Playing Jazz Piano

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For jazz, the place where you put the accent will create a big difference to the feel of the tune. Thus, even if you play all the notes correctly, if the timing and feeling is not right, the whole tune would not sound like jazz. Being a jazz pianist, you not only need to improvise during your solo, but you also need to be able to comp the jazz term for accompanying yourself and others.

If your timing and feeling is not right, the people who are soloing will not be able to improvise comfortably. Thus, providing great timing is very important as a jazz pianist. Here are some ways that I find helpful to improve timing:. Focus on listening to the comping in the recordings. Then imitate the rhythmic patterns the pianist uses. Later on, closely observe how the pianist interacts with the soloist rhythmically. Record yourself while playing on the piano. So recording yourself can help you listen more closely, just like how you record yourself playing a classical piece.

Practice your scales by emphasizing the upbeat 2 nd and 4 th beat. Try to exaggerate the accent of 2 nd and 4 th beat while practicing your scales. It is also helpful if you have your metronome clicking on the 2 nd and 4 th beat. This practice will help you get more used to the swinging feel. As classically trained pianists, we are used to reading scores. Improvisation is something that took me a while to feel comfortable doing. I remember the first few jazz piano classes, I was having a hard time improvising something that sounds like jazz.

I was really focused on not playing the wrong notes and was trying to make sure that I was playing the right scale on the right chord.

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Even though theory is something that you should know, sometimes while you are improvising, you should try to forget about the rules and have your ears guide you. Here are some ways to help improve your ear and improvisation:. Pick one or two solos from the recording and sing along. Most of the time the solos are really fast, so you might need to use the slowing down app to help you with the notes and rhythm.

At this point you should have the solo memorized. This practice helps you to develop your jazz ear. By working through this process, once you started to solo, you will be surprised that some of the fragments from the solo you learned will appear in your solo. Try to think of it as a variation.

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Like I mentioned before, use the melody as your frame and make a few changes to it. Sing your solo first and then play it on the piano. Sometimes we tend to limit ourselves on our instrument and think too much when playing.

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Singing it first will give you much more freedom and you will be able to hear it in your head first, which will give you more preparation for your solo. It took me awhile to finally feel comfortable playing jazz. It was very frustrating for me at first.

Jazz Piano Schools 10 Step Guide To Learning Jazz Piano

One of the most effective practice strategies for me is listening to the recordings over and over again, especially memorizing a couple of solos. Eventually, I was able to hear the lines that I would like to play while improvising. Being classical pianists, we are able to play the notes accurately with great tone quality.

The most important thing as we learn this new style is about the timing and using the jazz language. Start learning with our day free trial! Try our music courses!


We teach a variety of instruments and styles, including classical and jazz guitar, piano, drums, and music theory. We offer high-quality music lessons designed by accredited teachers from around the world. Our growing database of over lessons come with many features—self-assessments, live chats, quizzes etc. Learn music with LPM, anytime, anywhere! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. How I started to learn jazz My first experiences with jazz piano started well after I began my classical training. Learning by ear 1.

Listen to Recordings During the improvisation class, the professor would often play on the piano and have us listen and repeat what he played on our own instrument, which is very different from learning classical piano. Learn about the musicians and the styles of the recordings The albums that I chose are just a small selection. Start learning the important jazz standards 3. Pick a tune! Sing along You might think that having the music playing as background while you are doing something else is an effective way to listen, however, this is not the case I used to do that all the time.

Play it on your instrument After you get comfortable singing the melody, try to play it on your instrument.

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Understand the theory The next step is to learn the chords and scales of the tune. I hope you will find these tips helpful and keep on swinging!! Ready to learn music? Click here to start your FREE trial. Click below to read more on:. Guitar Read More. Music general Read More. After completing this course Workbook Included Includes downloadable PDF version of the comprehensive page workbook that is the perfect supplement to the course.

Spiral bound version is available for purchase. He has recorded over lessons, pioneering the field of online jazz education and was recently featured in the New York Times for his ground-breaking work. Adam Maness is a versatile pianist, arranger, composer, and producer whose performances, original compositions, and arrangements have been featured on numerous recordings and on national and international radio and television broadcasts.

He is best known as co-founder and composer for the genre-bending chamber ensemble, The s. Louis named Peter Martin , a virtuosic player regarded in jazz circles as one of the finest pianists in the world. Applause from our Members "I love the lessons with Peter Martin. They are in-depth and challenging but presented in a way that is accessible and easy to follow. Peter W. It helps me stay focused on the material and keeps my practice time efficient. Jesse H. Equally incredible is Adam Maness, along with all the other great musicians on Open Studio. Dwight A. Want to try it for free?

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How to use Living Notation. Week One: The Atoms of Jazz. Lesson: Major Intervals. Lesson: Minor Intervals. Workbook Chapter. Guided Practice 1. Guided Practice 2. Guided Practice 3. Guided Practice 4. Quiz: The Atoms of Jazz. Week Two: Building Solid Harmony. Lesson: Building Solid Harmony.

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Quiz: Building Solid Harmony. Lesson: Mastering the Most Important Element. Quiz: Mastering the Most Important Element. Week Four: The Iconic Form.