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FutureLearn

Learn Jazz Piano: Improvising on Jazz Standards

Goldsmiths University of London via FutureLearn

Overview

Start improvising jazz piano

Good improvisation draws on a range of tools and techniques to respond to existing beats and music whilst adding your own unique interpretations.

Understand and apply the basics of jazz improvisation

This course will teach you the art of improvisation in modern jazz, and give you the skills to improvise over a minor blues sequence and through rhythm changes.

You’ll respond to different pieces of music, and build your confidence and fluency when improvising.

Explore blues and jazz theory

You’ll delve into both the practical and theoretical side of music as you study tracks by John Coltrane.

You’ll also discover modal jazz and its importance, with a specific focus on the songs ‘The Clock of Keys’ and its application in ‘All the Things You Are’.

Discover jazz standards

The final sections of the course will introduce you to, two jazz standards and develop your understanding of the inner workings of improvisation to a higher level.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a good understanding of how to improvise on jazz standards, through a mix of theory and practice. You’ll get to grips with improvising over rhythm changes and playing left hand voicings in three different ways.

This course requires a basic ability to read music, play the piano, and familiarity with scales. It 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.

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

Syllabus

  • Rhythm Changes
    • Introduction
    • Jam Sessions
    • I Got Rhythm
    • The rhythm changes standard "Oleo".
    • Exercise, Learning Outcomes, Viewing and Listening for Week 1.
  • Minor Blues
    • "Moanin'"
    • Skeletal Minor Blues
    • "Equinox"
    • Exercises, Learning Outcomes, Viewing and Listening, Test
  • Modal Jazz
    • Fourth-based voicings
    • Modal jazz and "So What"
    • "Impressions"
    • Exercises, Learning Outcomes, Viewing and Listening
  • More on Improvisation and Standard Blues Sequences
    • What is improvisation?
    • The Standard Blues Sequence
    • Examples of using the Standard Blues Sequence
    • Exercises, Learning Outcomes, Viewing and Listening, Test, Discussion
  • The Clock of Keys and the jazz standard "All The Things You Are"
    • The Clock of Keys
    • The jazz standard "All The Things You Are"
    • Improvising on "All The Things You Are"
    • Exercise, Learning Outcomes, Viewing and Listening
  • Playing Left Hand Voicings and the jazz standard "Autumn Leaves"
    • Playing left hand voicings
    • More scale theory
    • The jazz standard "Autumn Leaves"
    • Exercises, Learning Outcomes, Viewing and Listening, Assessments, Discussion and Recordings List

Taught by

Ray d'Inverno

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Reviews

5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 9 ratings

Start your review of Learn Jazz Piano: Improvising on Jazz Standards

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very interesting course, packed with theory, have completed the weekly sections but will need many more weeks of practise to become proficient. A lot of intensive work required. Need quite a high level of playing to be able to get the best out of the course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Very challenging course, you'll practice a lot there and learn associated theory. If you keep with the pace, you will certainly and deeply improve your pianistic and improvisation skills. And there 2 more courses to go. No other mooc offers this. Good luck

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