Jazz piano can seem to many people as a difficult thing to get to grips with, but it’s possible to play easy jazz piano when starting out with this genre of music. As with everything involved with music, when starting out it’s important to take small and definite steps to be able to get really good at playing your instrument. This applies equally to playing jazz. If there were no easy jazz piano songs to learn and play, the likelihood is that nobody would take the time to learn it.
In the early 20th century, European music was merged with African melody which then produced the undeniably exhilarating style of music we now know as jazz. Because jazz music relies heavily on improvisation, it makes it a very challenging style of music to play. To be able to play jazz piano well will give you a gratifying sense of accomplishment, especially when you’re able to improve your skills in piano playing. The first thing you need is to know the basics of piano playing and then you can begin to apply and learn this skill.
Easy Jazz Piano – Starting Up
The thing to remember is that many of today’s finest jazz pianists began their career by learning how to play classical piano music. It’s very important to learn the scales, do the exercises and understand the harmonies. You will need to know all the 12 major and 12 natural minor scales as well as all the 12 major and minor triads. Understanding all of the basics of music theory and learning to read music will be very beneficial to you when learning to play piano.
When getting into jazz music, find the simple pieces to play first and develop your skill from there. There are some old standards and classics you can play. When you learn the chord progressions and the structure of the songs, you can start off with the easy jazz piano techniques and develop to the more difficult from there.
Easy Jazz Piano – The Chords
To be able to recognize chord symbols and chord progressions is very important, and this is why investing in a good jazz chord book like the ones by John Mehegan is a very good idea. You may also check out things online to research and check on websites that will provide lead sheets for you to download. Get used to the exercises and continue to practice so it becomes second nature playing all 12 keys. It’s also crucial to pay close attention to the chord structures and the use of seventh chords.
Make sure you continue using the common chord progressions heard in most jazz music (2-5-1). It’s best to start performing this in the key of C and follow this up by getting into all the other keys. Use your left hand to perform the 2-5-1 chords while playing the scales with your right hand. You can reverse this process when you have mastered the technique.
Get into the rhythm of the music to keep it lively. It’s important to learn about jazz rhythm, which can be done by listening to the music regularly as well as reading music and vocalizing. Another great way to get into the “swing” of the music and keep the beat is by either foot tapping or using a metronome to enhance your own rhythm.
It’s a good thing to listen to more and more of the music so that you can tell the difference in melodies and rhythms. Make a point to listen to a variety of jazz music and also the great jazz pianists. Start out with the easy tunes, but don’t forget to develop your own style and improvisation skills that can be based on jazz tunes that you listen to; whether this is on jazz radio stations, going to live performances, or simply listening to jazz recordings.
Learn as many easy jazz piano techniques as you can and then move on to the more difficult pieces as you develop your skills. Remember that regular practice, preferably daily, will be required in order to be good at playing jazz piano. Learn the structure and the chord progressions and then try to throw away the music and work on improvising. Good improvisation revolves around having a real passion for the music and how you play jazz in your own particular style.