Jazz Piano Lessons – Jazz Piano Chords and Improvisation
I’ve heard the following many, many times over the years from students. Sometimes it’s expressed with different words, but the core feeling is always the same:
“Yeah… traditional piano lessons are pretty boring… usually my teacher would have me playing beginner’s or intermediate songs, and doing scales for most of our practice time. It feels like a lot of that was a waste now, especially since I can’t just sit down and play without needing sheet music.
Your lessons have inspired me to take up piano again, and for that I’m grateful. I’m really loving what I play. I don’t feel forced at all to play either, which is how I always felt with piano.
Thank you for making these lessons!”
Newly Released Lesson Packs
A lot of people avoid lessons and getting better, even though they love playing piano. For many people, learning piano is also a constant uphill battle, where they feel like they have to put in hundreds of hours playing scales and exercises *before* learning to play what they enjoy.
Even after lessons, how many piano players do you know who are great sight-readers, but can’t improvise at all? Classically-trained players can usually play what’s on sheet music, but there can be a distinct lack of feeling in their playing, and learning that way can cause their playing to sound very mechanical if they aren’t careful, like some of my long-time friends and students.
I know others who, after 10+ years of playing, cannot freely express themselves on piano. They rely on sheet music to play almost everything, and many of them have learned to hate playing piano because they were forced to play using the traditional classical approach to teaching. They told me again and again how they spent their time playing exercises and beginners songs that were repetitive and took the excitement they used to have out of their playing.
Differences in Pianobreaks Lessons
In my lessons, the goal is to make piano playing and improvisation as easy, straightforward, and enjoyable as possible for any beginner looking to play. Period.
That’s really the overarching theme of all of these lessons–Simplify piano down to the essentials of how to express oneself as quickly as possible (while sounding good!), and while keeping every ounce of passion and excitement for playing alive and kicking.
Some of the main differences in these lessons–I teach chord progressions and soloing scales I think are beautiful, rather than using beginner’s songs and exercises that other lessons may focus on. I also don’t hesitate to teach ‘advanced’ techniques if they sound great, much, much earlier, and I am keen on teaching two handed chords as quickly as possible instead of having them being taught in triads, or waiting until later to play cool chords that you might enjoy.
I also like to incorporate non-piano subjects by using principles that apply to both piano and life. I’ve found that the more I can connect piano and real-life, the more it will be comfortable for whomever I’m teaching.
Jazz seems to carry a mysteriousness about it that I want to help dispel. When I was learning piano I took on the belief that I wasn’t good enough to learn jazz. I honestly learned this from the learning environment I was in, and the general attitudes of the people teaching and playing jazz.
I always felt there was an exclusivity and disdain for other types of music within it, like an aura of “jazz is the ‘best’” or a sort of artificial “Coolness” that looking back on it, I think is so stupid. Unfortunately, because of these beliefs I took on, I kept myself from playing it for many years.
I never want someone to feel the way I did about not being able to express myself because of conforming to other peoples’ opinions of ‘what sounds good.’ I think this site and making jazz more accessible for other people is one of the biggest gifts I can give to others, removing it from that tradition of exclusivity. My goal is to stop that from happening to others with these lessons, and to give a breath of fresh air through understanding that allows you to express yourself on piano freely, taking your music in any direction you care to bring it.
With that being said… for some of the more practical aspects of the lessons… Pianobreaks lessons combine elements of jazz and improvisation occasionally with contemporary hip hop rhythms. This video is a prime example of how I teach:
This video leans more on the “jazz hip hop” side of things. Another style you’ll learn is soloing on piano and improvising your own music with ease, like in this video:
All in all there are 20 Free Piano Lessons, and a Jazz Piano PDF Guide that you can learn from on this site. The lessons and the PDF Guide have a lot of great information, and both will help you start learning piano immediately.
If you’d like to watch lessons now, click the ‘Free Piano Lessons’ tab at the top of the page or download my ‘Jazz Piano PDF.’ There are also purchasable lesson packs available if you want to learn more after going through the Free Lessons.
To summarize, in Pianobreaks Lessons you’ll learn:
Beautiful piano chords and soloing techniques.
Self-expression and piano improvisation relying on your own intuition.
Piano fundamentals through gorgeous chord progressions rather than beginners songs.
(Re)Learning to see the piano as a place of complete freedom and relaxation, NEVER as something you are forced to do.
Learning and playing chords by feeling rather than sheet music
Piano principles for improvising freely on your own and/or jamming with other people