How to Prepare for Auditions

With performance examinations coming up in many music schools across the country, I thought I’d address a question I’ve often heard, which is: How do I prepare for my performance jury? Whether you have an audition or a jury coming up for school, we’ll be discussing some best kept secrets for how to prepare! Know […]

How To Play Block Chords Like Bill Evans

In this blog we are going to examine how to play block chords, ala Bill Evans. Block chord soloing is when you harmonize a melody where all 4 or 5 voices are in rhythmic unison. The two most common forms of block chord soloing that we are going to examine are “locked-hands/double lead” and “drop […]


We’ve all been there. You get to the session, the cats are all on stage playing, and you just want to get up there and hang with the best of them. It’s finally your turn, and the call is… “Lover, Come Back to Me.” You’re thinking, Is that even a real tune?! I’ve never heard […]

How to Arrange “Here’s That Rainy Day” Like Bill Evans

Last time we looked at some orchestration techniques and the main challenges involved in playing solo piano. If you haven’t checked that out yet, click here to read that first. Today we are going to tie it all together by looking in-depth at a solo piano arrangement of Bill Evans on “Here’s That Rainy Day”. […]

5 Essential Jazz Pianists and What You Can Learn From Them

Oscar Peterson Oscar Peterson, the “Maharaja of the keyboard,” was one of the pioneers of jazz piano who innovated a style unique to him. He was a virtuoso, able to execute 16th note bop lines flawlessly while maintaining impeccable time. His phrasing was central to his style; he possessed a light touch that allowed him […]

Active Listening – Written By Fred Hersch

I have taught jazz piano and composition for many years at music schools including New England Conservatory, The New School, The Manhattan School and have given workshops, master classes and done residencies at schools around the world; I am been lucky to have taught a number of prominent young pianists. And one thing keeps showing […]

Jazz Piano Voicings – Why Not Just Two Notes?

By Sam Griffith A lot of times in jazz we need to remove ourselves and look at the bigger artistic picture of what is happening when we are playing a jazz song. The deeper we get into studying harmony, rhythm, form, memorizing standards, etc.., the easier it is for us to lose track of the […]

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