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Jazz Techniques

Learn the fundamental techniques which serve as building blocks for playing jazz.


Nov 08, 2021

Learn to play jazz on your own - step by step guide

We usually think about jazz as a formal study at a university such as Berkelee or Oberlin. Or perhaps, as more of an understudy or apprenticeship, where an upcoming student learns directly from a master. And don’t get me wrong, having a great teacher will really help in your study, but it’s not strictly required for you to become an accomplished player. In this article I’ll break down an approach to learning jazz on your own, at home, without a teacher.

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Apr 05, 2021

Every chord symbol found on lead sheets

In this article you'll find every chord symbol you are likely to encounter while playing from lead sheets or The Real Book. Everything from chord symbols with triangles, circles or chord extension are explained here in detail.

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Sep 29, 2020

3-Note Jazz Piano Voicings

3-note jazz voicings are the simplest way to play 7th chords. They are great for beginners, but don't underestimate them -- the professionals use them all the time too.

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Aug 09, 2020

How to use Sharp-11 Chords

A sharp-11 chord can be little intimidating of a concept, especially if you are new to playing jazz, but it's actually one of the most common ways to color major and dominant chords. In this article, we’ll explore various ways to use this chord in your playing.

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Jul 23, 2020

What Is An Avoid Note In Jazz?

An avoid note is any note in the scale that is a half-step away from a note in the chord being played. As an example, playing an F on top of a C major chord sounds dissonant, since it's a half step above E, the third of the chord.

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Jul 08, 2020

Is Ragtime Hard to Play?

One of the most common questions I hear from beginning piano students is "can I learn to play Maple Leaf Rag?" Or, "Is The Entertainer approachable as a beginner?"

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Jun 13, 2020

Jazz Chord Progressions — The Ultimate Guide

These 7 chord progressions make up 90% of jazz standards and are a critical skill in learning to play jazz piano.

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Apr 17, 2020

How Sus Chords Work and When To Play Them

Sus-chords were first used in classical music to delay the resolution of a cadence. Jazz musicians use sus-voicings in many different scenarios.

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Mar 28, 2020

How to Voice Dominant 7th Chords

Dominant 7th chords are the most exciting and colorful chords in jazz. The fundamental voicings are used in all jazz standards, and altered extensions provide endless varieties to get creative.

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Mar 28, 2020

How to Voice Major 7th Chords

Major chords can be voiced using a number of techniques, including shells, rootless voicings, 6/9 voicings, extended voicings with the sharp-11th, fourth voicings, and more.

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