I don’t usually feature jazz, rock or pop piano music here on this blog, but occasionally it’s fun to ring the changes. Acclaimed jazz pianist and educator Tim Richards has recently released five excellent tutorial videos to accompany his successful books Exploring Jazz Piano (Volume 1), published by Schott Music. These informative and engaging clips cover a range of jazz improvisation techniques, from chords, sequences and scale patterns to vertical and horizontal improvisation.
Exploring Jazz Piano, Tim’s popular two-volume method, has helped to demystify jazz for many pianists. The new videos are a great supporting resource, bringing the book to life with practical advice and demonstrations direct from the author.
I’ve dipped into this book as part of a project I’ve undertaken this year, and it certainly shed light on aspects of improvisation and chord sequences for me (I know little about jazz or blues). For the classical pianist, jazz can appear an enigma, particularly improvisation. Instrumental teachers are often expected to provide knowledge and instruction on all styles of music, so with this in mind, volumes such as these accompanied by YouTube tutorials can be immensely valuable.
The following video links to a playlist of all five tutorials. I hope you find them useful and of interest. Tim has also published a volume entitled, Improvising Blues Piano, which has a similar series of related videos:
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.