The turnaround in jazz part 1

The turnaround in jazz is usually a chord sequence of four chords that starts with the tonic (the ‘I’ chord) and ends with the dominant (the ‘5’ chord). There are variations of this sequence and I suggest that you learn to recognise the many variations. I’ll be using Roman numerals to describe each chord. I… Read more »

Jazz basics 4: the altered scale

The altered scale derives from the melodic minor scale a half step above the root note of the dominant 7. All will be explained! We are now going to explore the altered scale. This scale has all four altered notes and can be used over a dominant 7 chord to great effect when soloing. (This… Read more »

How I teach jazz piano

In 1967 I turned professional as a keyboard player and piano teacher and now that I’m nearly 75 and still teaching, perhaps it’s time to reflect on how I teach jazz piano. I passed all my exams at secondary school except for music, probably because by this time I was already playing in bands and… Read more »

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 »