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Hi. My name is Scott. I’m a vocalist in Canada [Toronto]. I was lucky enough to record an album with most of the Boss Brass many – many! – years ago. I continue to sing, usually in cabaret settings with piano and maybe bass. Not much of a pianist, but I like to write my own arrangements and find this course really helpful in creating charts for real piano players. Also, I would like to gradually get to the point where I can play to accompany myself now and then. http://www.scottwalker.ca

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Hey Scott, I just checked out your site… you have a fantastic voice!

I think that’s a very realistic goal to learn to sing and play.

I’m sure you’ve already checked out Lyndol’s course on Accompanying Singers: https://www.pianogroove.com/jazz-piano-lessons/how-to-accompany-singers/ -

Much of what Lyndol plays when accompanying herself is basic triads and 7th chords. Sticking to these ‘pillars’ of the chord is the best place to start. Perhaps start by copying the way she voices and arpeggiates her chords. She uses lots of inversions.

We cover a number of useful exercises in the lesson on Triads, & the lesson on 7th Chords. You should add these exercises to your practice routine to get comfortable visualising these important chord structures.

Both of those lessons are in the Foundations Course: https://www.pianogroove.com/jazz-piano-lessons/jazz-piano-foundations/

I think you will feel a lot of freedom to accompany yourself once you can invert and arpeggiate triads and 7th chords in all 12 keys.

Thanks for introducing yourself and if I can help with anything you’re working on, just let me know :sunglasses:

HI, Hayden:

Thank you for the quick response; and the compliment. ALWAYS appreciated.

I have checked out Lyndol’s course. But your site is kind of like an all-you-can-eat buffet. I want a bit of everything. I just went through your Herbie Hancock m11 video. Love that sound! Want to do it.

Also loved the chart on MIsty. The 13th voicings are superb. Love to do that.

I know inversions and can play them pretty well. It’s adding movement to the playing – arpeggiating, I guess, so I’m not just plunking out the chords – that I find a challenge.

I want to become a better player by taking advantage of all the things your site offers. But how to start? Where to begin? What path to follow? Those are the things I find challenging.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Scott

My pleasure Scott… I’m happy to help out.

haha that’s a nice analogy :grin:

Understood.

Firstly, most of the material is geared towards solo piano performance, and so whilst this is great for playing on your own, much of it will not be transferable to accompanying yourself. This shouldn’t dishearten you, just understand that much of the techniques are suited to this setting… playing solo.

You also have a lot more freedom in this setting to change the harmony, add in lots of the rich voicings and substitutions I teach. Whereas, when accompanying yourself, you should focus on the core pillars of the chord - just as Lyndol advocates in her brilliant lessons.

What I’m going to do Scott…

Give me a day or so and I will create some separate threads in the forum that give students a ‘road map’ to work through the material.

I do often send this out to new students, but it would be nice to have it all in one place so it can be accessed and referenced at any time.

I’ll notify you when it’s done. Cheers!

Thanks again, Hayden. A road map would be great.
Scott

@scott32627 - I’ve published a Beginner Syllabus / Roadmap here: Beginner Jazz Courses: Roadmap & Syllabus

I will do the same for Intermediate, Advanced, Improv & Blues… we have more Improv & Blues courses in the pipeline.

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Wow. Great singer, you!!

Thank you though Lori! :smiley:

Thanks for your reply Hayden and encouragement! :smiley:

I honestly cannot state enough how much I have both learned from this over the past year, but also how much I have enjoyed it. It feels weird at first to be so ‘clinically’ breaking music down, but once it clicks it is so awesome - especially when you just hear a song somewhere and instinctively know what scale degrees the notes are and what chord progression it is using. However, it really does take time and practice (at first I would get 90% of the exercises wrong, then gradually - over months - get to the point of getting them all - or most of them - right). If I can do this, anyone can…!

I do have a couple of recommendations for sources I’ve used, and would be happy to share, but I’m not sure how appropriate this might be, especially as you are also going to be covering transcription.

I need to investigate this, it looks good at first glance. I tend to use iOS-friendly apps so I can practice on the go. I actually like Capo which, as the name suggests, is a guitar based transcriber - with much of the same functionality as Transcribe, by the looks of things. You can section off a song, slow it down, isolate parts for closer listening, transpose etc. It does have a chord ‘guesser’ but as you can imagine, is often very inaccurate. A plus point is you can add corrected chords on the time line of the song’s sections. Another useful tool is Anytune Pro, similar to Capo but without the ability to add chords so you can see them on the timeline - although it has some advantages otherwise compared to Capo - swings and roundabouts. I also - if I get really stuck - load the file into Ableton Live and covert the relevant part into Midi and pick things out there. So all in all it sounds like I’m using the constituent parts of Transcribe!

The main drawback doing this on the go is not having a keyboard with you to explore the harmony as you go along. It’s not quite the same having to switch from whichever app to Garageband to use its keyboard - by which time even a few seconds can make your memory trick you!

I think an interesting part of transcribing is when you see there can be more than one interpretation or option within the harmony, and ultimately you can choose to follow the one that works best for your voice leading and style - which I guess is where reharmonisation comes in.

Anyhow, definitely, definitely recommend ear training and transcribing.

Yes, that’s very similar to my own experiences James… I found transcription extremely difficult to begin with. However, the more I focused on it, the easier it became. I can now listen to any improvised solo and pick things out immediately which is a great feeling!


I guess that’s one limitation of Transcribe… it isn’t iOS-friendly.

The interface looks clunky and archaic, but I find it very fit-for-purpose and easy to loop and manipulate the recordings I’m working with. We’ll be using it in my upcoming course.

Thanks for the tips with Capo and Anytune Pro… I’ll check them out when I get a second.

Cheers.

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Thanks Hayden - with a little tweaking of my workflow I could accommodate Transcribe as well - Capo and Anytune Pro, as handy as they are, look to be a little lacking versus Transcribe. And if you are using it in your course, that’s a plus too. I see what you mean - it’s not winning any prizes for design slickness! :grin:

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Hi,

my name is Moritz Gekeler. I am German, but I live in New Delhi, India, since 2015. My wife and I came here, because of her job: she is currently working at the German Embassy here. I work as a consultant for creative problem solving and an approach towards innovation called design thinking. This work keeps me traveling quite a bit, therefore I was super happy to find this platform, which enables me to learn piano at my own speed.

When I was a kid, I played classical piano from the age of 5 until 15 or so. My first teacher was super strict: she would hold a book over my hands in order to force me to look at the score instead of my hands. The problem was as my grandmother said: I am a little dyslectic when it comes to score reading. So instead of looking at the score, I watched my fingers in the “mirror” of her black grand piano… My second teacher was good: he made me play things like Rhapsody in Blue, but he had other problems, so I switched again and found a teach who was supposed to teach me Jazz. By the time I started, I had already gotten into puberty, so there was no way, I would learn chords by heart for fun.

So now, I’ll make my fourth attempt: 23 years later. I am very much lokking forward to it.

Cheers,
Moritz

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Welcome Moritz!

It’s nice to hear that PianoGroove allows you to study jazz whilst travelling. That’s awesome! :smiley:

It’s also great that you studied classical piano from such a young age… the finger strength and dexterity will certainly help you in your pursuit to learn jazz piano.

I understand about classical piano training being “strict”. You have a lot more freedom in jazz piano to interpret the music exactly how you want to… chords, the melody, even entire songs, you can make it your own which is nice.

This is what attracted me to playing jazz, there’s much more freedom of expression!

We recently documented the “Beginner Roadmap” for students, check it out here: Beginner Jazz Courses: Roadmap & Syllabus

The jazz standards and courses covered in that thread are the first ones that students should work through.

If you do want to play a particular song or learn a particular topic that is more advanced, absolutely go and check it out, but you should spend some time to watch the beginner material to make sure that you understand the basics.

Again welcome to PianoGroove… great to have your onboard :sunglasses:

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wow, I am always sorry to hear childhood piano experiences like that.
you totally deserve the most FUN and FREEDOM based piano experience from here on out.
Dive in and enjoy this and DO NOT over-structure or overanalyze this program, and do not entertain self criticism. just have fun!!!
I have learned to play so much better in spite of not feeling like I “get” the theory, just by learning and playing the jazz ballads. Hayden has this amazing way to sneak that understanding and knowledge into our brains just by having fun and learning a song.

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Brilliant tips and insight Lori, thanks for sharing :+1:

As you say, the key is to enjoy the journey and enjoy playing the jazz standards… this is all supposed to be fun after all! :grin:

Hi Lori, thanks also from my side. Yes, I realize that, even though it is somewhat frustrating to sit on a simple piece like tune up for such a long time… But I am getting there. The good thing is, even though I don’t do super-heavy practicing, slowly slowly, I feel the chords coming a little easier. I am looking forward to graduating to the next song. :wink:

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You can be working on multiple jazz standards at the same time Moritz.

You will always be working on these tunes, always adding to them when you learn new theory.

So I’d recommend you try to play some others too.

Also check this out Moritz: From lessons to lead sheet - how to learn jazz standards - this is the next step of your jazz education where you are leaning from recordings based on the sounds you like.

Exciting! :sunglasses:

Cheers.

Thanks, Hayden. That is great advice. I will do that. I still feel a little overwhelmed by all the theory, but at the same time I see light at the end of the tunnel. Slowly slowly, I am understanding more and learning the scales, chords etc.

I like the idea of listening to one song for a week in all available versions. I used to create Mix Tapes or CDs of just one song in different versions during my university times :wink:

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A post was merged into an existing topic: From lessons to lead sheet

Hi,

My name is Michael Albanese and I joined piano groove a few days back taking the full year membership up front. I must say I was captivated by your breakdown of My Funny Valentine, Attaining both an advanced view of the piece while still being digestible for a mid range student such as myself, is truly a gift of teaching. I love herbie hancock btw…

I spent over 25 years writing software (of all kinds) here in san jose california. My last gig was a startup that got purchased by Cisco, so I spent 6 years writing insane router operating system software. For the sake of my sanity I had to leave…

I’ve taken numerous music theory courses, both in person and quite a few at Berklee online. My knowledge of theory is fairly well along, however my playing has a ways to go to catch up. I just restarted piano lessons with a live teacher. I have been learning piano for around 14yrs now.

Ironically one of the first tunes my teacher presented was My Funny Valentine…hence my paths somehow (and very happily) have crossed with PianoGroove.

I’m the new kid on the block so a bit clumsy here, but I have had no success in adding a profile photo. Every time I go to the dashboard and click to add, it takes me to a page that says ‘this is now private’. Not sure if its an extra special place only the invited are allowed, but I see others have their photos so it surly is possible.

take care and I look forward to a steady diet of great content,
Michael

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