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Music Influencers & The Future of Jazz

In this latest post, I wanted to share with you some of the key areas including my personal music influencers and where I see the future of jazz.

Who inspired me to start playing music?

  • Oscar Peterson - he was among the first pianists who got away from the stride playing in the left hand, which is not really suitable for playing in bands as it interferes too much with the bass player. He also plays some chord changes that are worth looking into. His technique is really quite amazing and the only way to attain this is to spend many hours each day practicing. This is where scales and arpeggios are most helpful.

  • Dudley Moore

  • Elton John - great performer over all

  • Diana Krall - more recent musician, offers great technique and has similarities with Oscar Peterson

What key elements did they teach me?

  • Nice chord changes

  • The ability to look and listen and adapt their techniques with my own interpetration on them

  • I have been able to create arrangements for bands using what I learnt and then developed

  • Originally I started off using my knowledge and skills in a Trio and then was able to progress and move onto bigger bands

How should other people interested in Jazz piano get started ?

  • Play the chords with the left hand and single note melody with the right hand

  • Also try scales based on the chords you are playing. The aim is not to try and copy any player, but if you hear any phrases you particularly like from any players you listen to, bring these into your repertoire, but keep to your own style.

Where can people go to learn and get started?

  • It's advisable to obtain a fully comprehensive scale book.

  • Play chords and inversions with left and right hand

  • As you progress it becomes easier and you can use my book Visual Chord Shapes to increase your knowledge around chord structure, inversions, progressions and modulations.

What is the future of Jazz in my opinion?

  • Jazz songs are "evergreen" long lasting and can be enjoyed by any age/generation

  • Jazz is the ability to improvise the chord structure of any song and give it the Jazz sound

  • Jazz will continue to live on well into the future and be part of the music arena

If you are interested in finding out more or would like to purchase your own copy of Visual Chord Shapes For Keyboard to help you with your own Jazz journey, you can buy a copy online or contact me for further information.

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