Jazz Essentials

Welcome! and Thank You for registering with Jazz Essentials: Standards – The essential building blocks to playing jazz piano.

Jazz Essentials is my method for learning to improvise from the basement up! Just as when you build a house you begin with laying the foundations, so in my Jazz Essentials you learn the fundamental building blocks for playing jazz. This is part one in a series of three series within the Jazz Essentials theme. Please keep checking in to see what is new as we will be adding extra videos, hints and tips as you progress. Have fun!

I promise that if you follow these guidelines (and not missing anything out!) you will have at your disposal the tools of the improvisor and have the necessary knowledge to play a jazz solo. How well you do this depends on your own musicality and application, but it has been my experience as Musical Director of Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra for over 30 years and as a freelance educator at St Andrews University, the Wigmore Hall and Jazz Courses up and down the country that anyone, who takes the time to practise these exapmles, will be able to play jazz to some degree.

Each lesson builds on the lesson before and therefore your musical vocabulary will grow with the colours you acquire through understanding each concept before you move on to the next. Please, don’t be in a hurry – playing music is a lifetime’s work , and not something acquired without careful thought.

My mantra is “Mistakes are Cool”, and that to play music of any kind you must be prepared to make mistakes and enjoy them – that’s how we learn! (musicians who are surgeons are exempt).

Getting started – Scales of C, F and G Major and chord voicings for 2 5 1 in those keys.

In this first online jazz piano lesson you will learn how to play with a jazz feel using a simple scale, and then how to improvise over over 2 note chord voicings– it’s that easy. (But make sure you use the correct two notes, as gigs have been lost over such confusion!). Enjoy learning to play jazz piano.

Click Here to go to Lesson 1


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