Playing Outside – Peter Martin | 2-Minute Jazz

Peter demonstrates how to play outside of a chord while in a different chord… but still be in that chord… It sounds like magic…


What’s going on, everybody? Peter Martin here, for Two Minute Jazz Piano. I wanna talk to you today about playing outside.

So, (jazz piano) normally when we talk about playing outside, we just mean shifting harmonically from what the actual chord we’re
on for a little bit of time when we’re not supposed to be changing the chord. But we use that other harmonic area to build our melodic ideas off of.

If we look at D Minor, (jazz piano) we’re just, you know, we’re
kinda sitting there, right? (jazz piano)

It’s kinda obvious at a certain point, I’m leaving D Minor. Now, you know, Dorian, it’s all white keys so you can tell when I’m
doing it visually, too, ’cause I’m going up to non-white keys, but the sorta obvious place that we go is a half step up, which works nice (jazz piano) so we can kinda shift up there at any time.

But I want you to think about some other areas to go outside, as well. (jazz piano) And these are, they can really be almost anywhere. We’re thinking more in terms of triadic pattern. So D Minor but I’m going up to (jazz piano). E, E Triad.

And then E flat, major triad.
And even D triad, even though we’re going to D Minor.
Then I’m going to B triad.

And you hear I’m doing, as opposed to a straight triad, (jazz piano) ’cause it gets a little bit basic, I’m adding in that fourth kind
of as a melodic passing note.
(jazz piano) right? (jazz piano)

You know, you do that if you like the sound. (jazz piano)
And then, you know, in terms of your comping, you probably notice sometimes I’m really sticking straight with what I’m doing melodically with my comping. (jazz piano)

But these voicings are actually, those are a fourth, but, you can also play things that move in the same direction with the pattern that you’re doing when you’re playing outside.
(jazz piano) that are not actually the chords for what you’re playing.

What I did there was (jazz piano), that kinda matches but
then I went (jazz piano).

I’m still doing the major, (jazz piano) moving chromatically but I’m
taking that fourth voicing and moving it chromatically, as well.
(jazz piano)
And the whole thing, remember playing outside, you’re shifting, you’re going somewhere else and then you’re coming back. You can’t play on the chord and then leave the chord and stay away because then you’re outside forever.

You gotta bring it back home at some point. Happy practicing.

Check out more videos and courses from Peter Martin

6 thoughts on “Playing Outside – Peter Martin | 2-Minute Jazz”

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Incredibly useful information I have not received elsewhere.

  2. Great tutorial! Helps me think about different ways to create movement, dissonance during a solo without straying too far outside the basic chord pattern.. Good for any instrument!

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