How to Improvise – Major Block Chords for Jazz Piano and Arranging

Here is another video about a key jazz tool for both pianists and arrangers called major block chords. Below you will find the video as well as a PDF of the block chord exercise written out in all keys. Don’t forget to go to the top right of the home page and “follow” the blog for more free info!

Free Sheet Music – Major Block Chords

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7 thoughts on “How to Improvise – Major Block Chords for Jazz Piano and Arranging

    • Yes absolutely. Mark is great. I went to school in the bay area for my freshman year of college at the Brubeck Institute (in Stockton) and we often made trips to the Berkley Jazz School. I was very disappointed not to get a chance to work with him (I think the group the year before had).

      • Oh very cool! I didn’t realize the Brubeck Institute was in Stockton. The Jazz School in Berkeley is such a great idea. I used to work directly across the street from where it is now while going to school at Cal. Unfortunately it didn’t come into existence until a few years after I left.

        As far as Levine goes, I attended a master class of his once and heard him play several times. A drummer friend of mine plays in his trio now and loves it.

        Related pianist: Jessica Williams. Another gem from the same part of the country.

  1. Awesome. This is a great practice tool with an awesome sound. This reminds me a little bit of George Shearings sound. I will definitely be practicing these.

    Im curious how this would work with other scales and chords. Also, Why do we move every other note to a diminished?

    • Hey Dotan,

      As a matter of fact, it does work with other scales as well. Another great exercise to practice is minor block chords. I’ll probably do a video on that sometime soon. As for the diminished chords, it’s a similar concept to passing tones, except in this case, passing chords. As far as I know, there isn’t a formal theoretical reason for using the diminished. It just works better for getting through the scale. Each diminished chord leads into the next voicing nicely.

  2. Pingback: Advanced Jazz Harmony: Block Chord Inversions | Jazz Piano Concepts

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