Practice Schedules - Ideas & Suggestions Please!

Absolutely brilliant. I am really impressed with the speed, the quality and the flexibility with which you answered to our discussions. Unfortunately I have quite a big workload, so I haven’t been able to practice for the last 2 weeks and will not be able to practice much for the next 2 or so, but it is absolutely amazing how you cater for our needs and react to the requests and suggestions. Thank you for that. I am really looking forward to getting back to it.

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Hi, again. I have started playing around with the sample practice materials and they do look great, but a couple of further points came to mind:

  1. I really like your emphasis of keeping the practice exercises musical rather than mechanical, so it seemed to me like a short, simple segment on some rhythmic phrases to use in practicing progressions would be helpful. In iRealPro there are lots of styles and tempos and examples to imitate, but a “cheat sheet” style introduction to that topic would be really to useful to beginners.

  2. I like the fact that several of the tunes are in E flat so that there is reinforcement for newbies learning scales and progressions in the key for the first time. And maybe My Funny Valentine is in the relative minor; no? Anyway, linking up the keys of the standards being studied and the scales/progressions being practiced would be a move to consider.

And speaking of which, in the video when you first introduce a standard you state its key and then play the scale and a chord as a kind of reminder of the scale, right? Is that chord a major 13th? Its like a quick reminder of the “pool” of notes to be used, right?

Looking forward to seeing the new practice guidelines, and thanks again,
Scott

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That’s great to hear Moritz.

The video is very graphic-heavy and so it took a while to produce, but I am more than happy to do this if that’s what our students find useful to learn, develop, and master the material.

I’d also like to make this part of the workflow for all new courses, with all of out teachers. I see huge value in a dedicated lesson in each course which specifically addressed how to practice that material.

I’m yet to add it to the course page but I will do shortly.

Thanks again for this suggestion and also your feedback on the layout of the PDF doc. We can continue to evolve this too.

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Wonderful… thanks for the input Scott.

Yes I completely agree.

This plan covers the absolute basics, and the main goal is to be able to visualise the scales, triads, 7th chords, and the 251s.

The next plans will be the course on “Extended Chords & Voicings” and the course “Rootless Voicings” - These topics are well suited to more “musical” theory drills, and also iRealPro exercises.


Yes that does make sense, I’m planning something similar for our course on Intros, Endings & Turnarounds.

Check out the first lesson on the 1625 progression here: https://www.pianogroove.com/jazz-piano-lessons/1625-436251-progressions/ - we focus on the key of Eb Major.

I think this kind of topic could be developed a lot further in a practice plan lesson. Leave it with me and I will flesh this idea out further.

Yes that is correct that they are relative. Minor keys are a little more complex and a topic I’ve been wanting to cover. The same basic premise applies of the diatonic 7th chords. However, becuase there are 3 types of minor scales, there are many more options and variations that you can use.


Agreed. Great idea :sunglasses:

I think you need to do some reading/watching on chord extensions.

Check out the lesson on chord extensions: https://www.pianogroove.com/jazz-piano-lessons/chord-extensions-9ths-11ths-13ths/

All diatonic scales contain 7 notes. The 2 is the 9, the 4 is the 11, and the 6 is the 13.

Check out this theory Q&A - Naming Jazz Chord Extensions - any further questions with this you can continue the discussion in the thread.

Something else you should understand:

Jazz music constantly modulates, which means that the key center changes during the same song. This is one of the things that makes jazz sound so interesting and dynamic.

Even though a song is written in a specific key, such as Eb Major, the harmony will move to others keys, and typically come back to the main key to finish the tune.

And so the “pool of notes to be used” is always related to the underlying harmony, and not just the notes of the key signature.

I’ll be posting more updates here on the practice plan so stay tuned.

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The Foundations Course practice video has been added:

I still need to create the fingering download for major scales. I will get around to this shortly.

The next practice guides I will be creating are for the other beginner courses on:

  • Extended Chords & Voicings
  • Mastering Left Hand Voicings

It makes sense to start at the beginning of the syllabus, as our students at this level are most in need of practice tips, guidance, and structure.

More to follow… cheers.

Thanks, Hayden, for uploading the study summary sheet for Jazz Foundations and the new video tutorial on how and what to practice. Your extended video explanations and suggestions and demonstrations were especially helpful to me as a true beginner.

I’ve also tried to follow your suggestions and make my own new practice variations and tried to relate the practice targets to the jazz standards I am studying. For instance, in learning the melody for Tenderly, it was clear how close it is to the E flat scale; when it moves away from the scale, ie with the two accidentals, I am guessing there is a good reason, like setting up a resolution to a phrase?

Thanks again, and I’m really looking forward to more materials like these for the other foundational courses.

Cheers.

Hi Hayden, thanks again for picking up on my suggestions and improving the practice section for jazz beginners. Finally I was able to watch the video. Due to a lot of traveling I wasn’t able to practice much and I won’t be for the next week or so, but I am already looking forward to applying this on a more regular basis again.

I really appreciate the progress that I could make with your help. Even though I wasn’t able to do a very dedicated practice in the last weeks, I played with my nice and I was able to accompagny her sigining a pop song, just because I now understand the chords and can easily play simple chord voicings. We didn’t play jazz, but even that was a great feeling – much different from how I learned the paino as a kid.

Thanks for that!

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Hey Moritz … thanks for letting me know.

I still need to start on the other practice schedules… I’ve had a lot on but this last week but I will aim to complete the ‘Extended Chords Course’ Practice Guide this week.

And that’s awesome to hear that you played with your niece… it must have been fun! As Lyndol outlines… that’s exactly the best strategy, keep things simple and follow the lead of the singer.

Thanks for the update… I wish you safe travels and keep me posted on your progress :slight_smile:

ps. I just shared the 1st lesson of the upcoming Boogie Woogie course… Boogie Woogie Lessons Have Arrived 🕺

I remember a musician telling me that Boogie Woogie is popular in Germany… I think the most famous was this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axel_Zwingenberger - I must ask Steve about that next time I see him. I’m sure he has some insights to share.

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