How many people do you know who have stopped playing and learning piano because they have no interest in classical music? Many professional teachers believe that it is essential to learn classical techniques first and then move on to other forms of music, which is certainly true when it comes to the basics. In fact, I have not seen many piano teachers who give jazz piano lessons, so where will you find the best place to get these lessons?
Jazz is a musical art that originates from blues, but will also draw on nearly every other style of music. If it’s your ambition to begin jazz piano lessons, it is a good idea to find out where you can actually get these lessons. You may need to look online for teachers who will help you with this or you may have to get into this music by first learning the basics and then taking an online course to be able to develop your skill in playing jazz piano.
Because you have learned the basic skills of piano playing, you can look for music and ways to develop your first knowledge of jazz and how to play it. I would start with early swing music and, something which is vital when playing jazz, learn how to improvise, as this is one of the most fundamental skills required.
The best place to look these days for jazz piano lessons is online. Because there are so many people taking advantage of the power of the internet to offer products to people via the use of video and digitally downloaded courses that can help you to get into your particular music passion.
As you look for those elusive lessons, you can start off by listening to as much jazz as possible. It’s a good idea to spend time listening to the masters you may wish to emulate. Make sure that you listen to old and new styles of jazz to get a more wide knowledge of what you want to achieve yourself.
Carry on with your piano tutor if you already have one to take advantage of their knowledge and learn all you can of the basics of music theory, and get familiar with all of the twelve major scales. You will find this very useful when you get into improvisation and development of your own particular style.
It’s a good idea to get hold of some sheet music. If you are just starting out in your jazz piano journey, buy some of the old 'swing' greats, in particular Gershwin or Porter.
The next thing to get used to and master are the major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th, half diminished and diminished chords of every key. If you have no understanding of the theory of music, this will be difficult to get into, but with some dedication and commitment to learn, this should be fairly easy to do.
When you’re used to the chords and understand their function and sequence, start by playing the melody with your right hand and use your left hand to play the chords. When you’re comfortable you can reverse this so you play the melody with your left and the chords with your right hand. If you have a songbook with guitar chords, it may be easier to recognize and play the chords. Practice regularly until this feels comfortable and, more importantly, sounds good to you.
Of course, there will be some boring stuff too, which may be less fun but necessary. This will be learning chord inversions. For example, CM7 (C major 7th) could be played like so: C,E,G and B or E,G,B and C or G,B,C and E and finally B,C,E and G. For every chord you will find four possible positions. It’s important that you don’t attempt to learn inversions without first being completely comfortable with the standard techniques of playing chords, because this could prove to be confusing.
You may want to get into improvising, so start off by learning the pentatonic scale in your preferred key. The next thing to do would be to take one of your best pieces and and mix it up by taking a few notes out and adding some different ones from the pentatonic scale. You can also try mastering the blues scale and add and remove notes from the original score in a similar way.
I hope that these tips will help you to master the basics of jazz piano lessons and develop your skills and play your music with passion and have fun in the process.
Now you know where to look for lessons, it's time to find out How To Play Jazz Piano