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The piano has been an integral part of the jazz idiom since its inception, in both solo and ensemble settings. Its role is multifaceted due largely to the instrument’s combined melodic and harmonic capabilities. For this reason it is an important tool of jazz musicians and composers for teaching and learning jazz theory and set arrangement, regardless of their main instrument. By extension the phrase ‘jazz piano’ can refer to similar techniques on any keyboard instrument. 1920s, predominantly in New York. The left hand was used to establish rhythm while the right hand improvised melodies. Mastering the various chord voicings—simple to advanced—is the first building block of learning jazz piano.
Jazz piano technique uses all the chords found in Western art music, such as major, minor, augmented, diminished, seventh, diminished seventh, sixth, minor seventh, major seventh, suspended fourth, and so on. Jazz pianists also make extensive use of chord “extensions”, such as adding the ninth, eleventh or thirteenth scale degree to the chord. In some cases, these extensions may be “altered” i. The next step is learning to improvise melodic lines using scales and chord tones. This ability is perfected after long experience, including much practice, which internalizes the physical skills of playing and the technical elements of harmony, and it requires a great natural ‘ear’ for extemporaneous music-making. The approach to improvising has changed since the earliest eras of jazz piano. During the Swing era, many soloists improvised “by ear” by embellishing the melody with ornaments and passing notes.
However, during the bebop era, the rapid tempo and complicated chord progressions made it increasingly harder to play “by ear. Rob Agerbeek in “Boogie Woogie Stomp. The right hand may play melodic lines, or harmonic content, chordally or in octaves. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, with Henry Ragas on piano. Jazz piano has played a leading role in developing the sound of jazz.