Jazz basics 3: the dominant 7 chord in jazz

Why is the dominant 7 chord in jazz so important? To answer this question I will first separate this chord into two categories: moving and static. Moving This applies generally to any classical harmony but when this dominant 7 chord in jazz is moving towards its resolution it can be thought of as a tension… Read more »

Jazz Basics, part 2

More about the most important chord in jazz: the dominant 7. When discussing jazz basics there is nothing more basic than your understanding of the dominant 7 chord and its functions. Let’s begin by taking a look at the row of the seven 7th chords constructed over one major scale. Here is an example of… Read more »

Learning jazz basics

Learning jazz basics part 1. The dominant 7 chord and its uses.

My learn jazz piano website

A jazz piano video course with backing tracks, sheet music and quizzes. You can now access all 31 video lessons. It’s never been easier to learn jazz piano online! You can start from basics and learn how to build 7th chords and string them into II – V – I sequences and turnarounds. Or learn… Read more »

3 reasons to learn to play jazz piano in new keys

How many of you tend to stick to your favourite keys when you play jazz piano? There are a number of reasons why us keyboard players should learn to play jazz in various keys. It’s the easy option to default to the keys of C, F or G but this can be very limiting, not… Read more »

Creative jazz practice: chapter 12, book 3

This is an extract from book 3 of Learn Jazz Piano. Click here for your link to all 4 eBooks Chapter 12: Creative jazz practice Keyboard                 The ideal is to practice on an acoustic piano, as the sound and action will always be superior to an electronic keyboard. However, if you are playing on an… Read more »

Jazz Practice

Why practise jazz? The obvious answer has to be that we practise in order to improve. But why does the very word cause many of us to go running for the TV remote? Is it just possible that the thought of jazz practice conjures up the brain numbing activity of running up and down scales… Read more »

Working with jazz singers

Understandably, most of my jazz piano students want to improvise; their prime aim is to solo creatively. However, my 40 years as a pro keyboard player has taught me that being given the opportunity to solo comes as a bonus. A more realistic expectation for a pianist is that we will spend most of our… Read more »

Teaching the blues is all a part of jazz!

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 »

Stop playing jazzy. Start playing jazz!

Here is the third in my series of articles for the website ‘All About Jazz’ I concluded my last article in this series with a piece of advice handed to me by one of my old jazz piano teachers: ‘Don’t try to play jazzy.’ I’d now like to explore this statement and demonstrate how it… Read more »