Understanding Jazz Theory (Part 1): 3 Most Important Jazz Theory Concepts For A Beginner

Bijan TaghaviBeginner, TheoryLeave a Comment

 4 Chords Families While these are not the only chord families, these 4 are the main families that make up the diatonic series: Major 7th Symbols: M7, Ma7, Maj7, Δ7 Dominant 7th Symbols: 7, dom7 Minor 7th Symbols: m7, mi7, min7, -7 Minor 7 Flat 5 or Half-Diminished  Symbols: m7(b5), min7(b5), ø7 Next, it is important to understand their chord … Read More

Problem/Solution: What & How To Practice

Bijan TaghaviBeginner2 Comments

Last time we examined why we practice – which is to slow down the process, extract your internal information, and achieve a high level of control in order to best equip yourself to spontaneously create. Today I am going to offer solutions to the common questions: what and how should I practice? HOW TO PRACTICE Garry Dial once told me … Read More

SAQ: Why Do We Practice?

Bijan TaghaviImprovisation2 Comments

A common FAQ is “What Should I Practice?”. But a more important SAQ (“should ask question”) is “Why Do I Practice?”. Many have defined practicing as “the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’”. While that … Read More

Early McCoy vs Late McCoy: How McCoy Tyner’s Playing Style Evolved Over Time

Bijan TaghaviImprovisation4 Comments

McCoy Tyner is unquestionably one of the most influential jazz pianists to date, with one of the most clearly recognizable sounds. But McCoy’s sound changed drastically – arguably more than any other jazz musician – as he evolved from a mainstream hard-bop player to an innovative post-bop player who defined a new approach to improvisation using pentatonics and quartal harmony. … Read More

Improving Solo Piano: Challenges & Orchestration Techniques

Bijan TaghaviTheoryLeave a Comment

While playing solo piano can be incredibly liberating, it can also be an incredibly daunting task with all of the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic onus on you. Some of the main challenges of solo piano include: Establishing a 3rd Layer of Accompaniment that’s independent of the melody and the bass with only 2 hands. This is usually accomplished by the … Read More

5 Tips For Non-Classically Trained Jazz Pianists About Piano Technique; Lessons From Robert Estrin

Bijan TaghaviIntermediate, Solo Piano6 Comments

A topic I get asked about frequently from non-classically trained jazz pianists is about piano technique. A little personal background – before I was a jazz pianist, I was a classical pianist, having performed concertos with symphony orchestras, in various chamber settings, and having performed numerous solo classical piano recitals. I had the tremendous privilege of studying the monumental concertos … Read More

Polychords: An Introduction To Polychords – Superimposing Upper-Structure Triads To Achieve Richer Harmony

Bijan TaghaviTheory8 Comments

Polychords are a simple yet effective way to enrich your harmonic vocabulary and access extended or altered tones. In a basic sense, a polychord is superimposing a chord over a chord. In notation, a polychord may be used to: simplify the construction of chords clarify applications when improvising and composing imply a specific voicing As a sight-reader, you should be … Read More