What is the course about?
Prepare to play basic standards that involve harmonic/melodic/rhythmic issues, i.e. standards that are generally 12 / 16 bars long (including 12 bar blues) and which involve regular II V I (cycle of 5ths) progressions. You will study fundamentals of jazz style and piano voicing.
What will we cover?
Each lesson includes preparatory work, practising to backing which uses common harmonic progressions, and rehearsing chords and scales. We study and play a chosen standard tune every 3 weeks or so. Approaches to improvisation over standard tunes. Reading sample solos. Study how to create basslines. Study tunes will include "Watermelon man", "Autumn leaves" and "Song for my father".
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Demonstrate an understanding of how to practise
- Play jazz voicings and appropriate rhythms
- Memorise standard tunes
- Understand concepts of building intros, accompanying, following a lead sheet, using harmonic understanding to improve your delivery of a song.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You should have good piano playing and reading skills, absolute minimum Grade 5, and be fluent in all major and relative minor scales.We hope you have an interest in jazz piano and experience of listening to jazz recordings. Experience of studying harmony will be of advantage. The Pop piano courses are the ideal preparation for this course. You will need to be able to play at least triads and their inversions at the piano.
You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be at a digital piano, the class will play together and there will be tutorial input with appropriate individual help / advice and practising to rhythm section backing tapes. Lead sheets will be provided, but there will also be examples to write and/or copy, and class hand-outs on some topics.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring manuscript paper, pencil, eraser and a machine to record class if you wish.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You can progress to Jazz piano 2.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details