Visit Scot's personal site for various bits of outdated information: http://www.scotranney.com

There are basically two steps to being good at anything.

  1. Practice
  2. Repeat step one

The trick is practicing right and concentrating on the details. Once you master the small things, the big picture comes into focus on it's own.

I've been composing and playing jazz piano professionally since 1989. Music has given me a lifetime of experiences and opportunities to enjoy life. I'm poor as dirt, but I enjoy my life!

My first jazz piano mentor was Marc Seales, the jazz piano professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He's a good "real world" teacher in that he teaches you to teach yourself - the way it is in real life. He is also one of the top monster players in the world. His blues and gospel background comes out in his bop playing.

I highly recommend the UW jazz program. Look for Marc's recordings- he is a monster player with a blues and gospel background.

One of Marc's philosophies has been a reason why I've enjoyed any sort of success at all: take care of business first then there is time for play.

More Articles in Scot's Studio

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There are a handful of jazz pianists who helped shape our world and McCoy Tyner is one of them. He broke into the big picture when he played with John Coltrane and since then has never looked back. I've seen him live several times and even had a chance to speak with him at length once. Great player, humble guy, and here's something you can do to add a bit of his sound to your playing.
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There's a simple technique to not getting lost during a solo, whether it's one of your band mates or your own.
by on - 1 comment 11/13/2014    
Buddy Catlett was a master jazz bassist from the swing era who was a mainstay in Seattle for decades and played regularly with virtually every big name from the 20th century you can come up with. His recent passing brought back some memories of playing with him. In particular, it reminded me of when he changed my life on my first gig, and when we had a good laugh on the last gig. May Buddy rest in peace, he sure earned it.
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The first time you see a Cm7/G you might by puzzled, pause, and finally say, ".....What?" Well, that's what I did, but only once. The slash chord is a simple idea used in most musical genres including jazz. What does the slash chord mean in jazz piano? How and when is it used? How do jazz pianists practice slash chords, and improvise over them? We'll look at Beautiful Love and other examples to help explain the use of slash chords in jazz piano.
by on - 1 comment 02/10/2017    
Are you looking for a place to get started with jazz piano? The 2-5-1 chord progression might be the most used chord progression in jazz. Learning about 2-5-1's is one of the first steps any jazz musician takes. And you get two for one- 2-5-1 chords are used everywhere, and you learn about jazz theory at the same time. You should know how to basically read music and play the piano, just a little bit.
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You're playing piano in a band and taking a solo. It occurs to you that you're really jamming, the rhythm section is swinging hard, and you have that super euphoric feeling of playing the way you always envision it. Then you finish your solo and you'd never know it from the audience response. The strange part is that the sax player had a huge response, and the bass solo that came after yours also got a huge response. Your solo was just as good. So what's going on?
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It took six months of work, including a couple months off, for the new LearnJazzPiano.com system to be ready for prime time. It wasn't until Scot moved to Hong Kong did he muster the motivation necessary to get into the project. The following is a brief rundown of what took place to change the old system to the new.

Jazz Piano Notebook Series
Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 1 - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version - videos

Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 2 - jazz piano tricks of the trade you can use today
"Latinesque"

Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

Tim wrote the well known "Exploring Jazz Piano" and "Improvising Blues Piano" books and has several others to his name.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

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