I lived in small country town (50 people) next door to the church. Every Sunday morning I would awake to beautiful music flowing into my bedroom window as the pianist would practice early am. The hymns were beautiful. I learned to love church music. Applying extended chord voicings etc would be beautiful. I can’t wait to hear a future arrangement. Pianogroove is excellent in teaching this approach. This is a fun site. Enjoy
I was born in Scotland and grew up Protestant. I live in Canada now and the church I go to is Anglican so it’s a sort of mix between catholic and Protestant. It’s formal without being too formal. I’ve been told by many people that they come because they like the music. Music is a very powerful, emotional tool. I try and deliver something for most people every week. For example, this morning we had a couple of traditional hymns, the band sang a modern song, the choir sang an anthem and my daughter sang a contemporary worship song as a solo during the Eucharist. For that I followed a lead sheet and accompanied her, improvising round about what she was singing. I’ve done a lot of accompanying over the years but I still have a lot to learn about playing in a jazz style. Both my adult children are involved in the music. My daughter sings and plays drums, she can even do it at the same time! My son is also a drummer and an amazing keyboard player.
My name is Thomas, I am 38 years old and I am living in Berlin. I took piano lessons for 10 years while I was going to school. I only played classical music at that time (Chopin is my favorite composer) and I got quite far - I was able to play a few Etudes at the end - but although my teacher was actually a Jazz pianist, I never learned music theory or how to improvise from him.
Here is a link to an album of my favorite (modern) classical artists that I recorded a while ago, including one of my own songs:
When I moved to Berlin, I started playing the piano again - mostly modern classical pieces from Artists like Nils Frahm, Ludovico Einaudi or Julien Marchal just by listening to them. But I also wanted to be able to improvise, playing Jazz standards, accompany a singer and work on my own songs… I tried to find a Jazz teacher but that did not work well, so I decided to sign up here and I have to say this is exactly what I was looking for! I love how the tutorials are structured and slowly making progress with the beginner lessons. I also bought some theory books like Mark Levine´s Jazz Piano but watching a video and listening to someone works far better for me so far.
Although my technique is quite good, I am still very bad at just improvising or playing a (jazz) song in a nice way. Right now I have a bit more time to practice and I hope that one day I can play a little bit like Bill Evans
Looking forward to spending more time with the tutorials and in the forum!
Welcome to pianogroove Thomas. I’m sure you will find what you are looking for here. I’m fairly new too and I have found this community both encouraging and inspiring so I would advise you to keep in contact with it. I enjoyed your playlist but I particularly enjoyed the Thomas Nau whatever#3.
We are also launching a new Vocal Accompaniment section shortly which has vocal-play-a-long tracks for our students to practice the art of accompaniment. More to be announced shortly.
Great to hear you like the structure of the PianoGroove syllabus.
I recommend that students study multiple courses at once. All progress is saved to your dashboard so it’s easy to keep track of your learning journey.
The Beginner Jazz Lessons feed into most material on the site, so if you have interest in other genres - such as Bossa Nova - it’s a good idea to learn the basic jazz theory including chord extensions, rootless voicings, and altered harmony.
The key is a lot of listening and transcription Thomas.
If you scan through some of my replies in this thread you will get a lot of insight into how to go about.
Particularly with you coming from a classical background, listening is incredibly important to absorb the feel and articulation of jazz music. Of course spend the time to study the theoretical aspect of the PianoGroove syllabus, but always remember to spend a lot of time listening too - it is the ultimate source of inspiration.
Brilliant. If you need any help or guidance don’t hesitate to ask here in the community.
Welcome Thomas! You’ve made a good choice. PianoGroove seems to work well for nearly everyone here, whatever their background or level of playing. And those are quite varied. Thanks for sharing your music. With your technique and a bit of study and lot of listening, you’ll be up to speed in no time. Have fun.
Hello, my name’s Diana and I am a self-taught learner. I started learning the piano back in the 90’s with the help of a book called “How to play popular piano”. Having learned the basic major, minor triads as well as 7th chords, and playing through all these boring cheesy tunes (“Twinkle, Twinkle”…) from the book, I managed to learn or rather memorize! one of Yanni’s songs “Until the Last Moment” - yes, that was my very first song that I mastered 100% only after completing the aforementioned book. Note: there didn’t use to be YouTube back in the 90’s…
You might think that’s brilliant… well, it’s not if you take into account that I understood NOTHING of what I was playing. I was just like a little monkey copying what’s written and playing all the corresponding notes.
Fast forward to current times: I’ve started learning jazz theory and completed a couple of online jazz piano courses. I am only starting to understand all the chord/jazz theory. Then I came across PianoGroove - and I was taken aback by the fact that it provides so much free/sample material. I mastered “Misty” WITH COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING of what is going on in the song in terms of progressions, extensions, voicings, etc. - Hayden, you’re a great teacher. My previous jazz piano course on another site was at times too challenging for me to follow with understanding. Your course fills all the gaps in my knowledge and transforms puzzling questions into “YAY! I GET IT!”
BTW, I can still play “Until the Last Moment” after all these years, but it’s only muscle memory. To fully understand it, I’d need to re-learn this song by analyzing it.
I’ve had a quick look at some of the content on PianoGroove and I’m blown away by the detailed information. I have so many questions to ask but I hope I can find most of the answers already on this forum. BTW, my minor complaint about this forum is that it’s a little counter-intuitive to browse all the topics. I find the layout confusing… how do I display ALL of the categories and then see all the topics chronologically in that category? I don’t even see the “Submit” button here… oh, I hope it’s this yellow “reply” button…
Thank you, looking forward to learning some real piano!
welcome, after you have been with the PianoGroove program and forum you will find it more intuitive and easy to navigate;
I also suffer from falling back on muscle memory, almost like my brain and hands are not in the same place (which does NO good if you briefly get lost) so I have tried to return to some beginner tunes and explore both the ballad and left hand voicings and really get to know the bones of a tune. often I take that same song lesson all over again months later and suddenly see it in a new way; have fun
I’m glad you are enjoying the PianoGroove teaching style.
Any theory questions you have, you can get quick replies from our teaching team and students here in the forum.
Here’s some tips to browse the categories and topics in the forum:
1) The Secondary Navigation
These 5 buttons link to some of the key forum areas:
Forum Home Page
Practice Tips & Inspiration
Common Theory Q&As
New Lessons News & Announcements
Listening - Share & Discover Recordings
2) Categories & Latest Toggle Button
There is a toggle button in the top left which allows you to switch between “Category Home” and “Latest Posts Home”
3) Individual Category Sections
From Category Home, simply click on the category titles or images, and this will take you directly to the category pages. You will also notice that there are sometimes subcategories, such as in the “Practice Inspiration” Section
The forum is constantly evolving so you will see new sections appearing, but the above should give you a good overview of how to navigate the different forum categories.
I’ll also make an explainer video of the above, I think that would be nice for new students joining us.
Hi all! I’ve been an off-and-on, somewhat diligent classical, jazz, and latin piano student for about 14 years currently living in Chicago, which has a thriving jazz scene at the moment. As a piano player, I’ve never been too keen on learning tunes; I prefer to just sit down and create a beat or improvise in a sort of meditational way, without thinking much about what exactly I’m doing. I’ve realized that while I feel good playing in the moment, I become frustrated without a roadmap of where to go next or exactly it is that I’m doing and why things sound good and bad. I’ve also realized that it’s crucial to learn songs as a way to play. Therefore, I’m looking to greatly expand my ability to improvise through the learning of jazz theory, voicings, and standards, and use it as a vehicle for creation and composition, with the ultimate endgoal of being part of a group that writes music or as a solo creator of interesting and sometimes complex tunes, or both!
I’m also very interested in learning different rhythmic styles, and am looking forward to the brazilian and latin sections of the website!
The goal of these exercises is to improve our listening skills, empowering us to become self-sufficient learners so that we can listen to our favourite recordings, albums , and musicians to pick out material directly from recordings.
That way, we are taking ‘our sound’ in the direction that we want to take it - based on the sounds that we like - which is a very liberating point to get to as a musician.
There is a beginner-focused Bossa Nova course taught by myself in there, but Jovino’s insights and experience are unparalleled in this field of improvised music, and so in terms of rhythm and groove, I think that his courses will give you the information you are looking for.
Finally, it is worth noting that many of the concepts covered in Jovino’s Bossa Nova courses incorporate theory covered in the jazz courses such as:
Our Rootless Voicings Course:
Our Altered Harmony Course:
Our Chord Substitution Course:
And so I would also recommend looking through those courses to familiarise yourself with the theory and the terminology.
There is a new Brazilian course to be published shortly on “Triad Approach To Improvisation” which was taught to Jovino by his mentor Hermeto Pascoal. I will be announcing this in the forum area shortly so keep your eyes out for that.
I hope this helps to give you some direction, and if you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Welcome Andrew, One thing about PianoGroove is that you can still be you and keep your learning style and preferences and still gain ground and grow, In the Latin Brazilian section you will have plenty to stretch your brain on. Have fun.
Nothing wrong with learning a tune… that’s what your family and friends enjoy when they listen to you play.