Master Class Archive

The Master Class Archive archive comprises 25+ in-depth master classes on various topics of jazz and contemporary music. Many classes include a free to download handout.

This is a BREAKTHROUGH video designed for classical or traditional piano (or instrumental) teachers to demonstrate the primary concept of improvisation: FLOW - PHRASE- BREATHE. Your students can discover the JOY of Improv with this one concept! Recorded at the "Original" Frank and Camille's Pianos in Carle Place, NY.

Watch "Master Class #52: How to Begin Teaching Improvisation for Classical Piano Teachers" now!

Join Dave for a core class designed for beginner and intermediate improvisers. Recorded at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary 9/30/19

Watch "Master Class #51: How to Make Your Improvisations Sound Musical" now!

Join Berklee Piano Professor Dave Frank as he presents THE BASIC concept behind jazz improvisation: Flow -Phrase - Breathe! This class is a game-changer

Watch "Master Class #50: How to Improvise Jazz - Flow, Phrase, Breathe!" now!

Join Berklee Piano Professor Dave Frank for this unusual jazz master class. This class is designed for all improvisers as a way to use 6 specific techniques for get out of improv ruts and get your creativity *firing* again. Starring Alfred E. Nueman.

Watch "Master Class #49: 6 Ways to Get out of Improv RUTS" now!

oin Dave for a short master class on the step-by-step process of singing with the jazz solos of the masters. A MUST for aspiring improvers! Features Charlie Parker's solo on Billie's Bounce.

Watch "Master Class #48: How to Sing with Master Solos" now!

Enjoy this 30 minute documentary film by Bret Primack with music by Dave Frank. The film explores the life of the great jazz writer/reviewer Ira Gitler, who passed away in early 2019.

Watch "Master Class #47: Ira Gitler: The Best Friend Jazz Ever Had" now!

Join Dave Frank for an in-depth master class on the walking bassline technique pioneered by Lennie Tristano! Topics include the basic swing 1/8th line, triplets, mantra phrases, 2 hand voicing pattern, and much more. Fun for the whole family)

Watch "Master Class #46: Call Me Lennie!" now!

Join Dave and Harvey for a wide-ranging class about the great jazz pianist and teacher Lennie Tristano, whom they both studied with in the 1960's/1970's. Topics include Lennie's pedagogy for teaching jazz and personal reminiscences and stories of their years studying with the master. The class begins with a 7 minute 2 piano performance of Green Dolphin Street by Dave and Harvey.

Watch "Master Class #45: All About Lennie Tristano with Harvey Diamond" now!

For interested jazz students, this *crazy* long video is from a recent master class at the Maryland Academy of Music) Topics include: rooted vs rootless voicings, practice routines, solo playing vs group, traditional training vs improv training, Dave demonstrates solo piano architecture, basic improv theory, 28.01 LH comping theory, approaching a new tune, intro to chord mapping, Flow - Phrase - Breathe theory and demo, Blues demo, lenght of lines, Slice of Pizza, putting it all together on blues, putting it all together on ATTYA, LH comping master class, working with students, Dave burns walking bass style, walking bassline mini-clinic,and  the secret of scat singing.

Watch "Master Class #44: Jazz Piano: Pieces of the Puzzle" now!

In this master class Dave throws us a curveball with Introduction to the Teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. Join Dave for an overview of the life and work of one of the Great Spiritual Superheroes of the 20th Century. Fun for the whole family!
Watch "Master Class #43: Introduction to the Teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda" now!

Designed for jazz students and jazz/music educators, join Dave Frank and singer/pianist Ming Ho for a master class on the essence of linear improvisation - Flow, Phrase, Breathe. You can see the transformation of Ming's improvising in real time.

Watch "Master Class #42: Flow, Phrase, Breathe!" now!

Join Dave Frank for a class on how to develop a strong, steady pulse in your playing. Designed for beginning/intermediate players, this class will have you pulsating.

Watch "Master Class #41: How to Integrate a Steady Pulse Feeling into Your Playing" now!

Join Dave for a discussion of Lennie Tristano's CLASSIC improvisation C Minor Complex from his album The New Tristano, given at the Univ. of Eastern Connecticut. Topics include the walking bassline, building a complete performance, the "little guy in your head", performance dynamics, and much more.

Watch "Master Class #40: Great Moments in Jazz Piano History - Lennie Tristano plays C Minor Complex" now!

Please join Dave for a hilarious look at the musical world of the Looney Tunes and the American genius composer/arranger Carl Stalling. The class includes a Road Runner cartoon Zoom and Bored, the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon Rhapsody Rabbit, and a crazy cartoon of musical styles Book Revue. The class starts with an animated performance Bugs Bunny Burner. Biggg Fun!!

Watch "Master Class #39: The Music of the Looney Tunes/Carl Stalling" now!

Join Dave for this advanced jazz improvisation class for pianists and intermediate/advanced jazz players. Included are 26 ways to take your playing beyond the ordinary, including Ghost Note Lines, Abstraction, Piano Falling Down the Stairs, Twirling, Rodeo, and many more.

Watch "Master Class #38: Beyond the Improvised Line - Taking Your Playing Beyond the Ordinary" now!

Join Dave for this general overview of the process of jazz improvisation, filmed during a residency at Alfred University in upstate NY. Topics include creating a complete improvised arrangement, the source of improvised music, the difference between an implied and direct rhythms, and much more. This is geared for Beginner/intermediate players and the general public.

Watch "Master Class #37: The Mind of the Improviser - Musical Elements and Improv Concepts" now!

Join Dave Frank for a serious and hilarious in-depth master class on the one and only Art Tatum! Topics include Tatum runs, stride variations, musical textures, Tatum voicings and more. Watch out for 49:00! Fun for the whole family!

Watch "Master Class #36: The Genius of Art Tatum: Divine Madness!" now!

Join Dave Frank for an in-depth class on the playing of the GREAT Keith Jarrett w/Charlie Haden! Includes the concept of musical layering, playing the ring, multiple time feels, and more.The class starts with a 5 min recording of a live concert encore w/Dave.

If blocked you can see it here:

Watch "Master Class #35: Keith Jarrett" now!

Join Dave Frank for a class on the playing of the great Paul Desmond with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Topics include 4 kinds of musical imitation, the use of quotes, wide interval lines, mantra phrases, and much more. The level for this class in intermediate -advanced. The class starts with Dave Frank playing Shades of Renoir off his solo CD Ballads and Burners.

Watch "Master Class #34: The Music of Paul Desmond" now!

Get up close and personal with the world's GREATEST jazz guitarist!

Watch "Master Class #33: An Evening with Pat Martino" now!

This master class outlines the 5 Universal Concepts that are used to develop a solo by analyzing Lyle Mays' great solo with the Pat Metheny Group on the tune First Circle. Intended for players of all instrumentalists and all improv styles, this video can help you to create compelling solos that will tell your story! The class begins with two improvised performances by Dave Frank dedicated to Lennie Tristano.

Watch "Master Class #29: The Art of Developing a Solo - The Music of Lyle Mays" now!

This video, originally released as a DVD in 1998, is a step-by-step guide to beginning blues/jazz improvisation. It introduces basic improv concepts such as feeling in 4's, using triplets and 16/th notes in your line, and much more. This is a great way to introduce the universal principles of improvisation to piano teachers and students.

Watch "Master Class #28: Breakthrough to Improv" now!

Join Dave and two of his advanced students for a Google+ Hangout lesson. Topics include jazz phrasing, playing over modal changes, learning to burn, using triplets and 1/16ths in your line, and much more!

Watch "Master Class #27: Dave Frank Teaching Jazz Online Live!" now!

Designed to be watched in tandem with Part One, Part Two of Beginning Jazz improvisation explains how to improvise over the 4 basic progressions commonly used in jazz, how to improvise over combined progressions, and then how to improvise over a complete jazz standard.

The pdf file for this class will be available soon!

Watch "Master Class #26: Beginning Jazz Improvisation Part 2: Improvising Over Basic Progressions" now!

This class can teach you to begin jazz improvisation. Part One is intended to be watched in tandem with Part Two. Designed for all instruments and voice, Part One explores the 4 basic chord progressions used in common jazz standards and how to improvise over them.

The pdf file for this class will be available soon!

Watch "Master Class #25: Beginning Jazz Improvisation Part 1: Intro to Chord Mapping" now!

Erroll Garner (1921 –1977) was one of the great jazz pianists of the 20th century. A worldwide ambassador of jazz, Erroll was a true natural genius, had a full, rich and expressive piano style, and was an incarnation of joy and spontaneity at the keyboard. His playing is one of the most stylized in jazz piano history, but he was capable of wide musical changes and spur-of-the-moment musical decisions. Erroll Garner is a one-of-a-kind jazz giant whose playing, personality and style made a deep impact on American popular culture.

Watch "Master Class #24: Diggin Erroll Garner!" now!

This video is intended for intermediate to advanced improvisors as a way to develop the ability to improvise fast lines and play at fast tempos. The definition of burning as we are considering it tonight will be defined as being equal to or above 200 bpm on the standard metronome. We will study a number of specific exercises that will help you to gradually but surely increase the speed of your creative playing to the point of burnin’!

Watch "Master Class #23: Learn to Burn!" now!

This is an advanced class intended for, but not limited to, jazz pianists, to introduce the art of touch in piano playing and performance. The subject of creating and controlling the aspect of touch in playing is a vast subject. In the classical piano tradition there are intire schools of thought devotoed to the science of controlling piano touch. The very production of a sound played by a finger is often subject to a complex and exacting application of various muscles, tendons, various non-related parts of the body etc.

Watch "Master Class #22: The Science of Touch" now!

Armando Anthony (Chick) Corea is one of the great pillars in the building of modern jazz piano. His 50+ year musical career has been characterized by his mastery of every nuance of jazz and jazz piano, his joyful attitude of exploration and creativity that he brings to his seemingly endless string of remarkable performances and projects, an original and precise piano technique capable of an astonishing range of musical colors, and a total mastery of the art of performing and communicating though music.

Watch "Master Class #21: Chick Corea" now!

Designed for jazz piano lovers, this in-depth master class explores 15 cool concepts to expand one's improv potential. Included are various left hand patterns and concepts, comping concepts, stride-type piano, playing outside, contrapuntal playing, call and response, trading fours, and many more.

Watch "Master Class #20: 15 Stylistic Elements" now!

Explore 3 of the hippest systems for developing your ears! In this class Dave focuses on developing the ability of the inner ear to hear multiple notes, intervals and tonal/chord colors. Any musician in any genre can benefit from the clear practices presented on this unique video. Dave opens the video, the 20th in his online series, with a new performance, "Peace in the Kingdom".

Watch "Master Class #19: Ear Training" now!

Join Dave for this unique mini-master class on the dissonance techniques of American composer Charles Ives, from the longer master class 'The Piano Music of Charles Ives". Subjects include dissonant intervals, stacked intervals, bi-tonality, constant structures, common tones, and using dissonance in composition and improvisation.

Watch "Master Class #18: The Use of Dissonance in Modern Music" now!

Join Dave for this unusual video of the creative process of improvisation recorded in real time. Dave uses a combination of jazz piano techniques, interludes, time signatures, walking basslines, etc. to demonstrate what he asserts lies within all of us -an endless flow of new music.

Watch "Master Class #17: The Endless Flow of Music Within" now!

I'm excited to offer you the first of a two-part master class on playing over modal vamps. The first part of this class s intended for beginning improvisors. We'll learn how to break through to improv using modal vamps in the left hand. Although primarily intended for keyboard players, the improv concepts we'll study can be effectively used for all instruments, as well as for voice. The second part of this series will explore various concepts for jamming over modal vamps for advanced players.

Watch "Master Class #16: Beginning Improvisation using Modal Vamps" now!

Charles Edward Ives (1874 - 1954) was an American modernist composer. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though his music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years. Over time, he came to be regarded as an "American original". Ives combined the American popular and church-music traditions of his youth with European art music, and was among the first composers to engage in a systematic program of experimental music, with musical techniques including polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones, foreshadowing many musical innovations of the 20th century.

Watch "Master Class #15: The Piano Music of Charles Ives" now!

Bill Evans (1929-1980) is one of the all-time great jazz pianists. Among his many achievements, he pioneered a radically new, romantic style of playing ballads, wrote a large body of original compositions that have become part of the standard jazz repertoire, was the leader of many of the seminal jazz trios in the 1960's and 70's, and was a member of the Miles Davis group that recorded Kind of Blue. Bill's pianstic touch, beautiful voicings, unusual and highly advanced rhythmic sense, and overall musical sensitivity make him one of the gret figures in jazz piano history.

Watch "Master Class #14: Bill Evans" now!

In this advanced master class we will explore varous ways of improvising melodic lines that go outside of the chord changes. We'll use a basic 1-4-5 blues progression and look at 4 different ways to approach this more advanced way of playing.

Watch "Master Class #13: Free at Last: Playing Outside the Changes in Russian" now!

In this advanced master class we will explore varous ways of improvising melodic lines that go outside of the chord changes. We'll use a basic 1-4-5 blues progression and look at 4 different ways to approach this more advanced way of playing.

Watch "Master Class #13: Free at Last: Playing Outside the Changes" now!

Liberace (Wladziu Valentino Liberace, 1919-1987) was one of the most popular and successfull entertainers of the twentieth century. He built a huge brand, following and industry from his unique combination of vituostic piano technique, incredible chutzpah, humor, warmth, outrageous style and glitz, and popular appeal.

Watch "Master Class #12: Liberace" now!

Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) was one of the prominent figures in jazz piano in the twentieth century. A native Canadian, Oscar's playing elements included a huge technique, a wide palette of pianistic colors, a strong soulful bluesy flavor, a rich harmonic language and a powerful swing feel. His tremendous speed of execution, combined with a deep lyricism and marvelous command of the piano and the jazz languag, made Oscar a major force in jazz piano from the 1950's until his death in 2007.

Watch "Master Class #11: Oscar Peterson" now!

Lennie Tristano (1919-1978) was one of the great jazz genius/innovators of the 20th century. Among other things, Lennie was one of the pioneers of the "cool school" of jazz of the 1940's and 50's, made the first use of over-tracking in audio recordings, conducted the first experiments in free jazz group playing, and pioneered the walking bassline style of jazz solo piano plyaing.

Watch "Master Class #10: The Genius of Lennie Tristano" now!

Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long musical improvisation.

Watch "Master Class #09: Grateful Dead - Exploring Dark Star" now!

Throughout his sixty-year musical career Dick Hyman has garnered world-wide acclaim for his magnificent piano playing as well as for his composing, arranging, filmscoring and extensive work as a music educator.

Watch "Master Class #08: Dick Hyman" now!

Dave takes a look at two of the greatest music comedians who ever lived: Harpo and Chico Marx.

Watch "Master Class #07: The Marx Brothers" now!

Dave McKenna (1930 - 2008) is one of the great all-time jazz pianists. In his considerable solo and group recordings he personifies swing and elegance. He is famous for his left hand walking bass lines, his lush harmonic piano palette, his unrivaled swnse of swing, his impeccable musical taste and a beautiful clear piano sound.

Watch "Master Class #06: Dave McKenna" now!

Playing with a walking bass line is a style of piano playing that is used most often in solo jazz performance. Popularized by piano greats Lennie Tristano and Dave McKenna, among others, the walking LH bass line can effectively subtitute for a rhythm section, if desired, and provides a rhythmic and melodic foundation for RH improvisations.

Watch "Master Class #05: Walking Bassline Clinic in Russian" now!

Playing with a walking bass line is a style of piano playing that is used most often in solo jazz performance. Popularized by piano greats Lennie Tristano and Dave McKenna, among others, the walking LH bass line can effectively subtitute for a rhythm section, if desired, and provides a rhythmic and melodic foundation for RH improvisations.

Watch "Master Class #05: Walking Bassline Clinic" now!

Eric Dolphy was one of the leaders of the avant-garde jazz movement of the 1950's and 60's and is one of the great cult figures in the history of American music. Born and raised in L.A. Eric came to New York with the Chico Hamilton Quintet and went on to play extensively with Charlie Mingus, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman among others.

Watch "Master Class #04: Eric Dolphy" now!

Frank Vincent Zappa (1940-1993) is one of the icons of American contemporary music. An all-around cultural genius and visionary, Frank Zappa's music is a unique amalgam of styles combining doo-wop, rock, funk, jazz, blues, R+B and contemporary classical influence. As a composer, incredible guitarist, lyricist, master comedian, performer, bandleader, political activist, satirst and commentator on the human condition.

Watch "Master Class #03: Frank Zappa" now!

Bruce Hornsby (1954) is one of the great pop jazz artist of our time. He is a consumate songsmith, a spectacular pianist and a compelling singer to name but a few of his many talents. His many top-ten hits include "The Way It Is", "Mandolin Rain", "Valley Road" and "End of The Innocence". Bruce has developed ans popularized the style of instrumental soloing in a pop-rock context bringing the excitement and intellectual properties of the great jazz pianist in the traditionally solo-less field of pop-rock music.

Watch "Master Class #02: Bruce Hornsby" now!

Charlie Parker (1920-1955) was the originator, along with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, and others of modern jazz, orignially caled bebop. His musical contributions have stood the test of time and Charlie "Bird" Parker is condidered to be one of the geniuses of American music of the 20th century.

Watch "Master Class #01: Charlie Parker" now!


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Jul 10, 2018
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Brothers of Contrapuntal Swing

Dave has recently formed a burnin' quintet, the Brothers of Contrapuntal Swing, that performs regularly in NYC and elsewhere. The Brothers include Dave Frank on Piano, Larry Meyer on Guitar, Jimmy Halperin on Saxophone, Bill McCrossen on Bass and Skip Scott on Drums. Read more...

About Dave

Dave Frank is one of the busiest solo jazz pianists and music educators on the scene today. He is the author of the best-selling Hal Heonard book and video series, Joy of Improv and Breakthrough to Improv, was an Associate Professor of piano at Berklee College of Music in Boston from 1987-2004, and was a co-founder of the New York School of Jazz (1983-86). In 2004 Dave moved to New York City to direct the Dave Frank School of Jazz in midtown Manhattan. Read more...


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