Introduce Yourself To The PianoGroove Community! 🌎

Thanks, Hayden for your reply and all the resources provided. It really helps.

I was using Loopz for drums tracks, this is a similar application to DrumGenius. I have to admit that the tracks on DrumGenius are better and they sound very organic (well, real drummers).

Yes, I’ll stick with the blues courses for a while because the genre covers more sonic space and aligns well with my plans for finding small gigs to play around my neighborhood.

I’ll definitely check out the jazz courses later next year.

Thanks again.
~Eugene

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Hey Folks,

I‘m a 46y old aerospace engineer from Hamburg with a grand piano in the living room and a Kawai MP8 in the Music-Cave.

I‘m coming from classic piano (started with 6 years and a teacher and went on on my own when I was 19 until today). I always did my excursions to the lands of popular music, trying to improvise by ear (sounds good but repetitive… and no idea what I‘m doing), studied transscriptions of music I liked, started some self-study of jazz theory but got overwhelmed and didn‘t hold the line for enough of an effective progress. Mostly because of a lack of guidance regarding what to focus on, how to practice, what to drill (and what not…)

Currently no ambitions to play in a band (Don‘t feel my impro-skillsare sufficient by any means), but who knows what happens.

Nevertheless, my technique is rather descent for a hobbyist and I find to have a good basis to go ahead and I can already say, that the material/content provided here appears to really match my needs to keep motivated and structurized.

I‘m aiming for being able to more or less play what I hear inside and to get access to those cool and impressive progressions I‘d never find myself in realtime…I‘m not actual a jazz fan as itself but I deeply love the piano and I feel I want to fully understand what happens and learn to speak that language.

I‘m looking forward, what I will learn on this journey,

Cheers from Hamburg,

Sönke

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Hey @Soenke and welcome to PianoGroove!

Thanks for sharing all of this and from the sounds of it, our lessons and courses will be a good fit for your aspirations to learn some of the intricacies of harmony.

Here are my recommended courses:

For learning some jazzy progressions I would recommend the following 2 courses:

Live Seminars:

I hosted a live seminar on the 251 progression and its many variations, check out the full recording here:

I think that seminar will be useful for you to see how the basic 251 progression is enhanced and developed using chord extensions, chord alterations, and upper structure triads.

Other Useful Lessons On Progressions:

The 1625 progression is fun to play around with. Here are a couple of tutorials that I would recommend:

5 Minute Masterclass Tutorials:

Finally, I created a short series of “5 Minute Masterclass” tutorials which give top level insights into some of my favourite jazz piano techniques. Find that course here:

Check out those lessons and we also have full courses on most of the topics covered, so if a specific technique piques your interest you can find more in-depth instruction in the course library.

I hope that helps and enjoy the lessons!

Cheers,
Hayden

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Thanks a lot Hayden!

With those suggestions I think I‘ll find what I‘m looking for (and much more for sure). I‘m really exicted about the vast amount of material and the way it‘s prepared and provided.
I‘ll go ahead with the lectures as soon as I‘ve consolidated my fragments of knowledge and established my training routines which is great fun already by now because I finally start to progress thanks to the clear guidance and roadmap from the beginners section.

Great as well to have this community where I already found answers on some of my questions asked by the other guys.

I‘ll stay a while, looking forward to learn!

Cheers,

Sönke

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Hi All from the UK,

I am a full-time software engineer by day, music lover by night. I studied classical piano when I was a kid, probably between ages 7-12, but then got discouraged, as I didn’t like the teacher very much (nor the music really). Got into electric guitar at 14, and had a bunch of teachers and bands all through high school and university. All throughout, I dabbled in writing music, but eventually it all stopped, as I simply did not have enough space in my flat.

Fast forward a few years and last year I bought a Yamaha p125, built a custom desk for it, bought some nice studio speakers and started enjoying myself. At around the same time I started listening to Jacob Collier, and realised I had no idea how he’s doing what he’s doing (you mean there’s more than minor/major chords???). I bought a whole bunch of courses, watched a tonne of YouTube, and eventually settled on this course and I must say it is laid out perfectly for me. I enjoy theoretical concepts, but it’s the application to standards that was lacking everywhere else I tried.

My goal is to be able to play simple solo jazz piano to start with, at the same time working on my ear and transcription skills, so that eventually I am able to pick up something like Stevie Wonder’s songs by ear and enjoy playing it.

Time is always a premium for me, with 2 small kids, but I have made studying piano and drinking tea my self-care ritual, so hopefully I will be able to do it consistently every other day.

Thank you for creating this course!

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Welcome to the community @jakub

Yes there certainly is :grin:

Both of those goals are very realistic.

I recommend all new students to focus on building out their repertoire as a key priority.

The first tunes that we learn are the hardest and with each new one the process becomes easier and easier. Once you have learnt 20 or so standard/broadway tunes your harmonic horizons will have expanded exponentially and you will feel comfortable with voicings, common progressions, and harmonising melody lines.

The transcription side is very important so it’s great that you have an emphasis on that at this stage. I’m sure you have already discovered @Tuomo 's transcription/ear training exercises, but here’s the link just in case:

https://community.pianogroove.com/c/improvisation-exercises/30

Start with the ear training exercises and then you can also move onto the full transcription studies which Tuomo has ranked by difficulty here:

https://community.pianogroove.com/t/transcription-exercises-levels-of-difficulty/

Using Tuomo’s exercises would be the perfect stepping stone to achieve the goal learning some Stevie Wonder songs by ear.

To start with, try to dedicate at least 15 minutes per day to transcription, and the more time spent here the better in my opinion.

I hope this helps Jakub and if you have any questions with the lessons, courses, or other materials don’t hesitate to let us know.

Cheers,
Hayden

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Hi all,

I am Ruud, and while having dabbled with synthesizers and keyboards for 30 years now, I’ve only started digging into jazz seriously in the last two years or so.
In everyday life I create software for automotive & marine simulators; as a hobby I did quite a bit of photography but nowadays more & more jazz on the piano. It’s purely for fun, I play solo and that’s quite ok for now.

I’ve been watching a lot of videos, bought (and tried to read) quite a few books but I must say Hayden’s beginner tutorials on jazz arrangements do make it very insightful on how to approach lead sheets. The fun with all the available jazz information is that as you learn (and practice!) you slowly start recognizing patterns and things slowly start falling into place. I remember starting to read one of Mark Levine’s books and being overwhelmed. Slowly it’s becoming more accessible, but it has been hard to find a good starting point. PianoGroove seems just the ticket and with lots of depth for the longer run.

It’s good to have the internet around these days, and have easy access to video & audio slowing apps/functionality (although I’d like to see a scrubbing device for internet videos like you had on betacam video equipment).

My favourite jazz musician is Bill Evans by far. Such control. Miles Davis as well. My favourite instrument is the piano. I have a Yamaha P-515 which helps to keep the noise down as I run through the major scales. :slight_smile:

Anyway, tl;dr. Good to be here!

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Hi Everyone,
I’m John, an 80 year-old retired accountant living in San Diego, California with my beloved wife of 57 years. Like so many of you, I took classical piano lessons for several years in grade school. I loved the piano, but didn’t enjoy practicing and memorizing difficult passages from the more advanced classical pieces, so I stopped for a while. In high school I found a teacher whose focus was on having fun and enjoying making music. He taught me to play from lead sheets using “plain vanilla” chords and a stride base. I’ve been doing that ever since, but have been frustrated that my playing doesn’t sound very professional or advanced. Over the years, my family always enjoyed gathering around the piano to sing together, but the person playing wasn’t me. It was my older cousin, who played beautifully by ear with wonderful chord voicings and a really professional style. She tried to show me a few things from time to time, but I was intimidated by my inability to play by ear. So I’ve just played for my own enjoyment and always had a burning desire to really master the instrument.
After retiring, we traveled a lot to visit our children and grandchildren who are scattered around the country and to see the marvelous sights of the world. More recently, we’ve been staying closer to home and I’ve had time to scour the many YouTube sites that offer piano lessons. Unfortunately, it took me a while to find Piano Groove, which stands out from all the others and offers just what I think I’ll need to take my playing to the next level and beyond.
My favorite players include:
Oscar Peterson
George Shearing
Tommy Flanagan
David Huntsinger
Barry Harris
but my favorite of all is Beegie Adair. I love her expressive style, beautiful phrasing and marvelous chord voicings. I’ve browsed through the comments of others and didn’t notice anyone else mentioning her, which puzzles me because she’s 86 years old and has been playing professionally and making lovely recordings for a very long time in the style of Oscar Peterson and George Shearing. Am I out of touch or is she just undiscovered?
So my goals are to become really proficient at playing Jazz standards, which are such a prominent part of the PG curriculum. I look forward to learning how to transcribe passages that intrigue me and learning to play them well. Along the way, I hope to learn how to play by ear and really master this instrument, which I love so much. I’m not particularly interested in learning up-tempo tunes or playing with other musicians because I have a fear of “making mistakes” and fumbling around trying to get back on track (probably a throw-back to my childhood days with a strict teacher), but if I progress and gain more confidence, perhaps I’ll overcome that fear.
I’m very excited to be a part of this vibrant, supportive community and look forward to learning a lot. Thanks so much to Hayden and his associates for creating this wonderful site.

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Welcome to all of our new members!!! All of you have unique and interesting backgrounds and interests. You have definitely found the right place to enhance your piano skills!

John…I really like Beegie too. I think Hayden has mentioned her.

Let me add a hearty welcome to all the newcomers!

John, you mentioned that “my favorite of all is Beegie Adair. I love her expressive style, beautiful phrasing and marvelous chord voicings. I’ve browsed through the comments of others and didn’t notice anyone else mentioning her.” I agree that Adair is a treasure, as does Hayden. You’ve just missed the mentions of her. If you like her, you might also like the piano stylings of Alfonso Gugliucci. Check him out!

At any rate, you’ll find that PianoGroove will more than meet your needs. Enjoy your time spent here! :musical_keyboard:

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Welcome @john29 and Hi to @celia and @scott1

In regards to Beegie Adair, @Hayden mentioned her within my topic about discovering great women in jazz which you will find here

I didn’t know her but now I have to admit I like her expressive style very much.

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Hi! My name is Ella!

I was raised in Brazil and always played and sung Brazilian Bossa Nova & Jazz in many venues, music festivals and restaurants!

I have been basically self-taught on piano, and I’ve been able to learn a lot of advanced topics and styles of playing since I have performed professionally for many years with my band, and many amazing Jazz musicians of the area. So in the sense of playing in front of the crowd, entertaining and being a good performer, I feel I have really gotten better with time. But I am now trying to get into the habit of sitting down and actually learning all of the things I skipped when I learned Jazz piano. I have a lot of experience, but technique is what lacks in my piano playing. That’s why I really like this community! It seems like a perfect place to develop my musicality and technique to play piano to the best of my ability.

Wishing all the best to all other students and musicians!

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Welcome Ella,

Even with all your experience, I think you will find what you’re looking for in PianoGroove. It has something for everyone, regardless of their skill level.

Have fun! :musical_keyboard:

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Hi Scott,

Yes, I think so too!

All the best to you! :musical_keyboard:

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Welcome Ella
You sound like a real pro already and I am sure you will enjoy your time here.

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Listening to Jovino’s Santos Neto Quinteto: Vai e Vem. Man, this is something else! Such joy and energy in that performance!

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G’day guys,

Thanks for your welcome to Pianogroove, and I will introduce myself.

I am long retired, ( very old!), but with a lifelong love of music.

I live in a regional town in Victoria, Australia, and was born into a musical family - my mother played piano for silent movies, and my father was a very talented classical singer.

I learned piano as a child, then trained as a classical tenor in my late teens, but drifted away from active involvement until I discovered the Hammond organ, which is now my passion. I took organ lessons for several years, but it was mainly in theatre organ style, with block chords, etc.

I have a Hammond XK3c running through a 1964 model Leslie 147, and a Roland VR09 combo keyboard running through a Neo Minivent to a Roland KC keyboard amp., and now would like to concentrate on learning to play jazz, both on Hammond and piano.

The late Jimmy Smith is my favourite Hammond player, but I have had the privilege of seeing Tony Monaco, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Joey DeFrancesco perform live in Melbourne. I particularly love jazz standards, and Brazilian bossa and samba.

My reason for joining is to try to improve my playing (at this late stage in life), as a lot of the theory I learned years ago is long forgotten.

Thank again for your welcome, Hayden, and I look forward to getting into the course.

Regards,

John Baker

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Welcome @john33!

Thanks for sharing all of this and let me point you towards some of our courses that I think will be of interest to you:

Hammond Organ Lessons

For Hammond Organ we have 1 course which focuses around the 12 bar blues, check that out here:

Our organ teacher Robert does a great job at breaking down the intricacies of the instrument and explaining the core elements of the 12 bar blues on a Hammond B3. We plan to add more Hammond lessons in the future which will have more of a jazz focus.

Jazz Theory Lessons Lessons

For jazz theory I would recommend browsing through our Syllabus pages and in particualr check out the “Learning Path” in each syllabus which shows the key theory topics and milestones:

https://www.pianogroove.com/syllabuses/

Each course is intertwined with jazz standard studies so that we are always applying the theory concepts in the context of tunes.

Bossa Nova & Samba Lessons

We have a wide range of Brazilian piano lessons on the website. To start I would recommend Jovino’s “Brazilian Grooves” course which provides a wonderful introduction to Brazilian piano styles:

Live Seminars

We host weekly live seminars where you can tune in live and ask questions to our teachers. Here is the seminar archive page:

https://www.pianogroove.com/live-seminars/

Have a browse through some of the topics and you can watch the seminar replays with chaptering and slow down controls.

We have 2 live seminars coming up this week which I will be adding to the page shortly.

I hope that helps John and let me know if you have any questions with the website and learning materials.

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Welcome John. I enjoyed reading your history about your mother playing background for silent movies and your dad’s classical singing. I am sure you have wonderful memories.! Do you have any recordings of them?

Perhaps you can record some of your organ playing for us when you get a chance. Again, welcome and enjoy your journey with PianoGroove. There is so much to learn and the instructors are great!

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Hi @john33,

Sounds like you have a great rig! I’m also a great Hammond fan, though for some time I’ve been focusing on the piano. Check out Larry Young’s Into Somethin’ (1965), if you haven’t already. With Young on organ are Sam Rivers, tenor saxophone; Grant Green, guitar; and Elvin Jones, drums. “Ritha” is especially nice.

You’ll find PianoGroove to be very helpful with your goals. Have fun. :musical_keyboard: