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Learn Jazz Piano: book 1

Learn Jazz Piano: book 1

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Learn Jazz Piano: book 1

4/5 (39 valutazioni)
128 pagine
58 minuti
Apr 10, 2012


My approach is clear and systematic with 78 illustrations. Scales lead to chords and the chords link into sequences. The object is to solo through a jazz standard with a full understanding of scales, modes and chord symbols. We will cover the following topics:

The circle of 5ths
The II-V-I sequence
Extensions and alterations
7th chords
Modes and modal music
The diminished sequence

Apr 10, 2012

Informazioni sull'autore

I live in London, UK and have been a professional musician and composer since 1967. This series of books run alongside my online video course at

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Top citazioni

  • Horizontal improvisation: chords change, scale doesn’t.Vertical improvisation: chords change, scale changes.

  • EXERCISE Develop your ability to move from 5 to its 1 in every key. For example, the note Bb leads up to Eb. This interval is the perfect 4th, a distance of five half steps.

  • Listen to Keith Jarrett playing a jazz standard. To my ears, the beautifully crafted melodic lines are partly due to his mastery of voice leading.

  • EXERCISE Improvise horizontally, this time choosing notes from the pentatonic of parent scale, then adding the b3 as a blue note.

  • The next step is to change the IV chord into a II chord.

Anteprima del libro

Learn Jazz Piano - Paul Abrahams


For obvious reasons, more Americans than Brits listen to my podcasts. So after numerous emails asking me what I mean by a crotchet, I’ve mended my ways and now refer to quarter notes. This also means that swing quavers are now swing eights. With apologies to my British readers I’ll also be using the following terms, which appear in the left-hand column.



half step/semitone

whole step /tone

Note names


whole note/semibreve

half note/minim

quarter note/crotchet

eighth note/quaver

Naming chord symbols

As no two books use the same chord symbol names, I’m opting for the following:

Naming extensions

As the name suggests, extensions are notes played above the octave. They should therefore be referred to as 9ths, 11ths and 13ths and their respective flattened or sharpened versions as b9ths, #9ths, #11ths and b13ths.

9, 11 and 13 are usually referred to as extensions and b9, #9, #11 and b13 as alterations. In my online course I occasionally use the term primary extensions for 9, 11 and 13 and secondary extensions for #9, #11 and b13.

If these added notes occur within a chord they should, in theory, be referred to as 2nds, 4ths and 6ths etc.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t that simple and the same note can be described in a number of ways. For example, #11 will often be referred to as b5. Here are the possibilities:

You will also encounter + and - signs instead of # and b. The good news is that 9ths don’t change.

If the 5th is being replaced within the chord, then C⁷(b⁵) is used to describe the note Gb. If a b13 is also required, then it must also be shown:

C⁷(b5#¹¹) = C + E + Gb + Bb + F#

So, even though Gb and F# are the same note enharmonically, they serve different functions and therefore need to be described individually. This also applies to b13 and #5.

Having said that, so many chord charts use b5 and #11 (and b13 and #5) arbitrarily, I suggest that you get used to seeing them as the same note.


Bridge The ‘B’ section in a song form, usually containing 8 bars. Also known as the middle 8.

Comp The piano accompaniment to a solo.

Extensions Added notes not within the basic harmony of a chord.

Head The original tune before and after the solos.

Horizontal improvisation The scale stays constant throughout chord changes.

Interval The space between two notes.

Key centre The key connecting a group of related chords.

Lead sheet Melody plus chords.

Mode A scale built from the steps of major or minor scale

Rhythm changes Chord changes based on Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm.

Root Pitch 1 of a chord.

Standard A well-known tune favored by jazz musicians.

Tritone An interval of 3 whole steps

Turnaround A chord sequence taking you back to the start or onto the next section. A common turnaround I - VI - II – V.

Vertical improvisation Each chord has an influence over the improvised notes.

Voicing The combination and placement of notes within a chord.

Walking 3’s and 7’s Linking the 3rd or 7th note of each chord.


What is jazz?

Even if I had an answer, a better question might be: what was jazz? Whatever it was through the 20’s and 30’s, and how bebop musicians like Charlie Parker changed it forever, no longer seems relevant. For better or worse, jazz has permeated into so many other genres that it no longer has a separate identity. As a teenager I was drawn to soul and R&B. My favorite singer then (and now) was Ray Charles. But was he also playing jazz? Or was it blues? His answer was that he was playing music. Were John Coltrane and Miles Davis still playing jazz by the end of their careers? Improvisation was their means of further exploration. Jimi Hendrix was doing the same thing.


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  • (5/5)
    It's a very instructional book. It's not perfect, though, I recommend additional reading
  • (1/5)
    IMPOSSIBLE DOWNLOAD this and almost all really good books like this!!! Even with membership!!!

    Just "Save for Later" and "Start Reading" available options... This service IS A FRAUD... Somebody knows how to get this book here?
    Thanks to you
  • (1/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    Dear Paul you should've tell us outloud that we need to purchase additional video lessons for each steps of the book. OR you have to let us browse into the book's lessons before we decided to buy this book. IF NOT then this book is a setup..

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (5/5)
    best for the new start