Most Requested Cocktail Piano Tunes

In this article we’ll take a look at some of the most requested cocktail piano tunes. Here at Cocktail Piano Lessons, we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing, practicing, teaching, and PLAYING cocktail piano tunes. So we’re very familiar with which tunes are the most popular among players and audiences. This is important information for…

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Building an Arrangement – “Summertime”

Building an arrangement and knowing how to incorporate various harmonic devices is a major part of developing your cocktail piano repertoire. It’s also an essential skill that can be practiced at an easy, intermediate, and advanced level. In this article we’ll take a very popular cocktail piano piece – George Gershwin’s “Summertime” – and show…

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Major Bebop Scale and Jazz Arranging

The major bebop scale is a very powerful scale that can be incredibly helpful to jazz pianists in a number of ways. It’s a tool that can be an excellent device for improvisation as well as jazz arranging. The 8-note scale is built by combining two different chords. In this article we’ll discuss the theory…

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Pedal Tones – What Are They?

Pedal tones are usually thought of as a jazz topic that is reserved for advanced study. That’s sort of ironic because they can be incredibly simple and easy to use. And what’s best is that when used properly (which we’ll discuss in a moment) they can be hugely effective, giving the music a little bump…

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Solo Cocktail Piano Gigs

In this article we’ll answer a bunch of question regarding solo cocktail piano gigs. Ever wonder what kind of material you need to know in order to be ready to play cocktail piano gigs? Or how about how many songs you need to know before you can consider yourself ready? Or perhaps whether you possess…

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Improvisation Tips for Pianists

In this article we’ll be discussing a few improvisation tips for pianists. These are the kinds of tips that are taught in music schools and practiced by the pros, so the good news is that you’re getting some cold-hard professional-grade knowledge. The challenge is that these improvisation tips are meant for long-term use and study,…

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Tritone Substitution – Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of our article on tritone substitutions we discussed the tritone interval, the tritone substitution, and the theory behind why tritone substitution works. Here in Part 2 of our discussion on tritone substitution we will go through some specific examples of how tritone substitution works in practice and discuss some ideas for improvisation.…

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Piano Comping Practice Tips

In this article we’re going to take a look at three piano comping practice tips. These piano comping practice tips are meant to give you specific exercises to practices that will improve your harmonic understanding and help you learn the chords to a bunch of jazz tunes. Before we begin consider this: As pianists we…

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Tritone Substitution – Part 1 of 2

The tritone is a very common device used in the jazz and Great American Songbook repertoire. It’s responsible for some of those very interesting, authentic jazz harmony sounds that sets jazz apart from other genres. But although the tritone (also known as the tritone substitution) is common in jazz and cocktail music it is often…

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Advanced Reharmonization – Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of our article on advanced reharmonization we discussed two tips for understanding how to get started with chord substitution. Here in Part 2 we’ll go further with some study of advanced reharmonization using Gershwin’s “Summertime” by discussing some common chord progressions as well as the idea of tritone substitutions. Advanced Reharmonization Tip…

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