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Many people stop playing and learning the piano because they are not interested in classical music. Some professional teachers may lead you to believe that it is essential to learn classical techniques before moving on to other forms of music.

However, it is perfectly possible to acquire lessons in specific music genres. For example, jazz piano lessons are becoming more and more popular.

Jazz is a form of music that has its origins in the blues, but is based on almost every other genre of music. If you want to start learning to play jazz on the piano, it’s a good idea to start swing early, and more importantly, learn to improvise, as this is one of the most fundamental skills jazz musicians use.

Here are some hints and tips to help you improve your jazz playing skills.

Listen to all the jazz you can. The best thing you can do is spend time listening to the teachers you want to emulate. If possible, listen to old and new styles of jazz.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of music theory, make sure you’re familiar with the twelve major scales; this will be very useful when improvising.

Buy some sheet music. As mentioned above, if you’re just starting to dabble in jazz, buy some of the old ‘swing’ greats, like Gershwin or Porter.

Next, you’ll need to master the Major 7th, Minor 7th, Dominant 7th, Semi Diminished, and Diminished chords in each key. This could be tricky if he’s not familiar with the basics of music, but he should be able to master this stage in a week or two.

Once you’re happy with these chords, grab your sheet music and start playing. Use your left hand to play the melody and your right hand to play the chords. If you select a songbook with guitar chords, recognizing and playing the chords can be easier. Practice until you feel comfortable, and most importantly, it sounds good.

Then you’ll have to get back to the less fun stuff: learning chord inversions. For example, CM7 (C major 7th) could be played like this: C,E,G and B or E,G,B and C or G,B,C and E and finally B,C,E and G. There are four possible positions for each chord. Don’t try to learn inversions until you’re completely comfortable with the standard method of playing chords, because you’ll get confused.

If you want to learn to improvise, start by learning the pentatonic scale of your preferred key. Then, take a favorite song and mix it up by removing some notes and adding some from the pentatonic scale. Then try to master the blues scale and again add and remove notes from the original sheet music.

These tips will help you master the basics of jazz piano lessons and ensure that you can start playing and have fun with your music.

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