Beginning Jazz Piano Volume One
Beginning Jazz Piano

An Introduction to Swing, Blues, Latin and Funk

“Richard’s musical content is as memorable and engaging as ever, and he superbly channels the playing styles of some of jazz’s greatest piano legends along the way… This is the real deal… a full-on jazz education from scratch. Fully and brilliantly mapped out… Richards has produced a superb learning resource… yet again outdoing himself with these amazing books.”

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Everything You Need to Get Started

The book is aimed at players with some piano experience who wish to develop a grasp of the basic tools required to play and improvise in a jazz style. It includes many unique features and resources to kick start your journey:

  • 20 pieces spanning a range of styles, taking you in easy steps from one chord only, to tunes with three chords
  • Each piece includes a simple BASS LINE for a friend or teacher, to help you keep the flow and play with a consistent groove
  • Downloadable AUDIO FILES of every piece, featuring examples of improvised solos
  • BACKING tracks with bass and drums only, for when you're by yourself
  • Interactive ‘REPLAY’ tracks for most pieces, featuring scrollable music and adjustable tempos
  • Unique ‘SING & PLAY’ tracks to help you develop your aural skills and improvise with pentatonic scales
  • Insight into basic jazz harmony and improvisation techniques, including scales, chords and left-hand shapes
  • Invaluable SUGGESTED LISTENING sections in each chapter, focusing on tunes with one, two or three chords only
This is the ideal book to use with your piano teacher, but the backing and ‘Replay’ tracks make it equally accessible to those studying on their own.


Harmony, Improvisation, Accompanying & Reading from Lead Sheets

This is at a slightly higher level and is the ideal precursor to ‘Exploring Jazz Piano Vol 1’.

Chapter 1: Harmony & Improvisation
Builds on the concepts covered in Part 1 to help you deal with typical situations such as 32-bar sequences, II – V – I, playing in 3/4, etc.

  • Develop your improvisation skills using techniques such as pentatonic scales, modes, arpeggios, broken chords, horizontal and vertical improvisation
  • Online resources include downloadable AUDIO FILES of every piece, BACKING tracks, and interactive ‘REPLAY’ tracks featuring scrollable music and adjustable tempos

Chapter 2: Accompanying
An essential skill for anyone playing in a duo situation, or for vocalists wishing to accompany themselves at the piano.

  • Build your own bass lines in a range of styles, including two-feel, walking bass, blues, funk, bossa nova
  • Add chords in the right hand and learn how to ‘comp’ in the style of tunes such as All of Me and One Note Samba

Chapter 3: Interpreting Lead Sheets
Follow the ‘Lead Sheet Protocol’ to help you get away from reading sheet music and start creating your own arrangements – like professional jazz pianists.

  • Explore a variety of left-hand styles including shells, rootless chords, stride piano
  • Learn how to play melodies using two-handed voicings in four- and five-part harmony
  • Includes seven originals alongside traditional standards such St James Infirmary, When the Saints Go Marching In and Indiana

This is the ideal book to use with your piano teacher, but the backing and ‘Replay’ tracks make it equally accessible to those studying on their own.

“I really enjoyed both books... they're nicely paced, not overloading you with too much too soon… All this for the price of an hour’s lesson represents excellent value. The latter half of book 2 mainly leaves theory aside and give many good drills to practise… It’s actually the easiest part of the two books, bringing everything together using songs from various genres. ”   The Jazz Rag