In this course we will be looking at the basics of Jazz Piano. Focusing on Harmony and how you can adapt your chord shapes to improve your jazz piano playing.
Who this course is for
This course is suited to beginners at piano. And there’s also a lot for more advanced students who may have learned classical or pop piano (for example) and want to learn how to play those “nice jazzy chords” they’ve heard!
It is suited to adults and any children from the age of roughly 8 or 9 upwards.
You don’t need to be able to read music, but you will need a piano or keyboard to play on. And if you don’t know the note names on the keyboard, the first lesson will have a handy reference you can print out to put on your keyboard.
What you’ll learn by the end of the course
You’ll start off with the real basics – what a chord is, and how to play major and minor chords. Your teacher, Andy, will take you step by step through:
- finding out what 7th chords are
- how to play 4 types of 7th chord
- what “guide tones” are and how to find them
- “voice leading” and how to make moving between chords easier, and sounding better
- “cadences” (or endings) and how to play them using voice leading
If you’re a beginner (or quite young), you can just follow Andy and learn the chords he shows you. But if you want to take your jazz piano learning further, you can follow his methods for how to find all the above in all of the keys.
So this might well be a course you come back to, when you want to use his tips to expand the range of chords you know – and thus the number of pieces you’ll be able to play.
What else is in the course?
Alongside the videos, there are lots of other activities to help make your learning journey more effective, and fun!
- Quizzes to test your knowledge
- Backing tracks to play along with as you learn
- Assignments that encourage you to listen to different styles of jazz music, and do some research
- Tips on improvising, and how to use what you’ve learned to create your own music
About your teacher
Andy Bilham is a hugely experienced musician, and co-leads Cornwall Music Service Trust and MusicEL’s jazz programme. Alongside work in theatre and the music industry, he also has a wealth of teaching experience.
He has been percussion and keyboard instrumental lead for music services in Hertfordshire and Cornwall. He also runs Cornwall’s Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO), and samba groups for people of all ages.
Many alumni of CYJO have gone on to study at music college and become professional musicians. To give you a glimpse of where some have ended up under Andy Bilham’s guidance, check out this video of ex-CYJO player Rory Simmons, playing trumpet alongside Jamie Cullum at the festival Jazz a Vienne: