The Role of Melody in Jazz Piano: An Expert's Perspective

Jazz piano is a collective term for the techniques that pianists use when playing jazz. It is an important tool for jazz musicians and composers to teach and learn jazz theory and set arrangements, regardless of their main instrument. By extension, the phrase “jazz piano” can refer to similar techniques on any keyboard instrument. Composing a melody is a lot like improvising, but it is not spontaneous.

The melody is based on the chord and the key in which it is found. These are the most used and important rules or suggestions for building a melody. Along with the guitar, vibraphone, and other keyboard instruments, the piano is one of the instruments in a jazz combo that can play both individual notes and chords instead of just individual notes, as the saxophone or trumpet do. The jazz piano soloist must provide the bass notes, harmony,


and rhythm, essentially the work of three or four instruments.

The jazz piano technique uses all the chords found in Western artistic music, such as major, minor, augmented, decreased, seventh, seventh decreased, sixth, seventh minor, seventh minor, seventh major, fourth suspended, etc. This exercise prepares beginning piano students to play jazz standards by mastering 2-5-1 progressions using chord shells on all 12 keys. Mastering the different chord voices, from the simplest to the most advanced, is the first cornerstone of learning jazz piano. Now, if you want to deepen the analysis and understanding of jazz chord progressions, check out the Jazz Standards Analysis course. In conclusion, melody plays an essential role in jazz piano. It is based on chords and keys and requires mastering different chord voices from simple to advanced.

It also requires mastering 2-5-1 progressions using chord shells on all 12 keys. Jazz Standards Analysis course can help deepen understanding of jazz chord progressions.