Welcome Ole! There are a number of us that have returned to the piano later in life. You are going to love your journey. Like you…I lean towards cocktail/jazz. Hayden’s arrangements are perfect for this style of music. You get to learn beautiful arrangements, along with the theory behind them that you can apply to other songs. It is a win win!!!
Thank you Celia! I look forward to the time when I can start to look at Hayden’s arrangements. The jazz foundations lessons I’m following now are great!
In addition to studying the Jazz Piano Foundations course I would recommend diving straight into the lessons in our Beginner Jazz Arrangements course:
Also I recommend that new students study the theory lessons in the Foundations course and the Chord Extensions course in tandem, here is the chord extensions course:
Much of the theory is interrelated and it will allow you to see how the information in the Foundations course is further developed.
The following 2 archived seminars are great for new students:
and next week I am teaching a jazz piano basics practice guide where we discuss the best way to structure our practice time for learning and mastering the foundations of jazz harmony. You can add that to your calendar here:
Don’t worry if you can’t attend the session as the full recording is available immediately afterwards with chapters and slow down controls.
I hope that helps Ole and here to help if you have any questions.
Thank’s Hayden! I really appreciate your recommendations. The ‘Nearness Of You’ arrangement is beautiful - with a lot of information packed into the lesson. Also, compliments on the visual layout (double keyboard). It’s a great feature for a Jazz piano beginner like me.
Welcome on board have a nice journey !!
Lovely playing! Very Nice.
Thank you! I’m enjoying the journey so far !
I’m a 25 year old from London who works in the financial services but undergoing motion designer bachelors so that I can change careers. Currently I have two private lessons a month with a Jazz teacher & have two with a classical composer who teaches me classical composition, Schoenberg school of Harmony & Counterpoint. The two forms of music are so illustrious that being taught both was just something I had to make room for.
A listener of all music and aim to compose music for the motion video essays I create ( usually short documentaries & animation) and also compose in various styles from classical baroque rock jazz blues gospel pop funk soul fusion dance rnb and hip hop and film orchestral scores for visual screenplays & short animated movies.
In terms Of Jazz, an ex colleague of mine took me to Ronnie Scott’s in Soho. It was a Wednesday so it wasn’t any heavy acts but this Sax player played this 7 minute masterpiece called Almost blue. I didn’t know what the hell it was but ever since then I’ve been obsessed with the complexity and colour jazz has with its compositions and arrangements plus its overlap and cross over with blues and soul and gospel. I then heard Spartacus Love theme / Nardis and said this is what I need to learn. I’m less attracted to jazz as a genre, but more as a means to create the most interesting harmonic voicings within my compositions and its endless options it gives you via improvising that ultimately will be my fuel for any compositions i create. The language and colour of Jazz is the entry to the most interesting music for me.
So Bill Evans is my concrete inspiration because he represents the ideology of compositions and arranging and voicing I admire. Shades of Bach, shades of Chopin, shades Of the impressionist era shades of Debussy, he really has a worldly palette of expressionism.
And that same expressionism is why Bill Evans is one many pianists I adore with others like Lonnie Listen Smith, R.D Burnam, Thom Yorke, Stevie Wonder, Alan Mion, Claude Debussy, Quincy Jones, Vivaldi, Charles Stepney, Wilson Das Neves, John Williams & Ryo Fukui all inspiring me through there solos/ piano compositions, harmony, keyboard arrangements & general exceptional musicianship. They give me ideas to create fusion
I’m an internet baby so Piano groove, like open studio jazz, EarMaster are some of the few excellent resources I’ve been able to find through YouTube but nothing beats piano groove for the wealth of knowledge training lessons and jazz topics.
Seriously; no site or community comes close. I’m fortunate to have two teachers who I can show anything I’m working on etc but this is the perfect site to have my jazz learning thoroughly covered and more, so happy to be here and here from you all and share my progression and be inspired by this community of music aficionados!
Been a member here for the better part of a year but haven’t introduced myself. I’m 60 and have wanted for decades to learn to play piano. I have all kinds of books bought over the decades to prove it. But I never really went anywhere until I started discovering the right Youtube channels, and Pianogroove was one of the best. I was hesitant about joining until I did it, when I realized, man I should have done this a while ago. (One thing motivating me to finally do it was the thought that if I waited another five years, when I’m retired, and then joined, I’d be kicking myself like the mule I am.)
I am getting to the point that I can play major, minor and dominant chords in A and B forms (as Haydn calls them), rooted and rootless, with either left hand or right, almost on autopilot. I can play 251’s rootless, with 13th instead of dom7 chords. I reached a point this summer where all of those chord shapes emerged from the mist like a stately sailing ship. Now I’m beginning to learn to improvise and this site has been great for that too. Along with various spread voicings. A long ways to go, but a lot of progress made. The me of three years ago would be astonished by what the me of today can do. I can hardly wait to see what Me 2024 can do.
You kids today with your internet have no idea how great you have it! I really wish I’d had this site when I was 20, but late is a lot better than never.
Welcome! You made a great choice when you signed up for PianoGroove. From what you’ve said about your progress so far, it seems that you’re well on track. I’ve been studying here for over two years, and I learn something new nearly every day. I agree with you when you say “late is a lot better than never.” I’m 69 and have kept at it, though there were times when I was frustrated and thought of hanging it up. Lately, things have started coming together for me–though, like you, I’ve got a very long way to go. Have fun!
A warm welcome Dan! Scott and I are happy to have someone join our age group! We are never too old to learn. PianoGroove is the best learning platform for piano. I am amazed at how much I have learned in the past (nearly) three years. Like Scott…I still have a long way to go and know it will be a lifetime commitment that will continue to bring me joy. Enjoy your journey!
Hello, Pianogroove community. I’m Kirk Krekeler and looking forward to improving my piano skills. While I’ve played all my life, I’ve never been able to play songs fluently without mistakes or without stopping and starting. My wife says listening to me gives her a headache. I took jazz piano lessons about 20 years ago for a while and read lots of jazz books, but just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Plus, I was too busy working to practice enough. Now, at 66, I’m devoting most of my time to learning and practicing. My goal is to memorize as many standards as I can, play them using Hayden’s advanced voicings (and some of my own), and learn how to improvise over chords. I also would like to play piano without making my wife ill.
Welcome aboard Kirk! I joined 18 months ago with much the same musical history. I solved the issue of driving my music critic crazy by buying an electronic keyboard and now have a music studio in the basement, where I can practice II-V-I s to my hearts content with headphones on. I do my serious practice downstairs and play on the piano when I’m going through the finished pieces. It cost me a bedroom renovation and a set of drapes but it was worth it! See you on the forum.
Welcome Kirk. It’s great to have you here!
I’ll second George’s suggestion. Get a good digital keyboard and a set of headphones. You’ll find a discussion about keyboards here:
Joining Pianogroove out of the Netherlands. I discovered this platform one week ago and I’m positively surprised on all the good things here, both in the lessons and in this community. I have a background in classical organ playing. As I’m new to jazz piano I decided to start with the foundational course, just to be sure I don’t miss important elements from a jazz perspective. So far it has been fun to follow the courses - glad I’ve found this and looking forward to the things to come.
Welcome to the community area @edwin3
Yes it’s a good idea to work through the foundations course even if you have a background in piano. The 2 most important things to take from that course are:
Learning scales numerically instead of the note names. When we can see each scale as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 it ‘makes all scales equal’ and it makes it much easier to transpose voicings, progressions, and improvised phrases and fills into all 12 keys. All common progressions are numerical based too, think of 251 for example, and so by learning the scales numerically we also set the foundations to build harmony in the keys.
Learning and memorising the 3-note 251 progression in all 12 keys. We find 25s and 251s in virtually all jazz standards, and so mastering this progression allows us to read lead sheet efficiently and we also become comfortable with the most basic building block of jazz harmony which sets strong foundations for further harmonic study.
I recommend that all new students study the following 2 courses together with the Foundations course as much of the theory is interrelated.
It will give you a great sense of progression as you see how the foundational concepts are applied and developed in the course on extended chords:
You might also like this course which gives insight into more intermediate/advanced topics presented in an accessible way:
Finally, here is a new course which I m currently compiling. It is a nice way to drill 251 progressions around all 12 keys. Start with lesson 1 and when you feel comfortable move onto the next lessons in the course. If any of the theory doesn’t make sense, it is covered in the upcoming courses or referenced in the “Related Lessons” section of each page:
Any questions just let us know.
Thanks for the introduction.
Congratulations on this!
In my opinion, this is one of the most challenging aspects of beginner/intermediate jazz harmony for a beginner.
Being able to visualise dominant chords as 3-b7-9-13 or b7-9-3-13 in all 12 keys is really tricky when we have been used to visualising chords always in their root position.
It’s just a matter of patience and perseverance and once those shapes are engrained in your muscle memory, as you say there are, they are there for life.
For working on improvisation, you should definitely join Tuomo’s improvisation classroom, you can do so here:
Once you click “join” you will then see all of the associated threads and exercises here:
This classroom has already been running for a few weeks but you can read the past posts to get up to speed.
We are still working out the finer details with the classrooms and how they will operate, but the current plan is to run a new improvisation classroom every 6 to 8 weeks and it will focus on a different tune each time.
I would like to host a similar recurring classroom but more with an arrangement focus where we pick a tune to focus on in a group setting for a set period of say 4 or 6 weeks.
More to be announced on all this in the coming week once our new forum design is published which will make the classroom section easier to find and the whole forum interface more intuitive.
That’s a great goal to set.
Personally I found the jazz standards to be the vehicle which allowed me to understand and retain the jazz theory that I was learning.
As you highlight, it’s very important to always try to add your own touches to the arrangements that I present in my lessons. This is just one of a potentially infinite number of ways that we can interpret and arrange a tune so always keep that in mind.
Set a goal to learn 20 or so of the arrangements, and make note of the ones that you personally like. It’s natural that you will like some more than others and add these to your ‘shortlist’ of favourite tunes.
It’s good to focus on breadth of repertoire to expose ourselves to different harmonies, but also laser focusing on our favourite tunes and ‘learning them inside out’ is equally as important.
There is a similar discussion thread here which I would recommend reading as it has tips and insights from many of our community members:
Cheers and enjoy the lessons!