Now we’ll learn how to make great jazz sound just by rehearsing two small phrases. Now let me shortly demonstrate the sound we can make when mastering the exercises from this lesson… This is a NewJazz lesson by the way and my name is Oliver Prehn. Ok, start by placing your left hand here… and your right hand here on the G Major triad chord… or the F Major chord… So with C in the bass… we have this sound… If we gather all our notes and stack them from the c-note we actually have the ascending melodic minor scale… this scale is almost like the well known C Major scale… but with a lowered third step. This scale fits the Cmi chord. But when adding the other scale notes… and when spreading them out we have really spiced up our chord, right? If we place our fingers on the upper structure triad in a specific fixed way, for example like this… we call it a hand grip. So in our case the index finger is always on the keynote of the triad, the ring finger on the third and our thumb and pinkie on the fifths, like this. Later on in this lesson we’ll realize how much we can gain with our simple hand grip, how many thrilling chord qualities and jazzy sounds we can reach so easily. But first we need to be familiar with our hand grip. So we’ll do some preliminary exercises and then we’ll learn some great licks we can do. Start very simple by playing the hand grip downwards like this… first only the G triad position… then mix in the F triad position… Now try to stop this running around at a specific spot for example like this… So in this very easy manner we have actually created our very first lick: LICK 1 Now the really great thing about the hand grip technique is that when we have exercised just ONE lick we can very easily make variations just by playing different positions of our hand grip, listen… We can also quite easily expand or contract our lick. So we can make long versions… or short versions… We can also make Rhythmic displacements for example we can move our lick a 16th note to the left… Now exercise “LICK 1” and try to create all kinds of different variations… Before moving on, investigating other thrilling Jazz sounds we can do with our simple hand grip, let’s add another exercise and another lick to our toolbox. Now we’ll play the hand grip upwards like this… and at different positions… and now let’s add a way to terminate this movement we could for example do a nice smashing octave… So here we have LICK 2… Again we can easily variate our lick by doing different positions… we can expand and contract… and we can make rhythmic variations… Now exercise LICK 2 and try to experiment by creating different variations… The next step is to mix LICK 1 and LICK 2 together so here we go… By using our very simple hand grip at different positions making variations upon only 2 small licks we can actually gain a lot, right? And it’s not that difficult because we reuse the same piano fingering the same well known finger sequences from LICK 1 and 2 just at different positions. So the hand grip technique can be a great approach and shortcut to Music improvisation. Ok, now comes the most exciting part of this lesson. We’re going to use our very same hand grip, our very same phrases and licks, our very same finger sequences, our very same way of moving our fingers to make completely new thrilling jazz sounds. Now keep the c-note in the bass… but move everything else up a half step… So now we have our hand grip on the Ab triad… and the Gb triad… What a great sound, right? So what are we playing? Well if we stack all our notes from the c-note we have the C altered scale. The dominant 7th chord quality fits… but when adding the other scale notes… and spreading them out, we have this very nice sound… Now what if we transpose all this up a whole step… Wow, what great sound is this? Well, let’s gather the notes. And we have the half diminished scale. This mode is often used on the mi7b5 chord. What a really nice thrilling sound right… if we go up another whole step we have this sound… this is the Aeolian dominant mode… the dominant 7th chord fits this mode… thrilling sound, right? If we go up another whole step… we have the Lydian dominant mode… also fitting the dominant 7th chord… Now remember our original starting point? Well, if we go down a whole step from there we have this thrilling sound… and I know, you may think; how can I remember all these positions to do these great sounds? But don’t worry I’ll give you some easy mnemonic rules in just a minute. Now this sound is made out of the very exotic Dorian b2 mode… a mode we can use to spice up the mi7 chord… ah right? And if we go down a half step we have this very bright and sharp sound… the Lydian Augmented scale… that we can use on the Ma7#5 chord… So now we have actually walked through all 7 melodic minor modes. All these modes belong to the same family as I explain in another lesson about scales, I’ll paste a link below. But the really great thing is that we can actually just forget all about the advanced scale theory stuff and just play the modes by using our simple left… and right hand grip… We just need to know on what positions we can place our hand grips, right? So let’s make some simple practical mnemonic rules. First we look at our left hand, where to place the left hand grip? Well if we draw the melodic minor scale on the keys we simply just place our thumb on these keys, so here we have all our left hand positions… Now where to place our right hand grip? Well, simply just join the right hand thumb… with the left hand thumb and here we got it… And from here we can go down a whole step and do the other triad position… So having our left hand for example here… we got our right hand here… and here… left hand here… right hand here… and here… and so on… Now let’s explore the different thrilling sounds we can do by using LICK 1… then LICK 2… and then mix the LICKS… Now isn’t this fantastic? Just by using a simple left and right hand grip we can in so many ways colorize our sound. At every position for our right hand triad grip we can reuse our rehearsed finger sequences. So this hand grip technique can really be a great shortcut to colorize our Musical improvisation. Ok, before the usual little surprise by the end of the video let me just give you all many huge thanks for all the support you give me; all the nice messages, likes and donations that keep me going. You are of course so much welcome to donate at PayPal or Patreon. But remember that you don’t have to donate anything; all NewJazz lessons are free and for everybody. Now, are you still here? Great, then you may also be ready for the usual little surprise. This time I’ll provide you with some smart tips and tricks. Now try for example to add the middle finger to our triad hand grip just in between the index and the ring finger, like this… we can actually do that without violating any of our thrilling modes… really nice right? Ok, another little hint, you can actually play the entire 2-5-1 progression. This is the basic Ami7b5 chord… spiced up with the Half diminished scale… to the D7 chord… spiced up with the Altered scale… to the tonic G minor chord… spiced up with the melodic minor scale… Well this may seem a little advanced, I know, but think about it; we use the same single left hand grip and the same single triad right hand grip to play the entire 2-5-1 progression… in another lesson I explain this approach much more thoroughly. I’ll paste a link below. Another tip; we can with great benefit invert the left hand chord. So try to move the two lower notes to the top an octave higher and we have this inverted left hand grip… By mixing these two inversions we can make smoother chord voicings for example like this… In another lesson I explain this left hand technique in more details and we do a lot of exercises. I’ll paste a link below. Now one last tip. You can of course play totally outside the standard tonalities we have learned in this lesson. So our left hand thumb doesn’t always have to follow the mnemonic C melodic minor keys… We can for example do this one… nice sound right? If we gather all the notes… we got this strange 8 note scale containing an ugly cluster of half steps… This scale is NOT well behaving. But sometimes we just don’t care. Now listen how this ugly cluster can have a kind of exotic kindness… So what I’m trying to say is that you should first of all trust your ears and if you break traditions occasionally then it just may not be so bad. In Music, nothing is forbidden!!! Well, that’s it for now. The best and warm regards from Oliver Prehn.

25 thoughts on “SIMPLE JAZZ EXERCISES – 2 small LICKS to play GREAT SOUNDS”

  1. Gerry Moningkey Chillout Music says:


  2. William de Cristo says:


  3. oberyn says:

    omg Newjazz 8 minutes ago !!! YESSS

  4. Alejandro Rios says:

    Another great lesson from one of the greatest jazz piano teachers ever!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. jMarcos Oliveira says:

    niice exercises…it makes a beautiful song

  6. CURTIS COOPER says:

    Brilliant. Nice. CLEAR. Fun pro. . Thanks

  7. knutoletube says:

    Thanks for all the great videos! I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO SUPPORT NewJazz on ($2 or $5 per month is all it takes!) Hoping for many more lessons in the years to come! 🙂

  8. Gerhard Umlandt says:

    one more pearl

  9. Epyon system says:

    Your lessons are so helpful! Ive only watched a few so far and i feel like ive learned so much! Thank you sir!

  10. Eddy Cesar says:

    Oliver, tu es un génie !!!!!!
    Tu nous fait rêver par tes démonstrations.
    Tu ne t'embarrasses pas de théories indigestes, mais tu donnes l'essentiel.
    Merci pour ton dévouement à la cause des pianistes amateurs.

    Oliver, you're a genius !!!!!!
    You make us dream by your demonstrations.
    You do not bother with indigestible theories, but you give the essential.
    Thank you for your dedication to the cause of amateur pianists.

  11. markbra says:

    I love the dramatic sound of these chords !

  12. Gabriela Sochan says:

    Thank You for this great lesson 🙂 especially for explanation in DETAILS 🙂 I understand that mnemory rules are very helpful but I am perhaps more scientist than artist and I must know WHAT i am playing, how it calls, what scale i am using etc… Imagine that someday i will create my own piece of music and if i won't be able to analize it in DETAILS – it will hapend by accident/mistake – IT WILL BE THE WORST NIGHTMARE 😀 sorry for my bad English. I understand everything – less speak and write.

  13. Stephen Flinn says:

    Your lessons somehow open up freedom in my limited playing. Fascinating as always thank you Oliver.

  14. Voicing & Progressões says:

    MT bom

  15. André Reiter says:

    I'm just about ready to score a movie just from your lessons! 🙂

  16. Mark Presquito says:

    You helped me a lot! Thank you so much.

  17. Nguyen Sebastien says:


  18. Kin Tat Tsang says:

    Thx a lot. Great sound!
    Pls support his work.

  19. Robert Mos says:

    You're so full of surprises, I'm speechless! Thank you!

  20. generoso lore says:

    beautiful lesson , you are greater teacher

  21. brutal hamster says:

    Awesome lesson!

  22. paolo acone says:

    Like usual, Oliver opens a casket and show us all the treasures inside, our eyes full of marvel.

  23. Pelucom says:

    gracias por compartir tus concimientos maestro.

  24. Kenneth Gonzalez says:

    Excellent tutorial and so much fun! Well done, Oliver 😀

  25. Adan Ayup says:

    Muy bien….

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