Learn How to play Jazz Piano – Get an overview of this musical style, learn to improvise and play jazz on piano!
Are you looking for some direction on how to proceed…? Want to know how to improvise… substitute chords…?
Don’t worry, help is at hand!
Lot of people like Jazz piano because of the improvisations that you can use in your piano playing! In fact, Jazz players never play the original chords; they just keep on using different chords to liven up the song.
Again, if you are used to playing Classical or Pop, it may take some time to get used to this style of music.
But once you start improvising, just beware; it can become addictive!
Improvisation is what you will need to learn…to know how to play Jazz Piano, and Chord Substitutions do play a major role here.
For this, you will have to learn the various seventh and ninth chords (if you want to), which can be a bit of challenge initially. But Improvisation not only means substituting different chords, it can also mean changing the rhythms while playing.
You can change the rhythm every two bars while playing; this way though your melody remains the same, the dynamics of the song keeps on changing.
Here are some of the skills that you will need, if you want to know how to play Jazz Piano. With practice, you should be able to incorporate them in your playing!
Substituting chords to make them sound more interesting.
Play chords in a delayed manner.
Play chords on an up-beat instead of on the beats.
You already know about these now.
These are punchlines, short interesting lines used as fill-ins.
Classical to Jazz
If you are one of those players who have learnt and can play classical piano very well, here is what you can do to start improving on your jazz skills.
First thing to do is to start listening to as many good jazz players as possible. Listen to the works of Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk and so on. I am sure you will get impressed and you will also have an understanding of what good jazz music should sound like.
Next would be to pick up a book on Jazz theory/Piano!
The one by Mark Levine especially is good. Get some play-along jazz recordings, especially the ones by Jamie Aebersold. You will also need a copy of the Real Book; try to learn and memorize as many tunes as possible from that book.
Try playing the melodies with the chords in almost all the keys. Use only the root notes of the chords if you want to make it simple. Once you start getting comfortable with the various chords, try to practice chord substitutions, which you can learn from the jazz theory book.
Get Some Inspiration
You can learn a lot from the exercises in the jazz books but you should still listen to as many professional jazz musicians as possible.
Don’t miss opportunities to see live jazz performances as far as possible. You will always hear something new when you listen to the pros.
Try talking to jazz pianists wherever possible and get their suggestions.
Try to read about famous jazz pianists as well, they will provide an excellent source of inspiration and will encourage you to put in more effort, which is a must if you want to become a better jazz player.
Video showing how to play Jazz Piano
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