Jazz – Blues – Gospel – Boogie Woogie – Berkhamsted Piano Lessons

Jazz music comes in many forms from the earliest dance hall jazz, played in the southern states of America, through Big band, Be-Bop and Modern jazz, Boogie Woogie and blues with many fusions in between.

The roots of the Jazz sound can be found in ‘extended and often dissonant chords’ with straight and ‘syncopated pulsating rhythms’.

There have been many great Jazz musicians who write and play using traditional notation but also an equal number who have played using chords and scales to improvise and compose on the spot!

Historically, we could say that the first forms of  Jazz stem from Ragtime and Stride piano, which uses both hands on the piano to share a syncopated rhythm, with a melodic line incorporated. this was popularised by pianists like Scott joplin, who wrote the famous ` The entertainer`.

When the left hand hand patterns were played in a simpler form, as a repeated and consistant pulse, Boogie Woogie developed, again with a pulsating right hand playing a repeated right hand pattern over a 12 bar form.

Blues , in a general term, is a slower form of  boogie, but again using the 12 bar form, thus the 12 bar blues, also with a heavy emphasis on the blues scale.

The next developement was Jazz, where left hand patterns and pulses were suggested, rather than outwardly played, and the right hand started to use melodic lines , less repeated and more liniar. also whilst still using the tonal major, minor and blues scales, using chromatic scales, `which are each of the 12 notes in a scale`, but also shifting the centre of melodic gravity by using `modes`. Well known Modal Jazz musicians were popular in the 1950`s, examples of great musicians of the time were  Miles Davies and Charlie Parker who were great innovators and would heavily influence contemporary Jazz musicians.

There are always developments in Jazz and today`s best  jazz Pianists , such as Keith Jarret and Brad Meldhau  are highly trained and are best known for their amazing technical skills while improvising in around  a given melodic theme and chord progression or music idea.

I can teach you how to play your preffered style of music, from Boogie woogie to Blues and Jazz and how to improvise, step by step. The hardest part of learning these forms of music is the `syncopation`, which means playing diferent rhythms in each hand at the same time. The best way to do this is , in slow motion, seeing which notes are played together, or seperatly, ultimately speeding up untill the musical phrases or patterns are clear and make sense to our ears. It`s really fun and rewarding and can be light or profound , fast or slow, exciting or relaxing.


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