Learn Jazz Standards on Piano – Online Course

learn jazz piano improvisation

Learn Jazz Piano: II. Improvising on Jazz Standards

Explore improvisation in jazz music and further develop your ability to improvise jazz piano.

Learn Jazz Piano: II. Improvising on Jazz Standards

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Start improvising jazz piano

This online course follows the course Learn Jazz Piano: I. Begin with the Blues from Goldsmiths, University of London. It’s ideal if you can already play the piano and scales, and have a basic ability to read music.

You will learn more about the blues and jazz standards, and explore the nature of improvisation in more depth.

You will learn the basics by watching an overhead video of the keyboard, so you can try for yourself at home and you will also be able to play along to pre-recorded bass and drum tracks.

0:06 Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds In Part I – Begin with the Blues – I introduced the idea of a basic blues, or skeletal blues as I called it, and then we met the 3 blues “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” which was in in C, “Now’s The Time” which was in F and “Blue Monk” which was in B flat. I then introduced my 4 routes to improvisation scalic, chordal, motivic (the most important) and special devices. We met the 2 tunes “Inch Worm”, a jazz waltz, and “Blue Room” our first real jazz standard.

0:47 Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds In Part II – Improvising on Jazz Standards – we start off by extending the notion of a blues chord sequence to a standard blues sequence – the sort of thing that you would meet if you played in a jam session. We then look at minor blues sequences and two tunes by John Coltrane “Equinox” and “Mr PC”. We then look at the important topic of Modal Jazz and the original example of “So What”. On the theory side we look at something called the “Clock of Keys”. The “Clock of Keys” enables one to analyse chord sequences and thereby simplify improvising on them.

1:34 Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds We use that to introduce 2 important jazz standards – key jazz standards – “All The Things You Are” and “Autumn Leaves”. In fact we meet 9 jazz standards in all – including one called “Moanin’” which I show you how you could play as a solo piece if you wanted to. But the most important thing of all is we have a detailed investigation of Improvisation. Let me finish with a few snippets from Part II of the course to give you an idea.

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