Hi, I’m very new to PianoGroove, and not so new to jazz piano. I consider myself and “upper-intermediate” level player. I took skype lessons for several years, first from a very accomplished teacher who’s first love is modern classical. Her master’s was in jazz piano but I always felt like she was looking for instructional material for me rather than having a clear idea of what to teach. So my learning experience with her was rather patchwork . I then took a year of skype lessons from an excellent instructor who uses the Barry Harris method exclusively to teach jazz theory and practice. It’s a very functional approach to learning how to play chord extensions, alterations and develop improvisational skills, and I use it frequently in my playing. It’s been about a year since I stopped taking lessons but now I’m looking for an instructional method which is more organized than what I’ve been doing on my own. I’m very impressed with the organization of the PianoGroove website, and the breadth and depth of its content.
My question is, for those of you who are familiar with the Barry Harris method, is it going to clash with traditional jazz theory as taught on this website? I’m not interested in learning a whole new approach to jazz, but I’m eager to learn new things which will mesh with what I already know and advance my playing.
Hi and welcome! I think you should send a direct message to one of the jazz teachers to get the best answer. That is, either Hayden Hill as he is the founder and has the general oversight or Tuomo Uusitalo as he is just a nerdy piano wizard and knows everything.
Thanks Fredrik. I noticed that Tuomo has several lessons and videos on Barry Harris. How do I contact him?
Welcome to the community area @tlrouse
For general questions on the Barry Harris Method, you can post these in our dedicated thread on Barry Harris Voicings, which you can find here:
In this thread you can read other questions posted by students and answered by Tuomo with notation examples and other useful references.
If you have your own questions, simply post these in the thread and @tuomo will be notified and he’ll be happy to assist you.
Barry Harris Lessons & Seminars
Below you can find a list of the Barry Harris related material that we have on the site.
If you have questions on the contents of a specific lesson, please post these questions in the “Comments” section of the lesson/seminar pages and that will ping our teachers a notification.
You might also like to check out Tuomo’s course on “Comping & Improvisation” where these styles of voicings are demonstrated in a trio format:
I hope that helps to get you started - any further questions don’t hesitate to ask!
Thank you Hayden. So much great content on PianoGroove!
My pleasure - yes we have quite a substantial library of resources and new courses and seminars are added regularly.
The Barry Harris Method is often requested by students so we can continue to add more on this style. I’m sure @Tuomo can host another Zoom workshop on this topic in the coming months if there is interest from the students.