How to play Latin Ballad Bolero Style – Jazz Piano Tutorial (BAH)

Hi! Today I will show you guys how you can play a style of music called: Bolero.

And this is a style of Latin music and it’s a lot played by jazz musicians and it’s a very calm and very relaxed way to play and when you do this right it could sound quite romantic.

So let me just give you a few bars of an example: As you can tell it’s quite easy, slow, relaxed and calm, and what I like to do when I play this music is to let the rhythm section do most of the rhythmical work and you just float on top of that.

And I’m going to show you a few things that you can do.

So, the first thing is to play very open chords and that’s the easiest thing to do.

So, let’s say you want to play a II-V for example a Bmi7 to E7 which is a II-V, II-V-I progression would be if I play like this and resolve it to A.

But now, let’s just play the II-V-II-V II-V to E and then same thing When you do that in this way what I like to do is to play the 7th only with my right hand and in octaves like this.

So, octaves in right hand and then you play it once more with your left hand like this.

So now this is the Bmi7 but you’re just playing the 7.

To this one which is the third of the E7 and then, same thing like this.

Together with the bass & drums it sounds like this: And the opposite way to play this is to play a very tight with many notes at the same time.

That gets a little bit of a warm sound.

So, I like to mix those two.

We’re going to demonstrate this later on.

But, when you do that what I like to do is to play a mix between A and B voicings with my left hand combined with rootless voicings with my right hand.

I have a different tutorial about rootless voicings, that you can check out on YouTube so I’m not going to go in depth with this.

The next principle of what I like to do is to play the block chords.

And the block chords are like this: For example.

I have a different tutorial on that as well so I’m not going to go and explain that either.

But I will explain one thing which I have not talked about before.

And this is based on the “scale-to-the-one-chord” principle that I’ve talked about before.

So, when you play for example at Dmi7 this is Dmi7 like this.

This is a basic Dmi7.

This is the second chord of…

thats what we call the II-chord.

It’s a II-chord, it’s a minor chord, but, it’s a chord to the Cmaj7.

So that means that you can, in this case, you can, smash down, whatever note you would like from the C scale and it will still fit.

So if I’m playing a Dmi7 I could play like this, or I could play it like this, like this, or like this, whatever, whatever you like.

It’s a little bit different than the block chords but it’s quite similar.

Now you can just smash down whatever chords from the scale, whatever notes from the scale, to fit in with that chord.

Even you can even do like this: So, when you do that together with the music and you combine that with A and B voicings and the block chords it could sound like this: And then, the next thing in that you can do is to go between the tonic to the + chord to the 6th to the 7th and this is a very common trick as well.

So, for eksample, let’s say you play in the key of G then you can go up so this is a G chord simple a G-triad and then even go to G+ and I also like to do like this so if could sound like this: And from there you go to now is the G+ so you play major thirds and then you go to the next step which is a G6.

The next step of it would be a G7.

And that leads to C.

So, if you’ve got the time, if it fits with the music of course, then you can add this trick.

And then, continue on C like this, doing the same thing and let me just try that with the band: And the last trick I want to give you is the “off-beat trick” which it’s basically that you’re going to play on off-beats so the bass is playing on one and three sometimes or just one and what you do then is to just to play on off-beat like: So it’s one and two and one and two and All right, let me just try that with the band: Putting it together with the BAH brothers We have written a tune for you that you can download if you go to the download section or if you click on the link under this video you can find this tune together with some play along tracks and exercises for this lesson.