Block Chord Piano Lesson

This is a video clip from Dick Hyman’s excellent series of jazz piano instructions. He outlines several useful patterns for playing block chord across the diatonic scale including mixing in a ‘drop 2’ voicing used widely by Barry Harris, Bill Evans and OP. Drop 2 on piano is a port of an orchestration technique for […]

Making Friends with the Whole Tone Scale

This is an interesting scale that can be both used and abused in jazz and can create an ethereal ‘dreamy/spacey’ quality in soundtrack compositions. Key properties: Six note and Symmetrical (equal degrees between notes) Only two them cover all of the keys. (WT0 and WT1) Impossible to construct either a major or a minor triad […]

4-note 3/7 rootless voicings

Voicing will go a long way toward defining your sound as a pianist much like a sax player gets known for a certain tone or a vocalist has a certain quality. The 3/7 4-note rootless voicings are an essential mainstay and go a long way in achieving a framework for basic improvisation and other more […]

Chords 101

People often ask me how to begin to learn to play jazz piano. Unfortunately, even if you are (or were once) a fairly skilled classical player there is no one semester class or latenight video infomercial lesson series that is going to work for this. You need to become somewhat obsessed – listening to a […]