When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Tim Richards
  • Course Code W24JPMB05C
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

A hands-on course for piano players with prior experience of jazz who wish to develop their confidence at performing and improvising. Theory is combined with practice and everyone is encouraged to play every week. The course is based on the tutor’s textbook 'Exploring Jazz Piano' Vol. 1 (Schott Music, 2005) and lasts for three terms, of which this is the third. There may be places for pianists with previous jazz experience to join at this stage. At the end of this term you will perform, in trio with a professional bass player and a drummer.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Play the melody of several standard jazz tunes
  • Improvise in the right hand, with left-hand accompaniment
  • Accompany others by playing bass line and chords
  • Follow a chord chart
  • Be more confident playing with and in front of others

Class format and activities

The class is held in a keyboard room - each student has their own digital piano. Two acoustic pianos are also in the room for students to play together in pairs. Each term you will learn a selection of jazz standards in a variety of styles (swing, latin, blues, modal, funk, ballad, etc), study jazz harmony and chord voicing, and explore a range of improvisation techniques from 'Exploring Jazz Piano' Vol.2. The main emphasis is practical – you will take turns playing tunes with other class members and perform rhythmic, technical, and chordal exercises suggested by the tutor. Frequent listening to recordings on CD will increase your knowledge and appreciation of the repertoire and of important jazz pianists. Topics covered this term include:• Ninth chords (major, minor, dominant)• Rootless voicings• 6/9 chords and quartal harmony• Two-handed voicings• Pentatonic scale patterns• I - VI - II - V sequences and turnarounds• Tritone substitution• Block chords• Ear training (recognition of modes)

Entry requirements

Previous jazz experience, preferably completion of Jazz Piano 3A and 3B• Knowledge of major scales in all keys• Familiarity with basic chord symbols (triads and sevenths)• Time to practise between classes and commitment to attend every week• Music reading ability• Online enrolment on term 3 of this course, starting in April, is only available to those enrolled in the previous term. If you are a current student you will have received an email alerting you to this. If you are new to this course please select 'Ask a Question' and the curriculum department will contact you.

What you need to know before you enrol

Homework will be given very week and students must be prepared to spend time doing the given assignments and preparing tunes for performance in class.

What you need

Recommended text: Exploring Jazz Piano Vol. 1, by Tim Richards (book with CD, Schott Music 2005), available from all good music shops, from the tutor, or in Morley Library. Notebook and/or manuscript paper, pen/pencil. MP3 or other recording device (optional)

What you can do next

Jazz Piano 4 (3 terms). Jazz Workshop 1 Latin Piano & Percussion, Latin Workshop, Swing Band 1