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New Lessons: Quickstart Guide to Jazz Piano

beginner jazz piano lessons

There's a new section to look out for in the Learning area that's designed for beginner players: "Quickstart Guide to Jazz Piano". If you're new to playing jazz, this is the best place to start. It's a series of seven lessons, here's what's covered: 

1. Introduction

George explains how he can make jazz accessible to anyone by providing a path that teaches you how to get started improvising.

2. Our First Tool: The Pentatonic Scale

George teaches the first tool to improvisational freedom in a very simple scale. He starts by framing the stylistic difference of jazz to other styles of piano before getting you started learning a collection of "can't miss" notes. Over a backing track he demonstrates how this scale sounds in context and gives examples on how to start using it to break into the world of improv on your own. Backing tracks in 3 tempos are provided to aid your practice and experimentation.

3. Time & Feel

In this lesson George breaks down the subtlety of going beyond just thinking about the notes choices you make, but exploring how you play them to get them to sound like great jazz. You'll learn how to get that authentic jazz feel from your phrasing, and how to work with timing to add importance to the notes you want to stand out in your phrases. Backing tracks in 3 tempos are provided to aid your practice and experimentation.

4. Expanding on Our First Tool

George expands on the Pentatonic Scale: why it works, and how to think about the note relationships that are happening depending on the chords you play over. He also breaks down different contexts this works in and teaches an exercise to help you remember these concepts.

5. Practice Exercises Using Our First Tool

In this lesson George runs through a series of practice exercise patterns over a slow backing track to help you continue to intuit how this all works. He also shows you how to break out of predicable patterns to start phrasing and making it sound like jazz.

6. Bringing in the Left Hand

George expands on how to fill out the sound with some left hand comping to add harmony. He breaks down the concept of using guide tones to inform how to make note choices and where to place them in relation to the beat. Using a backing track to demonstrate, he then teaches some very simple left hand chords to get you started making great jazz harmonies combining both hands.

7. Taking the Next Steps

Final thoughts on what was covered in this lesson series and a review of the key takeaway points. These concepts are a fantastic first step to being able to improvise freely and comfortably with a great jazz feel. After going through these you'll be on your way to becoming a jazz piano master (or at least ready for Levels 1-5 of the curriculum).