Joining the group from Los Angeles where I currently live and work as a motion designer and editor. I grew up in a musical household with my uncle, grandfather and grandmother all being jazz musicians. This influence did not manifest itself right away as I was drawn to rock, funk and soul in my early days of developing as a musician but the seeds of what would come were certainly planted early on.
I have been playing guitar off and on for 35 years and recently took a deep dive into playing the bass. Albums by Grant Green and Kenny Burrell were my way into jazz and from there I found a great appreciation for artists both old and modern. One fateful evening I was fortunate enough to see Brad Mehldau play to 30 people at the old Cafe Largo here in L.A. before he was a household name. Needless to say I was in awe of the performance that evening and my love for jazz piano was born!
I have had a few failed attempts at learning the piano which has left me with a bit of basic technique and some scattered theory knowledge. I suffer a bit from enjoying so many different types of music and chasing too many things at once which I am hoping to remedy with a more focused regimen and long terms goals. The practice planner here is very helpful with that and I’ve tapped Tuomo for some private lessons for additional guidance.
In my youth (turning 50 this year…how did that happen?!) I would get frustrated when practicing but I’ve developed a more zen approach as I’ve gotten older. I now know that all things come with patience and perseverance which is helpful during more challenging practice sessions.
Excited to be here with you all and looking forward to the journey ahead!
Hey @Aaron_R - welcome to the PianoGroove community!
If you take a read through some of the replies in this thread you will find tonnes of guidance on how to approach the lessons and where to start.
Around the last day of each month you will receive an email with live events, workshops, and community challenges for the following month. This email is due to go out tomorrow so keep an eye out in your inbox.
You will also be receiving a series of automated emails which show you around the website features and functionality. If you have any questions just hit reply to those emails and it will land in my inbox.
Great intro, @Aaron_R, and welcome to the community.
I can certainly identify with that! I would add that anyone learning a musical instrument should be at peace with the reality of repetition, repetition, repetition. Strange how it all unfolds: You work on scales day after day after day and then…Click! One day it all snaps into place. Patience and perseverance are key ingredients.
I am 77 years old electronic engineer. I started Lavry Engineering (audio converters company) 32 years ago and I love design work. Music for me (so far) serves as a counterbalance to the logical and methodical thinking required for my work. Music adds feelings, spontaneity and more.
I play the accordion for 71 years, and the piano was my second instrument, both as a hobby. I mostly play the piano now. They did not teach it in Physics but the older I get, the heavier the accordion…
I play by ear and just for the fun of it. I am comfortable playing all sorts of music, but not so with jazz. I love the sound of rich, complex jazz chords and progressions, but it has been difficult to reconstruct by ear. I want to learn how to do it. I am also inclined to learn some specific favorite pieces.
So I looked around on the web, and found PianoGroove. The thing that impressed me first was the layout and presentation. I like seeing the keyboard and the notation while listening. I looked a little deeper and already learned a lot. I am impressed and pleased. I come from a musical family, but made music a hobby. There is a lot for me to learn. And at my age, the rule I live by is “if you don’t use it, you loose it”.
For learning specific favourite pieces, most courses are a mixture of theory lessons and then application of the theory to jazz standards. You can also find specific jazz standards in the jazz standard index page or by searching using the website search box.
I hope that helps Dan - any other questions please let me know.
Thanks, Hayden, for your great instruction lessons and program. I have been playing the piano for many years but still have lots to learn about playing solo jazz and playing in groups and accompanying singers. I have a B.A in History from Stanford, University, and an MBA from University of Northern Colorado. I live in Boulder, CO, I am married, and I am currently retired after having a career in many different fields, but mostly as a Technical Writer for high tech Companys, and several years as a history teacher. Once again thanks for all of your help, best always, David Whiteing
Hi, My name is Frank and I’m from New York. I’m a guitar player and have been playing over 50 yrs. I still gig regularly. I do a Jazz brunch at a popular music venue north of the city one Sunday every month and have for over 5 yrs. We do other gigs as well. Still consider myself a hack LOL. Sight reading sucks but I have a good ear. Came from rock and blues and have played with some great musicians over the years who I learned a lot from. Love of Jazz started when I saw Jim Hall play with Ron Carter in a Small Club (the Guitar)in New York when I was about 18. Yeah I’m old.
Anyway, Last December I decided to start playing my upright piano that I bought for my kids years ago. Then I bought a Kawai ES 520, signed up at a regular online teaching site, practiced everyday. Realized, that even though the site was fine I was looking for more Jazz oriented teaching. Did a trial run at another Jazz teaching site. It’s Okay. Then on YouTube I saw PianoGroove while searching Christmas standards. Loved the format, lead sheet and presentation, Theory explained etc.
I have plenty of time to practice. And will practice at least 2 hrs a day. Would like structured teaching which I believe is fundamental on this site. That’s why I’m here.
Even after all this time playing music I still get excited learning something new and there’s nothing like playing a gig with like minded people or by yourself for that matter.
How should I start?
Welcome Frank! With your years of experience, you should sail through the foundations course. and start getting the piano well in hand. Like you, I’ve fiddled around with other online courses, but PianoGroove is by far the most user-friendly one. That is, it explains even the simplest concepts throughly. Have fun, and please share some of your playing with us.
Welcome Frank! I agree with Scott…with your background you should easily go through the foundations course. IMO, PianoGroove is by far the best online site for learning jazz. You are able to have fun learning concepts by applying them to songs.
Thanks Scott and Celia for responding. Pianogroove is head and shoulders above other online piano sites I’ve tried even though one teacher from London was very good and knowledgeable. Didn’t like the format (videos transcription etc). I like to follow the bouncing ball as they say when I’m taking lessons and do what the instructor says. The courses here seem step by step and thorough.