yes nice idea this breathing concept Hayden , even it is so simple i’ve never done it . But easy things often the hardest to apply. … and it should help having some overview of what we are playing… often so many things in mind when trying to improvise … even no time for breathing
Hey @TactfulCactus - welcome! Great to hear about your background. Another Chick Corea fan here too!
I started learning from scratch as an adult without any musical background as a kid, and for me just having some time daily to absorb something that will help me or develop my ear is good enough - and I say that as someone who went through a phase of really pushing myself to produce. And I’ve had a great time learning more on here, so I’d really like to hear what you’d want to share in the ‘what I’m listening to’ thread: What Record Are You Listening To Today?
Thanks for the terrific welcome, everyone! I really appreciate all your input and support. @Hayden, thanks for the thorough response. I’ll be keeping all that information in mind as I proceed through my PianoGroove education.
@james505545, it’s really good to hear that someone else has had the “adult beginner” experience. I’ve been listening to quite a lot of good records lately, so I’ll be sure to contribute to that topic soon.
Thanks again! I hope to get to know everyone through these forums soon enough!
Dr. Dean Bard 69 years young Retired Emergency Physician Played piano age 7 to 18 then off to College etc. Bought a grand piano 5+ years ago and relearned all over. Joined a classical piano private school and studied 3 years advancing to intermediate + level. Completed a 3 year chord based piano course to get away from being tied to the music score. Piano Groove seems to be exactly what I’ve been searching for. I just started with the Beginner lessons to learn the Jazz basics and theory. I have been arranging from a melody line and chord notation but not in a jazz theory style. I play almost every morning 2-4 hours and I don’t know where the time goes. Very delighted with this new approach. Looking forward to playing each day. Any help, advice etc. is always appreciated. I will try to post a picture. I have all my music on I-Pad with Air Turn to advance the pages. Your video lessons seem straight forward and easy to understand.
I am 62 years old and I am now retired.
I am french and I live around Paris
I learned piano classical music during about 10 years but with some interruption . And my last classical piece was a chopin waltz not too complicated.
I have real time to practice jazz piano now and to explore your website.
My goal is to play some jazz standards and improvise in all styles (bossa nova, blues, jazz).
I would to constitute a little repertoire and playing it in front of my family, or playing in a band…Why Not ?
I don’t listen enough jazz. I I would like help to make a little program to listen the main jazz standards during the year.
What are the first main recordings to listen in jazz ? May be, you can make me a list of the best recordings.
Soon, I am going to learn also chromatic harmonica. It is my favorite instrument after the piano, of course.
I know now , Hayden, that you start soon your own quartet. But, please, don’t give up your website. We need your advices and your new lessons.
Welcome aboard the Groove train @dr1 I’m Dan, the Video specialist for PianoGroove, glad to have someone of your level join. I will be floating around capturing collaborative PianoGrooves like the following from @Lyndol and @Hayden…
Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with
I’m David from Vancouver, Canada.
I used to play the piano in high school jazz band back in late 80’s and early 90’s.
I learned to read sheet music note by note but I never learned to play by ear or
learn chords beyond the very basics (C, Cm, C7… and likes).
Never really grasped aug/dim, and other more complex chords).
Since I graduated from high school, there hasn’t been much attempts to improve my piano.
Carried on with my life, but I would always appreciated listening to good jazz artists,
as I grew up listening to a lot of smooth jazz / GRP-labeled cassettes and CDs.
My favorite artists are Jeff Lorber, David Benoit, Rippingtons, Joe Sample, & Hisaishi Joe.
Now, I’m taking a mini sabbatical and I finally have time to work on my skills.
Here’s where I am today (without any sheet music, and without any practice…)
but I’d like to be able to play a full hour of jazz music at a local bar I frequently visit.
It’d be nice if I could achieve it by coming Christmas.
I’m now reviewing Jazz Piano Foundations, and to be honest,
I find it a bit boring just to go over music theory.
I think I do okay in simple scales (C, D, G, maybe E), but not really motivated to
learn my chord positions for more complex scales.
I’m not sure if mechanically following the chord progressions and positions will
improve my skills or motivate me to move forward, either.
If I can commit 45-60 minutes each day on practicing my piano skills,
how would you recommend that I spend my time for the next 3 months?
PS. I don’t have the perfect pitch,
and I always wondered if it’s a skill that can be mastered by practice.
Welcome David. I’d recommend starting with the practice plans that are listed with each beginning group of lessons. It has worked for me. (And I had around 40 years of not playing anything. ) Those boring bits will pay off in the future. And as the plans indicate, at least half of your time is with the fun stuff.
At any rate, have fun. I think you’ll enjoy the experience and will progress if you stick with it.
Thanks for sharing your performance of “Over The Rainbow” - I like your chord choices and it gives me a much clearer idea of the most suitable courses for you.
A first recommendation would be to add some kind of intro and outro to each tune you are playing. We have an introductory lesson here on the 1-6-2-5 progression which I think you will enjoy:
I see that you are playing “Over The Rainbow” in the key of C Major, and so that would make your 1-6-2-5 progression:
Cmaj7 / A7b9 / D-7 / G7
Of course you can add any combination of extensions, alterations, passing chords to this basic progression. More info on this below.
It can be nice to cycle around that for both and introduction and an ending to extend the length of any tune you are playing. The V7 chord (G7) leads back to the Imaj7 chord (Cmaj7) and so the progression is a cycle, and when ready, you can drop for the G7 straight into the start of the tune.
Most jazz standards tend to start and end on the Imaj7 chord so this kind of intro/outro will will have you covered for most tunes.
That could help with your “full hour of music” goal for the local bar.
I would recommend that you start studying the following 2 courses simultaneously:
Extended Chords & Voicings
This course introduces 9s, 11s, & 13s, and we look at some common extended chord voicings that are very useful to have under your fingers:
Altered Harmony & USTs
This course introduces the concept of chord alterations. I did see you played some alterations in your arrangement of “Over The Rainbow” - for example, at 0:43 seconds, you play A7b9
This course will explain the different ‘colours’ you can add to dominant chords to create more harmonically-complex and sophisticated voicings and progressions:
Intros, Endings, & Turarounds (optional, focus on the above 2 first)
This is housed as an “Advanced Course” but based on your performance, I don’t see any reason why you cannot learn the arrangements. In all of these lessons I demonstrate different ways to create extended intros for jazz standards:
I agree with @scott1 that it would be good to check out the Foundations Practice Plan.
I understand and appreciate that some of those exercises are boring, but they will give you solid foundations for the more advanced theory, and perhaps even highlight weaknesses in your playing that you didn’t realise.
Aim to play the following 2 exercises in less than 5 minutes each:
All 12 major scales and identify the notes numerically ie. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 instead of: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C and you must do this for all 12 major scales. Don’t skip this!!
3 note 251 progressions with root in left hand, and then 3rd and 7th in right hand - being able to clearly visualise the 7ths falling to 3rds in 251s in all 12 keys will help you greatly. The 3rd and 7th are the essential components of the harmony and so it’s important to be able to see that half-step relationship which will also help you in creating improvised melodies.
If you can’t do that, I would recommend spending 10 minutes on it each day until you can.
The other exercises (minor scales, triads, 7th chords) are all still important, but the above 2 are in my opinion the most important to learn thoroughly before moving on. It will simply save you time in the future.
Once you encounter upper structure triads in the “Altered Harmony Course” I highlighted above, you will see how important it is to be able to invert and manipulate triad shapes around the keyboard, and so as @scott1 says, working on the foundation exercises will pay off in the future.
Here’s what I’d recommend:
If you could make that 45-60 minutes per day into 2 hours each day, you will see much better results. I found it very effective to do 1 hour in the morning before I went to work, and then I would play most of the evening. Aim for 1 hour in the morning, & 1 hour in the evening.
Revisit and stick to what you are practicing. The key is to dedicate yourself to a consistent practice routine. Use the downloadable PDF resources and practice plans to give you that structure.
Don’t forget to have fun with it… This is supposed to be a fun hobby after all!! You have a nice goal to work towards with your “full hour of music by Christmas time” but also understand that learning jazz is truly a lifelong pursuit, there is always more to learn. I find accepting that takes the pressure off and makes the whole process more enjoyable. I just try to get a little better each day.
Here’s 4 forum threads which you may find useful with your “full hour of music” goal:
my Name is Michael 55 years old and living in the southwest of Germany (Palatinate), surrounded by vineyards and forrest.
I´m here at pianogroove for my second day now and wanted to tell you a little about me:
I´ve been an accordion-player for many years now (not professional). Together with a saxophone player and a bass player we play Klezmer-Music most of the time.
Since 4 years I make coversongs together with my partner. She´s singing while I play guitar (acoustic) most of the time. But we also started to take some songs with piano in our repertoire (Adele, Norah Jones, Sara Bareilles …).
Now I found that the most interesting arrangements of modern pop-songs always almost contain elements of jazzmusic! And that´s when I started looking for online-courses on jazzpiano - and found pianogroove.
So here I am - still a bit confused with all that material offered - and looking forward to my “career as jazz-accompanist”
To work on your accompaniment skills, I’d first recommend checking out Lyndol’s course on “How To Accompany Singer”:
I’d also recommend working through our Beginner Jazz Courses, this information will give you the foundational information you need to be more comfortable and confident in all styles of music.
My opinion is that… No matter what style of music you want to play, having a good understanding of jazz harmony will always be as asset to you.
Jazz theory is the most complex and challenging to learn, and you will find that instrumentalists who play pop, funk, gospel, soul, R&B, HipHop, Neo-soul, etc… will have studied jazz harmony at some point in their musical development.
Ultimately, it will give you a deeper understanding of all music which will help with your performance/composition in any genre.
The jazz standards are simply nice ‘etudes’ in which to apply the theory and get familiar with basic harmony in all 12 keys.