Many students are overwhelmed by what feels like an overabundance of information when it comes time to learn jazz piano.
If you go on forums and read articles for awhile you’ll walk away thinking you need to learn a million different things in order to play jazz piano well. It’s just not true. Yes, there are lots of little nuances when it comes to how to play jazz piano but it’s not necessarily to have to learn every jazz scale ever written.
Basically, if you want to learn how to play jazz piano it’s critical that you organize your practice and understand the big picture of learning this artform.
Many students think if they don’t know a million different jazz scales, modes, licks, grooves, voicings, jazz theory techniques, jazz reharmonizations, or pentatonic scale patterns they aren’t a great jazz piano player.
It’s just not true. Yes, those musical elements are useful but they are ultimately just “spices” in the big picture of how to play jazz piano.
So, what is the big picture? Well, it’s starts with learning tunes. If you want to truly learn how to play jazz piano and do it an efficient way, then every new thing you learn should be in the context of tunes.
The reason you need to use tunes as the vehicle for organizing new jazz piano information, is because at the end of the day..it’s about playing real music for real people.
Often times I’ll joke around and say that I’ve never played a gig before where they’ve asked me to do a rousing rendition of the Db mixolydian scale. But, they have asked me to do a set of music of blues. Or a set of music of rock tunes or jazz tunes like Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, How High The Moon, Fly Me To The Moon, Summertime, All The Things You Are, At Last, Besame Mucho, Don’t Get Around Much anymore, Moondance, Charlie parker tunes, Duke Ellington. etc. etc.
Inside a tune, I may play a Db mixolydian scale or a melodic minor scale or a new jazz piano lick but you don’t play them by themselves. So, everything is in tunes. If this makes sense leave a comment in the comments area.
Once you understand that learning how to play jazz piano is really the art of learning tunes lots of breakthroughs will happen for you. Especially in your practice.
Now, the 4 elements we discuss in the video above are solo piano mastery, trio mastery, jazz piano improvisation, and jazz piano comping. These are the 4 elements every great jazz pianist must be able to do on a tune.
By the end of this beginner jazz piano lesson you’ll understand how to organize the limit amount of time you may have and also how to play jazz piano more like an experienced player would. Great education is about finding the shortcuts that give you the best return on your time. These 4 elements are those!
All gigs and musical situations feature at least 1 of these 4 elements. So, to efficiently learn how to play jazz piano you should be working exclusively on these elements.
If you want to have a world class jazz piano teacher take you step by step and teach you these 4 elements I highly encourage you to fill out an application for the Jazz Inner Circle program.
Enjoy your practice and we can’t wait to be part of your journey of fun while you learn how to play jazz piano.