Jazz Piano For Beginners || Tutorial #1: starting to improvise

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This is the first in a knot of lessons I’m making on jazz forte-piano for amateurs. I’ve talked about jazz a little in the past, but I thought it would be good to make an easy succession like this that you can use if you’re just starting out. Every lesson is going to be based around a jazz forte-piano improvisation that you can play, starting very simple and simple, and getting a little more challenging with each seminar. To start with all we need to do is the simplest amateurs’ knowledge of the forte-piano. If you know about chords that’s cool and it’ll improve, but for now all you need to know is the names of the mentions on the piano keyboard – we’ll cover the jazz concepts and music hypothesi you need as “theres going”. OK, let’s look at this first improvisation. We’ve got four outdoes in a table at a moderate acceleration – 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4. Here’s middle C. And first, we’re going to make the left a simple reproduced decoration. In this octave down now I’m going to play A – F – G – A.

Let’s do that again against the forge A – F – G – A – A – F – G – A. Each memo has two drums, so the whole sequence is merely two four-beat rails long – that’s two measures if you’re using the US terminology – 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 A – F – G – A. The first thing I require “youve got to” do is practise that over and over until you don’t even have to think about it. We demand as much of your brain’s managing influence as is practicable working on the right hand. OK so what notes can we are sufficient to improvise on in the right hand? The simple-minded explanation is, any of them. This is a really, really important abstraction when you start piano improvisation. There aren’t any incorrect indicates as such, it’s just that some notes that will sound better, in some situations, than others. Now, that left to right structure, starting and finishing on A kind of suggests that we’re in the key of A child. T he immense event about A minor is the fact that it natural magnitude – which would be our various kinds of first port of call if we’re looking for notes to improvise on – is all the white notes.

The natural proportion of A adolescent. However, if I just said to you, hey, you know, go crazy, improvise on any of the white tones on the keyboard, this is gonna be various kinds of a little bit mind-blowing if you were just starting out – too much flexibility if you like. So what we’re going to do is restrict ourselves and simply start improvising on one memorandum, yeah – this A below middle C. Now this is a proficiency that I’ve embraced before. One indicate is all you need to improvise with. So what we’re going to do is just start by using this single tone A, and improvise on it exploiting some swinging jazz lilt, against that original left hand. OK and so on and so forth and get really kind of confident with that. Now that raises the question, how do we organize those jazzy rhythms and get the kind of hand independence to use them? This was actually something I was talking about a couple of weeks ago in the first lesson in my Train Your Piano Brain series, so do go and check that out subsequentlies if you haven’t seen it – I’ll include a tie in the description below this tutorial.

When you’re starting to swing, an important thing to understand is that jazz almost always stresses what we call the offbeat in a four-beat table. Now most four-beat music accentuates the on-beat, which is shapes 1 and 3 – 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4. But with jazz, as I suppose, it’s that offbeat, pulsates 2 and 4 – 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4. So one good way to start establishing those jazzy rhythm in your right is to tap the quirky with your left – maybe merely on your leg or something – or at the least kind of have that stress decoration in your front as “youre playing”. OK try that for a while, and identify then if you can drop in the left hand. You might not find it easy at first – so if it’s tough going, retard it down. When you’ve got that working, start to expand outwards to exerting other records. Try utilizing two notations – perhaps A and C, and then three, perhaps A, C and D, you know, and proliferate outwards and use more and more tones. As you get self-confident maybe moving up and down the scale a little bit.

OK, if you’ve had piano lessons this is where your magnitudes are going to come in genuinely handy. Like I read, because we’re in A minor any of those grey observes are going to sound at least OK, OK, maybe with the quirky exception in certain places but you will notice some work better than others. So, for example, the notations A, C and E will be particularly strong, since they are make up the basic chord of A minor, the tonic triad of the key of A minor as we call it. So if you’re beginning to create little phrases, it’s a pretty safe bet to start and end on those tones. As you move on save investigating – figure out which memo and combinations of notes sound cool.

Spend time playing around, yeah? I like to emphasize that term PLAY. And toy is what I want I kind of literally crave you to do – as if you’re kicking a ball around or, you are familiar, reading what kills you can do on a puddle counter. Don’t worry about bad documents. The important thing is to try to get some impression of flow, yeah, however simple the improvisation you’re playing. Try to get to a quality where you’ve, you know you’ve got into the groove, where you can a bit risk losing it, where it becomes addictive. You might notice that some indicates don’t work as well as others in some combinations, yeah – so toy an F over the A kind of loses the minor sound. It can work as a legislate memo, OK, a notation on the way to somewhere else, a chord record for example, but if you focus on it your psyche starts to give it weight as a chord greenback, which implies the chord of F major.

That’s not a bad circumstance in itself, but it’s maybe not future directions we are seeking to take this specific improvisation in. You’ll might discover that the 5 notes that work best in an improvisation in the helping hand are A C D E and G, and if “theres going” no farther than those, that’s fine. Those memoes work well because they form the A minor pentatonic magnitude, which we’ll come back to in the next seminar in the line. Just a couple of final events. First, remember that when you’re playing the forte-piano you’re supposed to be expressive and melodic, yeah? Coming the phrase liberty is equally important, in fact more important, than only going the bare notes right, yeah? So for example diversify the louds and softs – the dynamics as we call them – OK, try and form something that’s musically rich and satisfying.

OK, so there “theres going” – I’ll gather up this thread and run with it in the next lesson in the series. In the meantime, practise practise practise – above all, PLAY with this stuff. That’s how you memorize jazz forte-piano as a rookie. Eventually, if “youre reading” music might like my book, How To Really Play The Piano, which excuses a ton of stuff about music hypothesi and jazz and off-colors and has loadings of gratuities on getting started with this trash. You do need to be able to read left hand and right hand music, OK, but not at a high level. Click on the link right below this tutorial to find out more ..

As found on Youtube