (ok that eliminates most of today's pop music, true)
  • A CLEAR B SECTION THAT IS SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT, WITH DIFFERENT CHORDS -- THAN THE A SECTION. A BRIDGE IS NICE TOO (C SECTION). Expose your kids to musical theatre....it really helps expose them to clear-cut musical form.
  • SOME 7TH CHORDS THAT ARE NOT GARDEN-VARIETY 7TH CHORDS (ie, not just dominant 7ths, but major 7ths and minor 7ths). Heck, if you can throw a diminished 7th in there, you're a super-hero.
  • COOL BASS LINES AND UNEXPECTED BASS TONES LIKE PAUL'S G/C IN THIS SONG.
  • COOL INSTRUMENTAL FILLS
  • A GOOD INSTRUMENTAL SOLO WITH IMPROV
  • GOOD LYRICS WITH CREATIVE WORD CHOICE (study musical theatre)
  • RHYTHM'S IMPORTANT, TOO, BUT WE'LL COVER THAT LATER....
Lyrics are far less noticeable to me -- because I'm a musician. But a good song must have both.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Jazz Piano Lessons/ Classes in Loudoun County, Virginia

Here are some samples of how we integrate jazz improvisation into beginner piano lessons, from our November 18 recital!  You can see how much fun everyone is having. 



Disclaimer:  I teach more than just jazz.  In fact, I teach all styles at Piano 2 Go, including classical, pop, classic rock, jazz, composition, songwriting, and improvisation.  For more info on in-home lessons, please contact me at jennifer@piano2go.com.