Beginner Jazz Piano Workbook & Seminars

Hey everyone :wave:

I recently created a Beginner’s Jazz Piano Workbook to help new students to visualise the key theory milestones ahead. Here is the PDF file for those interested:

This PDF file is an expanded version of my Beginner’s Jazz Piano Roadmap which is a shorter 1-page document outlining key theory drills from our beginner/early-intermediate jazz theory courses. This document can be downloaded here:

Jazz Theory Seminars For Beginner Students

The following 3 seminars expand on the contents of the PDFs above and so I wanted to post them all in one place for those interested:

If you’re a beginner jazz piano student or if you’re looking to fill in any gaps in your knowledge of beginner jazz theory, the PDFs and seminars in this thread will give you some direction on where to focus your time.

Any feedback welcome!


Thanks so much for these! Hayden - I just love going back to these lessons.
Both the workbook and roadmap are going to be very useful! Superb! :star_struck:

I’m back to practicing the songs I used to play and learn (last year) and what struck my attention the most, recently (the ones I’m getting so curious about) during practice was the ‘upper structure triads’ - It’s very interesting how they are formed or built… am loving the lessons as usual!!! Thank you!


Hi Kristeta,

Hope you’re still here! I’m just joining. Would love to link up with you for practice tips, etc. Right now I’m learning the scales. Any suggestions for memorization?

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Hey @karenwclark :wave:

Here are some recommendations for memorising tunes which I recently sent to a student via email…

You might like to check out this seminar on memorising tunes :

Learn Lots Of Standards

My main recommendation is to learn lots of jazz standards and look for similarities in the chords and progressions.

I recommend to check out the following 3 courses where we explore numeric harmonic analysis in the early lessons which is the most effective and efficient way to understand and memorise the harmonic structure of songs:

“Misty" - Cocktail Piano Improvisation

This course will help you to understand the many ways that we can interpret a tune for solo piano and give you a template to follow for improvising over jazz ballads.

"Nearness Of You" - Ballad Voicings, Fills & Runs

Again this follows a step-by-step format starting with the most basic voicing techniques and slowly adding more sophisticated voicings, fills, and improvisation.

Georgia On My Mind - Bluesy Stride

This will help you to see the process of learning a tune starting with diatonic harmony and then slowly introducing more sophisticated voicings and harmonies.

Soon you will realise that most jazz standards are more similar than they are different.

Some other more general tips for memorisation :

Understand common jazz forms:

Always analyse the harmony of your tunes from a functional/numeric standpoint:

  • Quiz yourself away from the piano, and try to remember the harmonies of the tunes.
  • The iRealPro is a useful app for this: iRealPro Backing Tracks Setup (download this on your mobile device so that you can access chord charts). Test yourself to recite all of the changes of a tune, and check on the app if you were correct.

  • Play lots of standards. The more standards that we learn, the easier it is to draw similarities between them.

  • Create a playlist for every song that you are working on and listen to the playlists everyday or as much as possible. This is important for memorising the melody of the tunes we play.
    • Here’s my Spotify playlist for the tune “ MistySpotify
    • Here is my playing “ The Nearness of You ”: Spotify

Spotify is a great tool for creating playlists like this.

I hope that helps!

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My pleasure @Kristeta - I’m glad to hear the plans are useful! :sunglasses:

Yes upper structure triads are a great tool and something that I use a lot in my playing.

It’s not a beginner topic per say, but it’s an area that I recommend students of all levels to study - even students brand new to jazz piano.

With just 4 simple formulas we can unlock, in my opinion, the most important and versatile altered dominant chord voicings.

Here is a UST cheat sheet which I highly recommend to print and stick close to the piano:

and here are some related lessons where I explain the theory and how to apply to jazz standards:

Enjoy learning this material :grinning:


Thank you Hayden! will definitely print the cheat sheet and will do my best to practice and memorize the formulas! . Yay, love these suggested related lessons . Awesome! :smile:


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hey @karenwclark - how are you? I find Hayden’s Jazz Beginner syllabus very helpful - I also love how they provide superb help on how to break down our practice and goals (short or long term)

Pianogroove’s lessons, formulas and cheat sheets help me a ton with regards to memorization…:star_struck.

you probably have been checking these lessons already :slight_smile: hehe

I just saw - Hayden’s response/tips on memorizing tunes - I sure will check them myself :blush: you probably have now started watching those lessons too…
Keep us posted about your journey! Feel free to ask questions - we have a lovely community!