How To Play Like Eddie Higgins

Welcome to this thread on the playing style of jazz pianist Eddie Higgins.

This thread will be structured in the same way as our thread on “How To Play Like Beegie Adair” and all recordings, links to archived seminars, and relevant PDF files will be stored here.

Session 1: In A Sentimental Mood (30th May 2022)

For the first session we will analyse Eddie’s solo piano recording of the tune “In A Sentimental Mood”. This is a nice tune for beginners and one that I love to play. The tune follows an AABA form and the harmony and chord changes are simple and easy to memorise.

Here is the seminar page to access the live event and the archived recording:

We will start the session with a recap of the form and harmony, we will play through with simple voicings, and then we will introduce the voicings and substitutions used by Eddie Higgins in his solo piano recording.

“In A Sentimental Mood” Recording

Here is the recording on YouTube. I recommend everyone to study it, play along with it, and attempt to transcribe some of the material:

PDF Supplements

I have prepared a couple of PDFs that we will be working from in the live session. We will mainly use the lead sheet notation with red reharms above, and we can reference the full transcription file if needed.

If anyone has any questions or suggestions for tunes to cover feel free to post these below and see you in the seminar next week.


Can’t wait for this! He has so many great solos! I will throw a few out there.

When You Wish Upon a Star

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

My One and Only Love



Looking forward to your next Live Seminar. “In a Sentimental Mood” is such a lovely tune, and Eddie Higgins is truly a fine stylist.

I’d like to share some tunes from his 2000 album Speaking of Jobim . Here are three tunes via YouTube. The whole album can be found on Spotify here. These aren’t the best versions of the tunes, but they’re relevant here. Enjoy! :musical_keyboard:


So looking forward to this seminar. Oh, if only I could “play like Eddie Higgins,” one of my very favorite pianists. And so versatile! I’m happy to listen.
Here’s another song to consider. Maybe for the bluesy stride lessons.


@Hayden , you mentioned in the live seminar a lesson on Georgia on My Mind. Could you post a link to that one? Thanks.
I also really love the Eddie Higgins solo in this tune, and have been studying your look at the first two A sections of that solo in your earlier live seminar. It would be so great to have a full seminar looking at the whole solo. cheers. thanks, james

Yes here is the “Georgia On My Mind” course:

There will be more lessons added to this course on a variety of topics.

I’d like to do the same with the tune “In A Sentimental Mood” that we covered today and create a full course around this tune too.

Yes I agree that’s a great idea - it’s a lovely solo to take inspiration from. Leave that with me and I will schedule it.

In July we will explore the voicings and reharmonisations in Eddie Higgins’ solo piano rendition of “Over The Rainbow”, check out the recording here and more info to follow:

Related Tutorials

Here are a couple of lessons which cover the basic harmony of the tune:


Looking forward to it!! Thanks @Hayden

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Hey Eddie Higgins Fans :wave:

The next “How To Play Like Eddie Higgins” seminar will take place one week today. Below I have included the seminar handout, the recording, and other preparation guidance so that we can hit the ground running in the live session :sunglasses:

:spiral_calendar: Add To Calendar

The seminar will take place at 12 noon EST on Tuesday 26th July. To get the most benefit from the session we recommend that you tune in live. If you can’t make the live event, don’t worry, the full recording is available immediately afterwards in the seminar archives.

Here is the seminar page:

Add the seminar to your calendar to be notified before the show starts:

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:newspaper: Seminar Handout

I have created a chord chart outlining the original changes and the reharmonisations played by Eddie Higgins. Download a copy here:

:rainbow: Over The Rainbow Lessons

If you haven’t already, check out the lessons that we have on this tune to learn the basic harmony and chord changes.

:headphones: Study The Recording

Take a good listen to Eddie’s recording of “Over The Rainbow” whilst looking at the reharmonisations in the PDF file. Try to hear the passing chords and other devices that Eddie uses. I will explain the underlying theory in the seminar next week.

:nerd_face: Homework & Preparation

In his rendition of Over The Rainbow, Eddie uses the following harmonic devices:

  • Tritone Substitution
  • Chromatic 25s
  • Sus Chords
  • Chord Alterations

If you are new to these topics, or if you would like to refresh your memory, I have included some links below to related theory lessons on PianoGroove:

Something has come up, so I will miss the live. So glad these are recorded!

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Later this month I will host another Eddie Higgins session, this time on the tune “Danny Boy”.

Eddie Higgins Recording

Here is the solo piano recording:

Eddie plays the tune in Eb Major. I will post the chord changes in the next few days, and closer to the session I will post a version with Eddie’s reharms in red above the original changes.

In the interim immerse yourself in the recording!

Seminar Page

Here is the seminar page to register for updates:

Add To Calendar

You can add the seminar to your calendar here:

Apple Google Office 365 Outlook Yahoo

More to follow…

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His version is absolutely stunning!!! Can’t wait for the seminar. Thanks so much Hayden!

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Detour Ahead - Eddie Higgins Trio

I think this would be a great song to cover for a future seminar. Not necessarily solo piano but a beautiful ballad nonetheless.

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Hi Eddie Higgins fans :wave:

I have now finalised the downloads/handouts for the seminar later today.

Please find below a full transcription of the head of “Danny Boy” and also an annotated lead sheet showing Eddie’s reharmonisation

The seminar takes place later today at the link below:

I’ll see you there!

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I have an appointment, so hope I can make it back in time. So glad these are recorded!

No worries @celia - everything is recorded and will available immediately afterwards in the seminar archives.

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Love that song also. There is also a great Bill Evans version that. Would be interesting to include both and understand the difference in interpretation.

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Yeah, it’s a jazz standard that PG hasn’t covered so that’s why also thought it was a good one for a seminar. :smiley: