Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Jazz Piano Lessons - Jazzing it Up Online

So you want to learn how to play jazz on the piano. This is really fun and exciting music to play, and there are courses available that can get you playing jazz in no time at all. You will need special instructions in order to learn how to play it, and by far the best place to find jazz piano lessons is online. Take a look at this article to find out why you need a course that includes jazz as part of its course outline, and why regular piano lessons are not good enough.

Jazz is fun

The difference between playing jazz and other forms of music is that you as a performer can interpret the song in your own individual way, and you can play the song a different way every time. There is a certain beat that can be found in jazz that you cannot find anywhere else, and this kind of beat is totally fun and alive. No wonder you have an interest in playing jazz!

The jazz mood

Jazz is so interesting because when you play it the songs will sound different every time based on your mood or the mood of the audience you are performing it to. Your performance of jazz will be directly influenced by your mood when you are playing. If you get together with a few people you will find that jazz takes on a life of its own, and the mood of every individual performer will help decide how a particular piece is performed.


With jazz you are given more freedom to improvise and create. You are able to change the harmonies, the timing and the melodies according to your own personal style and abilities. There is a lot of creativity involved when you play jazz, but the best thing about it is you can change the tone every time you play the same song.

Jazz piano lessons

In order to play jazz properly you will need to have a basic understanding of the piano and reading music. It is also important to learn how to play some music by ear to help you improvise. There are courses available that can instruct you on everything you need to know to become an incredible jazz player.

Jazz piano lessons can be found on the Internet at very affordable prices. Finding a teacher at a music school will be extremely costly, and it is difficult to find one that can teach jazz properly. Most of these instructors are highly qualified to teach classical and traditional music. Your best bet is to go online and find a great course so that you can play the jazz you've always wanted to play.

My name is Bryan and I have been playing the piano for over ten years. I personally know what it takes to become a good piano player. If you want to learn how to play the piano, visit

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Jazz Piano Lessons - A Whole New Approach

Jazz. Just the word alone sounds musical. If you're looking for jazz piano lessons and a new way to play jazz piano, read on!

For the most part, jazz piano lessons begin with the study of chords. And that's a good thing! But chords alone will not help you make music. Sure, chords are important. But so is the other half of learning piano improvisation and that has everything to do with TRUSTING YOUR INTUITION!

This is where the usual jazz piano lesson routine falls apart. You're taught chords yes. But what do you do with these chords? You create music with them.

Now, most jazz students have as their goal, the ability to comp. They want to be part of a trio or duo or some other combination of musical group. The most common of these is the jazz trio. Here we have keyboards, bass, and drums. And this makes a very nice combo. But if you're interested in playing solo, you have a different problem.

The solo jazz pianist has to not only know how to play chords, but how to read from a lead sheet. A lead sheet gives you the chord symbols and the melody line and that is all you need to create your own arrangements.

There are many fine books out there for the aspiring jazz pianist to learn the art of soloing. But one thing most of these books don't teach you is how to improvise and compose YOUR OWN MUSIC!

It's no surprise that there's a shortage on this kind of instruction. It's not in high demand. As I mentioned before, most jazz pianists in training want to learn how to play in a group setting. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to learn how to compose your own music?

If you understand and can play 4 and 8-bar phrases, you're already aware of the importance of repetition and contrast in music. Repetition and contrast are the cornerstones of composition.

Listen, if you're already taking jazz piano lessons and want to learn the art of composition on your own, study and learn how to play in 4 and 8-bar phrases. It will serve you well in the long run.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Visit now and get a FREE piano lesson!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Learn Jazz Piano Voicings - The Key to Making Jazz Interesting For All Instrumentalists

Voicings are no doubt what have given all famous jazz pianists their identity. Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, and Brad Mehldau all use unique, interesting voicings when making music. However, even though the idea of playing jazz is to create something unique and spontaneous, jazz is also a language, and in order to be effective at playing jazz piano, one must understand the standard set of jazz voicings, because there sure as heck is one!

Before we cut to the chase, I want to first identify the difference between a VOICING and a CHORD. A CHORD refers to a set of given CHORD TONES to be used. So a C chord contains the chord tones C, E, and G. BUT, I might VOICE the chord with E under C and G above C. Or E under G under C. So to VOICE the chord is to actively place the chord tones wherever you like.

1) SHELL VOICINGS: The name "shell voicing" speaks for itself. It is the basic framework of the given chord. Shell voicings are useful because they give off the color and characteristic of the chord with the least amount of notes. SO, if I wanted to play a Cmaj7 shell voicing, I might play, from bottom to top, C, B, and E. Try it for yourself. Sit down at the piano, and hold down these notes. It will sound the strongest if you play the C under middle C, B under middle C, and E above middle C.

The concept is that you are playing the ROOT, 3rd, and 7th of the CHORD. However, I VOICED the chord with the ROOT, 7th, THEN 3rd. This concept works with ALL chords. So if I wanted to play a Cmin7 shell instead, I would probably voice it with C, Bb, and Eb.

2) FOUR NOTE VOICINGS: I use these voicings all the time, especially with my left hand when I am taking a solo! So, with a Cmaj7 chord, the chord tones are C, E, G, and B. However, the D ABOVE B also sounds GREAT. So, in this case we have two options. We can either voice the chord using C, E, G, and B, OR we can voice it using E, G, B, and D. If we use the second option, we will stay out of the way of a bass player if we have one, because most likely HE'LL be playing C.

The great thing about four note voicings is that we can invert them! What this means is, if I were to use the second option, I could play it the way it is, or play G, B, D, E, or B, D, E, G, etc. That's a LOT of options! And once again this works with all minor chords and flat seventh chords, too!

Frankly, you ALREADY know enough to get on the bandstand and play voicings that fit behind the soloists and yourself! But, I'll give you one more, which is the bread and butter of modern jazz.

3) FOURTH VOICINGS: Sometimes people call this a "Quartal" voicing. McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea use these voicings ALL the time! The idea behind this is you can take any old scale, say Cmajor which is C, D, E, F, G, A, and B, and play a chord where each note is a fourth away from the next one, but ONLY using notes from that scale.

A fourth away from C is F, a fourth from D is G, etc. So if I have a Cmaj7 chord, one fourth voicing I can play is E, A, and D. I am only using notes in the C major scale, and they're all a fourth apart! But, I can completely do this randomly, with any group of notes, just as long as they're IN THE SCALE, and are each a FOURTH apart! This is the secret to achieving that "hip and modern" sound!

At this point I have given you enough information for you to REALLY start exploring jazz piano voicings over tunes. BUT, mastering jazz piano voicings is a process that takes time, energy, love for the music, and most importantly, the proper guidance. If you visit my blog at, I will tell you about my journey, and hopefully help you along with yours! Also, if you would like to hear my music, visit my brand new MySpace page at

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Jazz Piano

Jazz piano is one of the most vibrant, energetic, specialized types of music. Famous jazz artists you may want to listen to are Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarret, Bill Evans, to name but a few. To learn jazz piano you need to take some time to listen to jazz CD's and maybe watch DVD's as well. To learn jazz piano, one needs to be very patient and dedicated to practicing the genre.

Jazz piano is characterized by a lot of improvisation. A jazz musician can be given a fake music sheet or chord chart and he can improvise on the spot over those chord progressions. It is recommended that a jazz musician know or have standard songs in their repertoire. Standard songs include songs like "Willow Weep for Me," "Summertime," and "Georgia on My Mind" to name but a few. Standard songs are songs that have been covered by many recording artists in the past, usually every year. For example one may consider the gospel song "Amazing Grace" a standard gospel song because a lot of artists have covered the song throughout the years.

Knowledge of scales and chords are essential tools needed to be a good jazz musician, let alone the technique needed to play this genre. As a jazz musician you will need to practice different types of scales, chords, arpeggios, staccato playing, legato playing, playing chords on the left hand while playing scales in the right hand at the same time.

To learn jazz you need to start with the basics: minor and major scales and minor and major chords. Once you master these then you can go forth to learning advanced chords(jazz chords) and scales. These chords include diminished, dominant, major nine, tritone chords, etc. Advanced scales will entail learning lydian, diminished, chromatic, melodic minor scales, for example.

You must remember that when it comes to playing the piano, it is not how you play but how you play is very essential as well. This is the reason why you need technique: how hard or soft do you play the notes, how you sit at the piano, breathing, how you position your hands and fingers on the piano, playing chords and scales, etc.

You will definitely need resources to play the piano, someone to hold you by the hand. The key to mastering jazz piano is to learn (get as much information as possible), patience and practice!practice!practice!

For more free information on how to play piano please visit: free piano lessons for beginners.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Art Tatum - The Virtuoso of Jazz Piano

Being born blind never proved to go against the music in Arthur Tatum Jr's heart. One of the most technically sound pianists, his technique and compositions manage to boggle musicians even in this advanced day and age.

Born on the 13th of October 1909, Arthur Tatum could barely see from one eye after having cataracts in one eye with the other having limited vision - a condition which he had from when he was just months old. A child prodigy, he started by learning how to play the piano rolls from recordings which his mother used to play at home. He slowly started playing duets not knowing that they were meant to be played as duets but playing both the parts himself.

Having learnt to play in this unusual manner, his playing style was very fast which he could surprisingly play with acute accuracy. While he was developing his talent, he also made sure that the piano was always tuned right and would insist that it be tuned right.

He underwent surgery to improve the condition of his eye which didn't give him relief for too long. In around 1930 when he was around 20 years old, he was inflicted which damaged his eye again. He started his career in Ohio where he was born. He later shifted base to New York in 1932.

His music influences grew over the years and he started taking after James P Johnson and Fats Waller who were considered the best stride piano players. His claim to fame was a cutting contest. A cutting contest was a contest between stride piano players in Harlem where one player would "cut" into the piece the other player was playing and in the process try to outdo him. In a cutting contest in 1933, he beat his heroes at the keys - Fats Waller.

At these contests, the standard songs that used to be played were Harlem Strut, Carolina Shout and Handful Keys - all of which were composed between Johnson and Waller. Tatum competed against them with his own arrangement of Tiger Rag - a tune originally composed by the Original Dixie Land Jazz Band. He out beat them and all the other competition making the event one that marked the phasing out of the stride era. After that, he became known to be the authority on the stride style of playing the piano. He held the record for being the best at the instrument only to be challenged by Donald "The Lamb" Lambert who came the closest to challenging Tatum at the instrument that he had come to master.

The immediate reaction of a pianist to one of Tatum's recording would leave him baffled at what he was doing where and how. His fingers flowed like water on the keys. He was consequently free stylist in his method of playing the piano. His mastery of being able to move his fingers fast over the keys of a piano with accuracy like as if one is listening to a sped up version of the player using the same techniques. This allowed him to fly like a breeze through a part that any other pianist would cringe to play because it was difficult.

The technique itself was not the complicated. Jimmy Rowles, an admirer and colleague, confessed that the despite slowing down the faster parts of his signature piece "Tiger Rag", you'd find a perfectly coherent, syncopated rhythm. Taking ground from his stride piano roots, he took the same genius to playing jazz like the good usage of pentatonic scales which allowed for jazz to grow a form of music which was ideal for solos. He influenced many jazz masters of the period like Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Billy Taylor, Bill Evans, and Chick Corea.

Another handy work of the genius that Tatum was is the introduction of swinging the beat of a jazz song. He was firm believer that melody was king which showed in his music. He never attempted going away from the original melody of the song and preferred working with the original melody of the tune innovating with the chord progressions to suit the melody.

The man was such a genius at the piano because most musicians couldn't keep up with his speed and extensive techniques. He will go down in history as the virtuoso of jazz piano.

A free email newsletter on exciting piano chords and chord progressions from Duane Shinn is available free at Exciting Piano Chords & Chord Progressions

Friday, 25 September 2009

History of Jazz Piano

Jazz piano has been a part of jazz since its beginnings. Piano is one of the rare instruments in a jazz combo which can play chords, unlike saxophone or trumpet which can only play single notes. The early jazz piano was mainly stride. Stride is also known as New York ragtime is a pioneering jazz piano style. It was developed in Harlem during the World war one. As you can see from the name (New York ragtime) it was influenced by ragtime but it featured improvisations, blue notes and swing rhythms which were new in this type of music.

The great performers of that time were Earl Hines, James P. Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, Willie "The Lion" Smith , Art Tatum, Thomas "Fats" Waller, Mary Lou Williams, Teddy Wilson and many others who often attended cutting contests (battles between stride piano players in the early 1920s) where they showed of their skills.

It continued to develop specially during the 50s and 60s with pianists like Red Garland and McCoy Tyner. In that time one of the most widely spread types of jazz called Free Jazz was becoming more and more popular. Some great works of art still reminds us of that time which surely was a gold age of jazz existence. The beginnings of free jazz can be set with recordings of Ornette Coleman for Contemporary and with the Jazz Advance and Looking Ahead, two great albums by Cecil Taylor.

Today jazz piano is still popular among many pianists just to mention few Michael Weiss, Bill Charlap, Geoffrey Keezer, Brad Mehldau, Mulgrew Miller, Danilo Perez and many others.

To learn more about jazz piano and how to play it visit Learn 2 play piano

Learn How to Play Jazz Piano

If you are looking for an instrument that is a little bit different but is still immensely fun to play then one of the best instruments could be the piano with all of its different styles. The piano is one of the most endearing and popular instruments of all time and knowing all about playing jazz piano provides many players with endless amount of fun and many great challenges. Whether it's to entertain friends and family with a unique style of playing or to join a band or ensemble, being able to offer piano improvisation ensures that this style of playing is one that appeals to many.

This means that whether jazz piano chords are what you learn first or you concentrate on building melodies, there are many great options to take your first steps into the world of jazz piano and all that it entails. This type of music may not be at the top of the charts but there has been resurgence in the popularity of jazz in recent years and many key artists of different styles have been known to introduce a jazz style or motif to their own songs. This creates a greater demand for musicians who can play jazz which makes it a useful skill for musicians to have and knowing how to play jazz piano could keep any budding musician busy.

Uncover the spirit of jazz - Learn how to play jazz piano

A major reason why so many people have a fondness of jazz is due to the way that it can take it change its style or speed dramatically and is not as stuck in a traditional style as some other musical styles. People who do not like to be constrained or tied to a generic style appreciate the freedom that jazz allows and piano improvisation is a skill that is greatly admired by many fans of the style. Jazz is becoming increasingly popular and whether it is being played live in a jazz club or on a CD at home, jazz music can bring people together. A lot of this is down to jazz piano chords and the spirit and energy they bring to songs.

The idea of a jazz club conjures up images of a bye gone era when cool people came together in small underground clubs to share the music they loved with people who held similar passions. Jazz may not belong to the mainstream like some musical forms but lovers of this genre are immensely proud and excited with the style of music available. This makes knowing how to play jazz piano an immensely enjoyable hobby for people to have.

Make it up as you go along

One of the best things about jazz music is that everyone can get involved and create their own style or take on a particular style of music that can please a great number of people. There are many instruments which can come together to make a fantastic piece of jazz music but one of the most vital is the piano. This means that piano improvisation skills are a vital part of any jazz musician or bands arsenal and it can really add a great touch to any piece of jazz music. It doesn't matter what type of jazz is your favorite to listen to or your favorite to play, the possibilities for making good jazz are almost limitless and learning the techniques of jazz can help you to create fantastic art forms. This means that having a firm understanding of jazz piano chords is a great way to improve your ability to make great jazz music.

Jazz is cool which makes jazz musicians extremely cool so it is easy to see why there are a great number of people who want to know how to play jazz piano Being able to indulge whilst imitating some of the greats is a fantastic past-time or hobby and a few jazz piano lessons are the ideal way to rekindle or begin a love affair with jazz music. To learn everything you need to know, please visit this website.

Discover Popular Jazz Piano Chords Online

A jazz piano chord is much the same as any other piano chord. This means that when you learn the basics of piano chords and theory, you’ll be able to play any type of music, be it gospel or jazz. Many people enjoy the jazz style of music and will benefit from learning those chords that are most often used in jazz music. Once you learn these chords, you’ll be able to play a wide variety of music because you will understand the backbone of notes and scales that are the key to playing music on any instrument.

Any pianist who wants to learn how to play jazz needs to have charts they can reference frequently. You’ll first learn the basic intervals and how chords are built. You’ll also learn how these chords are used differently in each song you play. Once you have mastered the basic intervals of jazz chords, you’ll then be able to move on to advanced chords such as 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, drop voicings, and blues chords.

An online piano course will teach you all the functions of chords including clusters, polytonal clusters, and substitutions. You’ll be provided with numerous charts that you can use for help during practice or when you need to quickly reference a certain jazz piano chord. When you learn to play these jazz chords, you’ll also learn how to play with more harmony, variety, and passion.

Learning online is a great option when you’re starting out on the piano. You can learn at your own pace without having to plan around the schedule of a piano teacher. Online lessons also challenge you at your own playing level. This means that when it’s time to learn those jazz chords, you master one before moving on to the next.

The piano is a wonderful instrument full of history and culture. If you are interested in learning to play the piano, look into taking some lessons to help you learn the basics of all chords, including the most popular jazz chords. No matter where you decide to play the piano, you’ll be ready to play any song once you have the theory basics solidly behind you. You may find that family and friends are asking you to play more often!

At Hear and Play, located at, we offer you the programs you need to learn how to play jazz music on the piano. Our online courses are designed to move you along at your own playing level so that you can easily learn and master each jazz piano chord. Contact us today for more details.