Before You Kill Yourself, Read This..

Jazz piano solo improvisation tips from transcription and video of Round Midnight by 7notemode

Do you feel like killing yourself?? Are you at the brink of going crazy??

If your answer is “yes“, Good!! This is a great time to learn to play the piano like Thelonious Monk.. 🙂

Normal listeners would see this as a guy going crazy on the piano, while musicians call this the Monk dissonance.

Before we unravel some of the secrets behind his technique, here is a video of 7notemode playing a solo piano version of Round Midnight


Here’s the transcription of part of the solo, roughly between 2m42s to 3m19s of the video above.


And for those of you who’ve missed out on the transcription I did of the starting few minutes of it, here’s the link:

Round Midnight Advance Reharmonization Technique 

Thelonious Monk Secret Revealed

Different intervals played harmonically will create varied effect on the ears.

  • The Minor Second Interval has a very dissonant sound to it, e.g C and C# played together 
  • The Major Second Interval also sounds dissonant, but less if compared to the minor second, e.g C and D played together

It is these two intervals that Thelonious Monk would sometimes use to create the dissonant effect. Here is how 7notemode use it too in 3m00s of his video, bar 10 and 11 of the transcription.


Instead of playing the normal Abm chord, an A# and B is played, being the 9th and 3rd of an Abm9 chord, respectively. Creating a minor second dissonance.


The Ab and Bb is the 5th and 6th of the Db9(#11) chord, respectively. Creating a major second dissonance.     

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  • ianora

    Reply Reply November 18, 2011

    congratulations for all your tutorials . Giving freely your ideas and your playing is very nice ! As pianist i really appreciate your work . Best salutations from France (cloudy today … ) Sylvain Ianora .

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