When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Tim Richards
  • Course Code W24JPMB06C
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

Study advanced jazz harmony and improvisation to professional level, following the book Exploring Jazz Piano vol. 2. Topics covered over the year include quartal harmony, altered and diminished chords/scales, pentatonics, rootless voicings, polychords, accompaniment, bebop and modal jazz. At the end of this term you may perform, in trio with a professional bass player and drummer.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Play a varied repertoire of jazz standard tunes
  • Draw on a variety of improvisation techniques
  • Accompany others by playing bass lines and chords
  • Interpret lead sheets convincingly
  • 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. Main emphasis is practical – you will play 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:• Altered chords and scales• Polychords• Tritone substitution• Rhythm changes• Two-handed rootless voicings• II - V - I with altered dominants• Minor II - V - I and melodic minor harmony• Double time playing• Ear training (advanced chord recognition)

Entry requirements

Several years of jazz piano study, completion of Jazz Piano 4A and 4B. Working knowledge of basic jazz theory, chord symbols, modes, etc. Well developed improvisation and coordination skills. Time to practise between classes and commitment to attend every week. Music reading ability. Online enrolment on term 3 of this course, 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 every week and students must be prepared to spend time doing the given assignments and preparing tunes for performance in class.

What you need

During the first session, you will receive guidance from your tutor about how to access the online course material, such as recordings and sheet music. Notebook or manuscript book/paper, with pen/pencil. 'Exploring Jazz Piano Vol 2' book (Schott Music, 2005) - available from any good music shop, from the tutor, or in Morley library. MP3 recorder or other recording device (optional).

What you can do next

Jazz Workshop 2, Morley Big Band, Swing Band, Jazz Piano 5