Solo Jazz Piano – Second Edition

The Linear Approach

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $39.99
  • Format: Book/CD
  • Pages: 312
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-120-X
  • SKU: 50449641
  • Publication Date: May 06, 2013

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Jazz Piano

Strengthen your command of the melodies, harmonies, and rhythms that make up the rich art form of jazz on the piano or keyboard.

Specialist Keyboard Styles Certificate Program

There is always a demand for dynamic, expressive, and well-rounded keyboard players, and this program is geared toward enabling you to be comfortable in any number of different musical situations. You'll gain a comprehensive education in the wide array of skills and knowledge necessary to develop your technique and gain a greater command of the keyboard. As you become familiar with different keyboard performance styles, you'll learn the signature riffs and licks of the masters, increase your repertoire, and develop your improvisation skills. This program is well suited for intermediate keyboard students, students with classical training, or students with contemporary jazz style training.

A step-by-step approach to solo jazz improvisation for piano.

Learn to improvise using the techniques pioneered by piano greats Lenny Tristano and Dave McKenna. This methodical approach to learning the art of solo jazz piano improvisation will free your creative sense of music. It begins with a review of chord symbol interpretation, walks through bass line development, and ends with how to play several melodic lines simultaneously in stimulating musical conversation. You’ll learn how to develop solos that embellish and support the melody, and use lead sheets to help you generate your own musical ideas. Twenty-one lessons present techniques, practice exercises, and tunes based on jazz standards. Notated transcriptions of sample improvisations illustrate each lesson’s technique, and the accompanying CD lets you hear a master improviser put these ideas to work.

Packed with hundreds of ideas that will teach you the art of improvisation, this book will help you:

  • Develop pianistic bass lines that capture the heart of the tune * Interpret chord symbols melodically and harmonically
  • Use rhythmic ideas such as metric modulation to develop a sense of motion and development
  • Simultaneously improvise in multiple voices
  • Use contrapuntal concepts such as pedal point, guide-tone lines, and non-chord tones to lend coherence and interest to your improvisations

“I recommend this well conceived and researched book. The tunes that Neil uses as a base for his etudes are wonderful.”

—Dave McKenna, Jazz Pianist

Solo Jazz Piano includes a wide variety of techniques and ideas that are certain to captivate students and teachers alike. It shows how to apply these ideas, step-by-step, in a very clear, interesting, and practical manner. I highly recommend it to those aspiring to develop a solid foundation of solo jazz piano playing.”

—Joanne Brackeen, Composer, Jazz Pianist, Professor, Berklee College of Music

“At last, a book that gives the student solo pianist insight as to how to break away from stride and explore the more profound aspects of jazz time and improvisation.”

—Alan Broadbent, Pianist, Composer, Arranger


Neil Olmstead

Neil Olmstead is an active jazz pianist, teacher, and composer. During a ten-year solo piano residency at Boston’s Copley Plaza…