Aiming for being capable of playing solo and in ensemble, a jazz pianist is exposed to the following:
- Bass player is playing the root tones, hence the pianist can play rootless
- When playing alone or improvising, both hands can handle harmony and and typically right hand melody. In the case of playing alone, base tone needs also to be covered.
- While comping, the melody is covered by the soloist.
During my time learning piano I’ve basically in my solitude opened up jazz standards and learned them with compact voicings in my left and melody in my right. Straight forward. Now, moving towards more complex solo playing and playing in ensembles, I want and need to learn having voicings in my right hand, preferably combined with the melody. It’s a bit of unlearning, and I find old habits hard to break. This is my quest, and I find it overwhelming to learn.
So I wonder:
- What is the best approach for learning this? Voicings and melody combined in right hand.
- How does one plan the layout? The chord/voicings can clash with the melody or the hand positioning and there are so extremely many combinations at each moment, such as when combining fingering and from what chord you’re coming from to what you’re going to, that I don’t see how one consciously can decide between all those. This is significant with jazz piano/theory: this overwhelming amount of combinations. For instance, given twelve tones and all different intervals, you have a huge amount of combinations to navigate in order to understand various concepts. To me it seems one has to learn a set of combinations/sequences and then fall back to that subconscious routine/muscle memory.
In one way the answer is simple: “just expose yourself to it through your grinding and practice, until you get it”, but I suspect that you people have as usual something clever to say!