Jazz Improvisation: The Art of the Ballad

Jean-Michel Pilc

Expert

59 videos

Jean-Michel Pilc comes back to imusic-school to give you a unique piano masterclass about the Art of Ballad. Learn how to approach a jazz ballad with a jazz specialist and revisit the most famous jazz ballads!

Jazz Improvisation: The Art of the Ballad

In this masterclass, Jean-Michel Pilc gives an extended and thorough description of the process of ballad playing, and how to master it. Centered around the well known ballad “Body and Soul”, the class will explain how to develop a strong and musical perception of the tune, leading to creative and meaningful interpretations and improvisations.

Many topics will be covered, such as melody, lyrics, form, timing, vocabulary, bass, ear etc. As always, Jean-Michel’s class will be based on a natural approach, favoring singing and oral tradition (learning straight from the masters) and will demonstrate it clearly and step by step.

All levels and instruments are welcome, and as a bonus, Jean-Michel will play ballads (standards, originals and improvisations) himself, ballad playing being a central element of his own musical personality.

Enjoy and most importantly, have fun!

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The main concepts taught

melody

interpretation

bass

rhythm

theme and variation

visualization

The program proposed by Jean-Michel Pilc

This jazz improvisation masterclass counts five chapters. It includes several jazz standards to study.

ChapterNotions

Jazz Improvisation: The Art of Ballad

General concepts & “Body an Soul” collection

 

Jean-Michel Pilc explains how to start learning a ballad thanks to active listening. Pay attention to the lyrics, the singing, the interpretation, the melody, the sens of meaning, try to understand the intent, the form…

Discover different versions of the jazz standard “Body and Soul” interpreted by Billie Holidays, Louis Armstrong, Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Chet Baker, Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins and more.

Improvisations by Jean-Michel Pilc

Listen and rediscover the following jazz stardards on which Jean-Michel Pilc is improvising:

  • Opening Act
  • Shooting Star
  • Body and Soul
  • Blue in Green
  • One Moment Please

Melody and Bass

The spirit of music & Listen back to yourself

 

In this chapter, Jean-Michel gives you tips to sing the melody while playing the bass. He addresses the concepts of melody, melody variation, bass, bass variation, chords, visualization, sound and pedaling.

You will also learn how to listen back to yourself and ear what you have played. Do not hesitate to record yourself! He addresses other notions such as orchestration, vocabulary and transposition.

Rhythm

Rhythm, timing and form

 

For Jean-Michel Pilc, rhythm is a pillar of ballad. He explains you how to approach it in the frame of a ballad.

You will see more in details the timing, the dissociation, the form, the double time, form stretching, variation of the meter, etc.

Jazz ballads to study

Here is a selection of jazz ballads to study:

  • Blue in Green
  • Embraceable You
  • How deep is the Ocean
  • I Should Care
  • I’m a Fool to Want You
  • In a Sentimental Mood
  • Misty
  • My Foolish Heart
  • Nuages
  • Oh, Lady be Good
  • Skylark
  • A Child is Born

ChapterNotions

Jazz Improvisation: The Art of Ballad

General concepts & “Body an Soul” collection

 

Jean-Michel Pilc explains how to start learning a ballad thanks to active listening. Pay attention to the lyrics, the singing, the interpretation, the melody, the sens of meaning, try to understand the intent, the form…

Discover different versions of the jazz standard “Body and Soul” interpreted by Billie Holidays, Louis Armstrong, Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Chet Baker, Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins and more.

Improvisations by Jean-Michel Pilc

Listen and rediscover the following jazz stardards on which Jean-Michel Pilc is improvising:

  • Opening Act
  • Shooting Star
  • Body and Soul
  • Blue in Green
  • One Moment Please

Melody and Bass

The spirit of music & Listen back to yourself

 

In this chapter, Jean-Michel gives you tips to sing the melody while playing the bass. He addresses the concepts of melody, melody variation, bass, bass variation, chords, visualization, sound and pedaling.

You will also learn how to listen back to yourself and ear what you have played. Do not hesitate to record yourself! He addresses other notions such as orchestration, vocabulary and transposition.

Rhythm

Rhythm, timing and form

 

For Jean-Michel Pilc, rhythm is a pillar of ballad. He explains you how to approach it in the frame of a ballad.

You will see more in details the timing, the dissociation, the form, the double time, form stretching, variation of the meter, etc.

Jazz ballads to study

Here is a selection of jazz ballads to study:

  • Blue in Green
  • Embraceable You
  • How deep is the Ocean
  • I Should Care
  • I’m a Fool to Want You
  • In a Sentimental Mood
  • Misty
  • My Foolish Heart
  • Nuages
  • Oh, Lady be Good
  • Skylark
  • A Child is Born