Tag: building a jazz repertoire

Teaching the blues

A moment after writing the title of this article, up popped an image of John Lee Hooker smiling and shaking his head. “Nobody can teach you the blues. Blues is a feeling, something you have to live.” I tried explaining that I’m a jazz piano teacher and that teaching the blues is part of my job… Read more »

Playing without the dots

Playing without the dots Why you should memorise tunes Sheet music is just information, it’s not the music itself. The more you read what’s in front of you the less head room you’ll have for creativity. Playing without the dots opens up your ears! Which tunes should  I learn? This, of course, is very much… Read more »

Jazz Repertoire: essential standards part 3

Building your jazz repertoire: part 3 of essential standards Here’s my final list of suggestions for your jazz repertoire. These are all standards that you should become familiar with. Although I’ve listed 14 tunes, I suggest you at least learn What Is This Thing Called Love, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise and Yesterdays. For… Read more »

Building your Jazz Repertoire part 2: Latin

Jazz repertoire part 2: 10 Latin tunes The world of Latin American music is vast and would take a lifetime of study. What we are looking at here is a small collection of tunes with a Latin feel; songs that are likely to come up when playing with other musicians. I’ve tried to keep the list… Read more »