How To Command Your Left Hand Like Bill Evans

When playing in the trio setting, a jazz pianist’s left hand is often an afterthought, a purely supportive entity that acts out of reflex rather than thought. Too commonly, pianists spend hours at a time improving their right-handed lines without paying attention to their left-handed choices. There is a trend of simply falling back on […]

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

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 […]

How To Approach Incorporating Transcription Into Your Playing

-Guest Blog Post Written By Joey Lieber for Jazz Piano School. Joey Lieber is a pianist and piano / music teacher based in Westchester, NY. To follow Joey or for any questions, visit http://www.joeylieber.com A common question I’ve gotten from students is: “What is the best way to learn new vocabulary?” After all as musicians […]

Educational Perspectives of a Jazz Pianist by David Hazeltine

By David Hazeltine I was 11 years old when after 3 years of basic music instruction, I began my weekly lessons with Will Green, a very accomplished blind, Jazz pianist and organist. His style of teaching was completely hands on, meaning he taught me exactly how to play tunes with precise voicings and bass notes, […]

V7 Tritone (LOTW #31)

Enjoy this lick using the tritone of our V7 chord in the key of C. We are replacing the Db7 for the G7 and using our Db7 lydian scale, meaning #11, to solo over the tritone. This creates a very unique sound over a 2-5-1. I then added the lydian scale over the Cmaj7 as […]

5 Improvisation Upgrades For Any Level

I had a student that was a puzzle to me. It barely seemed like he cared, was always late, and never practiced. But…when I asked him to improvise over tunes, he would tear it up! I just couldn’t understand. I hadn’t even taught him much yet he was playing like a ten year vet. So […]

Fix: How To Never Rush Or Drag Your Solo Lines Again

I recently played a senior recital for a student at Sac State University. While hanging out before the performance, one of my friends who is also a student comes up and says “How the heck do you get you your lines to not drag?” When I’m asked this I usually give them a blank stare […]

Take Dead Aim With Your Solo Lines

Why do some solos sound crappy? What makes a solo not sound good? Obviously there a lot of reason. But the main reason people’s improv doesn’t sound good is because their melodic content is dead on with the harmonies. Let me explain. Chord Tones with your soloing Every chord you are playing over is made […]

5 Improvisation Tips That Will Make You Better Immediately

Have you ever opened a jazz book and read through some things and then said to yourself, “Am I really going to be able to use this at all?” I’ve probably done this thousands of time. Searching the internet and musical book stores for those nuggets that will make your playing sound better without even […]

Improvisation For Beginners – How The Heck Do I Start Improvising?

Improvisation is one of the best parts of jazz. It allows people to express themselves how ever they like. You learn a lot about yourself when you are asked to spontaneously make music. You can create whatever you like. Lot’s of musicians will tell you it’s like therapy. You’re girlfriend or boyfriend break up with […]