The Benefits of Jazz Piano: Exploring the Instrument's Role in Jazz Music

The piano is a unique instrument among most musical instruments, as it is capable of playing both melody and harmony simultaneously. This makes it an ideal member of the ensemble, and one of the main reasons why jazz composers and orchestra conductors have long trusted it.

Jazz piano

is a collective term for the techniques that pianists use when playing jazz. It has been an integral part of the jazz language since its inception, both alone and together.

Its function is multifaceted due to its combined melodic and harmonic capabilities. For this reason, 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. The jazz piano is the use of the piano and other keyboard instruments in jazz music. Because both individual notes and chords can be played on the piano, it's considered the gold standard for any jazz musician to learn. In other words, saxophonists, percussionists and bass players can find themselves behind a keyboard while learning the ins and outs of jazz or laying the foundation for a new melody they are composing.

Beginner jazz musicians of all flavors also use the piano to learn the basics. After the dance era ended, Monk set the pace of modernism, approaching the piano almost like a guitar, playing and strumming the keyboard and leaving gaps in space, while making astute references to previous piano styles. It's important to consider a variety of factors when deciding which jazz piano programs to apply to. During the swing era, jazz was generally performed by big bands that had a complete rhythm section comprised of drums, bass, guitar and piano. The jazz piano technique uses all the chords found in Western artistic music, such as major, minor, augmented, diminished, seventh, decreased seventh, sixth, seventh minor, seventh minor, seventh major, fourth suspended, etc. In the early years of jazz (around the 1900s), until the Swing Era (around 194), the piano was still firmly embedded in the band's rhythm section.

Mastering the different chord voices, from the simplest to the most advanced, is the first cornerstone of learning jazz piano. Along with guitar, vibraphone and other keyboard instruments, the piano is one of those instruments in a jazz combo that can play both individual notes and chords instead of just individual notes like saxophone or trumpet do. There are a variety of professional careers you can pursue after earning a jazz piano degree at Frost School of Music. While it is possible to learn and practice jazz piano in private classes or through individual learning, a university degree offers an exceptionally broad field of study.