Welcome to the PianoGroove Community!
Wow, it sounds fun to be the musical director in a church… What a wonderful place to share and teach music.
Yes we do recommend our students to start with the beginner courses to ensure they are comfortable with the foundations. With your previous musical experience I’m sure you will be familiar with much of the material but it’s certainly worth refreshing your knowledge.
Yes I agree it’s always good to search for different perspectives and sources of inspiration.
One of my goals with PianoGroove is to provide a wide range of teaching styles from our team of teachers.
All of the styles we teach at PianoGroove are interrelated and the Beginner Jazz Lessons feed nicely into the rest of the syllabus.
For example, to play the Bossa Nova and Samba lessons, it’s important for students to understand concepts such as chord extensions and rootless voicings which are covered in the Beginner section of our Jazz syllabus.
All of your progress is saved onto your Student Dashboard, so you can take multiple courses at once and keep track of your learning journey.
And that’s great to hear you like the PianoGroove program. We have put a lot of work into structuring our syllabus and so it’s wonderful to hear this kind of feedback
If you read some of the posts above here, you will see my recommendations for developing at improvisation.
Listening and transcription is very important and is the ultimate source of inspiration.
Most of our Beginner & Intermediate Jazz Lessons are dedicated to teaching voicing styles and options and so you will find lots of advice and guidance within those courses.
If you have any specific questions with voicings just let me know and I’m more than happy to help out.
When playing without a bass player, generally we should be including the root in our voicings to establish the basis of the harmony.
It might be nice to check out Lyndol’s lessons on how to accompany singers:
Lyndol provides a methodical approach, starting with simple triads and then gradually layering in the complexity with 7th chords, and extended harmony.
For Walking Basslines…
I created a series of walking bass lessons in the following course. “Georgia On My Mind” may also be a nice tune to play in church, it’s a beautifully soulful tune:
Tuomo created an interesting Masterclass on 12 bar blues walking bass:
And finally Lyndol talks about walking basslines here for “Georgia On My Mind”:
For myself Anne, the key was understanding and accepting that there is no ‘finishing point’… there is always more to learn and so I like to look at it as a journey that I’m taking for the rest of my life.
I find this outlook ‘takes the pressure off’ as sometimes it can be frustrating when progress is slow as it often is with learning jazz harmony.
I just try to get a little better each day when I sit down at the piano.
Absolutely…we have plans to expand into all styles of improvised music and I’ll certainly be in touch when we are ready to develop the church/gospel side of the syllabus.
Thank you for sharing your story - I enjoyed reading it and I’m sure our other students will too.
There is lots of useful information and inspiration here in the forum so spend some time to familiarise yourself with the different areas.
Enjoy the lessons and talk soon!