How to start learning jazz improvisation on the piano

8806 how to start learning jazz improvisation on the piano

Jazz improvisation on the piano is a highly sought-after skill, requiring extensive knowledge of music theory and a strong understanding of the instrument. To start learning jazz improvisation, one must first have a solid foundation in piano playing and basic music theory. This includes an understanding of scales, chords, and chord progressions, as well as the ability to play with proper technique and a good sense of time and rhythm.

One effective method for learning jazz improvisation is to study the work of famous jazz pianists and transcribe their solos. This can be done by listening to recordings and notating the solos, paying close attention to the use of scales, chords, and phrasing. It is also recommended to study the works of jazz theory books and instructors to gain a deeper understanding of the theory behind jazz improvisation.

Practice is crucial in learning jazz improvisation. It is recommended to start by practicing basic scales and chords, as well as playing along with recordings of jazz standards. One can also practice improvising over chord progressions, using the scales and chord knowledge acquired through study.

Another effective method is to attend jazz jam sessions and workshops, where one can play with other musicians and receive feedback from experienced players. This can provide valuable opportunities to learn from others, as well as develop one’s own sense of phrasing and style.

Additionally, it is important to develop good listening skills, as jazz improvisation is heavily based on listening and responding to the other musicians in the ensemble. This can be done by listening to recordings of jazz performances, attending live jazz performances, and practicing playing with other musicians.

It is also recommended to have a strong understanding of jazz history and the cultural context in which jazz was created. This can provide valuable insights into the genre, as well as help one understand the influence of different jazz styles and pianists on one’s own playing.

In conclusion, learning jazz improvisation on the piano requires a strong foundation in piano playing and music theory, as well as dedicated practice, study, and exposure to jazz performances. By following these steps, one can develop the skills necessary to become a proficient jazz pianist.


  • “The Jazz Piano Book” by Mark Levine
  • “Jazz Theory: From Basic to Advanced Study” by Mark Levine
  • “The Art of Jazz Piano” by Stuart Isacoff