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Learn Jazz Piano: Final Topics and Two Concerts

Explore advanced blues sequences, ballads, special devices and composing to incorporate Latin and funk into your jazz piano style.

2,110 enrolled on this course

Gold keyboard jazz piano
  • Duration

    7 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours

Combine everything you’ve learned with the final course in the Jazz Piano series

On this course you’ll expand your jazz piano repertoire and put your improvisation skills to the test in this final course in the Learn Jazz Piano ExpertTrack. On this final course in the series, you’ll combine everything you’ve learned up to now, and add some cool new skills to your musical reserves.

Learn ballads, Latin jazz and draw on other musical influences

You’ll be introduced to four advanced blues sequences and the conventions involved in playing ballads. You’ll also look at Latin jazz, Afro-Cuban influences, Brazilian influences and bossa novas.

You’ll then dive into other jazz influences - often referred to as crossovers - such as jazz funk, third steam, indo-jazz, free jazz and improvised music.

Grow your confidence in jazz comping and improvisation

You’ll then learn about a fourth route to improvisation, followed by ways to support the soloist, otherwise known as ‘comping’. There’s an opportunity to apply those new devices to ‘Beautiful Love’ and ‘My Romance’.

Put it all together

By the end of this course, you’ll have developed an arsenal of techniques, influences, and your own personal responses to each exercise to help you improvise and develop your musical style. You’ll explore pianistic and non-pianistic influences, learn some tips on the practicalities of how to practice, how to learn standards by heart, transcribe, compose, and even form a group and get gigs.

The course concludes with two programmed concerts, a solo concert and a concert from My Piano Trio to inspire you to take your music to the next level.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Hi, welcome to Part IV of my course Learn Jazz Piano. This part’s called ”Final Topics & 2 Programmed Concerts”. In this part we going to meet another 20 tunes, bringing our total to something like 50, most of which are jam session vehicles. In the two final concerts, I’m going to also play for you and give the music for an additional 20 (25) tunes bringing the total to 75. The topics that we’re going to cover - we’re going to have a look at 4 advanced blues sequences and the conventions involved in playing ballads - slow tunes.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds Then we’re going to have a look at Latin jazz, on the one hand Afro-Cuban influences, and on the other hand Brazilian influences and bossa noves.Then the related area of 8/8 or even quavers. Then we’re going to have a look at other influences that affected jazz - “crossover” as it’s sometimes called - so Jazz Funk, Third Steam, Indo-Jazz, Free Jazz and Improvised Music. Then we’re going to look at our fourth route to improvisation, which I call “special devices”. That’s going to be followed by how you support the soloist, how you play behind the soloist - or “comping” as it’s called.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds Then the final teaching sesion is called “Putting It Together” and we look at a whole welter of topics that are related to being a jazz musician. In particular - pianistic influences, non-pianistic influences, musical resources generally, playalongs in particular, how to practice, how to learn standards by heart, transcription, composition, group formation, recording, gig getting - a welter of topics. Then we move to the final 2 concerts. First of all, we have a look at issues involved in putting together a concert. That’s followed by a 40 minute solo concert in which I play 10 tunes - 3 standards - oh 7 standards and 3 originals.

Skip to 2 minutes and 6 seconds Then a 90 minute concert by my trio of Ben Taylor on bass and Lee Miller on drums, when we play 16 tunes - 6 originals and 10 standards. Then there are some optional sections in this part of the course - one on a quick tour of this recording studio, another one on my keyboard setup, another one tracking some of my personal involvement in jazz and a very final one where we have a brief meet up with Ben and Lee. So we’ll finish this with a few excerpts from sections later on in the course.

What topics will you cover?

  • Additional blues sequences and ballads in jazz including the jazz standards “Body And Soul”, “Round Midnight” and “Blue In Green”
  • Claves, Afro-Cuban tunes, Bossa Novas, Montunos, even quavers and the jazz standards “A Night In Tunisia”, “Recordame”, “Blue Bossa” and “The Girl From Ipanema”
  • Intoduction to jazz funk and the jazz standards “Little Sunflower” and “Cantaloupe Island” and the other jazz influences third stream, free jazz and improvised music
  • Special devices and comping and the jazz standards “Beautiful Love” and “My Romance”
  • Putting it all together
  • 40 minute solo piano concert by Ray d’Inverno
  • 90 minute concert from the “Ray d’Inverno Trio”

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop your understanding of blues sequences and playing ballads
  • Explore the jazz influences of Latin jazz, jazz funk, third stream, free jazz and improvised music
  • Investigate the fourth route to improvising of special devices
  • Apply your knowledge of chords to comping behind soloists
  • Investigate the topics of pianistic and non-pianistic influences, musical resources including playalongs, how to learn standards by heart, how to practice, transcription, composition, group formation, recording and gig getting
  • Perform many of the 75 tunes we meet in the course
  • Reflect on your experiences of listening to the final solo and piano trio concerts and describe how you might integrate some of the ideas you identify into your own playing

Who is the course for?

This course requires a basic ability to read music, play the piano and familiarity with scales. They may be of particular interest to university and college piano students studying music or jazz piano. You’ll need access to a piano or keyboard, and have a computer, tablet or smartphone set up next to it.

Who will you learn with?

I have been a jazz pianist and educator for over fifty years and have developed this online course on learning jazz piano.

Who developed the course?

Goldsmiths, University of London

Part of the University of London, Goldsmiths has a world-class reputation. Study creative and inspiring courses and learn from leading minds in the arts, humanities, social sciences and computing.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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You can use the hashtag #Jazzpiano to talk about this course on social media.