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Jazz Piano Teachers


Our Piano Teachers offer jazz piano lessons that are as flexible as the definition of jazz, itself. Our jazz piano teachers are fluent in ragtime, blues, swing, bebop, hard bop, straight-ahead jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, third-stream, jazz-rock fusion, funk, and all other contemporary styles of music.

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Jazz Piano Teachers


Our Piano Teachers offer jazz piano lessons that are as flexible as the definition of jazz, itself. Our jazz piano teachers are fluent in ragtime, blues, swing, bebop, hard bop, straight-ahead jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, third-stream, jazz-rock fusion, funk, and all other contemporary styles of music.

Jazz piano teachers

 

Jazz - with a history spanning over 100 years - offers us no concise definition. Jazz piano lessons offer you the chance to create and explore without boundaries, and in the moment, through the process of improvisation.


Jazz piano is a medium of expression that has bridged the gap between popular music and art music, and jazz piano teachers have benefited greatly from the creative energy of the hundred or so years of jazz history.

 

Jazz education has come a long way, and we are happy to work with some of the world’s best jazz piano teachers. Our jazz piano teachers can prepare you for the top university degree programs in jazz performance. The ABRSM and other exam boards even offer graded exams in jazz piano. Piano Teachers Connect offers jazz piano lessons - for all ages and levels from beginners to professional musicians - with professional jazz pianists, who are also highly skilled jazz piano teachers.

 

Jazz speaks for life. . . . When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument.
                                                                     - Martin Luther King Jr., Berlin Jazz Festival, 1964

 

Our jazz piano teachers offer jazz piano lessons that are as flexible as the definition of jazz, itself. Whether you love ragtime, blues, swing, bebop, hard bop, straight-ahead jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, third-stream, jazz-rock fusion, funk, or any contemporary style of music that is influenced by jazz, our jazz piano teachers can design your jazz piano lessons around your interests.


We offer jazz piano lessons to professional singers who want to accompany themselves on piano; to electronic music producers and DJs who want to develop their keyboard skills with applications to composition and production; and to younger students interested in preparing for exams, university auditions, and careers in jazz piano. We also offer jazz piano lessons to adults who have day jobs, and love to play jazz piano on the side to relax, escape from everyday life, and unleash their creativity.


Tell us about your musical interests, aspirations, and experience, and we’ll match you with the perfect jazz piano teacher for you!

 


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Learning Jazz Piano, Process


What skills are required to play jazz piano? What should you expect to learn from jazz piano teachers?

Learning Jazz Piano, Process


What skills are required to play jazz piano? What should you expect to learn from jazz piano teachers?

The process of learning jazz piano

 

What skills are required to play jazz piano? What should you expect to learn from jazz piano teachers?

 

  • Improvisation: The element that defines jazz, improvisation is in large part about self-confidence, risk-taking, and the will to explore and experiment. But jazz piano improvisation also involves tools that can be studied both theoretically and practically: a knowledge of harmony (chords), melody (scales), jazz rhythms and phrasing, and the general vocabulary of the jazz language.

 

  • Comping, short for “accompanying,” is what a jazz pianist does when another instrumentalist or vocalist is playing or singing the melody. Comping is improvised, and involves all of the basic elements of improvisation; but it relies more heavily on a knowledge of harmony — and more specifically, chord voicing. The more options you have for voicing a C7 chord, for instance, the more creative and supportive your comping can be.

 

  • Playing in a group and playing solo piano: A jazz pianist must know how to do both. The first concern when playing in a jazz ensemble is a pianist’s left hand — it must not clash with the bass player; it performs different, non-bass-like functions. Ensemble playing also involves close interaction between all players. When others are improvising, the pianist has to be a keen listener, able to react in the moment.

 

   Solo jazz piano is a special challenge, because you have to emulate the rhythmic intensity of a jazz ensemble without the support of bass and drums. The jazz piano soloist must provide the bass notes, harmony, melody, and groove — essentially the job of three or four instruments.

 

  • Knowing the jazz standard repertoire: Performing with musicians you have never met, let alone rehearsed with, is a fact of life in the jazz world. Jazz musicians do this easily when they are familiar with the standard repertoire. Because jazz musicians know the same tunes, they can use this knowledge as a starting point and go on to improvise from there.

 

  • Creative interpretations: Knowing the tunes is not enough. Jazz is a creative art, and the essence of jazz lies in experimenting. If you want to create your own jazz piano arrangement of Autumn Leaves, you will have to be comfortable with the basic elements of music — harmony, melody, rhythm, and form — and able to make choices: combining different sounds in different ways, and deciding how far to alter any of these elements from how they have been done before.

 


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Our Approach to Jazz Piano Lessons


Our Piano Teachers offers jazz piano lessons that focus on enjoyment and creativity above all, with a thorough, well-rounded, and fun approach.

Our Approach to Jazz Piano Lessons


Our Piano Teachers offers jazz piano lessons that focus on enjoyment and creativity above all, with a thorough, well-rounded, and fun approach.

Our approach to jazz piano lessons

 

Enjoyment and creativity: the ideal approach to learning jazz piano.


As a pianist you can learn a G mixolydian scale, but you will truly achieve your goal in that learning process only after you have found your own, personal way of expressing yourself using that scale. In this mode of learning, the emphasis returns to creativity and emotional investment in music, moving away from the rules of theory.


The vast majority of jazz piano teachers focus on theory — chords, scales, voicings, rhythms, exercises, chord substitutions, melodic patterns, and on and on.


Jazz theory includes many useful tools for a jazz piano student. But it is ultimately only a very small part of what music — and jazz — is all about. Too much focus on theory often inhibits creativity and exploration — two elements that embody the very essence of jazz.


Why do most jazz piano teachers place so much emphasis on theory?


Because it is easy to teach. Like math or science the discipline of theory has rules, labels, categories, and right-and-wrong answers. It can be much harder to teach musicianship, creativity, groove, and improvisation. Yet these are the most crucial ingredients to jazz piano.


Successful jazz piano lessons must be structured around creativity and enjoyment. All the jazz theory in the world is useless if you can’t use it creatively.


The first goal of jazz piano lessons is to be creative: to be comfortable playing a tune differently each time, improvising melodies — and having fun doing it! This set of skills can be easily learned by working with a simple tune — maybe a tune the student already knows, or maybe a tune the student has heard and loves and wants to play.


After this step, the student can begin studying theory with creativity and improvisation in mind. Each jazz theory concept that is introduced must be studied until it can be used creatively. Students have to come to know the concept well enough to use it as a starting point for their own new discoveries.


Jazz pianists who know only a little theory but are creative and having fun will make much better music than the ones who have practised and learned hundreds of jazz exercises, yet have never truly improvised.



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Choosing Jazz Piano Teachers


The best jazz piano teachers are gigging jazz musicians, improvisers who play by ear, adaptable, and passionate about teaching.

Choosing Jazz Piano Teachers


The best jazz piano teachers are gigging jazz musicians, improvisers who play by ear, adaptable, and passionate about teaching.

Who are the ideal jazz piano teachers?

 

Learning to play jazz calls for passion, a love of music, and spontaneity — and above all, it should be fun. All of this applies to both student and teacher.


When it comes to learning classical piano, the written page prevails. To play Beethoven and change the written notes — that is, of course, sacrilege.


In jazz the student’s primary challenge is to play without written notes and experience the joy of creating . . . and you can do this partly by listening and by exploring what has gone before.


Jazz piano is learned from listening to great jazz pianists. Oscar Peterson learned jazz piano by listening to Art Tatum records. Herbie Hancock learned jazz piano by listening to Oscar Peterson records.


Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock did not write down the notes they played. Nor did their predecessors.


All of this means, too, that a jazz piano teacher must be foremost a jazz pianist.


Yet being a jazz pianist does not necessarily make for a great jazz piano teacher. Because jazz piano is based in creativity, improvising, and playing/learning by ear, students have to follow their own, natural path. And a jazz piano teacher must be adaptable, able to tackle the challenges of jazz piano from many different angles.


A jazz piano teacher must both embody and inspire enthusiasm — the most essential ingredient of the learning process.


A jazz piano teacher must be:

  • A working jazz musician with performance experience.


  • An improviser who can play by ear and has learned from recordings.


  • An adaptable piano teacher, armed with many different ways of approaching jazz piano.


  • Passionate about learning, teaching, and exploring music.



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Jazz Piano Exams


Preparing for jazz piano exams adds an extra element of structure and concrete goals to your jazz piano lessons, and our jazz piano teachers can make sure that you pass with high marks!

Jazz Piano Exams


Preparing for jazz piano exams adds an extra element of structure and concrete goals to your jazz piano lessons, and our jazz piano teachers can make sure that you pass with high marks!

Preparing for jazz piano exams

 

Preparing for jazz piano exams adds an extra element of structure and concrete goals to your piano lessons, and provides an excellent source of motivation.


The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, which include the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the Royal Northern College of Music.


The ABRSM offers graded jazz piano exams from Grade 1 to Grade 5. The Grade 5 jazz piano exam can be used as the required prerequisite (instead of Grade 5 Theory or Grade 5 Practical Musicianship) for students who wish to pursue Grades 6 and above in the classical piano exam program. The jazz piano exam program also works great on its own!


Everyone is eligible to take these exams, and our jazz piano teachers can make sure that you pass with high marks!


If you wish to benefit from the ABRSM exam program, the first step is to tell your jazz piano teacher. Your jazz piano teacher will assess your current level, and recommend the appropriate jazz piano exam grade to begin preparing for.

 

Once your grade level has been determined, it is time to purchase your jazz piano exam books. There are four parts to each jazz piano exam, and four corresponding books available for each grade level, including Jazz Piano Pieces, Jazz Piano Scales, Jazz Piano Quick Studies, and Jazz Piano Aural Tests. These books are widely available in music stores.


The last step is to choose the date for your exam. You can book the exam yourself, on the ABRSM website, and your jazz piano teacher can help you decide which exam session to enter, in order to give yourself enough time to adequately prepare.


One of the most exciting features of the jazz piano exams is the space they leave for creativity. There is fully notated piano music, and sections of the exam pieces that are devoted to improvisation. However, even the fully notated sections are flexible, and the exam notes encourage students to change the music to develop their own interpretation - as any professional jazz pianist would do.


It’s important to note, however, that the ABRSM jazz piano exam program, on its own, is not complete enough to encompass the entire course of study for your jazz piano lessons. Your jazz piano teacher must supplement additional material and instruction in order for you to achieve a well-rounded and thorough jazz piano education.


In addition to jazz piano exams, the ABRSM also offers exams in music theory and classical piano. It’s even possible to take pop/rock piano exams, which are offered through a different exam board called Rockschool.

 


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Improvisation and Creativity in Jazz Piano Lessons


Often cited as being the defining feature of jazz piano, improvisation is the practise of creating new, never before heard music, in the moment. Our Piano Teachers can show you how!

Improvisation and Creativity in Jazz Piano Lessons


Often cited as being the defining feature of jazz piano, improvisation is the practise of creating new, never before heard music, in the moment. Our Piano Teachers can show you how!

Jazz piano improvisation and creativity

 

Often cited as being the defining feature of jazz piano, improvisation is the practise of creating new, never before heard music, in the moment.


To pianists who have only ever played piano music from sheet music, improvisation may seem magic or mysterious, and it can be difficult to imagine being able to create music on the spot, out of thin air.


In fact, jazz improvisation is generally guided by very concrete rules, techniques, and a vocabulary of melodies, rhythms, and harmonies, that can be systematically learned, applied, and implemented. The “magic” comes later, when you find your own, individual way of putting these elements together to express something new, and personal to you.


These days there are countless jazz piano theory books, encompassing thousands of pages of theory and approaches to improvisation. Our jazz piano teachers can help by showing you where to start, and simplifying this theory, which overlaps much more than it may seem.


Why is jazz piano theory so important?


For one thing, it allows you to communicate with your teacher and other jazz musicians. Since we are not using a piano score when we play jazz piano, we need a way of talking about different sounds, and theory offers this. It also provides a simple starting point for improvisation. Instead of having an infinite number of piano sounds available for us to choose from, we can use jazz piano theory to say: these 3 notes sound good one after another - let’s start by playing those 3 notes in as many different ways as we can.


When you first begin to improvise, it’s important to start with very simple ideas on the piano. The most important thing is that the music keeps going - there is no stopping, and no going back to fix mistakes. This is a new and different concept for piano students with classical piano training, but once you get used to the main premise of improvisation it will be easy to gradual explore increasingly complex musical ideas.


Improvisation, like learning any piece of written music, takes regular practise. It’s important to sit down at the piano and create spontaneous music every day, to learn to free your inhibitions, and fears of making “a mistake” (remember, there is no such thing). As you improvise, let yourself react to the sounds you’re creating. Don’t judge the sounds - refrain from thoughts such as “I don’t like that,” or “I like this sound” - think more generally. Do the sounds make you feel relaxed or uncomfortable? What emotion or imagery do they evoke? Now try holding a thought, emotion, your favourite person or place, in your mind as you improvise. How closely can you capture these inner feelings in your music?


Though we begin jazz improvisation by learning about theory, ultimately it offers us the potential to form a direct connection from our inner emotions, through our fingers and the piano, to the musical sounds that we create: an instant musical photograph of our soul.



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Playing Jazz Piano in a Band


Our Piano Teachers offers jazz piano lessons that will arm you with the jazz piano skills necessary for playing in a group. Our jazz piano teachers have played in some of the best bands, and with some of the best jazz musicians.

Playing Jazz Piano in a Band


Our Piano Teachers offers jazz piano lessons that will arm you with the jazz piano skills necessary for playing in a group. Our jazz piano teachers have played in some of the best bands, and with some of the best jazz musicians.

Playing jazz piano in a band

 

Piano has the privilege of being an ideal solo instrument, but playing with other jazz musicians will inspire your creativity and do wonders for developing your ears, time-feel, and repertoire.


For jazz piano students interested in pursuing a career in music, playing in jazz combos will be a way of life. For students taking jazz piano lessons purely for pleasure, Piano Teachers Connect highly recommends seeking out other jazz musicians to collaborate with, and finding as many opportunities as possible to play in jazz ensembles.


One of the easiest ways to play with other jazz musicians is at the jazz clubs, during open jam nights.


But before you head out to the jams, you need to be prepared. Our jazz piano teachers have played in some of the best bands, with some of the best jazz musicians in your city's jazz scene.

 

We can arm you with the jazz piano skills necessary for playing in a group:

 

  • How it works: Professional jazz musicians from different parts of the world, speaking different languages, can meet each other for the first time, on stage, and perform. This isn’t magic - it’s easily achieved by knowing a few common tricks of the trade.

 

  • Knowing the form: Jazz standards are short pieces, often 32 bars long. The form is repeated many times during the course of performing one piece, and it’s your job to keep track of where you are. Head nods, eye contact, and musical cues are among the ways jazz musicians communicate the end of their solo, a return to the “head”, or the end of the performance.

 

  • Trading 4s: Alternating 4 bars of improvisation by the drummer and the other musicians is a common practise you should know.

 

  • Your left hand: The fastest way to make a jazz bassist angry is to play low bass notes with your left hand. Our jazz piano teachers will teach you left hand rootless voicings, to be used when playing in a band with a bass player, while your right hand takes the melody.

 

  • Comping: Now that the bassist is happy, our next concern is the saxophonist (or vocalist, trumpeter, or other melodic instrument). With another instrument taking the melody we need two-handed, rootless chord voicings, to offer harmonic and rhythmic support only.

 

  • Group Interaction: Listening for melodic and rhythmic motifs created by other musicians and knowing how to respond to them, sensing when to play more, when to play less, and when to stop playing are essential aspects of group interaction.

 

  • Repertoire: Our piano teachers can teach you how to expand your repertoire quickly and efficiently, and what tunes you need to know before heading out to play with other jazz musicians.

 


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Jazz Piano Repertoire


Jazz piano teachers teach you the most important songs in the jazz piano repertoire, and show you the tricks to developing a large repertoire.

Jazz Piano Repertoire


Jazz piano teachers teach you the most important songs in the jazz piano repertoire, and show you the tricks to developing a large repertoire.

Learning the jazz piano repertoire

 

Knowing the standard jazz piano repertoire allows you play with other jazz musicians, and to continue the great jazz tradition of creating something new and personal out of these simple tunes.


Part of becoming a jazz pianist and learning to speak the language of jazz is learning the standard jazz repertoire.


The standard jazz repertoire can be divided into two categories:


  • The Great American Songbook: Not exclusively written by Americans, this group of standards consists of popular songs and show tunes written for musicals and films by composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hart. These composers were not jazz musicians per se, and these songs were written to be popular chart toppers in their time.


  • Jazz standards written by jazz musicians: These standards, generally speaking, were never in the popular, mainstream music genres. They were written as jazz compositions, to be performed and recorded by their composers.


Our jazz piano teachers can guide you towards the most important songs to know in the jazz piano repertoire.


Our piano teachers can also show you the tricks to developing a large repertoire of standards quickly and efficiently:


  • Identifying the similarities: Jazz standards from the Great American Songbook share many similarities. Once you are able toidentify these common traits, it’s possible to learn a new tune in a matter of minutes. The most striking of these similarities is the form, most often 32 bars long, including two or three contrasting sections of 8 bars which are distributed as AABA or ABAC. There are also similarities in the melodic writing and chord progressions of these songs, which offer a certain amount of predictability with each new tune you learn.

     Jazz standards written by jazz musicians in the bebop era also share similarities, especially in their form. A vast number of bebop tunes are based on the 12-bar blues. Many others are based on the chord progression of Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm, generally referred to as the “Rhythm Changes”.


  • Learning the basic elements: A knowledge of common chord progressions, such as II-V-I, or IV-IVm-I, and all of their possible variations, can help you simplify and quickly digest standard tunes.


  • Using your ears: Training your ears to hear common chord progressions, and knowing the melody by ear (the best way to do this is often to sing the tune, and memorising the lyrics doesn’t hurt either) will help you memorise new standards in record time.



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Reading Jazz Piano Lead Sheets


Our Piano Teachers' jazz piano lessons will teach you to identify the flaws in a lead sheet, and interpret it with intelligence and style.

Reading Jazz Piano Lead Sheets


Our Piano Teachers' jazz piano lessons will teach you to identify the flaws in a lead sheet, and interpret it with intelligence and style.

Reading jazz piano lead sheets

 

A lead sheet is the written form of the jazz piano language, consisting of one staff only, in treble clef, a single melody, and chord symbols.


Being able to read a lead sheet makes learning new pieces fast and easy, and sight-reading a snap.


The challenge, however, is that unless you have written the lead sheet yourself, no lead sheet is trustworthy. It is extremely rare that a lead sheet you find in a book or on the internet has been written by the composer him/herself. At best, at lead sheet is one person’s interpretation of the given song, and at worst it is riddled with mistakes.


Not to worry - our jazz piano teachers can show you the keys to identifying the flaws in a lead sheet, as well as how to interpret a lead sheet with intelligence and style.


For the jazz pianist, there are three essential things that we must translate from the lead sheet to the piano:


The melody: Generally played with the right hand, in the high range of the piano (or by any other instrument when playing in a jazz band), the melody consists of the notes within the treble clef staff. We play all of the pitches as marked, but can change the rhythm and phrasing as we see fit.


The bass notes: The first part of each chord symbol - in the example above, B-flat, B, C, C-sharp - indicates the root of the chord. This is our bass note, played with our left hand in the low range of the piano (or by a bassist if playing in a jazz band). The most common styles for playing bass notes are the “walking bass”, with four notes played per bar in 4/4 time, and playing “in two”, with two notes played per bar. The bass is a time-keeper, like the drums, and the main bass notes occur where indicated, on beat 1, or beats 1 and 3 as the case may be.


The chords: The rest of the chord symbol tells us which notes to play in the mid-range of the piano, between the bass notes and the melody. In the example above, the lack of a suffix after the B-flat indicates that it’s a major chord, the o7 after the B indicates a diminished chord, the m7 indicates minor-seventh, etc. We cannot, however play simple triads and seventh-chords, and must elaborate on the chord symbols given, adding 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths, where appropriate. The next challenge lies in playing this third part, the chords, when our two hands are already occupied by melody and bass. There are a few different choices: we can play the chord notes with the upper fingers of our left hand, the lowers fingers of our right hand, a combination of both, or we can jump our hands quickly between bass notes and chords (sometimes called “stride piano”), or between melody and chords.


As you can see, there are a lot of options. Your jazz piano teacher can help you make sense of lead sheets, and how to apply them!



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Jazz Piano Theory


Jazz piano theory is useful for improvising, reading lead sheets, composing, arranging, analyzing jazz music, and communicating with other musicians.

Jazz Piano Theory


Jazz piano theory is useful for improvising, reading lead sheets, composing, arranging, analyzing jazz music, and communicating with other musicians.

Jazz piano theorY

 

Jazz piano theory is a useful tool for improvising, reading lead sheets, composing, arranging, analysing jazz music, and simply being able to talk to other musicians about jazz.


To the beginner jazz piano student, learning jazz piano theory can seem like an overwhelming, intimidating task. Though it is true that it takes some time and effort to digest and internalise the main ideas of jazz theory, there are ways of connecting ideas and simplifying the theory which will make the task much smaller, and allow you to learn more efficiently.


It’s not necessary to understand the whole of jazz theory before moving on to be able to play jazz piano. In fact you must constantly apply jazz theory to the piano and to the jazz standard repertoire in order to fully understand the theory you are learning.


Jazz piano theory involves seeing ideas from many different perspectives, and so there are many different ways to learn jazz theory. Your jazz piano teacher can help you use your strengths - be it aural, visual, mathematical, memory-based - to help you learn jazz piano theory with the most efficient approach possible.


There are four main areas of jazz piano theory that we must explore, corresponding to the four basic elements of music:


  • Melody: Learning about keys, modes, chromaticism, guide tones, chord-scale relationships, and common melodic patterns will have direct applications to your melodic jazz improvisation. Improvising is the act of spontaneous composition, and creating a strong, compelling, and interesting melody is essential.


  • Rhythm: A strong understanding and command of rhythm are the key to sounding like a professional jazz pianist. You will learn about swing feel, and how it is different from straight-eighths. Phrasing and articulation that accentuate the off-beats, syncopation and 3-beat figures, and a solid, unwavering sense of time are key to creating the rhythmic flow from tension to release that will bring your jazz piano playing to life.


  • Harmony: Understanding chord theory is one thing - the next step is applying it to the piano. With an infinite number of chord voicings available, our jazz piano teachers will start by teaching you the must-know jazz chord voicings, and help you develop a perspective that will allow you to creatively explore the endless possibilities. Learning about chord extensions, chord textures, tri-tone substitutions and other methods for reharmonisation will open the door to the rich harmonic language embodied in jazz piano.


  • Form: When improvising, the form provides our framework. Seeing and understanding the overall picture are essential for telling a story through music.



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Aural Training in Jazz Piano Lessons


Anyone can learn to play by ear, and our jazz piano teachers can show you the tricks to opening your ears, and progressing from the general listening that we all do all the time, to developing focus and refined listening skills.

Aural Training in Jazz Piano Lessons


Anyone can learn to play by ear, and our jazz piano teachers can show you the tricks to opening your ears, and progressing from the general listening that we all do all the time, to developing focus and refined listening skills.

Aural training in jazz piano lessons

 

Unlike in classical piano, where every nuance and detail is indicated for us in the piano score, in jazz we have few notated guidelines for interpretation.


Jazz piano education is still very young, and it is based upon an aural tradition. Previous generations of jazz pianists learned their trade by listening to records, and transferring what they heard, by ear, to the piano.


To pick up the nuances of jazz rhythm, phrasing, and articulation, it is essential to listen to jazz constantly. Learning jazz piano theory will help, but it is not enough. The fastest, most efficient, and most natural way to internalise the subtle characteristics of jazz piano is to listen to lots of jazz piano recordings, and work towards playing what you hear on the piano.


Anyone can learn to play by ear, and our jazz piano teachers can show you the tricks to opening up your ears, and progressing from the general listening that we all do all the time to more focused and refined listening.


To begin developing your aural ability, try to make it a habit of:


Listening to jazz recordings everyday: Explore jazz from all eras of jazz history, and by all kinds of instrumentalists and singers.

Singing along: Singing is the best test of how well you are listening/hearing. Sing along to both vocal and instrumental recordings. Listen carefully, and try to match your voice precisely to the pitch you hear.

Exercising you ears: Play a note on the piano and try to match it with your voice; if you have trouble, sing the lowest note you can and bend your voice upwards until it matches the note you are playing. Try singing major and minor scales and triads, testing your pitch by playing the corresponding piano keys after each note you sing. Try playing simple songs by ear, such as Happy Birthday, or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Try learning music by ear from your recordings; start by finding the major or minor key, and then learning the main melody by ear.


In your jazz piano lessons, your jazz piano teacher can teach you the secrets to learning from recordings.

By writing your own lead sheets, transcribing the melody and chords from a jazz recording, you can discover the difference between Bill Evans’ version of Autumn Leaves and Keith Jarrett’s version of Autumn Leaves.

By transcribing your favourite jazz pianist’s improvised piano solo, you can learn to incorporate that pianist’s techniques and vocabulary into your own jazz piano improvisations - in a sense taking jazz piano lessons directly from any of the best jazz pianists throughout history, living or dead!



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