From the category archives:

Jazz Piano

Preserving Your ‘Style’ In Jazz Piano Instruction

by Erik Thiede on August 29, 2015

Wisdom And The Chance To Demonstrate It

Hardly anyone believes that learning jazz piano instruction is a simple matter of sitting at the instrument and randomly pounding on keys. The context of this music is just too complex to be disregarded as a mishmash of unrelated notes and beats. The secret to learning its genius is simple: knowledge and opportunity.

How To Learn The Music

Building a solid foundation in basic jazz instruction is one of the best steps towards crafting an incremental study of the art. This is because they form a basis for improvisation. Learned through a step-by-step process, jazz chords demonstrate key differences between classical harmonies and jazz triads in a way that not only creates new sounds, but also a way that teaches pianists how to learn the music.

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‘How to learn’ is the key phrase here because jazz is less about studying and playing prearranged music — and more about teaching yourself new ways to express yourself at strategic moments. Approaching jazz piano instruction in this manner opens a whole new interpretation of the music and makes it imperative to learn (1) how to find those moments and (2) how to exploit those moments. After mastering the basics, the latter will inevitably define your future direction as a jazz pianist.

Self-expression Is The Key Goal to Jazz Piano Instruction

You must understand that your responsibility in playing jazz music is self-expression – but with the appropriate tools. Sure, major and minor 7ths, altered chords, and stylish rhythms are just a few devices of interpreted expression. But when combined with runs, changes, progressions, and substations, the entire gamut of tools provides a full palette to work from. So there is no need to every worry about copying someone else’s style even if you learn from listening to master works.

Creativity Is Inevitable

No one song can ever be the same when these tools are applied as a basis for improvisation. The end results are dynamic and demonstrate points of ground-breaking directions. Fears of being influenced by past pianists needn’t be the focus because within its purest philosophy, the concept of jazz piano actually prevents it!

In a sense, this style of music can be thought of as the result of results, especially when we’re faced with the fact that existing improvisations augment newer improvisations and the potential for even more never truly ends. So the lack of predictable connections gives jazz piano the intimate moments of spontaneity and the element of surprise that we all crave and seek.

Herein, you should now appreciate how the characteristics of jazz piano work to extend the pianist’s personality and his or her own expression. This alone is enough to garner great interest from both pianists and their listeners for a long time to come.

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Playing Jazz Piano Sheet Music

by Erik Thiede on August 8, 2015

Traditional Piano Is Beneficial

Although it isn’t a strict requirement, learning traditional piano is beneficial for learning how to play jazz piano sheet music. This is largely due to the fact that jazz is “classical deviation.” The problem with learning jazz before learning traditional methods is that the beginner may learn to deviate, but might not appreciate what he or she is deviating from! We therefore recommend that you first learn how to play all the major scales on sheet music. Learning classical piano from sheet music will make jazz piano easier to play since the latter is a bit more advanced.

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Once you’ve “mastered” the basic scales, you can learn how to move away from them in a way that makes musical sense. Musical deviation means playing a variation that differs from the standard or norm. It doesn’t mean going buck wild and randomly pounding piano keys!

Keys And Chords

Your next step is to investigate keys and chords — but not just any keys and chords. Remember that a chord is a group of keys played at one time and its key is the first note of a chord. To sound harmonious, these notes must correlate to one another in a pleasing way. The major 7th chords, minor 7th chords, dominant 7th chords, half-diminished chords, sixth chords, ninth chords and diminished chords are characteristic of jazz piano. You won’t find these babies in a beginner’s book for classical piano, but to play jazz, you’ll not only need to know these chords, you’ll need to know how to recognize them in sheet music. In a jazz piano book for example, you might see a song with the “Dbm7” symbol. That configuration indicates a D flat minor seventh chord.

Chord Inversions

Another tool that you’ll want to learn is the chord inversion. A chord inversion begins with its second, third, or fourth note, and continues on with its remaining notes (in order). Jazz sheet music may contain quite a few chord inversions in addition to pentatonic scales. The notes of pentatonic scales are often whole steps apart (or minor thirds apart).

Improvising A Little Flavor Into The Mix

Once you’ve become comfortable with these tactics, you can experiment like a true jazz pianist. You can confidently add a dominant 7th chords here or throw in a chord inversion there without sounding as if you’ve never sat down at a piano before. A little experimentation goes a long way in jazz, and the more you play around, the more capable you become of learning even more.

Just don’t stop learning at chords. Continue on to learn new harmonies, scales, rhythms, and melodies from your favorite jazz pianists and from jazz pianists you’ve never even heard of before. Each moment of exposure that you introduce into your lessons will give you the tools you need to improvise. Improv after all, is what gives jazz its unique flavor!

Click Here And Learn Jazz Fast With Jazz Piano Sheet Music Lessons!


Learn To Play Jazz Piano and Abandon Past Traditions

August 5, 2015

No Other Genre of Music Offers Better Opportunities For Expression If you want to learn to play jazz piano, you must first value its opportunities for self-expression that this style grants so unselfishly. In almost any way that you please, jazz music becomes the vehicle for uniquely improvised sounds and rhythms — all to the […]

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Learning To Play Jazz Piano From Traditional Training to Improvisation

July 28, 2015

Opportunities To Extend Your Expressions Exist In Jazz Piano In learning to play jazz piano and other known styles, you’ll not only find opportunities to express yourself, you’ll also find opportunities to improvise. The same opportunities follow jazz music and although they provide for great fun, we want to warn you that learning to play […]

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Learn Big, Rich Jazz Chords On Piano

July 27, 2015

Jazz chords can sometimes be confusing at first glance. In this article, I am going to explain how jazz players usually interpret chords and pick tensions to create lush chords. Bear in mind, every musician has their own “tricks” that they use to form their jazz chords. However, there are some basic harmonic concepts that […]

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How to Play Jazz Piano

July 9, 2015

If you’ve always wanted to know how to play jazz piano, you’re about to get started. Jazz may be a complex musical genre, but you can play it if you master the basics first. Before you know it, you’ll have developed the skills you need to emulate jazz greats or compose your own music. Jazz’s […]

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A Jazz Piano Book – Is It Possible to Learn Jazz From a Book?

July 1, 2015

Supplement ‘Play Time’ With ‘Book Time’ Learning from a jazz piano book requires a serious approach — even when studying the basics. And part of achieving this success is arming yourself with a high quality jazz piano book. One of your most important goals in becoming a jazz pianist therefore is to surround your musical […]

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Piano Jazz Lessons – Learning Through Its History and Its Music

June 22, 2015

Jazz Is The Answer To Story-Telling Questions Piano jazz lessons through studying notation and chords alone is not an easy feat because its very nature requires us establish how jazz is a reaction to meaningful explorations. This gives us sufficient reason to investigate its development from the late 18th and 19th centuries on through to […]

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In Introduction To the Jazz Piano Chord

April 10, 2015

The Distinguished Sounds Of Jazz One of the things that distinguishes jazz piano from classical piano, blues piano, or any other style is its chords. The Jazz piano chord move beyond the typical 3-note triad to a four-note combination (as well as extended chords) — making them an interesting “filler” of sorts. And since they’re […]

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Jazz Piano Chords

March 11, 2015

Believe it or not, jazz piano chords are easy to master and enhance your chord repertoire. Whether you want to become the next jazz legend or simply sit in on a jam, you can learn what you need to hold your own. Jazz owes its roots to the music of African American laborers in the […]

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