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Learn Jazz Piano: Begin with the Blues

Goldsmiths University of London via FutureLearn


Learn to play jazz piano, from the blues to a jazz standard.

On this course, you’ll get started with jazz piano by learning the basic concepts and prepare to play modern jazz piano in a group.

You’ll delve into the four routes to improvisation and deepen your understanding of the nature of jazz and blues to build the knowledge, skills, and confidence to improvise on piano.

Explore the blues on jazz piano

Improvisation may look off the cuff, but it requires a lot of foundational knowledge. To learn jazz improvisation, you’ll need to understand its influences and different styles first.

This course will get you well acquainted with blues, and you’ll learn why it’s so integral to jazz piano.

You’ll learn and compare the three principal chords and scales of jazz and classical music, and play open sevenths in root position. You’ll get acquainted with the F blues and voiced sevenths, and play along using the F American blues scale, seventh scales, and full blues scale.

Grow your knowledge of jazz improvisation theory, including the four ways to improvise

Using the diminished chord and scale will take your improvisation to the next level. You’ll learn about motivic, scalic chordal and special improvisation, along with some more fundamentals: the major seventh, the lonian scale and basic voicings, before playing and improvising.

Further exercises will include playing along with jazz standards like the Blue Room and working to improvise on the themes using your new knowledge and skill set.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a foundational understanding of the blues, and how it relates to jazz improvisation – which is crucial to properly learn jazz piano.

This course is for any keen pianist, but will be particularly useful for university or college piano students. The course requires a basic ability to read music and play the piano, and expects a familiarity with scales.

You’ll need to have access to a piano or keyboard and a computer, tablet or smart phone set up next to it.

Taught by

Ray d'Inverno



5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

Start your review of Learn Jazz Piano: Begin with the Blues

  • Profile image for Katerina Chekurova
    Katerina Chekurova

    Katerina Chekurova is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I've always wanted to learn jazz piano techniques but thought they were too complicated. There are so many scales and some teachers go too deep into music theory which for me is a major turn-off. Finally, I found a perfect course and an amazing instructor. I'm on week 2 at the moment and so far I'm a big fan of how the information is presented. I was able to play simple jazz impro using the American Blues scale after the first week!

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