Becoming a jazz pianist is a journey that requires dedication and commitment. It takes approximately 12 months to learn simple songs and become a novice jazz pianist, but mastering more complex songs and techniques can take five years or more, depending on your musical background and level of commitment. To get started, you'll need to understand the essential “basic components” of jazz improvisation, such as scales and chords. Scales are the basic components of the melody and, in particular, the raw material of the right hand of the jazz pianist who improvises.
Beginner jazz pianists should know at least the major scales and one or two minor scales, in all 12 keys. Advanced players should know more than a dozen types of scales on all 12 keys. Once you have a good grasp of scales, you can practice numerous patterns that you can spontaneously combine when improvising. Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane was once observed practicing the C major scale for 11 straight hours! To become a proficient jazz pianist, you'll also need to learn the jazz standards, which are comprised of a compilation of famous melodies from shows (and other melodies) that have become “standards” of the jazz repertoire over decades.
Learning to improvise in jazz style requires a broader skill set than reading jazz arrangements. You'll need to make sure you're learning as efficiently as possible if you're older and want to learn
jazz piano. As soon as possible, you should also learn basic jazz chords, such as 9 and 13 chords. To practice outside of your established practice time, actively listen to jazz piano recordings.
When accompanying others in a jazz environment, your role as a jazz pianist is to provide in a very subtle way a solid harmonic and rhythmic background so that others can play alone. It's possible to learn jazz piano when you're older, you just have to make sure you understand how your brain works and make an effort to learn the style that works for your brain. So it's important to think about learning
jazz pianoas an exciting journey rather than a destination. Alternatively, you can also explore online jazz piano lessons via Skype from anywhere in the world with us.
Here's an example of a very simple jazz song called C Jam Blues, you can hear at first that the piano only plays 2 notes.