Frosty The Snowman Piano Lesson
Tired of the uninspiring music during the holidays?
Want to learn a fresh-sounding Frosty The Snowman piano arrangement?
Let’s get you inspired.
Take a look at how Lewis learned a tasty and jazzy Frosty The Snowman piano arrangement below.
Frosty The Snowman Piano Demonstration
Before you start exploring Frosty The Snowman piano reworks, listen to Lewis playing an arrangement from the Christmas Jazz Piano Super System program:
Now that you’ve listened to Lewis playing Frosty The Snowman, it’s time for you to analyze what Lewis did.
Why A Frosty The Snowman Piano Performance Might Sound Bland
Before we begin, let’s look at a simple version of the tune:
If you play the version above, it doesn’t sound bad.
However, it does sound rudimentary and not very exciting.
It’s kind of bland with “square” rhythm and plain chords.
Now, what did Lewis play to make it sound way better?
How To Make A Melody Sing
To start, let’s look at the treble staff and check out what Lewis was doing with his right hand:
Here are some things you want to take note of by examining this Frosty The Snowman piano melody:
- First, the use of grace notes. These create a more human, vocal feel.
- For example, look at the G at the beginning of the tune. It’s preceded by an F# grace note.
- The use of syncopation or rhythmic displacement:
- See how the Xmas Jazz Piano Super System version makes use of suspensions? This is where the melody note is played just before the 1st beat.
- For example, on the first bar, at the “&” of beat 4, we see a G. In the earlier, simpler version, that G happens exactly on beat 1 of the next bar. Playing a note just before the beat happens creates a more exciting melody.
- The use of 8th note swing and triplets create a jazzier effect. This makes your playing sound a lot more hip.
The best way how to learn this kind of melodic treatment is by listening to great jazz singers such as Kurt Elling, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Or make it easy for yourself and grab the Xmas Jazz Super System.
By learning how to create melodic interest like this, you can make any tune jazzy.
Speaking of jazzing up the holidays, you can learn how to play Christmas jazz like Lewis through the Christmas Jazz Super System.
Inside the Christmas Jazz Super System, you’ll learn how to impress family &friends with 8 complete arrangements and tutorials of Christmas classics.
You’ll be the life of the party this year. Get instant access to the Christmas Jazz Super System here.
Now let’s look into how you can reharmonize Frosty a bit further.
How To Reharmonize A Frosty The Snowman Piano Arrangement
In the example that you just listened to, Lewis was playing some really sophisticated chords.
The arrangement of the same beginning 8 bars looks like this:
What we see here is a great deal of reharmonization and chord substitution.
Here are a number of things you can learn from this Frosty The Snowman piano rearrangement:
- First, you can substitute 6/9 chords for stock major triads. Simply employ quartal harmony starting on the 3rd of the chord. For example, a C6/9 chord only consists of E, A, and D.
- Second, you don’t need to play the root note of the chords all the time. As a matter of fact, Steve’s arrangement uses a lot of rootless jazz voicings.
- Third, you can substitute a ii-V chord progression for a IV chord.
- Lastly, if you use extended chords (similar to Bill Evans jazz chords), your playing will sound rich.
Now let’s look at how you can use jazz rhythm to complete the process.
Why Jazzing Up Frosty The Snowman Piano Rhythm Matters
Since jazz rhythm and feel has a special flavor, it makes a big difference whether or not your rearrangement sounds good.
No one wants to hear an arrangement with weak rhythm. This is why getting the rhythm and feel right matters a lot.
If you look at the sheet music again as well as listen to Lewis’s performance, we find the following important details:
- Swing and triplet rhythms for the melody.
- Syncopation for both hands. For example, measure 6 makes use of the Charleston rhythm while measures 4 & 8 starts chords on the “&” of 1.
- Jazz articulation. Although it’s not written in the sheet music, we can hear jazz articulation in Lewis’s performance. The most common places where you need to play accents are beats 2 and 4 as well as the “&” of 8th-note pairs. Playing proper jazz articulation creates that jazz rhythm feel.
Now, the big question is how do you get your own Xmas music sounding authentic?
How To Play Like A Jazz Legend
Maybe you have tried all of those tricks on YouTube or even tried copying those folks in Instagram. But, still you’re frustrated and still can’t get your piano playing to that next level.
In that case, it’s time to seek the help of a mentor that can take you by the hand & fix your playing.
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I hope that you’re now a step closer to bringing holiday cheer with this Frosty The Snowman piano lesson.
Do you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for a new lesson. Feel free to leave a comment below.
We wish you the best this Christmas season and happy practicing.