Jazz piano is a difficult instrument to learn, but it’s worth the effort. The first step in learning this is understanding how to read music and knowing some of the chords that are used on this type of instrument. Once you have mastered reading music and know what chords are used, you will need to download an app for your phone or tablet so that you can listen to jazz tunes as you learn new songs on your keyboard. This article offers tips on how to get started playing jazz like a professional!
Get a piano
One of the first things that you need to do to start playing jazz piano like a professional is to get a piano that you can use to play tunes on. You could just buy a keyboard and then hook it up to your computer or tablet, but this is not as good as having an actual piano that you can sit down at and practice for hours at a time if you want. If possible, try out several different brands of pianos before making the choice about which one will be best for you.
If your budget is low, check out garage sales and thrift stores to see if they have any used pianos that are in good condition for sale at reasonable prices. You may even be able to trade in some of the stuff that you no longer need or want around the house so that you can get a free piano!
Familiarize yourself with the basics of music theory
As soon as you have an instrument that you can use, the next thing that you need to do is to learn the basics of music theory. There are several different ways that you can do this. For one, you could buy a book or download an ebook. There is also the option for you to take some lessons with someone who knows music theory.
You can also leverage technology and join a course online like Udemy for beginners. The music lovers behind FreeJazzLessons.com suggest that you take advantage of free courses online to equip yourself with the knowledge that you need to begin playing. Once you know the basics of how to read sheet music and understand what chords your favorite jazz songs use, as well as how to play them, you will be ready for the next step of learning how to improvise.
Learn a few chords and scales
Learning some basic jazz piano playing skills is important, but it’s just as important that you know what notes not to play! Learning these types of things can take time. Don’t expect yourself to have your first improvisation nailed in just a few hours. Even when you have been playing for years, it can still take time to learn how to improvise properly.
You will need to start by learning a few chords and scales before your first improvisation attempt so that you know what notes should not be played over the changes in the tune that you are trying to perform. The chord changes in a song are the chords that occur throughout the whole tune. For instance, if your favorite jazz tune is “All of Me,” there will be several different types of chords during this song to indicate the change from one section to another.
Learning how not to play these notes can make a big difference when you start playing around with improvising your melodies. This is where the music theory lessons come in. You will need to know what not to play so that you don’t get stuck trying a scale or chord for too long, which can sound awkward if it happens during an improvised solo.
Download apps for learning how to improvise
Now that you have learned some chords and scales, you will need to download an app for your phone or tablet so that you can listen to jazz tunes while learning new songs on your keyboard. There are many different apps available online through various music stores. Of course, if money is tight then there are always free options as well!
You could try out downloading a few different ones to see which one sounds the best for you. If your favorite jazz tunes are available in sheet music form, then this is a great way to learn them too. You could also try out apps that only have the chord changes of popular jazz songs with no melody or lyrics so that it’s easier for you to start playing around with improvising your music.
There are even apps that will allow you to create your very own playlists, where the app will automatically change the chords of each song according to how you have them set up to learn different types of chord progressions and improvise with ease. The more time that you spend practicing these skills, the better musician you will become.
Play with a metronome to improve timing
Finally, play with a metronome around 40 to 60 beats per minute until you are comfortable with your timing. This is another way of improving the skills that you need for improvising, which will come in handy when playing solo piano gigs at restaurants and bars! Keep practicing these different techniques each day so that before long, you can play jazz solos just like a professional.
Jazz is one of the most popular genres of music, but it’s also often considered to be one of the hardest styles for a pianist to learn how to play properly. Nevertheless, there are many benefits to playing the piano, including improved quality of life. Playing music is a great way for people with physical disabilities or chronic pain to find relief from their symptoms.
If your goal is simply self-expression, then there can be no wrong answer when choosing what instrument you want to play. But if you have ambitions beyond just making noise through your hands, the guide above will help point you in the direction of where piano lessons may prove to be beneficial. Good luck on your journey with playing jazz piano like a professional!