Introduce Yourself To The PianoGroove Community! 🌎

Hi Gary and welcome!

In addition to the tutorial on “Tune Up” - also dive straight into these beginner arrangements:

The tutorial on “Tune Up” explains the basics of reading and interpreting lead sheets, but we do also touch upon some more advanced theory and so don’t worry if some of the techniques don’t make sense right now.

In the Beginner Arrangements Course we stick exclusively to roots, 3rds, and 7ths, and so these arrangements are perfect if you are just starting out with jazz piano.

As mentioned in my reply to Toby above, you can also work on multiple courses at the same time. The following 2 courses fit together nicely and so I’d recommend working on these in tandem:

For improvisation check out our ear training and transcription exercises:

Finally, for composition, we have a dedicated course and also a live seminar:


We will be hosting more live seminars on the theme of composition and so if have ideas for topic areas don’t hesitate to let us know.



Im Ryan. 35 yo Carpenter that’s played guitar since a teen (mostly self-taught and a bedroom player), who enjoys playing everything but jazz, and mostly in an acoustic finger style. I’ve wanted to play piano for years, especially stride like my grandfather. I was gifted a digital keyboard by my father (a Hammond b-3 guy) this year for my birthday and after the Covid restrictions decided to finally dive in, and in the process stumbled across Hayden’s tutorial for Autumn Leaves. The rest is history. I am in love with music all over again and studying jazz thanks to a random encounter with a YouTube video. Thank you!


Hi @ryan5 :wave:t2:

Welcome to the PianoGroove Community!

I’m glad to hear you have enjoyed the lesson on Autumn Leaves.

As a new jazz student, you might like to check out my Beginner Jazz Q&A Session here:

We cover lots of beginner-focused questions and I reference lessons from throughout the website.

If there are any topics that you are particularly interested in, just let me know and I can point you toward certain courses.

Stay safe and enjoy the lessons!


1 Like

hey all,
I’m Niaz 28. I heard my first Jazz record 10 years ago (Ahmad Jamal live at the Pershing) and have been enthralled by Jazz since. I’ve made a few attempts here and there to learn but never really stuck.
I really like the structure of Pianogroove and hopefully I’ll be able to stick it out! Maybe you guys will keep me honest…! My aim is to be able to truly express myself with music but I suppose that’s the aim of all music…!?
I love Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson and Hank Jones in particular. I also play guitar and sing so looking forward to the vocal course.


Hi Niaz,

Welcome aboard. You have definitely found the right place to learn jazz piano as Hayden and his team have done a wonderful job in creating this site and materials. Enjoy the journey!


Welcome @niaz!

Check out this Beginner Q&A session where I answer lots of questions for new jazz students:

Great stuff! It’s brilliant that you have identified the styles and musicians you like.

We have transcription exercises here in the forum on many famous musicians, check out the threads on Bill Evans, Hank Jones, & Oscar Peterson which also include a suggested discography and biography information:

An important part of our jazz education and development is to emulate our favourite players and recordings. The exercises in the above threads will help you to get started.

If you are new to transcription, you might also like to try the ear training exercises to get your ears up to speed:

We also have these lessons on the styles of Bill Evans & Oscar Peterson:

For vocal piano studies, check out the following 2 courses. The 2nd course might be more appealing to you as it includes vocal drills and exercises to develop your own voice:

And finally, our piano/voice teacher Lyndol is hosting a live seminar on Saturday, you can add the event to your calendar here and also submit a question for Lyndol to cover during the session:

I hope this helps Niaz, if you have any further questions just let us know.

Cheers and enjoy the lessons!

1 Like

Thanks Hayden - super helpful!

1 Like

I am Dan and like you, I am here to learn jazz and improvisation in general from this site. As a pandemic escape, viewing Hayden’s wonderful youtube tutorial lessons brought me here because I was so impressed and wanted more. I would say this would be my first formal music study as I never had it in my younger years. All I had before is playing guitar and that desire to finally play piano after so many attempts. So cheers to you all !


Welcome Dan,

You’ve come to the right place. PianoGroove and our community is made up of people of all levels, ages, and skill sets. There is something for anyone regardless of previous experience. Work through the foundation courses first, obviously. You’ll find many helpful suggestions along the way in the forums here. You’ll also find Hayden and the other instructors chiming in from time to time to point you to things you need. And always feel free to ask or share anything you want.

Enjoy! :musical_keyboard:

1 Like

Niaz, Dan, Ryan5, Toby2, Edgar and Eric :heavy_heart_exclamation:

A warm welcome to you all! :blush: Wow - so happy to have read your introductions - Cannot wait to hear about your jazz piano journey . This is a lovely community! Please keep us posted. :musical_note:
Hope you are all well and safe. Take care

Hi, my name is Crystal Upchurch. I’m 31 years old and have been playing since I was three. I’ve always been musically inclined but I went to the school of hard-knocks. My parents never fostered my musical gift so I have had to teach myself a lot of what I know. I’ve always had perfect pitch so I could figure out notes and songs by just hearing them.
I didn’t take lessons until I was 16 years old and I only took them for four years up until the age of 20. Music was still my passion so for a while I had to go back to teaching myself how to correctly play. I started playing for churches in 2010 and have been doing it ever since. I’m currently the Minister of Music at a church in Franklinton, NC. I’ve been there since March 2018. I LOVE the church I’m at currently. I desire to go to school for Music Production and Music Education. Basically, I want to make this into my professional career. I’ve bought DVD courses from musicians I saw on YouTube but I still desired to learn more.
I wanted to become a well-rounded musician who can play in pretty much ANY capacity. I stumbled across Pianogroove back in May 2020. I started the lessons in June 2020. I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made thus far. I bought my first keyboard in 2006. It was a Casio 61-key. In 2009 I upgraded to a Yamaha P-635 portable digital grand. It lasted for 11 years before dying this year. I just recently bought another keyboard in November. I’m influenced by: West Coast musicians, classical musicians, jazz pianists, and others.
My inspiration is Twinkie Clark (organist), Duke Ellington, Jeff Lorber, Bernie Hancock, Kenny Barron, Javad Day (west coast musician), Stanton Lewis (another west coast musician), and David Jackson (also a west coast musician). I LOVE their unique styles of playing. They are beasts at at this. Learning with this website is DEFINITELY transforming my playing and taking me in the direction of becoming a “BEAST” at this!


Hi all, My name is Stephen and am here to step my playing up to a new level. I’ve played piano since I was 11 years old. I took two years of lessons. The lessons stopped because we moved to a very small town (population 350) and there was no one there that gave piano lessons. I still continued to play by learning songs by ear I liked that were on the radio. The songs became less challenging. I started learning more difficult songs that featured piano, such as what Ray Manzarek (not sure how his last name is spelled) and Billy Joel played. When I started college, I was introduced to jazz. I really began to love it. 70s fusion was all I listened to for a while. Chick Corea and Return to Forever, Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, etc… I also began listening to contemporary jazz such as Brad Mehldau. My playing kind of peaked and now I am wanting to play jazz. So, that’s why I’m here.


Welcome @Crystal and thanks for sharing all of this.

It must be super rewarding to play piano in a church setting.

One of our other students @Canadanne is the director of music in a church. Perhaps you could both share ideas and repertoire etc…

That’s a fine group of musicians for inspiration Crystal.

Listening and transcription is a very important part of our development. Now that you have a list of your favourite players, it’s the perfect time to start analysing their solo and arrangements. We have ear-training and transcription exercises here in the forum:

These exercises are designed to accompany the video lessons on the site. Dedicate a little time each day to these exercises and you will see great improvements in your overall musicianship.

If you have any questions with anything you are working on don’t hesitate to let us know.

1 Like

Welcome to the community area Steven!

With your previous piano experience I’m sure you can jump straight into any of the lessons and courses on the site.

We have a syllabus index page here: - and each syllabus page gives an overview of what is included. It might be nice to peruse through the syllabuses to see if anything piques your interest.

We also host live interactive seminars at least once a week. You can find the index page here which houses all of the previous events and also the next upcoming event:

Click on the “Add To Calendar” button to receive a notification an hour before the event starts and you can also submit questions for our teachers to answer during the session.

Finally there are lots of useful tips and pointers in this thread, and so it’s definitely worth browsing through the posts and comments.

Again welcome and enjoy the lessons!


1 Like

Welcome! Stephen, Crystal, Dan, Niaz and anyone else I may have missed. We are certainly a growing community with varied talent. I know you will all find a great deal to learn with PianoGroove, regardless of your current skill level. Have fun and enjoy your journey!

1 Like

Welcome Crystal and Stephen :blush: Wow - great music backgrounds you both have…!

Exciting to see new members. You definitely have come to the right place :musical_note: You’ll LOVE the lessons, the amazing instructors and our lovely community. :heart: Take care. Pls keep us posted.

Hello All.
I’m a retired Doctor and after 30+ years in practice I now want to spend more time learning to play jazz piano. After hearing Bill Evans version of ‘Danny Boy’ as a youth, I’ve always wanted to understand how to elevate a familiar tune to a different level.
I have played by ear for 40+ years and have a battered set of ‘buskers books’ (melody line and chords) amassed over the years.
I live on the West coast of Lancashire, UK. I enrolled on 2 Jazz short courses at Leeds College of Music and so have some understanding of Jazz theory and concepts - but still a lot to learn.

It’s great to see what others are doing and share the trials, tribulations and the successes too.
The lessons and subjects on here look brilliant and so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.



Welcome to the PianoGroove community Nick!

I’m from Lancashire originally and also a big fan of Bill Evans. I agree his solo arrangement of ‘Danny Boy’ is a wonderful recording.

Bill Evans is a notoriously difficult musician to transcribe and emulate. We do have a number of tutorials and other resources that focus on his style. The following theory lessons contain harmonic principles and techniques often used by Evans in his solo piano performances:

Take a browse through those lessons as a priority.

Live Seminars:

I’m hosting a live seminar on Wednesday which focuses on inner voice movement, you can add to your calendar here:

Listening & Transcription:

Finally, the most effective way to take our playing in the direction of a specific sound that we like is to transcribe directly from the source. @Tuomo has compiled lots of wonderful transcription exercises here in the forum. Check out the following exercises and studies on Bill Evans:

I hope that helps Nick and if you have any questions with any of the materials just let us know.

Enjoy the lessons!

1 Like

Thanks Hayden, That’s great.

1 Like

Hello to everyone and greetings from Switzerland

I am new to pianogroove and what brought me here was that pianogroove provides Brazilian piano lessons. I am very much interested in Contemporary and Latin Jazz. Mostlikely to Brazilian, Cuban and Flamenco Jazz. It is not easy to find guided online lessons in these topics.

As a child I always want it to learn piano but my parents could not affort a piano or piano lessons. So as a teenager I learned to play saxophone instead. Now, in the age of 44 I started to play piano with online lessions as my partner suprised me with a second hand acustic piano last year.

I would say I have the basic jazz foundation knowledege and skills, and now I want to deep dive into Latin jazz. The biggest hurtle I have is, I do not have a long focus/attention span. That means, on one day I practice a song and in the other day another one or today I focus on one practice style and the next day on something complete different. As a consequence I never finish what I have started to practice. If there is anyone in this member area having similiar issues would be great to hear how you handle this and exchanging some ideas how to stay focussed.

Whish you all happy practicing and a wonderful Sunday.